One Year Ago, Peter Roskam Became Henry Hyde's Successor. but in Washington, He's Just a Freshman. One Step at a Time

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), November 7, 2007 | Go to article overview

One Year Ago, Peter Roskam Became Henry Hyde's Successor. but in Washington, He's Just a Freshman. One Step at a Time


Byline: Marni Pyke

mpyke@@dailyherald.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. -It's 10 a.m., and inside the Beltway the talk is of Iran, Cuba and the mortgage financing debacle.

But freshman U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam is focusing on the emerald ash borer.

The Wheaton Republican stands on the historic House floor of the U.S. Capitol and addresses the nation.

"It's a nasty little bug," Roskam says. "It doesn't just kill a majority of ash trees, it kills them all."

He's got them in the palm of his hand, then in mid-speech, a warning bell rings.

Roskam takes it in stride.

"I'm just getting used to the time limit," he explains. "When they recognize you for one minute, they recognize you for one minute."

They probably wouldn't do that to Henry Hyde. But Roskam's the first to admit he's not reached the stature of his iconic predecessor.

"Nobody can replace Henry Hyde," he says.

For now, Roskam picks his moments.

"You have to earn the right to be heard."

Rough start

One year ago today, Roskam was elected to the 6th Congressional District after a bruising campaign.

His opponent, Democrat Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran and current state official, had the help of such powerbrokers as U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Chicago and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin.

Roskam had the blessing of Hyde and a grassroots army of volunteers.

Both parties poured millions into the election, dispatched political stars to stump for the candidates, and launched attack ads.

In a year the Republicans lost the House and Senate, Roskam's rare GOP victory made him a standout.

But 15 minutes of fame will only take you so far when you're a freshman congressman in the minority.

What leads to a second term is never losing sight of the home front, Roskam believes.

And that's why he concentrated on the ash borer, a pest that's already been found in the collar counties, and one of myriad issues Roskam will consider this Oct. 24.

Day in the life

Roskam's morning started with a delegation from Famagusta, a town in Cyprus under Turkish control.

Mayor Alexis Galanos is doing the rounds of Congress seeking support for the rights of displaced Greek Cypriots.

In the next eight hours, Roskam will deal with Cyprus, invasive species, the mortgage crisis, national heritage areas, native Hawaiian rights, runaway children and a new challenge in the upcoming election.

"I find it invigorating when you move from one subject area to the other," he says. "You have to learn to multitask."

After his brief speech is done at 10:01 a.m., Roskam heads to the Rayburn Building for a hearing on reforming mortgage lending practices. It's his one committee, but a powerful one.

Inside, the avuncular Democrat Barney Frank presides; to his right is U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert, a Hinsdale Republican.

While Biggert's years on the hill have earned her the best seat in the house, Roskam sits two rows down, wearing a gray suit, pink shirt and blue tie.

Roskam isn't convinced of the merit of the bill, which profiles more consumer protection and regulation.

"The bill standards are very subjective. My fear is you could get a group of people unfairly denied credit," he says, before jogging off to a vote on native heritage areas.

The House floor is much smaller than it appears during the State of the Union address. Congressmen mill about politicking, joking and talking shop while Roskam's nemesis in the 2006 election, Emanuel, glides about purposefully.

Roskam leans back in a seat, chatting with John Shimkus, a downstate Republican. When the vote is called, he votes "yes" using a key card.

When asked why, he explains the project is good for Illinois because it includes an Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

One Year Ago, Peter Roskam Became Henry Hyde's Successor. but in Washington, He's Just a Freshman. One Step at a Time
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.