Chaka Fattah (born Arthur Davenport on November 21, 1956) is the U.S. representative for Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district, serving since 1995. He is a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served in the Pennsylvania Senate and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
The district includes North Philadelphia, West Philadelphia, and a small part of Northeast Philadelphia and Cheltenham Township in Montgomery County.
Early life, education and career
Fattah has lived all his life in the city, attending Overbrook High School, the Community College of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania's Fels Institute of Government, where he received an MGA in 1986. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
His parents, David Fattah (born Russell Davenport) and Sister Falaka Fattah (born Frances Brown, also known as Queen Mother Falaka Fattah), are community activists in West Philadelphia, where they are building an "urban Boys' Town" through their organization, the House of Umoja. He has four brothers.
Fattah served as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1983 to 1988, and as a State Senator from 1988 to 1994.
U.S. House of Representatives
- Committee on Appropriations
- Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (Ranking Member)
- Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
Fattah has represented the 2nd district in Pennsylvania, an overwhelmingly Democratic district, in the United States House of Representatives since 1995.
In 2004, Fattah introduced a bill titled the "Transform America Transaction Fee," (H.R. 3759) which proposed to have the U.S. Treasury conduct a one-year feasibility study of a 1 percent transaction fee imposed on transactions made at any financial institution. He touted the possibility that such a system would bring in so much money it would allow for greatly increased federal spending, saying the "excess funds" would "provide universal health care, support an equitable public school finance system, and fund economic development in urban and rural areas," in addition to extinguishing the national debt and eliminating all other federal taxes. The bill died without becoming law, or even attracting a single co-sponsor.
In 2005, Fattah introduced the bill again with H.R. 1601, and again in 2007 with H.R. 2130 which had a single cosponsor, Democratic Rep. Brian Baird of Washington. Both bills died without any action being taken. In 2009, Fattah introduced a fourth bill to require having a study conducted, H.R. 1703, which attracted no cosponsors. On February 23, 2010, Fattah reincarnated the bill as the "Debt Free America Act," (H.R. 4646) which proposed to repeal the federal income tax and replace it with a 1 percent "transaction tax" on every financial transaction — whether paid by cash, credit card or any form of financial transfer, the only exception being transactions involving the purchase or sale of stock. The latest bill places more focus on eliminating the federal debt. Fattah has also added a 1 percent tax credit designed to eliminate the impact of the measure on couples making less than $250,000 a year. As of September 5, 2010, none of the House committees have scheduled any action on the latest bill.
In 2005, Fattah opposed the War in Iraq and supported Congressman John Murtha's call for troop withdrawal. He publicly supported the “Bring Our Troops Home and Iraq Sovereignty Act” a bill that called for bringing the troops home within six months and transitioning the Iraqis to self government.
Fattah has been married twice. His current wife is Renee Chenault-Fattah, a local Philadelphia television news broadcaster on WCAU-TV (NBC 10). He is the father of three daughters, Frances, Cameron and Chandler, and one son, Chaka Fattah Jr.
His two youngest daughters go to private school.
In 2002, he was named to the PoliticsPA list of Best Dressed Legislators, noting his "excellence in haberdashery."
He has also proclaimed that NASA's voting contest for naming rights for a module on the International Space Station should be honored by naming one "Colbert" in honor of TV personality Stephen Colbert.
Fattah is a Prince Hall Freemason, Scottish Rite.
January 25th, 2012