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U.S. Rep. Sean Casten discusses federal legislation Friday in Algonquin

U.S. Rep. Sean Casten met with constituents of the 6th Congressional District Friday in Algonquin.
U.S. Rep. Sean Casten met with constituents of the 6th Congressional District Friday in Algonquin.

U.S. Rep. Sean Casten met with constituents of the 6th Congressional District in Algonquin on Friday to go over federal legislation and take questions.

Casten, a freshman Democrat from Downers Grove, said the reality of the job is much different than what constituents are seeing in the headlines.

He commented on a number of bills the House has passed on issues such as prescription drugs, civil liberties and preventing the exit of the Paris Climate Accords.

But with a Republican majority in the Senate, many of these efforts have not been advanced.

Casten said one of the bravest things he has done since assuming office was voting to approve House Resolution 1, or the For the People Act, which proposed sweeping reforms to voting rights and campaign finances.

Among other things, the bill offers incentives for elected officials to rely on smaller donors, expands early voting, establishes same-day registration, offers reenfranchisement of voting privileges for felons, requires paper ballots to be used in federal elections and requires presidential and vice presidential candidates to disclose their income tax returns.

Casten said U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan both oppose the bill but joked that if there’s something both McConnell and Madigan hate, it might be a good thing.

Casten also mentioned a “sizable” bill in the works to put roughly $1 billion into energy storage.

One attendee questioned what can be done about the electoral college system.

Casten said any restructuring of the electoral college would require amending the constitution and that there is apprehension to do so. Casten added that there has been a growing trend as the world gets more urbanized of how much a candidate has to win the popular vote by to also win the electoral college.

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