Congressional colleagues Sen. Mark Kirk and Rep. Bobby Rush reiterated their commitment to friendship and bipartisanship Tuesday following a private meeting to discuss the senator's gang member roundup proposal that Rush dismissed as an "upper-middle-class, elitist, white-boy solution."
"First and foremost we are friends who have worked together for a very long time," the pair said in a joint statement released after the meeting in Kirk's office. "Our hearts remain in the same place because we are both dedicated to improving others' lives by reducing gang violence."
Kirk first made mention of his desire to about 18,000 Gangster Disciple members early last month. Since then, he said he's met with officials from the Department of Justice to fine-tune his proposal.
Rush was immediately critical of Kirk's idea, telling the Chicago Sun-Times it was an "upper-middle-class, elitist white boy solution to a problem [which Kirk] knows nothing about."
"Following today's meeting we are more committed than ever as friends and representatives of the people of Illinois to standing with law enforcement officials, community leaders and Mayor Emanuel to keep our streets safe from gang violence," the men said.
Sen. Dick Durbin, who last week joined Kirk in a meeting with U.S. Attorney nominee Zachary Fardon to discuss the plan, was scheduled to meet with Kirk privately afterward.