Former Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Ill., has been working about four jobs since losing a bid for a second term in Congress last fall.
“The first thing I had to do was tackle a wish list of housework from my wife,” he jokes.
Then there are his responsibilities to the family of 10 that he and his wife, Christie, have been raising for 27 years. Many of them work at the family business, Saint Giuseppe’s Heavenly Pizza in Moline, Ill. “If they’re old enough to work, they’re in there,” Schilling says with a laugh.
Schilling, 49, also has some duties at the restaurant. “I had to completely rebuild the pizza oven myself. It’s amazing what the Internet can teach you to do.”
But for the most part, Schilling says, he leaves his grown children in charge of day-to-day operations at the pizza place so he can focus on his real job as director of business relations and governmental affairs at CMB Regional Centers, a company that helps foreign nationals invest in the United States and eventually become citizens. Investors assisted by CMB are required to create at least 10 jobs in the U.S., Schilling said.
Schilling got the job after the owner of CMB urged him to come for an interview “before you go back into the pizza business.”
“I’m the guy who puts projects together,” says Schilling, who currently has six projects going, including an effort to restore the historic Texaco building in Houston.
And now Schilling is giving some attention to another job: winning back his seat representing the 17th Congressional District of Illinois. He announced last month he will seek a rematch next year with Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., who ousted him in an expensive race last year.
“One thing we’re going to focus on is the middle class and the crushing prices and stagnant wages they’re facing,” Schilling says. “What motivates me is looking at my 3-year-old son and thinking about what we’re passing on to him and his future wife and their future kids.”
National Journal Daily’s Where Are They Now series catches up with lawmakers who left office in January to find out what they are doing. It will run throughout August.