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

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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 André 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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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on July 28, 2011 4:47 PM.

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