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Pentagon
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:31pm
Thu Mar 24

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
5:34pm
Thu Feb 13, 2014

Gutierrez Presses Military About Enlistment Policies For Citizens With Undocumented Dependents

U.S. Congressmen Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) and Mike Coffman (R-CO,6) are calling on military officials to promptly investigate whether U.S. citizens with undocumented immigrant family members are being barred from enlisting in branches of the Armed Forces.

The two congressmen on Wednesday sent a letter to the secretaries of the Air Force, Army and Navy, urging them to finish a review of the U.S. Armed Services' enlistment policies. 

The congressmen, along with 31 other House members, first requested answers about possible exclusionary enlistment rules in a letter they sent to the secretaries on November 21. Illinois Democratic Reps. Bill Foster (11), Mike Quigley (5) and Jan Schakowsky (9) signed on to that letter.

The bipartisan group of 33 congressmen raised concerns about the issue following reports of military recruiters rejecting enlistments from U.S. citizens with spouses and children living illegally in the country.

"There is no reason I can think of why any branch of the military should restrict the military service of individuals based on the immigration status of someone else in their family. None," Gutierrez, chairman of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said in November. "I want to know where this is happening, why and what is being done to fix it."

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
6:19pm
Fri Mar 15, 2013

Illinois Congressmen Push Bills On DOD Audit, Future Of U.S. Physicians & Fracking

Three bills in Congress received co-sponsorship from Illinois legislators this week ranging from a call to audit the Pentagon to an investigation of the environmental and health consequences of fracking. We take a closer look at the bills.