BioJohn M. Shimkus is serving his 8th term in Congress and represents the 19th District of Illinois, one of the largest geographic districts east of the Mississippi River, stretching from the metro-east region of St. Louis to the state capital in Springfield and down to Metropolis along the Ohio River.
John has served in the Army, as a high school teacher, a county treasurer, and now as a representative in the United States House.
Among his duties in Congress, John serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He is the chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy. In addition, he serves on the Subcommittees on Energy and Power; Health; and Communications and Technology.
John is a U.S. delegate to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. His Lithuanian heritage also allows him to focus on Eastern European issues and highlight the plight of people seeking democracy.
Over the years, John has successfully ushered bills through Congress relevant to his district and our nation that were eventually signed into law by Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
•1998- a law changing our nation’s alternative fuel policy from one of vehicle purchases to actual alternative fuel usage. This legislation has made biodiesel accepted and accessible at fuel pumps.
•1999- a law designating 9-1-1 as the universal emergency number, including cellular phones.
•2002- a law increasing federal oversight of automobile tires.
•2002- a law establishing the www.kids.us Internet domain that provides a safe place on the web for young children to surf and learn without potential predators looming online.
•2003- a law providing for the placement of heart defibrillators in schools.
•2004- a law expanding federal grants for the deployment of equipment able to locate 9-1-1 callers from wireless devices.
•2005- John’s tireless efforts in supporting biodiesel and ethanol were instrumental in the inclusion of the renewable fuel standard in the Energy and Policy Act of 2005.
John married Karen Muth in 1987. They have three sons- David, 18, Joshua, 16, and Daniel, 11. The family maintains their residence in John’s hometown of Collinsville, Illinois. The Shimkus family is active members of Holy Cross Lutheran Church and School in Collinsville.
Education and Work History
John received his Bachelor of Science degree in general engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1980. He served over five years active duty in the Army, then entered the Army Reserves. John retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel on June 1, 2008, closing out 28 years of military service. He continues his connection to West Point by being an appointed Congressional member of the Academy's Board of Visitors.
After leaving active duty John earned his teaching certificate from Christ College Irvine, California (now Concordia University Irvine). He returned home to teach at Metro East Lutheran High School in Edwardsville, Illinois.
In 1989 John won his first election, becoming a Collinsville Township trustee. He quit his teaching job the following year to campaign full-time and was elected Madison County (Illinois) treasurer. John began studies for his master’s degree in business administration (MBA) while county treasurer and graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1997.
In 1996 John won his first term as a United States Representative from what was Illinois' 20th District. Following redistricting in 2002, he has represented the 19th District.
John has been conferred with honorary doctor of laws degrees from Concordia University Irvine (2004) and Concordia University Nebraska (2005). In 2007 he was presented the Christus Vivit award by Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.