With Congress Back in Session, Bustos Urges Colleagues to Address Issues Facing Rural America

WASHINGTON – Today, with the House of Representatives back from the August district work period, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (Il-17) urged her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to focus on the pressing issues impacting families in rural America, including improving access to doctors and rural broadband. This past month, Congresswoman Bustos was in every corner of Illinois’ 17th Congressional District as part of her 21st Century Heartland Tour. The tour focused on a variety of issues and helped Congresswoman Bustos learn more about the challenges facing families in our region.



As part of her 21st Century Heartland Tour, Congresswoman Bustos:


  • Held a “Cheri on Shift” at the Fairview Sale Barn;
  • Participated in Ag Day events at the Illinois State Fair;
  • Toured the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria and the Eagle View Community Health Fair in Stronghurst to discuss rural health care;
  • Participated in a roundtable discussion on rural broadband in Monmouth;
  • Focused on energy production at Freedom Fields Renewable Energy in Rockford and the Rock Falls Hydroelectric Plant;
  • Visited Community Health in Rock Island to learn more about the telehealth program they are developing;
  • Spoke at a press conference to discuss the importance of properly getting rid of old or expired prescription drugs to help address the opioid epidemic at a Walgreens in Pekin where they launched a Safe Medication Disposal Program;
  • Spent a full day with officials from the USDA’s Rural Development Agency in Morrison, Savanna and Elizabeth. During this day, they visited several businesses that have taken advantage of loans and grants available through the Rural Development Agency to grow and strengthen the local economy;
  • Met with officials from Clean Energy Renewables LLC in Moline to learn more about their work producing solar and wind energy technologies;
  • Learned more about how drones can benefit the agricultural industry with the owners of Integrated Precision Agriculture in Galesburg.


Below is the text of her remarks as prepared:

Mr. Speaker,

During the past month, I’ve been to every corner of the Congressional District I serve as part of my 21st Century Heartland Tour.

I’ve spoken with the hard-working men and women who truly make our Heartland the greatest place in America to live, work and raise a family.

But our region faces serious challenges – and these challenges need to be addressed by Congress.

That’s why I held a roundtable in Monmouth, Illinois, to discuss rural broadband.

Because in rural America, just over half of families have access to high speed internet… as opposed to over 90 percent of families in urban areas.

And that’s why I was in Stronghurst, Illinois, to talk about rural health care.

Because even though 1-in-4 Americans live in rural areas, we only have a tenth of the nation’s practicing physicians.

These are just a few of the issues facing the families in our region.

They can’t wait for solutions – and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to come together to support a thriving, modern 21st Century Heartland.