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@TED SCHURTER / STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER

Could a reborn Mushroom Caucus be the key to breaking the political impasse that has the financial health of Illinois at death’s doorstep?

The self-deprecatory moniker was coined a generation ago by a group of legislative backbenchers who complained they were kept in the dark by their leaders and fed horse (manure).

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has called state legislators back to Springfield this week to begin 10 special sessions through the end of June.

 

He says he wants a budget deal, but he also is spending money attacking Democrats. The attacks have come in at least three forms: online ads, direct mail, and TV commercials.

 

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.

paulnehlen.com

Paul Nehlen says he will run against House Speaker Paul Ryan after losing to him in the Republican primary by 68 points last year. Ryan represents Wisconsin's 1st district.

Nehlen announced his 2018 candidacy Friday in an email that doubled as a fundraising plea. Nehlen says he's running against Ryan because "Ryan has led the way to thwart President Trump's bold agenda every step of the way."

Nehlen courted Trump voters last year. His longshot candidacy garnered attention after Trump praised him and initially stopped short of endorsing Ryan. Trump endorsed Ryan days later.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies today before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Senators are expected to question Sessions about the investigation into Russia's ties with President Donald Trump's administration and 2016 campaign.

Sessions also could be asked about Trump's firing of former FBI director James Comey, who testified last week.

WNIJ and NPR are providing a live audio stream of today's hearings, which begin at 1:30 CT.

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