Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, has spent 15 years in the minority under House Speaker Michael Madigan. On Tuesday, he finally cracked. In a tirade that’s receiving nationwide attention, Bost lambasted Madigan for springing the pension reform bill on the House at 7:50 a.m., and refusing to allow Republicans to offer an amendment that would prevent the state from shifting pension burdens to local school districts
“Total power in one person’s hands -- not the American way,” Bost erupted.
He then tossed a sheaf of papers into the air and punched them as they fluttered to his desk.
“These damn bills that come out here all the damn time,” he shouted, throwing more paper to the floor, “at the last second, and I gotta try to figure out how to vote for my people. How ashamed are you? You should be. You should be ashamed of yourselves. I’m sick of it. Every year we give power to one person. It was not made that way in the constitution. He was around when it was written.”
Bost balled his fists and looked as though he were about to tear out his hair.
“Now, we’ve passed rules that stop each one of us. I feel like somebody trying to be released from Egypt. Let my people go! My God, they sent me here to vote for them, to argue for them. But I’m trapped. I’m trapped by rules that have been forced down our throats. Folks, we live in a democracy, but not here, but not here. So you go back and you tell your people, ‘I’d like to do that, but the speaker has so much power, so much control. And each one of us do it in our districts, and have to go back and say that.”
Bost wagged his finger.
“And you can say on your side of the aisle, ‘Oh, no, no, that’s not the case. But yes you do. All of us know you’ve got to deal with it. When’s it gonna stop?
And with that, Bost flung his flexible mike stand to his desk.