Congress on Thursday passed a sweeping $1.3 trillion spending bill that makes good on President Donald Trump's promises to increase military funding while blocking most of his proposed cuts to domestic programs and placing obstacles to his immigration agenda. The House passed the bill Thursday afternoon and the Senate passed it later Thursday night (or early Friday morning in Washington, D.C.) by a vote of 65-32. Here is a look at some of the highlights: Overall spending The "omnibus" appropriations bill doles out funding for the remainder of fiscal 2018 — that is, until Sept. 30 — to virtually every federal department and agency pursuant to the two-year budget agreement Congress reached in February. Under that agreement, military spending generally favored by Republicans is set to jump $80 billion over previously authorized spending levels, while domestic spending favored by Democrats rises by $63 billion. Border wall The bill provides $1.6 billion for barriers along the … [Read more...] about What’s in the spending bill passed by Congress?
Number of laws passed by congress
WASHINGTON (AP) — Looking for common ground with your neighbor these days? Try switching subjects from the weather to Congress. Chances are, you both agree it's terrible. In red, blue or purple states, in middle America or on the coasts, most Americans loathe the nation's legislature. One big reason: Most think lawmakers are listening to all the wrong people, suggests a new study by researchers at Stanford University and the University of California-Santa Barbara with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. "We have the best Congress you can buy and pay for," said Chester Trahan, 78, of Palm Coast, Fla. "Congress, they're subject to the special interest groups and that's really who's running the show." Hating Congress has become a lasting feature of American politics, regardless of which party is in power or whether the 435 House members and 100 senators pass lots of legislation — or don't do much of anything at all. A new poll from the AP-NORC Center … [Read more...] about Americans say Congress is listening to all the wrong people
Taxes pay for kids’ education A reader wrote Wednesday that he is 80 and doesn’t want to pay for anyone’s education, healthcare etc. (“Property taxes are just too high,” Letters, Wednesday.) Sir, you are helping for the education of those all around us in society, as your parents and grandparents did for you and your entire generation. Along with the property rights you mention, our founders also believed that a free public education — paid for by all members of the community — was an important bedrock principle of our democracy. Is it time to end Russia inquiry? As we go to the polls this year for our U.S. senators and U.S. House members, I believe it is time to elect those who will end the Russia investigation. I don’t believe Russia interfered in our elections at all. I believe the threat we face in America is from President Erdogan of Turkey, who has proven he can use his bodyguards as bullies as he did while he visited D.C. I … [Read more...] about Taxes pay for kids’ education; Is it time to end Russia inquiry?; NRA-Russia links surprise some; Rising number of uninsured; Party wars are still raging; Get the DREAM Act passed.
To the editor: Victor Davis Hanson claims that for both Democrats and Republicans, the Dreamer fight is “a fig leaf used to mask their true intentions.” He asserts that Democrats are not interested in broader immigration reform — they only want to expand their voting base — and that pre-Trump Republicans have historically only been interested in cheap, foreign labor, and have not been committed to any kind of permanent solution. (“What the ‘Dreamer’ fight is really about,” Opinion, Jan. 14) Astonishingly, Hanson completely ignores the comprehensive and bipartisan immigration reform bill that passed the Senate in 2013 with 68 votes. It committed billions of dollars to enhanced border security, adopted a merit-based points system for new immigrants and provided law-abiding undocumented immigrants (including Dreamers) a path to citizenship. The bill probably would have passed the House if Republican leaders had allowed a vote. Congress … [Read more...] about Forget a DACA fix. Congress should take up the bipartisan immigration bill passed by the Senate in 2013
Bob Bryan, provided by Published 8:20 am, Tuesday, January 16, 2018 Joe Raedle/Getty Images The percentage of Americans without health insurance increased to 12.2% in 2017, a 1.3 percentage point increase from the year before, according to a survey by Gallup-Sharecare. This is the largest one-year increase since the start of the survey in 2008. Gallup-Sharecare said that individual market instability and uncertainty around healthcare policy from Washington DC contributed to the increase. Gallup-Sharecare survey. According to the survey released Monday, 12.2% of Americans were without health coverage in the fourth quarter and the uninsured rate jumped 1.3 percentage points from the same quarter the year before — which translates to 3.2 million more uninsured Americans. According to Gallup-Sharecare, this is the largest year-over-year increase in the uninsured rate since the survey began in 2008. LATEST BUSINESS VIDEOS Now Playing: Now Playing … [Read more...] about The number of Americans without health insurance jumped by 3.2 million in 2017 — and Congress could be to blame