Both chambers were out of session this week, but will return early next week.
Exasperated With Congress, Obama to Act Alone on Immigration
With last Thursday marking the one-year anniversary since the Senate passed its comprehensive immigration reform bill, and in wake of the recent surge of unaccompanied minors crossing the Southwest border, President Barack Obama used the bully pulpit to announce his decision to circumvent a recalcitrant Congress with executive action.
During his statement, President Obama announced that he would redirect federal resources to the border and ask cabinet members to identify before the end of summer executive actions that are within his authority that he can take to fix our immigration system. Recognizing that executive actions were limited, President Obama made it clear that he still intends to put pressure on House Republicans to pass an immigration bill. The university’s immigration priorities—including STEM visas and citizenship for undocumented DREAM students—require Congressional action.
The pressure to act comes as tensions with the Congress escalate. Just last week, House Speaker John Boehner declared that he is planning on initiating a federal lawsuit against President Obama for executive overreach in sidestepping Congress. Speaker Boehner may bring legislation to the floor later this month to authorize the House of Representatives to file suit against the President.
ENYART, DURBIN PARTNER WITH UI FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT
UI President Robert A. Easter and Vice President Larry Schook led a large University of Illinois delegation to a regional economic development summit in southern Illinois convened by Rep. Bill Enyart. Other notable attendees included Sen. Dick Durbin and Southern Illinois University President Randy Dunn. The summit, which featured an update by UI LABS' Jacob Goodwin about progress made to-date by the Digital Manufacturing Design and Innovation Institute (DMDII) and a tour of a Boeing defense manufacturing facility, examined challenges for the regional economy as well as opportunities for collaboration among participants.
"Revitalizing Illinois' economy is a priority for the University of Illinois and one of our core missions," said President Easter. "We stand ready to collaborate with industry, government, and academic institutions throughout southern Illinois to increase manufacturing competitiveness and help drive progress and economic growth for the region."
In addition to those listed above, two breakout sessions featured Boeing and General Dynamics executives, State Senator James Clayborne, State Rep. Eddie Jackson, staff from Senators Durbin and Mark Kirk, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Southwest Illinois College, as well as regional chambers of commerce and economic development organizations. University of Illinois participants included: Urbana Applied Research Institute's Jeff Binder; Director of Extension George Czapar; Cancer Center Associate Director Regina Schwind; Special Assistant to the President Jim Oliver.
Special thanks to OVPR's Assistant Director of Economic Development Joey Mak and Courtney Grussing, who worked with Rep. Enyart's team to help curate and amplify a very meaningful event.
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