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National Parks Service
Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
6:41pm
Thu Feb 19

Obama Designates Pullman District National Monument, Praises Emanuel Days Before Election

President Barack Obama was in Chicago Thursday to designate the Pullman factory district as a national monument. With a stroke of the president's pen, the Pullman Historic District is now a national monument, and the city's first national park. The new monument's boundaries are 103rd Street to the north, 115th Street to the south, Cottage Grove Avenue to the west, and the Norfolk & Western Rail Line to the east.

In his speech at the designation ceremony, which was attended by Gov. Bruce Rauner -- who has a reputation for being a union antagonist, Obama highlighted the importance of labor unions, saying "As Americans, we believe workers' rights are civil rights."

"Gradually our country would add protections that we now take for granted: a 40-hour workweek, the weekend, overtime pay, safe workplace conditions and the right to organize for higher wages and better opportunities," the president said. "So this site is at the heart of what would become America's labor movement -- and as a consequence, at the heart of what would become America's middle class."

Quick Hit
by La Risa Lynch
2:19pm
Fri Aug 22, 2014

U.S. National Parks Director Visits Chicago To Review Efforts To Include Pullman Area In System

Efforts to designate parts of the Pullman community on Chicago’s far South Side as a national park site could see some presidential muscle behind the cause.

The head of the U.S. National Park Service toured what remains of the Pullman Palace Car Company Thursday as part of a visit to gage public support for including portions of the community, created by its namesake founder George M. Pullman, in the national park system. Jonathan B. Jarvis, the national parks system director, said a little known presidential power given under the 1906 Antiquities Act could make the proposal a reality sooner than later.

That route seems doable since legislation proposed by U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) and U.S. Rep Robin Kelly (D-IL,2) have been stuck in committee in both chambers since the bills were introduced. The Antiquities Act allows a president to use an executive order to designate a site as a national monument.

Jarvis said there are two ways to establish a new park within the national park system — one is through Congress, which he said “we have not seen a lot of movement on” even though both bills have bipartisan support.

“But there is an alternative path and that is presidential power,” he added.

PI Original
by Aricka Flowers
2:40pm
Thu Oct 17, 2013

Government Shutdown Ends, Debt Ceiling Crisis Averted — For Now

The federal government is now open, workers are back on the job and the debt ceiling deadline of October 17 was barely met following a late night for Congress and the president. Progress Illinois takes a look the new deal, the effects of the government shutdown and what's next for Congress.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
5:05pm
Tue Oct 1, 2013

After Senate Rejects Conference, House Looks To Fund Government In Piecemeal Fashion

As promised, the Senate voted to reject the House's request for conference. Now, the GOP-led House is looking to fund the government in a piecemeal fashion.

The Senate voted Tuesday along party lines in a 54-46 vote to reject the House's request for conference, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said would happen last night after the government shutdown.

As a result, the House is reportedly looking to reopen the government in a piecemeal manner by passing small continuing resolutions (C.R.) to address some of the now-shuttered programs and agencies. The House is looking to pass C.R.s that would fund the Department of Veteran's Affairs, the National Parks Service and operations for the District of Columbia.