Photo by Fred Pollard
U.S. Rep Rodney Davis (R-Illinois) speaks to business leaders in the Greater Alton area about economic progress and Washington politics.
ALTON – The Saint Anthony’s Foundation’s 19th Business Leaders Roundtable on Tuesday featured guest speaker U.S. Rep Rodney Davis (R-Illinois), who spoke on progress and politics.
While emphasizing his disapproval of the current administration, Davis also said he sees the possibility of Washington uniting once more.
“If we can work together in a bipartisan way on little things like naming a bridge, then we can work together to get major issues addressed,” Davis said.
He also spoke of his efforts since taking office. According to Davis, the average time it takes to get through the paperwork process for designing and engineering large water infrastructure projects is 15 years. He says under his leadership, that time frame has been lowered to three years, with a $3 million cap.
“When people say policies don’t save taxpayers billions, I would argue that one does,” he said.
The majority of his time addressing the crowd, however, was spent taking questions. In response to one question about bipartisanship, he voiced frustration about the lack of support to pass what he called the most studied project in American history with the ability to create 40,000 jobs, the Keystone Pipeline project.
“We are going to continue to push our agenda,” he said. “We passed 300 bills that are stuck in the stonewalled Senate. I think the American people should demand that they move these bills.”
“As you travel around your district, what is on the minds of the people you represent?” asked Quality Buick GMC Cadillac General Manager David Stevenson.
“You know what they say the most? They are sick and tired of the dysfunction in Washington,” Davis said. “I hope I have been somebody that shows it’s not about partisan politics and playing to your base. It’s about making some tough decisions and taking progress instead of focusing on perfection.”
Davis also joked about being proud to be a member of Congress, pointing out its 7 to 9 percent approval rating, before turning serious.
“Every time I walk by the Capitol dome and it’s lit up at night, I still get chills, because I know that is the place where you have trusted me to work on your behalf,” he said.
Davis, 44, who lives in Taylorville, Ill., was elected the U.S. Representative for Illinois’ 13th congressional district in 2013. He was the first freshman to have a bill signed into law regarding the naming of the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge. In 1998, he also managed the first re-election campaign for U.S. Rep. John Shimkus.