WASHINGTON — Illinois GOP Reps. Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger — both being mentioned as potential 2022 governor candidates — joined with Democrats on Tuesday to approve a measure to remove statues of Confederate leaders from the U.S. Capitol.
The move would, among other things, take down a bust of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, who in 1857 authored the Supreme Court Dred Scott decision that said people of African descent brought to the U.S. were not citizens. The plan is to install a bust of Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court justice, in his place.
The measure passed the House on a 285 to 120 roll call. A similar piece of legislation was advanced last by the Democratic-controlled House only to stall in what then was a GOP-run Senate. Now the Democrats run the Senate.
Kinzinger and Davis were among the 67 Republicans joining Democrats in backing the measure. Freshman Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill., did not vote.
The vote could play different ways in a primary and a general election in Illinois. If Kinzinger and Davis voted against this measure, it would have been used against them by Democrats in Illinois in the event they were the GOP nominee for governor. Still, in a GOP Illinois primary — in a state with a sizeable number of hard-line Trumpists — the vote to remove Confederate symbols could be harmful in a primary.
To watch: The votes of Davis and Kinzinger in the vote coming up, likely Wednesday, on the Democratic-authored measure to establish a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
In May, Davis and Kinzinger were among 35 Republicans who voted with Democrats to create a Jan. 6 commission probing the Capitol attack. That measure died in the Senate, so House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing ahead with a select committee, which is sure to pass on the strength of Democratic votes.
Biden pokes fun at Chicago
In Wisconsin, President Joe Biden, talking about potential of high speed rail between La Crosse and Chicago — he was touting the pending infrastructure bill — made a joke at Chicago’s expense.
“I don’t know why you’d go to Chicago.” He quickly added, “But — you know, all kidding aside — it would reduce the largest source of pollution in America: vehicle travel.”