The 21st Show

Rep. Cheri Bustos On Representing The Midwest In House Leadership, Gun Control, And More


Robin Linn/Illinois Public Media

Representative Cheri Bustos is a Democrat representing Illinois’ 17th Congressional district, which includes parts of Peoria, Rockford and the Quad Cities. She spoke with Niala Boodhoo, host of The 21st, at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee offices in Washington, D.C. on Thursday morning.

Congressional leaders are looking ahead to 2020- not just because there will be a presidential election, but because every single member of the House, including the Democrats who swept into power this year, will have to win another election.

Cheri Bustos is one of those leaders who’s thinking hard about how to keep the majority that the Democrats have won. After winning her own re-election easily, she was elected chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Today, she’s the fifth-highest ranking Democratic House member.

We spoke with Rep. Bustos in her DCCC office in Washington on the one year anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida. Bustos said she had a chance to sit down with some of the students from Parkland. 

"Their parting words to me were, they wanted us to do something that would pass and could become law." 

Rep. Bustos says criminal background checks are something that could be passed on a bi-partisan basis. "I don’t think every Republican will support this but I think it’s a reasonable piece of legislation that will keep guns away from criminals."

"We do what we can in a divided government. Republicans control the Senate, Democrats control the House and we have a Republican in the White House. Where can we come together? I guess my question back to Rodney Davis: What will he support?"

Story source: WILL