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Bost talks redistricting concerns, vaccine hesitancy

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(WSIL) -- In a wide-ranging 15 minute interview with News 3 WSIL, Congressman Mike Bost shared a wide range of concerns about what's happening in our nation's capitol and in the state of Illinois.

He says democrats in Illinois, including Governor JB Pritzker, need to be more transparent as they work to re-shape legislative districts over the next decade.

MORE: Illinois representatives continue redistricting battle

Bost believes a surprising source may reemerge during the process.

"I believe Mike Madigan will have a lot input into that. Even since he's not there anymore. Because of his experience and because even though he may not be in those places of position--the people will still ask him because of the amount of time he spent building maps that hold the democratic majority," Bost said.

The Republican from Murphsyboro says he's not surprised Illinois will lose representation in Congress. He says the state's tax structure and other policies are what is driving people away.

Bost says the state is lucky it didn't lose two seats in Congress.

Now he's expecting to be drawn into a district that covers all of southern Illinois. To do that democrats will have to call what he calls "pretty drastic" maps to connect him into either Rep. Marry Miller (R-15th District) or Rep. Rodney Davis' (R-13th District) district


"You have the right as an American citizen to choose to take it or not take it," Bost said of the COVID-19 vaccine. He and others are encouraging people to roll up their sleeves, but he says nobody can be forced.

Hesitancy surrounding the vaccine is growing and local health departments have noticed.

"I believe it is safe. I've taken my first dose and will take my second next week," Bost said.

"Go to your physician. Sit down. Talk with them. If you have to do a zoom call--do a zoom call. But communicate with someone in the medical field that you trust. That you feel comfortable with if you don't feel comfortable taking it now," Bost said.

MORE: Rep. Mike Bost encourages Illinoisans to get vaccinated

Bost says efforts to rollout the vaccine in more places are working.

He highlighted his recent legislation to expand eligibility for veterans and their caretakers to get vaccinated at VA facilities.


A bi-partisan group of lawmaker, incuding Rep. Bost, say there needs to be more oversight into how the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is spending billions in taxpayer dollars. Those emergency funds are meant to help fight COVID-19.

The new legislation would require the VA to report to Congress more regularly on how the fund are being dispersed.

"The reality is we need oversight, said Bost. "What this bill does is it provides oversight so the VA has to report to us every couple weeks---letting us know---where are you using that money? How is that money getting out? Are you using to get the vaccine levels to where we need them and then are you doing the follow up?"

Bost says on top of the bipartisan support the VA is also behind the bill.
He hopes it will quickly make it to President Biden's desk.

"I don't know of anyone in Congress that doesn't want an infrastructure bill."

There's a massive infrastructure plan on the table in Washington, D.C.

Congressman Bost says not enough goes to actual infrastructure. He has concerns about provisions for things like the "Green New Deal" and others items that belong in separate bills like daycare funding.

"Daycare should be handled not through a infrastructure bill. That's not infrastructure. That is something that should be through one of our other social programs and it should go to a different committee. If you want to do that don't include it in the infrastructure bill," Bost said.

To hear more on Congressman Bost's thoughts on infrastructure, redistricting, and more watch our full interview in the video included in this story.

Jeff Weinrich

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