From a Friend of McHenry County Blog after attending Congressman Sean Casten meeting in Algonquin:
The purpose of the meeting was a round table discussion on the partial government shutdown.
Jack Franks, McHenry County Board Chairman, was host and moderator. Approximately 120 people were in attendance.
In the opening remarks, Rep. Casten emphasized that the partial shutdown is not about border security – it is about two personalities – President Trump and Mitch McConnell.
He emphasized that there is bi-partisan agreement on the Democrat House Bills to fund the government that were approved but not taken up by the Senate.
He did also point out that there was a $1000 application fee for registering as a DACA recipient under the executive order that was originally written by President Obama.
Sarcastically, he said the wall would have been paid for if President trump did not cancel the Obama Executive Order.
Math tells me that there must be 5.3 M DACA eligible people in the US.
He also said the State of the Union Speech is “on Hold” as that is the No.1 security risk with the Super Bowl being the No.2 security risk.
He, and the Democrats, do NOT want people who have been deemed “essential” but not getting paid as security for those events.
There were a number of people who then talked for a few minutes each about how the shutdown is effecting them and what they could possibly do to help:
- Two members of different credit unions indicated they could help people affected through bridge loans
- Two people talked about how their food banks could help
- Two union members talked about how the shutdown is hurting their members and that they still had to go to work without pay.
- One union represented the airline maintenance workers.
- One woman cited how difficult it is for her family – husband lost job prior to Christmas, she worked for the EPA and was furloughed so their family had went from two incomes to zero. She related what she was doing to save money and talked about fixed expenses e.g. day care for one, it still had to be paid or the child would lose its place.
With about 25 – 30 minutes left in the meeting, the floor was opened to questions.
One of the panel members had suggested drafting a new Constitutional Amendment that would prevent any future government shutdowns.
One “pro-wall” woman said she wanted border security/safety for American families.
Rep. Casten cited some murder statistics (I believe 2000+ convictions in 2018) and I think he may have said (not entirely sure) that a large number of people committing those murders had come across our northern border.
Then a gentleman got the floor and went on a “filibuster” about opening the government.
After a few minutes, Jack Franks asked to please ask your question and he said he was getting there and after another few minutes, I still don’t think he asked the question but he did advocate for nationwide referendum on border security.
As time was running out, a Republican woman stood and pleaded to ask Rep Casten one more question.
Jack Franks shut her down right at 11:00 indicating that Rep. Casten had to get to the airport.
Bottom line was still very much along the line that if the President and the Senate would just do what the Democrats want, there wouldn’t be a partial shutdown and the government would be fully open.
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Algonquin Township Republican Party Chairman Glen Swanson sent the following information:
Illinois 6th Congressional District Congressman Sean Casten, speaking in Algonquin, Illinois at the Village Hall on January 22nd, 2019 on the Federal Government Shutdown.
Yes, the meeting is influenced with Jack Franks moderating and selecting the questioners.
And Yes, he refused to acknowledge I had a question for Mr. Casten, which I informed prior of the meeting.
Instead he picked his buddy who took 10-15 minutes as whining to make a point.
Here is a copy of the video. I only have sound during the Q&A part.
I tried to get prompted by Jack Franks for a question, but he blew me off probably thinking I would make his new best friend Sean Casten look bad.
But we had an others who he didn’t know hit him until he let a Democrat filibuster the limited Q&A time away.
Same old Jack, he brought friends too!
My question, would have been what are you doing to end the Federal Shutdown?
It is easy to show the available food pantries, Credit unions in the area there to help and how certain agencies budgets can only last so long or people working and not getting paid until maybe later or the government worker sobbing telling about her and her husband in a non-priority group is suffering financial hardship, but, sorry, it looks more like he is digging in the trenches oppose to solving the issue.
Seeing the Franks-Casten bro-some love affair shows he is not representing the people of the district, but aligned with the party.
His speech, was to point the finger at Trump play the political power game using the people in District 6 who are suffering g the Federal Shutdown fallout as pawns.