John Shimkus | St. Louis Public Radio

John Shimkus

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 7, 2009 - As the debate over health care heats up, the Beacon asked area members of the House and Senate where they stand at this time. Specifically, the Beacon asked:

Scott Air Force Base Project Could Be Cut To Pay For Border Wall Construction

Mar 22, 2019
Airman First Class Anthony Uelk, on the ladder, along with fellow 932nd Airlift Wing flight line crew chiefs, refuel a C-40 in preparation for a launch at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.
Christopher Parr | U.S. Air Force

Among the military construction projects that could be cut, or at least delayed, in order to pay for a wall on the southern border of the United States is a $41 million communications facility expansion at Scott Air Force Base.

Plans to build a new $1.75-billion National Geospatial-Intellence Agency campus in north St. Louis, a $5 million automated record fire range for the Illinois Army National Guard in Marseilles and a new $9 million fire rescue facility in Peoria are other construction projects that could be affected in order to build a border wall.

Those projects were among the $12.9 billion worth of military construction projects that could be sacrificed in order to pay for a border wall, according to a list released by the Department of Defense.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 6, 2011 - WASHINGTON - He's been vilified in the Las Vegas media, accused of staging a "publicity stunt" by the U.S. Senate majority leader and denounced by an influential U.S. House Democrat for making "irresponsible accusations."

But U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, an affable former schoolteacher from Collinsville, says he is taking the brouhaha over his efforts to revive the Yucca Mountain nuclear storage project in stride. And he vows to keep digging into the decision-making process involved in padlocking the tunnel in a Nevada mountain ridge that has swallowed $14 billion.

Congressman John Shimkus, November 2017
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome back U.S. Rep. John Shimkus to the show for the third time.

Shimkus is a Collinsville Republican who was first elected to the U.S. House in 1996. He represents the enormous and heavily Republican 15th congressional district, which encompasses a big chunk of southern Illinois. In fact, since redistricting went into effect in 2012, Shimkus says his district appears to be the largest – area-wise – of any district east of the Mississippi River.

File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

Democrats and Republicans who make up the St. Louis area’s congressional delegation say they support President Donald Trump’s decision to use missiles against a Syrian airbase after this week’s chemical weapons attack that killed dozens.


Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri told St. Louis radio station KTRS that the action shows “the president listens … learns” and is “willing to look at new circumstances in a new way.” Missouri U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner chided the Obama administration on Friday for allowing the Syrian crisis to become “the largest war in this century,” adding, “the United States can no longer sit idly by.”

Democrat Tammy Duckworth, left, will fact Republican incumbent Mark Kirk for the U.S. Senate in Illinois.
Official photos

The area races in the Illinois primary election Tuesday saw the favorites and incumbents winning handily. While unsurprising, Tuesday’s election results did set up competitive races for both the U.S. Senate and at least one state Senate in southern Illinois.

Southern Illinois' congressional districts 2016

On March 15, Illinois residents will find more on their ballots that presidential candidates. Voters will also elect the candidates for its November general election.

Here's an outline of some of the major races in the area. 

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio's Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum welcome back U.S. Rep. John Shimkus to the show to get a first-hand account of the recent turbulence in Congress.

U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin
Official photo

The House Republican Conference is scheduled to select its candidate for speaker Thursday to replace John Boehner, who’s leaving Congress at the end of the month. The rifts in the Republican Party that led to Boehner's departure are reflected in the thinking of House Republicans from Missouri and Illinois.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, says he’s definitely running for re-election next year – a decision that isn’t a surprise.

Shimkus, 57, has been in office since 1997, and through two redistrictings that changed his turf’s boundaries – and its number. He currently represents the 15th District.

What needs to change about STEM education in the United States?
Dominick | Flickr

The U.S. House Tuesday night gave overwhelming approval to legislation changing the way the Environmental Protection Agency reviews and evaluates potentially toxic and dangerous chemicals used in commerce. On a vote of 398 to 1, the House supported the measure, HR 2576, sponsored by Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville.

The Toxic Substances Control Act, written in 1976, is seen as a failure by many business and environmental organizations that, along with members of Congress, say it has built-in weaknesses and unnecessary complexities that prevent the EPA from doing its job.

Alex Heuer

Representative John Shimkus, a Republican who represents Illinois' 15th Congressional District, joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh to discuss some of the issues he’s dealing with as a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and other matters in Washington. Shimkus represents a large portion of the Metro East as well as parts of eastern and southeastern Illinois.


(Updated 1:30 p.m., Wed., Jan. 20 with remarks from U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.)

President Barack Obama ended his State of the Union address with a sweeping call for "better," less divisive politics, but the reaction to the speech fell along the usual partisan lines.

What fellow Democrats such as U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-University City, called “a smart, energetic agenda,’’  Republicans like U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, labeled “the same old, tired, Washington-based ideas.”

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The federal government puts St. Louis in the top 20 jurisdictions for human trafficking.

That ranking, as well as a host of other sobering facts about human trafficking came to light during a summit Monday morning in Edwardsville hosted by Republican Congressmen John Shimkus and Rodney Davis of Illinois.

Attendees also learned:

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has been supportive of how the U.S. froze bank accounts and barred visas of Russian officials over that country’s action in Ukraine.  

But the Illinois Democrat wants to send a stronger message to Russia by taking initial steps to admit the Republic of Georgia into NATO.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics. 

We’ve broken another barrier on the show: U.S. Rep. John Shimkus is the first political figure from Illinois to be a guest on the podcast. The Collinsville Republican has represented large areas of southern Illinois since 1997 and plays a major role on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, announces his bid for a 10th term in Congress in Troy.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - U.S. Rep. John Shimkus may not face as stiff of a re-election challenge as his other colleagues from Metro East. After all, the Collinsville Republican represents a heavily GOP district and won election last year in a landslide.

Shimkus Kicks Off Bid For 10th Term In Congress

Nov 4, 2013
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Illinois Congressman John Shimkus has kicked off his latest re-election campaign.

The nine-term Republican announced his bid Monday in Danville as he began a two-day tour around the 15th Congressional District.

The heavily Republican district includes 33 counties and runs from Hoopeston along the Indiana state line to Collinsville, where Shimkus is from.

Shimkus was first elected to Congress in 1996 and is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Shimkus, Wagner Express Views On U.S. Involvement In Syria

Sep 4, 2013
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Reporting by WSIU's Jennifer Fuller.

A southern Illinois Congressman says the United States shouldn’t get involved in Syria – and worries any form of attack would put this country and its allies at greater risk.

Representative John Shimkus, R-Collinsville says the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government on civilians is an international issue – one the U.S. shouldn’t take the lead on.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

Illinois Congressmen John Shimkus and Rodney Davis renewed their calls Friday for President Obama to approve an expansion to the Keystone Pipeline.

The two Republicans touted legislation passed this month that they hope will put pressure on the president to sign off on the portion of the pipeline that crosses the US and Canada border.

“The bottom line is: bigger pipe, more crude oil, access to our markets and our refineries," Shimkus said. "If you understand supply and demand – the more supply and demand stays the same, then prices go down and everyone benefits.”

Morning headlines: Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Jan 25, 2012
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Shimkus on Obama's State of the Union address

President Barack Obama delivered an election-year message to Republicans: Game on.

The GOP - in Congress and on the campaign trail - signaled it's ready for the fight.

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Obama issued a populist call for income equality that echoed the Occupy Wall Street movement. He also challenged GOP lawmakers to work with him or move aside so he could use the power of the presidency to produce results for an electorate uncertain whether he deserves another term.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 19, 2012 - WASHINGTON - The pressure of pipeline politics increased Wednesday after President Barack Obama -- complaining of a "rushed and arbitrary" deadline set by congressional Republicans -- rejected for now the proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline project.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 3, 2012 - WASHINGTON - Last summer, police arrested 1,253 protesters at a sit-in near the White House. The demonstrators there and in cities across the United States weren't part of the Occupy Wall Street movement and weren't protesting wars.

The target of their collective wrath was ... a pipeline.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 27, 2011 - As expected, seven candidates have filed by Tuesday's Illinois deadline to run for a soon-to-be-vacant congressional seat encompassing portions of the Metro East.

Three Democrats and four Republicans signed up with the Illinois Board of Elections to compete in the March 20th primary for the state's 12th congressional district seat. The deadline to file was Tuesday afternoon.

Ill. Republicans defend stance on payroll tax cut

Dec 22, 2011
(via Flickr/Cliff1066TM)

Illinois' Republican congressmen are largely defending their party's decision not to support an extension of the payroll tax cut and jobless benefits.

They say the U.S. Senate bill they rejected called for only a two-month extension, and they think a longer-term solution would be better.

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus tells the (Springfield) State Journal-Register that a one-year extension would get the issue "out of political debate."

Reps. Bobby Schilling and Aaron Schock agreed. Schilling called the Senate's plan "unworkable."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 15, 2011 - WASHINGTON - When physicist Richard A. Muller reported last month that global temperatures had warmed since the 1950s, his finding was met with a collective yawn among mainstream climate scientists who had reached the same conclusion years before.

But Muller's study made waves in the media because he had been a prominent climate-change skeptic, partly funded by a foundation linked to global-warming deniers, and his research focused on skeptics' objections to previous studies of warming.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 1, 2011 - Tuesday's debt-ceiling vote in the U.S. House was remarkable, marking a rare incident where a progressive Democrat like Russ Carnahan would be on the same side as conservative Republican Todd Akin.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 2, 2011 - Reported by Jo Mannies, Beacon political reporter, and Robert Koenig, Beacon Washington correspondent:

St. Louis area members of Congress issued statements welcoming the news, thanking the troops and saying Bin Laden's death would serve as a warning to America's enemies. But the officials also called for continued vigilance and warned that the death does not mean the end of the fight against terrorism. Here are statements from current and former officials:

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 31, 2011 - WASHINGTON - Citing "red flags" over possible irregularities and political motivations, a House panel chaired by U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, launched an investigation Thursday of the administration's decision to terminate the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nev.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 29, 2011WASHINGTON - About 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, the federal government has gambled nearly $10 billion on an arid tract of real estate that hasn't paid off. That project -- to convert Nevada's Yucca Mountain into the nation's long-term repository for nuclear waste -- may not yet be dead, but it is on life support.