Chuck Schumer is one of the most prominent faces of the Democratic Party. He has served his home state of New York in several capacities over his political career – first as a state assemblyman, then in the U.S. House of Representatives, and currently as the senior Senator representing the state.
Schumer is currently the Senate Majority Leader, and, as such, is often the face of the Democratic Party where legislation is concerned. Schumer carries a typically favorable approval rating, and he has kept a campaign promise he made several years ago – Schumer annually visits each of the sixty-two counties in the state of New York.
|Celebrated Name:||Chuck Schumer|
|Real Name/Full Name:||Charles Ellis Schumer|
|Birthdate:||November 23, 1950|
|Birthplace:||New York City, NY|
|Height:||5 ft 7 in|
|Wife/Spouse||Iris (nee’ Weinshall) Schumer|
|Children/Kids:||two daughters, Jessica and Alison|
|Is Chuck Schumer Gay?||No|
|Highest Political Office:||United States Senior Senator|
|Colleges Attended:||Harvard College, Harvard Law School|
|Degrees:||Bachelor’s (Social Studies); Juris Doctor|
|Net Worth in 2022:||$900,000|
Biography: Early Life and Family
Charles Ellis Schumer, more commonly known as Chuck Schumer, was born in the New York City borough of Brooklyn on November 23, 1950 to Abraham Schumer and his wife, Selma Rosen Schumer. The Schumer family can trace its roots back to the Ukraine, and the family is Jewish. Chuck Schumer’s father ran a pest exterminator business while Mrs. Schumer was a homemaker. Chuck was one of three siblings. He has one brother, Robert, and one sister, Fran.
Chuck Schumer is distantly related to comedian Amy Schumer.
Schumer attended public schools local to his Midwood, Brooklyn home. He graduated from James Madison High School in 1967 at the age of seventeen; he was the Valedictorian of his class. He had scored 1600 on his SAT, and he set his sights on attending Harvard. Just prior to his graduation, Chuck Schumer represented his high school on the television show It’s Academic.
Schumer originally declared a major in Organic Chemistry, but he changed his major to social studies in 1968. This decision came after Schumer had volunteered for Eugene McCarthy’s 1968 presidential campaign.
While attending Harvard, Schumer was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa academic success club. He graduated magna cum laude, and continued his studies at the Harvard School of Law. He earned a Juris Doctor in law, and passed the New York state bar exam, but he has never practiced law. Schumer earned honors throughout his academic career.
Charles Ellis Schumer married Iris Weinshall in September 1980. The couple’s ceremony was held at the prestigious Windows on the World, which was located at the top of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The Schumers remain married, and little is known about Iris Schumer, although she is consistent supporter of her husband’s political career.
The Schumers have two daughters. Jessica is the older of the two, and Alison is the younger. Both girls followed in the footsteps of their father; both attended Harvard and earned degrees at their father’s alma mater.
Jessica Schumer is active in politics, just as her father. She is a chief of staff as well as general counsel for the Council of Economic Advisers.
Chuck and Iris Schumer have one grandson. He is the son of Schumer’s eldest daughter, Jessica.
Age, Height, and Weight
Chuck Schumer is 71 years of age. He is 5 feet 7 inches in height, and he weighs 161 pounds.
Chuck Schumer’s estimated net worth in 2022 is $900,000. This number would include his home in Park Slope, a neighborhood in Schumer’s native Brooklyn as well as fees for speaking engagements. Schumer has served in the New York state Assembly as well as in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.
Career Outside of Politics
Chuck Schumer possesses a law degree from Harvard College, which he earned with honors. However, he has never worked outside of politics.
Career in Politics
As Democratic Leader, Senator Schumer does not serve on any committees in the Senate. Most recently, he served as Ranking Member of the Committee on Rules and Administration, on the Senate Judiciary Committee as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and Border Security, the Senate Finance Committee, and the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
Committee on Rules and Administration
The Rules Committee has jurisdiction over federal elections including the qualifications and credentials of Senators, contested elections, oversight of the Federal Election Commission and the Election Assistance Commission. The Committee oversees Senate procedures, rules, and buildings, and every four years, leads the planning of the Presidential Inauguration at the Capitol through the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.
Senate Judiciary Committee
The Committee on the Judiciary oversees federal law enforcement, all federal courts, and key policy areas including anti-terrorism measures, copyright and patent law, immigration policy, and bankruptcy protection. The Committee has review power over all nominations for life-time judicial appointments, including those to the Supreme Court, as well as to key positions in the Department of Justice, such as the Attorney General and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Senate Finance Committee
The Senate Finance Committee is the committee of jurisdiction for many issues vital to the U.S. economy. The Finance Committee writes legislation related to the U.S tax code and tax policy; the Internal Revenue Service; trade issues, such as international trade agreements, Trade Adjustment Assistance for workers, and tariffs and duties; many issues related to private and private pension plans, including 401(k) plans and IRAs; and unemployment insurance. The Finance Committee also has jurisdiction over the Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) programs.
Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee
The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs oversees the United States’ financial system and institutions, monetary policy, housing, community development and transit programs. The committee also works to protect consumers by focusing on issues such as credit card interest rates and disclosure, low income housing and shareholders’ rights.
In 1974, Schumer ran for and was elected to the New York State Assembly, filling a seat previously held by Schumer’s mentor, Congressman Stephen Solarz. Schumer served three terms, from 1975 to 1981, sitting in the 181st, 182nd and 183rd New York State Legislatures. He has never lost an election.
In 1980, 16th district Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman won the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat of Republican Jacob Javits. Schumer ran for Holtzman’s vacated House seat and won. He was reelected eight times from the Brooklyn and Queens-based district, which changed numbers twice in his tenure (it was numbered the 16th from 1981 to 1983, the 10th from 1983 to 1993, and the 9th from 1993). In 1982, as a result of redistricting, Schumer faced a potential matchup with Solarz, but the matchup did not materialize. In preparation, Schumer “set about making friends on Wall Street, tapping the city’s top law firms and securities houses for campaign donations. ‘I told them I looked like I had a very difficult reapportionment fight. If I were to stand a chance of being re-elected, I needed some help,’ he would later tell the Associated Press.”
Schumer introduced The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (also known as RFRA) on March 11, 1993.
As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Schumer was one of four members of Congress who oversaw the House investigation (leading the Democratic defense of the Clinton administration), of the Waco siege hearings in 1995.
U.S. Senate (1999–present)
In 1998, Schumer ran for the Senate. He won the Democratic primary with 51% of the vote against Geraldine Ferraro (21%) and Mark Green (19%). He received 54% of the vote in the general election, defeating three-term incumbent Republican Al D’Amato (44%).
In 2004, Schumer was reelected with 71% of the vote, defeating the Republican nominee, Assemblyman Howard Mills of Middletown, and conservative Marilyn F. O’Grady. Many New York Republicans were dismayed by the selection of Mills over the conservative Michael Benjamin, who held significant advantages over Mills in both fundraising and organization. Benjamin publicly accused GOP chairman Sandy Treadwell and governor George Pataki of trying to muscle him out of the Senate race and undermine the democratic process. Schumer defeated Mills by 2.8 million votes. He won every county in the state except Hamilton County, in the Adirondacks, the least populous and most Republican county. Mills conceded defeat minutes after the polls closed, before returns had come in.
An April 2009 SurveyUSA poll placed Schumer’s approval rating at 62%, with 31% disapproving.
Notable former aides to Schumer include former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner, former New York State Senator Daniel Squadron, and New York State Assemblymembers Phil Goldfeder and Victor M. Pichardo.
After the 2016 presidential election, Schumer opined that the Democratic Party lost due to not having “a strong, bold economic message” and called on Democrats to push for reforms in the affordability of college and trade laws.
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Schumer chaired the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, part of the Democratic Senate leadership, with primary responsibility for raising funds and recruiting Democratic candidates in the 2006 Senate election. When he took this post, he announced that he would not run for governor of New York in 2006, as many had speculated. This averted a potentially divisive gubernatorial primary election in 2006 between Schumer and Eliot Spitzer, then New York’s attorney general.
In 2006, DSCC staffers obtained a copy of Maryland’s 2006 Republican Senate candidate Michael Steele’s credit report. A staff researcher used Steele’s social security number to obtain his credit report from TransUnion. The report was paid for with the DSCC credit card issued to the researcher’s supervisor. After an internal investigation, the Maryland Democratic Party determined the credit report was obtained illegally and reported the incident to the U.S. Attorney. The staffer resigned and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of computer fraud and was sentenced to 150 hours of community service. The supervisor resigned from the DSCC.
Under Schumer, the Democratic Party gained six seats in the Senate in the 2006 elections, defeating incumbents in each of those races and regaining Senate control for the first time since 2002. Of the closely contested races in the Senate in 2006, the Democratic Party lost only Tennessee. The incoming Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, persuaded Schumer to serve another term as DSCC chair.
The Senate Democratic caucus elected Schumer minority leader in November 2016. Schumer had been widely expected to lead Senate Democrats after Reid announced his retirement in 2015. He is the first New Yorker, as well as the first Jewish person, to serve as a Senate leader. On January 20, 2021, Democrats gained a Senate majority with the swearing-in of newly elected Georgia senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, following the 2020–21 election runoff and special election runoff, making Schumer the majority leader, replacing Republican Mitch McConnell.