Congressmen Back Home Without a Clear Path in Washington

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Originally published on April 19, 2017 3:35 pm

U.S. Representatives Darin Lahood, R-Peoria, and Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, have been joining forces in touring their home districts during Congress' spring break. They say they're trying to bring back a  consensus from voters on some issues in which there clearly isn't one for Republicans in Washington.

“Our Republican caucus, we’re like a big family. We don't agree on everything but we have to come together to come up with a solution [on healthcare]. So, this recess that I’ve been home, I’ve been talking to a lot of people on both sides of it, trying to get some consensus on what we do to move forward," LaHood said.

Davis said there's concern in Washington in how states like Illinois would manage under a new Medicaid system. "We're looking for ways to incentivize people getting people off Medicaid. That should be our goal," he said.

Davis also mentioned tax reform as part of the national agenda, but there’s not much agreement on that yet either. Both lawmakers say they’re hearing from Illinois voters with different ideas on various issues.

One concrete item both congressmen are pushing is a proposal to designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail. A potential barrier for that plan is the president -- Trump's budget proposal would make severe cuts to the National Park Service. LaHood says he's against those cuts.

At one of their stops, Jungle Jim’s Cafe in Springfield, voter Susan Smarjesse had a simple message for President Trump and Congress: slow down.


“We’re making a lot of changes in our government, which need to be done. But I think we need to be really careful how we do them," she said.

LaHood is scheduled to conduct his first town hall meeting of the year Wednesday. It's in Washington, Illinois, outside Peoria. Davis does not have any town hall meetings planned.

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