Democrats blast House Republicans for planned forum on Chicago crime instead of working to avert a government shutdown
Chicago Democrats on Monday lambasted Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee for planning a crime forum in Chicago on Tuesday, rather than working to avoid a federal government shutdown.
Republican members of the committee plan to blame Chicago’s violent crime on Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and what they say are her “pro-crime and anti-victim policies” at the forum Tuesday at the city’s Fraternal Order of Police office on the Near West Side, according to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan’s office.
Jordan went on social media Monday to criticize Chicago’s handling of violent crime, writing on the platform X that a string of armed robberies in Chicago is “what happens when Democrats run your city.” In another post, he wrote, “30 shot. 3 killed. One weekend. Democrat-run Chicago.”
Foxx — who is not seeking reelection — told the Sun-Times Jordan is coming to Chicago rather than fulfilling his obligations to his constituents as the nation is on the verge of a “Republican sponsored government shutdown.” She also took aim at Chicago FOP President John Catanzara, who last year apologized for comments he initially made in defense of Jan. 6 insurrectionists.
“Instead of focusing on the victims of mass shootings caused by weak gun protection laws, including in his own district, he has chosen to be spend his time with John Catanzara — the man who in the immediate aftermath of January 6th, proclaimed it to be simply a protest,” Foxx said in a statement. “This behavior is not surprising, but it is alarming.”
Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the spotlight on Chicago shows that Republicans are more focused on “fearmongering and lies instead of doing the very basic function of the jobs they were elected to do — keep the government running.”
Legislation that funds the federal government expires this weekend. Without intervention from lawmakers, the government will shut down Sunday. Federal agencies would have to stop all nonessential work, and would not be able to issue paychecks as long as the shutdown lasts. The impact would hit roughly 2 million military personnel and more than 2 million civilian workers across the nation.
Speaking at Ald. Emma Mitts’ West Side office, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., called the GOP forum “unbelievable” and a distraction from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s struggles to gather enough votes to pass a short-term spending plan.
“Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, it’s not going to work,” Davis said, adding, “... the discussions at the FOP will do nothing to take away from the ineptitude that you’ve got relative to keeping the government open.”
Jordan, R-Ohio, held a similar “field hearing” in New York in April — taking aim at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the prosecutor who charged former President Donald Trump with falsifying New York business records. Jordan used the hearing to call Bragg “soft-on-crime,” despite major crime in New York being down for the first four months of the year compared with the same period in 2022.
Expected to speak at the forum in Chicago Tuesday are Gianno Caldwell, a family member of a murder victim, retired Chicago Police Department Lt. John Garrido III and retired Chicago Police Officer Carlos Yanez Jr. Yanez was injured in the August 2021 shooting that killed his partner, police officer Ella French.
The Chicago event is not listed as an official hearing on the House Judiciary Committee’s website. Jordan’s office did not respond to questions about the forum, including what members would be in attendance.
According to crime statistics from the Chicago Police Department, while murder and shooting incidents have declined this year compared with the same time period last year, motor vehicle thefts have risen 86% and robberies are up 24%.