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  • Ryan: Congress likely to approve more hurricane disaster relief in October

    As Hurricane Maria was ravaging the island of Puerto Rico, House Speaker Paul Ryan said during a Wednesday visit to Florida that he expects the Congress will vote on more disaster relief money next month, as federal agencies deal with the aftermath from three major hurricanes – Harvey, Irma and Maria.

    “I’m sure that we’re going to do another, what we call a supplemental, sometime in October, once we have a full assessment of what is needed,” the Speaker said, after spending the day looking at storm damage across Florida.

    Earlier this month, lawmakers approved $15.3 billion in extra aid for [More]

  • Senate panel hears call for better hurricane prep at nursing homes and assisted living facilities

    Citing the deaths of seniors at a nursing home in Florida after Hurricane Irma, and a viral photograph of seniors in waist deep water at a facility in Texas during Hurricane Harvey, a U.S. Senate committee was urged on Wednesday to support stronger regulations for nursing homes and assisted living facilities to better protect older Americans during hurricanes, floods, and other emergencies and natural disasters.

    “We need generators to support medical needs and air conditioning to cool reasonable temperatures, as well as fuel,” said Kathryn Hyer, a professor at the University of South Florida’s School of Aging Studies.

    Hyer said her past [More]

  • Senate leaves town with GOP still short on votes for last-ditch health overhaul bill

    With the support of the White House, Republican leaders in Congress are once again engaged in a full court press to squeeze out 50 votes for a new GOP plan to overhaul the Obama health law, but in what’s almost a repeat of the last showdown vote earlier this year in the Senate, the decisions of a handful of GOP Senators will make or break this latest effort on Obamacare.

    “My message today is I want to make sure that members of the Senate know the President and our entire administration supports Graham-Cassidy,” said Vice President Mike Pence, who interrupted his [More]

  • In United Nations speech, President Trump threatens to “totally destroy” North Korea over nukes

    In his first address to the United Nations, President Donald Trump vowed that the United States would ‘totally destroy’ North Korea if that regime seeks to use its nuclear weapons against America or its allies, as Mr. Trump singled out North Korea, Iran, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela in a wide ranging address to the U.N. General Assembly.

    In blunt terms, the President zeroed in on North Korea, labeling it a “depraved” regime, referring to its leader as “Rocket Man,” as Mr. Trump said the United Nations must join together to stop the nuclear ambitions of Kim Jong Un.

    “Rocket Man is on [More]

  • FEMA faces third major disaster relief effort as Hurricane Maria takes aim at US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico

    Still working on recovery and relief efforts in Texas after Hurricane Harvey and Florida after Hurricane Irma, federal officials were looking at the chance of even more damage in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, as rapidly intensifying Hurricane Maria seemed to be taking dead aim at an area in the Caribbean which just experienced major troubles from Irma earlier this month.

    “Maria is likely to affect Puerto Rico as an extremely dangerous major hurricane,” the National Hurricane Center reported in its evening update about the progress of the storm, noting that “all indications are that rapid intensification is continuing.”

    As [More]

  • Legal defense fund set up for ex-Trump aide Michael Flynn

    A former top aide to President Donald Trump is appealing for contributions to a new legal defense fund, as ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn confronts possibly serious legal troubles involved in the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, and ties to Mr. Trump’s campaign.

    “We deeply appreciate the support of family and friends across this nation,” Flynn tweeted on Monday morning, announcing that his brother and sister had created a legal defense fund “to help pay my legal defense costs.”

    Flynn, who was forced out of his post as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Obama, was [More]

  • Republicans push one last-ditch effort to overhaul the Obama health law

    With the clock ticking down on a special expedited legislative procedure that avoids a Senate filibuster, Republicans are trying to rally support for a new plan that’s designed to make major changes in the Obama health law, in hopes of mustering 50 votes for the bill before the end of September.

    “Doing nothing is not an option,” says Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), one of prime movers – with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) – behind a bill that was unveiled just last week, but has picked up support from most Republicans in the Senate.

    “We are giving the power over health care to [More]

  • Little appetite for extra budget cuts as House passes 2018 spending bills

    As the House finished work this past week on next year’s funding for the federal government, approving a package of eight different different spending bills, one thing noticeably absent from the debate on the House floor was a successful push to make new cuts in next year’s budget, as efforts to make deeper spending reductions were routinely rejected by a coalition of both parties.

    It was the first time since 2009 that the House had approved all 12 funding bills before the start of new fiscal year – but none of those plans have yet to reach the Senate floor – [More]

  • A lot of talk, but still slow going for Trump agenda in Congress

    Despite promises of action from the White House and top GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill, major elements of President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda remain where they have been much of the year in Congress – not moving very fast – as GOP leaders promise to kick things into gear over the next few months in the House and Senate.

    Here where things stand on major action items for both President Trump and Republican leaders in the Congress:

    1. Republicans gear up for one more run on health care. Under the rules of the expedited process known as ‘budget reconcilation,’ Republicans have until [More]

  • White House pledges to publicly set out details on possible DACA deal with Congress

    A day after President Donald Trump seemed to muddy the waters on a possible legislative deal with Democrats in Congress over the future of young illegal immigrant “Dreamers,” the White House on Friday promised that officials would clearly set out in the next seven to ten days what items Mr. Trump wants to see on immigration enforcement in any deal on the DACA program.

    “The President supports the DACA program and supports making a deal on that, but again, that has to include that massive border security,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

    On Thursday, the President said he was [More]

  • A big hug for a California teenager whowith $1,500 inside and returned it to its rightful owner. That’s what Melissa Vang did when 18-year-old Tyler Opdyke showed up at her door to make sure she had found the lost wallet. He had hidden it under her doormat when no one answered his knock.>> Read more trending news This is how it happened. Opdyke was handing out fliers for his uncle’s pesticide business, according to KOVR, when he stumbled upon the wallet bulging with cash.  Vang’s husband had dropped it as he was leaving the home “I just really thought about what I would want someone to do if I were to drop my wallet,” Opdyke told KOVR. “And then I thought about the house. I thought about the family who lived there.” When he rang the doorbell to return the wallet, no one answered, because Vang was afraid to go to the door, but surveillance video captured Opdyke holding up the wallet . >> Related: Lost wallet returned with painfully honest letter about why thief kept cash So he hid the wallet under the doormat and returned later to make sure the family had found it. This time Vang and her two daughters answered the door. They hugged Opdyke and thanked him for his honesty and integrity in returning the lost money.
  • As Hurricane Maria was ravaging the island of Puerto Rico, House Speaker Paul Ryan said during a Wednesday visit to Florida that he expects the Congress will vote on more disaster relief money next month, as federal agencies deal with the aftermath from three major hurricanes – Harvey, Irma and Maria. “I’m sure that we’re going to do another, what we call a supplemental, sometime in October, once we have a full assessment of what is needed,” the Speaker said, after spending the day looking at storm damage across Florida. Earlier this month, lawmakers approved $15.3 billion in extra aid for Hurricane Harvey; while that money was expected to allow for initial aid for victims of both Harvey and on Hurricane Irma relief, the expected damage from Hurricane Maria will mean an even bigger drain on federal emergency budget accounts. The Speaker’s comments came after Ryan toured damaged areas in south Florida, which included a flight from the U.S. Coast Guard over the Florida Keys. Thank you @SpeakerRyan for taking the time to visit South Florida & the #FLKeys to assess the damage left behind by #Irma #KeysRecovery pic.twitter.com/qNb105UJid — Rep. Carlos Curbelo (@RepCurbelo) September 20, 2017 “From Marathon to Key West, it was really pretty extensive damage,” Ryan said, noting that he was familiar with the area from fishing trips he has made to Florida in the past. “It was really astounding, the kind of damage that is done, not just to the ecosystem, but also to the homes and the structures,” the Speaker added. Ryan was accompanied not only by local lawmakers from Florida, but also by the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), who would be in charge of any extra aid package in the House. . @SpeakerRyan says he expects Congress will have to pass another hurricane aid package in October. — Cristina Marcos (@cimarcos) September 20, 2017 “We will work together to make sure that the necessary federal resources are in place for the rebuilding,” the Speaker said. “We will be there every step of the way.” No estimates have been given on how much the Congress will have to pony up in terms of federal aid for Harvey, Irma and Maria; the Governor of Texas at one point said he thought his state might need over $100 billion from Uncle Sam, and the costs will certainly climb with damage to Puerto Rico from Maria.
  • University of Oklahoma President David Boren says he will resign as head of the state's flagship university at the end of the current school year. Boren is a former Democratic governor and U.S. senator. He has served as OU's president since 1994. Boren announced his plan Wednesday to retire June 30, but agreed to stay longer if a successor has not been selected by that time.
  • If you have plans for Saturday, you might want to change them. Well, if you believe a new claim that says the world is going to end Sept. 23, that is. >> Read more trending news Christian publication Unsealed foretells the rapture in a four-minute YouTube video called 'September 23, 2017: You Need to See This.' Why Saturday? According to David Meade, the date is derived from verses and numerical codes in the Bible.  For example: 'Jesus lived for 33 years. The name Elohim, which is the name of God to the Jews, was mentioned 33 times (in the Bible),' Meade told The Washington Post. 'It's a very biblically significant, numerologically significant number. I'm talking astronomy. I'm talking the Bible . . . and merging the two.' Ed Stetzer, a pastor and executive director of Wheaton College's Billy Graham Center, takes issue with Meade and his claims. Read an in-depth look at how Meade came up with this doomsday date and why Stetzer disagrees with him on myajc.com
  • The GOP's last-ditch effort to repeal 'Obamacare' would redistribute hundreds of billions of dollars in federal financing for insurance coverage, creating winners and losers among individual Americans and states in ways not yet fully clear. Independent analysts say the latest Senate Republican bill is likely to leave more people uninsured than the Affordable Care Act, and allow states to make changes that raise costs for people with health problems or pre-existing medical conditions. After closed-door meetings Tuesday, supporters seemed confident but acknowledged they're not sure if the bill can pass. There's only a narrow window for the Senate to act under special budget rules that expire at the end of the month. The Congressional Budget Office has said it doesn't have time to complete a full analysis of the impact on coverage before the deadline. The biggest changes would start in 2020 - the next presidential election year. That's a political risk for Republicans, since health care changes often involve unforeseen problems. A key feature of the legislation from Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana would put the ACA's financing for subsidized private health insurance and Medicaid expansion into a giant pot and redistribute it among states according to new formulas.