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Government shutdown ends, but Feb. 8 deadline looms large

  • Published in Local

A 69-hour government shutdown ended Monday after Senate Democrats agreed to vote for a funding bill that will keep the federal government open until Feb. 8.

The shutdown that ended Monday began at midnight Friday when the previous funding bill, passed at the last minute in late December, expired without a replacement. 

While a continuing resolution on Friday to fund the government passed the House, Senate Democrats – who hoped to use the funding deadline to leverage a deal to provide legal status for several million so-called “Dreamers” who were brought to the country illegally as children – voted against the House bill. But Congressional Republicans and the White House refused to negotiate on immigration during a shutdown, having accused Democrats of prioritizing the needs of noncitizens who are living in the U.S. illegally over the needs of American citizens, sick children and the military.

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No Wall! Yes a Wall! Which Wall? This Wall?

160216182653 trump border wall explainer animation orig nws 00003622Steny Hoyer walked out of the White House with a grim look on his face. He had spent the last two hours sitting next to President Donald Trump in a bipartisan meeting with his GOP counterparts discussing DACA and border security.
He walked up with a contingent of Democrats to the makeshift podium in the stakeout area outside of the West Wing near the North Lawn to talk about the issue and amazingly, to some, Hoyer said the president had potentially brokered a deal on border security that would ensure The Dreamers could stay in this country.

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Assault on the Middle Class

  • Published in Local

Raskin and Pelosi rally supporters in Bethesda against tax plan

Pelosi Raskin Rally against GOP tax planHouse minority leader Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Jamie Raskin speak before 350 people in Bethesda Saturday morning against the president’s tax plan. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  The devil of the GOP tax plan being promoted by President Trump and Congressional Republicans is in the details, Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-8th District) said on Saturday while speaking with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) during a boisterous rally against the GOP plan, which he called “an assault on the middle class.”

Speaking before more than 300 people in Bethesda Saturday morning, Raskin was adamant about the challenges he said the Democrats face in stopping the tax plan.

“We’ve gotta get into the weeds because that’s where the snakes are,” Raskin said. He also told his constituents that the 426-page bill is “of, by, and for the billionaires,” compared with Abraham Lincoln – who Raskin called “the last great Republican President” – and his idea of government “of, by, and for the people.”

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R.I.P GOP

MC DC Republican RebrandingWe are gathered here today to pay our respects to the dearly departed. They were dearly and they have departed. I’ve been here since the election and I haven’t seen the GOP move a muscle – with apologies to Richard Pryor.
The Grand Old Party, founded just prior to the Civil War and originally dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal had a healthy and robust childhood. Originally a party of progressives, the G.O.P. produced Abraham Lincoln – who guided us through the most divisive time in our history, and by sheer force of will – against cries of being a tyrant and a wannabe King – Lincoln kept the Union from disintegrating.

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Democrats look for opportunity in healthcare

  • Published in State

One week ago Republican Senator John McCain stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate floor and with a thumbs-down gesture and a firm and loud “no,” killed the last Republican attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The possible end of Republicans’ “Obamacare” repeals now opens a bipartisan window for some healthcare reforms according to congressional Democrats.

“I am of the view that we just closed the door on these repeal and ravage campaigns,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-8).

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Republicans pass bill making pipelines easier

  • Published in News

CAPITOL HILL – The House is making it easier for companies to build natural gas pipelines. Two measures approved last Wednesday were touted by Republicans as means to streamline the approval process for oil and natural gas pipelines. The Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act, which passed by a 248-179 vote, codifies that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) act as the lead environmental review agency for projects and sets deadlines for other state and local agencies to ask FERC to become participating agencies, as well as deadlines for FERC to issue permit decisions. The Promoting Cross-Border Energy Infrastructure Act undoes an executive order saying a presidential permit is needed to build an oil or gas pipeline or electric transmission facility that crosses border with Mexico or Canada. That bill passed with a 254-175 vote.

“These are commonsense reforms that reduce interagency bureaucracy, and I think that we can all agree that permitting should be more transparent and more accountable,” said Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas-17), the sponsor of the first bill mentioned.

Republicans also spoke of the need for the U.S. to become energy independent and to foster economic growth, which they argue the bills help achieve.

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Bernie supports a Jealous vote

  • Published in State

Though Gov. Larry Hogan says he did not vote for President Trump, Ben Jealous, a progressive candidate and former NAACP president, is trying to turn his campaign for governor in 2018 into a referendum on the two Republicans.

“We are a great state with a great future with great people, but our children will not be able to realize their full potential if we continue to tolerate the status quo,” said Jealous.

Hogan is popular in the state, but certainly not among progressive voters in Takoma Park, many of whom were drawn to Bernie Sanders’ appearance at the rally. Trump, however, is not as popular in Maryland, and Jealous is ready to capitalize on that.

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