Manzullo currently serves as the president and CEO of the Korea Economic Institute.
Don Manzullo was born in Rockford, Illinois and attended Auburn High School, graduating in 1962. He earned a bachelor's degree from American University in Washington, D.C. in 1967 and a law degree from Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1970. Manzullo practiced as an attorney in Oregon, Illinois before entering politics.1990
Incumbent Republican U.S. Congresswoman Lynn Morley Martin, of Illinois' 16th congressional district, decided to retire in order to run for the U.S. Senate. Manzullo ran for the seat, but lost in the Republican primary against State Representative John Hallock, Jr. 54%-46%. In the general election, Hallock was defeated by Democrat John W. Cox, a city attorney.1992
Manzullo ran for the 16th district again in 1992. He won the Republican primary defeating State Senator Jack Schaffer 56%-44%. In the general election, he defeated the incumbent 56%-44%.1994–2006
During this time period, Manzullo was never challenged in the Republican primary. He won re-election every two years with at least 60% of the vote, and was completely unopposed in 1998.2008
Manzullo defeated Democrat Bob Abboud, the Mayor of Barrington Hills, 61%-36%.2010
Manzullo defeated Democrat George Gaulrapp, the Mayor of Freeport, 65%-31%.2012
Illinois' congressional map was significantly altered after the 2010 census. Manzullo's district underwent some of the most dramatic changes. For most of the last century and a half, it stretched from the Rockford area to the northwestern corner of the state, though from 1993 to 2013 it stretched as far as McHenry County in the Chicago suburbs. The reconfigured 16th retained Manzullo's home in Ogle County and most of Rockford's suburbs. However, most of its western portion, including more than half of Rockford itself, was shifted to the 17th District. To make up for the loss in population, the 16th was pushed well to the east, and now stretched from the Wisconsin border to the Indiana border, essentially wrapping around the collar counties. The new map drew the home of freshman 11th district incumbent and fellow Republican Adam Kinzinger into the 16th.
Despite this dramatic remap, the new 16th was still geographically more Manzullo's district than Kinzinger's. The new 16th included roughly 44 percent of Manzullo's former territory and only 31 percent of Kinzinger's. Manzullo was backed by conservative groups including FreedomWorks, the American Conservative Union, and various Tea Party groups, while Kinzinger was backed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Kinzinger defeated Manzullo in the Republican primary 56%-44% and later went on to win the general election.
Manzullo had a very conservative voting record; indeed, for much of his tenure he was one of the most (if not the most) conservative members of the Illinois delegation. He has a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 96, the highest in the Illinois delegation. He was a member of the Republican Study Committee. His views on such issues as abortion also follow this trend; he has a 100% approval rating from the National Right to Life Committee since 1997. He is also a strong supporter of the American Land Rights Association.
During his tenure in Congress, Manzullo authored 17 bills that were signed into law by the President and altered the direction of 18 other bills that also became law. He also significantly influenced over 50 administrative actions by the Executive Branch through regulatory changes or alterations to internal policy.
Manzullo spent most of his career working on issues related to manufacturing. He was featured on the cover of The Manufacturer because of his work with small business-related policy. Manzullo was the chairman of the Committee on Small Business from 2001 to 2007. He held over sixty hearings during this time to investigate the phenomenon of corporate outsourcing. Manzullo has also worked on transportation issues. His ability to gain great funding for highway improvements within his district has given him somewhat of a reputation as a pork barreller. He authored a law that requires clinics to report instances of child abuse. Manzullo co-founded and co-chaired the bipartisan House Manufacturing Caucus and also served as a co-chair of the House Automotive Caucus.
In November 2009, Manzullo was criticized by some constituents for calling [Islam] a “savage religion.” He was referring to the religion of the detainees at the Guantanamo, Cuba prison that are being considered for transfer to a Thomson, Illinois prison located in his district. He later apologized for the comment, saying that he was not referring generally to Islam, but to terrorists who "believe and practice a violent, anti-modernity version of Wahhabism in which they seek to impose a new caliphate.”
During his time in Congress, Manzullo worked avidly to ensure "the safety of the American people". He consistently supported the interests of the American Security Council Foundation and the Center for Security Politics. At one point, Manzullo worked on an appeal to President Barack Obama to forgo his plan to move over 200 Taliban and al Qaeda terrorist suspects from Guantanamo Bay to northern Illinois for detainment. He instead advocated for the creation of a new federal prison, the Thomson Correctional Facility, as a new hub in the already vastly over capacity prison system.
Manzullo has offered support to British American Tobacco in its campaign against the Australian government's decision to compel tobacco companies to only offer their products in plain packaging in an effort to reduce smoking rates, particularly amongst young people.
To fund his campaigns for re-election, Manzullo receives financing from a number of contributors, foremost among them Honeywell International, which donated $10,000 towards his last election. He has also received amounts of $5,000 or more from New York Life Insurance, American Society of Anesthesiologists, AFLAC Incorporated, and the American Bankers Association. In total, 58% of his funds were drawn from private sources, and 40% from PAC contributions; none of his own money is used to finance his campaigns.
Manzullo served as the chairman on the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific from 2011 to 2013.
Manzullo was a member of the Republican National Committee.Committee on Financial Services
Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government-Sponsored Enterprises
Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit
Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade
Committee on Foreign Affairs
Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific (Chairman)
Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia
African and Investment Caucus
Congressional Wine Caucus
House Diabetes Caucus
House Manufacturing Caucus (Founder and Co-Chair)
House Republican Policy Committee Task Force on Manufacturing (Chairman)
International Conservation Caucus
National Innovation Initiative
Council on Competitiveness Steering Committee
On January 4, 2013, after his congressional term had ended, Manzullo became the president and CEO of the Korea Economic Institute, a Washington think tank.
Manzullo is married to the former Freda Teslik and is the father of Neil, Noel and Katie Manzullo. He lives in Egan, a small, rural community near Rockford.