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Bost Meets with Mayor Kolweier

By Todd Marver

U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (IL-12; R-Murphyboro) met with Nashville mayor Raymond Kolweier on Thursday, February 16 at Nashville City Hall.

The state’s 12th congressional district covers 34 counties, which is one-third of the state. Bost said he tries to do meetings all around the district whenever he is back in the district.

“We bounce all over the place trying to make sure we meet up (with everyone),” he said.

Bost said he has known the mayor in Nashville for quite some time. Bost was a state representative for 20 years. He said he used to be the state representative that represented Washington County and knew Kolweier from years ago.

“This (meeting) is dealing with issues that they’re dealing with right now as far as making sure that they can do economic development in places that they need to and problems they might be having with everything from roads and grants and other things like that. And making sure our contact information is working with theirs so that when issues come up on the federal level we can work with them. There might be state problems to work with (State Reps.) Charlie Meier and Jason Plummer on to help them in anything that the federal government can also help them with,” he said.

While Washington County is new to the 12th district, it is not new to Bost because he represented Washington County for over 10 years as a state representative.

“It’s fantastic. I had an office here as a state representative for 10 years. Washington County has just great people from county line to county line top to bottom. The majority are farmers. There are people that know that you help out your neighbors and friends. Where government can assist, it’s fine, but they usually want to take care of their own problems as much as possible and they do a very good job at it,” he said.

Bost said there are completely different issues as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives than when he was a state representative.

“We’ve modified our ability to deliver what we do, whether it’s Social Security, veterans’ issues, visas and all the federal issues that are out there,” he said.

Bost said his offices were relocated in the new 12th congressional district.

“Before in the old 12th, we had two main district offices. Now we have three: O’Fallon has been moved to Mascoutah, Carbondale has been moved to Murphysboro and we’ve opened a new one in Effingham. If you look at the whole 34 counties, that triangulates the district, so that people can have easy access to a full time office,” he said.

Bost said there are four offices that are open one time every week in different counties and there are five other ones that are monthly offices.

“The other counties that are left, we’re going out and holding office hours in two of those counties every month besides the other ones that we’re having monthly. By the time it’s said and done, it doesn’t matter what sized county you are, you will have had an opportunity for office hours specifically in your county,” he said.

Bost is chairman of the veterans’ affairs (VA) committee and serves on the transportation/infrastructure committee.

“I’ve also got a lot of reach into the agricultural committee because I was on that for many years, so I still have those connections to keep working on those issues,” he said.

Bost said there are some very key issues on the local level that the veterans’ affairs committee is working on.

“There is a bill that allows for veterans who are interested in getting involved in agriculture to make sure that they have that opportunity to mentor because we find that’s a good connect,” he said.

Bost said the BALE Act allows for an increase in the amount of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans and the level so that a new farmer getting in the business can stay in the agriculture business and that can be expanded.

“We’ve got several things that are job opportunity growth type pieces of, not legislation, but things that already existed that we are working on and working through. We’ve already passed legislation that tried to get rid of the 87,000 IRS agents that they were planning on hiring. We think that money can be used in better ways. We also dealt with language in the very first week with the Born Alive Act. That’s basically if a child is a victim of botched abortion they have to provide medical care,” he said.

Bost said they put together a committee dealing with China.

“China is trying to buy up a lot of farmland in the United States. They’re trying to use their imperialist ideas through the World Trade Organization and try to put themselves in a position where they can basically overpower us. We passed a resolution last week condemning the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for their passing over the United States with a spy balloon and their tactics there. In the VA, we’re dealing with implementing all of the legislation we’ve already passed. The PACT Act is dealing with post-911 veterans who had toxic exposure and making sure the VA is ready to handle those issues,” he said.

Bost and Nashville mayor photo caption: FROM LEFT, U.S. Rep. Mike Bost and Nashville mayor Raymond Kolweier pose for a photo after their meeting at Nashville City Hall on Thursday, February 16.

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