U.S. Reps. Bustos, LaHood talk impeachment, political rhetoric

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PEORIA, Ill. — U.S. Representatives Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) and Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) were in Peoria on Monday and addressed recent political controversies involving President Donald Trump and members of Congress, as well as the Mueller investigation.

Trump and four U.S. Congresswomen have been battling on social media over the past week. He most recently tweeted that the “Squad,” made up of Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, are “very racist.”

The four Congresswomen have publicly criticized the president, and have shown frustration with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“Donald Trump’s comments that he has made not just this past week, not just against four of my colleagues, but about entire groups of people, are entirely inappropriate for the President of the United States,” Bustos said. “We know what Donald Trump is, whether you like or don’t. I am choosing to focus on what we need to get done for the American public.”

LaHood said he also does not agree with Trump’s comments.

“I think it is antithetical to our constitution and what we stand for and freedom of religion. So that’s not something I support,” the congressman said. “However, I have real concerns about some of my colleagues in the House and this radical agenda. I don’t agree with banning ICE and getting rid of the Immigration Enforcement, that’s what they stand for, a government-run healthcare system. I don’t believe the anti-American, anti-Israel rhetoric that has come out of these socialists. That’s not what my constituents believe in.”

The politicians also discussed Robert Mueller’s upcoming congressional testimony. Mueller is set to testify on Capitol Hill regarding the former special counsel’s findings on Russia’s election interference in 2016.

“[…] We’re going to hear from Mueller, who spent more than two years of his life, along with the rest of the investigators, to try and release the truth,” Bustos said. “The fact of the matter is we’ve received a redacted report that is so redacted that, and I’ve read the report. I think it is important to note that. But there’s so much that was redacted that I have not had access to and hopefully we learn more this week and see where that goes.”

While LaHood said he initially supported Mueller’s report and the investigation, he believes it is time to move on.

“We have many things we should be focused on in this country: infrastructure, the high cost of prescription drugs, fixing our infrastructure here, and trade deals, USMCA, that’s the number one priority,” LaHood said.

LaHood and Bustos both agreed when it comes to representing the Peoria area, they can reach a bipartisan, civil, political climate.

“Peoria happens to have a Republican representing it and a Democrat representing,” Bustos said. “And Darin LaHood and I, though our politics may be different, and in some cases, very different, as it pertains to Peoria, we are going to work together. We demonstrated that very loudly and clearly when it came to the Ag Lab. We have the largest USDA research lab in the country, and we are going to fight every single day to make sure not only that it stays open, but that it stays fully staffed.”

“There’s lots of issues we can work on in a bipartisan way,” LaHood said. “I am committed to doing that. We have too many people in Congress who can’t get over the fact that President Trump got elected. We’re going to have an election a year and a half from now. […] But let’s put politics aside and work on the issues people care deeply about and there’s plenty of bipartisan support for that and I am committed to it.”

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