Bustos: Schilling views out of sync

Posted Online: Oct. 04, 2012, 10:37 pm
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By Eric Timmons, etimmons@qconline.com
Democrat Cheri Bustos says U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona, remains wedded to the Tea Party, and holds views that are out of sync with the people of the 17th District.

At an editorial board meeting Thursday with The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus, Ms. Bustos cast Rep. Schilling as a partisan with extreme positions.

"He ran on a Tea Party platform. He votes with his party 92 percent of the time," she said of Rep. Schilling. "He goes to Tea Party rallies, he talks about repealing the 16th Amendment, he talks about a flat tax, those are not centrist positions and they are out of sync with the people of this region."

The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows Congress to levy an income tax. But Rep. Schilling's office said he does not support repealing the 16th Amendment and does not support a flat tax.

Rep. Schilling is supported by Tea Party groups, said his spokesman Jon Schweppe, but also recently received a "Problem-Solvers Seal of Approval" by the bipartisan No Labels group.

In a tough election battle, Ms. Bustos and Rep. Schilling, are both pursuing independent voters and moderates by attempting to show they can compromise and aren't scared of bucking the party line.

Rep. Schilling does vote with his party 92 percent of the time, according to Open Congress, a non-partisan organization that analyzes Congress. The average Republican lawmaker in the U.S. House votes with his party 93.2 percent of the time in the 112th Congress.

Rep. Schilling points out that he votes with U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Mount Vernon, 34 percent of the time. Despite the popular image of Congress as being gridlocked, Democrat and Republican representatives have an average voting similarity of 44 percent, according to Open Congress.

Ms. Bustos, a former East Moline alderwoman wants to keep the Bush tax cuts, which are set to expire at the end of the year, for those earning up to $1 million and not $250,000, as President Barack Obama has proposed.

The Bustos campaign repeatedly has criticized Rep. Schilling for supporting tax breaks for millionaires.

But Ms. Bustos said many family farms in the 17th District fall into the income category between $250,000 and $1 million and believes their incomes should be protected from higher taxes.

"This is just another example of alderwoman Bustos attempting to have it both ways on an issue," said Mr. Schweppe.

Ms. Bustos also opposes the establishment of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which from 2013 will develop recommendations to reduce the cost of care for Medicare recipients.

The unelected board is a key component of the Affordable Care Act but a big target for Republicans like Rep. Schilling. They view the board as part of government encroachment on health care, even though it would only make recommendations for Medicare, the government program for seniors.

"What's the oversight on this board? That worries me," Ms. Bustos said.

IPAB would not be allowed to make any recommendation to ration health care, increase Medicare premiums and must exclusively focus on proposals for achieving savings in the delivery of health care services, according to the left-leaning Center for Budget Policies and Priorities.



Local events heading

  Today is Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000.
1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city.
1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association.
1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College.
1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.

(More History)