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In shutdown votes, Illinois Reps. Kinzinger, Rodney Davis defect from GOP

SHARE In shutdown votes, Illinois Reps. Kinzinger, Rodney Davis defect from GOP
SHARE In shutdown votes, Illinois Reps. Kinzinger, Rodney Davis defect from GOP

Illinois GOP House members Adam Kinzinger and Rodney Davis are among the small number of GOP defectors who sided with Democrats on Thursday to vote yes on piecemeal bills to reopen parts of the federal government closed because of President Donald Trump’s insistence on a border wall, a move to help inoculate themselves against Democrats coming after them in 2020.

The Kinzinger and Davis votes, for whatever reason, come at a time when Democrats dominate in Illinois and the blue wave could remain strong in the 2020 presidential year. Though Kinzinger and Davis could have sided with Democrats in earlier shutdown-related votes, they did not when the GOP was still in control of the House. The Democrats took over Jan. 3.

Newly empowered House Democrats are running a series of bills to reopen parts of the federal government shut down on Dec. 22 due to the impasse over Trump’s demand for a border wall –– the one he said Mexico would pay for.

On Wednesday, Kinzinger was one of eight Republicans voting with Democrats on a bill to reopen key Treasury agencies, including the IRS.

On Thursday, Kinzinger and Davis were two of 10 Republicans voting to reopen Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and related agencies.

Also on Thursday, Kinzinger and Davis were two of 12 Republicans voting to reopen the Department of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies.

Kinzinger is the only Chicago-area Republican House member left in the Illinois delegation who had the advantage of not getting a strong challenger in 2018.

Democratic freshmen Reps. Lauren Underwood and Sean Casten defeated now-former Reps. Randy Hultgren and Peter Roskam, whose districts sweep in the Chicago suburbs.

In November, Davis barely survived a challenge from Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, and his southern and central Illinois seat may be targeted again by Democrats again in 2020.

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