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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:03am
Thu Mar 17, 2016

U.S. House Looks At Filing Supreme Court Brief Against Obama's Immigration Orders (UPDATED)

A controversial resolution involving the legal challenge against President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration is slated to go up for a vote in the Republican-led U.S. House Thursday afternoon.

Under the resolution, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI,1) would have the power to file a Supreme Court amicus brief on behalf of his chamber opposing Obama's immigration orders. Ryan, who filed the resolution Monday, says the issue boils down to defending Article I of the Constitution, which defines the legislative branch's powers. 

But House Democrats say the Republican effort is just a "political stunt."

"The vote today is a political stunt disguised as a legal brief, because the Republican majority sees a crass political opportunity to stand with the anti-immigration wing of their party," U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) said on a morning conference call. "They keep saying, 'Well [GOP presidential frontrunner Donald] Trump doesn't represent us. He doesn't rep our views. He doesn't represent our values,' and now they want to know where Trump gets all his anti-immigrant, xenophobic ideas from. Try the House of Representatives."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:13pm
Fri Nov 20, 2015

Advocates Meet With Rauner's Office, Call For Acceptance Of Syrian Refugees

Refugee advocates met with Rauner administration officials Friday, calling on the governor to reverse his position on refugee policy.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:21pm
Wed Nov 18, 2015

Chicago City Council Roundup: 'Sanctuary City' Resolution, Privatization Safeguards & Drone Regulations

Progress Illinois recaps Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting, during which aldermen reaffirmed Chicago's status as a "sanctuary city" and approved new drone regulations and a Privatization Transparency and Accountability Ordinance.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:04pm
Wed Sep 9, 2015

Federal Deferred Action Programs Could Boost IL Economy By $14 Billion Over Decade

As President Barack Obama's immigration orders remain on hold while the issue works its way through the courts, a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress (CAP) shows that the pending immigration directives could help grow Illinois' economy by an estimated $14 billion over 10 years.

Signed in November, Obama's executive orders on immigration seek to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative and create a new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program.

The two new immigration programs are being challenged in court by a group of 26 mostly Republican-run states. A federal judge in Texas issued a temporary injunction as part of that case in February that blocked Obama's immigration directives from taking effect until the issue is resolved in court. The Obama administration, which was unsuccessful in getting an emergency stay of that February injunction, is currently appealing the Texas judge's decision.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:19pm
Fri Jul 17, 2015

Schakowsky: TPP Could Harm Access To Affordable Medicine

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL,9) is sounding the alarm over the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership's (TPP) potential impacts on affordable prescription drug access.

Schakowsky joined U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT,3) as well as health and consumer advocates on a Friday conference call to highlight leaked intellectual property provisions in the proposed trade deal that could curb access to generic medicines.

One item contained in the TPP's leaked intellectual property chapter would expand the use of "evergreening," a process by which patents are granted for new uses or changes to existing medicines.

Essentially, "evergreening" lets patent holders like pharmaceutical companies "obtain longer periods of exclusivity for just slight changes in existing medications, even if there is no therapeutic benefit," Schakowsky explained, adding that this process "allows monopoly pricing and keeps out competition from generic companies, and drives up prices."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:50pm
Thu Jul 9, 2015

Retired Military Officers Discuss National Security Implications Of Climate Change

Senior retired military officers with the American Security Project were in Chicago Thursday to call attention to what they say is a grave national security threat — climate change.

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