Making a stop at Thursday afternoon, U.S Rep. Judy Biggert (R-13th) emphasized that while she was not in Washington, she was in no way on vacation, but was meeting with constituents as part of Congress’ district work period.
Biggert spoke to a crowd from the senior community, addressing a number of issues including the debt crisis, entitlements and redistricting. She told the crowd that Speaker of the House John Boehner said it was important for members of Congress to be out meeting with constituents.
“Now is really an interesting time in our lives,” Biggert said. “We are all feeling the same way … concern and how are we going to solve [the debt crisis].”
Going forward, she said that bipartisan cooperation is going to be needed if Congress is going to solve the debt crisis.
Avoiding default wasn’t easy, she said, but now that congressional leaders have chosen the super committee it will begin the work to decide what spending cuts will be made. The super committee is comprised of six Republicans and six Democrats, who Biggert said are all well skilled and knowledgeable.
“The other issue you really care about and just to reiterate—automatic cuts would not—and I repeat would not impact social security,” Biggert said.
In fact, she said that there might actually be a cost of living allowance increase for social security recipients in 2012.
“Members on both sides of the aisle realize we need to take action to keep the social security fund solvent for coming years,” she said.
Any changes to Medicare will not include changes to benefits for those over 55, she said. But, with a “tsunami” of baby boomers that will be accessing the fund in the next decade, she said it requires a review, but emphasizing that “we cannot do away with those benefits for those over 55.”
Residents were given the opportunity to ask questions, which ranged from how to create more jobs in the country to the recent redistricting.
On redistricting, Biggert said that she thought that the result of redistricting would be bad, but “not this bad.”
“I am just devastated on how this could happen,” she said. “This is just over the top.”
She said the lawsuit that was filed on behalf of Illinois Republican leaders is in the U.S. Court of Appeals and there have been a few court hearings already.
She said there should be another Latino seat and the map should be compact and contiguous. As it stands, Biggert would no longer represent residents in Naperville.
The Republicans have put together a new map and she said she hopes it gets considered, but of the current map, she said, “it looks like a spaghetti bowl.”