(CBS) –Some members of Illinois’ Congressional delegation are bringing guests to President Trump’s speech to a joint session of Congress tonight, and a few are making a statement in doing so.
WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports.
It’s not a State of the Union Address, where bringing guests is a thing among members of Congress.
Still, it’s President Trump’s first speech to Congress, so it’s an occasion and some members Illinois’ delegation are acting accordingly.
Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley’s announced that he is bringing a DACA, or “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival” – student, Zarna Patel, as his guest to make a statement about immigration reform.
Fellow Democrat Jan Schakowsky has invited Suzanne Sahloul, president of the Syrian Community Network, for similar reasons.
Republican Congressman Randy Hultrgen is bringing a guest too, but a spokesman says it’s a longtime family friend from Wheaton. And, at last check, Democratic Congressman Bobby Rush, who plans to have a lot to say after the president’s speech, did not say if he’s even bringing a guest.
Senior U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin invited third-year Illinois medical student Aaima Sayed, who has temporary resident status under the DACA program.
Junior Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth chose Abdulla Sindi as her guest. He’s a naturalized Citizen from Iraq who worked with U.S. forces there.
Obviously, immigration reform is on the minds of the Democratic senators.
South Side and South Suburban Congresswoman Robin Kelly invited two guests, Donna Miller of Planned Parenthood, to highlight women’s issues, and an African-American radio talk show host to highlight the First Amendment.
President Trump is expected to lay out his legislative agenda, CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley says.
He is expected to unveil his budget priorities, including a 10 percent increase in defense spending, offset by $54 billion in cuts to most government agencies and foreign aid.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he hopes big cities’ needs aren’t overlooked.
“My one hope, beyond the substance they’ve talked about, is that he would do it in a way that brought the country together rather than the polarization,” Emanuel said.
Meantime, along Lake Shore Drive at North Avenue and 31st Street, banners from Resist Now urge resistance to Trump.
When the president met with attorneys general from around the nation at the White House, Illinois’s AG, Lisa Madigan, was not there.
“The president has threatened our civil rights and civil liberties in a way we haven’t seen in decades,” she said in a statement. “I declined his invitation on behalf of the many Americans harmed by his actions.”
Speaking off the record, White House officials hint the president may endorse an immigration compromise — a road to legal residence for the undocumented that stops short of full citizenship.
That, of course, would be a sharp reversal of trump’s campaign stance.