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."
Illinois’ elected officials are warning that looming sequester budget cuts would have significant impacts on Scott Air Force Base.
Located in Mascoutah, IL, in the Metro East, Scott Air Force Base about 13,000 military and civilian personnel, making it one of the largest employers in the St. Louis region.
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says the $85 billion in across-the-board cuts set to kick in on Friday would affect about 4500 civilian employees at Scott and would cause significant harm to the readiness of our military.