News Local/State

Rep. Davis On Trump’s Charlottesville Comments, Help For Champaign Manufacturer

Hudson Technologies CEO Kevin Zugibe meets with visiting Congressmen John Shimkus and Rodney Davis at the Hudson plant in Champaign.

Hudson Technologies CEO Kevin J. Zugibe (far left) talks with US Representatives John Shimkus (2nd from right) and Rodney Davis (far right) during a visit to the Hudson facility in Champaign on Monday. Jim Meadows/Illinois Public Media.

During a visit to a manufacturing plant in Champaign Monday, Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis says he was satisfied with President Trump’s original comments about the race-fueled violence that occurred Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia.

But the Taylorville Republican said he recognized that “many wanted him to clarify those remarks even more,” and that he was glad the president did so, specifically condemning the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists. 

Davis, who represents Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, says the next step is for Americans to move together in a more positive direction.

“But we all have to stand together as Americans, to say that these white supremacists, these racists, these people who were carrying Nazi flags around our country” said Davis. “We have to figure out a way to remind them that there are many Americans who died, to make sure that flag never flew again in Europe, let alone the United States of America.”

Davis went on to continue a theme he began in June, he and other House Republicans were shot at by a left-wing activist from Illinois, during practice for a Congressional charity baseball game: “That’s where we have to come together as Americans and stop this hateful vitriol, stop this hateful rhetoric, that’s become part our political discourse. What we saw in Charlottesville should not be something we see anywhere else. And we’ve got to stand together as Americans to make that happen.”

Fellow Illinois Congressman John Shimkus of Collinsville echoed Davis’ remarks. The two downstate Republicans commented Monday afternoon, as they toured the Hudson Technologies plant in Champaign.

New York-based Hudson Technologies manufactures refrigerant for use in air conditioners and refrigeration equipment. Davis and Shimkus visited the plant to highlight Davis’ interest in getting the federal government to be a potential market for the company.

While the federal government buys a lot of refrigerant for its many buildings and facilities, it does not buy the sort of refrigerant that Hudson Technologies makes — through the recycling of used refrigerant. The company buys up old refrigerant from large-scale users, reprocesses it with its own technology, and sells the reclaimed product. But Davis says Hudson can’t sell its product to the federal government.

“They’re locked out, because the federal government is banned from using recycled refrigerants,” said Davis. “Well, we think this company here in Champaign ought to be able to compete within the federal government, because the federal government uses a lot of refrigerants.”

Davis is pushing a bill (HR 2269) in the U.S. House to have the General Services Administration promote the use of recycled refrigerants for all federal public buildings. A larger bill that includes a study of the idea passed the House in the last Congress, but stalled in the Senate.