Congressman Sean Casten, speaking last week at a Town Hall meeting at Moraine Valley Community College, is hopeful that there won't be a federal government shutdown. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Congressman Sean Casten, speaking last week at a Town Hall meeting at Moraine Valley Community College, is hopeful that there won't be a federal government shutdown. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Casten fears possible government shutdown

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Congressman Sean Casten speaks to a group of people after his Town Hall meeting on Aug. 24 in Palos Hills.

By Jeff Vorva

Congressman Sean Casten (D-6th) is bringing millions of dollars of projects to his district but is fearful for the near future when it comes to bringing in more money.

He is also crossing his fingers that there won’t be a government shutdown on Oct. 1 even though some analysts think there is a good chance that could happen.

Casten spoke at his eighth Town Hall meeting of the year on Aug. 24 at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills and was happy with some of the money brought in for the redrawn 6th District, which include many communities served by Southwest Regional Publishing newspapers.

“We’re still finalizing the process,” he said. “We requested about $30 million in projects so far about $10 million was awarded.

“I would say the dominant theme this year has been flooding and assistance from the local police departments. From Hodgkins to Western Springs to LaGrange to Indian Head Park, there is money going to all sorts of things to manage water and integrated infrastructure.  If you see some of the towns that had these rainstorms you can understand why.

“We added a pretty significant amount of money to the Village of Oak Lawn for the 911 center that coordinates a lot of other facilities and they do a fantastic job. They needed some upgrades. Over in Alsip, they needed resources for bodycams and dashcams.”

Casten knows there is more to be done and when Congress reconvenes on Sept. 5, he is not sure what to expect. He said that not enough grants were approved during the last session and there is scant time to plow through what’s left.

“I am as nervous as I’ve ever been about going back to Congress after this recess because I don’t know what’s going to happen and it’s very disconcerting,” Casten said.  “In my first four years of Congress, we always got all of the funding bills out of the House by the end of July because then then you send them to the Senate and the Senate gets it done you have to get to the President there’s a negotiation that happens.

“We left Congress with only one of those bills done.”

Casten said there were some reasons that caused pushback on some of the bills between Democrats and Republicans and pointed out that certain congressmen may agree with the bills, he or she might vote against it because of their constituency’s wishes.

“That’s just boring inside baseball stuff except, that we’re going to get back to Congress and have 15 days to pass about $5 trillion worth of spending or else shut the government down,” Casten said.

“Or else we need to find some way to issue a continuing resolution and limp our way through. In that period of time, we’re also going to figure out how to get on some fairly significant supplemental funding to help the tragedies that happened in in Hawaii and Vermont and get some resources and provide supplemental funding to Ukraine.”

He said that this is too important of a job for that must uncertainty and he is hoping that a shutdown will not happen as it did in 2018-2019, when he started in Congress.

“We’ll keep you posted and keep in touch with our office because I am keenly aware of how massively destructive [a shutdown] is,” he said.  “All of a sudden somebody is saying, ‘I need to get my Social Security check paid but there’s no one at the Social Security office today,’ or ‘I need to catch a flight, but the air traffic controllers are on furlough,’ or ‘I need an unemployment check process…’

“It’s disruptive, right, so I hope it will find a way through. We’ll certainly be as constructive as we can.”

1 Comment

  1. Terry Newsome on September 8, 2023 at 9:34 am

    This guy is a communist hypocrite! Ask Casten why he approves pornographic materials in our children’s schools!



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