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Daniel Lipinski

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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:50pm
Mon Jun 8

Schakowsky, Senior Advocates Speak Out Against Medicare Cuts In Trade Bill

A proposal to cut Medicare spending in order to fund the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program is being met with fierce opposition from U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL,9), other House Democrats and senior advocates.

On a Monday afternoon conference call, Schakowsky and U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA,6), co-chairs of the Congressional Task Force on Seniors, joined representatives from senior advocacy groups in denouncing a Senate-passed measure that would reauthorize TAA at Medicare's expense. The TAA program provides aid to U.S. workers displaced as a result of trade agreements.

"All of us adamantly reject using Medicare as an ATM for unrelated issues, regardless of their merits," Schakowsky said. "We support Trade Adjustment Assistance. In fact, I'd like to see it improved by increasing benefits, ... but we are adamantly opposed to cutting Medicare to pay for it."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:26pm
Wed Jun 18, 2014

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.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:10am
Mon Jun 2, 2014

Six Illinois Congressmen Get F's On Immigration Score Card

Most lawmakers in the GOP-led U.S. House are "failing the Latino community" when it comes to immigration issues, according to a preliminary score card released last week.

The initial 2014 National Immigration Score Card is based on immigration-related votes taken by the 435 House members of the current 113th Congress.

The worst score of 59 percent went to 219 House members, all of whom are Republicans including six from Illinois. A total of 170 House lawmakers, all Democrats, received the best score of 100 percent, with nine of them being from Illinois. As a whole, the House earned an average score of 77 percent.

“Our community is being disproportionately devastated by the broken immigration system that this Congress refuses to fix. This preliminary score card shows that most in Congress are clearly failing us on immigration right now,” said the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement's (LCLAA) Executive Director Hector Sanchez. “Latinos can no longer tolerate more excuses on why reform has not passed."

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
9:42pm
Thu Mar 13, 2014

Schneider Pushes For Unemployment Benefits Vote In House, Senate Reaches Tentative Deal

U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL,10) has taken steps to push for the reactivation of long-term unemployment benefits in his chamber.

On Wednesday, Schneider introduced a discharge petition that could force the House to vote on an unemployment benefits extension package that would help the two million Americans who have seen their jobless insurance lapse since the December 28 expiration, which immediately affected 80,000 Illinoisans. An average of 72,000 Americans are losing their unemployment insurance each week as a result of the expiration of benefits for the long-term unemployed.

“Failing to extend unemployment insurance, a critical lifeline for many of our families, is shortsighted and hurts our communities and businesses,” Schneider said in a  release announcing his plans. “If my colleagues want to vote against the extension, I respect their right to disagree; but failing to even allow a vote goes against the very progress that families and our constituents demand. Partisan politics must not be allowed to get in the way of doing the right thing for our middle class families. That’s why I will file a measure to end the gridlock and force a vote on extending unemployment insurance.”

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
4:59pm
Mon Mar 18, 2013

Duckworth, Lipinski Back Bill To Help Families Cope With Disability-Related Expenses

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D, IL-8) announced her co-sponsorship of the bipartisan Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act today, which would allow individuals with disabilities to have tax-deferred savings accounts in order to fund health care, housing and other essential expenses.

The ABLE Act, introduced in the Senate, S. 313, and House, H.R. 647, in February, aims to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to create the tax-free accounts.

“Disabled Americans deserve every opportunity to achieve their dreams,” Duckworth said in a statement today. “The bipartisan ABLE Act would allow disabled Americans to invest in saving accounts without having it count against their federal benefits.”

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
7:24pm
Tue Feb 5, 2013

Illinois Congressmen Work Together In Bipartisan Effort To Update Visa Program

Illinois lawmakers reintroduced the Visa Waiver Program Enhanced Security and Reform Act yesterday, legislation that would waive visas for visitors to the U.S. from countries. We take a look at what updating the law would do for residents in countries like Poland.

Quick Hit
by Steven Ross Johnson
1:35pm
Fri Sep 21, 2012

Schneider Celebrates Anniversary Of DADT Repeal, Highlights Dold's Record On Gay Rights Issues

Thursday marked the one-year anniversary for the repeal of the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy for gay, lesbian and bisexual service members, an occasion gay rights advocates said should serve as a reminder of the work still needed to be done to ensure full equal rights for LGBT military personnel and their families.

PI Original
by Michael Piskur
1:06pm
Wed Feb 22, 2012

Legislators Balk As House Transportation Bill Threatens Local Transit Funding, Projects

A surface transportation bill written by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives would cut funding for Illinois, calling for drastic reductions in mass transit allocations and the elimination of popular and effective bike and pedestrian safety programs. The controversial bill is facing an uphill battle, according to some legislators from Illinois.

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