Tag: Bills

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National

Booker goes to Washington a celebrity and senator

In this Sept. 4, 2012, file photo, Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) by Katie ZezimaAssociated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — When the U.S. Senate passed a bill to ban job discrimination against gay and transgender people, its newest member’s first impulse was to yell with joy. Then he remembered where he was. Instead, Cory Booker reached into his pocket for his phone.

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National

Neighboring Pa., NJ spotlight gay marriage efforts

State Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, at podium, speaks during a news conference beneath the Robert Indiana sculpture “Love,” Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, at John F. Kennedy Plaza, also known as Love Park, in Philadelphia. Democratic state Reps. Steve McCarter and Brian Sims say they are introducing a bill that would allow same-sex couples to get married legally in Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) by Peter JacksonAssociated Press Writer HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania and New Jersey are on tracks that could lead to the Northeast being the first full region in the country to legalize gay marriage — but the routes are hardly parallel and the horsepower anything but equal. A flurry of recent court decisions has gay couples in New Jersey, where same-sex marriage has long been debated, hurrying to make wedding plans for when they can legally marry starting Monday — even as a moderate Republican governor with apparent presidential aspirations awaits a decision on his appeal. Across the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, advocates are pecking away at a 1996 gay marriage ban by introducing bills in the Legislature, defiantly issuing marriage licenses in localities and taking the issue to court — with few people conceding the tactics will work anytime soon in a big state with a socially conservative spine.

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National

Time to throw my bum out of Congress?

President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., February 12, 2013. (Photo by Lawrence Jackson/The White House) by Paul SteinhauserCNN Political Editor (CNN) — It’s conventional wisdom: Americans don’t like Congress. But when it comes time to vote, they usually don’t throw their lawmaker out of office. However, new polls indicate that times and perceptions about “throwing the bums out” may be changing.

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Opinion

Republicans, stop living in fear

by Donna Brazile (CNN) — As Senate negotiators, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell huddle for another day to avoid the nation’s default this week, we’ll know in a few days if Congress — more accurately, House Republicans — will choose to plunge this nation into a second recession, possibly triggering a global financial meltdown, or agree to compromise.

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Opinion

10% of Americans like Congress: Are they nuts?

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, center, accompanied by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., left, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, right, express their frustration after the Senate passed a bill to fund the government, but stripped it of the defund “Obamacare” language as crafted by House Republicans, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (CNN) — Our Congress sucks. This is truly one of the few things we agree on. In fact, a new CNN poll released earlier this week found that Congress has only a 10% approval rating. When you think that 10% of Americans believe Congress is doing a good job, you have to ask yourself one question: Who are these people?! (Imagine this asked with true Jerry Seinfeld-esque exasperation.)

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National

Government powers down; blame trading in capital

A National Park Service employee posts a sign reading “Because of the Federal Government SHUTDOWN All National Parks are Closed” on a barricade closing access to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) by David Espo and Donna CassataAssociated Press Writers WASHINGTON (AP) — First slowed, then stalled by political gridlock, the vast machinery of government clanged into partial shutdown mode on Tuesday and President Barack Obama warned the longer it goes “the more families will be hurt.” Republicans said it was his fault, not theirs. Ominously, there were suggestions from leaders in both parties that the shutdown, heading for its second day, could last for weeks and grow to encompass a possible default by the Treasury if Congress fails to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. “This is now all together,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill..

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National

Obama’s no-negotiation stance setting new tone

President Barack Obama speaks about the Affordable Care Act, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Md. The president is promoting the benefits of his health care law before new insurance exchanges open for business next week. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) by Jim KuhnhennAssociated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — This time, President Barack Obama says, he’s not budging. This is the confrontational Obama, the “Make my day” president, betting Republicans blink to avoid a government shutdown or a first-ever default of the nation’s debts. It’s a proposition not without risk and one with a history of last-minute accommodations on both sides. Brinkmanship between Obama and congressional Republicans has often stopped at the precipice’s edge.

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National

Miss. law requires cord blood from some teen moms

Rep. Adrienne Wooten, D-Jackson addresses the House chamber during debate over a Medicaid reauthorization bill at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss. Wooten voted against a cord blood bill that says if a girl younger than 16 gives birth in Mississippi and won’t name the father authorities must collect umbilical cord blood and run DNA tests to prove paternity. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File) JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — If a girl younger than 16 gives birth and won’t name the father, a new Mississippi law — likely the first of its kind in the country — says authorities must collect umbilical cord blood and run DNA tests to prove paternity as a step toward prosecuting statutory rape cases. Supporters say the law is intended to chip away at Mississippi’s teen pregnancy rate, which has long been one of the highest in the nation. But critics say that though the procedure is painless, it invades the medical privacy of the mother, father and baby. And questions abound: At roughly $1,000 a pop, who will pay for the DNA tests in the country’s poorest state? Even after test results arrive, can prosecutors compel a potential father to submit his own DNA and possibly implicate himself in a crime? How long will the state keep the DNA on file?

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National

Landmark gun bills signed in Colorado

HARD FOUGHT VICTORY–Rep. Rhonda Fields, left, D-Aurora, and Rep. Lois Court, D-Denver, embrace after Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed gun control bills into law at the Capitol in Denver on March 20. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, Pool) by Ivan Moreno Associated Press Writer DENVER (AP) — The governor of Colorado signed bills Wednesday that put sweeping new restrictions on sales of firearms and ammunition in a state with a pioneer tradition of gun ownership and self-reliance.