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Aug 3, 2015

Heroin epidemic gains Congressional attention

The mortality rate associated with heroin overdoses climbed 39 percent in 2013, the latest year in which statistics are available. That is more than the triple the 2012 heroin-related death rate, according to Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner Jr., R-Wisconsin, who conducted a hearing on “America’s Growing Heroin Epidemic” last week before the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on […]

Jul 20, 2015

Congress’ to-do list grows

WASHINGTON — Congress’ midsummer to-do list may take until Christmas to clear. At the top are maintaining the flow of highway funding, easing automatic budget cuts to the Pentagon and domestic agencies, renewing tax breaks and raising the debt limit. A misstep at any of several points could trigger a partial government shutdown. “We’re going […]

Jul 8, 2015

FBI, Justice take encryption concerns to Congress

WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement officials warned Wednesday that data encryption is making it harder to hunt for pedophiles and terror suspects, telling senators that consumers’ right to privacy is not absolute and must be weighed against public-safety interests. The testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee marked the latest front in a high-stakes dispute between […]

May 1, 2015

Pending bill could change class action certifications

Changes in the way class action lawsuits are handled are being considered by Congress and the Judicial Conference of the United States. Some House representatives think the current law is overly broad, allowing people who have not been injured to benefit, while others say a proposed change would eliminate important civil rights and injunctive type […]

Mar 5, 2015

Senate Dems press for vote on AG nominee

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats pressed Republican leaders Thursday to schedule a vote on the president’s pick for attorney general. President Barack Obama nominated Loretta Lynch in November. She now serves as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. A letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signed by all Senate Democrats says Lynch’s […]

Jan 23, 2015

What issues roil Washington? Veto threats are clues

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has a telling hit list. The veto threats that he’s issued over the last three weeks are a microcosm of American politics, representing the roiling issues of the day, the power struggle playing out between Congress and the White House, and even the pique between the president and GOP congressional […]

Jan 23, 2015

Lew: Congress should turn efforts toward business taxes

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is pushing Congress to simplify federal business taxes after Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Democrats and Republicans are too far apart to agree on sweeping changes to taxes paid by individuals and families. Lew said the Obama administration has no interest in lowering the top income tax rate paid by […]

Jan 6, 2015

Congress’ newest class begins

WASHINGTON — Congress’ approval rating hovers around 15 percent, but there’s one group of people excited about the institution: the newly elected lawmakers who are about to join its ranks. The House will welcome 58 freshmen this coming week, including 43 Republicans and 15 Democrats, pushing the GOP majority to 246 members, the most since […]

Dec 30, 2014

Boehner: Grimm’s resignation ‘honorable’

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday that U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., made the right decision by resigning from Congress after pleading guilty to tax evasion charges. Boehner, R-Ohio, said that Grimm’s decision was “honorable,” adding that he knows Grimm made his decision “with the best interests of his constituents and the […]

Dec 8, 2014

Congress considers its own form of sports ‘blackout’

Consumers and taxpayers help pay for the stadiums and other sports venues of professional sports teams, pave the way for the roads to get to them, buy all kinds of fan gear and then face the threat of not being able to see their favorite teams play on television because of a broadcast blackout. The […]

Dec 8, 2014

Congress OKs bill to cut Nazi benefits

WASHINGTON — A bill that would block suspected Nazi war criminals from receiving Social Security benefits is heading to President Barack Obama for his signature. By voice vote late Thursday, the Senate gave final congressional approval to a measure that would shut a loophole that allowed suspected Nazis to be paid millions of dollars in […]

Sep 23, 2014

Syria vote isn’t last word from Congress on war

WASHINGTON — As far as Congress is concerned, President Barack Obama’s Mideast war strategy isn’t in the clear yet. The president got what he wanted this past week when the House and Senate overwhelmingly approved arming and training moderate Syrian rebels to fight Islamic State militants. But the go-ahead is good for less than three […]

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