The three U.S. House members who represent the metro-east issued a joint statement Saturday, calling on the U.S. senators from Illinois — Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth — to support a funding bill that would end the shutdown of the federal government.
The statement was issued by Reps. Mike Bost, of Murphysboro; John Shimkus, of Collinsville; and Rodney Davis, of Taylorville — all Republicans. Durbin and Duckworth are Democrats.
Bost, Shimkus and Davis accused Durbin of forcing the shutdown as a way to undo President Donald Trump’s ending of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. That immigration program protected children brought to the United States illegally by their parents from deportation.
Durbin, speaking on the Senate floor, put the blame on Trump.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
“This president, at this point, is impossible to negotiate with — it’s impossible,” Durbin said. “We can’t wait for an approval stamp from the White House to do our work here.”
The Bost-Shimkus-Davis statement follows:
“Last night, Senators Durbin and Duckworth put their party’s leadership over the priorities of Illinois by voting to shut down the government. They voted against our military, against long-term funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and against keeping our government open.
“Their actions have endangered funding for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the middle of a nation-wide flu epidemic. Senator Durbin once said shutting down the government is ‘cowardice,’ but now he is leading the charge with Senator Schumer for this shutdown over a deadline for DACA that is more than a month away.
“We are asking Senators Durbin and Duckworth to vote on the substance of the bill; we are asking them to vote to reopen the government up immediately. Holding the government hostage over unrelated issues that we have all committed to addressing is no way to govern.”
Duckworth press secretary Kiera Ellis issued a response:
“The American people didn’t send Donald Trump to the White House and Republicans to control both Houses of Congress so they could pass the buck and blame everyone else for their failure to pass Republican-authored bills that could have prevented this crisis. The people of Illinois will see right through Congressmen Bost, Davis and Shimkus’ ridiculous position that they and Trump have no responsibility for this shutdown.”
Kelly issues statement
Brendan Kelly, a Democrat running to face Bost in Illinois’ 12th district, issued the following statement:
“We woke up this morning without a functioning government because there are too few members of Congress that have the guts to throw out the same old pathetic playbook that puts party over country. The powerful few send out their competing press releases and tweets and hash-tags while they tear the country apart and the people of Southern Illinois suffer. We’re sick of it and it’s yet another reason those in power have to go.”