After the president charged on Sunday that Pritzker had not performed well and after the governor blasted the federal government, calling its pandemic response woefully inadequate, Kinzinger on Monday was having none of the back and forth.
“Even though the governor and the president are in that little battle, I’m not going to join in,” he said in a video-conferenced interview.
But Kinzinger did find areas where, he believes, both federal and state actions have been problematic in combating the coronavirus.
“The travel bans from China were smart when they came in, but the PPE issue is a problem, the testing issue is a problem," he said, adding, “there’s going to be some things that were done in the state of Illinois that were done that were not necessarily the best.” Including early delays in getting test results, he said.
Kinzinger spoke from his home, where he has remained after he and his wife had mild coronavirus symptoms in mid-March.
“We are continuing to play it safe like everybody else,” he said, noting he and his wife feel fine.
A four-term Republican from north central Illinois, Kinzinger was a yes vote on the $2 trillion stimulus bill.
Now with 10 million Americans filing for unemployment in the last two weeks, Kinzinger said he would consider a 4th federal intervention, with a stipulation.
“We are going to have to have grown up discussions about what do we do on a gas tax, other ways to pay for this,” he said. “We just have to do this in a way that’s not trying to push either a Republican or a Democratic agenda,” adding, “because we have plenty of time for politics and this ain’t it.”
To pass a 4th stimulus would mean Congress returning to Washington.
“The thing that concerns me is that D.C. is saying they may not hit their peak until May, so I don’t know how Congress is going to be able to bring, you know, 400, 500-some members back, many of whom are older and very susceptible to the virus,” he said.
Kinzinger, like Democratic colleague Mike Quigley, says Congress has fallen short in not having an emergency plan to vote or meet from any place other than the capitol.