Just 24 hours after being sworn in, U. S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-East Moline) knows it’s too early to get into the specifics. “I know that’s somewhat of a broad answer,” she commented after her response to a question about the nation’s fiscal condition post-cliff. “I do not believe in across-the-board cuts,” she said during a conference call for Illinois reporters Friday afternoon.
“Rather, we’ve got to look at cuts that make sense in areas where there’s waste, where there’s redundancy, where there are programs that just don’t make sense, and let’s fund programs that are effective, let’s fund those in a way that makes sense, and programs that are ineffective, let’s look at ways to get rid of those.”
Bustos says she’s pleased to have been appointed to the Agriculture and Transportation Infrastructure Committees. Speaking of agriculture, she is disappointed there is only a nine-month extension as opposed to a full five-year Farm Bill. As for what should go into the bill, it’s “way too early for that. I just want to make sure that the Farm Bill that we look at makes sense and, other than that, I need to have some conversations both internally with our folks who are experts in ag, and I want to get to know (the committee leadership) as well, so we can build a good relationship and make some good things happen.”
Bustos says she has met with Ray LaHood, the former Peoria-area Republican congressman who is now U. S. transportation secretary, and praises his bi-partisan approach. She says she would like to host a bi-partisan retreat, as LaHood did during his time in Congress.