Madigan slams Republican leadership for hypocrisy and failing to lead
House Speaker Michael J. Madigan names House Majority Leader Greg Harris to handle all aspects of ComEd investigation, and criticizes Republicans for playing politics. Madigan released the following statement Wednesday
“When I learned that Minority Leader Jim Durkin and two Republican members requested the House of Representatives establish an investigative committee related to the ComEd deferred prosecution agreement, I immediately recused myself and designated House Majority Leader Greg Harris to handle all aspects of this matter.
“As I have stated previously, I have never made a legislative decision with improper motives. The notion that the passage of two consequential pieces of energy legislation was tied to the hiring or retention of a few individuals is seriously mistaken. Those bills had the broad support of Democrats and Republican members, other legislative leaders, labor supporters, consumer advocates, and environmentalists. The bills could not have passed without such broad support, and they were the product of years of deliberation, negotiations, and consensus building. Rep. Durkin knows this because Republican members and staff were directly involved in the negotiations of these bills. They witnessed firsthand that House Democrats challenged representatives of ComEd and Exelon on critical portions of their proposed bills. Rep. Durkin knows it, and all those actually involved in the process know it.
“The law does not prohibit members of the General Assembly from making job recommendations. If Rep. Durkin wants to question whether legislators should be allowed to make job recommendations, I encourage him to be transparent and disclose all of the jobs he has requested or lobbyists he has recommended over the years. He should also disclose the various actions he personally took to pass the energy bills, both in 2011 and 2016.
“The request by Rep. Durkin and his members is a political stunt only months away from one of the most consequential elections of our lifetimes. Republicans don’t want to focus on the fact that we have a federal administration that has used the White House to prop up Donald Trump’s wealthy campaign donors and friends at the expense of the American people. The Republicans don’t want people to focus on the nearly 200,000 COVID-19 deaths or the countless number of Illinoisans who have lost their jobs, healthcare coverage and retirement savings due to Trump’s mismanaged COVID-19 response. They certainly don’t want people to draw attention to the intense racial divisions Donald Trump relishes.
“I can’t identify one thing Rep. Durkin and the Illinois Republican Party have done to help Illinois residents struggling from a global pandemic and a weakened economy. Rather than focusing on ways to get us out of Donald Trump’s mess, Republicans have spent their time and dollars trying to convince people I am to blame for the type of corruption and unethical conduct Donald Trump emulates every day. They have spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to convince people I am the problem so they don’t have to own up to their allegiance to Donald Trump and their political party. However, none of this is surprising, given that for four years Jim Durkin and the Illinois Republican Party sat on the sidelines and took millions of dollars from Bruce Rauner in exchange for their silence as Rauner tried to drive Illinois off a cliff and wage a war against Illinois’ working families.
“As they seek to distract and place blame, the Republicans are also working diligently to elect more Republicans in Springfield and suppress diverse Democratic voices in the 2021 redistricting process in order to install more pro-life and conservative members, backed by the influence of pharmaceutical and insurance companies.
“Like their president, the House Republicans know how to create a political circus, but time and again fail to show up when it’s time to govern.”