"When I meet with folks across Southern Illinois, I hear the same concern over good jobs and what the future will look like for our kids and grandkids. Our families, workers, and small businesses have met the challenge of these tough economic times head-on, but it's not easy and finding stronger economic footing continues to be a hard climb. It's encouraging that the President focused on what must be the top priority -- creating good jobs and investing in manufacturing and infrastructure.
"Southern Illinois has a proud tradition of manufacturing, the hardest-working and most talented workforce, and farmers and agricultural producers that feed the world. We are also blessed with natural resources like coal that can power our communities and create new jobs. I wish I had heard more about how coal and a comprehensive Farm Bill can help secure our economy and support a stronger middle class.
"As Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, I oversaw the largest deployment of soldiers since World War II so I am especially heartened by the President's announcement to bring home our brave service men and women from Afghanistan. I look forward to welcoming home our troops like I had the honor to do in Sparta just a few weeks ago. We must ensure we keep our promises to our veterans and support a healthy transition to civilian life so they can be leaders in our communities."