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.

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. 

Costs Of Special Election Shock County Clerks

Mar 23, 2015

The resignation of U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock and the required special election have officials in the 19 Illinois counties in his 18th Congressional District concerned about how to cover those costs.

County clerks they are asking Illinois lawmakers to delay a new state law allowing same-day voter registration which takes effect June 1, the Associated Press reports.

Former U.S. Representative Bob Kastenmeier has died at the age of 91. The Wisconsin Democrat was an early and staunch opponent of the Vietnam War.

Kastenmeier served 32 years in Congress. He was 91. His wife Dorothy says he died Friday at their home in Arlington, Virginia. 

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin says she was proud to walk in his footsteps representing the 2nd Congressional District.

“His public service is an inspiration to me today and his optimistic spirit will live on in me and other elected officials who were touched by his life's work.”

It looks like Congress can avert a government shutdown, as tomorrow’s deadline to approve a spending bill approaches. Northern Illinois Congressman Randy Hultgren says there’s still a lot to pull together in the next few days.  


Leaders from across Illinois are becoming more vocal about their desire for Congress to approve an immigration overhaul. Staying outside of the political debate, mayors and university officials have a common theme in their message: a comprehensive bill would provide a boost to local communities.

Congress members – like most of the world -- appear to be taking a “wait and see” stance on Syria. 

Illinois’ Second Congressional District has a voice again. Democrat Robin Kelly easily beat five opponents in the special election to fill former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s U.S. House seat. The district has been without representation since Jackson resigned in November, shortly after winning re-election, in spite of corruption allegations and an extended leave to deal with bipolar depression. 

Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. has resigned: a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner confirms he has received Jackson's letter of resignation.