Two Illinois Congressmen held a rare bipartisan community meeting Saturday.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, and U.S. Representative Rodney Davis, a Republican, discussed health care policy with the Ministerial Alliance of Springfield.
The bipartisan appearance came just days after Davis was among several Republicans who were targeted by a gunman outside Washington, D.C.
Davis says in our polarized environment, “politics became [the shooter’s] religion.”
“I would like to help lead the charge to ratchet down this vitriolic rhetoric that’s out in the political debate that we see today — which is on both sides — and those things have to change,” Davis said after the meeting.
He says the appearance with Durbin was the first such meeting in his Congressional career. But he also says there’s not enough coverage of the fact that the majority of what gets done in Congress happens on a bipartisan basis.
Likewise, Durbin says Americans need to work harder at finding bipartisan solutions to our problems.
“Congressman Davis and I just had a debate and we didn’t break out into a fight," he said. "It was civilized, and I hope gentlemanly, and I think the ministers agreed. And we have to encourage more people to do the same."
The health care meeting with ministers was closed to the press. It comes as Republicans in Washington are working on a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. Republican senators have said they hope to vote on the Obamacare repeal within the next two weeks.