Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.
Areas of Practice
University of Illinois
Former Congressman Jerry Weller (1995-2009) is Senior Advisor to Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg P.A. With an extensive background in federal and state legislative service he provides advice and counsel on legislative strategies for firm clients. He serves a variety of clients in the trade, health care, conservation, animal protection, 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. While serving as Senior Member of the Ways & Means Committee, he successfully enacted legislation rewarding retirement savings, encouraging investment and environmental cleanup, and expanding trade opportunities for agriculture and manufacturing.
Through his work on behalf of international business and government clients, he has successfully worked to strengthen bilateral relationships and foster new trade opportunities. This work benefited from his experiences and relationships gained while serving 14 years in Congress, where Congressman Weller rose to be a leading Member of the House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Trade. In the Subcommittee on Trade, Congressman Weller 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.
Known for his tenacity, former Congressman Weller recently was instrumental in securing an additional $5.7 billion in additional Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico’s hospitals in the budget package approved by Congress. Previously, he successfully sought enactment of new laws criminalizing animal fighting anywhere within the U.S., and, through his work as President of the Maya Conservation Partnership, he recruited the Chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees to jointly introduce legislation providing $60 million to preserve and protect the Cradle of Maya Civilization in the Mirador - Calakmul Basin of Guatemala and Mexico.
He also served as the 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.
He 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.
He also spearheaded 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 Campaign Committee for the 2002 Election cycle, Jerry led efforts resulting in over $210 million being raised to support candidates across the country.
He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for leading IPTV provider, Intercom Ventures, headquartered in Pristina, Kosovo, with subscribers in 40 countries
Former Congressman Weller is past President of the prestigious Illinois State Society of Washington, DC: the nation’s oldest established State Society whose Members have included Abraham Lincoln, Everett Dirksen and Barack Obama. The National Conference of State Societies recognized his tenure as the best State Society in 2018 for programs and events celebrating Illinois’ Bicentennial.
Congressman Weller also continues to be a strong advocate for sustainable forestry to combat deforestation and has planted over 20,000 hardwood trees in Guatemala. He is also active in efforts to conserve Central American’s sole remaining intact rainforest in the 2,100 square mile Mirador/Calakmul Basin in Guatemala and Mexico.
Congressman Weller 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. He grew up on 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. He is very proud to have exhibited the Grand Champion 4-H Barrow at the Illinois State Fair in 1975. After almost 50 years of continuous service to American agriculture, his parents, Lavern and Marilyn Weller were inducted into Illinois’ prestigious Land of Lincoln Purebred Livestock Breeders Association Hall of Fame.