<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Chicago Political News and Chicago Politics]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/politics http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.comen-usFri, 24 Mar 2017 19:14:43 -0500Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:14:43 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Toronto School Board Bars New Trips to US]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:06:51 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Trump_health_MAR17_1200x675.jpg

The largest school board in Canada said it won't be booking future trips to the United States, citing "uncertainty" surrounding President Donald Trump's latest travel restrictions, NBC News reported.

The Toronto District School Board announced it would bar new trips to the U.S. because of "uncertainty surrounding these new restrictions — specifically with regards to who may be impacted and when," John Malloy, director of education for the school board, said in a statement Thursday.

"We do not make this decision lightly, but given the uncertainty of these new travel restrictions and when they may come into effect, if at all, we strongly believe that our students should not be placed into these situations of potentially being turned away at the border," Malloy said in the statement.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Urges Bipartisan Effort on 'A Better Bill']]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:45:01 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Trump_Ryancare_Reax_1-149039121373800001.jpg

Following the withdrawal of a Republican-backed health care bill, President Donald Trump on Friday urge Republican and Democrat lawmakers to work together on "a better bill."

<![CDATA[Ryan: 'This is a Disappointing Day for Us']]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:52:26 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Ryan_Healthcare-149038805651200001.jpg

 House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks on Friday, March 24, 2017, after Republican pulled the health care bill meant to replace the Affordable Care Act.

<![CDATA[Maloney]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:47:58 -0500 ]]> <![CDATA[Pete Souza]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:48:29 -0500 ]]> <![CDATA[Healthcare2]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:34:12 -0500 ]]> <![CDATA[Healthcare1]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:34:31 -0500 ]]> <![CDATA[Write-In Candidate Pulls Off Stunner in Philly Election]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:35:41 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Emilio+Vazquez.jpg

Democratic write-in candidate Emilio Vazquez pulled off a surprise victory in a North Philadelphia special election to replace disgraced state Rep. Leslie Acosta, who gave up her seat following a corruption conviction.

His victory was announced Friday morning after the city Election Board hand tallied all 2,483 write-in votes.

Vazquez became an improbable winner in a race that saw the Democrat originally slated for the ballot knocked off following a residency challenge.

That left only Republican candidate Lucinda Little on the ballot for a district -- the 197th -- that is 85 percent Democrat and 5 percent Republican. Little received only 198 votes on Tuesday.

The write-in votes were tallied in about three hours by election workers for the Philadelphia City Commissioners.

Vazquez received 1,964 votes, followed by Cheri Honkola, who received 280 votes, Deputy Commissioner Tim Dowling said.

Another 120 or so votes were "scattered" among other people, Dowling said.

All of the ballots cast will be preserved for any potential legal challenges, which candidates Little and Honkola have voiced as a possibility.

Leaders of the Pennsylvania Republican Party even gathered to call into question the results. A day after the special election, a group of Republicans called for the state attorney general to investigate what they alleged were violations of the election code and irregularities during the voting.

Meanwhile, Latino leaders in the community expressed their own concern for a process that led to a special election without a Democrat on the ballot.

“It just continues to substantiate why voters in that district have earned the right to be cynical. The 197th has made national news as a symbol of the Democratic party’s weakness," Israel Colon, former director of the city’s multicultural office during Mayor Michael Nutter’s tenure, told NBC10 this week. "What is happening in this sector of the Latino community is nothing more than a microcosm of an antiquated Democratic party in our city that has lost its way -- only concerned with preserving its power and its own existence.”

Editor's note: Earlier version of this story reported Emilio Vazquez's name as Vasquez.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Clinic Run by Michele Bachmann’s Husband Hit With Violations]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:10:57 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/michellebachmanandhusband2011_1200x675.jpg

A clinic that was accused of pushing bogus "pray away the gay" therapy — and is owned by former Rep. Michele Bachmann's husband — was cited by Minnesota health inspectors for failing to properly keep patient records, NBC News reported.

Inspectors going through the paperwork at the Counseling Care clinic in Lake Elmo found last month that "developmental condition" and other legally-required information was missing in the records they perused, a Minnesota Department of Human Services correction order dated March 20 states.

Marcus Bachmann said they were guilty of making "minor clerical errors."

"We are taking the necessary steps to correct them," he told NBC News in a telephone interview from Florida, where he said he and the former congresswoman "are on vacation." "We were told that compared with other facilities reviewed we did very well."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Issues Keystone XL Pipeline Permit]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:11:11 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/DIT_POL_TRUMPPIPELINE_032417_1-149037141095300001.jpg

President Trump issues a permit to build the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline on Friday.

<![CDATA[Spanish Lifeguard Founded Group Saved Thousands Refugees]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:00:11 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/migrants-AP_17063596037427.jpg

When Spanish lifeguard Oscar Camps traveled to the Greek Island of Lesbos to help rescue migrants from drowning in September 2015, he was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the crisis—hundreds of men, women and children desperately throwing themselves onto barely seaworthy boats to escape from Turkey to Greece, NBC News reported.

"When we got to Lesbos we realized that no one was there," Camps told NBC Latino, "there were no volunteer organizations or governmental institutions, and people were drowning. So we had to start working fast. And on our first day, we rescued people with almost no gear—swim fins and a neoprene wetsuit."

Since then, two islands in the Mediterranean—Lesbos in Greece and Lampedusa in Italy—have become battlefronts in a much wider political war about border security and immigration. Camps used his life savings to found the nonprofit Proactiva Open Arms, an organization that helped over 140,000 migrants reach land safely. It has also rescued another 20,000 caught adrift, trapped on coastal cliffs and in direct danger of drowning.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Commerce Chief's Shipping Business Raises Conflict Questions]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 07:22:48 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-629852548.jpg

When private equity billionaire Wilbur Ross Jr. signed on to be President Donald Trump's commerce secretary, he agreed to divest millions of dollars in assets, NBC News reported.

But one asset Ross plans to keep is his stake in Diamond S Shipping Group Inc., one of the world's largest owners and operators of medium-range tanker vessels.

In a new administration full of successful businessmen dealing with a complex web of conflict-of-interest concerns, Ross' part ownership of Diamond S Shipping stands out.

A Center for Public Integrity examination of Diamond S Shipping's operations found its vessels sail under Chinese flags, even as Ross is being tapped to take an unusually muscular role shaping U.S. trade policy under President Trump's "America First" mantra. 

Ross has said he doesn't believe the shipping investment presents a conflict, NBC News reported.

Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rex Tillerson Finally Answers NBC's Andrea Mitchell]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 03:44:31 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_17004410616591-Rex-Tillerson-Secretary-State-Nominee.jpg

NBC News' Andrea Mitchell has been waiting for weeks for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to answer one of her questions. On Thursday, she finally got her soundbite, NBC News reported.

At a photo op with the Saudi foreign minister, Tillerson broke his pattern of silence or "no comment" replies to speak to the veteran foreign affairs correspondant. It was the first time he answered one of her questions since he was confirmed.

Mitchell asked if Saudi Arabia and the U.S. were in agreement when it came to defeating ISIS.

"I think as you saw from our meeting yesterday on the coalition to defeat ISIS there's great unanimity around the effort to defeat ISIS, not just on the battlefield but also off the battlefield and around the world. So yes I would say there's great unanimity," Tillerson replied.

Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Calif. Governor Calls GOP Health Plan a 'Disaster']]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 23:04:18 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_17024731043189.jpg

As Congress wrestles over the House Republican health care bill, California Gov. Jerry Brown attacked the legislation, alleging that any lawmaker who supports the legislation will find "their name is going to be mud," NBC News reported

"This bill is not health care reform, or repeal and replace — it's death, disease and suffering," said Brown, a Democrat, in an exclusive interview airing this Sunday on NBC's "Meet The Press."

"It's a terrible thing. Now, yeah, it'll cost money, billions of dollars which we wouldn't have. Around the country, we're talking hundreds of billions. So it's a disaster. If it does happen to get out of the House, I would imagine the Senate is going to take a very hard look at it because anybody with their name on this bill. In most districts in America, their name is going to be mud. No question about it."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Rush Cancels DC Trip as Health Care Vote is Postponed]]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:41:05 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/bobby+rush+2014.jpg

Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush, who is mourning the loss of his wife after she passed away last week, was going to fly to Washington, D.C. for the vote on the new GOP health care plan, but has changed his travel plans amid news the vote has been postponed. 

The visitation and funeral services for Rush's late wife Carolyn are scheduled to take place Friday and Saturday. 

At noon Thursday, Rush told NBC 5 he was on his way to Washington, saying he felt his vote was needed.

“If [Carolyn] were here today, in this time, she would tell me to go to Washington," Rush said in the exclusive interview.

The congressman was booked on a 3 p.m. flight to D.C. but he later canceled those plans. 

Rush said he spoke to Democratic leadership who could not guarantee the health care vote would take place before 6 a.m. Friday. Soon after, sources told NBC News the House of Representatives postponed the vote after more conservative members of the party refused to pledge for the measure. 

Rush had planned to return to Chicago early Friday morning because “we’ve got family who are arriving [Thursday] to mourn her passing. Tomorrow the official services start.” 

He noted his wife, who had been critically ill for six months, “had good health care."

"Every American deserves the health care that my wife had,” Rush said.

Rush said the reason he was willing to leave his family to go to Washington was “I have to do my part to resist the evil, wicked president.”

The bill could still come to a vote in coming days. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[‘Bizarre’ Behavior by House Intel Committee Leaders: McCain]]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 09:06:14 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/MCCAIN_AP_16285088898654.jpg

After a high-stakes back and forth between the top Democrat and Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Sen. John McCain said partisan bickering has cost Congress its credibility to investigate alleged Russian interference in last year's election, NBC News reported.

"I have not seen anything like it," McCain said Thursday on NBC's "Today" show about the infighting. "It is very disturbing."

McCain, R-Ariz., said it's up to House leadership to decide whether to change how the investigation is being conducted, and on Wednesday called for a congressional select committee or independent commission to take charge. Republican leaders on Capitol Hill have so far resisted such a move.

Photo Credit: AP, FIle]]>