Crain’s Chicago Business: Five Local Congressmen do Illinois Proud

Tuesday, April 3, 2012, Crain’s Chicago Buisness
by Greg Hinz

At a time when Illinois pols continue to make the wrong kind of news — ex-Blagojevich chief of staff Lon Monk is being sentenced today — it’s  noteworthy that a few of them quietly are making the right kind of news.

There was a rather interesting U.S. House vote last week that didn’t get  much notice, but it’s a sign that, on some matters, the Land of Lincoln actually  can still lead.   The vote was on an alternate budget vote. Not the slash-burn one offered by  GOP budget buster Paul Ryan, or the “no worries/tax the rich” approach favored  by too many Democrats.

Rather, this budget sought to implement the findings of the Simpson-Bowles  Commission, which actually dared to go after whole herds of sacred cows on both  sides of the partisan fence.    The budget plan would have trimmed the deficit by more than $4 trillion  over the next 10 years, with two-thirds of the savings coming from cuts in  spending including social welfare programs and one-third from closing specific  tax loopholes while also lowering the tax rate.

Predictably, the measure got beaned by both sides, and lost 38-382 in the  House. But among the 38 yeas were five of Illinois’ 19 congressmen, including  Chicago Democrats Dan Lipinski and Mike Quigley, suburban Republican Robert  Dold, and downstate Republicans Tim Johnson and John Shimkus.

Good for them. The bill wasn’t perfect, but it sure was a lot closer than  anything being offered by leaders of either party.  And boos for Illinois colleagues who could have but didn’t go along. Two  are particularly disappointing: Chicago Democrat Jesse Jackson Jr., who likes to  hold himself as a bit of an independent but didn’t vote on the bill, and  Hinsdale Republican Judy Biggert, who I think knows better but is too easily  reined in by leadership and voted “no.”

I trust they and the other “no” hard cases — including Democrats Bobby  Rush, Jan Schakowsky and Luis Gutierrez, and Republicans Randy Hultgren, Adam  Kinzinger, Peter Roskam and Joe Walsh — will have a chance later to make  amends.

Trust me, folks, we’re going to have a lot more votes on budget reform  before Congress gets it right.


By | 2017-02-14T15:42:03+00:00 April 3rd, 2012|News|0 Comments

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