OTTAWA — It was a full house when U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) opened his new district office to the public Saturday in downtown Ottawa.
“I’m thrilled to be in Ottawa,” the Channahon Republican said.
Kinzinger’s district office previously was located in Joliet, but when the state’s congressional districts were redrawn he ended up running in the new 16th District, which doesn’t include Joliet.
He brings 10 staffers with him to the 4,000-square-foot office space on the fifth floor of the 99-year-old Central Life Building.
“It’s fantastic the congressman came,” building owner Mike Godfrey said.
The office will be a place for constituents to seek help with federal bureaucracy problems, Kinzinger said. There also will be a considerable amount of talk about the issues on Capitol Hill.
On Saturday Kinzinger briefly discussed some of the latest happenings in Washington, D.C., including the recently reported “No budget, no pay” plan.
House leadership plans to introduce legislation to authorize a three-month debt limit increase, but includes language that would cut lawmakers’ pay if Congress fails to pass a budget.
Kinzinger said the House and President both have managed to produce budgets in recent years, but “the Senate has yet to produce a budget.”
“If you don’t, you don’t get paid,” he said.
While he was certain on the specifics of how the plan would be implemented, he said some members of Congress would miss their salaries. The compensation for most members of Congress is $174,000.
He also commented on the gun control debate.
“I don’t think any of the President’s restrictions will make it through the House of Representatives,” he said.
One of Kinzinger’s Illinois counterparts responded to a NewsTribune request for statements about issues in the House. In a statement to the NewsTribune last week, Naperville Democrat U.S. Rep. Bill Foster said, “Unfortunately, there is no simple solution to curbing this kind of violence. We need to do all that we can to keep guns out of the hands of mentally disturbed individuals while respecting the Second Amendment rights and privacy of responsible citizens.
“I am hopeful that Democrats and Republicans can work together to find common ground on this issue and develop solutions that will minimize the chance of similar tragedies in the future.”
Kinzinger’s district office is located at 628 Columbus St., Ste. 507, Ottawa. The office phone number is (815) 431-9271.
Matthew Baker can be reached at (815) 220-6933, or firstname.lastname@example.org.