By Bobby Schilling
As a small business owner, I have felt the impact of higher taxes, higher energy costs, and burdensome regulations. There is less certainty in the marketplace, which discourages businesses from investing, expanding, and creating jobs.
Americans need jobs now. It's up to our elected officials to lead by example, put partisanship aside, and come together to work on ways to get our budget under control and our economy back on track. Jobs aren't a Republican or a Democrat issue -- they're a red, white, and blue issue.
Gov. Pat Quinn and career politicians in Springfield have made Illinois an awful place to do business. Last year they passed a 67 percent tax increase that cost every worker in Illinois one full week's pay. Illinois' spending is out of control and credit downgrades have become a part of everyday life.
What's scary to me is that my opponent wants to take those failed Chicago ideas to Washington. She wants to get rid of free trade agreements that boost product exports and create jobs at companies like John Deere and Caterpillar. She's even proposed a Bring-Back Tax to punish companies that want to bring money and jobs back home, resulting in even more jobs getting shipped overseas.
My top priority in Congress has been providing certainty by creating an environment that promotes private-sector job creation and encourages small businesses and manufacturers to invest here at home.
The House has passed more than 30 bipartisan jobs bills that would have an immediate impact on our economy. These bills promote American-made energy, improve small businesses' access to capital, cut back on onerous over-regulations, and create new opportunities for innovation and expansion.
The Senate not only failed to take up these bills, but it's now been more than 1,200 days -- more than three years -- since the Senate passed a budget. Job creators are facing unprecedented levels of uncertainty as a result.
Working alongside Iowa Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack, I was able to secure bipartisan language in the Defense Authorization Act to bring more manufacturing jobs to the Rock Island Arsenal through public-private partnerships. This will improve the Rock Island Arsenal's capacity to strengthen its manufacturing abilities, and it can bring hundreds of good jobs to the Quad-Cities.
We passed the first multi-year transportation infrastructure bill in years so that our roads and bridges can be prioritized and our job creators and construction workers can have certainty. We fought for priorities like the I-74 Bridge, so that it can move closer to completion. The last Congress failed to get the job done, but after a lot of work, this Congress finally set party aside and worked together to get this done.
I support legislation introduced by Illinois Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski that would launch a national push to revitalize our manufacturing sector. This bill, the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, has broad bipartisan support and recently passed the House. Senators Mark Kirk and Sherrod Brown are calling for the bill to be brought to a vote and passed in the Senate. Hopefully, Senate leadership will listen to reason and bring the bill to a vote.
I'm also backing legislation that offers manufacturers incentives to invest in equipment, training, and expanding jobs here in the U.S. We have to lower the corporate tax rate and knock down trade barriers so our country's job creators and American workers can be competitive on the world stage.
My father taught me to lead by example and I have done just that by reaching across the aisle, reaching across the river and working for the people.
Bobby Schilling, R-Colona, represents the 17th Congressional District.