Rare Meeting Offers a Glimmer of Bipartisanship

Jun 19, 2017

Two Illinois Congressmen held a rare bipartisan community meeting this weekend.

Congressman Rodney Davis was back home in Central Illinois. Days earlier, he was among  several Republicans to survive an assassination attempt at a baseball practice outside Washington. 

Davis was discussing health care with members of the Ministerial Alliance of Springfield. The meeting, which was closed to the press, was unusual in that it also included U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin — a fellow Congressman from the other party.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

“Well this is the first time it’s ever happened in my career,” Davis said.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill.

Congressmen meet with constituents all the time, but not with someone from across the aisle. In this case, the clergymen invited both Congressmen — well before last week’s shooting.

"It was civilized, and I hope gentlemanly, and I think the ministers agreed. And we have to encourage more people to do the same," Durbin said. 

The meeting comes as Republicans in Washington are working on a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. Republican Senators have said they hope to vote on the Obamacare repeal within the next two weeks.

"It was a debate on an issue that Sen. Durbin and I disagree on. But I want to send message to everyone: that we can disagree without being disagreeable. That's our job."