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Federal budget
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:26pm
Wed Jun 18

Most Illinois Congressional Members Get Passing Grades On National Poverty Scorecard

Six Democratic members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation had a perfect voting record in 2013 on legislation important to people living in poverty, according to a new scorecard and report published by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.

Meanwhile, no Republican Congressmen from Illinois earned a grade higher than a 'D' on the center's 2013 Poverty Scorecard, which looked at the voting record of every U.S. senator and representative on poverty-related issues during the last calendar year. The scores were tabulated based on 18 votes taken in the House and Senate on legislation covering a variety of subject areas including budget and tax, food and nutrition, health care, immigrants, cash assistance, domestic violence, education and the workforce, to name a few. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:09pm
Wed Jun 11

Tax Fairness Groups Rally Against Walgreen's Potential $4 Billion Tax Dodge (VIDEO)

Tax fairness activists rallied outside of the Walgreens downtown Chicago flagship store Wednesday morning in protest of possible plans by the nation's biggest pharmacy chain to move its corporate address from Illinois to Switzerland, a "tax haven."

Toting signs reading "Walgreens, don't shortchange America," about 20 activists called on Deerfield-based Walgreen Co. to remain an Illinois company and drop a potential plan to reincorporate itself offshore through a maneuver called a "corporate tax inversion." The move could cost U.S. taxpayers $4 billion in lost tax revenue over a five-year period, shows a new report released ahead of today's protest by Americans for Tax Fairness and Change to Win Retail Initiatives.

"If Walgreens relinquishes Illinois roots by becoming a Swiss company, it will not only be a betrayal of the people of the great state of Illinois, it will undermine critical taxpayer-funded services that we all rely on," stressed William McNary, co-director of Citizen Action/Illinois. "If Walgreens moves it corporate address offshore, it will still take advantage of all the benefits it gets from operating in America. It will still get the $72 billion in annual sales that we give them every year. It will still get the $16 billion that we as taxpayers give them for Medicare and Medicaid." Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:37pm
Tue May 13

Illinois Congressmen Denounce Ryan Budget At Medicare Roundtable (VIDEO)

Illinoisans in support of strengthening Medicare, Social Security and other crucial programs denounced the Ryan Budget at a roundtable discussion in Wheeling Tuesday afternoon, calling the GOP-backed fiscal blueprint a "highway to hardship" for senior citizens, disabled individuals and the poor.

U.S. Reps. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL,08), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL,09) and Brad Schneider (D-IL,10) hosted the talk about “keeping Medicare healthy” with their constituents and members of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL,11) also held a roundtable discussion on the topic in Aurora with representatives from the organization. 

Back in April, Republicans in the GOP-led House approved the chamber's controversial fiscal year 2015 budget drafted by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI,1). Duckworth, Schakowsky, Schneider and Foster voted against the budget.

"I'm proud to stand up to Representative Ryan and his desire to spend taxpayer dollars on corporate tax breaks at the expense of working families and seniors," Duckworth said at the discussion, held at the Wheeling Pavilion Senior Center. "We're going to keep fighting him every step of the way." Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:39pm
Tue Apr 22

Congresswoman Kelly Committed To Renewing Push For Federal Gun Control Legislation

Although gun-control legislation has stalled in Congress, "common-sense gun reform" remains one of U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly's top priorities, the Democratic congresswoman said at a Monday night event in East Hazel Crest to review her first year in the House.

Kelly, a former state representative, was elected last April to fill the 2nd congressional district seat left vacant by disgraced former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. after he resigned in 2012. The district covers Chicago’s far Southeast Side and a large swath of the southern suburbs.

While in Congress, Kelly introduced gun-control legislation meant to place stricter safety standards on guns and keep "violent, dangerous people" from being able to purchase firearms. But supporters of gun curbs simply cannot get gun-control legislation to the House floor for a vote, Kelly said. 

"There is gun legislation dealing with background checks, and there is about 180 to 190 bipartisan signatures, Democrats and Republicans," the congresswoman said. "But we cannot get it called to the floor, so what I tell people when people come and see me about the gun issue [is], 'I'm your choir.' So we need to call other people across the United States and call Speaker [John] Boehner [to] at least [bring] the bill to committee and to the floor and let it be voted up or down."  Read more »