Congress

No Money to Burn: Wildfires Rage as Prevention Funds Wallow in Partisan Bickering

No Money to Burn: Wildfires Rage as Prevention Funds Wallow in Partisan Bickering
Congress has let wildfire suppression money wallow while the forests burn at the height of the season. The Forest Service is doing what it can, but still desperately needs the cash to pay for prevention and wages for the men and women fighting the blazes.
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Republicans Can't Even Say Happy Birthday Without Being Jerks

Republicans Can't Even Say Happy Birthday Without Being Jerks
Is wishing someone a simple "happy birthday" too much civility now? Apparently it is for the RNC. From their email list: "Next week is President Obama's birthday. Democrats are asking you to sign a card, but we have a better idea. Let's send him THE CONSTITUTION."
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Uncertainty of Infrastructure Funding Keeps States from Hiring, as Congress Drags Its Feet Again

Uncertainty of Infrastructure Funding Keeps States from Hiring, as Congress Drags Its Feet Again
The Senate is set to take up legislation to keep federal highway money flowing to states, with just three days left before the government plans to start slowing down payments. The House passed a $10.8 billion bill last week that would pay for highway and transit aid through the end of May 2015 if transportation spending is maintained at current levels.
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Joan Lowy
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Nowhere Safe: Medical Experts Demand Senate Fix Disturbing Conditions in Hospitals

Nowhere Safe: Medical Experts Demand Senate Fix Disturbing Conditions in Hospitals
Medical experts testifying before Congress this week said patients are no better protected from patient harm, preventable deaths and injuries in hospitals now than they were 15 years ago, when a landmark Institute of Medicine report set off alarms about deaths due to medical errors and prompted calls for reform. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the panel's chairman, said afterward that most patients probably don't know that preventable patient harm is the third-leading cause of death in America.
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Marshall Allen
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Fed Chair Promises More Support for Weak, Unfinished Recovery

Fed Chair Promises More Support for Weak, Unfinished Recovery
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Tuesday that the economic recovery is not yet complete and for that reason the Fed intends to keep providing significant support to boost growth and improve labor market conditions.
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Biden Calls on Congress to Pass ENDA, Says It's 'Close to Barbaric' to Discriminate Against LGBT Workers

Biden Calls on Congress to Pass ENDA, Says It's 'Close to Barbaric' to Discriminate Against LGBT Workers
Vice President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass a measure to outlaw workplace discrimination against gays, saying it's outrageous that the country is even debating the subject. Speaking to supporters of the gay advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, Biden said it's "close to barbaric" that in some states, employees can be fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
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AP
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11th Hour Address: Dems Pull All-Nighter in Senate Discussing Climate Change

11th Hour Address: Dems Pull All-Nighter in Senate Discussing Climate Change
Democratic senators clocked an all-nighter, working in shifts into Tuesday morning to warn of devastation from climate change and the danger of inaction. Addressing a nearly empty chamber and visitor gallery, more than two dozen speakers agreed with each other about the need to act on climate change. Naysayers — Republicans — largely stayed away, arguing hours earlier that regulation would cost Americans jobs in a sluggish economy.
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Matthew Daly
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Obama: Country Raising Minimum Wage Despite Congress

Obama: Country Raising Minimum Wage Despite Congress
President Obama highlights the momentum building across the country to give Americans a raise and reiterates his call for Congress to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. The President has already signed an executive order to raise the minimum wage for people working under new federal contracts.
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What's the Big Deal? US House Candidate Backed by Super PAC He Founded

What's the Big Deal? US House Candidate Backed by Super PAC He Founded
A U.S. House candidate in Montana is benefiting from a political action committee he created, leading at least one opponent and some experts to question the legality of the peculiar arrangement. Ryan Zinke, a former Navy SEAL who is seeking the Republican nomination for Montana's lone congressional seat, created the Special Operations for America (SOFA) super PAC to back Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign. The committee now backs candidates who support the military — and their first candidate is Zinke, a 52-year-old former state senator.
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Matt Volz
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House Restores Full Cost of Living Increases to Younger Military Retirees

House Restores Full Cost of Living Increases to Younger Military Retirees
The House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to restore full cost of living increases to pension benefits for younger military retirees, responding eagerly to election-year pressure from veterans groups. Democrats in the Senate say that the increase could affect military readiness, and the bill punts on the larger issues.
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