Thank you Senator Durbin.
I'm humbled by your support and look forward to being YOUR Congressman in Washington, and partnering with you to preserve Medicare and Social Security and defeat the radical Republican budget.
This year, central and southwest Illinois is suffering through a terrible drought. It's destroying corn and other crops and threatening our farmers and our rural economy.
But we don't just have a historic drought in the Heartland.
I believe we have a drought in the halls of Congress too.
It's a drought of leadership. A drought of courage. A drought of common sense.
Crops are dying in the fields and the hopes for some of our communities are dying along with them. And the Tea Party Republicans--with their extreme partisanship, radical agenda and refusal to compromise-- are killing our agricultural economy.
They refuse to pass a bi-partisan, balanced, reasonable farm bill. As your Congressman, I'll stand shoulder to shoulder with Dick Durbin to get that done.
There are a lot of things Senator Durbin and I agree on.
I've been impressed to see the Senator lead the fight against the corrupting power of corporate and foreign money in our political campaigns. The Citizens United decision allows banks, billionaires and big corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence our elections and keep most of what they spend a secret.
I've pledged to support an amendment to the Constitution to overturn this disastrous decision. In Congress, I'll stand shoulder to shoulder with Dick Durbin to get this done.
I know what it's like to work hard and struggle. My dad died when I was 13, and I had to go to work. I worked my way through college and medical school. I know middle-class families here in Central Illinois are struggling to get by.
It's those people we should be helping--not millionaires, billionaires, Big Oil and Washington lobbyists.
There are big differences between my opponent Rodney Davis and me.
He supports the Ryan budget that would raise taxes on middle-class families and includes more tax breaks for billionaires and Big Oil.
The Bush tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% in our country should be allowed to expire.
We must not raise taxes on the middle class or on people who make less than $250,000. We can fix our budget mess without the Romney/Ryan tax increases on the middle class.
Our budget deficit should be closed by millionaires and billionaires finally paying their fair share--not by cutting seniors' Medicare, funding for small-town hospitals and student aid.
Let's be clear-- The Ryan (Republican) budget will devastate central and southwest Illinois.