(CNSNews.com) -Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says having the federal government financially bail out Chicago “is not in the realm of political possibility.”
During a visit to Illinois on February 9, Durbin was asked by reporters about the pension crisis Chicago is facing and whether the federal government should bail out any municipality’s pension system.
“It is not in the realm of political possibility. It just – for the reasons I mentioned, we have our own problems with our own pension systems, with our own insurance programs and the notion that we would come to the rescue of cities, counties or states – it’s just not going to happen,” Durbin said.
“When you’re dealing with a federal deficit, it’s a reality that we don’t have the money to give,” Durbin continued. “I know the mayor, governor and others are struggling with this, and I wish them the best, but they have been thoughtful enough not to call me and ask me to send money.”
Chicago's pension funds for city workers, police officers and firefighters are about $19.5 billion short of meeting their current obligations. According to the Associated Press, the shortfall amounts to about $7,100 per Chicago resident.
As Chicago area leaders struggle with addressing the issue of pension reform, union groups have been actively protesting possible pension cuts at events outside the Capitol.