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posted: 3/12/2013 4:40 AM

Another perspective on Durbin trip

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Another perspective on Durbin trip

Robert Carlson, in a Feb. 28 letter, accused Senator Dick Durbin of failing to show leadership around our nation's budget issues. I'd like to offer another perspective which might set the record straight on a few points.

Senator Durbin did indeed travel to Africa and the Middle East recently. He apparently did so because of his new job as chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which puts him in charge of funding our country's military and intelligence operations. That's a huge responsibility, and I'm glad the well-seasoned guy who shoulders it is doing his due diligence.

To imply that Senator Durbin's trip to meet with our military leaders was irresponsible ignores one of the key parts of the trip: to see how the automatic budget cuts that kicked in recently will affect our fighting men and women overseas. Senator Durbin has been a leader on the debt for years. He's acknowledged the problem, crunched the numbers and proposed solutions. Apparently, few people are listening.

Personally, I think our debate around the government's finances ought to be thoughtful and respectful. But if we're going to start wagging fingers, let's at least make sure they're pointed in the right direction.

Jay Mitchell


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