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Letters to the Editor

‘Leading by example’ in Congress

My dad taught me at a young age to lead by example, and that’s what I’ve done as a first-term member of Congress.

We have a serious debt problem that leaves each American with a $50,000 share of the $16 trillion debt. The only way to solve the problem is to cut back on government’s out-of-control spending. That has to start with members of Congress.

What’s good for the people should be good enough for politicians. I don’t think public servants should be enriching themselves off the people they’re supposed to serve.

I rejected the congressional pension, pay raises and health care plan. I introduced the Congressional Retirement Age Act because career politicians should not receive huge pensions before the rest of us can receive Social Security benefits. I also believe that no public servant should profit from inside information, and helped pass legislation into law that bans this practice.

I cut my office budget by 11 percent, and from that budget returned an additional $110,000 to the taxpayers.

I introduced legislation like the Savings Vs. Over Spending Act, which incentivizes government agencies to maintain their budget surpluses instead of desperately spending every penny before the end of each fiscal year.

I fought for the Enhanced Veterans Health Care Experience Act because I want to give veterans better access to care by allowing them to use their own doctors in their own hometowns.

Another way I’ve led by example is by working across the aisle. For me, it’s not about party – it’s about the people. 

I am working with Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack and Republican Rep. Don Manzullo to advance the Highway 30 widening project, which is an important transportation infrastructure project that will help enhance the regional economy and improve safety for Whiteside and Carroll county. 

I also worked with Loebsack to create more manufacturing jobs at the Rock Island Arsenal. I joined another Democratic colleague, Rep. Dan Lipinski, on a bill to strengthen manufacturing and develop a national strategy for expansion. I truly believe we are on the cusp of a manufacturing boom, and we need to capitalize on it here in this area.

I worked with the entire Illinois delegation, Sen. Durbin, and Sen. Kirk’s office to push for the opening of Thomson prison without closing Guantanamo Bay. I’m encouraged by the recent news that the prison has been sold to the federal government, and I will continue to fight to bring more than 1,000 jobs to Illinois.

It’s not about party. It’s not about Republican or Democrat. I’m willing to work with anyone as long as we get things done.

Perhaps the most important thing my dad taught me was the importance of service. In spite of my opponent’s misleading campaign to the contrary, my office has worked with immigrants, seniors, and veterans to address problems and find solutions. I’m incredibly proud of our constituent services.

There is no greater joy in this job than helping people. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.

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