Feisty debates on Mueller's probe, the memo and Trump, Rauner addresses

Rhomberg, Bloom share the 4 The Record panel floor but little common ground

Here are some of the topics covered by our 4 The Record panel this week.

+ Special investigator Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference with the last election turns highly political.

+ The president softens his tone for the State of the Union address.

+ Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner hits some familiar themes during his speech to state lawmakers this week.

All things to talk about this morning with former Scott County Democratic Party Chair Karl Rhomberg and former Rock Island County Republican Party Chair Bill Bloom.

State of the State 

Let's start with Illinois.

Governor Rauner delivered his State of the State address, once again sounding the drumbeat for a property tax freeze and term limits.

Rauner's gone 0-for-3 so far on these issues.

Rhomberg and Bloom talked about what to expect this year and if Rauner's focus should change for the fourth year of his term. But if their conversation is any indication, any confidence in compromise might be overly optimistic.

State of the Union

President Trump called for unity during his first State of the Union address on Tuesday.

That's something the country didn't see over his first year in office.

Immigration got a lot of attention.

The central compromise from the White House is a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants in this country under the deferred action for childhood arrivals program.

The president wants $25 billion for his border wall -- not exactly being paid for by Mexico.

The language regarding any DACA legislation is where things stall in the Senate.

Both parties in the upper chamber agree they need a bill, but hard line Republicans in the house are another hurdle who oppose anything they say resembles amnesty.

Bloom and Rhomberg weighed in with what they think it will take to break this stalemate -- as they reach an impasse of their own.

Infrastructure

Another aspect of the president's address was infrastructure.

He proposed a $1.5 trillion plan with the federal government diverting $200 billion slated for Amtrak and other transit programs over 10 years.

Along with hundreds of millions from state and local governments as well as the private sector.

If that happens, the Quad Cities can say goodbye to the direct rail line to Chicago.

Iowa and Illinois both have their financial struggles.

We asked Rhomberg and Bloom how much stress that puts on states and cities and how businesses can be expected to pony up when a lot of the economic development we see relies on giving breaks to the private sector.
    
The memo

Then there's the Devin Nunes memo.

He's the Republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee, who recused himself from the Russia investigation last year.

Only now, he's spearheaded an effort to release a memo written by House Republicans critical of the FBI for its surveillance methods of President Trump's campaign.

Democrats criticize it as inaccurate and only put together to discredit the work of special investigator Robert Mueller, a Republican and former FBI director himself.

There are reports current FBI director Christopher Wray could quit after its release Friday.

One consensus Republicans and Democrats appearing on this program have reached from the conversation we've had surrounding this investigation is to let Mueller do his job.

Bloom and Rhomberg had a spirited discussion about what's at risk with this memo going public. 

To see these feisty debates and more, watch the full panel discussion in the video above.

Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you. It's a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what's happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.


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