Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x2 *** Welch and Durkin meet about cooling down House chaos
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*** UPDATED x2 *** Welch and Durkin meet about cooling down House chaos

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Politico

Democratic Rep. Kam Buckner is unhappy with how Republican Rep. Steven Reick spoke to Democratic Rep. Lakesia Collins [after she moved to have him ejected from the House floor] and wants an apology.

During floor debate, Collins had called out the Republicans who didn’t wear masks, and she included Reick. The Woodstock Republican, however, had been wearing his mask, and so his name was taken off the list of those kicked out. Still, Reick approached Collins after floor debate to complain. Reick “was upset his actions were mischaracterized,” a GOP spokesperson told Playbook.

The Chicago Democrat said Reick put his finger in her face and said “Keep my f***g name out of your mouth.” Collins was startled by his tone and felt “threatened,” she told Playbook.

Two other lawmakers stepped between Collins and Reick to diffuse the situation, but Collins said she was shaken nonetheless.

Buckner sent a letter to Reick, with copies to Welch and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, calling for Reick to make a public apology since the confrontation was on the House floor for all to see.

“This type of behavior is not only against our rules, it is beneath this body,” according to the letter obtained by Playbook.

The House Republicans say there are two sides to this story, but are hoping to calm things down. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and House Speaker Chris Welch are meeting this morning to try to get the chamber back on track.

* Before that meeting was scheduled, however, Welch sent this letter to Leader Durkin…

February 22, 2022

Leader Durkin,

Last week you stood up on the House floor and declared “the rules are the rules.” You said your members would “accept the consequences” of not following those House rules that have been in place for two years, of which many members of the Republican Caucus voted to put in place in order to keep our colleagues, our staff and our families safe.

Last week, we saw members of the Republican Caucus attempt to stop the work of the people at every opportunity. We witnessed a Republican member not accept the consequences and remain in the chamber while in violation of the rules that were approved by a majority of duly elected representatives.

We witnessed a member of the Republican Caucus ask the judicial branch to restrict the ability of the legislative body from operating as laid out in the Illinois State Constitution. The frivolous lawsuit, both a waste of state resources and tax dollars, is an incredibly dangerous precedent to set regarding the separation of powers. I suspect an officer of the court such as yourself can also agree the importance of keeping our institutions of the state clearly divided to safeguard liberties.

We witnessed Representative Steven Reick’s unbecoming behavior on the House floor toward one of our colleagues. Let me be clear: this behavior will not be tolerated. The representative should make a formal apology to Representative Lakesia Collins and the entire House chamber. I hope that as the leader of the Republican Caucus, you will facilitate that apology.

Your stated desire for civility and working together is welcomed. I appreciate your words and look forward to seeing you follow through. I hope to see you ensure members of your caucus follow the House rules in order to get the people’s work done while keeping everyone as safe as possible.

As you stated last week, civility is important and we do have people watching us. Let’s make sure we can be proud of our behavior, the message we’re sending to the entire state, and the work we’re accomplishing on behalf of citizens.


Emanuel “Chris” Welch
Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives
7th District

*** UPDATE 1 *** “Let’s get to work,” Durkin said he advised his members…

*** UPDATE 2 *** The start of House session has been delayed until 1:30. Take that as a decent sign.

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  1. - here we go - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 11:30 am:

    Sadly, the norms of behavior have taken a huge hit by the Trump era so that bullying people on House floors or in airplanes over politics has become more acceptable.

  2. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 11:31 am:

    === We witnessed Representative Steven Reick’s unbecoming behavior on the House floor toward one of our colleagues. Let me be clear: this behavior will not be tolerated. ===

    Agreed, Speaker Welch. Now do something that is more than a token slap on the wrist.

  3. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 11:38 am:

    “Keep my [family blog] name out of your mouth.”

    Does he think he is royalty? I’ve seen this type of behavior many times before and every single time it comes from people who don’t think they have to earn respect, but that they can demand respect.

    I’m not going to touch with a 10ft pole the underlying thoughts of Mr. Reick in this specific situation, but it is what it is.

    I will not be surprised when he doesn’t apologize, but instead doubles down with an antagonistic press release with ‘his side’.

  4. - low level - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 11:40 am:

    While I agree with everything stated, I just dont know about these back and forth public letters on both sides. Its good they plan to meet. More private meetings or phone calls and less publicity. That might help defuse the situation as well.

  5. - Wonderment - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 11:43 am:

    I wonder if it had been a white person that mentioned his name, if Reick still would have opted for those choice of words.

  6. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 11:45 am:

    @Wonderment - I see you picked up that 10-foot pole I was referencing in my comment.

  7. - Bruce( no not him) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 11:47 am:

    ==House chaos==
    That’s a feature, not a bug.

  8. - Lake Villa Township - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 12:02 pm:

    Durkin somehow has less control over his caucus than Kevin McCarthy, impressive.

  9. - H-W - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 12:04 pm:

    In the U.S. House of Representatives, a certain Georgia Representative was removed from all committee assignments, thereby having no influence over legislation.

    What measures might the Majority Leaders impose upon Legislators in the Illinois House and/or Senate, should their behavior be irresponsible and unacceptable?

  10. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 12:09 pm:

    Can anyone Reick criticizes demand he keep their name out of his mouth? Goose/gander.

  11. - Google Is Your Friend - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 12:09 pm:

    ==The House Republicans say there are two sides to this story==

    Then why wouldn’t they tell their side? Must not be that good

  12. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 12:09 pm:

    Durkin is also afraid of being “McConchie-d”

    After this map, all those whom won’t be in the caucus come January, those who actually will be in that caucus next January…

    Surviving one coup doesn’t mean immunity from the next.

    Durkin has many worries, decorum might be one of the least, given his need to keep his caucus with him?

  13. - Fixer - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 12:34 pm:

    ==When is Kam Buckner’s DUI case going to be resolved? It’s been almost three years.==

    I just looked this up and there was a pretrial hearing in December but nothing since that I was able to find. Interestingly enough, though, Reick was charged and pleaded guilty to DUI charges that same year as Buckner.

  14. - Give Me A Break - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 12:35 pm:

    ““Keep my [family blog] name out of your mouth.”, try that in bar tough guy against a male. You won’t be standing on your feet long.

  15. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 12:46 pm:

    =We witnessed Representative Steven Reick’s unbecoming behavior=

    Reick’s words were ill-advised - but the call out against him is a bit much. This type of thing could seem to best be settled behind closed doors.

  16. - Fixer - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 12:49 pm:

    Alternative headline: 68 year old man forgets who he’s speaking to and where he is, causing a scene and embarrassing himself and coworkers.

  17. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 1:14 pm:

    == but the call out against him is a bit much. This type of thing could seem to best be settled behind closed doors.==

    Yes, call out Democrats publicly but give GOPers a pass. Got it.

  18. - Springfieldish - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 1:23 pm:

    Reick got a pass once with his DUI. You’d think he’d conduct himself with a little more humility, lest his colleagues fear he’s losing control of himself, again.

  19. - StealYourFace - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 2:18 pm:

    I just saw 2 GOP members on the Floor without masks. Let’s see how tense things get..

  20. - WWMD(whatwouldMadigando) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 2:36 pm:

    The adult that used to be in the room has left the building. Certainly, the House is raucous of the two Chambers; but Madigan! Miss him yet?

  21. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 2:45 pm:

    House is finally in session.

  22. - Ugh - Tuesday, Feb 22, 22 @ 5:47 pm:

    Anyone else entirely curious as to how closely, if at all, Speaker Madigan and Tim Mapes follow this day to day nonsense that they’re no longer a part of? Too curious, I know.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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