As a Member of the 115th Congress, Rodney serves on the House Committees on Administration, Agriculture and Transportation & Infrastructure.
Too many Americans are out of work, especially in areas across the 13th District. We have to put a stop to the endless cycle of unemployment and put Americans back to work. Commonsense legislation such as the Opportunity KNOCKS Act would be a step in the right direction as it would allow Americans receiving unemployment to get the education or training they need to find a job.
Rodney believes we must lower taxes for everyone, including small business owners, and reduce red tape and regulations. Government doesn’t create jobs, which means Congress should get out of the way of business owners and let them do their jobs.
Recently we’ve seen a total decay of trust in the federal government by the American people following the revelation of the NSA’s data collecting and the IRS targeting conservative groups. The government we deserve is a government that is willing to protect the taxpayers, not one that abuses power, intimidates and plays politics. We have to take steps to ensure that all government agencies are held accountable when they cross the line and violate the rights of Americans. We must focus on what’s best for America, not what’s best politically.
Our tax system is in serious need of reform. U.S. companies currently pay the highest corporate tax rate in the world, making them less likely to invest and create jobs here in America. Rodney believes we must create a simpler, fairer tax system that ensures everyone pays their fair share and makes America a more attractive place for companies to invest and create jobs.
We have a government that still spends, borrows and taxes too much. As President Reagan said, “The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.”
Our national debt has surpassed $17 trillion, nearly $53,000 for every man, woman, and child in America. In fact recently, the CBO released a report stating without major reforms, federal debt held by the public would reach 100 percent of GDP in 2038. This is wrong and immoral. It undermines the dollar and our place in the global market, resulting is more economic uncertainty that the nation cannot afford.
Washington should live by the same rules as every American family and that means balancing our budget and only spending what we take in.
Obamacare is still costing Americans jobs and has not lived up to its promises. Americans were told that they could keep their health care if they like it, that they could keep their doctor and that they would ultimately end up paying less for coverage. We’ve seen that this is simply not the case. Millions of Americans have received cancellation notices, are finding out that they won’t be able to see their doctor, and that their premiums and deductibles have skyrocketed.
Rodney knows that a one-size-fits-all, government-mandated health care system is not the answer for addressing the needs of both people with health insurance and the uninsured. Early in their marriage, Rodney and his wife Shannon confronted a serious medical issue when Shannon was diagnosed with colon cancer. They fought through the cancer, but it gave Rodney first-hand knowledge of dealing with serious medical conditions under our health insurance model.
Rodney believes in a market-based, patient-centered approach that provides not only choice in health care for those who are insured, but will address the needs of the uninsured of our country; an approach that will allow those doctors and hospitals to concentrate on delivering needed care and not on what programs they may need to cut due to decreased payments.
As a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, Rodney fights for the agriculture community in Washington. His perspective comes from knowledgeable farmers, ag business owners and his family’s small business experience in rural Illinois communities. This real-world experience serves him well in Congress where he uses his knowledge to advance agriculture and rural development policies which reflect the hardworking farmers and business owners in Illinois.
Agriculture is a key economic engine of the 13th Congressional District. The 14-county district stretches across Central and Southwestern Illinois. It contains farms of many sizes and a wide array of agriculture-based industries. Ensuring profitability of the agriculture sector and protecting an owner’s ability to manage their farm or rural business without cumbersome government regulations and over taxation is very important to Rodney.
Last Congress, Rodney helped craft a long-term Farm Bill which strengthens crop insurance, a key risk management tool for our farmers, and cuts $23 billion in spending. Rodney will use his leadership position as chairman of the Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research Subcommittee to ensure producers and rural businesses have the opportunity to prosper and grow. His knowledge and willingness to take on issues offer much needed leadership in Congress.
We rely on our transportation system to get us where we need to go everyday and to move our products to market. Investing in a 21st Century transportation system is critical to our nation’s economic success. Our international competitors are investing more and more in their transportation infrastructure everyday and we must do the same to remain competitive.
As a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Rodney has been a leader in crafting legislation critical to improving our transportation system. Last Congress passed the Water Resource Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), a long-term bill to improve our waterways by cutting the approval process of projects from 15 years to 3 years reducing costs and increasing transparency. Rodney successfully included language to utilize public-private partnerships to save taxpayer dollars and served on the conference committee responsible bridging the differences between the House and Senate bills and getting a bill to the president’s desk.
Our veterans have given so much for our nation that we cannot even begin to repay them. Ensuring the promises made to them are kept is a responsibly that cannot be taken lightly. Unfortunately, our VA system has failed our veterans in recent years with “secret wait lists,” long wait times, and delayed care. Rodney has supported legislation signed into law to hold VA leaders accountable and improve care by allowing veterans who are experiencing long wait times or live long distances from a VA hospital to access private care. Rodney continues to oversee the VA and ensure our veterans receive the care they need and deserve.
Additionally, when our veterans return home, we must do everything possible to help them find a job. Unfortunately, like so many Americans, Obamacare is making this more difficult because businesses are reluctant to grow and create new jobs. Rodney sponsored the Hire More Heroes Act, legislation to encourage small businesses to hire more of our nation’s veterans by exempting veterans who receive health care through the VA from being counted toward the employer mandate.
As a parent of three children in school, Rodney understands the need to invest in education and ensure our parents, teachers, and local school administrators remain in control of our children’s education – what works for one school may not work for another. Rodney believes the role of the federal government should be an effective, but limited one.
The 13th District is home to roughly 45,000 students attending nine colleges and universities in Central and Southwestern Illinois. With a daughter about to attend college, Rodney understands the importance of college affordability and helping students reduce their debt. He has fought to keep student loan rates low and supported legislation to help students limit the amount they borrow by increasing transparency. Additionally, Rodney has written legislation to make employers part of the solution by allowing them to pay toward their employee’s refinanced loans just as they do for continued education.