Quigley's primary challenger says be tougher on Trump

  • Brian Burns, left, and Mike Quigley are candidates in the 5th Congressional District Democratic primary.

    Brian Burns, left, and Mike Quigley are candidates in the 5th Congressional District Democratic primary.

  • U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley questioned witnesses last November during the House Intelligence Committee's impeachment hearings. The 10-year incumbent from Chicago is facing a Democratic primary challenge in his bid for another term in Congress.

    U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley questioned witnesses last November during the House Intelligence Committee's impeachment hearings. The 10-year incumbent from Chicago is facing a Democratic primary challenge in his bid for another term in Congress. Associated Press

  • Brian Burns, a Chicago attorney, debates with U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, who was on the phone, Wednesday during an interview with the Daily Herald Editorial Board. They are running in the Democratic primary in the 5th Congressional District.

      Brian Burns, a Chicago attorney, debates with U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, who was on the phone, Wednesday during an interview with the Daily Herald Editorial Board. They are running in the Democratic primary in the 5th Congressional District. Jeff Knox | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted2/6/2020 5:35 AM

Chicago attorney Brian Burns is running to the left of 10-year incumbent Mike Quigley in the 5th Congressional District Democratic primary election, and he says Congress should have been tougher on President Donald Trump.

Burns said he would've walked out of Trump's State of the Union address as one way to demonstrate how he'd take a stronger stance. Quigley, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that led the Russia investigation, said he has held the president accountable, but there are limits.

 

"The State of the Union is part of the democratic process, and while I may not respect this president, I respect the process," Quigley said during an interview Wednesday with the Daily Herald Editorial Board. "And I want the schoolchildren who watch this to appreciate that -- that we listen to each other. Even if I disagree strongly with this president, I indicate that disagreement in the traditional democratic way -- how I vote."

The two Chicago residents are running to represent a district that is centered on the city's North Side but stretches to suburbs including Rosemont, Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village, Bensenville, Elmhurst, Oak Brook and Oakbrook Terrace.

Burns and Quigley -- on the phone from Washington, D.C. -- debated the issues the morning after the president's address to Congress, and hours before his acquittal on impeachment charges in the Senate.

Burns, 32, the interim chief compliance officer at Pangea Money Transfer, argued that congressional Democrats should have taken a stronger posture during impeachment proceedings by threatening to withhold defense funding -- and going as far as a government shutdown -- to compel witnesses to testify.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"If you really want to stop this president, if you really want to enforce the subpoena, you can do it," Burns said. "You can force his hand by cutting off funding for the things that he wants to do."

Quigley, 61, first elected to the congressional seat in 2009, said a government shutdown would be "wildly damaging and expensive," while it would have "fueled (Trump's) fire."

The candidates disagree on health care. Burns supports Medicare for All, while Quigley supports Medicare "for all who want it," adding he doesn't want to force people off their existing health insurance plans if they want to keep that coverage.

"You can be aspirational and pragmatic at the same time," Quigley said.

Quigley hasn't yet endorsed a Democratic presidential candidate, promising to make an announcement after Super Tuesday, March 3.

Burns is supporting U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders because of his views on health care, climate change and income inequality. If elected, Burns vowed to limit himself to a single 2-year term in Congress.

"Starting from the middle is not the way that we make the changes that we need," Burns said. "We need to start with the aspirational."

Go to comments: 0 posted
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.