Daily Herald staff, I hope you hear me and can get the word out to my congresspeople here in Illinois. Get to work, Congress! Are you listening? Here is my message:
1. Pass a budget that puts federal employees back to work. I would argue that my service to the American people, which protects their health and the environment through my work for the EPA, is not "nonessential."
2. Pass a budget for the entire FY14 so that federal employees like me are not back on furlough in a few weeks or a few months. I want to go back to work as soon as possible in order to spare myself and two young daughters, for whom I am the sole wage earner, additional financial harm. The financial uncertainty of a short-term continuing resolution harms my family and other Americans now and into the future.
3. Work toward a comprehensive solution to the budget that raises the debt ceiling before the upcoming October deadline. Americans aren't deadbeats. We need to pay our bills.
4. Stop all efforts blocking implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The law allows Americans more affordable access to health care and reins in insurance companies who are thinking only about profits. This is a critical need to keep Americans, like my sister who does not have employee-based health care benefits, healthy and our economy strong.
Candice R. Bauer