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Congressman Hultgren is part of the problem in Washington

Updated: February 8, 2013 6:08AM

Congressman Randy Hultgren is part of the problem in Washington

I write this letter because I have a grave concern regarding the ability of Randy Hultgren to effectively serve the people of the Illinois 14th Congressional District.

In recent months, the halls of Congress have looked more like a circus than a respected legislative body. While I believe both political parties in Washington, D.C., have contributed to the debacle our country is currently in, I also believe that there are particular members of Congress who have chosen not to listen to their constituents and instead follow a flawed, dangerous and incompetent concept of opposition governance.

Hultgren is one of these individuals. I arrive at my conclusion not motivated by partisan politics but by the observations of his work. For example, on Dec. 21 when House Speaker John Boehner decided to take a tax bill to the floor that everyone knew was not going anywhere (i.e., pass the Senate or be signed by the president), I felt it was my civic duty to call Hultgren’s office and tell him how ridiculous this was. Even though the bill was set to be voted on in less than two hours that night, his staff member could not tell me how he was going to vote on the bill. What was he waiting on?

On two other separate occasions after this, I tried calling his offices in Washington and in Geneva during his business hours, and no one picked up. There was a crisis about to hit the Unites States, and Hultgren was nowhere to be found. My only other recourse to get information on the impeding fiscal cliff was on his website, where I could only find a short video in which he spent the entire time blaming the crisis on the president. In a twist of irony at end of the video, when he said he loves to hear from his constituents, I did not know whether to laugh or be insulted.

Even when a bipartisan bill was brought before the House on Jan. 1 to end the fiscal cliff crisis, he was only one of a handful of Congress members from Illinois who voted against the bill. Keep in mind that the majority of the House Republicans from Illinois voted for this bill. The video on his website said he wanted to avoid raising my taxes. So why did he vote “no” on a bill that would prevent my taxes from going up? A statement finally posted to his website a day later can be simply summed up as he did not get what he wanted, so he decided raising taxes on the majority of Americans was acceptable.

Yes, we must get our spending under control. However, the American people want a balanced and well-thought-out approach to controlling our spending. President Obama ran on it, and he won on it. This is not a joke. The failure of that bill to pass the House that night would have had a direct and extreme negative impact on me, my family, my community and my country. Hultgren voted for chaos over common-sense, responsible governance, which all Americans are looking for in their government right now.

Hultgren of all people who parade their financial background cannot deny that the failure to pass that bill on Jan. 1 would have had a serious impact on our financial markets and could have potentially harmed our fragile yet growing economy.

Democrats have given on spending, and Republicans have now given on taxes. We are starting to see compromise that will ultimately lead to a healthy, long-term fiscal plan. The only thing slowing down the process and leading to needless crisis is the extremism that Hultgren and a select few of his colleagues decide to follow. He was sent to Washington by the people of this district to be a U.S. congressman. It would be nice if he started acting like one.

Matthew Meier

East Dundee

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