Chicago City Wire

Chicago City Wire

Monday, December 16, 2019

GOP lawmakers make it clear badmouthing president not OK on House floor


By Angela Underwood | Jun 12, 2018

Rep. John Cabello (R-Rockford) debating on the House floor May 31.

No matter who the leader of the free world may be, three GOP lawmakers made it clear disrespecting the president of the United States is not OK.

When introducing SB454, which amends the Children with Disabilities Article of the School Code and mandates a child's initial Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting fully include the child's parent or guardian participation regarding technological assistance, sponsor Rep. Fred Crespo (D-Streamwood) made a partisan political statement a few Republican lawmakers refused to ignore on the House floor May 31.

After a 12-hour hearing on the issue, Crespo said his bill would make right what Chicago’s Children Protective Services (CPS) has done wrong in failing to provide services to students through a special education technology model.

Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) | Illinois State Rep. Jeanne Ives

“We learned the mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel knew about this back in 2016,” Crespo said, adding the mayor received a letter signed by more than 500 parents but choose to ignore the issue. 

“Most of these are black and brown students, and it is bad enough that we have President Trump, who treats these people like second-class citizens, and we should not allow the mayor of Chicago to do the same,” Crespo said.

Why bring President Trump into the matter, questioned Rep. Peter Breen (R-Lombard), after noting he was rising in support of the bill.

“As much as the president is a controversial figure to say that somehow he is doing harm to disabled children is an insult of the highest order that should not be tolerated on this House floor,” Breen said as he forcefully pushed his microphone aside.

Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) said she couldn't believe what she just heard.

“I can’t believe that somehow the failure of Rahm Emanuel to do the right thing for children who need IEPs in the city of Chicago, that is run by Democrats for the last 100 years, and the sponsor of this bill would insinuate that Donald Trump is at fault,” Ives said.

Incredible, and not in a good way, was how Ives described the bill she called partisan.

“I would expect that you would apologize to the president of our United States,” Ives said. “Because that is who he is, whether you like it or not, that’s who he is.”

Ives said the GOP side never made disparaging comments about President Obama when in office.

“We never insinuated that he was somehow responsible for a maleficence or lack of attention that is happening in Chicago,” Ives said.

Keeping it short and sweet, Rep. John Cabello (R-Machesney Park) said maybe lawmakers should just keep comments about what they are doing in the state to themselves. 

“Instead of standing on the shoulders of dishonor, maybe we can stand on the shoulder of honor,” Cabello said.

SB454 passed 94-13 and is now being considered by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

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Organizations in this Story

Illinois Representative Jeanne Ives (R-42nd)Illinois Representative Fred Crespo (D-44th)Illinois State Representative John Cabello

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