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What Do Washington Leaders Think of Illinois?
It's a national topic: the United States is more than $16 trillion in debt. But in Washington, another financial crisis is a topic.
"I do get the jokes," U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-13th District) said. "'Boy, you are from Illinois. Aren't you glad you are in Washington instead? Aren't the problems easier to solve?"
In many ways, Washington's financial woes are similar to Illinois'. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle on both the federal and state levels are trying to get a handle on the rising debt, but it continues to get worse.
"I'm afraid most people around the country know we are in bad economic shape, our credit rating is low, and we need to do something," U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) said.
Lawmakers from the both the state and federal side continue to call for action. So for those who represent Illinois in Washington, who do they think is to blame for Illinois' troubles?
"Some of the same people who have been in charge over the last three decades in Illinois government, are now offering solutions for something they helped create," Davis said.
"As difficult and maybe unpopular it may be, the leaders in Springfield have to take responsibility and step forward," Durbin said.
Already this spring, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings downgraded the state's credit rating.
Illinois has about $6 billion in unpaid bills. Gov. Pat Quinn set a July 9 deadline to find a solution to the pension problem.