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Cook County Board President Preckwinkle in Washington for meetings

Cook County Board president Toni Preckwinkle. File Photo. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

WASHINGTON – Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle hits Capitol Hill on Tuesday and Wednesday, meeting with Chicago area House Democrats and Sen. Dick Durbin D-Ill., with no Republicans on her schedule.

Since Cook County includes GOP turf – and there are Republicans on the board – I asked Preckwinkle spokesman, Frank Shuftan about the Democratic-only meetings.

Preckwinkle is in Washington, said Shuftan, “to thank those members of the delegation who have been helpful to Cook County. Those noted earlier fit that definition and showed it, for example, in their support for the ACA, (the Affordable Care Act) a critical issue for Cook County. She has limited time and intends to use it speaking with the members who will assist on matters of importance to us.”

Cook County is a major health care provider, especially for the medically needy. Shuftan said she will meet with Reps. Bobby Rush; Robin Kelly; Danny Davis; Mike Quigley; Jan Schakowsky’ Raja Krishnamoorthi and Sen. Durbin.

Shuftan said the “Key issues to be discussed include health care and the ACA; federal programs that help support the County’s efforts on behalf of economic development, especially for hard-pressed communities in the south and west suburbs (programs such as CDBG, HOME funding); federal tax law and its impact on local government funding (the Durbin Marketplace Fairness Act); etc.

“It is possible that immigration may come in her discussions as well.

On Monday Preckwinkle joined other Democrats in deploring President Donald Trump’s zero tolerance child separation policy at the Mexican border, saying in a Tweet, I”t is reprehensible the Trump administration is separating children from their families and detaining them. Kids should not be pawns in what amounts to political posturing and bullying tactics. I urge residents to call their representatives in D.C. to make their voices heard. “