U.S. Congress

Senate Republicans pursue benefits pay cut for jobless; adjourn without action

BY: - July 25, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democratic leaders slammed Republicans Friday for leaving in the lurch millions of jobless Americans who are relying on enhanced unemployment benefits to stay financially afloat amid ongoing public health and economic crises. Republicans in Congress and the White House were engaged in heated negotiations this week over the details of their party’s proposal for a fifth […]

COMMENTARY

Extra $600/wk in unemployment benefits must not be allowed to expire

BY: - July 24, 2020

For working people who have been laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment support from the federal government has been a lifeline — helping them keep food on the table and a roof over their head. It’s kept people spending money — supporting the state and local economy, too. As the number of coronavirus cases […]

Vaccine makers deny political pressure in race for safe, effective shot

BY: - July 23, 2020

Leaders of the companies working on some of the top candidates for COVID-19 vaccines predict they should have shots available by early 2021, but said they will rely on the federal government to determine how to distribute them. The heads of five biopharmaceutical companies with promising vaccine candidates told members of Congress Tuesday that they […]

Portman pans $600 unemployment benefit but not ready to let it expire this month

BY: - July 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman is departing from the Trump administration and other members of his party on extending unemployment insurance, a sticking point in ongoing discussions over the shape of the next coronavirus relief package. On Tuesday, he told reporters he wants to extend a federal unemployment insurance benefit Congress authorized in […]

Extra unemployment money from feds set to expire as 430,000 Ohioans continue jobless claims

BY: - July 16, 2020

The Pandemic Unemployment Compensation funding from the federal coronavirus economic recovery package is scheduled to expire July 25, with 429,638 Ohioans filing continued jobless claims last week. Without Congressional authorization to extend the funding, extra $600 weekly payments for the unemployed will come to an end. Ohioans filed 35,422 initial jobless claims last week, according […]

Coronavirus pandemic has worsened racial disparities in education, lawmakers told

BY: - June 24, 2020

WASHINGTON — The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated racial inequities in education, a disparity that Congress needs to help rectify, the former education chief under President Barack Obama told lawmakers Monday. “Our education system is fraught with inequities that existed before COVID-19,” John King Jr., who served as Secretary of Education in 2016-2017, told lawmakers on […]

Trump signs modest police reform order; defends ‘brave men and women in blue’

BY: - June 18, 2020

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed a modest police reform order Tuesday in response to massive civil unrest over police brutality against people of color. The executive order strengthens efforts to track police misconduct and uses federal funds to encourage police departments to improve training and certification standards and to work with social workers and other “co-responders” […]

House Democrats call for more federal aid for public education

BY: - June 17, 2020

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats called Monday for more federal aid for education as the nation’s schools prepare to reopen this fall. “Unless the federal government provides immediate relief, it won’t be a matter of whether education funding will be cut, but how deep the cuts will be,” said U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott, chair of the […]

George Floyd’s brother: ‘Make sure that he is more than another face on a t-shirt’

BY: - June 11, 2020

WASHINGTON — George Floyd’s younger brother, Philonise Floyd, pleaded with lawmakers on Capitol Hill Wednesday to ensure that his brother didn’t die in vain.  “I can’t tell you the kind of pain you feel when you watch something like that. When you watch your big brother, who you looked up to your whole entire life […]

Governors warn Congress more federal help is needed to avoid COVID-19 resurgence

BY: - June 4, 2020

WASHINGTON — The federal government needs to assist states with a national strategy for distribution of COVID-19 tests and medical equipment or risk a second surge of the disease, Democratic governors told lawmakers Tuesday on Capitol Hill. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis asked Congress for more federal help as states try […]

Pandemic strains emergency responders with more disasters on horizon

BY: - June 4, 2020

Federal officials have more money than ever to respond to disasters, but some worry their focus on the pandemic could hamstring efforts to recover from other catastrophes. Congressional Democrats and health experts have warned in recent weeks that the Federal Emergency Management Administration’s pandemic response could come at the cost of its response to tornadoes, […]

Civil rights groups urge Congress to combat police brutality

BY: - June 2, 2020

WASHINGTON — Hundreds of civil rights organizations urged U.S. congressional leaders to quickly pass legislation to address police killings of black people in the wake of a series of recent deaths that have ignited protests around the country. “In recent weeks, the chronic structural issue of police killings against Black people across our country has, […]