WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Durbin and Oberweis Divided on Issues

Apr 15, 2014

Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Jim Oberweis of Illinois has announced his support for raising the minimum wage, but only for those over the age of 26.

Senator Dick Durbin poses with supporters at Aurelio's in Macomb.
Credit TSPR's Emily Boyer

During a recent campaign stop in Macomb, Democratic incumbent Dick Durbin said Oberweis’ stance does not make sense.

“That’s unfair to veterans, it’s unfair to college students and it’s unfair to young mothers with children. So there are some very fundamental differences between Mr. Oberweis and myself,” Durbin said.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 and the Illinois minimum wage is $8.25. Raising the minimum wage to just over $10 an hour has been proposed at both the state and national level.

The two candidates also disagree on health care. During a recent campaign stop in Macomb, Oberweis said he plans to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and condemns Durbin for supporting it.

Jim Oberweis
Credit Veooz

“He’s [Durbin’s] also been a major proponent and defender of Obamacare which I believe the majority of Americans thinks need to be approved, changed, repealed and replaced,” Oberweis said. “I hope to have a chance to go to Washington and make that happen.”

President Barack Obama’s administration reports that 7.5 million Americans signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act by the March 31st deadline.

Illinois’ other U.S. Senator Mark Kirk,  has announced he will not be campaigning for fellow republican Oberweis in the race. Durbin responded to Kirk's comments:

“For a long time we’ve tried to find ways to cooperate and work together. Naming federal judges for example, working on projects important for our state all over the state. We’ve done a lot together particularly since he’s come back from his stroke. We’ve really have tried to work for a common goal of creating jobs in Illinois,” Durbin said.

Dairy magnate, Jim Oberweis was elected to the Illinois Senate in 2012. He then defeated Doug Truax this year in the Republican primary for Illinois' U.S. Senate seat.

Dick Durbin was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996 following a dozen years as a state senator. He has spent the last 18 years in Washington and currently serves as the Senate Majority Whip.