U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, for the first time since his stroke in late January, has reached out to constituents via a video to tackle a political issue, urging "decisive bipartisan action" to improve Illinois' credit rating.
The 1½-minute segment is indicative of the Highland Park Republican's increasing desire to get back to Washington, D.C., and shows the beginning of a shift in focus from detailing his recovery process to returning to the job full time.
"Everyone inside the borders of Illinois is disadvantaged by these higher interest costs because of poor debt management by our state," Kirk says from his home. "Illinois taxpayers will have to pay $1.5 million extra for every $100 million borrowed."
Illinois' credit rating was downgraded Aug. 29 by Standard & Poor's, with the agency citing a "lack of action" at decreasing the pension system's unfunded liability.
Kirk's video -- the first since his stroke that does not mention the 53-year-old's health -- follows one that Kirk recorded for Illinois delegates at the Republican National Convention and two video updates on the outpatient program to improve his walking that he is taking part in at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.
Kirk has not yet given a timetable for his return.