Rauner: ‘Outrageous’ The House Is Off Until Next Month
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is admonishing House Speaker Michael Madigan, saying it's "outrageous'' that the Democrat isn't calling lawmakers back to work until April 4 while Illinois continues without a spending plan.
Rauner's tongue-lashing of Madigan is the second in as many weeks as both state leaders continue an epic standoff over a budget that should have taken effect July 1, 2015.
Rauner on Tuesday repeatedly characterized the House's leave as a vacation.
"Speaker Madigan would rather go on vacation," he said. "He'd rather have his caucus, the Democrats in the House, go on vacation -- for a month -- while this crisis brews."
That's typical of Rauner's anti-Madigan rhetoric, but there's an irony in his call for more meetings of the House. Whenever they're in session, Democrats have forced the governor's Republican allies to cast politically tough votes.
While the House is off, the Senate is in session for three days this week. Last week, Rauner accused Madigan of playing political games ahead of the March 15 primaries.
Madigan's spokesman calls Rauner's comments “embarrassing," given that the House schedule has been out for months. He says the governor hasn't called Madigan for a private meeting since December.