(Updated 1:30 p.m., Wed., Jan. 20 with remarks from U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.)
President Barack Obama ended his State of the Union address with a sweeping call for "better," less divisive politics, but the reaction to the speech fell along the usual partisan lines.
What fellow Democrats such as U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-University City, called “a smart, energetic agenda,’’ Republicans like U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, labeled “the same old, tired, Washington-based ideas.”
Bipartisanship appeared to be in unusually ample supply on the first day of the new Congress. That’s not to say that Republicans and Democrats agreed on everything as the 114th Congress got underway -- they didn’t. But still there were moments of bipartisan camaraderie not seen on most days in Congress.
One of the more significant individual displays of bipartisan friendship came in the Senate, where U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., escorted U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill,, for Durbin’s swearing-in ceremony for his fourth Senate term.
The Air Force's top civilian official spent Tuesday morning at Scott Air Force Base with Illinois' political leaders.
U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk were among the officials who showed Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James around the Metro East military installation. It was the first time James visited the base since being confirmed by the U.S. Senate late last year. Illinois Lt. Gov. Shelia Simon, St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern and Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan were also on hand for James' visit.
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has issued his first public remarks since suffering a stroke.
In a video released Tuesday, Kirk says he can't wait to get back to work and is walking again. The 52-year-old senator suffered a major stroke in January and underwent emergency surgery. He entered a rehabilitation center in February and was discharged last week.
Dr. Richard Harvey said Friday that Kirk continues to improve his "mobility for day-to-day activities." He adds that Kirk has been meeting regularly with his staff and has been getting visits from close friends and family.
Harvey is the medical director of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's Center for Stroke Rehabilitation.