In The News

December 02, 2021

Infrastructure law accelerates Chicago’s push to make CTA stations accessible

by Bill Ruthhart

More than 31 years after Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 of Chicago's "L" stations still lack the elevators and other upgrades they need to be fully accessible. Those aging stations could get upgraded sooner than expected, thanks to a provision pushed by U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth that was included in the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill recently signed into law by President Joe Biden. The legislation sets aside $1.75 billion in grants for transit agencies … Continue Reading

November 30, 2021

President Biden signs veterans’ maternal health bill sponsored by Rep. Underwood, Sen. Duckworth

by Lynn Sweet

WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed a bill requiring the Department of Veterans Affairs to improve maternal health for vets, legislation Illinois Democrats Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Rep. Lauren Underwood championed, earning enough GOP support that it was waved through the House and Senate. "It's an important step in making sure we meet the needs of American mothers who have served," Biden said at a bill-signing ceremony Duckworth and Underwood attended. Getting a stand-alone … Continue Reading

November 26, 2021

Will infrastructure money finally solve Cahokia Heights’ flooding and sewage problems?

by Kelsey Landis

A metro-east community beleaguered for more than 40 years by flooding and sewage has struggled to secure money to fix millions of dollars in problems. But elected officials say the new federal infrastructure deal should pay for repairs. Nonstop sewage and flooding issues caused by decades of neglect have affected residents of Cahokia Heights, the city formed by the merger of Alorton, Centreville and Cahokia. Cahokia Heights plans to use $2.8 million in COVID-19 relief money for repairs, but … Continue Reading

November 18, 2021

Duckworth’s Afghanistan commission set for inclusion in defense bill

by Shawn Zeller
Source: Roll Call

A proposal by Illinois Democrat Tammy Duckworth to create an independent commission to examine U.S. government failures over two decades of war in Afghanistan looks like it will be included in the Senate's version of the annual defense policy bill. Speaking with CQ Roll Call on Thursday, Duckworth, a retired Army pilot who lost both her legs when her helicopter was shot down in Iraq in 2004 and now serves on the Armed Services Committee, said her amendment to the National Defense … Continue Reading

November 16, 2021

'It's Shameful:' New Law Tackles Maternity Care for Female Veterans

by Patricia Kime

The Department of Veterans Affairs will be able to invest more in maternity care for female veterans and the federal government will be required to study the health of active-duty and former service members who have had babies or are trying to get pregnant after Congress passed legislation Tuesday. The Protecting Moms Who Served Act, passed by the House in a 414-9 vote and now heading to President Joe Biden for a signature, allows the VA to spend $15 million to improve coordination between … Continue Reading

November 16, 2021

Duckworth touts drinking water infrastructure funds in bipartisan bill

by Zack Budryk
Source: The Hill

The bipartisan infrastructure package signed Monday by President Biden contains a bill streamlining funding for water infrastructure projects, a provision that its sponsor, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), hopes will mean "a difference made in people's lives every day." In an interview with The Hill Tuesday, Duckworth called the measure in question, the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021, "the backbone of all the water infrastructure in this larger bill." The provision … Continue Reading

November 15, 2021

New infrastructure funding will help expand access to transit for people with disabilities

by Kris Van Cleave
Source: CBS News

Because of the passage of the new bipartisan infrastructure legislation, nearly $2 billion is coming to transit agencies across the country to help address an accessibility gap. "We've never had a separate fund set aside for disability access improvements for mass transit stations," Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth told CBS News in a recent interview. "This is really significant. We are going to see real improvements very soon." Some 20% of all transit stations in the U.S. are not in … Continue Reading

November 14, 2021

Thousands of military families struggle with food insecurity

by Ashraf Khalil

SAN DIEGO (AP) - It's a hidden crisis that has existed for years inside one of the most well-funded institutions on the planet and has only worsened during the coronavirus pandemic. As many as 160,000 active-duty military members are having trouble feeding their families. That estimate by Feeding America, which coordinates the work of more than 200 food banks around the country, underscores how long-term food insecurity has extended into every aspect of American life, including the … Continue Reading

November 08, 2021

Infrastructure Bill Could Open New Doors for Amputees

Source: Amplitude

It wasn't easy, but Congress finally passed the much-debated bipartisan infrastructure bill last week. As we noted two months ago, when the Senate passed its version of the legislation, this bill includes some significant gains for amputees and other people with disabilities. The biggest of those is the $1.7 billion All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP), which will bring all bus, train, subway, and other mass transit stations across the country into (belated) compliance with the Americans … Continue Reading

November 07, 2021

Illinois to get at least $17 billion from President Biden infrastructure bill; could be more

by Lynn Sweet

WASHINGTON - The $1 trillion infrastructure bill, once signed into law by President Joe Biden, will pour an astounding $17 billion into Illinois for projects with the prospects of billions more from competitive grants. "It's easily the biggest infrastructure package in decades," wrote Brookings Senior Fellow Adie Tomer. "To put that new spending in perspective, it's nearly enough to increase total federal infrastructure spending to the same average levels as during the New Deal. It's safe to … Continue Reading

October 22, 2021

Senators urge Biden to award Presidential Medal of Freedom to creator of Military Women’s Memorial

by Nikki Wentling

WASHINGTON - Twenty senators, all women, urged President Joe Biden on Friday to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to retired Brig. Gen. Wilma L. Vaught, who broke barriers for women during her military service and later helped create the Military Women's Memorial. Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, who both served in the military, sent a letter to Biden asking that he award the medal to Vaught at his first opportunity. Eighteen other senators signed onto the … Continue Reading

October 20, 2021

Sen. Duckworth stresses need to regulate PFAs chemicals after local Sugar Camp Mine Fire

by Danny Valle
Source: WSIL

(WSIL) -- U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) says government agencies must put more focus on eliminating PFAs chemicals. Duckworth briefly spoke during a 90-minute hearing by the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works about evaluating the federal response to the persistence and impacts of PFAs chemicals in the environment. Duckworth says PFAs chemicals seep to the ground and present a dangerous risk to public health for decades to come. Duckworth mentioned a Chicago … Continue Reading

October 16, 2021

US airlines damage thousands of wheelchairs every year. Disabled Sen. Tammy Duckworth says, 'It's like they're breaking my legs every 3-4 flights.'

by Bethany Dawson

Like most US senators, Tammy Duckworth travels a lot. But, every 3-4 flights, her mobility is taken away from her, she tells Insider. "Wheelchairs should be treated like a human limb because they're my legs," says Sen. Duckworth in a video call with Insider. "When you break my wheelchair, or you lose my wheelchair, you've taken away my legs." Senator Duckworth lost her legs as a veteran in the Iraq war when the Blackhawk helicopter she was co-piloting was hit by an RPG. "Once I was on a … Continue Reading

October 12, 2021

Pritzker, Durbin, Duckworth break ground on Springfield transportation hub

by Peter Hancock

SPRINGFIELD - A railway improvement project intended to greatly improve traffic congestion between St. Louis and Chicago reached a milestone Tuesday as work began on a multimodal transportation hub in the capital city. Gov. J.B. Pritzker was joined at a groundbreaking ceremony by U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, along with several state lawmakers and local government officials, both Republicans and Democrats, to break ground on the Springfield Sangamon County Transportation Center, … Continue Reading

October 07, 2021

Sen. Tammy Duckworth calls for a 'real, cold-hard facts look' at US' failed 20-year war in Afghanistan

by Marco Werman
Source: The World

Marco Werman: You've called your proposal, senator, the Afghanistan War Study Commission. What do you hope it will achieve? Sen. Tammy Duckworth: Well, I hope that it will achieve a comprehensive look at the various errors that have been made by all the different folks involved and gives us the lessons learned so that we don't enter into another quagmire like the one we've been in for 20 years in Afghanistan. We know that the United States will be involved in future conflicts. We need to … Continue Reading

October 01, 2021

Sen. Duckworth issues plea to help Afghan refugees: ‘If you can help, please help’

by Elvia Malagón

Weeks after the U.S. military withdrew from Afghanistan, U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth is encouraging Chicago residents to step up and help Afghans who will be resettling in the area in the coming months. The social service agencies assisting Afghans in Chicago need help finding permanent housing, jobs, furniture and household items, she said during a news conference Friday at Heartland Alliance's Ravenswood office. In coming months, 830 Afghans are expected to find a home in Illinois, Duckworth … Continue Reading

September 30, 2021

Senator Calls for Massive Investigation into What Went Wrong in Afghanistan

by Steve Beynon

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., on Thursday proposed a bill that would establish a multiyear investigation into the two-decade war in Afghanistan and what went wrong. "I want to have a real comprehensive look at the 20 years of war. I think the American people are owed that," Duckworth told in an interview. "Certainly, the service members who served there and those who laid down their lives and their families deserve that." The U.S. war in Afghanistan cost 2,461 American service … Continue Reading

September 30, 2021

Sen. Duckworth calls for ‘nonpolitical’ probe into 20 years of failures in Afghanistan

by Corey Dickstein

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., introduced legislation on Thursday to create an apolitical commission to study 20 years of American war in Afghanistan, an effort she hopes would keep the United States from repeating mistakes made during years of conflict after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The Afghanistan War Study Commission would be charged with taking a "deep dive" into every aspect of the war, including top level strategic decisions, combat operations, efforts to train Afghan forces, … Continue Reading

September 30, 2021

One Senator’s Plan to Cut Through the Politics and Get Answers on Afghanistan

by Jacqueline Feldscher

One senator is introducing a bill that would establish a nonpartisan commission to study the war in Afghanistan to try to cut through the political drama that has surrounded lawmakers' consideration of the conflict this week. Top generals testified before Congress this week about the withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years of war. Many Republicans sought to pin the blame for the chaotic withdrawal on President Joe Biden, while Democrats overwhelmingly defended the president and pointed … Continue Reading

September 28, 2021

Illinois Senator Duckworth pushes for rescue of Lombard Navy veteran kidnapped in Kabul

by Mike Flannery
Source: WFLD

WASHINGTON - Top military officials were in the hot seat Tuesday on Capitol Hill, answering questions about the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal and Americans left behind. One of those left behind was a west suburban man kidnapped last year while working as a contractor in Afghanistan. While publicly pressuring both the Defense Secretary and the General who chairs the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff during the hearing, Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth concluded with an emotional note. "And I … Continue Reading

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