Illinois U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis says Chicago may have to call the National Guard back to the city if it is unable to prevent further looting.
“At the same time cities are asking Congress to provide a bailout for local sales tax revenue shortfalls how in the world can we be OK with a big driver of local sales tax revenue in the Magnificent Mile being destroyed on a regular basis?” said Davis, a Republican, Monday on “Chicago Tonight.” “Something’s gotta be done and I certainly hope that the mayor and Gov. Pritzker take this very seriously.”
Davis said that if the looting continues, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. J.B. Pritzker “may need to think about sending in the Illinois National Guard like they did before.” He made the suggestion in the aftermath of looting and violence downtown early Monday morning. The disturbances saw police exchanging gunfire with looters and led to more than 100 arrests and injuries to 13 officers, according to the Chicago Police Department.
Illinois U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat, called the looting “devastating” and said that “any kind of criminality or violence is completely unacceptable.”
But Krishnamoorthi said additional federal law enforcement agents should only be deployed at the invitation of the mayor or the governor.
“We just don’t want a situation like Portland where federal involvement would be independent of what the local authorities are doing. But this type of criminality has to stop,” Krishnamoorthi said.
After Democratic and GOP lawmakers in Washington failed to agree on a second stimulus deal, President Donald Trump on Saturday signed a series of executive orders in an effort to aid the virus-stricken economy.
The orders include a $400 boost to unemployment insurance and a temporary payroll tax referral, something Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska characterized in a statement as “unconstitutional slop” — an assessment supported by Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
According to Krishnamoorthi, the president’s unilateral actions will only delay a more comprehensive deal.
“It delays action. The White House negotiators basically retreated into a corner. And setting aside the constitutionality of these orders, they are just wholly unresponsive to the magnitude of the need out there — not to mention they are unworkable,” Krishnamoorthi said. “The first $100 of this supposed $400 bump (to unemployment insurance) would have to come from the very states that are broke right now and asking for aid from the federal government.”
But Davis, whose downstate district includes part of Champaign and Sangamon counties, says much of the money from the first stimulus package has yet to reach those in need.
“Eighty-three percent, according to an inspector general’s report, of the CARES Act dollars — hundreds of millions of dollars — have still yet to be disbursed by the state of Illinois to our local communities,” Davis said. “Let’s get that out.”
Last week, Davis tested positive for COVID-19. But unlike his Republican colleague Texas U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert — who openly flouted face mask guidelines — Davis, whose wife Shannon is a nurse and cancer survivor, says he and his staff have been strictly following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — even before he tested positive for the coronavirus.
He is currently quarantining at home.
“I’m wearing a mask and socially distancing from my wife because she has to quarantine with me at home,” Davis said. “We’ve been separated the entire time since my diagnosis on Wednesday. She tested negative and so did my family and all the staff that were with me on the two days before my diagnosis.”
Davis says that so far he has only experienced mild symptoms.
“I feel good,” Davis said. “Today’s been the worst day I’ve had but it’s a slight increase in fever and a little congestion — but very minimal. I’m blessed. I’m nowhere near the symptoms that many people who have this disease are having right now.”