My View: Bustos says to ALL of Congress: Listen to people

Too often, Congress doesn’t work the way it should. You saw it with this move to shut down the government rather than working with both parties to find solutions.

Make no mistake, this shutdown was entirely avoidable.

This is not how I’ve chosen to govern. I believe Washington would be so much more functional if Congress would simply listen to the people. God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. And politicians, especially, should use them proportionally. It’s why nearly every Saturday, you’ll find me in a supermarket here in Illinois – strolling the aisles and listening to folks’ concerns. And it’s why I’ve done dozens of “Cheri on Shifts” where I job shadow the workers I serve to see how they make a living and learn of their hopes and struggles. I’ve done everything from welding to processing fish. Each time, I learn something valuable about who I represent in Congress.

I work for you. YOU are my boss! Hearing from people in our district not only informs how I vote, but also helps me get results for our region.

Just this past week, both the House and Senate passed my bill to help cities modernize and invest in their water infrastructure. For years, we worked hand-in-hand with community leaders to address this challenge because this is about our values. We inherited a world-class infrastructure from our parents’ generation, and I believe our children deserve the same. That’s why in this next Congress, one of my top priorities will be to rebuild our country and create good-paying jobs.

Additionally, my bill to protect Gold Star spouses is also heading to the President’s desk to be signed into law. The idea for this bill came from Kylie Riney, a Gold Star spouse from Farmington, Illinois. After her husband was killed in Afghanistan, her landlord wouldn’t allow her to break her lease to move her family back to Illinois unless she paid excessive penalties. That’s just not right, and a Gold Star spouse like Kylie should never endure additional burdens after the trauma of losing her husband. Now, we’re on the cusp of changing that once and for all.

In addition to supporting our veterans and their families, we should also remember and honor those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. This year, we’ve named three Illinois Post Offices after our fallen heroes – designating the Post Office in Alpha after Capt. Joshua Steele; the Post Office in Pekin after Lance Cpl. Jordan Bastean; and the Post Office in Fairview after Kiley’s husband, Sgt. Douglas Riney. Rural America has a proud tradition of military service, and I’ll do everything I can to pay respect to those who’ve served and sacrificed for all of us.

We also have a struggling farm economy – further threatened by a reckless trade war. As I heard across our region, passing a strong Farm Bill was priority No. 1 for farmers. I was proud to work across the aisle to pass this bill in the House – and was selected to serve on the Farm Bill Conference Committee, where I made sure the final bill included my provisions to help new and beginning farmers get on their feet, improve rural health care and help small and rural communities tackle the opioid epidemic and other issues related to addiction.

Finally, with the new year comes a new House majority – one that I hope will be more productive, more bipartisan and more representative of the values we hold here in the Heartland: Integrity. Dignity. Hard work. And compassion for our friends and neighbors.

As your congresswoman, I’ll continue to listen to your concerns and speak up for our shared values in Washington.

Cheri Bustos, D-17, has served in the U.S. House of Representative since 2013.

01-All No Sub,02-Pol,19-Legal,22-Talk,26-Delivered

Region: Northern,Feeds,Region: Rockford,Opinion,City: Rockford

via Opinion – Rockford Register Star

December 28, 2018 at 04:13PM

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