Nov. 6, 2012 – 11:20 p.m.

113th Congress: Cheri Bustos, D-Ill. (17th District)

Job creation was the top issue in Cheri Bustos’ campaign. Now she wants to bring together leaders in business, education and local government to determine how the economic needs of the 17th District can be addressed in Washington.

One key will be promoting the district’s manufacturing base, which includes companies such as Chrysler, John Deere and Caterpillar. Calling it “the hub” of the district, Bustos asserts, “Manufacturing can grow. It can become stronger.”

She supports the creation of a “Manufacturing Triangle” to address jobs remaining unfilled because of a lack of skilled labor. She envisions government, business and community colleges partnering to create and fill jobs by providing workers with the required training. Bustos says she would vote to eliminate tax benefits for companies that offshore jobs.

Having worked as an executive in the health care industry for a decade, Bustos says she will bring a unique skill set to the debate in Washington. While she supports the 2010 health care law, Bustos says that more can be done in the way of innovation to lower costs and improve care, including better coordinated care and wider use of electronic health records in Medicare and Medicaid.

Bustos would like to be named to the Armed Services Committee, where she would be an advocate for the Rock Island Arsenal, the district’s largest employer. She has also expressed interest in sitting on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.