By: Daily Herald Editorial Board
Steering out of the COVID-19 pandemic and helping to engineer an economic recovery will be crucial dual priorities of the 117th Congress elected this fall. Navigating such challenges will require representatives with no small amount of knowledge as well as dedication to problem solving over political gain.
U.S. Rep. Bill Foster is up to those tasks, and we endorse him for reelection in the 11th Congressional District.
In our past endorsements of Foster, of Naperville, we have cited the usefulness of having a trained scientist in Congress. Foster’s Ph.D. from Harvard is in particle physics, which comes in handy for discussions of, say, the Iran nuclear deal, but also provides the grounding for addressing the existential crises of our time, COVID-19 and climate change.
Beyond that, an approach centered on facts and scientific reasoning is an asset whether you’re talking health care or education, military technology or the security of digital identities, the subject of a recent bill Foster sponsored with Republican Reps. John Katko of New York and Barry Loudermilk of Georgia and fellow Democratic Rep. Jim Langevin of Rhode Island.
Bipartisanship like that will be important in bringing the U.S. to lasting policies and solutions, rather than continuing the political ricochet that has so damaged our country on the world stage.
Foster takes a pragmatic approach on issues, backing Medicaid expansion and Medicare age reductions as steps toward eventual universal health coverage; background checks for gun buyers and a ban on manufacture of certain semi-automatic firearms and large-capacity ammunition magazines; and a “tough but fair” path to citizenship for people living in the U.S. illegally.
Republican opponent Rick Laib of Joliet takes a hard line, arguing against gun restrictions and any government involvement in health care but for stepped-up federal enforcement on immigration and border protection.
Foster, in his five terms in office, has shown himself to be rational and effective. Those strengths, as well as the value of his academic credentials at a time of abundant anti-science rhetoric, earn our backing and are deserving of voters’ support as well.