House GOP Says Health Care Fight Not Over, But Offers No Path Forward

House Republicans emerged from a members-only meeting Tuesday morning to bullishly declare the health care legislative battle is not over. "We promised that we would repeal and replace Obamacare, and that's exactly what we're going to do," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters after the meeting. The regular House GOP weekly meeting ran unusually long and lawmakers kicked staff out so they could vent properly after Friday's demoralizing setback. House Speaker Paul Ryan...

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Flickr user Daniel Borman / "Money, Money, Money" (CC BY 2.0)

The limits are lifted on spending in next year's Illinois governor's race after Democratic businessman Chris Kennedy put more than $250,000 into his campaign fund.

The move signals another big spending campaign among incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats challenging him. Illinois law says standard limits on campaign donations are lifted when a candidate in a statewide race gives themselves more than $250,000.

Illinois campaign disclosure records show Kennedy contributed $250,100 to his Kennedy for Illinois fund on Friday.

The Justice Department is following through on an executive order to withhold as much as $4.1 billion in federal grants from so-called "sanctuary cities," generally defined as places where local law enforcement limit their cooperation with federal authorities on immigration enforcement.

"Interstate 55 - Illinois" by Flickr User Doug Kerr / (CC X 2.0)

Gov. Bruce Rauner is asking the Illinois Legislature to allow work to start on Interstate 55 in the Chicago area via a public-private partnership.

Rauner, the state transportation secretary and Republican House Leader Jim Durkin made the push at a news conference on Monday. They say the Illinois Legislature needs to pass a resolution supporting the project by the end of the month.

What's it like to sue President Trump? For Jeffrey Lovitky, with a one-lawyer firm in Washington, D.C., it's not a great feeling.

"It is intimidating. I am intimidated," he said in an interview with NPR. "I mean, I would rather not be doing this."

But he has done it, and when he couldn't enlist anyone else to be the plaintiff, he took on that role, too.

"I think people are afraid to put their name out there on a lawsuit against the president," he said. "There is a sense that Donald Trump can be very difficult on people who oppose him."

Carl Nelson/WNIJ

The average Illinois price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $2.31.  This is 4 cents cheaper than last week's mean price.  

The state's most expensive gas, according to AAA, can be found in the City of Chicago, at $2.68 per gallon. By contrast, Springfield has the cheapest gas, at a price of $2.07 per gallon.  

Rockford's average per-gallon price is $2.21.  This is three cents cheaper than last week's average.

Illinois Issues: When Women Are Paid Less Than Men

Mar 27, 2017
Kendall Coyne

A bill in Springfield seeks to ease the gender pay gap.

Palos Heights native Kendall Coyne, an Olympic silver-medalist in the 2014 Sochi Winter Games and a member of the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team, has joined her fellow skaters in a fight off the ice.

The U.S. Women’s Hockey Team last week announced its boycott of the Hockey Women’s World Championship to be held in Michigan beginning March 31. The team has been at odds with USA Hockey over fair wages and equitable support.

Illinois lawmakers are working on legislation intended to help youth programs struggling under the state budget impasse.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Now that the Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act has been tabled, one Congressional Democrat from northern Illinois says it’s time to work together to make the existing law better.

17th District Rep. Cheri Bustos says she’s on the same page with President Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan on two important changes they want in the health care law: they all want people to pay less for premiums, co-pays, and deductibles, as well as prescription drugs. She says where they differ is how to get there.  

This was to have been the week when President Trump turned his fledgling presidency around, setting a course for success and letting the wind fill its sails at last.

Instead, it became his worst week to date, ending with the ship becalmed and its crew in disarray. After other controversies had spoiled the weather, the Republicans proved unable to muster the votes to pass their repeal-and-replace Obamacare bill in the House. The president and Speaker Paul Ryan had to call off the vote scheduled on the floor — not once but twice.

Peggy Doty

Monarch butterflies have started their long, three-generation migration north. Last year, a late-winter storm reduced their numbers drastically. It could be two months before they show up in Illinois again, but there are ways to start preparing for their return.

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News From NPR

After seven years of trying, Republicans failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act last week.

That doesn't mean the health care drama is over, though. House Speaker Paul Ryan this week told donors that the party is "going to keep getting at this thing," according to the Washington Post.

But whatever Ryan and his colleagues manage to do, plenty could still change in the Affordable Care Act. Last week's failed bill, after all, was only one part of the GOP's plan.

When it broadcasts the Winter Olympics from South Korea next year, NBC will do so with live programming across the U.S., bringing an end to the network's decades-old strategy of delaying coverage according to U.S. time zones.

Code Switch's Adrian Florido has been covering the new sanctuary movement for us. For this episode, he spoke to key players to understand why hundreds of churches are ready to start a public fight with the current administration to prevent deportations of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

He also looks at why the movement has to wrestle with important questions: Who controls the story and the message? How much say does an individual or family have in how a sanctuary church leverages their story?

Hillary Clinton criticized the lack of diversity in the Trump White House and the ill-fated Republican health care proposal in what were her most political public remarks since losing the November presidential election to Donald Trump.

Clinton made her observations in an address to the Professional BusinessWomen of California in San Francisco Tuesday night. "There's no place I'd rather be than here with you," she told the gathering, adding, "other than the White House."

In Washington, D.C., U.S. Capitol Police say they have arrested an adult suspect after an incident Wednesday in which a driver "nearly struck" police officers and shots were fired.

The officers observed an "erratic and aggressive" driver near the U.S. Capitol on Independence Avenue at 9:22 a.m. ET and tried to carry out a traffic stop, Capitol Police communications Director Eva Malecki said in a statement to NPR.

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