Gun Control And Inflation: Hot Topics During Downers Grove Town Hall

Congressman Casten advises students to push their Senators to end the filibuster.


Devin Oommen

Sean Casten speaks to constituents at Downers Grove Public Library.

Devin Oommen, Staff Writer

Sean Casten, House Representative for Illinois District 6, said students who want to see gun control solutions should push their senators to end the filibuster.  

“If we govern ourselves in the House by saying we’re only going to pass rules that can pass the Senate, we’re not doing our job,” said Casten. “The Senate has proven themselves completely incapable of doing what’s necessary.” 

During a week that saw a tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Congressman Sean Casten hosted a town hall at the Downers Grove Public Library on May 28 to talk about inflation and briefly touch on gun control.

The filibuster requires 60 votes to end debate and allows senators to vote to pass or reject a bill with a simple majority of 51 votes.

During the townhall, Casten focused on inflation. Casten said the last quarter of 2021 the majority of economic activity was business building up their inventory. As a result, said Casten, the 1.4% drop in Gross Domestic Product in the first quarter of this year was companies spending down their inventory. “Some of this is demand driven; some of this is globally driven, and some of this is supply driven.”

Sean Casten speaks to constituents at Downers Grove Public Library. (Devin Oommen)

Casten said the Consumer Price Index overstates inflation because of advancing technology. Technology, such as cell phones, perform functions that used to be performed by separate items, such as cameras and calculators. That overlap is unaccounted for in the data.

The House attempted to address the housing shortage with the Build Back Better Act, which passed the House but was not able to see the Senate floor.  

“We had $160 billion to increase the supply of affordable housing,” Casten said. “We couldn’t get that through the Senate, so it got pulled out.” 

Other factors contributing to increases in costs are increased oil prices because of the war in Ukraine and increases in the price of consumer goods partly due to a labor shortage.  Casten said the solution to the labor shortage is to revamp the U.S. immigration policy.

“We need to overhaul our immigration policy. The number of immigrants who come to the country has collapsed; so we’re creating more jobs than people,” Casten said.

Casten said one way immigration can be increased is by giving students who come to the United States to study a green card.

“Every foreign student who comes and studies at a U.S. university, and gets a degree, should get a green card stapled to their degree,” he said.

Casten said there is an opportunity to grow a supply of labor if students who are allowed to come to the United States to study were also provided with better opportunities to stay and work in the United States.

“We’re teaching them everything that we know; we’re investing in the people, and then they’re taking that knowledge overseas,” Casten said.

More information about Rep. Casten can be found here