Guest Column: Bustos: Fighting to ‘Make it in America’

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D)

By U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D)
17th Congressional District

As anyone who has spent time visiting the numerous workplaces, job sites and businesses across our region of Illinois knows, our workers are the best in the world.

If given the chance, they can out-compete, out-innovate and out-work anyone from every corner of the globe.

I recently had the opportunity to travel our region on a “Make it in America” tour. On these visits to area workplaces, I met with local workers and businesses to exchange ideas about ways to create jobs here at home and to boost American manufacturing.

I ran for Congress to do my part to put middle-class American families first. Since taking office, I’ve made fighting for American jobs and manufacturing my top priority.

I’d like to share here a few details of common-sense legislation I support that focus on my pledge to you:

For too long, Washington’s priorities have been upside down and misplaced. Instead of fostering job creation here at home in Illinois, special-interest groups have carved out tax loopholes for companies that ship our jobs overseas.

That’s why I proudly support the Bring Jobs Home Act of 2013, which would eliminate these ridiculous tax deductions for companies that send jobs overseas, while providing a new tax credit for companies that bring jobs back to the U.S.

Instead of using the hard-earned tax dollars of our citizens to create jobs and boost manufacturing in America, too many of our tax dollars are sent to workers and companies in foreign countries.

To help reverse this, I introduced the American Jobs Matter Act, a bill that would enable the government to consider the creation of American jobs when accepting bids for taxpayer-funded federal contracts. This bill would help ensure that taxpayer dollars are invested where they should be: at home in Illinois and America, not in places like China and Japan.

And instead of prioritizing our workers and our economic future by investing in workforce training programs and education, those with the wrong priorities have given lavish tax breaks to big oil companies making record profit and millionaire Wall Street bankers.

To help make job training programs more affordable and accessible, I introduced the Access to Education and Training Act after my weeklong community college tour earlier this year. My bill would allow those who receive Pell grants to take advantage of these grants year-round. Many who would benefit most are non-traditional students who want to complete their courses faster so they can get trained and back into the workforce as quickly as possible.

From the big cities to the smallest of towns, I consistently hear from the people of our region that they are concerned with making sure their children have the same opportunities they did, and that starts with having access to good-paying jobs.

I’ll continue to listen to the workers of our region and to fight day and night to ensure “Make it in America” is stamped on even more of our products and goods.

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., is in her first term serving the 17th Congressional District, which includes portions of Rockford. She lives in East Moline, Ill.

From the July 17-23, 2013, issue

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