PEORIA — U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos and President-elect Donald Trump have both spoken out about companies outsourcing work beyond American borders.
The East Moline Democrat has identified it as one area where she can see possibly working in concert with the incoming GOP administration.
But, at the same time, she said, what, exactly, Trump intends to do about the issue remains murky.
Hence the measure Bustos introduced this week, with the backing of a number of industrial state Democrats, that would require the new administration to present a strategy for how to halt outsourcing and a way to measure its success every two years.
"I'm glad (outsourcing is) out there being talked about aggressively again," Bustos said in a phone interview Thursday. "The problem that we've seen with this being elevated again is our next president of the United States has chosen to release his policy through these 140-character tweets. … What we're saying is, Mr. President-elect, we look forward to seeing what your plan is on this, and we look forward to measuring the success of your anti-outsourcing plan."
Bustos said that House Democrats have had a series of legislative initiatives introduced in recent years under the "Make it in America" umbrella, but they "have not had a willing partner" among House Republicans to pass them.
With Trump speaking out on the issue during the campaign, she said she hoped it would help develop traction on some of the ideas.
"We've lost thousands of jobs (in the 17th Congressional District) to outsourcing," Bustos said, citing Maytag's move out of Galesburg as an example.
"All these years later, the average wages in Knox County still haven't recovered. I cannot go to Knox County or to Galesburg without hearing from people who have lost their jobs and to this day are still struggling."
The legislation is HR 357.
Chris Kaergard covers government and politics. He can be reached at email@example.com and 686-3255. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisKaergard.