Congressman Bill Foster and representatives from the Concord Coalition hosted a federal budget exercise at Joliet Junior College for community members on Monday, Nov. 4.
Approximately 35 area residents, including seven elected officials, gathered to work in small groups and review the current federal budget, deciding together what should be kept, added or cut from the budget in an effort to reduce the national debt.
“As a businessman, I look for a win-win situation,” Foster said. “We’re here today to work on a set of policies that will do the most good for the most number of people.”
Sara Imhof of the non-partisan Concord Coalition group began the exercise with a presentation detailing the current federal budget situation and the areas expected to become an even larger burden on the budget in the coming years, such as Medicare/Medicaid.
According to the Coalition’s website, the organization is dedicated to educating the public about the causes and consequences of federal budget deficits, the long-term challenges facing America’s unsustainable entitlement programs, and how to build a sound economy for future generations.
Elected officials who participated in the exercise included:
– Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, State Senator
– Reed Bible, Will County Board member
– Duffy Blackburn, Will County Auditor
– Linda Chapa-LaVia, State Rep
– Ken Griffin, Romeoville trustee
– Heather Kazmark (from the office of Rep. Kifowit)
– Larry Walsh Jr., State Rep
– Denise Winfrey, Will County Board member
After reviewing and discussing aspects of the federal budget, each group presented their proposals. Foster said he would take the feedback and ideas from participants back to Washington and use them to inform his votes on upcoming budget issues.
“Congress has to work together to reduce the deficit,” he said. “We cannot put our economy at risk. I’m here to represent you and get your feedback on these issues.”