CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) — Both of Illinois’ U.S. senators say it’s time to take steps toward cleaning up the Chicago River.

With the stinky Chicago River as a backdrop, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said Sunday that now is the time to clean it up.

“Today we know that this river needs help,” Durbin said.

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Durbin and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and other politicians went on a water taxi tour of the river and, like Durbin, Kirk said he was willing to go to bat for federal money to help with the cleanup.

But Kirk sounded less urgent.

“I’m an economic conservative that wants to cut spending in Washington because we’re borrowing over a trillion dollars a year. My greatest hopes are on the Gang of Five, which Senator Durbin is part of, to put together that effort,” Kirk said. “We’re not talking about doing this today. This is a goal.”

Locally, on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board, there’s a disagreement about how much to clean up the river.

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