Congress

www.cheribustos.com

An Illinois Congresswoman helped unveil a new bill this week that would prohibit lawmakers from using taxpayer dollars to pay for sexual harassment and assault settlements.

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, says she was among co-sponsors of the bill to help bring transparency to harassment-claim payouts under the Congressional Accountability Act.

Bustos says her office initially sent out a statement about it because of similar allegations coming to light across the country lately.

congress.gov

On A Friday Forum earlier this year, Illinois U.S. Representatives Bill Foster and Randy Hultgren talked about their hopes and concerns for the new Congress as it began its work. For this week's Friday Forum, WNIJ's Guy Stephens asked the two for an update on how things are going in Congress.

Associated Press / NPR

Pope Francis’s call for a renewed spirit of cooperation in Congress drew praise from members of Illinois’s delegation. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin praised the pope’s address to Congress Thursday, which he says extended a challenge to lead better lives and to help people.

“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” Durbin said. “We are divided on partisan lines and regional lines and so many others. But he’s really begged us all to put that aside, and aspire to some of his values and ideals that he’s spelled out.”

Peoria Public Radio

Residents in an Illinois Congressional district will soon have representation again in the U.S. House. 

The seat in the 18th district has been vacant since Republican Aaron Schock resigned at the end of March amid spending scandals. The special election to replace Shock is Thursday.

That's a rarity. Elections are usually on Tuesdays.

McDonough County Clerk Gretchen DeJaynes has overseen elections for 15 years. This is her first Thursday election...and she's not alone.

kidsrighttoknow.com

A bi-partisan group of lawmakers from Illinois and Missouri say labeling genetically engineered foods should be voluntary as a national standard.

Congress is considering a bill to block individual states from requiring labels for genetically engineered foods. 

The bill leaves it up to the FDA to determine whether a particular food poses a health risk and must be labeled. Monsanto and other companies want Congress to act because a Vermont law will require labels beginning next year. 

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