Former Congressman Jerry Weller (1995-2009) is Managing Partner for NWG Public Affairs LLC, international public affairs, strategic consulting and business development firm. NWG serves a variety of clients in health care, energy, finance, telecommunications, agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
Elected in the historic class of 1994, Congressman Weller quickly rose in the ranks of his Class; serving as Class President and representing this influential group on the powerful House Republican Steering Committee which appoints Members to their Committee assignments. He also served as Deputy House Majority Whip.
Known for his tenacity, former Congressman Weller recently secured an additional $900 million in additional Medicare funding for Puerto Rico’s hospitals in the 2015 Omnibus package approved by Congress and he worked to build strong bi-partisan Congressional support for the first ever public-private partnership (PPP) to operate a major airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was instrumental in the land transfer of a sizeable portion of the former Roosevelt Roads Naval Base over to Puerto Rico and obtained over $100 million in discretionary Federal funds for Puerto Rico’s highway improvements. An AP story once labeled him the “go to guy for Puerto Rico”.
During his tenure in the US House of Representatives and as a Member of the Ways & Means Committee, Congressman Weller advocated tax policies that fostered investment in job creation and protected the environment while promoting energy independence from imported oil through the expanded use of biofuels, energy efficiency and alternative sources of energy. In 2005, policies he advocated increasing domestic energy development became law. His law promoting tax incentives for environmental cleanup and development of abandoned brownfield sites is revitalizing blighted communities.
While serving 14 years in Congress, Jerry rose to be a leading Member of the House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Trade, where Jerry effectively made the case that trade helps eliminate poverty and creates jobs. He emerged as a leading advocate for expanded trade in the Western Hemisphere and helped lead efforts to ratify the DR-CAFTA and Peru Trade agreements. He advocated ratification of the Colombia, South Korea and Panama TPAs and promoted waterway infrastructure investment to expand exports.
Jerry also served as Ranking Republican on the Ways & Means Subcommittee on Income Security & Family Support where he partnered with his Democratic Chairman to author major reforms to federal adoption and foster care laws. His bi-partisan leadership earned recognition from Foster Care, Adoption and Children’s advocacy organizations.
Jerry additionally served as Vice-Chair of the Foreign Affairs Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, and Chaired the House Republican Working Group on Latin America
& the Caribbean. He Co-Chaired the US-Panama Caucus, the Caribbean Caucus, and participated in the Annual US-Mexico Inter-Parliamentary Exchange.
Congressman Weller earned national recognition for his successful efforts to successfully enact legislation known as the Illinois Land Conservation Act which implemented his plan to redevelop the 24,000 acre Joliet Arsenal into the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, the Abraham Lincoln National Veterans’ Cemetery, and 3,000 acres set aside for industrial development. He secured over $30 million in federal funds towards infrastructure and development at the former arsenal which has since attracted over $1 billion in private investment including one of the world’s largest inter modal truck-rail cargo facilities.
Jerry led efforts to reauthorize and expand the historic Illinois & Michigan Canal Heritage Corridor and enlisted greater private sector support for its development.
While serving as National Finance Chairman for the National Republican Congressional Committee for the 2002 Election cycle, Jerry led efforts resulting in over $210,000,000 being raised to support candidates across the country.
He also serves as Global Development Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors for leading IPTV provider, VIPTV, with subscribers in 40 countries
Former Congressman Weller is Chairman of the Illinois State Society Foundation and Vice- President for the Illinois State Society; the nation’s oldest established State Society. Jerry continues to be a strong advocate of sustainable forestry to combat de-forestation and has planted over 20,000 hardwood trees in Guatemala.
He continues to be sought out for comment on current issues and has recently authored commentary in nationally recognized publications including Roll Call and The Hill. Jerry joined Procter & Gamble after graduating from the University of Illinois in 1979. Before Congress he served as an aide to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, maintained involvement in the Family farm and served in the Illinois General Assembly.
Jerry maintains the Weller Family farm which was once home to an internationally recognized swine breeding operation that sold seed stock to over 30 countries. In fact, the first shipment of breeding stock to the People’s Republic of China from the United States included stock from the Weller farm. After almost 50 years of continuous service to American agriculture, Jerry’s parents, Lavern and Marilyn Weller were inducted into Illinois’ prestigious Land of Lincoln Purebred Livestock Breeder’s Association Hall of Fame.