The Chicago Tribune has endorsed U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL,8) in the race for Illinois' senate seat. The newspaper has previously endorsed incumbent Mark Kirk (R) in each of his races for political office.
In January of 2012, Kirk suffered an ischemic stroke, returning to Congress a year later. Kirk has been declared mentally fit to do his job as a congressman and regained use of his left side, but he does use a cane or wheelchair and sometimes appears to struggle with his speech.
The newspaper took the congressman's current state of health into consideration in opting to support his challenger in the November election.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL,8) are scheduled to attend a Monday morning roundtable discussion in Chicago on "commonsense" immigration reform.
The U.S. Supreme Court announced a 4-4 split on the case challenging President Barack Obama's executive orders on immigration reform and Illinois advocates are expressing their dismay as they plan to press their efforts forward.
The deadlock vote means the president's November 2014 orders to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and install the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) have been blocked for the time being.
The programs would have deferred deportation for three years for undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens and green card holders, while also expanding protections for people who were brought to the U.S. as minors and were not covered by the original DACA program. More than 4 million immigrants would have benefited from the orders, 280,000 people living in Illinois.
"This ruling is deeply frustrating and disappointing for all immigrant communities," said Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights CEO Lawrence Benito. "Instead of being able to move forward with our lives and contributing further to our entire community, immigrants remain vulnerable to the knock on the door that could separate them from their families and from the lives they have made in this country."
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed new regulations Thursday to crack down on the payday lending industry.
Payday lending provides short-term access to credit, but usually comes with high interest rates, often in the triple digits, and expensive fees.
"The consumer bureau is proposing strong protections aimed at ending payday debt traps," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a news release. "Too many borrowers seeking a short-term cash fix are saddled with loans they cannot afford and sink into long-term debt. It's much like getting into a taxi just to ride across town and finding yourself stuck in a ruinously expensive cross-country journey. By putting in place mainstream, common-sense lending standards, our proposal would prevent lenders from succeeding by setting up borrowers to fail."