Emanuel Criticizes Rauner for Leadership During Budget Stalemate

With Illinois rapidly approaching the end of yet another fiscal year without a budget, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel blasted Governor Bruce Rauner on Sunday afternoon.

In a statement, Emanuel invoked President John F. Kennedy as he criticized the governor for failing to lead as the state’s budget stalemate continues.

“As President Kennedy said, to govern is to choose,” Emanuel said. “Will he choose to lead, to truly compromise, by making progress the goal instead of perfection? Will he put the interests of the people ahead of his own personal politics?

“Governor, it’s your choice,” Emanuel continued. “In five days we’ll all have your answer.”

The state of Illinois has until June 30 to come up with a new budget, or it will enter its third consecutive fiscal year without one. If that deadline passes, IDOT construction projects will come to a halt, according to officials, and the Mega Millions and Powerball drawings will no longer sell lottery tickets in the state, robbing it of another source of revenue.

After a meeting between top lawmakers on both the Democratic and Republican sides of the legislature didn’t produce any breakthroughs on Sunday, concern continued to mount that a budget deal won’t be reached.

Despite the impasse, Governor Rauner told Michael Sneed of the Chicago Sun-Times last week that he’s happier than he’s been in years.

“My wife tells me she hasn’t seen me this happy in 20 years,” he said. “I feel totally honored and humbled to get the opportunity to improve the future of 13 million people.”

Naturally, Rauner’s comments were blasted by his gubernatorial rivals, with JB Pritzker and Chris Kennedy both issuing statements condemning the remarks.

“The fact that Bruce Rauner can talk about his own happiness as our economy spirals down the drain and Illinois stumbles toward junk bond status is appalling,” Pritzker said. 

Illinois lawmakers will continue their special session, the first of Governor Rauner's term, on Monday in Springfield. 

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