.grecaptcha-badge { visibility: hidden; }

Durbin Backs More Local COVID-19 Relief; Endorses Duckworth For VP

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., speaks to reporters at East Peoria City Hall following a meeting with local politicians, educators, and union members on Thursday, July 16, 2020.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says Congress needs to do more to help state and local governments weather the economic turmoil wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking to reporters in East Peoria on Thursday, Durbin said he supported House legislation that would provide aid to state and local governments as part of the next round of stimulus. That bill hasn’t gained the Republican support to gain momentum in the GOP-controlled upper chamber.

Durbin, a Democrat, said the net result of not helping governments stem their revenue losses is more job losses.

“We’re talking about police. We’re talking about health care professionals. We’re talking about teachers. You know, that is not going to help us move forward. We need to give these state and local governments a bigger helping hand,” he said.

Durbin said he thinks it’s a “long shot” that Congress will actually make much progress on additional COVID-19 relief when it reconvenes next week, but he hopes something gets accomplished when the Republican-controlled Senate meets for three weeks, and the Democrat-controlled House convenes for two weeks–whether that’s an extension of enhanced unemployment benefits, or more aid for struggling businesses and governments.

“If we made an announcement that we’re going to stay an extra week to get one of those things done, it’s worth it,” Durbin said. “For goodness’ sake, all the Senate ever does is pass judicial nominees from Senator McConnell. We ought to get down to business of addressing the issues that will affect the economy right here in central Illinois.”

Backs Duckworth for VP

Durbin, the state’s senior senator, is now formally backing his colleague, U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, also a Democrat, to be the Democratic vice presidential candidate this fall.

Durbin urged the Democratic Party of Illinois to make the endorsement Wednesday, telling reporters she’s the right pick.

“I’m honored to have her as my colleague. I think she’s an exceptional American. And I think she would be a great running mate for Joe Biden,” said Durbin, noting he first met Duckworth a few months after her helicopter was shot down in Iraq in 2004. He said he was impressed with her from the start, and later supported her bids for the U.S. House and Senate when she decided to enter politics.

Biden said he will select a woman to be his running mate, but has yet to announce his choice. The Democratic National Convention is Aug. 17-20 in Milwaukee.

Tim Shelley is the News Director for WCBU in Peoria.

COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. We recommend checking the Coronavirus Information Center for the most recent numbers and guidance.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Illinois Public Radio

Illinois Public Radio

Illinois Newsroom gets stories from public radio stations from across the state, including WBEZ-Chicago, WCBU-Peoria, WGLT-Normal, WVIK-Rock Island, WIUM-Macomb, WNIJ-DeKalb, WSIU-Carbondale, WUIS-Springfield, and St. Louis Public Radio.

Recent Content

WILL and the Illinois Newsroom are committed to bringing you in-depth, relevant coverage that keeps you informed and engages you with our community and our state. Join with thousands of others to keep this important public media-based resource available to all.