CHAMPAIGN – Republican Rodney Davis is running for a fifth term as the congressman from Illinois’ 13th District. In an interview with Illinois Newsroom’s Jim Meadows, Davis says the top problem on the minds of voters in his district is the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hear Rep. Davis’ interview via Zoom with Illinois Newsroom’s Jim Meadows here:
“Well, polling clearly shows this is the major issue that voters care about the most,” says the 50-year-old Davis. “But that hasn’t stopped them from caring about creating jobs and getting back to the historic economic growth that we had on March 13th of this year (the day the president issued two national emergency declarations due to COVID-19), and the historic low unemployment rates that were sustained around 3.5%. Absolutely, they’re still concerned about getting our economy back to where it was and, and getting the workforce back into the jobs that they enjoy.”
“I’ve delivered on the promises that I made,” says Davis in summing up his main message to voters. “I promised to be a bipartisan legislator in Washington D.C., the 13th ranked most bipartisan member of the House of Representatives out of 435 members by the Lugar Center, which is the gold standard in measuring bipartisanship in Washington. And we need bipartisan solutions, now more than ever in Washington, and I’m the person to make that happen.”
“The Affordable Care Act (ACA), albeit with good procedures and policies like protecting pre-existing condition coverage for every American, which I support, and will never sacrifice, there are still problems with that legislation,” says Davis, who has voted for the ACA’s repeal. “And it’s the problems that have left 60 million Americans behind. Twenty-nine million Americans still don’t have access to health care coverage. Thiry-one million more Americans have coverage, that if they were diagnosed with a pre-existing condition, they can’t afford to use it. I tried to fix that, by voting for a piece of legislation I helped negotiate (the American Health Care Act, a measure which Republicans passed in the House in 2017 that would have partially repealed the ACA) that would have protected pre-existing condition coverage for every single American. It would have lowered premiums for Americans so that insurance coverage could have been more affordable for those 60 million Americans. So what we do now is I think we have to take a look back at some of the solutions that I and many others put forth.”
When Democrats pushed police reform legislation (the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act) through the House this summer, following protests against police killings of unarmed African-Americans, Davis supported the House companion of an alternative Senate measure, the Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere (JUSTICE) Act, sponsored by Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina.
“Tim Scott is an African-American Republican,” says Davis. “He tells a story of racial profiling even at the Capitol as an elected official. He has laid out a piece of legislation that would implement many of the things that we’ve already put in place here in Illinois, which are better training programs, to talk about deescalation techniques, to introduce social justice issues. It puts in place many different procedures and protocols to do what I think needs to be done in the United States to address issues within law enforcement. But at the same time, we’ve got to recognize that 99.9% of law enforcement officers in this country do their job every day to protect every single American, regardless of who you are, or what you look like.”
Democrats used procedural means to block a Senate vote on the Republican-backed JUSTICE Act, and Davis chided Illinois’ two Democratic senators, Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, for taking part. Meanwhile, Republican leaders are not expected to allow the Democrats’ police reform bill to come up for a vote in the Senate.
Davis is running against Democratic challenger Betsy Dirksen Londrigan of Springfield, who he narrowly defeated in 2018.
Hear an interview with Dirksen Londrigan here.