To show their opposition to sequestration, and its possible impact on eastern Iowa and western Illinois, two members of congress toured a defense contractor in the Quad Cities Tuesday. Dave Loebsack from Iowa's 2nd district and Cheri Bustos from Illinois' 17th worry that automatic federal spending cuts, due to take effect next month, could affect hundreds of jobs in their districts. Loebsack agrees the federal budget should be cut, but it should be done carefully.
"We get paid what we get paid to make good decisions, not to make easy decisions, and sequestration is an easy decision it's an across the board cut. It's not really making the hard choices that people are telling us we have to make," -Congressman Loebsack
The Rock Island Arsenal is a major employer in both districts, and the Defense department does business with hundreds of companies in the area. Bustos says one estimate she's heard is that the federal spending cuts now scheduled to take effect soon would cut 2 million jobs from the national economy.
"The unpredictability that's been put out there for the American public, for businesses for companies like Mandus for the Rock Island arsenal, this is not the way we can keep doing business in Congress," -Congresswoman Bustos
And both say it's frustrating to be sent home for a recess when they should be in Washington working out a deal. Bustos and Loebsack toured the Mandus Group in Rock Island which designs recoil mechanisms for howitzers and other equipment, for customers including the Army, Marine Corps, National Guard, and some foreign governments.