Although some may not want to hear this, I think that America would be better off if both parties tried to cooperate with the shared goal of bettering our nation and Washington pushed a more moderate agenda.
Ask anyone what they think is the biggest issue facing our nation today. Most likely they will say it is the economy, lack of jobs or some combination of the two. It doesn’t matter whether they are liberal or conservative; this issue sweeps across party lines.
Yesterday, Republican Congressman Robert Dold shared some of his views on what our nation’s priorities should be.
"Getting people back to work is something that everybody should be in favor of," Dold said.
Dold’s main priority, if reelected, would be to lift some of the regulatory burdens placed upon entrepreneurs and small businesses.
“I think that’s really the main engine to get the economy moving again, and to provide more certainty for entrepreneurs and small businesses across the country to be able to invest and grow,” he said.
His vision: there are 29 million small businesses in our nation, if we can create an environment that enables half of those businesses to hire a single person, think about where we would be.
“The thing that’s interesting is that there are those who believe that Washington creates jobs,” Dold said. “What Washington can do, is have entrepreneurs and small business owners like myself, try to create an environment that enables the private sector –entrepreneurs and innovators from all over the country - to be able to invest back into their business and grow.”
Following his freshman term, Congressman Dold reflected on one of the major challenges of the system – things move very slowly.
For instance, our economy is obviously struggling with the rising national debt and unemployment rate, however the bills that may help improve this situation, may be trapped in stages of the legislative process.
"30 jobs bills with bipartisan support have passed the House and are stalled and sitting in the United States Senate, so it's extraordinarily frustrating," he said. "Frankly, Harry Reid is not very interested at this point in time in trying to move many of those jobs initiatives out of the Senate."
Dold is currently involved in several bipartisan efforts including a transportation bill and Foreign Direct Investment bill.
He is a proponent of a longer-term surface transportation bill. Part of the proposal involves trying to speed up projects so that they are completing in 7-8 years instead of 15 by running concurrently through some of the checks and balances, he said. This issue affects everyone, regardless of party affiliation. Everybody uses the roads, bridges, rails and harbors. Also, good infrastructure will facilitate the establishment of businesses.
“We want to have a robust infrastructure bill that allows us to invest in things that allow us to move our goods and is a true driver of commerce in our economy.”
The Foreign Direct Investment bill was also recently introduced, again trying to create an environment in the United States that companies from all over the world want to invest in.
“We just opened a Astellas; their global research and development arm is going to be right here in the 10th district. We want to encourage more businesses to do the same because they’re great American jobs that are over there.”
Due to redistricting in 2010, the 10th congressional district is currently the most Democratic district held by a Republican, not only in the state of Illinois, but in the country.
Dold is facing Democratic candidate Brad Schneider, a management consultant from Deerfield, Illinois. Dold remains optimistic about his chances of reelection.
“The interesting things that I look at: Mark Kirk beat Alexi Giannoulias in the new district by 12 points, State Treasurer Dan Rutherford beat his candidate by 10, and Bill Brady lost to Pat Quinn by a single point. So, this is no question a district we can win, but it is also no question a democratically leaning district.”
Consistently ranked by many organizations as one of the most independent Congressman, Dold holds more moderate social views.
“I’m not asking people to jeopardize their values and their principles, but I am asking them to role up their sleeves and try to find solutions to the problems that are out there, and that oftentimes is going to come with bipartisan support,” he said.
“Will there be everything that I would like in a bill? The answer is no, but I want to make sure that we are focusing on the areas of agreement, which may be smaller pieces of legislation. What this is really about is upward mobility for every single American, opportunities for this generation and the next. We want more people working, striving to achieve their dreams through entrepreneurship, or innovating, or creating the next new patent. We still are the land of opportunity, and I want to make sure that we always are.”