|Member of the|
U.S. House of Representatives
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Debbie Halvorson|
|Constituency||11th district (2011–2013)|
16th district (2013–present)
Adam Daniel Kinzinger
February 27, 1978
Kankakee, Illinois, U.S.
|Education||Illinois State University (BA)|
|Branch/service|| United States Air Force|
Wisconsin Air National Guard
|Years of service||2003–present|
Adam Daniel Kinzinger (//; born February 27, 1978) is an American politician serving as the U.S. representative for Illinois's 16th congressional district. The district covers eastern Rockford, most of Rockford's suburbs, and a swath of exurban territory around Chicago. He is a member of the Republican Party. He is also a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard.
Kinzinger was first elected to Congress in 2010 from the 11th district. His district was largely merged with the 16th after the 2010 census, and Kinzinger transferred to the 16th after defeating its incumbent, Don Manzullo, in the Republican primary. After President Donald Trump was defeated in the 2020 presidential election, Kinzinger became known for his vocal opposition to Trump's claims of voter fraud and attempts to overturn the results. Kinzinger was one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection in his second impeachment, and one of only two Republicans to vote to create a select committee to investigate the 2021 United States Capitol attack, to which he was subsequently appointed.
On October 29, 2021, Kinzinger announced that he would not seek reelection to Congress in 2022.
Kinzinger was born on February 27, 1978, in Kankakee, Illinois, the son of Betty Jo, an elementary school teacher, and Rus Kinzinger, a CEO of faith-based organizations. After spending part of his youth in Jacksonville, Florida, he was primarily raised in Bloomington, Illinois. He graduated from Normal Community West High School in 1996 and earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Illinois State University in 2000.
In 1998, while a student at Illinois State, Kinzinger ran for election as a county board member in McLean County. He won, defeating an incumbent, and at age 20 was one of the youngest county board members in McLean County history, Kinzinger remained on the board until resigning in 2003.
Kinzinger worked as an intern for former U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald shortly after his graduation from Illinois State, as part of a program offered there.
Kinzinger resigned from the McLean County Board in 2003 to join the United States Air Force. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in November 2003 and later awarded his pilot wings. Kinzinger was initially a KC-135 Stratotanker pilot and flew missions in South America, Guam, Iraq and Afghanistan. He later switched to flying the RC-26 surveillance aircraft and was stationed in Iraq twice.
Kinzinger has served in the Air Force Special Operations Command, Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, and Wisconsin Air National Guard and was progressively promoted to his current rank of Lieutenant Colonel. As part of his continued service with the Air National Guard, Kinzinger was deployed to the Mexico–United States border in February 2019 as part of efforts to maintain border security.
Kinzinger met Republican U.S. Representatives Mike Pence, Mark Kirk, and Peter Roskam in January 2009 to discuss a possible run for Congress. He decided to run in Illinois's 11th congressional district, held by Debbie Halvorson. He started campaigning full-time in May 2009, when he returned home from his 3rd tour in Iraq. He was endorsed by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Kinzinger won the five-candidate Republican primary on February 2, 2010, with 64% of the vote.
He was endorsed by the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times in the general election. Kinzinger defeated Halvorson 57–43% on November 2, 2010.
During his first term, Kinzinger represented a district that stretched from the outer southern suburbs of Chicago to Bloomington/Normal.
After redistricting, Kinzinger's district was eliminated. Much of its eastern portion, including Kinzinger's home in Channahon, near Joliet, was merged with the Rockford-based 16th District, represented by fellow Republican Don Manzullo, a 67-year-old politician first elected in 1992. Before redistricting, Kinzinger had represented 31% of the newly apportioned district, while Manzullo had represented at least 44% of it. In the March Republican primary, Kinzinger defeated Manzullo, 56–44%. In the general election, Kinzinger defeated Democrat Wanda Rohl, 62–38%.
Eric Cantor helped Kinzinger, who was a rising Republican star, topple Manzullo in the Illinois primary.
Kinzinger was targeted by the Club for Growth in 2014. In the Republican primary, he faced David Hale, a nurse and founder of the Rockford Tea Party. Kinzinger won with 78% of the vote.
In the general election, Kinzinger defeated Democratic nominee Randall Olsen with 71% of the vote.
Kinzinger won the March 2016 Republican primary with 100% of the vote. No candidates filed for the Democratic primary for his seat and no Democrat ran in the election; Kinzinger won the election with 99.9% of the vote.
Kinzinger announced publicly that he would not support GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump on August 3, 2016. "I'm an American before I'm a Republican," he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, adding, "I'm a Republican because I believe that Republicanism is the best way to defend the United States of America... [Trump] throws all of these Republican principles on their head." Kinzinger noted, however, that he also would not support Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and was mulling other options.
Kinzinger introduced the U.S. House version of the bipartisan bill Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act. The United States Senate version was written in March 2016 by Senators Chris Murphy and Rob Portman. After the 2016 U.S. presidential election, worries grew that Russian propaganda spread and organized by the Russian government swayed the outcome of the election, and members of Congress took action to safeguard the national security of the United States by advancing legislation to monitor incoming propaganda from external threats. On November 30, 2016, legislators approved a measure within the National Defense Authorization Act to ask the U.S. State Department to take action against foreign propaganda through an interagency panel. The legislation authorized funding of $160 million over a two-year period. The initiative was developed through the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act.
Kinzinger defeated Democratic challenger Sara Dady with 59.1% of the vote. After the 2018 midterm elections, which saw all the Republican congressmen representing the Chicago area defeated, he was left as the only Republican representing a significant part of northern Illinois in Congress.
Kinzinger defeated Democrat Dani Brzozowski in the 2020 election with 65% of the vote.
In 2010 Kinzinger signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity promising to vote against any global warming legislation that would raise taxes.
Kinzinger sponsored the Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act of 2013. The legislation, which would make it easier for veterans with emergency medical technician training in the military to get civilian licenses to perform the same job outside of the military, passed the House of Representatives by a voice vote but was not voted upon by the Senate.
On June 5, 2014, Kinzinger introduced a bill (H.R. 4801; 113th Congress) which would require the United States Secretary of Energy to prepare a report on the effects that thermal insulation has on both energy consumption and systems for providing potable water in federal buildings. Kinzinger argued that "with the federal government being the single largest consumer of energy in the country, doing our best to maximize the potential savings from improved insulation systems is a commonsense step I think everybody can agree on."
Kinzinger is a member of both the Republican Study Committee and the Republican Main Street Partnership.
Kinzinger was ranked as the 40th most bipartisan member of the House during the 114th United States Congress (and the third most bipartisan member of the House from Illinois) in the Bipartisan Index created by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy, which ranks members of Congress by their degree of bipartisanship (by measuring how often each member's bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party and each member co-sponsors bills by members of the opposite party).
Kinzinger voted for the 2017 Republican health care legislation, which would have repealed major parts of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
Kinzinger voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kinzinger faced criticism from some Asian American leaders for blaming China for the pandemic at a time that anti-AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) hate crimes and coronavirus-related discrimination were rising. Kinzinger authored and retweeted many tweets singling out China for blame. One such tweet was "Daily reminder: You are in your homes because #Chinahidthevirus."
According to Jeremy W. Peters, Kinzinger had an uneasy feeling on the day of the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and asked his wife not to attend the joint session to officially certify the election. He also told his office staff not to come to work that day and took his .380 caliber Ruger LCP to the Capitol and to the Rayburn House Office Building. Just after 2:18 p.m., Kinzinger received an email from the Capitol Police telling him to stay away from windows, close and lock doors, remain quiet, and silence all electronics. At this point Kinzinger barricaded the doors of his office and took out his gun.
On February 4, 2021, Kinzinger joined 10 other Republican House members voting with all voting Democrats to strip Marjorie Taylor Greene of her House Education and Labor Committee and House Budget Committee assignments in response to controversial political statements she had made.
In March 2021, Kinzinger was one of eight Republicans to join the House majority in passing the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021.
On April 9, 2021, Kinzinger called for Matt Gaetz to resign while he was being investigated on sex trafficking charges.
On May 19, 2021, Kinzinger and 34 other Republican House members in the 117th Congress voted to create a National Commission to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol Complex, intended to probe the U.S. Capitol attack. They joined all 217 Democrats present to vote to establish such a body. After the Senate failed to support the national bipartisan commission due to a Republican filibuster, Kinzinger remained committed to the concept.
On July 1, 2021, Kinzinger voiced disdain about sanctions threatened by Republican leadership against Republican lawmakers who would participate in a House committee to investigate the Capitol attack. On July 25, he accepted Speaker Pelosi's appointment of him to the House Committee on the Jan. 6 Attack.
During a September 5, 2021, interview on CNN's State of the Union, Kinzinger said his party "desperately needs to tell the truth", that if the party pushes lies and conspiracy theories, it does not deserve to win Congressional majorities in the 2022 elections, that if they were "going to be in charge and pushing conspiracy, pushing division, and pushing lies, then the Republican Party should not have the majority", and that it "is a pretty scary place to go in this world if we start using our power as a way to get the outcome that we want" in elections.
On November 5, 2021, Kinzinger was one of 13 House Republicans to break with their party and vote with a majority of Democrats for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
On July 1, 2021, Kinzinger voiced disdain about sanctions threatened by Republican leadership against Republican lawmakers who would participate in a House committee to investigate the Capitol attack. After McCarthy rescinded his recommendations, Pelosi announced on July 25 that she had appointed Kinzinger to the committee. Kinzinger was one of the ten House Republicans who voted for Trump's second impeachment. As a member of the committee investigating the January 6 attack and related issues, Kinzinger oversaw its fifth public hearing on June 23, 2022, serving as the lead questioner of witnesses. The hearing featured testimony from former Department of Justice officials describing how Trump tried to enlist them in his fight to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Kinzinger also co-led the eighth hearing with Representative Elaine Luria.
On February 4, 2022, the Republican National Committee called the events of January 6, 2021, a "legitimate political discourse" and overwhelmingly voted by voice vote to censure Kinzinger, along with Representative Liz Cheney, for taking part in the House investigation of the Capitol assault.
Kinzinger is in favor of allowing concealed carry of firearms across state lines where concealed carry is legal.
On March 11, 2021, Kinzinger was one of eight Republican representatives who voted to pass the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021.
On May 29, 2022, Kinzinger announced that he was "open to" an assault weapons ban following the 2022 Robb Elementary School shooting that killed 22 people.
In 2017, Kinzinger voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
Kinzinger opposes the Dodd–Frank Act.
Kinzinger has a 94% lifetime rating from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a business-oriented group, and a 49% lifetime rating from the Club for Growth, a conservative group, which advocates for tax cuts, lower spending, deregulation, and free trade.
Although many House Republicans previously supported elements of the America COMPETES Act of 2022, Kinzinger was the only minority member to vote for the bill, after their House leadership urged a "No" vote, holding that the bill was too weak on China.
On Twitter, Kinzinger praised Donald Trump's decision to kill Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, Commander of the Quds Force, the third most powerful person in Iran. Reacting to news of the assassination, Kinzinger tweeted, "Mess with the bull, get the horns. If true, nice call, @realdonaldtrump." He continued tweeting, writing, "killed a man responsible for thousands of deaths in #Syria and elsewhere, including Americans. Let's see how long the #blameAmerica left takes to make him a poor victim."
Kinzinger supports penalizing sanctuary cities.
Kinzinger supports Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Kinzinger voted for the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 which authorizes DHS to nearly double the available H-2B visas for the remainder of FY 2020.
Kinzinger voted for the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (H.R. 1158), which effectively prohibits ICE from cooperating with Health and Human Services to detain or remove illegal alien sponsors of unaccompanied alien children (UACs).
Kinzinger opposes late-term abortion and the use of federal funds for abortion or health coverage that funds abortion.
Kinzinger was one of three Republicans to vote for H.R. 8297: Ensuring Access to Abortion Act of 2022.
Kinzinger voted for H.R. 8373: The Right to Contraception Act. This bill was designed to protect access to contraceptives and health care providers' ability to provide contraceptives and information related to contraception. The bill would also fund Planned Parenthood.
Kinzinger has a "C−" rating from NORML for his voting history regarding cannabis-related causes. He supported veterans having access to medical marijuana if recommended by their Veterans Health Administration doctor if medical marijuana is legal in their states of residence. He opposed a bill to remove marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act.
As of 2021, Kinzinger has an 11% rating from the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBTQ rights advocacy group.
In 2015, Kinzinger was one of 60 Republicans voting to uphold President Barack Obama's 2014 executive order banning federal contractors from making hiring decisions that discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
In 2016, Kinzinger was one of 43 Republicans to vote for the Maloney Amendment to H.R. 5055, which would prohibit the use of funds for government contractors who discriminate against LGBT employees.
In 2019, Kinzinger voted against the Equality Act.
On February 24, 2021, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene hung a sign outside of her office reading "There are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE 'Trust The Science!'" in response to Representative Marie Newman, whose office is directly across from hers and who put a transgender flag outside her office in support of the Equality Act. Kinzinger quote-tweeted Greene and said, "This is sad and I’m sorry this happened. Rep. Newmans [sic] daughter is transgender, and this video and tweet represents the hate and fame driven politics of self-promotion at all evil costs. This garbage must end, in order to #RestoreOurGOP".
In 2021, Kinzinger was one of 21 House Republicans to sponsor the Fairness for All Act, the Republican alternative to the Equality Act. The bill would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity, and protect the free exercise of religion.
In 2022, Kinzinger was one of six Republicans to vote in favor of the Global Respect Act, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons responsible for violations of internationally recognized human rights against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) individuals, and for other purposes.
On July 19, 2022, Kinzinger and 46 other Republican representatives voted for the Respect for Marriage Act, which would codify the right to same-sex marriage in federal law.
Kinzinger voted in line with President Donald Trump about 90% of the time and voted against Trump's first impeachment, but he subsequently became a critic of Trump and made headlines as a rare Republican officeholder willing to criticize him. In summer 2020, Kinzinger denounced QAnon and other baseless conspiracy theories that gained currency among Republican voters. After the 2020 presidential election, which Trump lost to Joe Biden, Kinzinger denounced Trump's claims that the election was stolen and criticized Trump's attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. In December 2020, after Trump repeated his claims of fraud on Twitter, Kinzinger tweeted that it was time for Trump to delete his Twitter account. He also criticized the Texas Republican Party and called for the firing of its chairman, Allen West, when the party floated the idea of secession, after the Supreme Court rejected Texas v. Pennsylvania, a bid by the state of Texas to overturn the presidential election outcome.
On January 7, 2021, the day after the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a violent pro-Trump mob, Kinzinger became the first Republican member of the House to call for Trump's removal from office via the 25th Amendment. In a video message, he said that Trump had "abdicated his duty to protect the American people and the people's house" and that Trump's behavior made clear that he had become "unmoored" from both his duties as president and "reality itself." Kinzinger urged Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, saying that Trump was "unfit" and "unwell." Five days later, he announced that he would vote in favor of Trump's second impeachment, saying there was "no doubt" that Trump "broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection." Kinzinger also accused Trump of using the power of his office to launch a direct attack on Congress. He asked, "If these actions–the Article II branch inciting a deadly insurrection against the Article I branch–are not worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachable offense?" On January 13, he joined nine other Republicans in voting for impeachment. In response, some Republicans vowed to support a primary challenge to Kinzinger. Kinzinger received a letter from 11 members of his family asserting he had joined "the devil's army" for publicly turning against Trump. Kinzinger said the family members suffer from "brainwashing" from conservative churches that led them astray.
On May 19, 2021, Kinzinger was one of 35 Republicans to join all Democrats in voting to approve legislation to establish the formation of a January 6 commission to investigate the storming of the U.S. Capitol. He was also one of two Republicans to join all Democrats in voting for a January 6 House select committee, along with Liz Cheney. Kinzinger's involvement with the January 6 proceedings resulted in his staff receiving threats against his family and colleagues.
In a November 14, 2021, interview with Rolling Stone, Kinzinger said he regretted voting against Trump's first impeachment: "If I went back in time, I would vote for the first impeachment." In the interview, he also called Tucker Carlson a "manipulative son of a bitch".
Kinzinger and Elaine Luria were selected to lead the questioning in the eighth televised hearing of the January 6 Committee, on July 21, 2022.
On August 16, 2022, during an interview on MSNBC, Kinzinger claimed that some people have equated Trump with Jesus Christ, saying, "And you have people today that, literally, I think in their heart—they may not say it, but they equate Donald Trump with the person of Jesus Christ." He added, "And to them, if you even come out against this 'amazing man Donald Trump,' which, obviously quite flawed, you are coming out against Jesus, against their Christian values".
In early 2021, a few weeks after the 2021 United States Capitol attack, Kinzinger launched the Country First PAC, as a means to reform the Republican Party and distance itself from far-right conspiracies, including QAnon. In the first quarter of 2021, the PAC raised over $1.1 million to fight Trump's growing influence over the Republican Party.
On October 21, 2021, Kinzinger was one of nine House Republicans to vote to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress.
|Republican||Henry Meers Jr.||4,555||9.0|
|Democratic||Debbie Halvorson (incumbent)||96,019||42.6|
|Republican||Don Manzullo (Incumbent)||38,889||46.1|
|Republican||Adam Kinzinger (incumbent)||56,593||78.4|
|Republican||David J. Hale Jr.||15,558||21.6|
|Republican||Adam Kinzinger (incumbent)||153,388||70.6|
|Republican||Adam Kinzinger (incumbent)||101,421||100|
|Republican||Colin M. McGroarty||2||nil|
|Republican||Adam Kinzinger (incumbent)||259,722||100|
|Independent||John Burchardt (write-in)||131||nil|
|Republican||Adam Kinzinger (incumbent)||151,254||59.1|
|Independent||John M. Stassi (write-in)||2||nil|
|Republican||Adam Kinzinger (incumbent)||218,839||64.71||+5.6%|
The Wisconsin Red Cross named Kinzinger its 2006 "Hero of the Year" for wrestling a knife-wielding man to the ground and disarming him. The man had cut the throat of a woman on a street in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Recalling the event in an interview, Kinzinger said, "The whole time it was, to me, kind of a done deal that I was going to get stabbed in the process, but I knew that this wasn't something I could wake up to ... every day with that memory that I watched her die." The woman survived. For this act Kinzinger also received the United States Air Force Airman's Medal and the National Guard's Valley Forge Cross for Heroism.
Kinzinger was ranked 5th on The Hill's 2011 annual "50 Most Beautiful People" list, which ranks anyone who regularly works on Capitol Hill.
Kinzinger was engaged to Air Force Captain Riki Meyers, a fellow pilot, in 2011; they broke their engagement in 2012. Kinzinger became engaged to Sofia Boza-Holman, a former aide to John Boehner and aide to Vice President Mike Pence, in June 2019. They married on February 16, 2020. Their son, Christian Adam Kinzinger, was born in January 2022.