A congressman who represents Chicago's northwest suburbs condemned the uproar of violence and hatred displayed in Charlottesville, Virginia.
U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Schaumburg, attended the annual McLean County Democrats Baldini Dinner in the Prairie Room at Illinois State University's Bone Student Center on Wednesday evening. Krishnamoorthi told GLT the events that unfolded have no place in America.
"There is no equivalence between hate preachers and those who oppose them," said Krishnamoorthi. "Edmund Bruke once said, 'All that's necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.' We have to do something to get at the root of what's going on in the rise of bigotry and hatred."
Krishnamoorthi, who represents Illinois' 8th Congressional District, said he plans to propose a bipartisan Independent Hate Crimes Commission to investigate the reasons for the seemingly drastic increase of bigotry in the U.S.
He tackled other issues facing Washington in the near future:
Krishnamoorthi's first suggestion for handling North Korea is toning down the rhetoric. He said he hopes "everyone stops tweeting" about the country.
"Secondly, I think that we have to use regional diplomacy to resolve this problem peacefully. That means working with the Chinese, who have tremendous leverage with the North Koreans," said Krishnamoorthi, noting that China is the only country that currently trades with North Korea. "And third, we do have to defend ourselves, make sure that our allies are defended in a responsible manner."
Krishnamoorthi said he supports the use of a missile defense system that can thwart an attack from North Korea to the United States or other neighboring countries.
When Congress goes back into session, Republicans and Democrats will begin negotiations to raise the debt ceiling. He said it's important for the U.S. to pay its bills to uphold the value and power of the dollar.
"We have to raise the debt ceiling to pay our bills," said Krishnamoorthi. "I hope that folks on both sides of the aisle understand that concept. I think a lot of Democratic support will be needed to deliver this particular vote. In return I hope that everyone is responsible with the federal budget and spending."
When asked how easily bipartisanship can be achieved, Krishnamoorthi said:
"You've seen what's happened with health care. Unfortunately, we weren't able to come to terms on much-needed reforms to improve the system. If one side decides they're going to do it entirely in a partisan fashion, then it will be very difficult to come to terms.
"But if they decide that it's time to compromise, and try to bargain a proper solution to this problem, I think we'll come to terms."
Krishnamoorthi immigrated from India to the U.S, settling with his family in Peoria. He completed his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at Princeton University and his law degree from Harvard University.
He was elected to Congress in 2016, preceded by current U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill. The congressman's platform focuses on Medicare and Medicaid maintenance, gun safety legislation, small business protection and affordable education.
The Baldini Dinner honors the life of former McLean County Democratic Chair John Baldini, owner of Bloomington's Lucca Grill.
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