Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kinzinger Response to State of the Union Address

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), tonight issued the following remarks in response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address: 

“Tonight, folks around the country turned their focus to Washington and looked to the Leader of the Free World for direction.  However, rather than laying out a blueprint for our nation’s future, President Obama took advantage of an opportunity to advance his own re-election agenda.  The president offered more of his same failed policies - higher taxes, more spending and onerous regulations; which has lead to record-high unemployment rates, mounting debt and an overreaching government.

“These policies have hurt our economy and it’s time to hold Washington accountable for its actions. 

“Under the Obama Administration, our national debt has increased by $4.6 trillion – which means every man, woman and child’s share has increased by nearly $14,000 since Obama took office. 

“In his 2011 State of the Union speech, President Obama warned that ‘at stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else.’  This is a fear I hear nearly every day in Illinois.  That’s why I was deeply disappointed to see the President's Administration block the Keystone XL Pipeline - particularly after his own jobs council yesterday called for an 'all-in approach' to energy policy that incorporates expanded oil and gas drilling in addition to advancing energy projects such as pipelines.

“This pipeline would directly create 20,000 manufacturing and construction jobs and 118,000 total jobs. In addition, we would see 830,000 barrels of safe and secure oil each day from our friends to the North, which means we will need less oil from countries we can no longer rely on and are not friendly to the interests of the United States.

“Unfortunately, like tonight’s State of the Union address, the Keystone pipeline is a missed opportunity and is yet another major example of the President placing politics before the people. The fact is that someone will benefit from the oil out of Alberta.  If it’s not the United States, it will be China - and it will be American businesses and consumers who will suffer the consequences from our inaction.

“We can’t continue to follow the same failed agenda that has driven job creators further into doubt and uncertainty.  The road to refueling our economy and creating jobs means tackling our debt head on, simplifying the tax code, reducing onerous regulations, and increasing domestic energy production, making our nation more energy secure, which would help lower costs at the pump and create jobs here at home.

“In just one year, the new House Republicans have fought to put the brakes on the Obama Administration’s spending spree.  We’ve changed the conversation from how much to spend to how much to cut.

“We've also made clear to the president that it is high time that we cut up the government's credit cards and draw a hard line to stop the government from overspending, which is hampering our economy's ability to grow and thrive. We must get the government to stop spending more money than we take in and focus our efforts toward growing the private sector, where jobs are created.”

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ron Paul Sign in Joliet

A few Ron Paul signs have sprouted up in Will County, including this sign in Joliet on Route 59 and Caton Farm Road:
Ron Paul sign at the corner of Route 59 and Caton Farm Road in Joliet, Illinois

Monday, January 9, 2012

Wilhelmi Announces He Will No Longer Participate in Legislative Scholarship Program

Joliet - State Senator AJ Wilhelmi (D-Joliet) has decided that he will
no longer participate in the Legislative Tuition Waiver Program.

"For the past several months, I have been debating whether to continue
awarding legislative scholarships to college-bound students who live in
the 43rd District," Wilhelmi said.  "In the end, I decided that the
problems with the program outweigh its benefits."

The Legislative Tuition Waiver Program allows each member of the General
Assembly to send residents of their districts to Illinois' public
universities.  Legislators can award eight one-year waivers, four
two-year waivers, or two four-year waivers each year.  Although often
referred to as a scholarship program, in reality, the state universities
receive no extra funding to cover the cost of students who receive
tuition waivers.

"I'm frustrated that our attempts to reform this program have failed,
and I'm concerned about removing critically important funds from our
public universities," Wilhelmi explained.  "Though I regret taking this
opportunity away from the children who live in this district, I think it
makes the most financial sense for the State to use its resources on
financial aid programs that can't be abused.  I also think the whole
issue has become so politicized that people have lost sight of the
program's original purpose-to help young people afford a college

"Our economic situation has changed," Wilhelmi continued.  "Many state
universities are struggling with funding issues, despite the fact that
families are coping with ever-higher tuition rates.  It's hard to
reconcile providing free rides to some when it's the universities and
ultimately other students who have to pick up the tab."

In recent years, investigative reporters have uncovered evidence that
the program has been repeatedly abused.  The General Assembly has sent
several bills to the governor attempting to prevent these abuses, but
the governor has repeatedly vetoed the bills, saying he prefers to
abolish the program entirely.

"I do believe that the tuition waiver program has merit for young adults
who simply cannot afford college," the senator said.  "It also serves as
a vehicle to ensure that state-sponsored college tuition assistance
reaches every corner of Illinois.  But in the end, I feel a more
comprehensive approach to college tuition assistance, such as the
Monetary Award Program, is the best way to accomplish that worthy goal
while also ensuring recipients demonstrate financial need."