Mark Kirk

Proud Republican of Illinois

A little about the Senator

Mark Kirk was born in Champaign, Illinois where he graduated from Winnetka's New Trier High School and attended Blackburn College and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Later the senator earned a B.A (cum laude) in history from Cornell University. He also earned a master's degree from the London School of Economics and a law degree from Georgetown University, and has served as an intelligence officer in the Navy Reserve since 1989.

Senator Kirk worked as a staff member for Congressman John Porter before moving to work at the World Bank and later the State Department. He practiced law at Baker & McKenzie before serving as a counsel to the House International Relations Committee. In 2000, Mark was elected to the House of Representatives where he served five terms before his election to the U.S. Senate.

In January 2012, Senator Kirk suffered an ischemic stroke and underwent surgeries at Northwestern Memorial Hospital to relieve swelling in his brain. After nearly a year of intensive recovery and rehabilitation, Senator Kirk triumphantly returned to work by climbing the 45 steps of the U.S. Capitol on January 3, 2013. Friends and family supported him greatly during his battle back.

Senator Kirk currently serves on four Senate Committees: 1) Appropriations, 2) Banking, 3) HELP (Health, Education, Labor & Pensions), and 4) Aging. Senator Kirk is the Ranking Republican on the Appropriations Subcommittee for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.

Mark Kirk was first elected in November of 2010 and is up for reelection in 2016.

Pros and Cons of Keystone Pipeline

Is the construction of the pipeline more beneficial than hurtful?


1. Construction of the pipeline would generate 20,000 shovel-ready jobs, and according to the Canadian Energy Research Institute, pipeline operations would create 179,000 American jobs by the year 2035.

2. Responsible development of our domestic natural resources like the Utica Shale – as well as increased supply from our Canadian friends – will help our nation achieve energy independence and lessen our dependence on foreign sources of oil that hold us hostage in some instances and are hostile toward the United States.

3. The Keystone XL Pipeline would deliver an additional 830,000 barrels of oil per day to the U.S. from Canada, our largest source of oil.

4. the project has been studied extensively for the past four years, and it has been determined to be both environmentally sound and the safest way to transport oil.

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1. Building the Keystone pipeline and opening up the Tar Sands will negatively impact national and local economies: will increase Earth's temperature by at least 2 degrees Celsius.

2. The same fossil fuel interests pushing the Keystone pipeline have been cutting, not creating, jobs: between 2005 and 2010, major companies such as ExxonMobil and Shell decreased their US workforce by 11,200 employees.

3. Unemployment will rise: According to Mark Zandi, the Chief Economist of Moody’s Analytics: “Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the job market in November, slicing an estimated 86,000 jobs from payrolls.”

4. Poor and working people will be disproportionately affected: lower-and middle income households are disproportionately affected by the most expensive extreme weather events.

5. Building the sustainable economy, not the Keystone pipeline, will create far more jobs: Approving the Keystone pipeline locks our nation into a trajectory of guaranteed job loss and threatens the stability of the US economy.

If minimum wage is increased to $10.10, would it help the economy?

-27.8 million workers would see their wages go up as a direct or indirect result of the boost.

-these low-income households would then be more willing to spend money that normally isn't there

-US economy would grow by about $22 billion

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The senators tendencies

While Bush was president, Mark Kirk was one of 65 Republican senators that supported minimum wage increase.

Kirk is a big supporter in the Keystone Pipeline. Was involved in a letter wishing for it's approval that was addressed to the president...