Illinois Democratic Representative Bobby Rush has been caught giving millions of taxpayer-backed government grants to himself, his family members, and his own church.
A wellness center connected to a church founded by Illinois Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush has received $650,000 in taxpayer-funded government grants in 2017, public records show and has pulled in more than $15 million in grants since 2008.
Rush who was first elected to Congress in 1992, founded the Beloved Community Christian Church, a non-denominational church located in Chicago, in 2002.
“I founded a church in Englewood, one of Chicago’s poorest and most fragile neighborhoods, and named it Beloved Community Christian Church,” Rush wrote in a 2011 op-ed published in the Huffington Post. “The church, once the site of a Black Panther breakfast program for children, now stands in tribute to Dr. King’s vision of the power of community. A social service center, a health center and an after school robotics program are also part of the church’s mission to care for people.”
The Democratic congressman has steered hundreds of thousands in campaign funds to the church.
Rush began making donations from his campaign to the Beloved Community Christian Church in 2006, just two years after it had opened. Since that time, nearly $200,000 was funneled to the church.
The social services arm of Rush’s church, the Beloved Community Family Wellness Center, is a not-for-profit federally qualified health center that provides “comprehensive, accessible, timely, and affordable primary health care, preventive education, and social service programs available to the Greater Englewood and surrounding communities.”
The center has received hundreds of thousands in taxpayer-funded government grants so far this year from the Department of Health and Human Services.
HHS gave the center $215,384 on March 21 and added $430,768 on May 23. Since 2008, the group has been the recipient of more than $15 million in taxpayer-funded government grants.