House Democrats play politics with $5 billion affecting in social services

Last week, the Senate took unanimous, bipartisan action to pass nearly $5 billion in federal funds for social service programs, ranging from meals for senior citizens to rehabilitation services for children with disabilities. Gov. Rauner indicated that he would quickly sign the bill, allowing federally-funded programs to continue unimpeded by the stalemate in Springfield.

But the Democrat super-majority in the House, led by House Speaker Michael Madigan, had other ideas.

Rather than moving to approve the bipartisan bill, the House attached a “poison pill” amendment, spending an additional $1.5 billion, designed to force House Republicans into a politically disadvantageous vote. The measure fell 17 votes short of the required three-fifths vote required to pass. A separate amendment, added later to make minor changes, passed on a bipartisan 98-0 vote. The Senate is expected to pass the measure next week. 

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