facebook linkedin twitter

Tom Ramstack

Tom Ramstack is a Washington, D.C.-based journalist and attorney. Prior to joining The Well News, he covered transportation and legal affairs for The Washington Times and founded The Legal Forum, a news service for Washington’s legal community that also offers legal services for nonprofit organizations. His work has been featured in Reuters and other publications.

Recent Work

Trump’s Social Media Company Starts With Strong Financing
Social Media
Trump’s Social Media Company Starts With Strong Financing
October 22, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

Shares in a company that is spearheading former President Donald Trump's planned social media platform surged for a second day Friday on investors’ hopes that it will compete head-to-head with Facebook and Twitter. Trump said this week he is creating the Internet-based platform, called Truth Social,... Read More

Wind Generators Faces Support and Skeptics as Government Seeks Renewable Energy
Political News
Wind Generators Faces Support and Skeptics as Government Seeks Renewable Energy
October 21, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The wind drove federal lawmakers Thursday to consider whether offshore turbines should become a major new source of electricity for American consumers. As environmentalists tried to convince a congressional panel that wind energy is a cost-effective investment, detractors said hidden expenses mean it’s not... Read More

FBI Raids DC Home of Russian Oligarch Allegedly Linked to 2016 Influence-Peddling
Law
FBI Raids DC Home of Russian Oligarch Allegedly Linked to 2016 Influence-Peddling
October 21, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- An FBI search of the Washington, D.C. home of a Russian oligarch this week is moving the Justice Department into the political minefield that comes from mixing foreign policy with legal enforcement. The FBI conducted what it called "law enforcement activity" at the home... Read More

Congress Tries to Intervene In Supply Chain Disruptions
Economy
Congress Tries to Intervene In Supply Chain Disruptions
October 20, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- While economists warned about disruptions to the U.S. supply chain, Chuck Fowke told a congressional panel Wednesday about countertops. “If you can’t get the cabinets, you can’t put the countertops on,” Fowke said as he testified on behalf of the National Association of Home... Read More

Senate Wants Tougher Enforcement of Sanctions Against ‘Malign Actors’
Treasury
Senate Wants Tougher Enforcement of Sanctions Against ‘Malign Actors’
October 19, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A Senate committee tried Tuesday to chart a better course through the minefield of monetary sanctions against U.S. foreign adversaries. The Senate seeks to protect U.S. economic policies without trampling foreign entities that could be trading partners and allies. However, in an age of... Read More

2021 California Oil Spill Becomes Call to Action for Environmentalists
In The States
2021 California Oil Spill Becomes Call to Action for Environmentalists
October 18, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

Scott Breneman told a congressional subcommittee Monday about how his fishing business was upended by the Orange County oil spill discovered off California’s coast on October 1. After a day of fishing 90 miles off the coast, “We were coming in the harbor and I detected... Read More

Defense Dept. Official Sues to Get Answers on Suspension
Litigation
Defense Dept. Official Sues to Get Answers on Suspension
October 18, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A high-ranking Defense Department official sued in federal court in Washington, D.C. this week to determine why her security clearance still is suspended after five months. The DOD has accused Katie Arrington of “unauthorized disclosure of classified information,” says her lawsuit filed in U.S.... Read More

National Weather Service Asks for Help to Face Climate Change Challenges
Climate
National Weather Service Asks for Help to Face Climate Change Challenges
October 15, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- National Weather Service officials tried to convince a congressional panel Thursday that now is the time to prepare for escalating travails of global warming. Staffing and technology needs will only grow, meaning any successes in weather forecasting in recent years could be short-lived, they... Read More

Veterans in Violent, Extremist Groups Prompt Response Plan from Congress
Congress
Veterans in Violent, Extremist Groups Prompt Response Plan from Congress
October 13, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Fallout from the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol continued Wednesday as a congressional panel looked at why veterans would become violent against the country they swore to protect. Representatives of veterans groups and academics blamed mental health problems, underemployment, racism and disenchantment... Read More

Lawsuit Challenges Law Banning ‘Ghost Gun’ Sales
Litigation
Lawsuit Challenges Law Banning ‘Ghost Gun’ Sales
October 12, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Guns are again playing a big role in the courts and politics of Washington, D.C. after a champion of Second Amendment rights filed a new federal lawsuit to challenge a local law that seeks to restrict some firearms.  This time, Dick A. Heller is... Read More

American University Students Appeal Tuition Refund Ruling
Litigation
American University Students Appeal Tuition Refund Ruling
October 11, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Three American University students are appealing a ruling that dismissed their lawsuit demanding tuition refunds after the COVID-19 pandemic compelled a transition to online learning. They argue the university breached a contract and received unjust enrichment after they paid tens of thousands of dollars... Read More

Federal Agencies Release Plans For Adapting to Global Warming
Climate
Federal Agencies Release Plans For Adapting to Global Warming
October 8, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- More than 20 federal agencies released their plans Thursday to adapt to climate change in response to an order from President Joe Biden. The plans explain how they will maintain the continuity of government service despite rising temperatures that will strain their personnel, buildings... Read More

Telehealth Gains Broad Support For Improving U.S. Health Care
Congress
Telehealth Gains Broad Support For Improving U.S. Health Care
October 7, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The only remaining question after a Senate hearing on telehealth Thursday was not whether more of it is coming but when. Telehealth refers to medical personnel providing health care through telecommunications, most commonly streaming video over the Internet. “Over the past year, the COVID-19... Read More

Congress Looks to Broadband to Boost Telecommunications
Broadband
Congress Looks to Broadband to Boost Telecommunications
October 7, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Disputes in Congress on how much tax money should be invested in infrastructure continued during a hearing Wednesday on expanding broadband telecommunications access. Broadband refers to data transmission over a wide range of frequencies through optical fiber, wireless radio and satellite signals. It is... Read More

Whistleblower Accuses Facebook of Deceiving Public for Profit
Social Media
Whistleblower Accuses Facebook of Deceiving Public for Profit
October 5, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A former Facebook product manager told a Senate panel Tuesday that the social media giant had the potential for great good but instead was focused only on its own profits. “The choices being made inside of Facebook are disastrous,” said Frances Haugen. She put... Read More

Ruling Clears Way for More Lawsuits Against D.C. Ban on Carrying Guns
Law
Ruling Clears Way for More Lawsuits Against D.C. Ban on Carrying Guns
October 4, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A federal judge’s ruling last week cast the District of Columbia back into disputes over gun rights at a time the murder rate is renewing calls for legislative reform. The judge ruled the District of Columbia must compensate six people who were arrested for... Read More

Ed Dept. Officials Tell Congress Students Are Protected for In-Class Education
Education
Ed Dept. Officials Tell Congress Students Are Protected for In-Class Education
October 1, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Biden administration officials tried to assure a Senate panel Thursday that the nation’s schools are following the right strategy to remain open while minimizing the risk of spreading COVID-19. The new school year is barely a month old but controversies still rage in lawsuits... Read More

Forestry Industry Says Federal Aid Could Help Slow Global Warming
Climate
Forestry Industry Says Federal Aid Could Help Slow Global Warming
September 29, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Forestry industry executives told a congressional panel Wednesday many of the solutions to climate change lie in the woodlands but public policy sometimes puts an environmental fix out of reach. Part of the answer could be as easy as providing incentives for small businesses... Read More

House Seeks More Job Protections for Nursing Mothers and Older Applicants
Employment
House Seeks More Job Protections for Nursing Mothers and Older Applicants
September 28, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A congressional panel on Monday considered whether changes are needed to two proposals for expanding workplace rights of nursing mothers and older job applicants before submitting them to final votes by lawmakers. The holdup on the bills is confusion about whether they would protect... Read More

California Utility to Pay $1.8 Billion to Settle Claims After Gas Leak
Utilities
California Utility to Pay $1.8 Billion to Settle Claims After Gas Leak
September 28, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

Southern California Gas Company agreed to pay $1.8 billion this week to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of residents of the Aliso Canyon area who were forced from their homes by a 2015 explosion and leak at a natural gas storage facility. The lawsuit accused... Read More

CDC Director Overrides Vote to Broaden Eligibility for Vaccines
Health
CDC Director Overrides Vote to Broaden Eligibility for Vaccines
September 24, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

ATLANTA, Ga.-- Dr. Rochelle Walensky made an unusual break Friday from a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel by overruling its guidance on booster doses for the Pfizer/BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices approved the boosters Thursday for anyone 65... Read More

Flight Attendants Ask for Tougher Law Enforcement Against Air Rage
Travel
Flight Attendants Ask for Tougher Law Enforcement Against Air Rage
September 23, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Teddy Andrews said Thursday he was trying to smooth over a dispute between airline passengers when he approached a man who refused to wear a mask. A female passenger had approached the flight attendant to say she was concerned about contracting coronavirus from the... Read More

Protecting Children During Pandemic Guides Policy at Congressional Hearing
Health
Protecting Children During Pandemic Guides Policy at Congressional Hearing
September 22, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A congressional panel on Wednesday examined whether the federal government’s strategy is appropriate for protecting children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawmakers asked about the potential for vaccinating children, having them return safely to school and whether they should wear masks. The update they sought... Read More

Trump Accuses His Niece and NY Times of Conspiracy for Revealing His Tax Returns
Litigation
Trump Accuses His Niece and NY Times of Conspiracy for Revealing His Tax Returns
September 22, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

Former President Donald Trump accuses his niece and The New York Times of deceit and conspiracy to obtain his tax returns in a lawsuit he filed Tuesday. The lawsuit asks for $100 million in compensation after the former president says he was victimized by an “insidious... Read More

NASA Officials Argue for Continuing International Space Station Operations
Space
NASA Officials Argue for Continuing International Space Station Operations
September 21, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Space technologists made a plea to Congress Tuesday to continue authorization for the International Space Station even as private companies play a bigger role in the exploration formerly done only by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The International Space Station is authorized to... Read More

Democrats Try Again to Block State Restrictions on Voting
U.S. Senate
Democrats Try Again to Block State Restrictions on Voting
September 20, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Senate Democrats are trying to firm up support this week for a new bill to reform local and federal elections in a way that puts them on a collision course with a recent wave of laws in Republican-dominated states. They have largely failed with... Read More

Former Hillary Clinton Cyber Adviser Indicted for Lying to FBI About Trump
Justice
Former Hillary Clinton Cyber Adviser Indicted for Lying to FBI About Trump
September 17, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A prominent Washington, D.C. attorney pleaded not guilty Friday to lying to the FBI after he allegedly said he had possible evidence of the Trump campaign’s communications with a Russian bank. The FBI was investigating accusations that former President Donald Trump’s 2016 election was... Read More

Georgetown Tennis Coach to Plead Guilty For Taking Bribes in Varsity Blues Scandal
Criminal Justice
Georgetown Tennis Coach to Plead Guilty For Taking Bribes in Varsity Blues Scandal
September 16, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A former Georgetown University tennis coach plans to plead guilty to participating in the college admissions cheating scandal known as Varsity Blues.  Gordon Ernst is admitting to accepting about $2.7 million in bribes to help children of wealthy families gain admission to the elite... Read More

FBI Faces Senate’s Criticism for Inaction on Sexual Abuse of Olympic Gymnasts
U.S. Senate
FBI Faces Senate’s Criticism for Inaction on Sexual Abuse of Olympic Gymnasts
September 16, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The sexual abuse perpetrated against female U.S. Olympic gymnasts by former team doctor Larry Nassar was exacerbated by inaction of the FBI, the athletes told a Senate panel Wednesday. As a result, Nassar sexually abused at least 70 young women before he was caught... Read More

Biden’s Build Back Better Plan Advances After House Vote
Congress
Biden’s Build Back Better Plan Advances After House Vote
September 15, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A congressional panel raised the chances Wednesday for President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Plan to succeed when it approved key portions of the bill. The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to endorse parts of the $3.5 trillion proposal that would tackle air... Read More

Senate Excoriates Secretary of State for Withdrawal from Afghanistan
Political News
Senate Excoriates Secretary of State for Withdrawal from Afghanistan
September 14, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Senators who handle foreign relations hammered away at the U.S. secretary of state for a second day Tuesday for what they described as the disastrous military withdrawal from Afghanistan. They criticized the lack of planning, the poor intelligence reports and the violent chaos at... Read More

Congress Tries to Repair Rental Assistance Program
Housing
Congress Tries to Repair Rental Assistance Program
September 10, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Republican and Democrat lawmakers could not agree on much during Friday’s heated House hearing on the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, except that the funds were not reaching the renters and landlords quickly enough.  “Congress gave the Treasury Department $46.6 billion to help renters and... Read More

Biden Presents Stringent New Rules to Clamp Down on the Unvaccinated
White House
Biden Presents Stringent New Rules to Clamp Down on the Unvaccinated
September 10, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden announced tough vaccine rules Thursday that require all healthcare workers, federal employees and contractors to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. In addition, millions of workers at companies with 100 or more employees must get vaccinated or face weekly testing. Federal... Read More

Statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee Removed in Virginia Capital
In The States
Statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee Removed in Virginia Capital
September 8, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

RICHMOND, Va. -- A statue of General Robert E. Lee that has held a prominent place in the former Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, for 131 years was taken down Wednesday morning. Disputes over whether the statue is a symbol of racial injustice or an important... Read More

Private Companies Join Action Against Texas Abortion Ban
In The States
Private Companies Join Action Against Texas Abortion Ban
September 8, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department’s pledge on Monday to assist opponents of the new Texas ban on abortion is winning more and more supporters among some of the nation’s big name private corporations. The state law enacted in May empowers private citizens to sue anyone seeking... Read More

Minorities Disproportionately Hurt By Climate Change, EPA Says
Climate
Minorities Disproportionately Hurt By Climate Change, EPA Says
September 4, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The harm to health and finances caused by global warming will fall disproportionately on the U.S. minority population, according to an Environmental Protection Agency report released Thursday. Hotter weather will lead to more severe hurricanes, flooding and poorer air quality, which means minorities are... Read More

Virginia Supreme Court Reinstates Teacher Opposed to Transgender Policy
Law
Virginia Supreme Court Reinstates Teacher Opposed to Transgender Policy
September 2, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia Supreme Court ruled this week that a public school teacher must be reinstated after he was suspended for refusing to use transgender students’ preferred names and pronouns. The teacher, physical education instructor Tanner Cross, cited religious beliefs for his refusal to... Read More

Executives Advocate for Legislation to Unite Government and Private Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity
Executives Advocate for Legislation to Unite Government and Private Cybersecurity
September 1, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A cybersecurity expert told a congressional panel Wednesday that private industry alone cannot be expected to effectively confront the kinds of cyberattacks that have wreaked havoc on U.S. computer networks in recent years. He testified to a House Homeland Security subcommittee as it considers... Read More

U.S. Attorney General Asks Lawyers to Help Renters Avoid Evictions
Housing
U.S. Attorney General Asks Lawyers to Help Renters Avoid Evictions
August 31, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Justice Department sent out an urgent request this week for attorneys nationwide to volunteer to represent an expected flood of renters trying to avoid eviction. A letter from U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland asked "the entire legal community" to help prevent hundreds... Read More

Biden Pledges Hurricane Recovery But Can’t Give a Timeline
Emergency Management
Biden Pledges Hurricane Recovery But Can’t Give a Timeline
August 31, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden tried to sound reassuring Monday afternoon but could not guarantee a quick recovery from the devastation Hurricane Ida caused to southeastern Louisiana. “We’re going to stand with you and the people of the Gulf for as long as it takes to... Read More

$3.5 Trillion Social Benefits Resolution Gets Down to Wire
Congress
$3.5 Trillion Social Benefits Resolution Gets Down to Wire
August 27, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Congressional leaders signaled Wednesday that the historic $3.5 trillion social benefits package getting its last revisions before a final vote is likely to include support for more affordable housing. Housing provisions are some of the most controversial portions of the bill with Republicans calling... Read More

Supreme Court Ruling Coming Soon On Federal Eviction Moratorium
Supreme Court
Supreme Court Ruling Coming Soon On Federal Eviction Moratorium
August 26, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court is expected to rule within days on a lawsuit by associations of realtors that seek to overturn the federal extension of the eviction moratorium until Oct. 3. In a hearing on Monday, the realtors argued the moratorium violates their contractual rights... Read More

House Democrats Break Impasse to Advance $3.5T Budget Plan
Congress
House Democrats Break Impasse to Advance $3.5T Budget Plan
August 24, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- House Democrats narrowly approved a $3.5 trillion budget framework Tuesday, hours after coming to agreement with moderates whose desire for an immediate vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill nearly scuttled President Joe Biden's sweeping domestic agenda. In a strictly party line vote, the... Read More

Congress Prepares for Vote On $3.5 Trillion Economic Plan
Political News
Congress Prepares for Vote On $3.5 Trillion Economic Plan
August 23, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress returned from their summer recess Monday to hammer out an agreement on President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion “Build Back Better” economic stimulus plan. They are running into strong headwinds from Republicans as they prepare for a key vote on the Biden... Read More

Texas Lawmakers Overcome Roadblock On Bill Restricting Voting Rights
In The States
Texas Lawmakers Overcome Roadblock On Bill Restricting Voting Rights
August 20, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Legislature is on track to pass another controversial state law restricting the right to vote after breaking a deadlock caused by Democrats who fled to Washington, D.C. to prevent enactment. The Democrats were trying to interfere with the quorum required for... Read More

Federal Trade Commission Sues Facebook Claiming Unfair Monopoly Tactics
Social Media
Federal Trade Commission Sues Facebook Claiming Unfair Monopoly Tactics
August 19, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Trade Commission submitted an amended complaint Thursday against Facebook Inc. in federal court in a case that threatens the social media giant’s multibillion dollar annual business operations. The FTC accuses Facebook of antitrust violations that give its competition minimal chance of surviving... Read More

Inspector General Report Describes Intelligence Failings in Afghanistan
International
Inspector General Report Describes Intelligence Failings in Afghanistan
August 18, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Defense Department officials on Wednesday afternoon acknowledged the kind of surprise about the fall of Afghanistan mentioned in a new inspector general’s report. “No, I did not see a collapse of an army of that size in 11 days,” Army Gen. Mark Milley... Read More

California’s Governor Faces Recall In State Overwhelmed with Crises
In The States
California’s Governor Faces Recall In State Overwhelmed with Crises
August 18, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Two California voters are suing to block a recall vote against Gov. Gavin Newsom that they say violates the U.S. Constitution. The planned Sept. 14 vote comes amid a backlash against some Democrats, such as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as he is... Read More

Justice Dept. Official Asks Congress to Intervene in State Voting Restrictions
Elections
Justice Dept. Official Asks Congress to Intervene in State Voting Restrictions
August 16, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A high-ranking Justice Department attorney urged Congress Monday to clamp down on new state laws that she claims shut out some low-income persons from participating in elections. She described voting rights as more at risk now than any time in decades. Assistant U.S. Attorney... Read More

Supreme Court Strikes Down New York Anti-Eviction Law
Supreme Court
Supreme Court Strikes Down New York Anti-Eviction Law
August 16, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Federal courts continued their struggle with state and federal eviction moratoriums in separate rulings Thursday and Friday. A federal judge in Washington ruled Friday that her “hands are tied” to halt the federal eviction moratorium that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended... Read More

Nunes’s Defamation Suit Against Washington Post to Continue
Litigation
Nunes’s Defamation Suit Against Washington Post to Continue
August 13, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A lawsuit by Rep. Devin Nunes against The Washington Post for defamation is proceeding after a judge this week declined to dismiss it. The Post reported that Nunes accused the Obama administration of spying on Trump Tower in New York City. Nunes, R-Calif., denies... Read More

Twitter Loses in Court Ruling on Releasing FBI Search Data
Social Media
Twitter Loses in Court Ruling on Releasing FBI Search Data
August 12, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

Twitter lost another court battle this week in its effort to publicly release data showing when the FBI tapped into customer communications of the social media giant. Twitter, Inc. wants to release the information for the sake of transparency to its customers. The FBI argued successfully... Read More

Medical Groups Join Lawsuit to Support DC’s Vaccination Law for Children
Litigation
Medical Groups Join Lawsuit to Support DC’s Vaccination Law for Children
August 11, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A group of medical associations is speaking out to support the District of Columbia’s new law that allows children as young as 11 years old to request vaccinations from health care professionals without their parents' permission. The plaintiffs submitted an amicus brief last week... Read More

Biden Officials Give Assurances U.S. Has Strong Mideast Influence
Geopolitics
Biden Officials Give Assurances U.S. Has Strong Mideast Influence
August 10, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The Taliban continued retaking control of Afghanistan Tuesday as U.S. forces withdrew, but Biden administration officials told the Senate the American political position in the Middle East remains strong. However, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon are creating challenges as internal strife is pushing them toward... Read More

Democrats Get Arrested to Protest Deadlock in Congress on Voting Rights
Political News
Democrats Get Arrested to Protest Deadlock in Congress on Voting Rights
August 9, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A growing list of Democrats in Congress appear to be trying to get arrested outside the U.S. Supreme Court to demonstrate their opposition to legislative action they say would suppress the right to vote.  The latest was Rep. Al Green of Texas last week.... Read More

Mexican Government Sues Gunmakers For Contributing to Drug Cartel Violence
Litigation
Mexican Government Sues Gunmakers For Contributing to Drug Cartel Violence
August 6, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

The Mexican government this week filed a lawsuit accusing U.S. gunmakers of helping to fuel violence by drug cartels and other criminals who encounter few impediments to acquiring the firearms.  The lawsuit filed in federal court in Massachusetts says companies like Smith & Wesson Brands Inc.... Read More

Biden Lays Out Clean Transportation Goals
White House
Biden Lays Out Clean Transportation Goals
August 6, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden signed an executive order Thursday laying out fuel-efficiency goals that seek to ensure half the cars and trucks sold in the United States by 2030 are zero-emission electric vehicles. He pledged large federal investments to help automakers build the factories and... Read More

Senators Reveal Huge Financial Losses From US Tech Stolen by Chinese
Geopolitics
Senators Reveal Huge Financial Losses From US Tech Stolen by Chinese
August 5, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A Senate committee went public Wednesday with the kind of information about China’s use of U.S. technology that normally would stay behind the closed doors where clandestine issues are discussed. Select Committee on Intelligence leaders revealed that China’s unauthorized use of technology is costing... Read More

Countering Domestic Terrorism Draws Support from Lawmakers
U.S. Senate
Countering Domestic Terrorism Draws Support from Lawmakers
August 3, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Congress is trying to figure out how to confront the evolving threat of domestic terrorism that increasingly uses the internet to recruit sympathizers. The government doesn’t want to squelch free speech but it does want to halt disinformation that fuels hate crimes, according to... Read More

Rush is on to Extend Eviction Moratorium While Landlords and Republicans Oppose It
Housing
Rush is on to Extend Eviction Moratorium While Landlords and Republicans Oppose It
August 2, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The Biden administration announced Monday that it is trying to find a way to extend the federal eviction moratorium that expired Saturday. As many as 11 million Americans are in danger of losing their homes within weeks after expiration of the ban on evictions... Read More

Pentagon Considers Requirement of Vaccines for Military Employment
Military
Pentagon Considers Requirement of Vaccines for Military Employment
July 30, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The Defense Department is consulting with health officials and the Joint Chiefs of Staff about the possibility of making COVID-19 vaccinations a requirement of military service. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement Thursday he is trying to "determine how and when to... Read More

Government Tries to Play Catch-Up Against Fast-Moving Cyberattacks
Cybercrime
Government Tries to Play Catch-Up Against Fast-Moving Cyberattacks
July 29, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Congress took a stab Thursday at improving the nation’s cybersecurity as the federal government mobilizes more resources against ransomware and hackers. Both President Joe Biden and members of a House Homeland Security subcommittee described threats to U.S. computer systems as a potentially devastating economic... Read More

Transnational Crime Eludes Solutions Despite Congress’ Renewed Efforts
Congress
Transnational Crime Eludes Solutions Despite Congress’ Renewed Efforts
July 29, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Federal law enforcement personnel tried to convince sometimes skeptical members of Congress Wednesday they are making adequate efforts to control transnational crime along the U.S. southern border. However, they also acknowledged a “crisis” as illegal immigrants and drug gangs overwhelm resources intended to keep... Read More

US Government Digital Currency Gets a Second Look in Congress
Congress
US Government Digital Currency Gets a Second Look in Congress
July 27, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. dollar risks losing its preeminence in international transactions unless the Federal Reserve moves promptly to sponsor a digital currency, economists told Congress Tuesday. Once again, the main competitive threat to U.S. currency comes from China, according to witnesses at a House Financial... Read More

White House Protesters Want Biden To Increase Pressure on Cuba
Foreign Affairs
White House Protesters Want Biden To Increase Pressure on Cuba
July 27, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Cuban Americans made a plea for the United States to help the people of their home country Monday during a protest in Washington, D.C.  From a rally at the White House and during a march to the nearby Cuban Embassy, more than a thousand... Read More

Ohio Utility Settles for $230 Million After Bribing State Officials
Justice
Ohio Utility Settles for $230 Million After Bribing State Officials
July 23, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

Electric utility company FirstEnergy Corp. agreed to settle a Justice Department complaint Thursday by paying $230 million to avoid a federal wire fraud conspiracy charge. Company officials admitted they conspired with former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder to pay millions of dollars to his political nonprofit... Read More

Opioid Maker and Distributors Settle State Lawsuits for $26 Billion
Litigation
Opioid Maker and Distributors Settle State Lawsuits for $26 Billion
July 23, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

A coalition of state attorneys general reached a $26 billion settlement with opioid maker Johnson & Johnson and three of its distributors this week. They blame the companies for a half-million deaths in the United States from overdoses and addictions to powerful painkillers. "Our country's opioid... Read More

Senate Seeks Environmental Justice for Disadvantaged Hurt by Climate Change
Climate
Senate Seeks Environmental Justice for Disadvantaged Hurt by Climate Change
July 23, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Tracy Harden, owner of Chuck’s Dairy Bar in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, told a Senate panel Thursday about how a 2019 flood along the Mississippi River Delta devastated her community. High waters inundated 548,000 acres, nearly half of it cropland. Hundreds of residents in the... Read More

Greenhouse Gases Heat Up Lawmakers’ Health Concerns
Climate
Greenhouse Gases Heat Up Lawmakers’ Health Concerns
July 21, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The million acres of forest that burned in western states in the past week were a lesser concern for a congressional panel that discussed the hazards of high heat caused by climate change Wednesday. “It’s becoming a routine part of life on the West... Read More

Government Takes Helm on Cybersecurity As Ransomware and Spying Threats Grow
Cybercrime
Government Takes Helm on Cybersecurity As Ransomware and Spying Threats Grow
July 20, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- As the international blame game over ransomware heats up this week, the U.S. government is scrambling for solutions with increasingly combative strategies. Legislation that won tentative approval in Congress on Monday anticipates a bigger role for the U.S. government in overseeing cybersecurity of critical... Read More

Man Who Threatened Federal Judge Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison
Law
Man Who Threatened Federal Judge Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison
July 20, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

A man who threatened a federal judge presiding over prosecution of a Trump national security adviser was sentenced in Washington, D.C. Monday to 18 months in prison. Frank J. Caporusso, a 53-year-old electronic parts salesman, had pleaded guilty to threatening U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan... Read More

Afghan Allies Headed to U.S. to Avoid Taliban Revenge
Foreign Affairs
Afghan Allies Headed to U.S. to Avoid Taliban Revenge
July 19, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A proposal that would expedite visas for Afghans who assisted the U.S. military glided through a congressional hearing Monday as the urgency grows to save them. As U.S. troops withdraw from Afghanistan, some Afghans who helped the U.S. or NATO forces are facing death... Read More

Judge Refuses to Toss Lawsuits by Students Seeking Tuition Refunds
Law
Judge Refuses to Toss Lawsuits by Students Seeking Tuition Refunds
July 16, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- In a ruling with implications for the upcoming fall semester, a federal judge in Washington, D.C. last week refused to dismiss lawsuits by college students seeking tuition refunds. The students want at least part of their tuition and fees returned from the Spring 2020... Read More

Parent Sues D.C. Health Dept. Over Law on Child Vaccinations
Litigation
Parent Sues D.C. Health Dept. Over Law on Child Vaccinations
July 16, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The father of a 16-year-old girl is suing the District of Columbia Department of Health over its new law that allows children as young as 11 years old to get vaccinated without parental consent. The lawsuit in U.S. District Court says the law is... Read More

Congress Searches for Way to Make Supply Chains Resilient
Economy
Congress Searches for Way to Make Supply Chains Resilient
July 15, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The Senate continued its search Thursday for ways to prevent the kind of devastation brought to U.S. supply chains by COVID-19. Industry executives told a Senate panel the pandemic exposed U.S. dependence on foreign suppliers to keep the lights on for their businesses. As... Read More

Virologists Urge Finding COVID-19’s Origin To Prevent Future Pandemics
Congress
Virologists Urge Finding COVID-19’s Origin To Prevent Future Pandemics
July 14, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A congressional panel called a group of virologists together Wednesday to figure out the source of the COVID-19 virus but ended their hearing by concluding they still don’t know. However, they did agree the virus that has killed more than four million people worldwide... Read More

Small Business Advocates Plead for Help Recovering from the Pandemic
Congress
Small Business Advocates Plead for Help Recovering from the Pandemic
July 14, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress threw their support Tuesday behind President Joe Biden’s goal of helping small and rural businesses but with different perspectives on how to achieve it. Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, suggested that Congress provide a dedicated source of funding for the Small Business... Read More

Diversity Among Federal Judges Sought by Congressional Panel
Judiciary
Diversity Among Federal Judges Sought by Congressional Panel
July 12, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Legal experts who testified to Congress Monday gave qualified support to President Joe Biden’s plan to make the federal judiciary more diversified. They said a judiciary that looks like the rest of America’s population was more likely to reflect the will of the people... Read More

Attorney Who Arranged Hush Money From Trump Sentenced to Prison
Criminal Justice
Attorney Who Arranged Hush Money From Trump Sentenced to Prison
July 9, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who pressured former President Donald Trump to pay a settlement to a stripper, was sentenced to 30 months in prison yesterday for trying to extort millions of dollars from sportswear company Nike Inc. He is scheduled to stand additional trials soon on... Read More

Attorneys for Britney Spears Resign From Conservatorship Case
Law
Attorneys for Britney Spears Resign From Conservatorship Case
July 8, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

The court-appointed attorneys representing Britney Spears in her conservatorship case resigned Tuesday after the pop icon asked a judge for permission to hire her own counsel. The high-profile case is testing whether California's conservatorship laws protect the wealthy celebrities they are supposed to protect or the... Read More

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Deaf Woman’s Emotional Distress Suit
Supreme Court
Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Deaf Woman’s Emotional Distress Suit
July 6, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court plans to hear a case in its next term that could expand rights of discrimination victims to collect compensation for "emotional distress." A ruling that allows the compensation could widely broaden the liability for discrimination, potentially allowing anyone victimized by... Read More

Washington Football Team Hit By $10 Million Harassment Fine
Sports
Washington Football Team Hit By $10 Million Harassment Fine
July 2, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The National Football League announced a $10 million fine against the Washington Football Team Thursday after finding sexual harassment and bullying of employees to be a persistent problem. Much of the blame in the NFL’s report fell on team owner Dan Snyder, who then... Read More

Vaccine Hesitancy Complicates End to COVID-19 Pandemic
Health
Vaccine Hesitancy Complicates End to COVID-19 Pandemic
July 2, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Warnings came from Congress and public health officials Thursday that the Delta variant of COVID-19 is potentially a greater hazard than originally believed. Complicating the risk is what they call “vaccine hesitancy” that could subject millions of Americans to deadly disease. “Recent surveys show... Read More

Congress Told FBI Often Violates Privacy With Poorly Monitored Internet Warrants
Law Enforcement
Congress Told FBI Often Violates Privacy With Poorly Monitored Internet Warrants
June 30, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Free press advocates told Congress Wednesday that the Justice Department is out of control in secretly seeking Internet-based information about its political adversaries. Comments from lawmakers during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee indicated the FBI and other Justice Department agencies are close... Read More

Environmentalists Tell Congress to Invest in Efficient Electricity
Climate
Environmentalists Tell Congress to Invest in Efficient Electricity
June 29, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Environmental advocates promoted a plan to Congress Tuesday that calls for the United States to reach a 100% clean energy economy by 2050. Fossil fuels and coal-fired electrical generating plants would be replaced by solar power, hydroelectric dams and offshore wind energy under four... Read More

Congress Seeks to Replace Statues of Confederates in U.S. Capitol
Political News
Congress Seeks to Replace Statues of Confederates in U.S. Capitol
June 29, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- America’s racial reckoning that started last year continued Monday with a House hearing on removing statuary from the U.S. Capitol that depicts Confederate sympathizers. In one case, a pending bill would replace a statue of a U.S. Supreme Court justice who endorsed slavery with... Read More

Giuliani’s Law License Suspended After Election Fraud Claims
Law
Giuliani’s Law License Suspended After Election Fraud Claims
June 25, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

A New York state appeals court on Thursday suspended Rudolph Giuliani from practicing law because of his allegedly false statements that challenged the integrity of the 2020 presidential election and defeat of former President Donald Trump. Giuliani is a former New York City mayor and Trump's... Read More

Cameras in Courts Proposal Wins Early Support in Senate
Courts
Cameras in Courts Proposal Wins Early Support in Senate
June 25, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A Senate committee approved bills Thursday to put video cameras in federal courts in a move that ups the chances more of the proceedings will reach household televisions soon. If the proposed legislation wins as expected in a final vote, it would run up... Read More

President to Meet with Governors to Prepare for Natural Disasters
Emergency Management
President to Meet with Governors to Prepare for Natural Disasters
June 23, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden announced Tuesday he would meet with state governors next week to map out a strategy for handling disasters from severe weather. Heat and drought in western states is creating wildfires and crop damage. The National Weather Service is predicting potentially heavy... Read More

D.C. Statehood Faces Biggest Hurdle as Vote Approaches in U.S. Senate
Political News
D.C. Statehood Faces Biggest Hurdle as Vote Approaches in U.S. Senate
June 22, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- District of Columbia political leaders argued their case Tuesday for statehood before the U.S. Senate, where the proposal faces long odds among Republicans. Officially, the argument focuses on whether D.C. statehood is constitutionally a matter of discretion for Congress. Unofficially, Republicans are warning statehood... Read More

Justice Dept. Says Marshals Service Unable to Properly Protect Judges
Courts
Justice Dept. Says Marshals Service Unable to Properly Protect Judges
June 21, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A new Department of Justice audit found the U.S. Marshals Service is too understaffed and poorly equipped to adequately protect the nation’s judges. The report was partly a response to the killing last year of a New Jersey federal judge's son in which an... Read More

Senators Try to Get Tough On Rise in Cybercrime
Cybersecurity
Senators Try to Get Tough On Rise in Cybercrime
June 17, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A group of U.S. senators responded Thursday to recent ransomware attacks by introducing legislation to impose new tactics and harsh penalties on cyberattackers. They pinned much of the blame on Russia, despite denials a day earlier by Russian President Vladimir Putin. “The Russians do... Read More

Proposed Puerto Rican Statehood Scheduled for a Vote in Congress
Congress
Proposed Puerto Rican Statehood Scheduled for a Vote in Congress
June 17, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The chances for Puerto Rico to become the 51st U.S. state never seemed brighter than during a congressional hearing Wednesday, despite opposition from top Republicans. Congress is expected to vote on a bill that proposes Puerto Rican statehood within days. It is supported by... Read More

Congress Begins Investigation of Alleged Justice Dept. Abuses
Political News
Congress Begins Investigation of Alleged Justice Dept. Abuses
June 15, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A powerful congressional committee is beginning an investigation into reports the Justice Department secretly subpoenaed information about members of Congress and journalists during the Trump administration. The committee’s chairman said he was concerned the Justice Department “used criminal investigations as a pretext to spy... Read More

Senate Confirms Ketanji Brown Jackson to U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit
Courts
Senate Confirms Ketanji Brown Jackson to U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit
June 15, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Monday in what could be a move for her toward the Supreme Court. Jackson, 50, was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the... Read More

U.S. Military’s Authority for Force in Iraq Faces Revision or Repeal
Congress
U.S. Military’s Authority for Force in Iraq Faces Revision or Repeal
June 14, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Drone strikes and missiles struck near American targets in Iraq only days before Congress on Monday discussed ending its authorization for U.S. troops to use force in the country. No one in Congress disputes that anti-American forces in Iraq want to kill U.S. soldiers,... Read More

Congress Wants to Build Resiliency Into its Response to Climate Change
Congress
Congress Wants to Build Resiliency Into its Response to Climate Change
June 14, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A congressional hearing Friday gave a boost to part of the Biden administration’s infrastructure plan that seeks to resist the devastation of climate change. Lawmakers said building infrastructure that is resilient to disasters caused by global warming is a better option than rebuilding after... Read More

Mexican Drug Kingpin’s Wife Pleads Guilty in D.C. Court
Crime
Mexican Drug Kingpin’s Wife Pleads Guilty in D.C. Court
June 11, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 15 after pleading guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., to drug trafficking and money laundering charges. Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, pleaded guilty after assisting her... Read More

Support Grows in Congress For Revised Child Abuse Law
Congress
Support Grows in Congress For Revised Child Abuse Law
June 10, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A Senate committee unanimously approved a sweeping overhaul of federal legislation on Thursday to prevent child abuse and neglect. The House already approved a similar version of the bill, nearly guaranteeing it will reach President Joe Biden’s desk for final approval. It is different... Read More

Federal Government Prepares to Take Lead in Protecting Industry Computer Networks
Cybersecurity
Federal Government Prepares to Take Lead in Protecting Industry Computer Networks
June 10, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Testimony at a congressional hearing Wednesday on last month’s Colonial Pipeline Co. ransomware attack demonstrated that a bigger role for the federal government is coming soon to protect private computer networks. The Georgia-based company’s chief executive officer admitted to internal failures in protecting the... Read More

Defense Analysts Warn Senate of China’s Multi-Pronged Threat
Geopolitics
Defense Analysts Warn Senate of China’s Multi-Pronged Threat
June 8, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Defense analysts warned the Senate Tuesday that although China is mostly a trading partner now, its threat to U.S. national security should not be overlooked. They described an expansionist, long-term strategy intended to displace the United States as a world leader in multiple areas... Read More

Virginia Teacher Reinstated After Dispute Over Transgender Students
Law
Virginia Teacher Reinstated After Dispute Over Transgender Students
June 8, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

A judge on Tuesday ordered a Leesburg, Va., elementary teacher reinstated in his job after he was suspended for refusing to address transgender and nonbinary students according to their gender preferences. Physical education teacher Byron “Tanner” Cross refused to address transgender and nonbinary girls as “she”... Read More

Experts Warn Against Ignoring Ocean Environment
Environment
Experts Warn Against Ignoring Ocean Environment
June 8, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Some of America’s best oceanographers made a plea to Congress Monday to protect the oceans from environmental disaster or risk devastating consequences for the human population. They said global warming was increasing floods and hurricanes, raising sea levels and killing the coral reefs that... Read More

Justice Dept. Drops Subpoena Seeking USA Today Readers
Media
Justice Dept. Drops Subpoena Seeking USA Today Readers
June 7, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department late Friday withdrew its subpoena ordering media organization USA Today to turn over records identifying readers of a story about a Feb. 2 shootout in Florida that killed two FBI agents and injured three others. The FBI was trying to track... Read More

Supreme Court Limits Prosecutions for Unauthorized Computer Use
Supreme Court
Supreme Court Limits Prosecutions for Unauthorized Computer Use
June 7, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. Supreme Court ruling Thursday makes it harder to impose liability on workers who use their employers’ computers for unauthorized purposes. The ruling restricts the Justice Department's authority to prosecute unauthorized computer use under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. It also... Read More

US Government Prepares Strategy to Respond to Ransomware Attacks
Cybercrime
US Government Prepares Strategy to Respond to Ransomware Attacks
June 4, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The Biden administration and members of Congress are pledging a tough response to the mounting devastation of cyberattacks as the risk of a bigger confrontation with Russia grows. On Wednesday, a White House spokesperson spelled out the U.S. government’s strategy. She was responding to... Read More

Congress and States Struggle With Police Immunity Reforms
Law Enforcement
Congress and States Struggle With Police Immunity Reforms
June 3, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A bill to modify the immunity from liability for police officers failed in the Louisiana State Legislature Tuesday over a dispute that mirrors similar action in Congress. The bill would have made officers liable to victims for their excessive use of force. Evidence during... Read More

Judge Set to Rule on Immunity For Police at Lafayette Square
Law Enforcement
Judge Set to Rule on Immunity For Police at Lafayette Square
June 2, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A Washington, D.C. federal judge is expected to rule within days on whether lawsuits can go forward accusing police of violating protesters’ civil rights in the way they cleared Lafayette Square in front of the White House last year after the killing of George... Read More

Amazon’s Huge Acquisition of MGM Faces Intense Government Scrutiny
Entertainment
Amazon’s Huge Acquisition of MGM Faces Intense Government Scrutiny
June 1, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Amazon.com, Inc.'s, $8.45 billion deal announced Wednesday to purchase MGM sets it up to become a major player in the film and television industries but also to face a new round of antitrust allegations by federal regulators. MGM, founded in 1924, is one of... Read More

Civil Rights Advocates Ask Congress to Protect Voting Rights
Congress
Civil Rights Advocates Ask Congress to Protect Voting Rights
May 28, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Civil rights attorneys advocated for an update to the federal Voting Rights Act Thursday as the uproar instigated by former President Donald Trump over fair elections continues to create turmoil in Congress. They blamed outdated language in the 1965 federal law for allowing states... Read More

Law Professor Suggests New Law to Undermine White Supremacists
Congress
Law Professor Suggests New Law to Undermine White Supremacists
May 27, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A Georgetown University law professor called for a new federal law to clamp down on white supremacist militias during a congressional hearing Wednesday. She said their threats of violence are growing but local law enforcement personnel are unprepared to deal with them. “This is... Read More

Better Clean Water Strategies Sought Under Biden’s American Jobs Plan
Congress
Better Clean Water Strategies Sought Under Biden’s American Jobs Plan
May 26, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Everyone on a congressional panel Tuesday agreed that safe drinking water is an important health priority but several lawmakers disagreed that the Biden administration’s plan for pursuing it is practical. “I have a lot of doubts that it will,” said Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas,... Read More

Congress Favors Proposals for Clean Energy Built on Public Lands
Energy
Congress Favors Proposals for Clean Energy Built on Public Lands
May 25, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden’s aggressive environmental agenda moved forward during a congressional hearing Monday on whether to increase development of clean energies on federal lands. Democrats and Republicans agreed more solar, wind and geothermal energy plants should be built on public lands. They differed only... Read More

Biden Orders Assessment Of Climate Change on Economy
Climate
Biden Orders Assessment Of Climate Change on Economy
May 24, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden signed an executive order Thursday directing the Treasury Department to prepare a report on the financial risks to the U.S. economy from climate change. The report is supposed to help the Biden administration target environmental investments to reduce the economic impact... Read More

Withdrawal from Afghanistan is Safe According to US Defense Officials
Military
Withdrawal from Afghanistan is Safe According to US Defense Officials
May 21, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Defense Department officials tried to reassure sometimes skeptical members of the Senate Thursday that the ongoing U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan can be completed without a resurgence of terrorist threats. President Joe Biden last month ordered the withdrawal no later than Sept. 11, 2021.... Read More

Cyberattacks Anger Lawmakers As They Prepare a US Response
Cybersecurity
Cyberattacks Anger Lawmakers As They Prepare a US Response
May 20, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Lawmakers who listened to Defense Department officials explain recent cyberthreats Friday gave unmistakable hints that some kind of large-scale U.S. response is coming soon. The hearing of the House Armed Services subcommittee on cyber, innovative technologies and information systems assessed how much of a... Read More

Defense Department Officials Bemoan Increasingly Sophisticated Cyberattacks
Cybersecurity
Defense Department Officials Bemoan Increasingly Sophisticated Cyberattacks
May 19, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Defense Department officials described a bleak outlook for cybersecurity to a Senate panel Tuesday as a report of another huge Internet scam emerged from a new government report. However, they also said they are becoming increasingly sophisticated in stopping the scammers. “Neither the [Defense]... Read More

Anti-Asian Actions Condemned By Congress After Incidents Surge
Congress
Anti-Asian Actions Condemned By Congress After Incidents Surge
May 18, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Congress weighed in Monday on a surge in Asian hate crimes since the COVID-19 pandemic started with a resolution that condemns the stinging words and actions behind the incidents. The resolution, H.R. 275, “reaffirms the commitment of the United States federal government to combat... Read More

Uptick in Mental Health Problems Prompts Calls for Crisis Intervention
Mental Health
Uptick in Mental Health Problems Prompts Calls for Crisis Intervention
May 14, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Incidents the past few days in New York City demonstrate why a congressional subcommittee met Thursday to discuss “a national mental health crisis.” Last week, an emotionally disturbed man barricaded himself in a subway motorman’s car, shutting down train service on the rail line... Read More

COVID-19 Researchers Say U.S. Must Stay Prepared for Variants
Health
COVID-19 Researchers Say U.S. Must Stay Prepared for Variants
May 13, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Infectious disease experts urged Congress Wednesday to move quickly to vaccinate Americans before the COVID-19 virus mutates to become more dangerous. Without fast action to create herd immunity, emerging virus strains could make current vaccines less effective, experts told the House Science, Space and... Read More

Agreement Eludes Senators On Election Reform Proposal
Congress
Agreement Eludes Senators On Election Reform Proposal
May 12, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A Senate committee tried Tuesday to amend a bill before sending it off to a final vote that would set national standards for elections. It made little headway in reaching agreement in a sharply divided Senate Rules and Administration Committee. Republicans said it was... Read More

Biden Says Colonial Pipeline Attack Tied to Russian Ransomware Hackers
Cybercrime
Biden Says Colonial Pipeline Attack Tied to Russian Ransomware Hackers
May 11, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The ongoing energy crisis created by a Russian gang’s ransomware attack late last week led the Biden administration to announce a multi-pronged strategy for confronting it on Monday. While President Biden declared an emergency, Colonial Pipeline officials said they expect to resume transporting most... Read More

Lawsuits Follow Changes In State Voting Laws
In The States
Lawsuits Follow Changes In State Voting Laws
May 7, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

Florida was hit with multiple civil rights lawsuits Thursday minutes after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill to limit mail-in voting and to require more complete voter identification. The NAACP, the League of Women Voters and others said in their lawsuits in federal court that the... Read More

Passenger Rail Supporters Say ROI Worth the Costs
Transportation
Passenger Rail Supporters Say ROI Worth the Costs
May 7, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - President Biden’s advocacy during a speech in Lake Charles, La., for $2.25 trillion in infrastructure spending won support from passenger rail executives who testified in Congress Thursday. Biden’s plan would set aside $621 billion specifically to rebuild the nation's roads, bridges, rails and airports.... Read More

Transportation Official Says Security is Good for Airline Travel
Travel
Transportation Official Says Security is Good for Airline Travel
May 6, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A top Transportation Security Administration official gave an upbeat outlook to Congress Wednesday for a return to normal travel habits as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides in the United States. He said the agency would continue its pandemic health and safety procedures but did not... Read More

Defense Experts Warn of New Threats From Weapons of Mass Destruction
Military
Defense Experts Warn of New Threats From Weapons of Mass Destruction
May 5, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Defense experts portrayed a bleak outlook Tuesday during a congressional hearing for risks to the United States and the world from weapons of mass destruction. No recent example is better than the COVID-19 pandemic, which is fast approaching 3.5 million deaths worldwide, according to... Read More

Republicans Claim $15 Minimum Wage Would Hurt U.S. Jobs and Businesses
Congress
Republicans Claim $15 Minimum Wage Would Hurt U.S. Jobs and Businesses
May 3, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The Biden administration’s pledge to up the wages and fair labor standards of low-income workers hit a roadblock among Republicans during a congressional hearing Monday. The intentions are good but the economics are bad, according to critics who say the plan would backfire by... Read More

$1.6 MIllion to Go to Protesters at 2017 Inauguration
Law
$1.6 MIllion to Go to Protesters at 2017 Inauguration
May 3, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The District of Columbia government this week agreed to pay $1.6 million to settle two lawsuits by protesters during the January 2017 presidential inauguration of Donald Trump. In one of the lawsuits, six demonstrators represented by the ACLU of the District of Columbia will... Read More

Domestic Terrorism Often Eludes FBI’s Efforts to Find and Stop it
Law Enforcement
Domestic Terrorism Often Eludes FBI’s Efforts to Find and Stop it
April 30, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol came back to haunt Congress Thursday as lawmakers sifted through ideas to ensure it never happens again. The riot was the immediate subject of a House subcommittee hearing but domestic terrorism was the greater concern. “This... Read More

Mental Health Experts Say COVID-19 Is Creating Casualties of Depression
Mental Health
Mental Health Experts Say COVID-19 Is Creating Casualties of Depression
April 29, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Mental health experts are warning that although the COVID-19 pandemic might be subsiding in the United States, it is leaving a legacy of depression and addiction that will linger long after the virus. Now lawmakers are grappling for ways to confront what they describe... Read More

Law Requiring Nonprofit Disclosures Gets Chilly Reception in Supreme Court
Supreme Court
Law Requiring Nonprofit Disclosures Gets Chilly Reception in Supreme Court
April 27, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A California law that requires nonprofit organizations to disclose their donors met with skepticism among most of the U.S. Supreme Court’s justices during a hearing Monday. The law is opposed by coalitions of nonprofit organizations that say the disclosures could dry up their contributions... Read More

DC Attorney General’s Lawsuit Says Baby Food Maker Misled
Health
DC Attorney General’s Lawsuit Says Baby Food Maker Misled
April 26, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Washington, D.C.’s attorney general sued baby food maker Beech-Nut Nutrition Corp. this week with claims the company misled consumers by failing to disclose toxic metals in its food. The lawsuit filed in District of Columbia Superior Court incorporates evidence from a congressional report in... Read More

Washington, D.C., One Step Closer to Statehood
Congress
Washington, D.C., One Step Closer to Statehood
April 23, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday to make the District of Columbia the 51st U.S. state at a time political support for the legislation is the strongest it has ever been. The bill, entitled H.R. 51, now heads to the Senate, where... Read More

Creating Innovation Incentives for Women and Minorities
Technology
Creating Innovation Incentives for Women and Minorities
April 22, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- As COVID-19 puts pressure on industries to innovate for solutions, a Senate subcommittee is looking at why women and minorities are left behind in the search for new technologies. The ultimate goal of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on intellectual property is to add patents... Read More

Fiery Tesla Crash Being Investigated by Feds
Transportation
Fiery Tesla Crash Being Investigated by Feds
April 21, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

Two federal agencies are investigating the fatal crash of a Tesla car on Saturday near Houston that burned for four hours as firefighters poured about 32,000 gallons of water on it. Local police said they are certain no one was behind the wheel when the self-driving... Read More

The Hartford to Pay $650 Million to Settle Boy Scout Sexual Abuse Claims
Litigation
The Hartford to Pay $650 Million to Settle Boy Scout Sexual Abuse Claims
April 20, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

The Hartford Financial Services Group announced Friday it would pay $650 million to settle sexual abuse claims against the Boy Scouts of America. If it is approved by a Delaware bankruptcy judge, the payment to the Boy Scouts and its 272 local councils would release the... Read More

Pharmaceutical Executives Suggest Annual COVID-19 Vaccinations
Health
Pharmaceutical Executives Suggest Annual COVID-19 Vaccinations
April 19, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

Officials from the top U.S. pharmaceutical companies making the COVID-19 vaccine are saying vaccinated persons are likely to need booster shots within a year. In fact, they probably will need to get vaccinated yearly for the foreseeable future, similar to the annual flu vaccines. “A likely... Read More

Disease Experts Look to the End Of Pandemic But Aren't Sure When
Health
Disease Experts Look to the End Of Pandemic But Aren't Sure When
April 16, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- As the U.S. death toll reached 564,000 from COVID-19, the nation’s top disease experts said Thursday normal life will return for Americans only when enough of them get vaccinated. But with more than 70,000 new infections daily, they could not predict for Congress when... Read More

Biden Gets Mixed Response to Affordable Housing Stimulus Plan
Congress
Biden Gets Mixed Response to Affordable Housing Stimulus Plan
April 15, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A Biden administration plan to increase affordable housing drew sharp warnings from Republicans about adding to the U.S. budget deficit during a congressional hearing Wednesday. Meanwhile, Democrats said the $213 billion plan for affordable housing more equitably distributes wealth. They largely disagreed it would... Read More

Tourism Industry, Still Weak, Looking for Help
Travel
Tourism Industry, Still Weak, Looking for Help
April 14, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. economy is continuing its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic but not fast enough for tourism officials who testified before a Senate subcommittee Tuesday. They said their industry was the hardest hit during the pandemic shutdown and will be one of the slowest... Read More

Maryland Enacts Sweeping Reforms to Make Police More Accountable
In The States
Maryland Enacts Sweeping Reforms to Make Police More Accountable
April 13, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Maryland's General Assembly on Saturday enacted the nation’s most sweeping police reform legislation to make officers more accountable to the public. The new rules place more restrictions on use of force and no-knock warrants. Other provisions require body cameras and give civilians a... Read More

Norwegian‌ ‌Airline‌ ‌Opposed‌ ‌Over‌ ‌Low-Budget‌ ‌Business‌ ‌Model‌
Travel
Norwegian‌ ‌Airline‌ ‌Opposed‌ ‌Over‌ ‌Low-Budget‌ ‌Business‌ ‌Model‌
April 12, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

A startup airline based in Norway is running into opposition from a leading U.S. congressman on transportation policy over its plan to expand into the United States. The issue is its “flag of convenience” business plan. The startup, called Norse Atlantic Airways, has links to Norwegian... Read More

Gun Violence Plan Seeks New Ownership Restrictions
White House
Gun Violence Plan Seeks New Ownership Restrictions
April 8, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden announced measures Thursday to restrict sales of “ghost guns” and to take firearms away from potentially dangerous persons. The proposals are part of a larger campaign against gun violence. “Gun violence in this country is an epidemic and it’s an international... Read More

Legality of Vaccine Passports Mired in Mix of Interpretations
In The States
Legality of Vaccine Passports Mired in Mix of Interpretations
April 7, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

An executive order on Tuesday from Texas' governor that prohibits state agencies from using tax money for vaccine passports is kicking up a dispute over the breadth of public health laws during the COVID-19 pandemic. Airlines and other private companies are moving ahead with their own... Read More

Amazon Loses in Labor Complaint
Labor
Amazon Loses in Labor Complaint
April 7, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The National Labor Relations Board’s finding announced this week that online retailer Amazon retaliated unfairly against two of its headquarters staff members is paving the way for a possible lawsuit against the company. The two workers publicly criticized Amazon for its climate policies and... Read More

Biden Reverses Course on Sanctions Against ICC
Foreign Affairs
Biden Reverses Course on Sanctions Against ICC
April 6, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden announced Friday that he is reversing a Trump administration policy that sanctions the International Criminal Court in what he described as another sign of a return of U.S. foreign policy to more cooperation. Trump criticized the ICC for its policies against... Read More

Goldmine of New Resources for Railroads
Transportation
Goldmine of New Resources for Railroads
April 5, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Virginia’s plan for a $3.7 billion passenger rail expansion was revolutionary on Tuesday when the governor announced it but later in the week looked like the tip of the iceberg. The next day, President Joe Biden presented his plan for $2.2 trillion in infrastructure improvements,... Read More

Outrage Over State Election Laws Grows as Congress Takes Action
Political News
Outrage Over State Election Laws Grows as Congress Takes Action
April 2, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The backlash continued Thursday against Georgia’s new elections law while Congress moved ahead with a bill that could eliminate much of states’ rights to determine the conditions for which residents vote, when they vote and where.  Civil rights activists called on major corporations to... Read More

$2.2 Trillion Jobs and Infrastructure Plan Unveiled
White House
$2.2 Trillion Jobs and Infrastructure Plan Unveiled
April 1, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

President Joe Biden unveiled his plan Wednesday for a $2.2 trillion government investment into improving the nation’s infrastructure. Biden described the plan as an effort to create jobs and make the United States more competitive while recovering from the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Now... Read More

Jan. 6 Insurrectionists May Get No More than Slap on the Wrist
Criminal Justice
Jan. 6 Insurrectionists May Get No More than Slap on the Wrist
March 30, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Arrests of Jan. 6 insurrectionists at the U.S. Capitol are continuing this week even as the zeal to throw the defendants in prison with severe sentences begins to subside or run into stumbling blocks of criminal law. In the few weeks after the violent... Read More

FTC Announces Reorganization to Make Rules Against Deceptive Businesses
Business
FTC Announces Reorganization to Make Rules Against Deceptive Businesses
March 30, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Trade Commission is organizing a new rulemaking office to coordinate its efforts against what it calls deceptive business practices. The agency’s chairwoman described the reorganization as the start of a more aggressive campaign to protect consumers from corporations that use their market... Read More

Pre-Trial Reforms Struggle to Balance Rights of Defendants and Crime Victims
Courts
Pre-Trial Reforms Struggle to Balance Rights of Defendants and Crime Victims
March 26, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- As Congress struggled Friday to find the fine line between protecting crime victims and suspects in pre-trial proceedings, federal prosecutors were trying to recover from an embarrassing blunder. In both cases, the federal government seeks to eliminate stumbling blocks to fair trials. At a... Read More

Devastation of the Arts Caused by COVID-19 Pandemic
Arts
Devastation of the Arts Caused by COVID-19 Pandemic
March 26, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- No one at a congressional hearing Thursday doubted the arts and humanities suffered severely during the COVID-19 pandemic. The question was how much longer the government should continue to bail them out with financial rescue grants. “We know that because of COVID-19, the arts... Read More

Proposal for Election Reform Faces Opposition
Congress
Proposal for Election Reform Faces Opposition
March 25, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The turmoil former President Donald Trump kicked up over integrity of the vote last November continued Wednesday with a Senate reform proposal that would turn states’ rights to control elections on their heads. The Senate is considering a bill that would set national minimum... Read More

Anniversary of Affordable Care Act Brings Calls for Insurance Reforms
Anniversary of Affordable Care Act Brings Calls for Insurance Reforms
March 24, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden visited Ohio Tuesday to promote his economic stimulus program while Congress took steps to move the health insurance part of it into new territory. The Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan expands subsidies to make health insurance more affordable for... Read More

Invoking No Taxation Without Representation, DC Again Seeks Statehood
In The States
Invoking No Taxation Without Representation, DC Again Seeks Statehood
March 22, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The tumultuous legacy left by rioters during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol carried through into a congressional hearing Monday on statehood for the District of Columbia. The mayor wanted to call in the National Guard as soon as the rioters tried... Read More

Asian Americans Seek Protection Against Hate Crimes
Law Enforcement
Asian Americans Seek Protection Against Hate Crimes
March 18, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The day before actor Daniel Dae Kim testified to Congress Thursday about hate crimes against Asian Americans, he talked about an attack on his sister while he was being interviewed on CNN. “She was running in her own neighborhood when a man driving a... Read More

Infrastructure Investment Steers U.S. Out of Recession
Economy
Infrastructure Investment Steers U.S. Out of Recession
March 17, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Congress sent clear signals this week that clean energy technology and the infrastructure to support it will provide a path to help the nation’s economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. In two hearings, economists and lawmakers bemoaned the loss of millions of jobs, many... Read More

Extensive R&D Needed to Defeat Global Warming
Science
Extensive R&D Needed to Defeat Global Warming
March 15, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Weeks after Congress approved legislation that dedicates $35 billion to promote energy efficiency, lawmakers forged ahead Friday to determine how they will spend it. They hope to push the U.S. economy toward more renewable energy while moving away from fossil fuels and greenhouse gas... Read More

43 Million Americans Don’t Have Enough to Eat
Food Insecurity
43 Million Americans Don’t Have Enough to Eat
March 12, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The COVID-19 pandemic is winding down but lawmakers in Congress said Wednesday their work to halt the hunger that resulted from it continues. This week, an estimated 9.6 million jobs remain lost compared with the start of the pandemic early last year, according to... Read More

Railroads Want in on Biden’s $2 Trillion Infrastructure Proposal
Infrastructure
Railroads Want in on Biden’s $2 Trillion Infrastructure Proposal
March 11, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The railroad industry moved closer Wednesday to becoming a big winner in President Joe Biden’s environmentally friendly policies. A House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee weighed options during a hearing on which passenger and freight railroad projects should get federal funding. Comments from lawmakers implied... Read More

Alarming Lapses in Inspection of Drugs Made in Foreign Countries
Prescription Drugs
Alarming Lapses in Inspection of Drugs Made in Foreign Countries
March 10, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A government report released Tuesday raised alarms about the quality of pharmaceuticals made in foreign countries but consumed by Americans. It said the purity of the drugs is questionable because of a lack of adequate inspections by the Food and Drug Administration of the... Read More

Hunger in America to be Discussed Thursday in Congress
Food Insecurity
Hunger in America to be Discussed Thursday in Congress
March 9, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - COVID-19 has exposed a dark underbelly of vulnerability for the U.S. economy: hunger. Congress plans to take a look on Thursday at what can be done about it, now and in future calamities. The House Agriculture Committee is calling together government and private experts... Read More

Business Advocates Oppose Move to Make Union Organizing Easier
Labor
Business Advocates Oppose Move to Make Union Organizing Easier
March 9, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Norma Torres talked Monday about how union membership protected her family after they arrived from Guatemala in 1970 as refugees from a civil war that killed more than 200,000 people. Her father, an electrician, was a union member who was able to support his... Read More

Islands Sinking Due to Climate Change Asking for Help
Climate
Islands Sinking Due to Climate Change Asking for Help
March 5, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Islands that fall under U.S. protection asked Congress for help Thursday from the climate change that is making their shores sink into the ocean and subjecting them to devastating hurricanes. With so little land compared with the U.S. mainland, they are suffering some of... Read More

Airlines Say They Will Fail Without More Federal Aid
Travel
Airlines Say They Will Fail Without More Federal Aid
March 3, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Airline industry officials made a plea Tuesday for additional federal assistance to help their deeply wounded businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. They asked a congressional committee for another round of Payroll Support Program funds, not only to keep their workers employed, but in... Read More

Voting Rights Overhaul Championed by Democrats
Elections
Voting Rights Overhaul Championed by Democrats
March 2, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Democrats in Congress want to overhaul the nation’s voting laws with the “For the People Act” (H.R. 1). Their majority in the House makes approval of the bill likely as soon as this week. H.R. 1 would reduce barriers to voting by extending early... Read More

SolarWinds Cyberattack Prompts Calls for Aggressive Countermeasures
Congress
SolarWinds Cyberattack Prompts Calls for Aggressive Countermeasures
March 1, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A congressional hearing Friday showed that foreign computer hackers are facing a growing likelihood of counterattack from the United States as a result of the SolarWinds software breach. Lawmakers and computer industry officials agreed the hackers must face consequences to deter them in the... Read More

Rep. Himes Says ‘The Threat is Real’
Rep. Himes Says ‘The Threat is Real’
February 26, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A congressional panel wants to cut off funding for the kind of White supremacists who raided the U.S. Capitol building Jan. 6. They described the attack as the first of many against government targets unless they act promptly to stop them. “This threat is... Read More

Media Accused of Disinformation As Congress Ponders Restrictions
Media
Media Accused of Disinformation As Congress Ponders Restrictions
February 25, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The news media fell under attack Wednesday in Congress for exacerbating the COVID-19 pandemic, encouraging the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and irresponsibly downplaying threats of global warming. The criticisms were hurled during a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing. “They engage... Read More

‘War’ Report from FBI Overlooked Before Capitol Riot
Congress
‘War’ Report from FBI Overlooked Before Capitol Riot
February 24, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Lawmakers repeated their conviction at a Senate hearing Tuesday that never again should insurrectionists be allowed to attack the U.S. Capitol like they did on Jan. 6 while acknowledging huge security lapses. They reviewed failures in intelligence reports, coordination of law enforcement efforts and... Read More

Garland Pledges to be ‘Lawyer for the People’
Congress
Garland Pledges to be ‘Lawyer for the People’
February 23, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Merrick Garland brought his middle-of-the-road opinions of justice to a Senate hearing Monday to help lawmakers decide whether to confirm him as the next U.S. attorney general. Garland is a federal judge who also is President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department... Read More

Losses Mount as Child Care Workers Look for Help
Child Care
Losses Mount as Child Care Workers Look for Help
February 22, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Speaking to a congressional panel on Friday, child care experts talked about how children and their caretakers were thrown into sometimes chaotic lifestyles and schedules by the coronavirus pandemic and the recession it caused. A House Appropriations subcommittee on human services listened as the... Read More

British Court Ruling Against Oil Company Could Expand Liability for Foreign Accidents
Energy
British Court Ruling Against Oil Company Could Expand Liability for Foreign Accidents
February 19, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

A ruling by Britain's top court last week that said Royal Dutch Shell oil company could be liable in English courts for pollution by its subsidiary in Nigeria, is likely to expand the company’s potential liability abroad. The court’s decision also creates a likelihood of liability... Read More

Congress Wants to Restore Its Workforce to Well-Being After Tumultuous Year
Mental Health
Congress Wants to Restore Its Workforce to Well-Being After Tumultuous Year
February 19, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A congressional subcommittee tried to assess the well-being and mental health of its own workforce Thursday after a year that one of its members described as “like drinking from a firehose while in freefall.” Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-N.Y., was talking about how the COVID-19... Read More

Civil Rights Activists Advocate for African American Reparations
Congress
Civil Rights Activists Advocate for African American Reparations
February 18, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Witnesses at a congressional hearing Wednesday said the African American community should receive reparations for the inequality and bigotry that started with slavery but continues now. They were speaking in support of a recently reintroduced bill that would set up a new government commission... Read More

Election Commission Plans for More Secure Votes and Elections
Elections
Election Commission Plans for More Secure Votes and Elections
February 17, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A federal election official described the 2020 vote as one of the most difficult in American history during a congressional hearing Monday. The COVID-19 pandemic, reports of attempted foreign cyberattacks and allegations of fraud by President Donald Trump and his supporters played havoc with... Read More

New Bill in Congress Would Eliminate Employee Arbitration Requirements
Employment
New Bill in Congress Would Eliminate Employee Arbitration Requirements
February 12, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Former Fox News television host Gretchen Carlson advocated during a congressional hearing Thursday against employment arbitration contracts that limit workers’ rights to sue their employers. She said they often force employees into silence about misdeeds of their bosses, such as Carlson’s former supervisor who... Read More

Cybersecurity Experts Caution Congress About 'Global Emergency' from Hackers
Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity Experts Caution Congress About 'Global Emergency' from Hackers
February 11, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Cybersecurity experts suggested to a congressional committee Wednesday that lawmakers act quickly to address growing threats from hackers. They mentioned the SolarWinds computer infiltration by the Russians last year and a hacker’s attempt to poison a Florida municipal water supply last week as examples.... Read More

Congress Considers Changes To Presidential Clemency Law
Law
Congress Considers Changes To Presidential Clemency Law
February 10, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A backlash against former President Donald Trump continued Tuesday, first with a Senate trial on whether to impeach him again and second with a House hearing on whether to strip the presidency of some authority to grant clemencies to convicted criminals. Trump was accused... Read More

Schools Struggle with Teachers Over Return to In-Class Learning
Education
Schools Struggle with Teachers Over Return to In-Class Learning
February 9, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

Public school classes are resuming this week but some teachers in cities nationwide say they might not be there. They are threatening sickouts or strikes because of the risk of COVID-19 infection if they return to in-class education. The United States this week is approaching a... Read More

Voting Machine Company Sues Trump Lawyers and Fox News
Litigation
Voting Machine Company Sues Trump Lawyers and Fox News
February 5, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

Electronic voting systems operator Smartmatic is suing two of former President Donald Trump’s attorneys and Fox News cable network, claiming they defamed the company by accusing it of rigging the 2020 presidential election in favor of Joe Biden. The lawsuit filed in New York state court... Read More

Experts Tell Congress to Prepare for Conflicts with Domestic Terrorists
Congress
Experts Tell Congress to Prepare for Conflicts with Domestic Terrorists
February 4, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Some domestic terrorism experts left no doubt during a congressional hearing Thursday they believe new laws and intelligence procedures are needed to avoid the kind of violence displayed during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. They predicted the threats from domestic terrorists... Read More

Senate Panel Considers Options For Confronting Climate Change
Climate
Senate Panel Considers Options For Confronting Climate Change
February 3, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A Senate committee reviewed U.S. progress toward reducing climate change Wednesday to determine whether the nation is ready for President Joe Biden’s executive orders on environmental policy. The witnesses and senators spent much of their time discussing emissions from burning oil and coal as... Read More

State Health Officials Ask Congress to Help in COVID-19 Vaccinations
Health
State Health Officials Ask Congress to Help in COVID-19 Vaccinations
February 3, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Signs of hope are emerging to end the COVID-19 pandemic but they will continue only if the United States speeds up its rate of vaccinations, state health officials told a congressional subcommittee Tuesday. The number of vaccinations administered this week surpasses the number of... Read More

SpaceX Accused of Discrimination Against Foreign Job Applicants
Litigation
SpaceX Accused of Discrimination Against Foreign Job Applicants
February 2, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department is accusing SpaceX of stonewalling for information after a job applicant filed a complaint saying the rocket company discriminates against foreign citizens. U.S. attorneys said in a court filing last week that they subpoenaed documents about an applicant’s complaint but Space... Read More

Biden Signs Executive Order to End Corporate Prisons
Criminal Justice
Biden Signs Executive Order to End Corporate Prisons
January 27, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden issued an executive order Tuesday to end the Justice Department's use of private prisons. The order tells the Justice Department not to renew contracts with the corporations that incarcerate more than 120,000 people in the United States, or about 8.2% of... Read More

Biden’s Buy American Order Gets Mixed Industry Reaction
Economy
Biden’s Buy American Order Gets Mixed Industry Reaction
January 26, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden’s executive order Monday to boost American manufacturing is receiving a warm welcome from some major industry associations but words of caution from U.S. trade partners. The order requires federal agencies to purchase more of their equipment from American manufacturers. Biden described... Read More

Voting Machine Company Sues Giuliani for Defamation
Litigation
Voting Machine Company Sues Giuliani for Defamation
January 26, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Another Trump administration lawyer was hit with a billion-dollar plus lawsuit for defamation Monday after he alleged the company that supplied the voting machines in the 2020 presidential election was implicated in fraud. This time the defendant is Rudolph W. Giuliani, former New York... Read More

College Sports Faces Bribery Scandal After Conviction of Adidas Marketers
Sports
College Sports Faces Bribery Scandal After Conviction of Adidas Marketers
January 25, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

A federal court in New York on Friday upheld the convictions of three Adidas shoe company executives for paying bribes to basketball recruits to direct them to specific universities. The bribes were to ensure the recruits signed with Adidas-sponsored schools. If they later turned pro, they... Read More

Head of U.S. Agency for Global Media Resigns
Political News
Head of U.S. Agency for Global Media Resigns
January 25, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The government agency that runs Voice of America is getting a new chief executive after the controversial previous head of the U.S. Agency for Global Media resigned Wednesday. Michael Pack was given an ultimatum by the Biden administration: resign or be fired. He was... Read More

Virginia Lawmakers Set to Abolish Long-Standing Death Penalty
State News
Virginia Lawmakers Set to Abolish Long-Standing Death Penalty
January 22, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

RICHMOND, Va. - A Virginia General Assembly bill introduced last week to abolish the death penalty has the added backing of the governor in a state that has led the nation in the number of convicts given capital punishment. At the same time, newly inaugurated President... Read More

Lockdown of D.C. Quiets Protesters But Prompts First Amendment Debate
In The News
Lockdown of D.C. Quiets Protesters But Prompts First Amendment Debate
January 20, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Only about 200 demonstrators made good on their pledge to protest the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden on Wednesday. This time, there was no large-scale protest of the election like the one that drew thousands to Washington on Jan. 6. The tamer demonstrations Wednesday... Read More

Senate Committee Seeks Assurances of Cooperation in Biden’s Foreign Affairs
U.S. Senate
Senate Committee Seeks Assurances of Cooperation in Biden’s Foreign Affairs
January 19, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A Senate committee on Tuesday reviewed a Biden nominee to become secretary of state in a move that represents one of several big changes planned by the new president. Biden nominated his long-time foreign affairs advisor Antony J. Blinken in hopes he would moderate... Read More

MIT Professor Charged with Fraud in Chinese Trade Secret Theft Case
Criminal Justice
MIT Professor Charged with Fraud in Chinese Trade Secret Theft Case
January 15, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor is facing federal fraud charges after allegedly lying about transferring nanotechnology research to organizations associated with the Chinese government. On grant applications and tax forms, MIT professor Gang Chen allegedly did not disclose that he had received $29 million from... Read More

U.S. Space Command Gets New Headquarters in Alabama
Military
U.S. Space Command Gets New Headquarters in Alabama
January 15, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The Secretary of the Air Force announced Wednesday that Huntsville, Ala., will be the new headquarters of the U.S. Space Command. The announcement was welcomed in Alabama but criticized as an example of partisan politics by government officials in Colorado, where the Space Command... Read More

Voice of America Director Accused of Financial and Media Self-Dealing
In The News
Voice of America Director Accused of Financial and Media Self-Dealing
January 14, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The Trump-appointed chief executive who oversees Voice of America is facing an onslaught of crises only days before the president is scheduled to leave office. First, the attorney general of the District of Columbia last week sued U.S. Agency for Global Media CEO Michael... Read More

New Metal Detectors at House Chamber Entrances Rankle Gun-toting Member
In The News
New Metal Detectors at House Chamber Entrances Rankle Gun-toting Member
January 13, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A new policy requiring members of Congress to pass through metal detectors to search for weapons created a controversy Tuesday evening only hours after the House sergeant at arms announced it. The policy is a reaction to rioting at the Capitol last week and... Read More

Senate Warned About Losing Civilian Control of Defense Dept.
Pentagon
Senate Warned About Losing Civilian Control of Defense Dept.
January 13, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Expert witnesses described a deeply troubled Defense Department at a Senate hearing Tuesday as Congress tries to decide whether to approve a new leader for the U.S. military. They said the Defense Department has fallen victim to political partisanship and mismanagement that they hope... Read More

Former Trump Campaign Lawyer Sued by Voting Machine Company
Litigation
Former Trump Campaign Lawyer Sued by Voting Machine Company
January 8, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Voting machine manufacturer Dominion Voting Systems Corp. sued former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell Friday in a lawsuit seeking $1.3 billion in damages for defamation. The lawsuit called Powell’s accusations that Dominion fraudulently deleted or changed votes to defeat President Donald Trump in the... Read More

Rioters at Capitol Face Long-Term Prosecutions As Police in Washington Pledge to Pursue Them
Law Enforcement
Rioters at Capitol Face Long-Term Prosecutions As Police in Washington Pledge to Pursue Them
January 8, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Washington’s mayor and the FBI are pledging to track down and prosecute any protesters who broke the law during the riot at the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday. They are posting photos and videos from the mob violence on Internet sites while asking members of... Read More

D.C. Police Prepare for Violence As Protests Erupt Over 2020 Election
Political News
D.C. Police Prepare for Violence As Protests Erupt Over 2020 Election
January 5, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

Washington, D.C.’s mayor called in the National Guard Monday ahead of demonstrations scheduled for this week to protest Congress’ expected vote to certify that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election. President Donald Trump and his supporters say the election was tainted by voter fraud and... Read More

Tough Talk Between US and Iran Hints at Attack to Avenge General’s Death
Geopolitics
Tough Talk Between US and Iran Hints at Attack to Avenge General’s Death
January 5, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

The U.S. Defense Department changed course Sunday and sent an aircraft carrier to stand ready off the coast of Iran as tensions escalate with the United States. The USS Nimitz was heading home last week after a 10-month deployment in the Persian Gulf but was sent... Read More

EPA Keeps Ozone Pollution Standard at Level Opposed by Environmentalists
Environment
EPA Keeps Ozone Pollution Standard at Level Opposed by Environmentalists
December 30, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency last week finalized plans to keep ozone air pollution standards at a level that environmentalists say is too high to prevent respiratory and other health problems.  In 2015 the EPA lowered the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for... Read More

COVID Relief Bill Spares Public Transit Industry Massive Service Cuts
Transportation
COVID Relief Bill Spares Public Transit Industry Massive Service Cuts
December 29, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump’s signature on the sweeping coronavirus relief and federal spending bill passed by Congress just before Christmas will likely spare the nation’s public transit the drastic cuts in services and employees the industry has been anticipating for months. Public transit agencies have... Read More

State Attorneys General Oppose Online Sales of ‘Ghost Guns’
Guns
State Attorneys General Oppose Online Sales of ‘Ghost Guns’
December 29, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

Nineteen state attorneys general filed an amicus brief this month supporting a lawsuit that seeks to require the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to regulate Internet sales of “ghost gun” components. Ghost guns refer to homemade or improvised firearms that lack commercial serial... Read More

Lawmakers Contribute to Lawsuit To Block EPA’s Water Quality Rule
Environment
Lawmakers Contribute to Lawsuit To Block EPA’s Water Quality Rule
December 23, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress who handle environmental issues are adding their voices to a federal court case that threatens to roll back protections of the 1972 Clean Water Act. They are siding with the plaintiffs in a lawsuit that opposes the Trump administration’s Navigable Waters... Read More

Democrats Prepare for a New President Favorable to Justice Department Reform
Political News
Democrats Prepare for a New President Favorable to Justice Department Reform
December 22, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Democrats in Congress are preparing legislation intended to capitalize on President-elect Joe Biden’s pledge to reform the Justice Department. The most recent examples are bills introduced last week in the House and Senate to reinstate the Justice Department’s Office of Access to Justice. The... Read More

Congress Investigates Cruises as Coronavirus Super Spreaders
Health
Congress Investigates Cruises as Coronavirus Super Spreaders
December 21, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A congressional committee is pressuring the Centers for Disease Control to deliver more information on the role of cruise ships in spreading coronavirus. Cruise operators like Carnival Corp. are accused of marketing their tourist ships as being safe despite growing evidence they turned into... Read More

Congress Tries to Keep Live Entertainment Alive
Entertainment
Congress Tries to Keep Live Entertainment Alive
December 18, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Congress is trying to make sure the lights don’t go dark on Broadway any longer than necessary as the coronavirus pandemic devastates the live entertainment industry. Since quarantine shut down much of the industry last March, actors, singers, musicians and their support staff have... Read More

Lawmakers Lay Blame for Opioid Epidemic on Purdue Pharma
Prescription Drugs
Lawmakers Lay Blame for Opioid Epidemic on Purdue Pharma
December 18, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress lashed into the Sackler family Thursday for its pharmaceutical company’s role in promoting a painkiller blamed for killing about 230,000 Americans. Lawmakers on the House Oversight and Reform Committee said the Sacklers and Purdue Pharma L.P. enriched themselves despite knowing about... Read More

Senate Debates Tactics to Make America More Competitive with China
Trade
Senate Debates Tactics to Make America More Competitive with China
December 17, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate continued a hardline crackdown on China Wednesday during a hearing on how to ratchet up American economic competitiveness. Economic advisors repeated warnings that the U.S. government needs to create more incentives for domestic industries that are lagging behind Chinese competitors. Otherwise,... Read More

Senate Bill Would Allow Payment for College Student Athletes
Sports
Senate Bill Would Allow Payment for College Student Athletes
December 15, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Student athletes would get a big opportunity to earn income from their sports under a bill introduced in the Senate last week. The proposed legislation would allow them to strike up contracts with advertisers to use their names or images to promote products and... Read More

New Bill Seeks to Make Bankruptcy Easier For Consumers Hit by Pandemic Recession
Congress
New Bill Seeks to Make Bankruptcy Easier For Consumers Hit by Pandemic Recession
December 14, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Democratic members of Congress are trying to throw a lifeline to families and individuals teetering toward financial disaster during the COVID-19 pandemic with a new bill designed to make claiming bankruptcy easier. The Consumer Bankruptcy Reform Act introduced this week would lower the cost... Read More

FDA Panel Approves Pfizer Vaccine For Nationwide Distribution
Health
FDA Panel Approves Pfizer Vaccine For Nationwide Distribution
December 11, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A federal panel of outside experts on Thursday endorsed a coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, recommending that the Food and Drug Administration move forward with emergency authorization. President-elect Joe Biden responded with a statement saying, “Today’s approval by the Food & Drug Administration... Read More

Lawmakers Seek Changes to Resolve Problems at Fort Hood, Texas
Congress
Lawmakers Seek Changes to Resolve Problems at Fort Hood, Texas
December 10, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress sought assurances from investigators Wednesday that the kind of behavioral and criminal offenses that have plagued Fort Hood, Texas, in recent years can be brought to an end. By the end of the congressional hearing, some of them seemed skeptical about... Read More

Women's Health Advocates Tell Congress Medicaid Should Pay for Abortions
Congress
Women's Health Advocates Tell Congress Medicaid Should Pay for Abortions
December 9, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Witnesses at a congressional hearing Tuesday clashed over whether to continue authorizing a law that blocks federal funds from being used to pay for abortions. Two doctors said withholding the funds was unfair to low income and minority women who sometimes are compelled to... Read More

Virginia Churches Challenge COVID Rules as Infection Rate Grows
State News
Virginia Churches Challenge COVID Rules as Infection Rate Grows
December 8, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

Members of two Virginia churches are trying again in a lawsuit filed on Friday to challenge the governor’s restrictions intended to control the spread of coronavirus. The lawsuit says the restrictions Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam announced in mid-November “discourage the religious gathering of large groups of... Read More

Congress Close to Breakthrough on Economic Stimulus Proposal
Congress
Congress Close to Breakthrough on Economic Stimulus Proposal
December 5, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi moved a $1.4 trillion relief package closer to approval Friday by joining pandemic assistance and economic stimulus measures into a single bill headed toward a vote in Congress. Negotiations dragged on for months between Republicans and Democrats before the election.... Read More

Drug Policy Analysts Tell Congress New Strategy Needed Against Cartels
Law Enforcement
Drug Policy Analysts Tell Congress New Strategy Needed Against Cartels
December 4, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Drug policy analysts told a congressional committee Thursday that the U.S. government has largely failed to stop illegal drug smuggling because of an unfocused strategy against the cartels. Instead, they recommended flexibility that seeks solutions based on local conditions. In one example analysts mentioned... Read More

Former Cybersecurity Official Mulls Lawsuit Against Trump Attorney
Litigation
Former Cybersecurity Official Mulls Lawsuit Against Trump Attorney
December 1, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A former Trump administration head of cybersecurity is considering legal action against a lawyer for the president who said Monday he should be executed. The dispute arose from President Donald Trump’s allegations of voter fraud during the presidential election he lost last month. Christopher... Read More

Fox News Settles Lawsuit After Conspiracy Theory Report
Media
Fox News Settles Lawsuit After Conspiracy Theory Report
November 30, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

NEW YORK -- Fox News is paying a reported seven-figure sum in a settlement reached this week with the parents of a Democratic National Committee staff member who was murdered in Washington, D.C.’s Bloomingdale neighborhood in 2016. A subsequent Fox News investigative story implied that DNC... Read More

Defense Analysts Caution Against U.S. Troop Withdrawal in Afghanistan
Geopolitics
Defense Analysts Caution Against U.S. Troop Withdrawal in Afghanistan
November 20, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Defense analysts warned Congress Friday against the U.S. troop withdrawal in Afghanistan announced this week amid indications that radical Islamists could resume terrorist attacks. They said further proof is needed that Taliban fighters would not try to seize control of Afghanistan before the Trump... Read More

Doctors Tell Senate Pandemic Deaths Preventable With Early Treatments
Health
Doctors Tell Senate Pandemic Deaths Preventable With Early Treatments
November 19, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Medical experts told a Senate committee Thursday that misguided information about early treatment contributed to giving the United States the world’s highest death rate from coronavirus. Some of them blamed the Food and Drug Administration for halting a treatment they say could have reduced... Read More

Telework for Government Employees Becoming Viable After the Pandemic
Employment
Telework for Government Employees Becoming Viable After the Pandemic
November 19, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Federal agency executives and senators at a Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday showed strong support for continuing telework among government employees even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. They said telework is bringing down their costs and improving the quality of job applicants without reducing productivity.... Read More

Senators Threaten Regulatory Crackdown on Facebook and Twitter Content Policies
Social Media
Senators Threaten Regulatory Crackdown on Facebook and Twitter Content Policies
November 18, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - A Senate committee left little doubt Tuesday that changes are coming to social media giants Facebook and Twitter for their policies on controlling content posted on their websites. Democrats and Republicans at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing accused the companies of favoring some kinds... Read More

Republican Senators Seek Prosecution Against Crossfire Hurricane Investigators
Political News
Republican Senators Seek Prosecution Against Crossfire Hurricane Investigators
November 11, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee implied Tuesday that government officials will be fired or prosecuted soon for investigating whether Trump administration officials sought Russian assistance to influence the 2016 election. He called the Crossfire Hurricane investigation politically motivated by President Donald Trump’s... Read More

D.C. Voters Decriminalize Magic Mushrooms But Face Likelihood of Congressional Veto
Political News
D.C. Voters Decriminalize Magic Mushrooms But Face Likelihood of Congressional Veto
November 6, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- District of Columbia voters continued their tolerance toward psychedelic plant-based drugs this week by decriminalizing the use of magic mushrooms. Unlike the four other cities that decriminalized use of the drug, Washington, D.C., faces the risk of a congressional veto. Supporters of Initiative 81,... Read More

Police Prepare for Violence in Downtown Washington, D.C.
2020 Elections
Police Prepare for Violence in Downtown Washington, D.C.
November 4, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Hundreds of protesters, onlookers and well-wishers wandered among television cameras and police outside fences placed around the White House Tuesday evening. Around them boarded up buildings stretched for blocks in anticipation of violence when the election results are announced. Protest signs covered a large... Read More

Social Media Executives Advocate Against More Government Regulation
Social Media
Social Media Executives Advocate Against More Government Regulation
October 29, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The chief executive officers of the world’s largest social media companies assured a skeptical U.S. Senate committee Wednesday they try to remain neutral in deciding which Internet content they block. They also advocated against government regulation that could interfere with free speech on the... Read More

Senate Confirms Amy Coney Barrett As Newest Supreme Court Justice
Supreme Court
Senate Confirms Amy Coney Barrett As Newest Supreme Court Justice
October 27, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate confirmed Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court Monday evening, marking the first time in 151 years that a justice was confirmed without the support of a single member of the minority party. Shortly afterward, President Donald Trump held a swearing-in... Read More

Virginia’s New Sentencing Procedure Catches Up with Other States
State News
Virginia’s New Sentencing Procedure Catches Up with Other States
October 26, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

RICHMOND, Va, - Virginia’s General Assembly passed a jury sentencing reform bill this week that is revolutionary for the state but is already being done nearly everywhere else. The bill allows juries to decide whether a criminal defendant is guilty but requires judges to set the... Read More

Senate Committee Seeks Subpoena Against Facebook and Twitter Leaders
Social Media
Senate Committee Seeks Subpoena Against Facebook and Twitter Leaders
October 22, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A Senate committee voted to subpoena the chief executives of Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. Thursday over what its chairman called censorship of information potentially embarrassing to presidential candidate Joe Biden. The social media giants limited the sharing of New York Post articles that... Read More

Senate Committee Advances Barrett Nomination Over Dem Boycott
Supreme Court
Senate Committee Advances Barrett Nomination Over Dem Boycott
October 22, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, nearly guaranteeing she will be confirmed by a vote of the full Republican-controlled Senate. “How could anybody in their right mind after listening to Judge Barrett... Read More

Railroads Asks Senate for Assistance as Pandemic Ravages Their Business
Transportation
Railroads Asks Senate for Assistance as Pandemic Ravages Their Business
October 21, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Amtrak’s president asked Congress for a nearly $5 billion bailout Wednesday as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to scare passengers away. The result has been a dramatic drop in fare revenue, furloughs and layoffs for thousands of workers and cutbacks of passenger rail service nationwide.... Read More

Prosecutors Say They Won’t Enforce Anti-Abortion Laws as Protests Spread
Civil Rights
Prosecutors Say They Won’t Enforce Anti-Abortion Laws as Protests Spread
October 19, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A nationwide coalition of prosecutors is pledging not to enforce anti-abortion laws as protests spread against a Supreme Court nominee who is a staunch abortion opponent. They issued their “Joint Statement from Elected Prosecutors” last week during Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Amy... Read More

Congress Tries to Take Down Social Media Disinformation
Social Media
Congress Tries to Take Down Social Media Disinformation
October 16, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Social media experts described organized disinformation campaigns on social media as a threat to democracy during a congressional hearing Thursday. Confusion created by the disinformation is leading some Americans to perceive threats to their health, safety or political leadership where none exist, witnesses told... Read More

Senate Sets Date for Vote on Confirmation of Barrett to Supreme Court
Supreme Court
Senate Sets Date for Vote on Confirmation of Barrett to Supreme Court
October 15, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote October 22 on whether to confirm Amy Coney Barrett as a member of the U.S. Supreme Court. The Senate Judiciary Committee set the date Thursday on the fourth day of contentious confirmation hearings in which Republicans and... Read More

Republicans and Democrats Deeply Divided On Supreme Court Nomination of Barrett
Supreme Court
Republicans and Democrats Deeply Divided On Supreme Court Nomination of Barrett
October 13, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee predicted the outcome of confirmation hearings to the U.S. Supreme Court of Amy Coney Barrett shortly after the first session started Monday morning. “All the Republicans will vote yes, all the Democrats will vote no,” said... Read More

IRS Makes Plea for Upgrade to Improve Tax Collections
Congress
IRS Makes Plea for Upgrade to Improve Tax Collections
October 8, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Lawmakers joined the Internal Revenue Service’s commissioner Wednesday in making a plea to upgrade the computers and staff that collect the nation’s taxes. They said budget cutbacks and the coronavirus have resulted in shortcomings in the agency’s ability to enforce tax laws and return... Read More

Government Election Officials Say Voting by Mail is Secure
2020 Elections
Government Election Officials Say Voting by Mail is Secure
October 7, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- State and federal election officials advocated for aggressive measures to prevent foreign influence and voter fraud in the Nov. 3 election during a congressional hearing Tuesday. They also denied President Donald Trump’s assertions that a big increase in mail-in voting to protect voters from... Read More

State Attorneys General Try to Soften SBA Crackdown on Business Loans
State News
State Attorneys General Try to Soften SBA Crackdown on Business Loans
October 6, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

The attorneys general from 18 states are pushing back against the Small Business Administration for what they describe as an overly zealous crackdown on fraud in the coronavirus relief loans. They are bothered by the SBA's proposed appeal process for small business owners who are denied... Read More

Religious Groups Sue Virginia Over Law Protecting Gay Rights
State News
Religious Groups Sue Virginia Over Law Protecting Gay Rights
October 5, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

RICHMOND, Va. - Religious groups and a wedding photographer are suing the state of Virginia over a new law that bans discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender persons. The law is directed primarily against discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations, such as restaurants and stores.... Read More

Government Small Business Loans Subjected to Widespread Fraud
Business
Government Small Business Loans Subjected to Widespread Fraud
October 1, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A Small Business Administration inspector general defended his agency Thursday during questioning from members of Congress about reports of widespread fraud in government loans to employers. The loans are supposed to help small businesses stay afloat during the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus... Read More

Medical Community Warns Congress About Politicizing Vaccine Development
Health
Medical Community Warns Congress About Politicizing Vaccine Development
September 30, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A congressional committee sought assurances from medical experts Wednesday that the COVID-19 vaccines pharmaceutical companies plan to distribute soon will protect the public from the disease. Lawmakers were concerned that political pressure would force the companies to sacrifice the safety or effectiveness of a... Read More

Congress Tries to Root Out White Supremacy Among Police
Congress
Congress Tries to Root Out White Supremacy Among Police
September 29, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Lawmakers and witnesses at a congressional hearing Tuesday urged greater vigilance of police departments to weed out officers with White supremacist tendencies. They said the White supremacists create a risk of inflaming racial tensions in a way that could go beyond any single police... Read More

Democrats Push for Climate Change Bills Similar to Biden’s Proposals
Congress
Democrats Push for Climate Change Bills Similar to Biden’s Proposals
September 25, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Congressional Democrats used a hearing on climate change Thursday to advocate for pending clean energy bills that would revamp a big swath of federal regulations. Record-setting wildfires in western states and hurricanes along the Gulf Coast are adding to the fervor for aggressive environmental... Read More

Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits Gain Support in Congress
Veterans
Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits Gain Support in Congress
September 24, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A congressional panel sought assurances Wednesday that veterans’ claims of illnesses from exposure to toxins in the Middle East will be addressed promptly. A House Veterans Affairs subcommittee was responding to a National Academy of Sciences report this month describing alarming health problems for... Read More

Economists Say Pandemic Needs to End Before U.S. Economy Returns to Normal
Economy
Economists Say Pandemic Needs to End Before U.S. Economy Returns to Normal
September 23, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Economists warned Congress Tuesday of long-term damage to the U.S. economy if the coronavirus pandemic is not brought under control soon. They cautioned during two separate congressional hearings that the slow improvement to the economy since the pandemic hit the United States eight months... Read More

FBI Director Warns Congress of Evolving Terrorism Threats
Cybersecurity
FBI Director Warns Congress of Evolving Terrorism Threats
September 17, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The FBI’s director acknowledged Thursday that the risks of terrorism and other attacks against the United States are evolving so fast that his agency has difficulty managing them. Cyberattackers threaten the next presidential election, COVID-19 vaccine development and U.S. industries’ best research into new... Read More

Congress Seeks a Clean Energy Economy While Recovering from Coronavirus Pandemic
Energy
Congress Seeks a Clean Energy Economy While Recovering from Coronavirus Pandemic
September 17, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Congress discussed proposals Wednesday to switch the United States to 100% clean energy as Western governors confronting out-of-control wildfires demand action on global warming. A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee is trying to figure out a way to recover jobs lost during the coronavirus... Read More

Congressional Resolution Supporting Asians Seeks to Protect Against COVID-19 Hate Crimes
Congress
Congressional Resolution Supporting Asians Seeks to Protect Against COVID-19 Hate Crimes
September 14, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A congressional resolution that started Monday as a condemnation of hate crimes against Asians quickly turned into a dispute over who should be blamed for the devastation caused by coronavirus. Democrats blamed President Donald Trump for mishandling the U.S. response to the pandemic that... Read More

Scientists Tell Congress Coronavirus Lessons Must Be Remembered for Future Epidemics
Health
Scientists Tell Congress Coronavirus Lessons Must Be Remembered for Future Epidemics
September 14, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Scientists updated a congressional committee Friday on how the U.S. Energy Department is helping to develop a cure and vaccine for COVID-19. They said Energy Department supercomputers are unlocking mysteries about the structure of the virus as they look for ways to deactivate it.... Read More

Amtrak Asks Congress for Supplement to Avoid Bankruptcy Caused by Pandemic
Congress
Amtrak Asks Congress for Supplement to Avoid Bankruptcy Caused by Pandemic
September 10, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Amtrak made a plea to Congress Wednesday for billions of dollars in supplemental funding to avoid financial collapse as the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate its ridership. The number of riders on the national passenger railroad dropped by 97% during the worst of the... Read More

Federal Financial Regulators Assure Congress They Seek Minorities and Women in Workforce
In The News
Federal Financial Regulators Assure Congress They Seek Minorities and Women in Workforce
September 9, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON — Representatives from federal financial agencies defended their record on hiring women and minorities Tuesday while members of a congressional subcommittee accused them of an uninspired effort. “I’m not sensing that we’re making a lot of progress here,” said Rep. Sylvia Garcia, a Texas Democrat.... Read More

Rapper Kanye West Kicked Off Virginia Ballot by Court Order
2020 Elections
Rapper Kanye West Kicked Off Virginia Ballot by Court Order
September 4, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

RICHMOND -- Rap star Kanye West was booted off Virginia’s ballot this week by a judge who accused him of using deceptive tactics to qualify as a candidate for president. Last week, Virginia’s Board of Elections determined West qualified to be on the state’s ballot for... Read More

Congress Demands Treasury Department Monitor Coronavirus Bailout Money Better
Congress
Congress Demands Treasury Department Monitor Coronavirus Bailout Money Better
September 1, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress directed tough questions at the U.S. Treasury secretary Tuesday about fraud and abuse in the Trump administration’s coronavirus relief program. They said billions of dollars intended to protect jobs and family homes were being diverted to small businesses that either did... Read More

Biden’s Hint on Supreme Court Nominee Sets Off Speculation on Prospective Candidates
2020 Elections
Biden’s Hint on Supreme Court Nominee Sets Off Speculation on Prospective Candidates
September 1, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s recent statement during a press conference that he would nominate an African American woman to the Supreme Court if he is elected is narrowing the list to three likely nominees. Although he declined to give out the names, the... Read More

Congress Moves Closer to Alternatives for Safe Voting During Nov. 3 Election
2020 Elections
Congress Moves Closer to Alternatives for Safe Voting During Nov. 3 Election
August 31, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Congress and the courts are closing in on strategies to secure the nation’s vote in November without sacrificing the health of voters confronting risks of coronavirus. Much of the discussion focuses on benefits and perils of absentee voting during the Nov. 3 federal election.... Read More

Tech Giants Try to Dismiss Lawsuit Accusing Them of Child Labor Violation
Litigation
Tech Giants Try to Dismiss Lawsuit Accusing Them of Child Labor Violation
August 27, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Some of America’s technology giants are trying to get a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit accusing them of promoting the use of children to mine cobalt for their lithium-ion batteries. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Dell and Tesla said in their motion to dismiss this... Read More

House Democrats Accuse U.S. Postmaster of Lying About Mail Delays, Political Motives
Congress
House Democrats Accuse U.S. Postmaster of Lying About Mail Delays, Political Motives
August 24, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Congressional Democrats hammered the U.S. postmaster Monday with allegations that he is conspiring to sabotage on-time mail deliveries while he defiantly denied he is trying to influence the 2020 federal election. Instead, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said he was trying to cut costs to... Read More

U.S. Postmaster Defends Mail Cutbacks As Driven by Financial Desperation
Postal Service
U.S. Postmaster Defends Mail Cutbacks As Driven by Financial Desperation
August 21, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. postmaster tried to convince a sometimes skeptical Senate committee Friday that recent interruptions in mail service represented only an effort to cut costs amid a tight budget. The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee called the hearing to deal with reports mail... Read More

Newspapers Suffer Deep Losses as Pandemic Deals Another Blow
Media
Newspapers Suffer Deep Losses as Pandemic Deals Another Blow
August 18, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

The New York Daily News put itself on the cutting edge of journalism again last week as it faces down a threat from coronavirus. The newspaper, which has boasted one of the nation’s largest number of readers, closed its newsroom. In fact, the owners also closed... Read More

Appeals Court Rules That Only Men Can Be Drafted by U.S. Military
Military
Appeals Court Rules That Only Men Can Be Drafted by U.S. Military
August 17, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

Only men can be drafted into the U.S. military, a federal appeals court in New Orleans ruled last week. The ruling was based on a lawsuit filed by the advocacy group National Coalition for Men and two men who alleged sex discrimination. They argued that a... Read More

Opportunity Possible for Trump to Make Supreme Court Solidly Conservative
Supreme Court
Opportunity Possible for Trump to Make Supreme Court Solidly Conservative
August 13, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans are preparing for the possibility they and President Donald Trump will have an opportunity to turn the Supreme Court sharply to the conservative right soon. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s recent announcement that she is undergoing treatment for a recurrence of cancer is... Read More

Court Ruling Denies Insurance For Restaurants Hit by Pandemic
Law
Court Ruling Denies Insurance For Restaurants Hit by Pandemic
August 10, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - A District of Columbia judge’s ruling this week is the latest court judgment that absolves insurers from obligations to cover the losses of businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. A group of restaurants sued their insurer after the company declined to reimburse them under their... Read More

Educators Say US Needs Better Plan to Reopen Schools Safely in Pandemic
Education
Educators Say US Needs Better Plan to Reopen Schools Safely in Pandemic
August 7, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - House Democrats, at a congressional hearing Thursday on reopening public schools, accused President Donald Trump of mishandling the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. They said schools might not have been forced to close early in the Spring and resort to distance learning if... Read More

Former Justice Dept. Official Criticizes Dismissed Charges Against Flynn
Law
Former Justice Dept. Official Criticizes Dismissed Charges Against Flynn
August 6, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Former Deputy U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates renewed suspicions of favoritism in Senate testimony Wednesday about the dropped charges against the Trump administration’s first national security advisor.  She called the dismissal of charges against Michael Flynn for allegedly lying to the FBI “highly irregular.”... Read More

Congress Reviews Security for Upcoming Federal Election
2020 Elections
Congress Reviews Security for Upcoming Federal Election
August 4, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Security systems for mail-in ballots need additional funding and information technology assistance to be ready for the upcoming November election, security experts told Congress Tuesday. They warned that foreign adversaries and other hackers will try to influence the election unless they can be blocked... Read More

Judge Defines Bitcoin as Currency Under D.C. Money Laundering Law
Law
Judge Defines Bitcoin as Currency Under D.C. Money Laundering Law
August 3, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - A federal judge’s recent ruling gave prosecutors nationwide a new tool for pursuing money launderers by redefining bitcoin as a form of currency. The ruling was based on the prosecution of a man who tried to evade criminal charges after he allegedly transferred more... Read More

Big Tech Chief Executives Defend Against Antitrust Accusations in Congress
Congress
Big Tech Chief Executives Defend Against Antitrust Accusations in Congress
July 30, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The chief executives of the biggest computer and Internet companies faced tough questioning in Congress Wednesday on whether they have too much control over the U.S. market. Some lawmakers want to break up their dominance under federal antitrust laws. Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google... Read More

Democrats Criticize Trump for Ordering Illegal Immigrants Excluded From Census
Census
Democrats Criticize Trump for Ordering Illegal Immigrants Excluded From Census
July 30, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Democrats attacked the president’s plan to exclude illegal immigrants from the 2020 Census during a congressional hearing Wednesday while Republicans said they wanted to prevent foreign influence. The House Oversight Committee held what it called an “emergency hearing” to respond to a July 21... Read More

Congress Reviews Police Actions Against Portland and D.C. Protesters
Political News
Congress Reviews Police Actions Against Portland and D.C. Protesters
July 29, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Recent police action against protesters fell under criticism during two congressional hearings Tuesday. Some accusations of wrongdoing were directed at U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who Democratic lawmakers accused of abusing his authority by authorizing excessive force against Black Lives Matter demonstrators in Portland,... Read More

Trump Officials Accused of Intimidating Advocacy Group for Internet Freedom
Political News
Trump Officials Accused of Intimidating Advocacy Group for Internet Freedom
July 27, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The Trump administration is accused in a new lawsuit in Washington, D.C., of trying to squelch media rights of a nonprofit organization that receives grants from the U.S. government. The Washington-based Open Technology Fund says the Trump administration is trying to intimidate it, perhaps... Read More

Senate Confronts China Threat to Beat Out U.S. Economy
Geopolitics
Senate Confronts China Threat to Beat Out U.S. Economy
July 23, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate tried to figure out a response Wednesday to a trade war with China that is taking on new urgency during the coronavirus pandemic. Republican and Democratic senators identified Chinese computer hackers and patent thieves as threats to the U.S. economy that... Read More

Senate Takes Aim at Scammers Taking Money From COVID-19 Victims
U.S. Senate
Senate Takes Aim at Scammers Taking Money From COVID-19 Victims
July 22, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Scammers who cheat desperate consumers out of money during the coronavirus pandemic prompted calls for federal legislation to crack down on them during a Senate hearing Tuesday. The proposals would set new standards for data privacy, penalize price-gougers and toughen penalties for retailers who... Read More

Ruling by 2nd Circuit Could Send Sanctuary Cities and States Case to Supreme Court
Immigration
Ruling by 2nd Circuit Could Send Sanctuary Cities and States Case to Supreme Court
July 20, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

A federal appeals court placed part of the federal funding for sanctuary cities in jeopardy with a ruling last week that endorses a policy of punishing cities and states that refuse to cooperate in deporting illegal immigrants. The ruling advances a Trump administration threat beginning in... Read More

Small Businesses Ask for More Aid to Ward Off COVID’s Economic Disaster
Congress
Small Businesses Ask for More Aid to Ward Off COVID’s Economic Disaster
July 17, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Small business representatives made a plea to Congress Thursday for assistance in getting Americans back to work after millions of workers lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. They said that without financial assistance and retraining of the workforce many jobs could be permanently... Read More

National Cyber Director Proposed to Coordinate Computer Security
Cybersecurity
National Cyber Director Proposed to Coordinate Computer Security
July 16, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Democrats and Republicans agreed Wednesday during a congressional hearing that the U.S. government needs a more proactive strategy for protecting against cyberattacks but disagreed how to accomplish it. Democrats want a new agency to address cyberthreats while Republicans suggest working more aggressively through existing... Read More

International Cooperation on COVID-19 Urged During Congressional Hearing
Foreign Affairs
International Cooperation on COVID-19 Urged During Congressional Hearing
July 15, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - U.S. experts on European financial and political policy added their voices to an international call for greater cooperation to combat the COVID-19 pandemic during a congressional hearing Tuesday. They described the struggle to find a vaccine and to recover from the economic devastation of... Read More

Five States Sue Education Dept. Over CARES Act School Funding
Education
Five States Sue Education Dept. Over CARES Act School Funding
July 13, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

Five states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit this week that accuses the U.S. Education Department of shorting schools in low-income areas on their fair share of coronavirus relief funds. Instead, too much of the money is going to private and wealthy school districts... Read More

Corporate Leaders Suggest Bailout for Minority and Women Businesses
Economy
Corporate Leaders Suggest Bailout for Minority and Women Businesses
July 10, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Business leaders, during a congressional hearing Thursday, advocated for greater access to financial services for minority and women-owned businesses. They said government bailout money and low-interest loans for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic are going first to established corporations that lack large representation by... Read More

Congress Told Russia’s Putin is a Growing Threat to the U.S.
Congress
Congress Told Russia’s Putin is a Growing Threat to the U.S.
July 7, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Foreign policy experts at a congressional hearing Tuesday described the Russian government as increasingly troubled under the rule of Vladimir Putin and a growing threat to the United States. They said recent reports that the Russian military paid Taliban fighters to kill American soldiers... Read More

Court Upholds Maryland’s Ban on Rapid Fire Gun Bump Stocks
State News
Court Upholds Maryland’s Ban on Rapid Fire Gun Bump Stocks
July 6, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan won a judgment this week against gun rights advocates who wanted to overturn the state’s ban on bump stocks and other attachments. Bump stocks speed up the firing rate on semi-automatic weapons, turning them into the equivalent of machine guns. The gun... Read More

Pending Legislation Seeks to Confront Mental Health Crisis from COVID-19
Mental Health
Pending Legislation Seeks to Confront Mental Health Crisis from COVID-19
July 1, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - A psychologist and psychiatrist on Tuesday suggested Congress provide stronger federal intervention to prevent a mental health crisis during the coronavirus pandemic. They said suicides and substance abuse are on the upswing as Americans struggle with quarantines, social distancing and deaths of relatives. “We... Read More

Park Police Criticized for Use of Force During Protest Near White House
Law Enforcement
Park Police Criticized for Use of Force During Protest Near White House
June 30, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

A political protester and an Australian television reporter led criticisms during a congressional hearing Monday against U.S. Park Police who aggressively cleared Lafayette Square park near the White House June 1. Police forced Black Lives Matter protesters to back away from the area while President Donald... Read More

Judges Tell Congress Internet Video Will Make Courts More Accessible
Courts
Judges Tell Congress Internet Video Will Make Courts More Accessible
June 25, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Judges and lawmakers at a congressional hearing Thursday left little doubt that Internet video and teleconferencing will become permanent parts of court proceedings soon. They described the emergency procedures instituted to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to transform the courts with... Read More

U.S. Prosecutors Accuse Attorney General of Politically Influencing Criminal Investigations
Law
U.S. Prosecutors Accuse Attorney General of Politically Influencing Criminal Investigations
June 25, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Current and former Justice Department attorneys on Wednesday accused the U.S. Attorney General of allowing Trump administration policies to influence criminal investigations and prosecutions. They also said during a House Judiciary Committee hearing that Justice Department administrators threatened attorneys who complained about the political... Read More

Senate Plans Legislation to Prepare for Next Pandemic Like COVID-19
Health
Senate Plans Legislation to Prepare for Next Pandemic Like COVID-19
June 23, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate tried Tuesday to respond to warnings from infectious disease experts that coronavirus is only an example of other pandemics that are coming soon. The World Health Organization has warned that a global population topping 7.8 billion plus global warming are creating... Read More

Economists and Educators Make Plea for Bigger COVID-19 Relief Bailout
Education
Economists and Educators Make Plea for Bigger COVID-19 Relief Bailout
June 23, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Economists and educators asked a congressional committee Monday for a federal bailout to help ethnic minorities who they say are hit unequally hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. They agreed widely that African Americans and Latinos are losing their jobs or falling behind in education... Read More

Social Media Security Officials Say They’re Ready for 2020 Election
Social Media Security Officials Say They’re Ready for 2020 Election
June 18, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Social media security officials acknowledged to Congress Thursday that they face ongoing threats by foreign governments to influence American society despite their best preventive efforts. They testified to the House Intelligence Committee as it seeks assurances there will be no repeat of the 2016... Read More

Educators Tell Congress COVID-19 Leaves Schools Vastly Underfunded
Education
Educators Tell Congress COVID-19 Leaves Schools Vastly Underfunded
June 16, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- School administrators cautioned Congress Monday about underfunding education as the COVID-19 epidemic takes a big bite out of government appropriations. They said many schoolchildren already are falling behind in their studies while they face a likelihood of fewer teachers and bigger classes in the... Read More

Pastor Sues Washington Mayor Over Political Street Lettering
Litigation
Pastor Sues Washington Mayor Over Political Street Lettering
June 15, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

A self-described street pastor is suing Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser over her decision to commission a street mural that says “Black Lives Matter” in large letters on a street near the White House. The lawsuit filed by Rich Penkoski says the mayor is violating the... Read More

Senate Committee Plans to Subpoena Investigators from Mueller Report
Political News
Senate Committee Plans to Subpoena Investigators from Mueller Report
June 11, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - A Senate committee voted Thursday to reopen the investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election with plans to question the investigators. The Republican-led move responds to allegations by President Trump that his top officials were targeted for the first investigation by his political... Read More

Civil Rights Leaders Tell Congress Police Practices Need Reform
Congress
Civil Rights Leaders Tell Congress Police Practices Need Reform
June 10, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

African American civil rights leaders spoke out in support Wednesday of a bill pending in Congress that would set national standards for police behavior. It also would ban chokeholds, reduce legal immunity for police misconduct and create a national database of abusive officers. “It never should... Read More

Senate Told That Fraudsters Prey on Pandemic Victims
In The News
Senate Told That Fraudsters Prey on Pandemic Victims
June 10, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Federal law enforcement officials pledged a vigorous crackdown Tuesday during a Senate hearing on fraudsters who are trying to make easy money off vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic. They accused con artists of selling fake vaccines and cures over the Internet, price gouging... Read More

Venezuelan Embassy Activists Avoid Jail With Plea Bargain
Law
Venezuelan Embassy Activists Avoid Jail With Plea Bargain
June 9, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - A plea bargain with federal prosecutors is allowing four activists to avoid jail time after they occupied the Venezuelan Embassy in April and May. The four were part of a group that stayed in the embassy in Washington, D.C. for a month to demonstrate... Read More

Bill in Congress Would Punish China for Intrusions in Hong Kong Autonomy
Geopolitics
Bill in Congress Would Punish China for Intrusions in Hong Kong Autonomy
June 8, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Congress moved closer Thursday to approving economic sanctions against China for its interference with Hong Kong’s independence. Most Democrats and Republicans on a Senate committee joined in saying the United States must take action to condemn China’s plan to crack down on Hong Kong’s... Read More

Party Divisions Evident in Congress Over Expanded Use of Absentee Ballots
2020 Elections
Party Divisions Evident in Congress Over Expanded Use of Absentee Ballots
June 4, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - A congressional subcommittee on Wednesday threw itself into the growing controversy over absentee voting as a safeguard against coronavirus. Democrats and Republicans agreed voters should not need to risk their lives at polling places by exposing themselves to carriers of the deadly disease. They... Read More

Federal Prison Officials Tell Senate About Their Coronavirus Control
Criminal Justice
Federal Prison Officials Tell Senate About Their Coronavirus Control
June 3, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The further move this week by cities to reopen as coronavirus infections subside is raising concerns about a resurgence of the disease, particularly in jails. The worries were heightened by protests this week against police brutality that drew large numbers of people into small... Read More

Maritime Industry Asks Congress for Bailout During Coronavirus
Trade
Maritime Industry Asks Congress for Bailout During Coronavirus
June 1, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Representatives of the U.S. maritime industry asked Congress for an emergency bailout Friday as they described how coronavirus is hurting ports and shippers. They are expecting their revenue to drop by as much as one-quarter below normal levels by mid-2020. Rep. Peter DeFazio, an... Read More

Congress Seeks to Help Minorities Hit Hardest by Coronavirus
Health
Congress Seeks to Help Minorities Hit Hardest by Coronavirus
May 28, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Medical and social welfare witnesses told a congressional committee Wednesday that ethnic minorities need an increased effort to protect them from the devastation of coronavirus. They are dying or losing their jobs in some locations at almost twice the rate of the white population,... Read More

Virginia Voters Sue to Block Widespread Absentee Voting
Voting
Virginia Voters Sue to Block Widespread Absentee Voting
May 26, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

A group of Virginia voters is suing their state over a plan for wider use of absentee ballots during the primary election next month as coronavirus restrictions continue. Their lawsuit is one of more than a dozen pending nationwide that seek orders for more absentee ballots... Read More

State Attorneys General Threaten to Sue EPA Over Chesapeake Bay Cleanup
Environment
State Attorneys General Threaten to Sue EPA Over Chesapeake Bay Cleanup
May 26, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

Three Mid-Atlantic attorneys general are threatening to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to enforce water quality standards to protect the Chesapeake Bay. They accuse the EPA of ignoring its court-ordered duty to prevent polluters in New York and Pennsylvania from dumping sewage and agricultural... Read More

Senate Told to Find New Approaches for Nursing Homes Hit With Coronavirus
Aging
Senate Told to Find New Approaches for Nursing Homes Hit With Coronavirus
May 22, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate made a first step Thursday toward new legislation intended specifically to protect elderly people from the ravages of coronavirus. The Senate Special Committee on Aging listened to medical experts’ opinions on measures needed to help the elderly, who represent nearly 80%... Read More

Justice Dept. Seeks Dismissal of Equal Rights Amendment Suit
Litigation
Justice Dept. Seeks Dismissal of Equal Rights Amendment Suit
May 19, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The Trump administration is attempting to get a lawsuit dismissed that seeks to add the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A Justice Department motion to dismiss filed last week says the deadline expired for states to ratify the amendment to protect women’s... Read More

Health Official Warns of Botched COVID-19 Management by Trump
In The News
Health Official Warns of Botched COVID-19 Management by Trump
May 15, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - A whistleblower on the Trump administration’s response to coronavirus warned Congress Thursday that threats from the disease are greater than most government officials are willing to admit. The pandemic will “get worse and be prolonged” without a better plan for fast action on national... Read More

Congress Tries to Protect Employers From Lawsuits Tied to Coronavirus
Congress
Congress Tries to Protect Employers From Lawsuits Tied to Coronavirus
May 13, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Industry and legal experts told the U.S. Senate Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic is creating liabilities that are not adequately addressed by existing laws and regulations. As a result, business owners are running up against hundreds of lawsuits that are slowing the nation’s economic... Read More

Universities Sued by Students Who Say Online Education Inadequate
Education
Universities Sued by Students Who Say Online Education Inadequate
May 11, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

Universities nationwide are being sued by parents and students who say the schools are falling short of their duties during the coronavirus shutdown. The universities have switched to online education until the national emergency subsides. The students and their parents say they didn’t pay tens of... Read More

Restaurants Sue Insurance Companies for Business Losses from Pandemic
Litigation
Restaurants Sue Insurance Companies for Business Losses from Pandemic
May 5, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Restaurants are filing a surge of lawsuits against insurance companies as they seek coverage for business interruptions during the coronavirus shutdown. The insurance companies say their business interruption policies grant them exemptions for viruses that cause no physical damage. In other words, the insurers... Read More

Urban Courts Likely to Be Slow to Reopen During Coronavirus
Law
Urban Courts Likely to Be Slow to Reopen During Coronavirus
May 4, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON – Guidelines announced last week for reopening U.S. federal courts are likely to leave the nation’s biggest cities as late-comers.  The guidelines from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts depend heavily on conditions of the epidemic in each jurisdiction.  While the spread of coronavirus... Read More

Student Advocates Sue Education Dept. for Wage Garnishments in Loan Defaults
Education
Student Advocates Sue Education Dept. for Wage Garnishments in Loan Defaults
May 4, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Higher education advocacy groups are suing the U.S. Education Department for continuing to garnish the wages of persons who default on student loan payments during the coronavirus epidemic. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced March 25 her department would suspend the wage garnishments while a... Read More

Prosecutors Oppose Inmate Releases Despite Jails Spreading Coronavirus
Criminal Justice
Prosecutors Oppose Inmate Releases Despite Jails Spreading Coronavirus
April 27, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Some federal prosecutors are opposing the trend of granting inmates supervised release from jail to prevent the spread of coronavirus. In U.S. District Court filings, federal prosecutors argue most of the inmates asking for home confinement instead of jail have failed to prove they... Read More

FCC Asks Supreme Court to Allow TV Stations to Own Newspapers
Media
FCC Asks Supreme Court to Allow TV Stations to Own Newspapers
April 27, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The Federal Communications Commission is asking the Supreme Court to review media ownership rules to allow broadcast stations to own newspapers. The FCC, along with the Justice Department, says the current regulations that prevent media companies from owning a newspaper and a broadcast station... Read More

Class Actions Against China Grow Despite Foreign Policy Obstacles
Litigation
Class Actions Against China Grow Despite Foreign Policy Obstacles
April 23, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Law firms and their clients who are joining the growing list of plaintiffs against the Chinese government over the coronavirus outbreak are running up against a foreign policy that could rule out any successful lawsuits. About a half-dozen class action lawsuits have been filed... Read More

Maryland Court Reinstates School Nutrition Standards
State News
Maryland Court Reinstates School Nutrition Standards
April 20, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The Trump administration must reinstate nutrition standards for school meals that the Agriculture Department eliminated in 2018, a federal court in Maryland ruled this week. The plaintiffs were the Center for Science in the Public Interest as well as Healthy School Food Maryland. The... Read More

Attorney General Says Justice Department Can Shoot Down 'Threatening' Drones
Technology
Attorney General Says Justice Department Can Shoot Down 'Threatening' Drones
April 20, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The U.S. attorney general issued a guidance this week that authorizes the FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency, Bureau of Prisons and other Justice Department agencies to intercept communications from threatening drones or destroy them without prior consent. The policy is intended in part to prevent... Read More

Maryland City’s Female Toplessness Ban Survives in Court Ruling ... For Now
Law
Maryland City’s Female Toplessness Ban Survives in Court Ruling ... For Now
April 13, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

Ocean City, Maryland, can continue to enforce its ban on topless women at its popular beach, a federal judge ruled last week. There’s a fundamental difference between topless women and topless men that is supported by case law and tradition, Judge James Bredar wrote in his... Read More

D.C.’s Small COVID-19 Funding Renews Calls for Statehood
State News
D.C.’s Small COVID-19 Funding Renews Calls for Statehood
April 13, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Legislation approved by Congress recently to distribute emergency coronavirus funding nationwide is renewing calls for District of Columbia statehood. Each state will receive at least $1.25 billion from the emergency fund lawmakers approved two weeks ago. The District of Columbia is receiving $500 million,... Read More

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Ban to Remain for Religious Ads
Religion
U.S. Supreme Court Allows Ban to Remain for Religious Ads
April 8, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court declined this week to review a lower court ruling that allows the Washington, D.C. transit system to ban religious ads. As a result, transit agencies now have the discretion to prohibit religious, political and issue-oriented messages that previously were found... Read More

Free Speech Advocates Request Transparency While Courts Are Closed
Law
Free Speech Advocates Request Transparency While Courts Are Closed
April 7, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Free speech advocates are expressing concern that criminal proceedings being held by closed circuit video during the coronavirus pandemic threaten to cut off the people’s right to know what’s happening in federal and state courts. A federal judiciary policy announced last week allows judges,... Read More

Price-Gougers‌ ‌Face‌ ‌a‌ ‌Crackdown‌ ‌for‌ ‌Profiting‌ ‌on‌ ‌Coronavirus‌
In The News
Price-Gougers‌ ‌Face‌ ‌a‌ ‌Crackdown‌ ‌for‌ ‌Profiting‌ ‌on‌ ‌Coronavirus‌
March 31, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON‌ ‌-‌ ‌Attorneys‌ ‌general‌ ‌nationwide‌ ‌are‌ ‌joining‌ ‌in‌ ‌urging‌ ‌companies‌ ‌that‌ ‌sell‌ ‌ online to‌ ‌stop‌ ‌price-gougers‌ ‌trying‌ ‌to‌ ‌take‌ ‌advantage‌ ‌of‌ ‌consumers‌ ‌during‌ ‌the‌ ‌coronavirus‌ ‌pandemic. They‌ ‌are‌ ‌selling‌ ‌hand‌ ‌sanitizers,‌ ‌aerosol‌ ‌spray‌ ‌disinfectants,‌ ‌surgical‌ ‌masks‌ ‌and‌ ‌other‌ ‌devices designed‌ ‌to‌ ‌prevent‌ ‌the‌ ‌spread‌ ‌of‌ ‌germs‌ ‌at‌ ‌sometimes‌... Read More

Justice Department Proposes Pausing Court Procedures During Emergency
Courts
Justice Department Proposes Pausing Court Procedures During Emergency
March 25, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -The Justice Department is asking Congress to authorize courts to detain criminal suspects indefinitely without trials until the coronavirus subsides. The request would give chief federal judges the power to alter procedures for arrests, investigations and how the cases are processed through the courts. The... Read More

Lawsuit Against Trump Delayed While Similar Dispute Pending
Law
Lawsuit Against Trump Delayed While Similar Dispute Pending
March 23, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - A federal judge put a lawsuit by Congress against President Donald Trump on hold Friday until other legal action against the White House is resolved. The lawsuit filed by congressional Democrats seeks six years of Trump’s federal tax records. The subpoena they want enforced... Read More

Proposal in Congress Would Revise Procedures for Presidential Clemency
In The News
Proposal in Congress Would Revise Procedures for Presidential Clemency
March 6, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump showed favoritism when he granted clemency last month to 11 high profile convicted felons, according to lawmakers and witnesses at a congressional hearing Thursday. They testified while a House Judiciary subcommittee is considering proposals that would revise the procedures for the... Read More

Senate Approves $8.3 Billion Coronavirus Bill
Health
Senate Approves $8.3 Billion Coronavirus Bill
March 6, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The Senate voted 96-1 on Thursday to approve $8.3 billion in funding to fight the coronavirus, sending the measure to the White House, where President Trump is expected to sign it. The House overwhelmingly approved the same measure Wednesday with a bipartisan vote of... Read More

Bills Planned for Vote in Congress to Expand Use of Nuclear Energy
Energy
Bills Planned for Vote in Congress to Expand Use of Nuclear Energy
March 4, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The U.S. House and Senate considered proposals Tuesday that would expand production of nuclear energy at a time global warming is leaving few alternatives. Lawmakers, scheduled to vote as soon as this week on one of the bills, made clear they don’t want to... Read More

Trump Urged to Increase Pressure on North Korea to Denuclearize
Geopolitics
Trump Urged to Increase Pressure on North Korea to Denuclearize
February 27, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Foreign policy experts told a Senate subcommittee Tuesday that North Korea has returned to its hardline militarization and human rights abuses despite earlier pledges to President Donald Trump of more moderate politics. The Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee held a hearing as it considers proposals... Read More

Will There Be an Investigation of U.S. Attorney General Barr?
In The News
Will There Be an Investigation of U.S. Attorney General Barr?
February 18, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - A Washington-based advocacy group for government ethics is asking the Justice Department to investigate the U.S. attorney general for his statements about the criminal conviction of an associate of President Donald Trump. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington says Attorney General William Barr... Read More

Coronavirus Quarantines Prompt Warnings of Possible Civil Rights Violations
In The News
Coronavirus Quarantines Prompt Warnings of Possible Civil Rights Violations
February 13, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Federal and state officials are hurrying to figure out a long-term quarantine procedure for passengers arriving at U.S. airports who potentially carry the deadly coronavirus without violating their rights. As the epidemic grows, they are considering quarantine within homes where the arriving passengers are... Read More

Turkish Security Guards Face Prosecution After Protester Beatings in DC
Law
Turkish Security Guards Face Prosecution After Protester Beatings in DC
February 13, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Security guards for Turkey’s president must face civil prosecution in Washington, D.C. after they beat protesters on Embassy Row three years ago, a federal judge ruled last week. Attorneys for the government of Turkey argued the security personnel should receive immunity against lawsuits by... Read More

Democrats Say Corporate Tax Rate Favors the Rich, Overlooks the Poor
Congress
Democrats Say Corporate Tax Rate Favors the Rich, Overlooks the Poor
February 12, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Congressional Democrats assailed the Trump administration’s 2017 corporate tax cut during a hearing Tuesday. They said the drop from 35 percent to 21 percent is adding to the national deficit while leaving less tax revenue for programs to help the underprivileged. The House Ways... Read More

Congress Debates Proposal to Remove Approval Deadline for ERA
In The News
Congress Debates Proposal to Remove Approval Deadline for ERA
February 11, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The House split along party lines Monday during a hearing that could help add the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution within weeks. Both the House and Senate are considering resolutions that would remove the deadline for states to ratify the amendment that guarantees... Read More

Defense Contractors Promise Innovations to Keep US Ahead of Foreign Adversaries
Military
Defense Contractors Promise Innovations to Keep US Ahead of Foreign Adversaries
February 6, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Defense contractors urged Congress Wednesday to increase spending on new military technology as the Trump administration prepares to release its proposed defense budget for fiscal 2021 next week. They described current U.S. military efforts at developing innovative technologies as falling short of needs to... Read More

States’ Attorneys General Sue to Force ERA into Constitution
Litigation
States’ Attorneys General Sue to Force ERA into Constitution
February 6, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The attorneys general of Virginia, Illinois and Nevada are suing in federal court for an order that would add the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. On January 27 Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the proposed Constitutional amendment that would expand... Read More

Congress Weighs Options to Control Opioid Copycats
In The News
Congress Weighs Options to Control Opioid Copycats
January 31, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Drug control experts urged Congress Tuesday to take quick action to prevent drugs created by clandestine chemists that mimic the effects of opioids from entering legal and illegal marketplaces. They suggested that Congress turn a temporary order on the chemicals into a permanent prohibition... Read More

Former Google CEO Warns Congress About U.S. Losing Technology Lead
Technology
Former Google CEO Warns Congress About U.S. Losing Technology Lead
January 30, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Google’s former chief executive officer told Congress Wednesday the United States would lose its lead in artificial intelligence technology to China in less than a decade unless the federal government creates incentives for new research and development. “In other words, unless trends change, we... Read More

States Sue Federal Government Over Impending Food Stamp Losses
Litigation
States Sue Federal Government Over Impending Food Stamp Losses
January 30, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Fourteen states have joined a lawsuit that seeks to block the Trump administration from reducing food benefits for about 700,000 people nationwide. The cuts represent a rule change the U.S. Department of Agriculture finalized shortly before Christmas for its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),... Read More

Homeless Advocates Tell Congress Gentrification is Unfair to the Poor
Congress
Homeless Advocates Tell Congress Gentrification is Unfair to the Poor
January 15, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Advocates for the homeless described for a congressional committee Tuesday how urban gentrification is pushing up home prices and pushing out residents who are ready, willing and able to work. The worst of the hardship is falling on families, according to witnesses before the... Read More

Voting Machine Manufacturers Discuss Potential Election Interference From Foreign Adversaries
Elections
Voting Machine Manufacturers Discuss Potential Election Interference From Foreign Adversaries
January 10, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Top executives from companies that make voting machines tried to ease lawmaker’s concerns that hackers could influence the nation’s elections during a congressional hearing Thursday. Their concern was heightened this week by an Iranian missile strike at a U.S. military installation in Iraq. The... Read More

Congress Plans for Financial Damage Caused by Ignoring Climate Change
Climate
Congress Plans for Financial Damage Caused by Ignoring Climate Change
January 4, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Environmentalists and a South Carolina mayor warned Congress recently that climate change will take an increasing toll on the lives and finances of Americans if the federal government does not act soon. They discussed how greenhouse gas emissions are damaging the real estate and... Read More

Environmentalists Win Lawsuit Protecting Ocean Monuments
Environment
Environmentalists Win Lawsuit Protecting Ocean Monuments
January 4, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Environmentalists won an appeals court ruling in Washington, D.C. last week protecting ocean marine national monuments. Marine national monuments refer to offshore underwater areas intended to protect coral reefs or wildlife. There are five of them in U.S. territorial waters. The U.S. Court of... Read More

Soldiers’ Families Sue Companies That Allegedly Paid Taliban for Protection
Litigation
Soldiers’ Families Sue Companies That Allegedly Paid Taliban for Protection
January 4, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The families of 143 U.S. soldiers and government contractors sued a group of multinational corporations last week in Washington, D.C. accusing them of indirectly funding the Taliban insurgents who killed and injured their relatives. In the complaint, filed in Washington, the plaintiff families claim... Read More

Senate Grapples with Spiraling Opioid Epidemic
Opioids
Senate Grapples with Spiraling Opioid Epidemic
December 20, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. Senate committee sought answers again Tuesday on how to stop a nationwide crisis of opioid addictions while acknowledging their previous efforts have largely failed. A record 61,300 people died from drug overdoses in 2017 in the U.S., up from 54,800 a year... Read More

Bill to Modify State Tax Deduction Splits Opinions During House Hearing
Taxes
Bill to Modify State Tax Deduction Splits Opinions During House Hearing
December 17, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A congressional committee took a last look at a Democratic proposal to repeal a cap on state and local taxes before a vote expected in the U.S. House this week. The cap is a $10,000 limit on state and local income tax deductions Republicans... Read More

Democrats Say DeVos Failing to Protect Students From Predatory For-Profit Institutions
Education
Democrats Say DeVos Failing to Protect Students From Predatory For-Profit Institutions
December 13, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Democratic members of Congress accused U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday of neglecting her duty to protect students from for-profit colleges that defrauded them, promising degrees or job placements they were unable to deliver. In response, the Obama administration’s Education Department instituted a... Read More

FBI Investigation of Trump Campaign Justified But Flawed, Agency Watchdog Says
In The News
FBI Investigation of Trump Campaign Justified But Flawed, Agency Watchdog Says
December 13, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The FBI was justified in investigating the Trump 2016 presidential campaign’s alleged ties to the Russian government but the investigation was deeply flawed, the Justice Department’s inspector general told Congress Wednesday. Inspector General Michael Horowitz testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee about his 417-page... Read More

Congress Discusses US Reaction to Chinese “Authoritarianism”
Geopolitics
Congress Discusses US Reaction to Chinese “Authoritarianism”
December 13, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Civil rights leaders and members of Congress urged that tougher policies be adopted to oppose human rights abuses in China and Hong Kong during a congressional hearing earlier this week. They accused China of mass incarceration of political prisoners, interrogations of private citizens who... Read More

More US Troops Could Be Headed to Mideast as Iranian Threat Intensifies
Military
More US Troops Could Be Headed to Mideast as Iranian Threat Intensifies
December 6, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - A high-ranking Defense Department official acknowledged during a Senate hearing Thursday that the U.S. government is considering sending more troops to the Middle East to counter an Iranian military buildup. “We’re concerned about the threat stream we’re seeing,” said John C. Rood, undersecretary of... Read More

State Dept. Officials Warn Senate About Russian Threats to US
Geopolitics
State Dept. Officials Warn Senate About Russian Threats to US
December 5, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Top U.S. State Department officials warned Tuesday about aggression from Russia as Congress considers legislation to counter the country’s military and political threats. The officials spoke during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as it reviewed Russia’s compliance with the New START... Read More

States Appeal Judge’s Decision to Toss Local Tax Deductions Lawsuit
Litigation
States Appeal Judge’s Decision to Toss Local Tax Deductions Lawsuit
December 3, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Four states are appealing a federal judge’s September dismissal of their lawsuit challenging federal authority to limit state and local tax deductions. In a filing before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, attorneys for the states argue the cap unconstitutionally interferes with their... Read More

Senators Express Frustration with FDA for Slow Response to Vaping Hazards
In The News
Senators Express Frustration with FDA for Slow Response to Vaping Hazards
November 15, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A Food and Drug Administration official told a U.S. Senate committee this week that new regulations to control vaping are likely coming soon, but couldn’t say when. His testimony drew rebukes and words of frustration from members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and... Read More

Government Security Officials Warn Of Evolving Terrorist Threats
National Security
Government Security Officials Warn Of Evolving Terrorist Threats
November 11, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - A top Homeland Security Department official described recent “major shifts” in terrorist threats to the United States during a Senate hearing last week. Some threats come from residents of Syria and Iraq displaced by military struggles while others come from emerging technologies for which... Read More

Congress Considers Proposals to Help Immigrants Start Small Businesses
In The News
Congress Considers Proposals to Help Immigrants Start Small Businesses
November 11, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

Business leaders in California appealed to Congress Friday to expand financial assistance to immigrants trying to start their own businesses. They said small government investments can create big payoffs when immigrants start successful businesses that pay taxes and employ other persons. The U.S. Small Business Administration... Read More

Trump Considers Disposing of D.C. Hotel to End Legal and Political Disputes
In The News
Trump Considers Disposing of D.C. Hotel to End Legal and Political Disputes
October 30, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The Trump organization is considering selling its lease on the downtown Washington Trump International Hotel to resolve legal and political disputes over its ownership and profits. Controversy surrounding the hotel is part of an ongoing tide of criticism against the Donald Trump as he... Read More

Supreme Court to Rule on Gun Law As Mass Shootings Create Outrage
Guns
Supreme Court to Rule on Gun Law As Mass Shootings Create Outrage
October 10, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court cast itself back into the emotional gun rights controversy when it put a lawsuit over a New York City ban on the transportation of  firearms on its schedule for its current session. The New York law bans most transportation of guns... Read More

Senate Bill Seeks to End Confusion Over Liability for Hemp Shipments
Agriculture
Senate Bill Seeks to End Confusion Over Liability for Hemp Shipments
October 4, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - A provision in the Justice Department’s annual funding bill is likely to alter the criminal liability risks for sellers and handlers of cannabis products. Ten states have authorized limited sales of the psychoactive drug for recreation, despite the fact marijuana possession remains a felony... Read More

Washington, D.C. Mayor Claims Constitutional Right to Statehood
In The News
Washington, D.C. Mayor Claims Constitutional Right to Statehood
September 23, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser claimed at a congressional hearing last week that provisions of the U.S. Constitution give residents of her city a right to statehood. The House Committee on Oversight and Reform held the hearing to discuss pending legislation that would make all but... Read More

Congress Considers New Voting Rights Laws After Supreme Court Broadens State Authority
Voting
Congress Considers New Voting Rights Laws After Supreme Court Broadens State Authority
September 17, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Congress considered options at a hearing last week on how to guarantee easier access to voter registration during a continuing struggle over states’ rights. The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to review the consequences of the 2013 Supreme Court decision in Shelby County... Read More

Reporter’s White House Press Pass Reinstated by Judge After Altercation
Reporter’s White House Press Pass Reinstated by Judge After Altercation
September 6, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - A federal judge reinstated the White House press pass of Playboy magazine reporter Brian Karem Tuesday after it was taken away by the Trump administration’s press secretary. Karem lost his press pass in July after a loud altercation in the Rose Garden with former... Read More

Trump Aide Testifies Against Attorney Accused of Foreign Lobbying Violations
Law
Trump Aide Testifies Against Attorney Accused of Foreign Lobbying Violations
August 27, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Federal prosecutors accused a high-powered Washington, D.C. lawyer in court this week of engaging in illegal foreign lobbying by helping to craft a report critical of the Ukraine’s former prime minister. Gregory Craig, White House counsel during the Obama administration, says his law firm's... Read More

Maryland Marijuana Case Sets Standard For Police Searches Of Crime Suspects
State News
Maryland Marijuana Case Sets Standard For Police Searches Of Crime Suspects
August 21, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

A ruling last week by Maryland’s highest court is likely to help redefine the criminal law of marijuana possession as states nationwide search for new legal standards. A unanimous Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that police who smell marijuana can use the odor to justify a... Read More

Federal Appeals Judge Removed from Case After Dispute Over Climate Change Seminar
Courts
Federal Appeals Judge Removed from Case After Dispute Over Climate Change Seminar
August 20, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

A Washington, D.C. federal appeals court judge was removed from an upcoming high-profile environmental case last week after a dispute with a second judge over what was supposed to be a harmless invitation. It started with a simple advisory email from one judge telling others about... Read More

State Attorneys General Sue To Block New Immigration Rule
Immigration
State Attorneys General Sue To Block New Immigration Rule
August 16, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

The attorneys general from 13 states filed a lawsuit this week to block a new Trump administration rule that makes it harder for immigrants receiving public assistance to get green cards for permanent residency. The lawsuit is pending in federal court in the state of Washington.... Read More

States Sue Trump Administration Over Lower Fuel Efficiency Penalties
Regulation
States Sue Trump Administration Over Lower Fuel Efficiency Penalties
August 5, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

Twelve states are suing the Trump administration over its decision to deeply roll back potential penalties against automakers that violate federal fuel efficiency standards. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposes a 61 percent reduction in penalties for violations of motor vehicle average fuel economy standards... Read More

Equifax Agrees to $700 Million Settlement After Huge Hacking Incident Hit Consumers
In The News
Equifax Agrees to $700 Million Settlement After Huge Hacking Incident Hit Consumers
July 23, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Credit reporting giant Equifax Inc. signed a settlement Monday in which it agreed to pay as much as $700 million to resolve government and consumer complaints resulting from a data breach that exposed the personal financial information of most of the U.S. adult population.... Read More

Washington Legal Advocates, Lawmakers Want Immigration Procedures Changed
Immigration
Washington Legal Advocates, Lawmakers Want Immigration Procedures Changed
July 16, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Some of Washington’s prominent legal organizations and lawmakers are scrambling to address the nation’s illegal immigration crisis while courts confront a hopeless backlog of cases. They are proposing new procedures to manage the flood of illegal immigrants being held in detention centers while seeking... Read More

DC-Area Radio Station Registers As Foreign Agent of Russians
In The News
DC-Area Radio Station Registers As Foreign Agent of Russians
July 8, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The Russian government paid a middleman company more than $1.4 million to broadcast propaganda for the past two years on Washington, D.C., area radio station WZHF 1390, according to recently-released foreign agent registration records. The registration by Florida-based RM Broadcasting LLC was ordered by... Read More

House Democrats Oppose Trump Plan to Expand Uranium Mining
Energy
House Democrats Oppose Trump Plan to Expand Uranium Mining
July 2, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - House Democrats are trying to block a Trump administration effort to expand uranium mining in the United States. The House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources is considering a new bill that would severely restrict uranium mining. Democrats proposed the bill, called the Uranium... Read More

Federal Employees’ Lawsuit Reinstated for Data Breach of Personal Information
Litigation
Federal Employees’ Lawsuit Reinstated for Data Breach of Personal Information
June 25, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Federal employees will get their day in court after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that their lawsuit over an Office of Personnel Management data breach can be reinstated. A trial court dismissed the lawsuit accusing OPM of negligence for allowing... Read More

Children’s Climate Change Lawsuit Considered by Appeals Court for Constitutionality
Litigation
Children’s Climate Change Lawsuit Considered by Appeals Court for Constitutionality
June 7, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

A federal appeals court in Portland, Oregon heard arguments this week in a lawsuit that accuses the Trump administration of endangering the future of children by its environmental policies that do little to avoid climate change. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 21 children who... Read More

Nonprofit Group Seeks Sanctions Against Immigration Agency
Immigration
Nonprofit Group Seeks Sanctions Against Immigration Agency
May 28, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - A national civil rights group is asking a federal judge in Colorado to sanction U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE for “atrocious litigation conduct.” The federal agency is requiring the nonprofit organization to do a computer keyword search to find information... Read More

State Attorneys General Boost U.S. House Payday Lender Bill
State Attorneys General Boost U.S. House Payday Lender Bill
May 28, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Twenty-five state attorneys general are giving a boost to a bill introduced in Congress this month that seeks to rein in excessive interest rates on payday loans. The attorneys general filed a comment letter with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau opposing the agency’s proposed... Read More

Dismissed Student Sues Georgetown As National Admission Scandal Grows
Education
Dismissed Student Sues Georgetown As National Admission Scandal Grows
May 21, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

A Georgetown University undergraduate is suing the university after his father pleaded guilty to paying a bribe to help his son’s academic career in another example of the national college admissions scandal. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia accuses the... Read More

DC Radio Station Must Register As Russian Agent, Judge Rules
DC Radio Station Must Register As Russian Agent, Judge Rules
May 21, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A Washington, D.C. radio station must register as a foreign agent because of its persistent broadcasts of Russian news and information that critics describe as propaganda, a federal judge ruled last week. This week, the Justice Department hailed the ruling for demonstrating how the... Read More

House Panel Criticizes Trump for Climate Change Policies That Harm Public Lands
Environment
House Panel Criticizes Trump for Climate Change Policies That Harm Public Lands
May 16, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Democratic members of Congress said Wednesday that environmental policies of the Trump administration are threatening the nation’s outdoor recreation industry. During two House Natural Resources Committee hearings, a Trump administration official defended the Interior Department’s record, but environmentalists warned of severe consequences. Some of... Read More

Senate Witnesses Advocate Space Force to Protect U.S. Military and Private Satellites
National Security
Senate Witnesses Advocate Space Force to Protect U.S. Military and Private Satellites
May 15, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The United States needs a new military branch called the Space Force for national defense and to protect commercial satellites, expert witnesses told a Senate panel Tuesday. President Donald Trump proposed the Space Force last year as a new and separate branch of the military.... Read More

Rising Nuclear Waste Cleanup Costs Spark Outrage from Congressmen
Environment
Rising Nuclear Waste Cleanup Costs Spark Outrage from Congressmen
May 3, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress expressed outrage Wednesday during hearings on Capitol Hill at the rising cost and government inaction in cleaning up the nation’s nuclear waste. Some lawmakers were reacting to a Government Accountability Office report released this week that shows the cleanup costs have... Read More

Ford Investigated Over Concerns About Improper Emissions Tests
Business
Ford Investigated Over Concerns About Improper Emissions Tests
April 29, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

Ford Motor Co. is being investigated by the Justice Department over its emissions certification process, the company said in a government securities filing Friday. Ford said in the quarterly report that the criminal investigation focuses on its “road load estimations,” which refers to its method for... Read More

Democrats Threaten Contempt for Trump’s Defiance of Subpoenas
In The News
Democrats Threaten Contempt for Trump’s Defiance of Subpoenas
April 25, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

Democratic members of Congress threatened a contempt citation Wednesday against a Trump administration official who refused to testify this week on an immigration question for the 2020 Census. John Gore, an assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, was subpoenaed to appear before... Read More

US Court Allows Patent for Marijuana Formulation
Litigation
US Court Allows Patent for Marijuana Formulation
April 23, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

A federal court ruling last week set a precedent for property rights to cannabis products in the quickly growing marijuana industry. U.S. District Judge William Martinez, an Obama appointee who presides in Colorado, ruled that cannabinoid formulations can be considered the unique handiwork of their developers... Read More

New Mexico Residents Complain About Oil and Gas Drilling
New Mexico
New Mexico Residents Complain About Oil and Gas Drilling
April 16, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

Members of a U.S. House committee advocated for stricter oil and natural gas drilling regulations during a hearing Monday in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Democrats on the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources said lax regulations are creating too much air pollution and depriving residents... Read More

Former White House Counsel Arrested On Lying about Foreign Lobbying Charge
In The News
Former White House Counsel Arrested On Lying about Foreign Lobbying Charge
April 12, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

Former White House counsel Gregory Craig was arrested Thursday in Washington, D.C. on charges that he lied to federal investigators about his role in a foreign lobbying campaign on behalf of the Ukrainian government. Craig worked for the Washington law firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher &... Read More

Some Congressmen Want to Halt Appalachian Mountaintop Coal Mining
Health
Some Congressmen Want to Halt Appalachian Mountaintop Coal Mining
April 10, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Residents of Appalachian states warned about severe health and environmental consequences from renewed mountaintop coal mining during a congressional hearing Tuesday. Lawmakers called the hearing to address concerns raised by Trump administration policies to loosen environmental restrictions on coal mining. An occupational health expert... Read More

Social Media Giants Questioned On Encouraging Hate Crimes
Technology
Social Media Giants Questioned On Encouraging Hate Crimes
April 10, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Democrats in Congress used a hearing Tuesday to criticize President Donald Trump and social media companies for encouraging white nationalism and hate crimes. They cited FBI statistics showing hate crimes have increased since Trump took office in 2016. “The president’s rhetoric fans the flames,”... Read More

Congress Seeks New Strategies Against Weapons of Mass Destruction
National Security
Congress Seeks New Strategies Against Weapons of Mass Destruction
April 4, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Two congressional committees met Wednesday on Capitol Hill to figure out the resources they should dedicate to confronting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. During a House Armed Services subcommittee hearing, Pentagon officials explained emerging threats from nuclear, chemical and biological weapons while... Read More

Federal Judge Blocks Medicaid Work Rules In Blow to Administration
Health
Federal Judge Blocks Medicaid Work Rules In Blow to Administration
March 29, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

A federal judge this week struck down a Trump administration plan that could have required Medicaid recipients to work or volunteer as a condition of receiving subsidized health care. At least 15 states were planning their own work for health care programs. U.S. District Judge James... Read More

Senate Panel Told 'Space Force' Vital to US Warfighting Mission
Pentagon
Senate Panel Told 'Space Force' Vital to US Warfighting Mission
March 27, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Defense department officials warned a Senate panel Wednesday that the United States risks losing its military advantage in space to growing threats from China and Russia. They are trying to convince Congress to authorize a new branch of the military that would be called... Read More

Alpine Skier Accused of Cheating Has World Cup Victory Reinstated
In The News
Alpine Skier Accused of Cheating Has World Cup Victory Reinstated
March 19, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

The international Court of Arbitration for Sport last week reinstated a victory for German alpine skier Stefan Luitz that he won in December during the World Cup skiing competition. He was stripped of his medal by the International Ski Federation for inhaling from an oxygen tank... Read More

Supreme Court Adopts Trump Policy In Case of Illegal Immigrant Detentions
Immigration
Supreme Court Adopts Trump Policy In Case of Illegal Immigrant Detentions
March 19, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that certain immigrants with previous criminal records can be detained without a right to bail. The 5-4 ruling is a significant victory for the Trump administration’s hard-line immigration policies but one that is outraging civil rights advocates. The... Read More

Congress Told Budget for Cleanup Of Toxic Chemical is Inadequate
Environment
Congress Told Budget for Cleanup Of Toxic Chemical is Inadequate
March 7, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress expressed frustration Wednesday at the years and billions of dollars needed to clean up a class of toxic chemicals polluting some of the nation’s drinking water. The House Oversight and Reform subcommittee on the environment held the hearing to examine the... Read More

Democrats Try to Override Trump’s Climate Change Policy
Spotlight
Democrats Try to Override Trump’s Climate Change Policy
March 1, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Congressional Democrats sharply criticized President Donald Trump Thursday during a hearing on Capitol Hill for pulling out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. They are trying to figure out how to act without the president’s approval to bring the United States into... Read More

Congress Talks Tough on Venezuela
Congress Talks Tough on Venezuela
February 27, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Tough talk about the troubled Venezuelan government during a congressional hearing Tuesday raised more questions about whether U.S. military intervention is possible soon. A House Foreign Affairs subcommittee called the hearing to determine how the U.S. government should respond to an economic and humanitarian... Read More

US Military Warns Senate About Foreign Cyber Threats
Cybersecurity
US Military Warns Senate About Foreign Cyber Threats
February 16, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Senators at a congressional hearing Thursday thanked the Defense Department’s cyber security force for protecting the 2018 midterm elections but warned that foreign hacking threats are likely to only get worse. Americans sometimes unrealistically convince themselves they have the world’s best defenses against cyber-attacks,... Read More

Marijuana Businesses Ask Congress To Grant Them Banking Services
Economy
Marijuana Businesses Ask Congress To Grant Them Banking Services
February 16, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

The lack of legal banking services for marijuana-related businesses is creating unnecessary economic barriers and encouraging crime, the owner of a Washington, D.C. marijuana business told Congress this week. A House Financial Services subcommittee called the hearing to determine whether federal law that bans banking services... Read More

Trump Political Advisor Argues Against Gag Order Before His Criminal Trial
Spotlight
Trump Political Advisor Argues Against Gag Order Before His Criminal Trial
February 8, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Political advisor Roger Stone is setting up a First Amendment free speech challenge during his pre-trial proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He told a federal judge Friday that she had no constitutional right to silence him with a... Read More

Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Seeking to Preserve Obamacare
Health
Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Seeking to Preserve Obamacare
February 5, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

A decision last week by a federal judge in a Maryland lawsuit is expected to influence an appeal by other states that seek to protect their health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. The state of Maryland filed a lawsuit in September to protect its... Read More

Inspector General Report Implies Trump Violated Constitution with Hotel Lease
Spotlight
Inspector General Report Implies Trump Violated Constitution with Hotel Lease
January 25, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

The U.S. General Services Administration demonstrated “serious shortcomings” in reviewing conflicts of interest in the lease on Trump International Hotel in downtown Washington, a report this week says. The report by... Read More

Indictment Against Trump Advisor Points Evidence Toward President
Spotlight
Indictment Against Trump Advisor Points Evidence Toward President
January 25, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

The indictment Friday of political advisor Roger J. Stone alleges a pattern of lies that casts serious doubt on the credibility of President Donald Trump. It accuses Stone of falsely telling Congress that he did not inform... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top