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Rep. Davis Urges Senate Reconsideration Of Jan. 6 Commission, Pushes Pritzker Veto Of Legislative Maps

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Dana Vollmer
/
WGLT
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis on Wednesday joined state Sen. Jason Barickman and state Rep. Dan Brady, both Republicans from Bloomington, in calling on Gov. JB Pritzker to veto lawmaker-drawn legislative maps. They met at a corner of Uptown Normal, a legislative boundary between the 13th and 18th congressional districts.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis fears the Senate’s rejection of a proposal to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol will leave important questions unanswered.

Davis, R-Taylorville, was one of 35 House Republicans to recently vote in favor of the measure — out of 211 GOP House members. The measure fell short of the 60 votes needed to pass in the Senate, despite garnering bipartisan support in that chamber, as well.

Davis said he’s disappointed by the outcome and hopes to see the idea revisited.

“I don't know why it got tagged as being anti-Trump only, anti-Republican when our mission in January—putting forth our original bill that was incorporated into this—got every Republican to vote for it,” Davis said at a stop Wednesday in Uptown Normal. “But things change and I certainly hope that we can get answers that we need. It's certainly not only Republicans that need to be providing answers.”

Davis said Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi needs to answer to why Capitol security was “at such a terrible point” prior to the insurrection. Davis said that’s not likely to happen if House Democrats create a select committee—one of four options Speaker Pelosi has proposed to move the committee forward.

The other options include: holding a second Senate vote on the original commission; allowing existing congressional committees to continue their separate investigations; and empowering one existing committee, like the Homeland Security Committee, to take charge of the probe.

Pelosi has reportedly shot down suggestions that President Joe Biden form a presidential commission that would require Congress to grant subpoena power and allocate funding.

Davis said the original committee proposal is sound.

“My fear is that now that this bipartisan commission—that was even, that had Republican and Democrat subpoena power, consensus, subpoena power, didn't have members of Congress able to serve on it, had a certain timeline to get it done—I'm afraid the next step is going to be a partisan select committee that the speaker will set up, that the Sseaker will control and that will shield her from answering any questions about her and her team's involvement in the security posture, or lack thereof.”

Davis said the issue won’t go away, regardless of the outcome of a potential second Senate vote.

Redistricting

Illinois Republicans are continuing their calls for Gov. JB Pritzker to veto legislative maps drawn by state lawmakers.

Illinois Democrats last week hastily pushed through new legislative district maps over the objections of Republicans and community advocacy organizations. They argue Democrats are not acting in good faith in their handling of the once-in-a-decade process.

The new maps now go to the governor’s desk. The governor has repeatedly said he wants to see a “fair” map, but has been careful not to make commitments on what the majority party does with legislative boundaries.

GOP lawmakers cite a 2018 campaign promise the governor made to veto any redistricting maps “in any way drafted or created by legislators, political party leaders and/or their staffs or allies.” Pritzker told Capitol Fax he supported the creation of an independent commission to draw the maps.

Davis joined state Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, and state Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, in calling on the governor to stick to that pledge.

“He couldn't have been more clear: ‘I will pledge to veto.’ Here's your shot. Make it happen,” Davis said. “Otherwise, I think we're going to see a republican resurgence here in Illinois and I think you'll see a new governor in the governor's mansion.”

Davis said new maps—whether drawn by lawmakers or an independent committee—mean voter bases will change for GOP candidates. He said they’re prepared for the challenge, but the disadvantage could be insurmountable with egregiously gerrymandered districts.

“We do it all the time,” Davis said. “It’s not as though this partisan gerrymandering didn't happen 10 years ago. I'm a prime example in the 13th district of partisan gerrymandering. It's not a coincidence. My district has four public universities, four private universities, and eight community college districts. That's how you drew a marginal district 10 years ago to try and win for a Democrat in central Illinois that's becoming more and more Republican. So we've been able to beat the trend. But it didn't stop them from trying.”

The governor has until June 30 to approve the new maps. If he doesn’t, map-making goes to a commission of eight people, four from each political party. The group must agree on maps by Aug. 10. If a tiebreaker vote is needed, the name of either a Republican or Democrat will be drawn from a hat in early October.

Both Democrats and Republicans want to avoid the October lottery that gives the other party a 50/50 shot at running the remap process.

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