This year, Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos spent the Fourth of July in the Middle East. She traveled there last week with 10 other members of the U.S. House during a bipartisan mission led by Florida Congressman Ted Deutch, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East.
During the trip, they met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top Israeli officials. Bustos says they also met with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh.
"I certainly remain optimistic that we'll be able to work towards a two-state solution and certainly the Palestinian Prime Minister wants to make sure we don't lose site of that."
While in the Middle East, she celebrated Independence Day with servicemen and women in Qatar at a U.S. Air Force Base.
"Our men and women in uniform, those who I had a chance to talk one on one with from the state of Illinois, we all can be very, very proud of. And on top of that our leadership. I met with generals over there, colonels and captains, and they're some of the best anywhere in the world."
Her other stops included a U.S. Naval Base in Greece, plus meetings with government officials in Switzerland and Cyprus.