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Rahm Emanuel was a Democratic member of the U. S. House of Representatives representing the 5th Congressional District of Illinois since 2003. The district covers the northside of Chicago and parts of Cook County (map).
Following the November 2008 election of Barack Obama, Emanuel was named the President-elect's chief of staff. He subsequently resigned from his seat in the House of Representatives.
Following Democratic victories in the 2006 midterm elections, for which Emanuel served as chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, he was named the chairman of the Democratic Caucus for the 110th Congress.
In interviews presumably representing the view of the new administration, Emanuel supported federal aid for the U.S. auto industry, calling it "an essential part of the economy," and noting that the aid could be used as "part of an energy policy, going forward, where America is less dependent on foreign oil."