On the Issues

We need to get America back to work. Too many families are struggling today, and for too long, politicians have looked out for themselves and their friends, instead of looking out for the middle class.  Worse, Republicans in Congress seem more focused on scoring political points than working together to create jobs and get our economy back on track.

In addition to strong and growing businesses, we need strong and healthy labor organizations.  I believe without labor unions we would not have a middle class – and today both are shrinking.  We must turn that around.

That’s why I have released a jobs plan and announced my campaign with a proposal to create a “Manufacturing Triangle” to focus our area on innovation and rebuilding our manufacturing base.

The 17th District is home to some of the richest farmland in the world.  Agriculture is our No. 1 industry that feeds the world and supports our economy through major employers, such as Deere and Caterpillar, but also through numerous small businesses and innovators throughout the region.  We also have a USDA research facility in Peoria that is at the forefront of finding new uses for crops and creating new technology that improves environmental quality and food safety.

For generations, Medicare has been a solemn promise:  work hard, pay your taxes and we will make sure you get the health care you earned when you need it most.  We need to keep that promise.

I have made advocating for women and families a focus throughout my life and career.  I have always fought to ensure that women have equal opportunities and a voice in the most important issues facing our communities, whether in the workplace, in education, or in the public sector.

My sister-in-law, Barb, died just over a year ago without health insurance.  Barb and her husband both worked full-time but couldn’t afford health insurance.  When Barb got sick, she couldn’t afford the most effective cancer treatment she needed. 

As our troops depart Iraq and Afghanistan, we need to continue to ensure our armed forces are the best-trained, best-equipped and best-prepared in the world.  With the Rock Island Arsenal in the Quad-Cities, the Air National Guard unit based outside of Peoria and major aerospace employers in Rockford, the 17th District has a vital interest in a strong military. 

Affordable and reliable energy is critical to our economy as well as our quality of life.  Unfortunately our politicians in Springfield and Washington have embraced policies that increase the cost of energy on small business and consumers as well as continue our dependency on foreign oil.

We need a comprehensive plan that keeps energy affordable, while moving us toward energy independence and cleaner sources of energy:

The budget deficit is a serious problem that didn’t get created overnight and won’t get solved overnight either.   But let’s be clear – we can’t trust the politicians who created the fiscal messes in Washington and in Springfield to solve it.  That’s one reason I support a 10 percent pay cut for Congress and no pay raises until they balance the budget.

As the mother to three boys – all products of the public schools – I know the importance of well-equipped schools and well-prepared and well-paid teachers.  In Congress, I will work hard to support our public schools and expand educational opportunities for lifelong learning.

It is an outrage that the average college graduate enters the workforce with more than $25,000 in student loan debts.  If education is the priority we say it is, then we need to back it up by protecting grant programs and working to reduce student loan costs.

People in Illinois have lost faith in government and for good reason. First, we had two Governors from different political parties impeached. Then, we had “Scholarship-Gate” where Springfield politicians have been handing out taxpayer-funded scholarships to the family members of top campaign contributors. They are doing that at a time when families across Illinois are struggling to pay for groceries and for their kids' college tuition… when Springfield has raised our taxes 67 percent while gutting education.

As the wife of a Sheriff’s Deputy and the mother of three sons who are avid sportsmen, I am an ardent supporter of Second Amendment rights.  And our family has depended on organizations like the National Rifle Association (NRA) 

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