As we continue the drawdown from the war in Afghanistan, we need to continue to ensure our troops are the best-trained, best-equipped and best-prepared in the world.  With the Rock Island Arsenal in the Quad-Cities, the Illinois Air National Guard unit based outside of Peoria and major aerospace employers in Rockford, the 17th District has a vital role to play in the defense of our country.

Our brave veterans have served our nation with honor, and we owe them nothing less than the best when they return home from the battlefield. This includes access to timely and high-quality health care and good-paying jobs.

I fought to repeal the military retiree benefit adjustments included in the budget deal and to hold senior employees within the Veterans Administration accountable for mismanagement and possible criminal misconduct.  After traveling our region and listening to our veterans, many with questions about the benefits they’ve earned, I hosted a workshop to help them get answers, provide assistance with claims and connect local veterans with other resources available to them in our communities. 

To help fight veteran unemployment, my Jobs for Heroes Act would extend and expand tax credits for employers who make hiring veterans a priority.  I have also supported veteran job training efforts, including a special effort that also attacks the skills-gap in advanced manufacturing, and hosted careers fairs with priority access for veterans looking for jobs.