Veterans A Central Focus in 17th District Race

SchillingCellarFormer Congressman Bobby Schilling was in Galesburg on Tuesday.

The candidate for the 17th District Congressional seat told reporters during a stop at “The Cellar: Pizzeria and Pub” that he was intending to meet with local business representatives, including the Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce and G&M Distributors.

The November election is just over 40 days away, and the Colona Republican says he has used the last couple to continue gathering ideas. Schilling says Galesburg has been hit hard by the economic downtown and pointed to his experience and background to bring dollars to area communities.

“One of the things we really want to focus in on if we’re successful in the election is putting together legislation that’s going to not only keep what we have here in the United States and here in our district, but also attract other folks from outside,” says Schilling.

Among the topics being discussed in Congress is the concept of “inversion” – which entails a company moving its operations overseas to avoid certain U.S. corporate taxes.

Schilling says it’s important to create an environment where businesses want stay in the country.

“We currently hold the highest corporate tax rate in the entire world and what we’ve got to do is lower than down to about 25-percent, I believe, and then we’ve got to take a seriously look at the loopholes without making it political,” says Schilling.

Schilling said he did “several different things” to address corporate tax loopholes during his time in Congress, but says problems were experienced getting measures passed once they entered the Senate.

The Republican candidate for the seat is making his appearance in Galesburg while airstrikes have been confirmed in Syria against the group known as the “Islamic State.” The Associated Press is reporting that the U.S. and five Arab partners have attacked the group’s headquarters in Eastern Syria overnight. Unconfirmed numbers put the death toll in the dozens, but civilians may be included in that list. According to Schilling, ISIS should have been addressed months ago.

“The last thing we want to do is go to war, but at the same time, we’ve got to take out threats that are going to affect us either directly or indirectly,” says Schilling.

The former Congressman says the pullout of U.S. combat troops from Iraq may have contributed to the situation. Nonetheless, Schilling says some are quick to want to attack.

“How about we sit down and we think out a good, solid game plan,” says Schilling. “What is the stake by going out and attacking somebody? You know, I heard they’re talking some boots on the ground.”

He says he supports expending every resource at the United States’ disposal prior to putting military service members at risk.

Veterans have become a central focus of Schilling’s bid for office, especially when it comes to incumbent Democrat Cheri Bustos’ voting record. Schilling addressed the Veterans Affairs scandal – which is alleged to have revealed covered-up wait times. Although Bustos says she did not discover problems at local V.A. clinics in her talks with veterans and other representatives of the V.A. Still, Schilling says the idea of fixing the V.A. wasn’t popular when he was serving two years ago, but he says he knew then the Veterans Affairs system was broken.

“PTSD is another thing that we have to work on to improve, to make sure that if a service member goes to a CBOC (Community Based Outpatient Clinic), they don’t have to set the appointment for next Wednesday to have the specialist come in to see them,” says Schilling.

Schilling claims the main body of the bill that was passed through and was signed into law by President Barack Obama was partially his idea. Still, he says Congress should eliminate wait times entirely to see primary physicians to best serve military service members.

“What I was trying to do is to not only allow them to use the V.A. and the CBOC’s, but let’s say for example they had something wrong with their foot or whatever, and they weren’t able to go to the V.A. or what-have-you, then they could go in town to their own local Doctor,” says Schilling.

Schilling addressed what he considers inaccuracies in campaign ads released by the incumbent Cheri Bustos.

Tags: , , , , ,