From Illinois Public Radio - News -

US Rep. Davis Backs Pat Brady, Optimistic About Budget

Rodney Davis

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) (Jeff Bossert/WILL)

Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) says the GOP should focus its attention on Illinois' problems, and not on controversial remarks made by the party's leader.

High-level Republicans unsuccessfully tried to overthrow GOP Chair Pat Brady after he announced his support for same-sex marriage.

Davis opposes same-sex marriage, but he said Brady should be allowed to finish his term.

“Pat is subject to his own opinion, as am I, and as are many,” Brady said. “I'm interested to see what the Supreme Court does and to see what type of reaction is going to be put out there.”

Davis said Brady is a strong leader who united Republicans during the 2012 election cycle, but that cycle ended with big Republican losses in both Congress and the state legislature.

Instead of focusing on inner-party politics, Davis said Republicans should focus on solving the problems that plague Illinois.

“We've got a disaster of epic proportions when it comes to the fiscal issues of this state,” Brady said. “Unfortunately, what has happened is, we're sitting here talking about Pat Brady and the chairmanship of a party that many think is irrelevant in Illinois anyway.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representative and U.S. Senate have each approved separate budget measures for next year. They must now come up with a plan that can pass both chambers. Partisan gridlock has prevented a deal.

The Senate, controlled by Democrats, wants to raise taxes on the wealthy to protect social welfare programs. The House, in the hands of Republicans, passed a more austere plan that cuts the corporate tax rate and includes deep cuts to Medicaid.

Despite their differences, Davis said he is optimistic each chamber will reach a budget agreement.

Lawmakers are at least a couple of weeks away from considering any budget. Congress just started its spring break - and is not scheduled to resume until the week of April 8.