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Illinois Congressional Delegation

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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:26pm
Wed Jun 18, 2014

Most Illinois Congressional Members Get Passing Grades On National Poverty Scorecard

Six Democratic members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation had a perfect voting record in 2013 on legislation important to people living in poverty, according to a new scorecard and report published by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.

Meanwhile, no Republican Congressmen from Illinois earned a grade higher than a 'D' on the center's 2013 Poverty Scorecard, which looked at the voting record of every U.S. senator and representative on poverty-related issues during the last calendar year. The scores were tabulated based on 18 votes taken in the House and Senate on legislation covering a variety of subject areas including budget and tax, food and nutrition, health care, immigrants, cash assistance, domestic violence, education and the workforce, to name a few.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:10am
Mon Jun 2, 2014

Six Illinois Congressmen Get F's On Immigration Score Card

Most lawmakers in the GOP-led U.S. House are "failing the Latino community" when it comes to immigration issues, according to a preliminary score card released last week.

The initial 2014 National Immigration Score Card is based on immigration-related votes taken by the 435 House members of the current 113th Congress.

The worst score of 59 percent went to 219 House members, all of whom are Republicans including six from Illinois. A total of 170 House lawmakers, all Democrats, received the best score of 100 percent, with nine of them being from Illinois. As a whole, the House earned an average score of 77 percent.

“Our community is being disproportionately devastated by the broken immigration system that this Congress refuses to fix. This preliminary score card shows that most in Congress are clearly failing us on immigration right now,” said the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement's (LCLAA) Executive Director Hector Sanchez. “Latinos can no longer tolerate more excuses on why reform has not passed."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:57pm
Tue Apr 8, 2014

Immigrant Rights Activists Arrested While Protesting Deportations At Broadview Detention Center (VIDEO)

Eleven immigrant rights activists were arrested in Broadview Tuesday morning after linking arms in the street and blocking traffic near a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center to protest deportations.

Before the arrests, a few hundred people picketed outside the detention center, located at 1930 Beach St., as part of the national "Not One More" deportation campaign, urging President Barack Obama to use his executive authority to halt deportations immediately. Nationwide, activists with the campaign took part in more than 80 immigration-related actions over the weekend.

On Monday, local immigrant rights advocates began to march from ICE's downtown Chicago field office to the Broadview detention center, making stops along the way for a prayer vigil and other actions.

The two-day event culminated with a rally in front of the detention center, where activists chanted “Two million, Too many” to raise awareness about the nearly 2 million people who have been deported under the Obama administration.

"He has the record of two million deportations. More than any other president in the history of the United States," said Reyna Wences with Undocumented Illinois. "In only six years, we've seen families torn apart. We've seen the pain that places like Broadview represent for our families, and so we're also here to tell the community, 'Hey this is in your backyard. This is happening right here, and we came to shut it down.'"

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:54pm
Mon Sep 23, 2013

Illinois Congressmen Say Government Shutdown Likely, Blast Republicans For 'Playing Politics'

The U.S. House's vote to fund the federal government on the condition that the Affordable Care Act be defunded is leading many lawmakers to believe that the likelihood of a government shutdown is becoming increasingly more probable.

U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL, 5) says he believes there will be at least a short-term closure of the federal government due to the latest spending battle in Congress.

"Normally I am an optimistic person," Quigley said at an unrelated Chicago press conference Monday. "I mean I'm a Cub(s) fan. Anybody can have a bad century. But this Congress is having a bad couple years. I think one of the problems that we're facing here is that Speaker Boehner doesn't have control of his caucus."

"It is a multi-headed monster, and I think that the tip of the dog's tail, not just the tail wagging the dog, it's the tip of the dog's tail wagging the body politic," the congressman continued.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
6:45pm
Thu Sep 12, 2013

Illinois Republicans Vote To Block Affordable Care Act Subsidies

Six Illinois Republicans voted to block health insurance subsidies offered through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) until there is a system set up to verify income and other eligibility criteria for applicants. The No Subsidies Without Verification Act, HR 2775 (PDF), passed by a 235-191 vote in the U.S. House Wednesday with yes votes coming from U.S. Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL,6), Rodney Davis (R-IL,13), Randy Hultgren (R-IL,14), John Shimkus (R-IL,15), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL,16), and Aaron Schock (R-IL, 18). Only five Democrats voted in favor of the bill. 

The legislation, introduced by U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-TN,6), will block Americans who buy coverage using the health insurance exchange from receiving an average of $2,700 in tax credits. The bill is a knee-jerk reaction to a July announcement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that grants state-run health insurance exchanges the ability to take some liberties in determining who is eligible for the immediate tax credits that some Americans would receive when buying coverage.

"Because fraud and abuse have been rampant in just about every program that is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, including Medicare and Medicaid, a certified verification system being in place prior to the implementation to the Affordable Care Act is critical," U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX, 26) said during the bill's debate. "The President's strategy on the healthcare law is now: Trust, don't verify."

But critics say the bill is nothing more than a vapid attempt to dilute the success of the health reform law.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:04pm
Wed Sep 11, 2013

Peace Activists Protest In Chicago As Obama Addresses Nation On Syria

Just before President Barack Obama delivered his televised address to the nation Tuesday night about the situation in Syria, about 50 Chicago anti-war protesters gathered downtown, urging the president not to move forward with U.S. military action against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons. Progress Illinois was there for the protest.

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