Quad City Times

As we head into the New Year, and a new session of Congress, I wanted to share with you some highlights of the work I’ve done for you and your family in 2014.

 I have continued my efforts to create good-paying American jobs that can’t be outsourced.

In February, we celebrated the creation of a first-of-its-kind national Digital Manufacturing Lab in Illinois, which I fought to make happen. “Partnering for Illinois’ Economic Future,” my on-going initiative to help increase collaboration to create jobs and bolster the region’s economy, featured a district-wide economic summit focused on manufacturing.

I worked hard to ensure the job-creating Thomson prison remains on track to open, including leading the charge to defeat a misguided attempt by a Congresswoman from Tennessee to deny critical funding for the project.

I was honored to bring U.S. Army Secretary John McHugh to the Rock Island Arsenal in October, and in June, I helped announced that the U.S. Army allocated $110 million in funding for the Arsenal to ensure that it remains competitive.

As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, we passed the first long-term bipartisan Farm Bill in years, and I welcomed U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to a farm in Milan to discuss its implementation.

I used my position on the Transportation and Infrastructure committee to invite U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx to our region to discuss transportation priorities. I was also proud that provisions of my bipartisan bill to upgrade our nation’s aging locks and dams were signed into law by President Obama in June.

I remain committed to defending Social Security benefits and Medicare at every turn.

This fall, I toured our region to discuss the importance of preserving and protecting Social Security and Medicare and my opposition to the Ryan Budget, which would end the Medicare guarantee and force seniors to pay more out of pocket for their health care. I also led a group of 117 members of the U.S. House of Representatives in successfully urging President Obama to rule out cuts to Social Security and veterans’ benefits in his budget proposal.

I also continued to advocate for our nation’s veterans.

 Deeply troubled by reported misconduct at our VA health centers, I pushed hard for accountability and improvements to the care that our veterans receive. I spoke in-depth with the three VA hospital administrators that serve our area and made in-person visits to all six of our VA Community Based Outpatient Clinics to hear first-hand from patients about their care.

As a late success, this December my bill to name the Galesburg VA Clinic after the late Congressman Lane Evans was signed into law by the President.

Heading into 2015, and the new Congress, I will continue to fight for you and middle class families like yours. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to share your views or if there is anything with which my office may assist you.