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Illinois leaders weigh in on Boehner’s resignation, potential government shutdown


From Illinois Business Journal news servicews

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Members of the Illinois Congressional delegation had words of praise for House Speaker John Boehner, who stunned political circles today with his announced plans to resign.

Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, will step down from office at the end of October, acting even as Congress faces another potential government shutdown.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, said, “Today, Speaker Boehner did what he has always done: He put our country before himself. Speaker Boehner is the only speaker to ever visit my hometown of Taylorville, Illinois, and his leadership has allowed me to advance the priorities of my constituents, and for that I am forever grateful.

“Under his leadership, I was able to serve on two conference committees to move legislation critical to Illinois agriculture and transportation, as well as have two bills signed into law. I look forward to continuing to be part of a strong conference that puts the priorities of the American people first.”

U.S. Senate Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, also had praise.

“I served with John Boehner in the House and worked with him as a Senator. Despite our differences, I applaud his commitment to our nation and a life of public service. The chaos in the House Republican Conference, the palace intrigue, and the extremism of some of his members have resulted in the House’s failure to address basic issues, and now in the Speaker’s resignation.
“John Boehner tried to keep his conference in the mainstream, and his departure raises questions about the future of a party that thinks Boehner is not radical enough to lead the House and that Donald Trump is the right man to be president.

Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, also had kind words.

“I appreciate Speaker Boehner’s service and wish him and his family the very best in the next chapter of their lives. As the House prepares to elect a new Speaker, it’s as important as ever that we work toward a shared commitment in tackling the serious challenges facing hardworking families – challenges that are only being made worse by this Administration’s misguided policies.”

Durbin was visiting Scott Air Force Base just as news was filtering around America from the early morning announcement. He was here to talk about the effects that a potential government shutdown could have on the military. Such a shutdown is looming over a growing budget dispute over using federal funds to support Planned Parenthood.

“Without Congressional action, the government will shut down on Oct. 1,” he said.

Durbin discussed the possible implications for Scott Air Force Base and the ripple effect on the local economy. Scott had 3,400 civilian workers sent home immediately without pay during the 2013 shutdown. Those who were required to report for duty  — including all of the base’s 5,000 military personnel — were required to work and wait for eventual reimbursement. Scott Air Force Base has a $1.6 billion economic impact on the local area, including supporting thousands of indirect jobs.

“In 2013, a small, vocal minority forced a shutdown for 16 days and every part of this regional economy felt the impact. Here at Scott Air Force Base, workers and families were forced to limit their spending and stretch their savings while the unnecessary crisis dragged on,” Durbin said. “I hope that cooler heads will prevail in the coming days and Congress gets busy taking care of the work we were sent here to do — fund the government and develop a budget that enables our country to thrive. We do not have time for threats of government shutdowns when we know how devastating they can be on working families.”

In 2013, about 850,000 federal workers were furloughed at the peak of the shutdown. There are currently about 45,000 federal civilian employees in Illinois. Estimates found the shutdown cost the U.S. economy approximately $24 billion, and consumer confidence dropped more than 4 points.

A shutdown legally prohibits federal departments, agencies, and the District of Columbia from entering into any further financial obligations for activities funded by the annual appropriations bills that have lapsed, with the exemption of activities affecting the safety of life or protection of property. For Illinois, this will mean worker furloughs, delays in Social Security and veterans benefits, ceased grant and loan processing across several federal agencies, and closure of national parks and sites.

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