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Dick Durbin

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Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
10:11am
Fri Jun 7, 2013

Consumer Advocates Say Payday Lending Worsens Debt, Call For Federal Ban

Consumer advocates are calling for a ban on all types of payday lending, saying that without regulatory federal laws, millions of borrowers charged triple-digit annual percentage rates (APR) will continue to be trapped in never-ending cycles of debt.

“Payday lenders destroy wealth in the middle class,” said Robert Lawless, co-director of the University of Illinois Program on Law, Behavior and Social Science.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
8:14pm
Mon Jun 3, 2013

New Report Highlights Need To Reform The Farm Bill's Sugar Program

Changes made to the federal sugar program in the 2008 farm bill have caused sugar prices to spike to record levels, which hurts businesses, manufacturers and consumers, a new report from the food and agriculture consulting company Agralytica shows.

Extra consumer costs due to the 2008 farm bill have tallied about $3.7 billion each year, according to the report (PDF) released Monday. Currently, sugar prices in the United States are about 46 cents per pound, which is higher than 28 cents per pound under the 2002 farm bill.

Sugar producers in the United States and Mexico have responded to the high prices in the U.S. market by expanding sugar production by 20 percent to 25 percent, said Agralytica’s Vice President Tom Earley.

The 2008 changes have made “a bad program even worse and have destabilized the U.S. sugar market,” said Earley, who is also an agricultural economist and trade policy specialist.

“Now we have too much sugar that’s driving prices down that’s going to result in significant costs for the government,” he explained.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:21pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Protesters Call On Obama To Reject Keystone Pipeline, Stop Deportations (VIDEO)

Environmentalists and comprehensive immigration reform advocates protested outside Chicago's Downtown Hilton where President Barack Obama and other key political leaders attended a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser Wednesday evening.

Activists called upon Obama to stop the deportation of undocumented immigrants and reject the Keystone XL Pipeline, among other issues.

Yesenia Najera, 11, a leader of the Albany Park Neighborhood Council, said her father was deported earlier this month.

"It is not fair," she said. "My dad is a good person and will always care for me and my brother and sister."

No other child should have to endure that kind of pain, she said.

Najera had one question for Obama.

"Will you stand for immigration families, and stop all deportation until immigration reform passes," she asked. "Not one more. Not one more."

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
10:54am
Wed May 29, 2013

Undocumented Military Students Call For Immigration Reform: 'All I Want To Do Is Serve This Country' (VIDEO)

Alejandro Morales has dreams of becoming the Marines’ first Latino commandant. But, having been carried across the border at only seven months old, Morales is an undocumented immigrant and thus cannot enlist in the military.

“I grew up here this is all I know, I’m Mexican and I’m proud of that, but I’m also an American,” said the 19 year-old graduate of Chicago’s Marine Military Math and Science Academy

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
1:07pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Durbin, Foster Discuss Immigration Reform's Economic Impact At Chamber Of Commerce Talk (VIDEO)

Comprehensive immigration reform is an important factor in America’s job creation and economic growth, according to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D, IL-11).

“I say to the workers in the United States today ... You are competing with an undocumented worker who goes to work and is paid less than a minimum wage ... They are able to undercut other workers in America just by virtue of the fact that they’re working under the counter,” said Durbin. “They’re all going to come up above the counter now, everybody will be held to the same legal standards.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:56pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Senate Votes Down Amendment To Reform 'Outdated' Sugar Program In Farm Bill

Reforming the sugar program in the nation's farm bill would make U.S. manufacturers more competitive and reduce prices for consumers, said U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), co-sponsor of an amendment to revamp the system.

The amendment, S. 345, did not seek to eliminate the program. Instead, it aimed to reform restrictions on imports as well as subsidies for sugar growers, along with other changes. But the Senate rejected the amendment by a 45-54 vote Wednesday.

“We’ve been hearing a lot of talk about the need to protect America’s sugar farmers, but what we haven’t heard is that sugar remains the most tightly controlled commodity market in this country,” Shaheen said during floor discussion in the Senate Wednesday. “We currently have an outdated ... program that offers a sweet deal to a small group of sugar growers and processors at the expense of too many other American businesses and at the expense of American consumers.”

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
4:47pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Unite Here Workers Oppose Pritzker Nomination For Commerce Secretary

Senate confirmation hearings for Chicago billionaire Penny Pritzker’s nomination for U.S. Secretary of Commerce are scheduled for Thursday, but workers from the her family-owned hotel chain are already voicing their opposition to the selection.

“This is not somebody we want in Washington; this is a lady whose business model hurts workers,” said Demetrius Jackson, 25, a lifelong Chicagoan and convention service houseman at the Hyatt Regency Chicago for six years.

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