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Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
6:03pm
Wed Sep 18, 2013

House To Vote On Obamacare — Again, GOP Continues To Hold Federal Government Hostage

The U.S. House is moving forward with a plan to simultaneously fund the federal government and defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a Wednesday announcement by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH,8).

The Speaker says the most conservative members of his caucus have made it clear that they will not relent on their attempts to get rid of the health care reform bill, even if it results in a government shutdown.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
12:23pm
Fri Aug 30, 2013

Community Members Skeptical As Rush, Kirk Promise Federal Support For Englewood (VIDEO)

Following a tour of the crime-ridden streets of Englewood on Thursday, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D, IL-1) vowed to work together in a bipartisan effort to invest federal dollars to combat violence and poverty in the South Side neighborhood.

“We have agreed that this isn’t going to be a one-stop tour, or a cameo appearance,” said Rush, who invited Kirk to tour his district’s community following the congressional delegates’ disagreement earlier this year on how to clean up Englewood’s streets. “We need money, we need jobs.”

Kirk agreed, saying Englewood “has potential.”

“If we remove the scourge of gang violence from it, we will unlock its potential and we should do that,” the senator said, following his neighborhood visit.

Kirk and Rush said the three-hour tour, which was closed to the media, allowed them to see first-hand the abundance of abandoned properties and vacant lots that are often breeding grounds for crime in the neighborhood. Kirk said the tour was “pretty shocking” with “a lot of despair.”

Quick Hit
by La Risa Lynch
2:48pm
Thu Aug 1, 2013

U.S. Rep. Rush Seeks Federal Funding To End Trauma Center Deserts

For Michael Dye, the death of his best friend is still raw. Dye wonders if his friend, 19 year-old Kevin Ambrose, would be alive today if Chicago’s South Side had a level-1 adult trauma center.

“We actually beat the ambulance to the hospital which was like a 30- to 45-minute ride at 11 p.m., which was surprising to me,” Dye said in detailing Ambrose's ambulance ride to Stroger Hospital after having been shot near the Green Line stop near 43rd Street in May.

Dye wondered why his friend wasn’t taken to either Provident Hospital or the University of Chicago (U of C) Medical Center. Instead, Ambrose, a Columbia College theatre student, was taken to Stroger, which is located nearly seven miles away from where he was shot — and is where he later died.

“It really hurts personally because Kevin’s chances of living would have been at a higher rate if he was taken to U of C or Provident or any other trauma center on the South Side, if we had one,” Dye, also 19, said.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
4:39pm
Mon Apr 8, 2013

Schneider Launches Initiative To Support Small Businesses

Freshman lawmaker U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider (D, IL-10) met with constituents in Gurnee today in an effort to better understand the needs of small business owners in his district.

“If I’m going to represent the district, I have to understand what makes up the district” said Schneider, who has visited 17 small businesses since taking office earlier this year.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:57pm
Tue Mar 19, 2013

How The Ryan Budget Would Impact Food Assistance For The Needy

More than 2 million low-income individuals in Illinois rely on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for food aid, but the program could face a big setback under U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R, WI-1) proposed budget released last week.

Ryan’s plan aims to block grant the flexible SNAP program, which has about 47 million participants.

Under the plan, the federal government would give pots of cash to states to run the program, leaving them to customize it to their recipients’ needs and determine eligibility requirements.  

“Like Medicaid, SNAP suffers from a flawed structure,” the budget plan says. “States receive more money if they enroll more people in the program — so their incentive is to get people onto the rolls. They have little incentive to help people get off the rolls and find work. In fact, these programs make it harder to become independent.”

That’s not the right approach, said Beverly Henry, associate professor of nutrition and dietetics at Northern Illinois University’s College of Health and Human Sciences.

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