On the Record: Rep. LaHood switches from IL-18 to IL-16, talks 2022 campaign

On The Record

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — After six years as a U.S. Representative, Darin LaHood has announced he is running for two more.

This election will be different from any other he’s run in because his district is switching from the Illinois 18th Congressional District to the 16th.

This comes after the 2020 census and Illinois losing one congressional seat.

LaHood said the loss of population isn’t the only reason for this change in maps, but “Chicago Democrats” share the blame too.

“Unfortunately, the redistricting process in Illinois for the Congressional districts is blatantly gerrymandered. It’s not healthy for democracy in my view,” Rep. LaHood said. “The State legislature, two weeks ago, passed a new map that changes the dynamics of the current district that I represent. Essentially, it moves me farther north.”

LaHood said he keeps Peoria, Bloomington-Normal, Woodford & Tazewell County, but now his district heads up north into Princeton, Dixon, Rockford, and to Galena and East Dubuque.

“On the eastern side, it gets to Dekalb and McHenry County,” Rep. LaHood said. The Congressman said the new district he’s running for is mainly rural towns.

The Illinois GOP is currently challenging the maps created by Illinois Democrats. In July, Chairman Don Tracy announced the State’s Republican party would join the House & Senate Republican caucuses in taking these maps to court, calling them unconstitutional.

“The ILGOP joined the lawsuit today because the people of Illinois need all the help they can get in restricting the ability of a billionaire bully like JB Pritzker to ‘suppress and subvert the right to vote in free and fair elections,’ as President Biden said,” Tracy announced on July 27.

“The lawsuit requests that the court declare the Democrats’ plan to be unconstitutional, invalid, and void ab initio. The lawsuit also requests that the court direct Speaker Welch and President Harmon to make their appointments to the Illinois Legislative Redistricting Commission as required by the Illinois Constitution,” the release continued.

LaHood said this lawsuit will head to the Illinois Supreme Court, which is Democrat-led 4-3.

“It’s frustrating in Peoria that we have two different members of Congress, three different state reps, and different senators because of the gerrymandering of literally going street by street & picking out Democrat and Republican areas. Same with Bloomington-Normal,” Rep. LaHood said. “We’re hopeful the courts will look at this and overrule this, but we’ll have to see how this plays out.”

When it comes to inflation, LaHood said government spending is largely to blame.

“People are paying more for gas, groceries and supplies,” LaHood said. “It worries small businesses. You couple that with supply chain issues and we’re not able to get back in the workforce. Part of it is, we’ve spent way too much in this economy. We spent $5 trillion last year related to COVID, Democrats rammed through $1.9 trillion earlier this year, passed the infrastructure bill ($1.2 trillion). Now Nancy Pelosi is trying to pass $1.75 trillion this week.”

The $1.75 trillion is from the Build Back Better bill. CBS News reports the vote on the Build Back Better bill has been pushed to Friday after House-Minority leader Kevin McCarthy gave a “record-breaking speech.”

9:10 a.m. UPDATE: The Build Back Better Bill passed the House early Friday morning.

LaHood’s office sent WMBD the following statement.

“Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans do not need tax hikes. However, the so-called Build Back Better plan clearly violates President Biden’s promise to not raise taxes on middle-class families. Democrats’ reckless, multi-trillion-dollar tax and spending binge will raise taxes on Illinois farmers, workers, and small businesses while subsidizing the wealthiest individuals on the coasts. Moreover, this bill is not paid for as Democrats claim and it will only further bankrupt our children and grandchildren. The so-called Build Back Better Agenda is a bad deal for Illinois and American families,” Rep. Darin LaHood said.

CBS News reports the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the President’s social spending plan would increase the deficit by more than $367 billion over 10 years. This estimate does not include revenue that could be generated from increasing IRS enforcement.

LaHood voted against the infrastructure bill, here’s why.

“Why I voted no is, 1: this wasn’t a paid-for bill. This puts us roughly $300 billion into debt over the next 8 years. The promise was that it was going to pay for itself. It clearly doesn’t. Secondly, when this bill passed the Senate in August with 69 voted, 19 Republicans,” LaHood said. “If it would have been brought over and had a clean vote, I would have considered supporting it. But Pelosi tied it directly to a tax-raising bill, the reconciliation, what they call “Build Back Better” human infrastructure bill. Then held it hostage and said unless you vote for this, we’re not going to vote for the infrastructure bill.”

LaHood said he could not vote for the infrastructure bill because of “blatant politics” and deficit spending.

In the interview that aired on WMBD This Morning Friday, Nov. 19, LaHood talks about the rise in crime Peoria & Chicago are seeing currently.

“We need to be doing everything possible. As a former state and federal prosecutor, first thing we need to do is support our police. I can’t think of a stupider idea than defunding our police,” Rep. LaHood said. “You talk to police officers and they say the morale is low. We need to hire more police officers and have more resources.”

LaHood said the state’s attorneys also need to be prosecuting gun cases.

“It comes down to good law enforcement, good prosecution, and the community being engaged on these issues locally. What can we do at the federal level? We can work with our local partners to try and get guns off the street and to prosecute at the federal level. There are federal grants and dollars through the Department of Justice out to these high-crime areas, such as Peoria and Chicago,” Rep. LaHood said.

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