This Week

Strained Rural Water Utilities Buckle Under Pandemic Pressure
In The News
Strained Rural Water Utilities Buckle Under Pandemic Pressure

WASHINGTON — The months leading up to the coronavirus pandemic already spelled trouble for the Rome Water System and the tiny community it serves in the Mississippi Delta. A tornado tossed around several homes, closed roads and left the community... Read More

More People with Felony Convictions Can Vote, but Roadblocks Remain
In The News
More People with Felony Convictions Can Vote, but Roadblocks Remain

WASHINGTON — More than ever, Eric Harris is mindful of the elected officials around him: The school board members deciding whether his children will go back to the classroom, the sheriff influencing how officers interact with people like him, and... Read More

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Tosses Green Party Off State Ballot
State News
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Tosses Green Party Off State Ballot
2020-09-17 20:06:26
by Dan McCue

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Things aren't exactly coming up roses for the Green Party and its presidential nominee, Howie Hawkins. For the second time this week a state supreme court has denied the party's bid for inclusion among the contenders on... Read More

Florida Senators Pitch Daylight Saving Time Pause
Congress
Florida Senators Pitch Daylight Saving Time Pause

WASHINGTON — Florida Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott want to make sure there is plenty of time for wasting away again in Margaritaville in the sunlight this winter. If they get their way, revelers in Key West, Florida,... Read More

William Barr Floats Theory of Foreign Mail-vote Fraud That Experts Call Impossible
2020 Elections
William Barr Floats Theory of Foreign Mail-vote Fraud That Experts Call Impossible

WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr has repeatedly floated a conspiracy theory that other countries may distribute counterfeit mail-in ballots to sway the November election. That’s virtually impossible, according to election officials, ballot-printing companies and political scientists. Yet it’s a... Read More

Fed Signals Rates Will Stay Near Zero for at Least Three Years
Federal Reserve
Fed Signals Rates Will Stay Near Zero for at Least Three Years

The Federal Reserve left interest rates near zero and signaled it would hold them there through at least 2023 to help the U.S. economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The Federal Open Market Committee “expects to maintain an accommodative stance... Read More

LaRose Appealing Order to Permit More Than One Ballot Drop Box Per County
State News
LaRose Appealing Order to Permit More Than One Ballot Drop Box Per County

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Franklin County judge issued a preliminary injunction on Wednesday permitting the installation of more than one ballot drop box per county ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election. In handing down his decision, however, Franklin County... Read More

Poll Highlights Barriers for Trump and Biden in Final Weeks Before Election
Opinion Polls
Poll Highlights Barriers for Trump and Biden in Final Weeks Before Election

WASHINGTON — As the presidential race moves into its final seven weeks, with former Vice President Joe Biden holding a lead that remains steady but not conclusive, he and President Donald Trump face contrasting challenges, new data from a University... Read More

Trump Rebukes CDC Chief for His Cautions on a Coronavirus Vaccine and Masks
Health
Trump Rebukes CDC Chief for His Cautions on a Coronavirus Vaccine and Masks

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump contradicted one of his administration’s top scientists and announced Wednesday that widespread distribution of a coronavirus vaccine would begin as early as next month, further rattling the scientific and public health communities and stoking rival... Read More

Longtime House Parliamentarian Wickham Stepping Down
Congress
Longtime House Parliamentarian Wickham Stepping Down
2020-09-17 14:02:19
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Tom Wickham is stepping down as parliamentarian of the House of Representatives at the end of the month, and will be replaced by Jason Smith, his current deputy parliamentarian. In announcing the change, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.,... Read More

Supreme Court To Start New Term By Telephone
Supreme Court
Supreme Court To Start New Term By Telephone
2020-09-17 13:59:37
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court will continue to hold oral arguments by telephone for the start of the new term in October in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a court spokeswoman said Wednesday. Kathleen Arberg of the court's public... 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
2020-09-17 13:56:35
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... Read More

Michigan Senate Approves More Time to Process Absentee Ballots
Michigan
Michigan Senate Approves More Time to Process Absentee Ballots
2020-09-17 13:54:23
by Dan McCue

LANSING, Mich. - Michigan's Republican-controlled Senate on Tuesday approved a bill allowing the state's larger municipalities to begin processing an expected surge of absentee ballots prior to Election Day. The legislation, which passed 34-2 with strong bipartisan support, would allow... Read More

Bill Authorizing President to Posthumously Award Medal of Honor Proposed
Military
Bill Authorizing President to Posthumously Award Medal of Honor Proposed
2020-09-17 13:51:19
by Reece Nations

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation that would authorize the president to posthumously award U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe the Medal of Honor. Cashe was injured in October 2005 while deployed in Iraq when the... Read More

Act Restores Private Right to Sue on Discriminatory Educational Practices
Education
Act Restores Private Right to Sue on Discriminatory Educational Practices
2020-09-17 13:49:04
by Sara Wilkerson

WASHINGTON - The House passed the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act (EIEA), legislation on Wednesday that will restore students’ and parents’ right to hold schools accountable for racial discrimination under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The... Read More

The Concord Coalition Argues the Case for Longer Work Lives
Employment
The Concord Coalition Argues the Case for Longer Work Lives
2020-09-16 20:27:56
by Kate Michael

WASHINGTON -- A panel of experts, recently convened by The Concord Coalition, a bipartisan political advocacy group, contend that near-term economic and fiscal damage caused by the current health crisis will make living standards more important than ever. They contend... Read More

Brindisi Leads Forum on Mental Health and Addiction Issues
Mental Health
Brindisi Leads Forum on Mental Health and Addiction Issues
2020-09-16 20:23:18
by Daniel Londono

WASHINGTON - Rep. Anthony Brindisi, D-N.Y., served as moderator last week at a Blue Dog Coalition forum exploring the issue of mental health and addiction in the U.S. and how to deal with it. Brindisi, the coalition's co-chair, has been... Read More

Pandemic Forces Journalists to Rethink Campaign Coverage
Media
Pandemic Forces Journalists to Rethink Campaign Coverage

NEW YORK (AP) — When the coronavirus shutdown began, ABC News' Martha Raddatz figured her plan for a cross-country road trip to meet voters would be shelved, too. Instead, this week Raddatz nears the end of a 6,000-mile journey, where... Read More

New York Launches COVID Response Team to Monitor City's Schools
Cities
New York Launches COVID Response Team to Monitor City's Schools
2020-09-16 14:40:46
by Daniel Londono

NEW YORK, N.Y.- The City of New York on Monday implemented a new COVID "Response Team" to monitor the city's schools and hopefully prevent a resurgence of the coronavirus in one of the nation's hardest hit municipalities. The city's new... Read More

Panel's Report Blasts Boeing, FAA for Crashes, Seeks Reforms
Transportation
Panel's Report Blasts Boeing, FAA for Crashes, Seeks Reforms

A House committee issued a scathing report Wednesday questioning whether Boeing and government regulators have recognized the problems that caused two deadly 737 Max jet crashes and whether either will be willing to make significant changes to fix them. Staff... Read More

Millennials, Seniors are Spurning Trump. Why are Middle-Aged Voters Sticking with Him?
Opinion Polls
Millennials, Seniors are Spurning Trump. Why are Middle-Aged Voters Sticking with Him?

WASHINGTON — Generation Z loathes him. Millennials overwhelmingly back his opponent. And even once-supportive seniors have turned away. As his turbulent reelection bid enters its final phase, President Donald Trump has been hindered by lackluster approval from most generations of... Read More

Despite Pressure for COVID-19 Relief Deal, Stalemate Continues
Congress
Despite Pressure for COVID-19 Relief Deal, Stalemate Continues

WASHINGTON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday headed a call from her members to commit to keeping the House in session until there’s a coronavirus relief deal, but the vow does little to break the stalemate in bipartisan negotiations that... Read More

House Republican Campaign Platform Promises a Rebuild from Current Circumstances
Political News
House Republican Campaign Platform Promises a Rebuild from Current Circumstances

WASHINGTON — Less than two months before the November election, House Republicans on Tuesday revealed their agenda, which aims to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, rebuild the economy and increase funding for the police. The House GOP’s “Commitment to America” outlines... Read More

Biden Holds Big Lead Over Trump with Asian American Voters, Survey Says
Opinion Polls
Biden Holds Big Lead Over Trump with Asian American Voters, Survey Says

Asian American voters prefer Joe Biden to President Donald Trump by 54% to 30% for November’s presidential election, according to a survey released Tuesday by a coalition of Asian American civic engagement groups. It shows Democrats making another strong showing... Read More

Georgia’s a 2020 Battleground, But It’s Not the Premier Presidential Hot Spot
2020 Elections
Georgia’s a 2020 Battleground, But It’s Not the Premier Presidential Hot Spot

ATLANTA — President Donald Trump’s son Eric shared the stage Tuesday with evangelical pastors in Atlanta’s northern suburbs to tout his father’s campaign. A day earlier, Dr. Jill Biden “virtually” traveled to Georgia to talk about her husband Joe’s plan... Read More

House Passes Legislation Aimed at Increasing Diversity in Schools
Education
House Passes Legislation Aimed at Increasing Diversity in Schools
2020-09-16 14:02:47
by Sara Wilkerson

WASHINGTON - Today, the House of Representatives passed the Strength in Diversity Act 2020, legislation that will provide funding for voluntary desegregation initiatives across the country. The Strength in Diversity Act was brought to the House by Rep. Marcia Fudge,... Read More

Federal Judges Ask Congress for Safety Protections
Courts
Federal Judges Ask Congress for Safety Protections

WASHINGTON — The federal courts want Congress to spend $524 million and pass legislation to bolster safety measures for judges at home and at the courthouse, including legislation to make it a crime for anyone to refuse a request to... Read More

Preparing for the Worst, Health Agencies Mount Unprecedented Flu Shot Drives
In The News
Preparing for the Worst, Health Agencies Mount Unprecedented Flu Shot Drives

WASHINGTON — If the United States has even a typical flu season that collides with a COVID-19 flare, the resulting public health nightmare could swamp the nation’s already strained health system. This year’s flu season could be milder than usual... Read More

With No Legal Guardrails for Patients, Ambulances Drive Surprise Medical Billing
Health
With No Legal Guardrails for Patients, Ambulances Drive Surprise Medical Billing

School librarian Amanda Brasfield bent over to grab her lunch from a small refrigerator and felt her heart begin to race. Even after lying on her office floor and closing her eyes, her heart kept pounding and fluttering in her... Read More

Ways and Means Chairman Demands Answers on Editorial Process for COVID Reports
Congress
Ways and Means Chairman Demands Answers on Editorial Process for COVID Reports
2020-09-15 21:21:32
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday demanded Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar shed light on how his department has handled coronavirus-related reports. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., sent a strongly worded letter... Read More

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Passes Committee, Vote in House Expected
Employment
Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Passes Committee, Vote in House Expected
2020-09-15 19:33:45
by Reece Nations

WASHINGTON – A vote is expected in the House this week on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bill that would require employers to provide “reasonable workplace accommodations for workers whose ability to perform the functions of a job are... Read More

Problem Solvers Step Into Relief Bill Void to Offer Bipartisan Plan
Congress
Problem Solvers Step Into Relief Bill Void to Offer Bipartisan Plan
2020-09-15 17:52:53
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - A bipartisan group of 50 centrist lawmakers on Tuesday unveiled a $1.5 trillion proposal they hope will end the current stalemate over new relief to bolster the coronavirus battered economy. The Problem Solvers Caucus, led by co-chairs Reps.... Read More

Road Ahead for Congress: Stopgap Decision, Judicial Nominations
Congress
Road Ahead for Congress: Stopgap Decision, Judicial Nominations

WASHINGTON — The House returns to Washington this week, joining the Senate for a September legislative sprint in which the only law enacted before the election might be a stopgap bill to fund the government. Floor action on that is... Read More

USPS Stands by Colorado-Ballot Notices That Judge Deemed ‘False’
Political News
USPS Stands by Colorado-Ballot Notices That Judge Deemed ‘False’

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service said a judge acted too late when he ordered the agency over the weekend to stop sending notices to Colorado residents about requesting mail-in ballots that state officials claim are misleading. Most of the... Read More

Appeals Court Says Trump Can Deport Hundreds of Thousands of Immigrants
Immigration
Appeals Court Says Trump Can Deport Hundreds of Thousands of Immigrants

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court decided 2-1 Monday that the Trump administration may deport hundreds of thousands of immigrants who previously received temporary protected status for humanitarian reasons. The 2-1 ruling by a panel of the 9th U.S.... Read More

Trump Campaign Slashes Ad Spending in Key States in Cash Crunch
2020 Elections
Trump Campaign Slashes Ad Spending in Key States in Cash Crunch

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s campaign is scaling back its television advertising spending and in some cases abandoning it altogether for now in key states, facing a cash crunch brought on by huge investments in staff and operations. Trump’s reelection... Read More

Democrats Detail Hispanic Voter Data as Biden Meets Florida Puerto Ricans
2020 Elections
Democrats Detail Hispanic Voter Data as Biden Meets Florida Puerto Ricans

MIAMI — If you’re Hispanic and living in the U.S., chances are good that Joe Biden’s campaign knows a lot about you — including your family roots. Ahead of Biden’s first trip to Florida as the Democratic presidential nominee —... Read More

Macy's Announces Dramatically Different Thanksgiving Day Parade
Cities
Macy's Announces Dramatically Different Thanksgiving Day Parade
2020-09-15 15:36:29
by Dan McCue

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Macy's and the City of New York on Monday announced that the annual Thanksgiving Day parade will be dramatically different this year as a result of ongoing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of holding a... Read More

Smithsonian To Reopen Four Additional Museums on Friday
Arts
Smithsonian To Reopen Four Additional Museums on Friday
2020-09-15 15:30:42
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The Smithsonian Institution announced Monday that it will reopen four more of its Washington, D.C., museums to the public on Friday, with new health and safety measures in place due to ongoing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The... 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
2020-09-14 21:08:10
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... Read More

Restaurants Say Reservation Confirmations Are Not Nuisance Robocalls
Supreme Court
Restaurants Say Reservation Confirmations Are Not Nuisance Robocalls
2020-09-14 20:43:07
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The Restaurant Law Center wants the Supreme Court to overturn a 9th Circuit ruling that effectively classified calls and text messages to confirm dining reservations as nuisance robocalls. The Center, an industry association representing about 1 million restaurant... Read More

Cities Urge Supreme Court to Uphold Anti-Discrimination Protections
Supreme Court
Cities Urge Supreme Court to Uphold Anti-Discrimination Protections
2020-09-14 20:40:32
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Conference of Mayors and a coalition of leaders from smaller municipalities are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold protections against discrimination in the delivery of government services. The court is currently scheduled to hear the... Read More

Bloomberg Says He’ll Spend $100 Million to Help Biden Beat Trump in Florida
State News
Bloomberg Says He’ll Spend $100 Million to Help Biden Beat Trump in Florida

MIAMI — Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York mayor whose self-funded presidential bid fell short this year, says he’ll spend $100 million over the next seven weeks to help Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden win Florida. Bloomberg’s financial commitment... Read More

Courts Will Decide Georgia Voting Rights — and Maybe Election Results
State News
Courts Will Decide Georgia Voting Rights — and Maybe Election Results

ATLANTA — Fierce battles over which votes count are already being fought in courts this election season, with armies of voting rights advocates, political parties and attorneys gearing up to bring more challenges to Georgia election laws when ballots are... Read More

A Million Mail-in Ballots Could Go Uncounted This Fall. The USPS May Not Be to Blame
2020 Elections
A Million Mail-in Ballots Could Go Uncounted This Fall. The USPS May Not Be to Blame

WASHINGTON — The controversial new chief of the U.S. Postal Service had not even started his job when a disturbing thing happened to hundreds of thousands of Americans who cast ballots by mail in primary elections this spring. Their votes... Read More

Postal Service Ordered to Stop Sending ‘False’ Voting Mailer
2020 Elections
Postal Service Ordered to Stop Sending ‘False’ Voting Mailer

A federal judge ordered the U.S. Postal Service to stop sending a notice advising Colorado residents to request mail-in ballots, saying confusion would result because the state automatically mails ballots to voters. “The notice provides false or misleading information” and... Read More

Trump Vote-Rigging Claims Fit Russia’s Plan, Former Top Spy Says
2020 Elections
Trump Vote-Rigging Claims Fit Russia’s Plan, Former Top Spy Says

President Donald Trump is playing into Russia’s hands by claiming that his political adversaries are trying to rig the U.S. election, a former senior intelligence official said. Sue Gordon, who left the second-highest post in the Office of the Director... 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
2020-09-14 14:48:06
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... Read More

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