A Representative from Illinois; born in Chicago, Ill., January 23, 1944; graduated from St. Ignatius, Chicago, Ill., 1961; B.A., De Paul University, Chicago, Ill., 1965; J.D., De Paul University, Chicago, Ill., 1967; admitted to the Illinois bar in 1967 and commenced practice in Chicago; served as assistant States attorney, Cook County, Ill., 1971-1973; professional advocate; elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-fourth and to the eight succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1975-January 3, 1993); unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1992 to the One Hundred Third Congress; is a resident of McLean, Va.
From 1979 to 1992, Mr. Russo served on the Ways and Means Committee. During his tenure, the Committee passed the Tax Reform Act of 1986. As Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health and Chairman of the Task Force on Income Security, Mr. Russo became a vocal advocate for affordable health care for all Americans. He authored the single-payer health care reform proposal, the Universal Health Care Act of 1991 (H.R. 1300), which gained broad national attention and support. Mr. Russo was also appointed by the Committee on Ways and Means to be its representative to the House Budget Committee where he served from 1984 to 1990.
In 1980, Mr. Russo became part of the House Democratic Leadership, serving as Floor Whip and a member of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee; and in 1976, Mr. Russo joined the House Energy and Commerce Committee where he served until 1979 and was on the Subcommittees on Oversight and Investigations, Energy, Telecommunications, and Transportation.
From 1975 to 1978, Mr. Russo served on the Small Business Committee, where he was a member of the Subcommittee on Regulation, Business Opportunities and Technology.
When first elected to Congress, Mr. Russo was named to the House Judiciary Committee where he served on the Immigration Subcommittee and the Criminal Justice Subcommittee. He also served on the Select Committee on Aging.