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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Apr 29, 2016

Duckworth, Warren Talk Retirement Security Policy At Chicago Campaign Event

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth at a Chicago campaign event Friday to talk retirement security with seniors and other supporters. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the discussion. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu Mar 24, 2016

Ryan Renounces Previous 'Makers And Takers' Rhetoric As Progressives Rebuke GOP 'Austerity' Budget Plan

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI,1) expressed regret this week for his past comments against poor Americans, saying in a major speech Wednesday that he was wrong for calling people "makers and takers."

"There was a time that I would talk about a difference between 'makers' and 'takers' in our country, referring to people who accepted government benefits. But as I spent more time listening, really learning the root causes of poverty, I realized something. I realized that I was wrong," Ryan said during his speech about the state of American politics. "'Takers' wasn't how to refer to a single mom stuck in a poverty trap, trying to take care of her family. Most people don't want to be dependent. And to label a whole group of Americans that way was wrong. I shouldn't castigate a large group of Americans just to make a point."

In a question and answer session after his speech, delivered before a group of House interns, Ryan added, "I was callous and I oversimplified and I castigated people with a broad brush. That's wrong. And there's a lot of that happening in America today. I myself have made that mistake."

Despite Ryan's noteworthy change in rhetoric, and his push this year to make combating poverty a top GOP priority, critics say his policies speak for themselves.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
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 Aricka Flowers
Sat Mar 12, 2016

Dissecting Trump's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day In Chicago

Chicago is once again in the national spotlight. This time, the city is making headlines over a protest that led to the cancellation of Donald Trump's campaign rally at the UIC Pavilion. Progress Illinois analyzes the day's developments and its possible long-term implications.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Oct 12, 2015

Low-Wage Workers, Immigration Reform Advocates Slam Trump Over Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric (VIDEO)

Low-wage workers and their allies staged a Fight for $15 protest Monday in support of immigration reform outside the Trump Tower Chicago. There, they slammed GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump over his anti-immigrant comments and hard-line policy proposals. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Jul 22, 2015

U.S. House Budget Bill Seeks Deep Cuts To Education, Labor & Health Programs

Progress Illinois takes a closer look at a U.S. House budget bill covering the departments of labor, health and human services (HHS) and education. The House Appropriations Committee advanced the spending measure last month.