Bill Foster

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This is a profile of a former U.S. Representative. (See the Illinois portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)
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George William "Bill" Foster is a former Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing the 14th District of Illinois from 2008 to 2011. He defeated Jim Oberweis (R) in a special election on March 8, 2008. Foster replaced former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert(R-Ill).[1] Foster again defeated Oberweis in the general election in November 2008.[2]


Positions, record and controversies

Congressional scorecards

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Organization 2007 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
2008 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
American Civil Liberties Union not avail. not avail.
American Conservative Union not avail. not avail.
AFSCME not avail. not avail.
Americans for Democratic Action not avail. 65 - 13/17
Club for Growth not avail. not avail.
Drum Major Institute not avail. not avail.
Family Research Council not avail. not avail.
Information Technology Industry Council not avail. not avail.
League of Conservation Voters not avail. not avail.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not avail. not avail.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce not avail. not avail.

During the 2008 campaign, Foster took positions on the following issues:


Foster believes that the war in Iraq requires an Iraqi political solution and that American troops should be withdrawn as soon as it is possible. Foster also stated:

We must also learn from our mistakes, and never again start an unprovoked war of choice without the full debate and formal declaration of war that was intended by our Constitution.[3]

Economic and fiscal policy

Foster places a high priority on paying down the national debt. He said that he intends to work with groups such as the Blue Dog Democrats who focus on deficit reduction, but that in other areas such as mortgage reform he does not agree with their policies. [4]


Foster believes that the U.S. needs to change its energy consumption in order to reduce dependence on foreign sources of oil, increase the use of cleaner and more efficient sources of energy, and fight climate change. His policy proposals include:[5]

  • Shifting tax incentives and subsidies away from oil and natural gas and towards the development of alternative, cleaner energy sources.
  • Encourage conservation at an individual level through loans and other forms of government support for replacing less efficient with more efficient vehicles, better home insulation, and the use of fluorescent light bulbs.
  • More research into biofuels. Though farmers in his district have benefited in the use of ethanol as a fuel, he is sceptical of its long-term viability.
  • The creation of a carbon emissions market in the form of a so-called "cap and trade" plan.
  • Commitment to international cooperation and wide-ranging agreements on climate policy.
  • Better accounting for the costs of nuclear energy.


Foster supports stronger border security and stricter enforcement of employment laws relating to undocumented immigrants, along with more comprehensive immigration reform, with particular emphasis on employment visas and immigration quotas.[6]

Health care

Foster supports making health insurance available to all Americans through a plan similar to the ones proposed by the Democratic presidential candidates for the 2008 election. He favors plans that include providing a basic level of coverage, giving people the option to purchase coverage beyond the basic level, strengthening Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, better cost control and more efficient administration, promoting evidence-based medicine, the creation of electronic medical records, comparative effectiveness research, and more emphasis on preventative medicine.[7]


" Bill Foster on Energy and Oil" No Date.

This article details Bill Foster’s voting record on energy issues. Foster voted no on the cap and trade legislation which would put limits on carbon production. He voted yes on alternative energy incentives and tax credits for renewable energy and conservation. Foster's voting record also supports incentives for green transportation and sustainable developement for buildings.


"How local Congress members voted on the cap and trade bill" Daily Herald. June 27, 2009.

Foster voted no on the cap and trade legislation, releasing this statement: "As a scientist I believe that climate change is real and that action is necessary. It is also crucial that we restructure our energy systems to increase efficiency and reduce our dependence on imported sources. However, I have always believed we have a responsibility to act in a way that comes with the lowest possible cost to the economy. A more thoughtful and measured bull could have mitigated significantly more greenhouse gas per dollar of expenditure. It is my hope that the Senate will make significant improvements to this legislation."



"Rep. Foster Statement on EPA Delay on Ethanol Blend Decision" June 20, 2010.

This article is a response to the EPA's decision to delay an increase to the ethanol blend wall. Foster expressed his disappointment in this decision. He acknowledged the technical and scientifc aspects at plat in this decision. However, he stated, ""I do not believe it is necessary to postpone an ethanol blend increase. By delaying, the EPA is holding back an industry that has the potential to create jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. As an interim measure, even an increase to a 12 percent blend wall would have been a substantial improvement.”

"Foster announces $60.2 in funding for Fermilab" Batavia Republican. August 5, 2009.

Fermilab received a lrage sum of money from the stimulus bill for funding research. The funding was announced by Bill Foster and lauded as increasing US competition in the sciences. The funds "will be used to research next-generation accelerations that use superconducting radio frequency technology, which provides a way to look at beams of particles with potential applications in medicine, energy and material science."


"Foster a yes on Health Care" Sun Times. March 21, 2010.

Foster voted in support of the health care bill. In a press release he outlined his reasons for supporting the bill: "I have decided to support the health insurance reform legislation because it eliminates pre-existing conditions, protects and strengthens Medicare and will significantly reduce the deficit by $1.3 trillion over 20 years. While the Senate bill itself is not perfect, many important improvements have been made so that the overall package is one that I can support."

STEM education

Research and development


Bill Foster has had careers in both science and business. In science, he worked for over 20 years at Fermilab, a physics research lab in Illinois that houses a particle-accelerator. Foster also started a business at age 19 with his younger brother Fred that manufactures theater lighting equipment.[8]

2008 elections

Special election

On March 8th, 2008, Foster defeated Jim Oberweis (R) in a special election to fill the open seat of retired Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-Il).[9]

General election

Foster defeated Jim Oberweis (R) once again in the general election in November 2008.[2]

This information was gathered by volunteer researchers as part of the Superdelegate Transparency Project on the superdelegates for the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. For more info see the Illinois superdelegate tracker or visit the STP homepage.

Before Hillary Clinton conceded the race, Bill Foster, as a superdelegate, had endorsed Barack Obama for President.

Money in Politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.

Top Contributors to during the 2008 Election Cycle
DonorAmount (US Dollars)
US Dept of Energy$ 39,408
JStreetPAC$ 30,400
University of Chicago$ 23,200
Kirkland & Ellis$ 17,250
Exelon Corp$ 15,100
National Assn of Realtors$ 15,000
Simmons Law Firm$ 14,500
University of California$ 14,252
University of Texas$ 14,150
School of Visual Arts$ 12,400
Source: The Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Note: Contributions are not from the organizations themselves, but are rather from
the organization's PAC, employees or owners. Totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.
Links to more campaign contribution information for Bill Foster
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2008 election cycle Career totals

Committees and affiliations


Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

Foster will be assigned committees when he arrives in Congress.


More background data


DC office
  • 1535 Longworth Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515
    Ph: 202-225-3901 Fax: 202-225-7313
    Webform email
District offices
  • No district office information entered.
On the Web
Campaign office
  • [ Campaign website]
  • No campaign webform email entered.
  • 25 S. Washington St. Ste. 208 Naperville, IL 60540
    Ph: (none entered) Fax: (none entered)

Campaign contact information

Official Foster for Congress Web site

Bill Foster for Congress
25 S. Washington St.
Ste. 208
Naperville, IL 60540


Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Abdon Pallasch and Dan Rozek, "Political earthquake: Foster to replace Hastert" The Chicago Sun, March 9, 2008
  2. 2.0 2.1 Illinois - Election Results, New York Times.
  3. "The War in Iraq", Bill Foster for Congress. Accessed April 1, 2009
  4. "Financial Responsibility", Bill Foster for Congress. Accessed April 1, 2009.
  5. "Energy that is Safe, Secure and Affordable", Bill Foster for Congress. Accessed April 1, 2009.
  6. "Uncontrolled Immigration", Bill Foster for Congress. Accessed April 1, 2009.
  7. "Affordable and Comprehensive Health Care for America", Bill Foster for Congress. Accessed April 1, 2009.
  8. "Meet Bill Foster", Bill Foster for Congress. Accessed April 1, 2009
  9. Abdon Pallasch and Dan Rozek, "Political earthquake: Foster to replace Hastert" The Chicago Sun, March 9, 2008
Wikipedia also has an article on Bill Foster. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.

External resources

External articles

Local blogs and discussion sites

Semantic data (Edit data)