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Public Statements

Fox News Interview-Transcript

Interview

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FOX NEWS CHANNEL "AMERICA'S NEWS HQ" INTERVIEW WITH REP. PETER ROSKAM (R-IL) INTERVIEWER: HEATHER NAUERT
SUBJECT: ILLINOIS GOVERNOR ROD BLAGOJEVICH (D) SCANDAL

MS. NAUERT: Joining us right now with Republican reaction is Illinois Congressman Peter Roskam.

Hi there, Mr. Roskam. Thank you for joining us.

REP. ROSKAM: Delighted.

MS. NAUERT: So let me get your take on this because Democrats in Illinois say basically they closed the door to a special election. You say it's not a done deal. Why is that? A special election may still happen in the state?

REP. ROSKAM: Well, look, I mean, the state of Illinois is suffering right now because we don't have a United States senator. And as time goes by -- and you heard Carl talking just a minute ago about all of the process that is still ahead of us. This is a governor that's not yet been indicted. Impeachment charges haven't been filed. There hasn't been an investigation. Subpoenas haven't been issued.

Meanwhile, the state of Illinois suffers and the people suffer because they don't have a voice in the United States Senate. The Democrats in Illinois in this one-party state essentially have a political Frankenstein on their hand in Governor Blagojevich. They've created him. They've nurtured him along, and now he's showing he's not willing to step aside. And in light of that, they have one choice, and that is to impeach and remove him and, in the interim, move ahead with a special election.

MS. NAUERT: Okay. Who actually has the power to declare a special election in your state?

REP. ROSKAM: Well, what would have to happen is the general assembly needs to be convened, like they were convened by the speaker and the senate president this week to talk about impeachment.

MS. NAUERT: But correct me if I'm wrong, they're out until January, right? They're not planning to come back unless a special meeting is called.

REP. ROSKAM: Right, they're out. Well, they've got the ability to reconvene if they need to because they haven't adjourned what's called sine die. So they can come back in if the two legislative leaders elect to do that. And they can essentially move and pass a bill that would create a special election.

Now, the next thing is, does the governor sign that? If he signs it, you can move quickly to a special election. If he vetoes it, though --

MS. NAUERT: But with Democrats in control in Illinois, there's not a very good likelihood of that happening. So I don't know where you guys go from there.

REP. ROSKAM: Well, that's why this is a house of cards for the Democrats in Illinois. And what they were hoping to do was to punt to the Illinois supreme court. The Illinois supreme court just moments ago said, we're not going to have any part of this. There's a political process, you figure it out. And it would just be a shame if time and weeks and weeks and maybe months go by and Illinois doesn't have two senators in the United States Senate. And it's completely on the shoulders of the Democrats in Illinois to remedy that.

MS. NAUERT: I think the headline of this is "to be continued," and we won't know what is going to happen with all of this for quite some time, it sounds like.

Congressman Peter Roskam, a Republican of Illinois, thank you so much, sir, for joining us tonight.

REP. ROSKAM: Thank you.


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