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GSA to decide on FDA expansion at White Oak

  • Published in Local

Officials at the General Services Administration currently are reviewing plans and should decide by this fall whether they will greatly expand the number of employees and buildings at the Food and Drug Administration campus at its White Oak facility.

If plans are approved, the work force is expected to rise from the current 11,000 to 18,000 employees, according to a GSA spokesperson. An additional 1.2 million gross square feet of office space will be constructed on the site, which is located off New Hampshire Avenue.

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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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Maryland joins lawsuit against EPA

  • Published in State

Maryland has joined seven other states in filing a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency for refusing to follow act on a request to curb air pollution from other states.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, states the EPA is not enforcing part of the Clean Air Act because it has not added several “upwind” states, whose pollution blows eastward toward the East Coast to a group of East Coast states that work together to curb pollution.

“Their continuing policy favors businesses over the health of people who breathe polluted air,” said Christine Tobar, a spokesperson for Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh.

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A new season of D.C. Follies

170502173607-mulvaney-wall---3-super-teaseLive from Washington D.C. it’s the Sean Spicer show with his special guest host this week Mick Mulvaney.
Mick’s special guests will be pictures of cyclone fences and SUVs driving past steel privacy fences in the New Mexico desert. (Cue the applause).
So join us as Mick explains the latest budget deal on The Hill, why the Democrats are sore losers and tells us what’s special about the number 42.
But first, let’s look behind door number one where we have several hundred million dollars to repair 40 miles of privacy fence along the Mexican border. Never fear campers – this fence has what it takes. Mick guarantees it’ll stop illegal immigration, illicit drugs and rubbing up against it cures warts. (Cue the applause).

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Federal shutdown looms over county economy

  • Published in Local

A potential partial federal government shutdown – with Montgomery County at “ground zero” for many immediate cutbacks – looms at midnight on April 28 if Congressional negotiators and the Trump administration fail to reach an agreement to fund the federal government through the end of its fiscal year on September 30.

Joy Nurmi, special assistant to County Executive Ike Leggett, noted the dual “uncertainties for [the County’s] budget” stemming from both the potential shutdown and the proposed cutbacks in President Trump’s FY 2018 budget. The County Council is reviewing Leggett’s proposal for local FY 2018 budget, and is scheduled to vote on it in May.

If there was a shutdown, “essential” functions such as national defense and homeland security would continue, while services deemed “non-essential” would be suspended. The distinction between essential and non-essential services in a shutdown is also reflected in Trump’s proposed budget priorities for FY 2018, Nurmi noted.

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The loyal opposition isn’t Anti-American

Trump face

Trump supporters like to put anti-Trumpers on the defensive by telling them how un-American it is to not want our president to succeed. The usual response is to point out that that is exactly how President Barack Obama was treated throughout his eight years in office by the far right. Remember Mitch McConnell's famous quote about his number one priority was to make President Obama a “one-term” president? Don't fall for that trap.

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Power to the Attorney General

  • Published in State

Democrats look to expand attorney general powers to sue the federal government

 

The General Assembly passed a bill Wednesday that will give the state’s attorney general more power to sue the federal government on the state’s behalf.

After several executive orders from President Donald J. Trump alarmed Democratic leaders in Annapolis, members of the General Assembly, along with Attorney General Brian Frosh, have crafted a bill to expand the attorney general’s powers in the state. The bill passed the House of Delegates Wednesday after passing the Senate last week. The bill does not require the governor’s signature.

“Frankly, the need for this arises from the, I would say, erratic and implosive and you might even say reckless nature of what’s going in the past few weeks,” Frosh said in a committee hearing on the bill. “There’s been blizzard of executive orders, many of which are ill-advised.”

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The federal government: here today, gone tomorrow?

White House Front Twilight

If the goal is to undermine the effectiveness of the federal government to such an extent that it justifies all claims that it is ineffective, there are two surefire ways to achieve this end. One is to underfund the agencies that comprise it to prevent those federal agencies from having enough staff to carry out their individual missions.

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County will ignore the Fed

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE – Joining cities such as Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, County Executive Ike Leggett (D) said Montgomery County will not participate in enforcing immigration laws even if it means losing funding from the federal government.

Leggett spoke at a press conference at the County Council Building Tuesday where he and all nine members of the council condemned recent acts of vandalism including “TRUMP NATION, WHITES ONLY,” being written on the side of the Episcopal Church of Our Savior in Silver Spring.

About a week after the election of Donald Trump, there has been debate about what Trump will do about illegal immigration and undocumented workers in the country.

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Metro Board chairman says federal government will not take over Metro

  • Published in Local

metro logo

WASHINGTON – The federal government will not take over the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the chairman of the Metro Board of Directors said Friday.

“I think the chances of it happening are absolutely zero,” said Metro Board Chairman and D.C. Council member (D-2) Jack Evans.

Metro Board member Robert Lauby, who represents the federal government, said in his four months as a board member he believes the Metro Board is fine the way it is.

“I don’t see any problems with the Board; I think the Board is trying to do the right thing,” Lauby said Thursday.

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