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Ron Wyden

James Comey in middle of political fray over Donald Trump and Russians

in 2017/Top Headlines by

FBI Director James Comey is again in a familiar spot these days – the middle of political tumult. As a high-ranking Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration, he clashed with the White House over a secret surveillance program. Years later as head of the FBI, he incurred the ire of Hillary Clinton supporters for public statements on an investigation into her emails. Now, Comey is facing new political pressure as White House officials are encouraging him to…

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U.S. Senate will consider blocking rule on guns and mentally ill

in 2017/Top Headlines by

The Republican-led Senate is moving to block an Obama-era regulation that would prevent an estimated 75,000 people with mental disorders from being able to purchase a firearm. The Obama administration had sought to strengthen the federal background check system with a rule requiring the Social Security Administration to send in the names of beneficiaries with mental impairments who also need a third-party to manage their benefits. With a Republican ally in the White House, the GOP is moving aggressively on…

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GOP pushes 2 top Cabinet picks through to full Senate

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Republicans jammed two of President Donald Trump‘s top Cabinet picks through the Senate Finance Committee with no Democrats in the room Wednesday after suspending a rule that would have otherwise barred them from taking the vote. The tactic seemed a warning shot that they might deploy brute political muscle in the upcoming fight over the Supreme Court vacancy. With a near-toxic vapor of divisiveness between the two parties across Capitol Hill, nasty showdowns broke out elsewhere as well. One Senate…

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Legislature bans state from doing business with companies that boycott Israel

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A bill that bans the state of Florida from doing business with any company that boycotts the nation of Israel has passed through both houses of the Legislature, and will soon go to Governor Rick Scott’s desk. The legislation is a shot at at the growing international movement to boycott, divest and sanction (BDS) the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. The movement is particularly strong on college campuses, including USF in Tampa. Lawmakers claim the BDS movement is anti-Semitic and anti-Jewish,…

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U.S. Postal Service says mailing marijuana ads is illegal

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

The U.S. Postal Service says it’s illegal to mail materials containing advertising for marijuana products, even in states that have legalized the federally controlled substance. The policy statement released this week comes in response to a letter from Oregon’s Congressional delegation asking the service to clarify its policy on the issue. In November, a memo distributed in the Portland postal district said it was unlawful for newspaper outlets to run marijuana ads and use the U.S. mail for delivery. The…

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Jeb Bush plan on Medicare includes scaling back retirement benefits for wealthier Americans

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Jeb Bush released proposals on Tuesday to limit the rising costs of Medicare and Social Security in a blog post first published on his website. Regarding Medicare, Bush said he supports “Medicare premium support,” where the federal health care program for seniors will provide a fixed amount toward a set of guaranteed options. It’s a plan that incoming House Speaker Paul Ryan has supported in the past, something Bush notes. It’s also doubtful it could get bipartisan support, since no…

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