House Speaker Nancy Pelosi clashed with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer over why Democrats haven’t accepted the Trump administration’s $1.8 trillion stimulus offer



a close up of a person wearing a costume: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a press conference to mark the anniversary of the House passage of the 19th Amendment and women's right to vote, on Capitol Hill May 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images


© Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a press conference to mark the anniversary of the House passage of the 19th Amendment and women’s right to vote, on Capitol Hill May 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got into a heated argument with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Tuesday as the host grilled her on the ongoing negotiations on a second COVID-19 relief package.
  • A second coronavirus relief bill has been stalled in Congress as the Senate and House failed to come to a consensus on the details of the proposal.
  • “Madame Speaker, I’m asking you this because so many people are in desperate need right now,” Blitzer said and asked why Pelosi had not yet reached out to President Donald Trump personally to negotiate.
  • “What makes me amused, if it weren’t so sad, is how you all think that you know the suffering of the American people [more] than those of us who are elected by them to represent them at that table,” Pelosi responded.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi clashed with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in an interview Tuesday over continued delays in approving another coronavirus stimulus package.

Pelosi appeared on CNN Tuesday, where Blitzer grilled the House Speaker on why Democrats haven’t accepted the Trump administration’s $1.8 trillion stimulus offer.

A coronavirus relief bill has been stalled in Congress as the Senate and House failed to come to a consensus on the details of the proposal.

Pelosi has been in talks with the White House and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to negotiate a middle ground between House Democrats and the administration, but the conversations over several weeks have so far not produced a bipartisan package.

Blitzer cited criticism from Rep. Ro Khanna and entrepreneur Andrew Yang, with whom the CNN host spoke to on Monday regarding the bill.

“The only thing that’s keeping us from passing it is politics,” Yang said in response to the relief bill delays, encouraging Pelosi to say “yes” to the negotiations.

“Honest to God, I can’t get over it, because Andrew Yang, he’s lovely; Ro Khanna, he’s lovely,” Pelosi replied. “But they have no idea of the particulars. They have no idea of what the language is here.”

“Madame Speaker, I’m asking you this because so many people are in desperate need right now,” Blitzer said and then asked why Pelosi had not yet reached out to President Donald Trump personally to negotiate and provide relief from the fallout of the pandemic sooner.

“What makes me amused, if it weren’t so sad, is how you all think that you know the suffering of the American people [more] than those of us who are elected by them to represent them at that table,” Pelosi responded to the question.

“It is unfortunate that we don’t have shared values with this White House and … that we have to fight with them

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A chaotic campaign helped save Rhode Island’s House speaker in 2016. Now it threatens to end his political career

“I used to joke with people, ‘Are you sure you want to be seen with me? Because the speaker could be watching.’” Frias recalled in an interview last week.

Turns out, even that was true.

Last week’s criminal trial of former Mattiello campaign consultant Jeffrey T. Britt was meant to determine whether Britt laundered $1,000 to help pay for a postcard mailer designed to boost Mattiello during that 2016 campaign. But it also offered a rare glimpse into the win-at-all-costs culture of politics, as witness after witness detailed the strategies employed to help defeat Frias.

Those tactics included surveillance conducted on Frias by a semi-retired private investigator who was seeking a state job, a mail-ballot operation run by a veteran operative who had previous tours of political duty with some of the state’s most corrupt politicians, and the mailer that Britt orchestrated to try to convince a handful of Republicans to back the Democrat in the race.

In the end, Mattiello won the race by 85 votes, a razor-thin margin where almost any maneuver could have tipped the scales in the speaker’s favor.

Now, with early voting scheduled to begin Wednesday, Mattiello’s back is against the wall again as he faces a serious challenge from Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung, the Republican wife of Cranston’s popular mayor, who is eager to capitalize on the seedy details that came out during last week’s trial.

But Mattiello, who was never charged, testified that he knew nothing about the controversial mailer until it hit mailboxes in his district, and a key campaign aide described the mailer as “Jeff Britt’s project.”

The judge has said he won’t issue a ruling for five to seven weeks. So that means voters will render their decision first, in the Nov. 3 general election.

“I think it clearly crossed a line,” Providence College political science professor Adam Myers said of Mattiello’s campaign operation in 2016. “But the question is whether the public’s opinion of Rhode Island politics is already so jaded that coverage of the trial won’t change any minds.”

* * *

If it’s possible for the most powerful politician in the state to be an underdog in his own backyard, hindsight suggests that’s where Mattiello – the man whose rock-solid support within the Rhode Island House of Representatives gives him almost dictatorial power over any piece of legislation – was sitting four years ago.

House District 15 includes fewer than 11,000 registered voters, the majority of whom are unaffiliated but are considered far more conservative than residents of the rest of Cranston and almost every other city in the state. Mattiello frequently draws criticism from more liberal members of his party, but his political values – pro-business, pro-life, pro-National Rifle Association – are largely in line with the voters who have sent him back to the State House every two years since 2007.

But in 2016, simply being a conservative Democrat wasn’t going to be enough to guarantee Mattiello a victory. Cranston’s Republican Mayor, Allan W. Fung,

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House Speaker Pelosi Says Coronavirus Stimulus Talks With White House at Impasse

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said negotiations with the White House over a new coronavirus aid package remained at an impasse Sunday, as Senate Republicans remain wary of more spending.

In a letter to House Democrats on Sunday, Mrs. Pelosi said the administration’s latest $1.9 trillion offer, submitted Saturday, provided inadequate funding and no national plan for testing, contact tracing and treatment of the coronavirus.

“This past week, the president demonstrated very clearly that he has not taken the war against the virus seriously, personally or nationally. This attitude is reflected in the grossly inadequate response we finally received from the administration on Saturday,” Mrs. Pelosi wrote. “Until these serious issues are resolved, we remain at an impasse.”

House Democrats have pushed for $75 billion and a national plan for testing, tracing and treatment of the virus. Mrs. Pelosi said in her letter that the White House plan included about $45 billion in new funding, lacked a national plan for testing and tracing and didn’t address the virus’s disproportionate impact on minority communities.

President Trump in brief comments on the issue said Republicans were still eager to reach an agreement.

“Republicans want to do it. We’re having a hard time with Nancy Pelosi,” he said Sunday on Fox News.

White House spokeswoman Alyssa Farah told reporters the White House offer was around $1.8 trillion. A person familiar with the proposal said it included $1.88 trillion in spending, with about $400 billion of the funds reallocated from unspent money from earlier relief legislation, bringing the total cost to about $1.5 trillion.

Mr. Trump faces resistance from some Republicans wary of approving more federal aid after Congress authorized around $3 trillion in coronavirus relief since March.

During a conference call Saturday morning with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, several Senate Republicans said they were opposed to passing another large aid package, according to people familiar with the call. Mr. Meadows said he would bring their concerns back to President Trump, suggesting he expected a less than warm reception by joking that as a result the lawmakers would have to attend his funeral, according to the people.

The pushback from Senate Republicans comes after the White House increased its offer on Friday to House Speaker Pelosi in the on-again, off-again effort to reach an agreement on a fifth aid package before the election. The new bid calls for nearly $1.9 trillion in spending, with about $400 billion of the funds reallocated from unspent money from earlier legislation, bringing the total cost to about $1.5 trillion, according to a person familiar with the offer.

That proposal comes closer to the $2.2 trillion plan that House Democrats approved earlier this month, though major differences between the Democrats and the White House remain. In a letter to House Democrats Saturday, Mrs. Pelosi wrote that the new offer from the White House “amounted to one step forward, two steps back.”

The two sides have edged closer on one contentious

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismisses latest White House coronavirus aid offer

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Saturday dismissed the latest White House offer in COVID-19 aid talks as “one step forward, two steps back,” but said she is still hopeful that progress can be made toward a deal.

The White House had boosted its offer before Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Pelosi spoke on Friday afternoon. President Donald Trump is eager for an agreement before Election Day, even as his most powerful GOP ally in the Senate said Congress is unlikely to deliver relief by then.

“Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!” Trump said Friday on Twitter.

A GOP aide familiar with the new offer said it was about $1.8 trillion, with a key state and local fiscal relief component moving from $250 billion to at least $300 billion. The White House says its most recent offer before that was about $1.6 trillion. The aide was not authorized to publicly discuss private negotiations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Pelosi’s most recent public offer was about $2.2 trillion, though that included a business tax increase that Republicans won’t go for.

“I would like to see a bigger stimulus package than either the Democrats or Republicans are offering,” Trump said on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show Friday. Earlier in the week, Trump lambasted Democrats for their demands on an aid bill.

In a letter Saturday to colleagues, Pelosi said, “This proposal amounted to one step forward, two steps back. When the president talks about wanting a bigger relief package, his proposal appears to mean that he wants more money at his discretion to grant or withhold.”

She said that while his administration attempted to address some of the Democratic concerns, disagreement remained on many priorities and Democrats are “awaiting language” on several provisions.

“Despite these unaddressed concerns, I remain hopeful that yesterday’s developments will move us closer to an agreement on a relief package that addresses the health and economic crisis facing America’s families,” Pelosi’s letter said.

But GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had told an audience in Kentucky that he didn’t see a deal coming together soon out of a “murky” situation in which the participants in the negotiations are elbowing for political advantage.

“I’d like to see us rise above that like we did in March and April, but I think it’s unlikely in the next three weeks,” McConnell said Friday. He said later that “the first item of priority of the Senate is the Supreme Court,” suggesting there isn’t time to process both a relief bill and the high court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett before the Nov. 3 election.

He spoke after Trump apparently performed an about-face, empowering Mnuchin to resume negotiations with Pelosi, D-Calif., on a larger, comprehensive package despite calling off the talks just days before.

McConnell remains a skeptic that a deal can come together — and he has issued private warnings that many Senate Republicans will oppose a deal in the range that Pelosi is seeking.

“We do need

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House Speaker asks Treasury Secretary to review airline standalone bill

By Tracy Rucinski and David Shepardson



U.S. House Speaker Pelosi participates in a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington


© Reuters/ERIN SCOTT
U.S. House Speaker Pelosi participates in a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

CHICAGO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday to review a standalone bill for $25 billion in aid to airlines that Democrats tried to advance last week, her spokesman wrote on Twitter.

“Speaker Pelosi & Secretary Mnuchin spoke by phone at 9:33 a.m. The Secretary inquired about a standalone airlines bill. The Speaker reminded him that Republicans blocked that bill on Friday & asked him to review the DeFazio bill so that they could have an informed conversation,” spokesman Drew Hammill wrote.



a airplane that is parked on the tarmac at an airport: FILE PHOTO: Boeing 737 jet sits at a gate at Washington's Reagan National airport with U.S. Capitol building in the background in Washington


© Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
FILE PHOTO: Boeing 737 jet sits at a gate at Washington’s Reagan National airport with U.S. Capitol building in the background in Washington

Last week, Representative Peter DeFazio, chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, failed to win approval of a standalone bipartisan measure for airlines under unanimous consent after some Republicans objected.

The request by airlines for another $25 billion payroll support program to protect jobs for another six months enjoys wide bipartisan backing, but a standalone measure would need unanimous support. A recent Republican-led attempt to pass standalone legislation in the Senate also failed after opposition from three Republican senators, aides told Reuters.



a group of fighter jets fly through the air: FILE PHOTO: Delta Air Lines passenger planes parked in Birmingham


© Reuters/ELIJAH NOUVELAGE
FILE PHOTO: Delta Air Lines passenger planes parked in Birmingham

Video: Trump Orders Halt To Federal Stimulus Negotiations Until After Election (CBS New York)

Trump Orders Halt To Federal Stimulus Negotiations Until After Election

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Pelosi’s conversation with Mnuchin came as the Trump administration signaled possible piecemeal legislation for airlines a day after walking away from talks on another broad COVID-19 stimulus package.

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A key component of fresh airline relief is to keep workers on the job for another six months. A prior $25 billion airline payroll support program expired on Sept. 30.

The travel industry has been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

American Airlines and United Airlines began the furlough of 32,000 workers last week, and tens of thousands more at those airlines and others have agreed to voluntary leaves or reduced hours. Southwest Airlines has warned it will have to carry out the first furlough in its history if workers do not agree to pay cuts in the absence of federal aid.

U.S. airlines urged top lawmakers to advance a standalone bill in a letter on Wednesday, warning that many more job losses are expected across the industry in the weeks ahead if aid is not extended.

“We are disappointed that negotiations between Congress and the Administration over additional COVID-19 relief were suddenly suspended yesterday,” Airlines for America and a dozen unions wrote in a letter on Wednesday to House and Senate leaders.

Airline shares jumped on Wednesday after sinking suddenly a day earlier on remarks by President Donald Trump that his administration would abandon talks with congressional Democrats over a major stimulus

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Democratic chair of House committee investigating Speaker Michael Madigan accuses GOP of ‘wearing two hats,’ says no more meetings until after election

Accusing his Republican counterparts of engaging in “political theater” ahead of the Nov. 3 election, the Democratic chairman of a special Illinois House committee investigating the conduct of longtime Speaker Michael Madigan said Tuesday that the panel won’t meet again until the polls close.



Emanuel Chris Welch et al. looking at a laptop: State Rep. Emanuel "Chris" Welch addresses issues concerning seclusion in Chicago Public Schools during a meeting of the Illinois State Board of Education at the Thompson Center in Chicago, Nov. 22, 2019.


© Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch addresses issues concerning seclusion in Chicago Public Schools during a meeting of the Illinois State Board of Education at the Thompson Center in Chicago, Nov. 22, 2019.

State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch of Hillside said in a statement that the three GOP lawmakers on the special investigating committee, formed in response to a petition from House Republican leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs, “are wearing two hats.”

“While sitting on a committee that is charged with conducting an impartial investigation based on the petition filed by Leader Durkin, the Republican members of this committee are also engaged in competitive political campaigns in which they have chosen to campaign almost exclusively against the speaker,” Welch said.

Welch took issue in particular with two committee members, Reps. Grant Wehrli of Naperville and Deanne Mazzochi of Elmhurst, participating in a campaign news conference on Monday, “effectively confirming their assumption of guilt and chiding Democratic opponents for not jumping to the same conclusion.”

Wehrli and Mazzochi are both engaged in competitive reelection battles against Democratic challengers who have received sizable campaign contributions from funds tied to Madigan, who also chairs the state Democratic Party.

Republicans have accused Welch of acting in defense of Madigan by blocking a vote last week to issue subpoenas to compel testimony from the powerful Southwest Side Democrat and other witnesses.

Earlier Tuesday, the leading Republican on the committee, Rep. Tom Demmer of Dixon, accused Welch of trying to slow-walk the investigating by requesting “a data dump” from Commonwealth Edison, which is at the center of the investigation

Durkin petitioned for the creation of the rarely used special investigating committee after ComEd in July admitted in a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. attorney’s office that it engaged in a yearslong bribery scheme aimed at currying favor with Madigan.

The only witness to testify before the committee to date, an executive with ComEd parent Exelon, confirmed that, among other actions, the utility paid Madigan associates through third-party companies despite the fact that they did little or no work.

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The committee is tasked with determining whether Madigan should be charged with engaging in “conduct unbecoming to a legislator” and face potential discipline.

While Republicans on the committee sought documents from ComEd pertaining to its communications with Madigan and close associate, Welch has requested a decade’s worth of documents detailing the company’s dealings with the administration of Gov. J.B. Pritzker and his two predecessors and the with current and former leaders of all four caucuses of the General Assembly.



Emanuel Chris Welch wearing a suit and tie: State Rep. Emanuel "Chris" Welch addresses the issues concerning seclusion in Chicago Public Schools at the Thompson Center in Chicago on Nov. 22, 2019.


© Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch

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Speaker Pelosi, House Democrats leave town, fail the American people

Wheels up, off to California after adjourning the House until after Election Day. It’s a shameful display of partisanship in the wake of our recovery from the coronavirus. Rather than help small businesses continue to access unused funds from the Paycheck Protection Program, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP lawmaker calls on Pelosi to apologize for response to Trump contracting coronavirus Pelosi: ‘We’re making progress’ on coronavirus relief bill What President Trump’s positive COVID test could mean for the markets MORE (D-Calif.) is willing to block reasonable relief efforts, all in the name of politics. She doesn’t want to risk President TrumpDonald John TrumpQuestions remain unanswered as White House casts upbeat outlook on Trump’s COVID-19 fight White House staffers get email saying to stay home if they experience coronavirus symptoms White House says ‘appropriate precautions’ were taken for Trump’s outing to see supporters MORE and congressional Republicans getting an ounce of credit in the final weeks of this election.

Some things are simply more important than political posturing, like ensuring American small businesses can weather the storm of the coronavirus pandemic. We have unspent funds from the Paycheck Protection Program, a COVID relief program that saved 51 million jobs in the United States, 2 million in Ohio alone. Its authorization is expiring, meaning the program is closing up shop, despite $138 billion left in the coffers. My Ohio colleague, Rep Steve ChabotSteven (Steve) Joseph ChabotKate Schroder in Ohio among Democratic challengers squelching GOP hopes for the House Centrist Democrats ‘strongly considering’ discharge petition on GOP PPP bill Lawmakers call for expanded AI role in education, business to remain competitive MORE, has a simple, straightforward bill that reauthorizes the unspent funds through the end of the year, expands the eligible entities and expenses, and further protects the program so that businesses with fewer than 300 employees can get to the front of the line.

We are on the right path toward economic recovery, with more than 10 million jobs created or brought back after the worst of the pandemic. But as states re-open at different paces, we still have businesses struggling to adjust and keep their doors open. Mom and pop stores, those with just a handful of employees are bearing the brunt of the economic damage. That’s why this PPP extension bill earmarks $25 billion for businesses with 10 or fewer employees and, if a business receives a second PPP loan, this bill ensures the total of those two loans cannot exceed $10 million.

Those businesses with just a few employees can make up a large number of loans in the program, but those loans will often be some of the smallest approved by the Small Business Administration. They are businesses that would struggle with the compliance and paperwork costs associated with byzantine processes mandated by federal regulators. This bill eliminates this problem: a simple form attesting that the business complied with the loan requirements is all that will be needed. It also requires them to keep records

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Trump’s case should be “unifying” moment

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday she is praying for President Trump and hopes his coronavirus battle is a “unifying” moment for the country.

She also said she is not sure where the president might have gotten the virus, including whether someone on Capitol Hill was the source.

“I haven’t heard anything like that,” Mrs. Pelosi told CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I think the optics of it are those who were at the White House were the ones who brought the virus back to Capitol Hill.”

The speaker was likely referring to last weekend’s introduction of Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the White House Rose Garden. Two Republican senators who attended, plus other guests, later tested positive.

The speaker said she will defer to the House attending physician as to whether her chamber needs to beef up testing, though she noted there are thousands of employees on her side of the Capitol.

Mrs. Pelosi said she tested negative for the virus Friday and plans to be checked regularly. She said she is learning about the president’s condition from the media, like everyone else, despite her position.

“Prayers are with the president, first lady and all of those who surround him,” Mrs. Pelosi said.

She said she hopes contact tracers are able to figure out who else might need to be isolated.

“I hope it will be a signal that we have to do better at controlling the spread of this virus,” she said.

Mrs. Pelosi said the administration has been “anti-science” and needs to take testing and tracing and mask-wearing more seriously.

 

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State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit to challenge House Speaker Michael Madigan for leadership post he’s held for decades

Four-term Democratic state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit of Oswego said Thursday she will challenge longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan for leadership of the chamber when the new General Assembly is seated in January.

Kifowit is one of a handful of House Democrats who have called for Madigan’s resignation since federal prosecutors unveiled a deferred prosecution agreement with Commonwealth Edison in July in which the state’s largest utility admitted to a yearslong bribery scheme aimed at currying favor with the powerful speaker.

A Marine Corps veteran, Kifowit has been in the House since 2013 and is running for reelection unopposed in the November.

Kifowit said in a statement that she called for Madigan to resign “for compromising the integrity of the office and undermining public trust.”

“The response from Michael Madigan was to double down and has remained that way,” Kifowit said. “It is clear to me that he doesn’t hold the same values that I do and falls short of what the public expects from an elected official.”

Kifowit’s decision to challenge Madigan a month before the election puts vulnerable House Democrats and Democratic candidates, particularly in the suburbs, into an even more awkward position leading up to the election—whether to back Madigan or her or someone else.

It is a question many were hoping to wait out until after the election despite repeated attacks by Republicans on the issue. But her run provides new fuel to the issue.

There are also questions about the extent of support for her candidacy. Madigan still holds the power and controls the purse strings in the Democratic caucus and has made loyalty paramount during his decades long tenure as speaker.

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Madigan has not been charged in connection with the ComEd probe and has denied any wrongdoing.

At the request of House Republican leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs, a special House committee is investigating whether Madigan engaged in “conduct unbecoming to a legislator.” The committee heard testimony from an executive with ComEd parent Exelon this week, but Madigan and other witnesses have declined the invitation to testify.

Madigan has been speaker since 1983, with the exception of two years in the 1990s when Republicans took control of the House. House Democrats have been nearly unanimous in voting for him to remain speaker, with only a few dissents. Most recently, Rep. Anne Stava-Murray of Naperville voted “present” in 2019, as did then-Rep. Scott Drury of Highwood in 2017.

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House Speaker Michael Madigan says it’s not ‘ethically improper’ to find government jobs for people. Here’s what he’s failing to mention.

For years, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has defended his aggressive push to land political allies and their friends and family on taxpayer-funded payrolls, but rarely has he waxed as philosophically about it as he did last week in a three-page letter.



Michael Madigan wearing a suit and tie: Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan (D) 22nd District talks with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R) 82nd District before a debate at Illinois House to vote on a bill raising statewide minimum wage during session at the State Capitol in Springfield on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.


© Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan (D) 22nd District talks with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R) 82nd District before a debate at Illinois House to vote on a bill raising statewide minimum wage during session at the State Capitol in Springfield on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.



Michael Madigan standing in front of a door: Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan (D) 22nd District watches as Illinois House votes on a bill raising statewide minimum wage during session at the State Capitol in Springfield on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.


© Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan (D) 22nd District watches as Illinois House votes on a bill raising statewide minimum wage during session at the State Capitol in Springfield on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.

Facing intense pressure from a federal investigation into ComEd’s bribes-for-favors scandal and an invitation from a House corruption committee to tell the public what he knows, Madigan’s missive broke two months of near silence. The powerful speaker loudly proclaimed his innocence and tried to reframe his penchant for patronage hiring as a virtue.

Not only is “helping people find jobs not a crime,” Madigan wrote, it’s not even “ethically improper” for politicians to make job recommendations.

“To the contrary, I believe that it is part of my duties as a community and political leader to help good people find work — from potential executives to college interns, and more,” wrote the 78-year-old Illinois Democratic Party chairman, alluding to some of the very jobs that prosecutors brought up in charging ComEd with crimes. “What an employer chooses to do with that recommendation rests solely with their discretion.”

What Madigan didn’t mention when discussing the numerous jobs he’s secured for people during more than 50 years in politics is how that practice has benefited him and what it’s cost taxpayers and electricity ratepayers.

The Tribune has spent the last decade chronicling how it works: Patronage jobs are the lifeblood of Madigan’s political organization. And the people Madigan recommends be hired often serve as foot soldiers on the campaigns for the very legislative seats that allow the speaker to stay in power. In turn, that control of the House is key to helping Madigan bring in clients at his law firm, which handles high-dollar property tax appeals on some of Chicago’s biggest buildings.

Starting in 2010, the Tribune published the “The Madigan Rules,” a first-of-its-kind, yearslong investigation that exposed how the speaker built his political empire and law practice, revealing how those two careers repeatedly intersected. The report found that in some cases Madigan took public actions that benefited his private clients, though the speaker said his “personal code of conduct” ensured he maintained “high ethical standards.”



Michael Madigan sitting at a table using a laptop: House Speaker Michael Madigan listens to a debate on the House floor in 2019.


© Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
House Speaker Michael Madigan listens to a debate on the House floor in 2019.

In 2013, the legislature’s watchdog investigated Madigan’s role in a Metra scandal after the commuter

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