Rahm Emanuel, other Illinois mayors urge White House, Illinois lawmakers to make a debt deal

SHARE Rahm Emanuel, other Illinois mayors urge White House, Illinois lawmakers to make a debt deal

WASHINGTON–Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s former Chief of Staff, and 41 other Illinois mayors–from Democratic and Republican turf–urged the White House and the Illinois congressional delegation on Thursday to make a deal to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a default on Aug. 2.

“We are asking you to overcome partisanship with leadership and demonstrate to

our country that Congress is focused on stabilizing our markets. We are asking you to

help create jobs and ensure the success of our cities, our State, and our country. We are

asking you to please address the debt ceiling now,” said the letter to Obama and the 19 Illinois lawmakers.

Emanuel organized the group letter, a City Hall spokesman told me. The mayors span the state, from Waukegan on the north to Mt. Vernon on the south, plus many in the Chicago suburbs. The Illinois congressional delegation has a 11 Republican and 8 Democratic split.

Below, the letter….

Dear Mr. President and Honorable Members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation,

As mayors in the great State of Illinois, we have a keen understanding of our

cities’ needs. Both cultural and economic hubs, cities are vital to our state’s success. Our

residents depend on us for core services such as police and fire protection.

Our businesses depend on us to provide infrastructure to allow them to move their goods and services.

However, we cannot provide all of these on our own; we rely on federal programs such as

the Community Development Block Grant, Community Oriented Policing Programs, and

Federal Transportation subsidies to help provide these much needed services. Our seniors

rely on Social Security to make ends meet. As we listen to the discussion in Washington

surrounding the debt ceiling crisis, we fear that all of this is in jeopardy.

Failure to successfully moderate the discussion and bring both parties to resolve

this crisis is unacceptable. It will cause grave damage for our cities — we simply cannot

handle another recession. Instability in the municipal bond markets impedes our ability

to build infrastructure and create jobs. Job creation, the top priority of Illinois mayors and

Illinois businesses, cannot happen with such uncertainty surrounding the national debt.

We cannot emphasize more how great the impact is for our cities and our State if you

cannot come up with a solution.

We are asking you to overcome partisanship with leadership and demonstrate to

our country that Congress is focused on stabilizing our markets. We are asking you to

help create jobs and ensure the success of our cities, our State, and our country. We are

asking you to please address the debt ceiling now.

Sincerely,

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Mayor Thomas Giarrante Mayor Tom Weisner

City of Chicago City of Joliet City of Aurora

Mayor Donald Welvaert Mayor Don Gerard Mayor Scott Eisenhauer

City of Moline City of Champaign City of Danville

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl Mayor John Thodos Mayor Gerald Bennett

City of Evanston City of East Moline City of Palos Hills

Mayor Jim Ardis Mayor Edward Zabrocki Mayor Robert Sabonjian

City of Peoria Village of Tinley Park City of Waukegan

Village President Roger Claar Mayor Gary Niebur

Village of Bolingbrook City of Edwardsville

Mayor Laurel Prussing Mayor Robert Eschbach

City of Urbana City of Ottawa

Village President B.J. Hackler Village President Al Larson

Village of St. Joseph Village of Schuamburg

Mayor Darryl Lindberg Village President Arlene Mulder

City of Loves Park Village of Arlington Heights

Mayor Gary Niebur Village President David Owen

City of Edwardsville Village of South Chicago Heights

Mayor Leon Rockingham Village President Joseph Broda

City of North Chicago Village of St. Joseph

Village President Eugene Williams Mayor Gerald Daugherty

Village of Lynwood City of Mascoutah

Mayor Chet Olson Village President Michael Gorman

City of Rochelle Village of Riverside

Village President Dale Adams Village President Thomas Gray

Village of Rockton Village of Chatham

Mayor Dick Deitz Mayor Andr B. Ashmore

City of McLeansboro Village of Matteson

Mayor Daniel J. McLaughlin Mayor Gail Mitchell

Village of Orland Park City of Fairview Heights

Mayor William Murphy Mayor Mary Jane Chesley

Village of Woodridge City of Mt. Vernon

Mayor Tom Hoescht Mayor Gary Graham

City of Alton City of O’Fallon

Mayor Kevin Hutchinson Mayor Dennis Pauley

City of Columbia City of Rock Island

Village President Ray Muniz Village President Christopher Canning

Village of St. Jacob Village of Wilmette

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