No Hike In Slimmer Illinois Budget, Reliance On Fed Aid

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday presented a slimmer state budget with no income tax increases but a reliance on federal relief from the COVD-19 pandemic, transfers from other funds and elimination of hundreds of millions of dollars of corporate tax breaks needing legislative approval. Pritzker, a man devoted to, and sometimes guided by, […]

Milhiser Resigning As U.S. Attorney

SPRINGFIELD – The U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois will leave at the end of the month at the request of the Biden administration.   John Milhiser took over the federal post in October of 2018.  But with a new president, change is coming.  Milhiser called it an honor to serve.  The former Sangamon County […]

Biden Holds 1st Call As President With China’s Xi As Trade, Security Issues Loom

WASHINGTON – President Biden spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday night, the White House said — an opening conversation that provided clues about how the new administration plans to deal with a country that poses vast economic, climate, and security challenges to the United States. Biden raised some of the thorniest bilateral issues, but […]

Senate Confirms Pete Buttigieg As Transportation Secretary

WASHINGTON — The Senate has approved Pete Buttigieg to be transportation secretary, which makes him the first openly gay person confirmed to a Cabinet post. Buttigieg is tasked with advancing President Joe Biden’s wide-ranging agenda of rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure and fighting climate change. He easily passed a vote on Tuesday. The 39-year-old former mayor […]

Senate Makes Alejandro Mayorkas First Latino Head Of Homeland Security

WASHINGTON – The Senate has voted to confirm Alejandro Mayorkas as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. He becomes the first Latino and first immigrant to lead DHS. The vote was narrower than for some of President Biden’s other Cabinet nominees. Mayorkas was confirmed by a 56-43 vote on Tuesday. The approval came on the […]

Biden White House Aims To Advance Racial Equity With Executive Actions

Updated at 3:33 p.m. ET WASHINGTON – Saying it’s time to act “because that’s what faith and morality require us to do,” President Biden on Tuesday signed four executive actions aimed at advancing racial equity for Americans the White House says have been underserved and left behind. Biden said Tuesday that the measures follow one […]

Senate Confirms Antony Blinken As 71st Secretary of State

WASHINGTON — The Senate has confirmed President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve as secretary of state. Antony Blinken becomes the third Cabinet member to win approval as the Biden administration forges ahead with a foreign policy intended to reverse former President Donald Trump’s “America First” doctrine and restore U.S. global standing. The 58-year-old Blinken has […]

Biden Administration Announces Plans To Assess Domestic Violent Extremism

WASHINGTON – President Biden has asked the director of national intelligence to draw up a comprehensive threat assessment on domestic violent extremism in the country as the new administration seeks to tackle what it calls a “serious and growing national security threat.” The move is one of several the White House press secretary announced Friday to address […]

Lloyd Austin Confirmed As Defense Secretary, Becomes 1st Black Pentagon Chief

Updated 2:45 p.m. ET Lloyd Austin, a retired four-star Army general, has been confirmed by the Senate, making him the first Black defense secretary in U.S. history. The Senate approved President Biden’s nomination for Pentagon chief in a near-unanimous 93-2 vote Friday. “It’s an honor and a privilege to serve as our country’s 28th Secretary […]

Biden Focuses On COVID-19 Strategy With 10 Executive Actions

Updated at Thursday 3:36 p.m. ET WASHINGTON – President Biden signed a series of orders and directives on his second day in office to take charge of stopping the spread of the coronavirus — steps that he and his advisers say will start to boost testing, vaccinations, supplies and treatments. Accelerating the sluggish federal response to COVID-19 is Biden’s top […]

From The 21st: Illinoisans’ Hopes for the Biden Administration

WASHINGTON – Presidential inaugurations are by definition historic events. Joe Biden officially become the 46th president of the United States on January 20, 2021 just before noon Wednesday during a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol. The inauguration came two weeks after a violent mob of white nationalists brawled with police and smashed their way into the Capitol building, […]

Senate Confirms Avril Haines As Director Of National Intelligence

WASHINGTON – The Senate has voted to confirm Avril Haines to be Director of National Intelligence, making her President Biden’s first Cabinet-level official to receive Senate confirmation. The vote was 84-10. Her confirmation comes after Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., briefly held up the process, asking for a written response from her about a question during her […]