June 04, 2020

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood to discuss challenges facing Illinois, nation

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood will discuss the long-term challenges facing Illinois and the nation as part of a virtual discussion next week hosted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. 

The online talk with John T. Shaw, Institute director, will also examine Congress’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to reopen Illinois in the coming weeks. 

The discussion begins at noon, Monday, June 8. The free event is open to the public but registration is required and closes when the event starts. 

“Congressman LaHood is one of the most energetic and interesting young political leaders in Illinois politics,” Shaw said. “He has worked effectively and creatively in Springfield as a state senator and now in Washington as a congressman representing one of Illinois’ most storied legislative districts.” 

Continuing series of conversations

The discussion with LaHood is part of the Institute’s series called “Understanding Our New World” with historians, political analysts, and state and national leaders discussing how the pandemic is reshaping the world. This is the sixth in the series, which began in late April, and has featured speakers including author and historian David M. Kennedy; former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson; Rahm Emanuel, former Chicago mayor, U.S. Congressman and White House adviser. 

In Congress since 2015 

LaHood-sm.jpg LaHood, R-Peoria, represents Illinois’ 18th District, which extends over 19 counties in central and west-central Illinois from Bloomington-Normal to Quincy. Prior to his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2015, LaHood served in the Illinois State Senate for four years beginning in 2011. He also spent more than nine years as a state and federal prosecutor. Among his assignments in Congress is a seat on the House Ways and Means Committee and the U.S. Joint Economic Committee. 

The Peoria native earned his law degree from The John Marshall Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Loras College. 

Registration open for LaHood’s conversation

Registration for the free ZOOM meeting is available in advance. After completing registration, participants will receive an email confirmation with information about joining the meeting, along with the meeting ID and password. 

Participants have an opportunity when they register to submit a question to LaHood by email at paulsimoninstitute@siu.edu or by including it in the “Questions and Comments” section on the registration form. 

Upcoming discussions 

The Institute will host conversations with Illinois State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch at 1 p.m., Thursday, June 11, on the political and social unrest in Illinois and the United States and the reforms necessary for the state and country. Welch, D-Westchester, has represented Illinois’s 7th District since 2013 and chairs the powerful House Executive Committee. He is the former chair of the House Higher Education Committee. 

The Institute will also host former U.S. deputy secretary of state and U.S. Ambassador to Russia William J. Burns at 1 p.m., June 18. Burns is now the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 

More information on the Institute’s events is available at paulsimoninstitute.siu.edu/event-information/.