Report From Congresswoman Cheri Bustos | Illinois 17th District
Bustos Opposed to ‘Short-Sighted’ DoD Employee Furloughs
Upon hearing news that the Department of Defense (DOD) will go ahead with a plan to furlough most civilian employees for 11 days by the end of September as the result of sequestration, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos said, “I’ve been against the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration from the very beginning because of the negative impact they could have on the jobs and economy of our region. That is why I am deeply disappointed that the Department of Defense will go ahead [with the plan], despite Congress giving DOD the needed flexibility not to resort to furloughs.
Bustos also called on Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to avoid making civilian furloughs this year and she voted to give DOD the needed flexibility to reduce spending without resorting to furloughs in March.
“While I strongly believe we need to get our budget in order and cut spending, we cannot take an ax to our economy and put more people out of work. That’s why I’ve repeatedly called on Congress to work together to take sequestration off the table and called on Secretary Hagel to avoid furloughs this year. I’ve also proposed the Government Waste Reduction Act, a bipartisan common sense bill to help reduce the deficit while protecting the middle class and our vital military installations, such as the Rock Island Arsenal.”
On May 17, Bustos called on Speaker John Boehner to allow an up-or-down vote to replace the sequester with a balanced solution that doesn’t lead to job losses. In a letter signed by 44 other freshman members of Congress, Bustos said that Congress has a “responsibility to act” in replacing the sequester.
“I’ve been against the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration from the very beginning because of the negative impact they could have on the jobs and economy of our region. While I strongly believe we need to get our budget in order and cut spending, we cannot take an ax to our economy and put more people out of work. That’s why I continue to call on Speaker Boehner to schedule a vote to replace the sequester with a balanced approach,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos.
Independent Investigation of IRS Needed
Bustos released a statement on May 14 condemning the recent reports of inappropriate activity at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and calling for an independent investigation:
“Recent reports that the IRS singled out organizations for additional review based solely on their political leanings is deeply troubling and I condemn this apparent abuse of power in the strongest terms possible. There is no place for this type of inappropriate activity at the IRS or at any government agency. There needs to be a full, thorough and independent investigation into these alleged abuses, and those responsible should be held fully accountable.”
Posts Official Meetings Online for Transparency, Accountability
Bustos announced that she has started to post her weekly schedule of official meetings on her website to promote further transparency and openness in government and to stay accountable to her constituents. Going forward, Bustos’ constituents will be able to see online who she is meeting with, and what she is doing, in her official capacity as their representative in Congress. Bustos’ schedule of official meetings will be updated weekly and can be found at http://bustos.house.gov/about/schedule-of-official-meetings.
“I believe the best form of government is an open and honest government, and one that serves the people, not the special interests,” said Bustos. “Because of this strong belief, I am proud to post my official schedule on my website, so my constituents can see who I am meeting with on a weekly basis.”
In addition to posting her official schedule online, Bustos also announced she has joined the bipartisan Transparency Caucus, which is co-chaired by Congressman Mike Quigley (IL-5), a fellow Illinoisan. The Transparency Caucus seeks to enact legislation that will bring openness and accessibility to the federal government.