In the wake of the U.S. House vote on the federal budget, and looking ahead to the delayed vote for the Farm Bill and the future defense budget, Illinois Congressman Bill Enyart (D - Belleville) spoke with St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh yesterday by phone.
Here's what he had to say on a few subjects.
On his vote for the 2014 budget proposal, which passed in the House December 12.
Democratic Congressman Bill Enyart is frustrated with the partial government shutdown.
Enyart, who represents areas of Southern Illinois and East St. Louis, supports a continuing resolution that would allow the National Guard to be paid and put the VA and 70 percent of the CIA back to work. A veteran with over 35 years of military service, Enyart contends that the best way to support the troops is to reopen the government.
Illinois Congressman Bill Enyart is announcing new legislation to support biofuels used in the military.
At a Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville research center, the first-term Democrat outlined his legislation, which would incentivize the use of biofuels in the Air Force through competitive research grants.
Speaking next to leaders of farm and ethanol groups, Enyart announced the legislation just a couple miles from Scott Air Force Base.
According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, the wait time for veterans to receive benefits has skyrocketed from 116 days in 2009 to 330 days now. In response, US Representative Bill Enyart is sponsoring legislation to try to reduce that wait.
What the bill would do is pay partial, provisional benefits for veterans whose cases aren't handled within 125 days after they are submitted. Currently, that would apply to more than half a million veterans.
Two freshman Congressmen from southern Illinois want the Army Corps of Engineers to start thinking of ways it can coordinate management of the Mississippi River to keep cargo traffic flowing during droughts or floods.
"The bill would have the Corps treat the entire drainage system as one entity," said Democrat Bill Enyart, a co-sponsor along with Republican Rodney Davis. "How do you balance someone getting to go boating against being able to get barges full of soybeans and corn out to feed the world? As it stands today, we can't balance those."