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 Congress Today
House - meets at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 31, 2014.
Senate - meets at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 31, 2014.
 Breaking News
From washingtonpost.com:
WashingtonPost.com  
Police come under 'heavy gunfire' in Ferguson, arrest 31 people
FERGUSON, Mo. - Police said early Tuesday they came under "heavy gunfire" and made 31 arrests during another night of violence in this battle-scarred St. Louis suburb, where the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager at the hands of a white police officer has prompted a federal investigation.
New Hampshire's Sununu defends Gov. Rick Perry, calls indictment 'insane'
The grand poobah of Republican politics in crucial New Hampshire is strongly defending Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), calling a grand jury indictment against Perry "insane" and "blatantly wrong and dishonest."
DSCC tops NRSC in July fundraising
Senate Democrats' campaign arm had another productive fundraising month, hauling in $7.7 million in July and topping its Republican counterpart. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ended July with $32 million in its campaign account, it announced Tuesday. The National Republican Senatorial Committee ended the month with $26.6 million in the bank after bringing in nearly $5.5 million in July.
Senate Republicans face last big primary test in Alaska
In this midterm year, it's final exam day for the Senate Republicans' primary season.
Israelis and Palestinians agree to keep talking in effort to win long-term Gaza truce
JERUSALEM - Israeli and Palestinian officials agreed just before a midnight deadline Monday to extend the Gaza cease-fire for an additional 24 hours to try to complete a deal that could lead to a permanent truce.
For Mo. governor, Ferguson presents crisis both real and political
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) finds himself at the center of a storm of unrest in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. He has the near impossible task of balancing the interests of local protesters outraged over the shooting of an unarmed teenager against the effort to maintain order.
Daughters provide twice as much care for aging parents than sons do, study finds
Women step up to provide care for their aging parents more than twice as often as men, a new study has found. The new research found that in families with children of both sexes, the gender of the child is the single biggest factor in determining who will provide care for the aging parent: Daughters will increase the time they spend with an elderly parent to compensate for sons who reduce theirs, effectively ceding the responsibility to their sisters.
The Fix: Whoever wins the Senate, we probably won't know who picked up the tab
The battle for the Senate is heating up, with most favoring Republicans to win the upper chamber, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) saying Democrats would hold the Senate, as of today.
She The People: New Web ad focuses on Joni Ernst's Iowa roots
The National Republican Senate Committee is out with a brand new Web video all about Joni Ernst, who is running for an open seat in a very competitive race in Iowa. As we've written before, Ernst has had some of the most buzzworthy and creative ads of the cycle. She's talked about castrating hogs as a girl in one ad and she is riding a Harley in another ad. Ernst is currently a lieutenant in the Iowa Army National Guard, and is one of the GOP's best chances of picking up a Senate seat.
Spending on lobbying is actually falling. Or is it?
Though the gleaming K Street buildings and high-profile hires of Washington's government relations firms suggests business is booming, the amount of money officially disclosed as lobbying spending continues to decline -- at least, on paper.
Federal Eye: Rep. Petri gets what he wants: An ethics review of himself
The House Ethics Committee on Monday said it will examine whether retiring Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wisc.) acted inappropriately when he advocated for a defense contracting firm in which he owned stock - a review that the congressman himself requested.
Why Rick Perry's indictment could be a political blessing in disguise
Less than a week after Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) was indicted by a grand jury on two felony counts, he may be in an even stronger political position than he was before the charges hit.
The Fix: Obama would much rather talk about Iraq than Ferguson
President Obama explained why he was less interested in talking about the events in Ferguson, Mo., even as he carefully - even unenthusiastically - talked about them. "I have to be very careful about not prejudging these events before investigations are completed," he said. Because when the Department of Justice is investigating something, "I've got to make sure that I don't look like I'm putting my thumb on the scales one way or the other."
Perry assembles legal team, including Bush recount attorney
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has assembled a legal team that vowed Monday to fight felony charges that he abused his office and tried to coerce an elected official to resign.
Perry assembles legal team, including Bush recount attorney
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has assembled a legal team that vowed Monday to fight felony charges that he abused his office and tried to coerce an elected official to resign.
Armed men attack motorcade of Saudi prince, steal sensitive documents
The motorcade of a Saudi prince was attacked Sunday evening in a suburb of Paris, with up to eight armed men stopping the convoy and taking a suitcase containing more than $335,000 in cash and sensitive documents.
Peru fights gold fever with fire and military force
The dynamite crew set the charges and ordered everyone back. They put explosives beneath the miners' hammocks and in the outdoor kitchen, where potatoes were still hot on the stove. More fuses were placed in the processing shed nearby, which had a blackened torch for melting gold and a rusty barrel of sand laced with mercury.
Obama says Iraqi, Kurdish forces have reclaimed strategic Mosul Dam
President Obama said Monday that Iraqi and Kurdish forces, aided by waves of U.S. airstrikes, had recaptured the country's largest dam, hailing the development as "important progress" against from Islamic State fighters.
WorldViews: What Julian Assange means when he says he is leaving the Ecuadoran Embassy 'soon'
On June 19, 2012, Julian Assange, the Australian journalist who masterminded the anti-secrecy Web site WikiLeaks, took refuge at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London. He had been offered asylum by the South American nation after facing the threat of extradition from Britain to Sweden, where Assange faces charges related to sexual offenses.
Imran Khan's party quits Parliament, escalating pressure on premier to resign
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan faced a brewing crisis Monday less than 18 months after completing a historic transfer of power from one democratically elected government to another, as a key opposition party said it is pulling out of the national assembly and thousands of demonstrators prepared for a showdown with security forces in the capital.
Canada's second thoughts on F-35 Lightning show concerns about plane's high cost
O, Canada, land of "peace, order and good government." Land of compromise and polite politics. Land of turmoil over whether to buy the F-35. As in the United States, the fighter plane has become a rancorous political issue. What once looked like a sure buy of 65 planes has been bogged down by infighting and un-Canadian vitriol, and the purchase is on hold while Canadian officials consider whether to buy another plane.
A call to edit: Congress and Wikipedia told to peacefully co-exist
The first rule when it comes to congressional staffers and Wikipedia: "It's probably just a bad idea to edit members' pages," said Jim Harper, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, at a briefing on Wikipedia editing held Monday for Hill aides. Left unsaid: It's also probably not a terrific notion for Hill aides to anonymously update the crowd-sourced online encyclopedia with moon-landing conspiracy theories or unfounded charges against media organizations. Especially when the @CongressEdits Twitter bot is tweeting out changes to Wikipedia made from Hill IP addresses.
The FCC is investigating whether businesses are being overcharged for voice and data service
Government bean counters have given the Federal Communications Commission the green light to find out whether big telecom companies are charging other businesses too much for connectivity. The FCC said Monday that the Office of Management and Budget has approved a long-awaited study of the issue, which concerns the dedicated voice and data connections that link together networks at banks, businesses, universities and even wireless carriers.
Maryland bleeds jobs in July, District and Maryland revert to slow growth
Last month, it appeared the Washington-area labor market was finally on the verge of a turnaround, with employers cranking up hiring after an anemic start to the year. New data released Monday has largely dashed those hopes.
 stateline.org - State and Local Issues

Latest state and local issue stories and analyses from stateline.org and the Pew Center on the States.

States move slowly toward digital textbooks
Despite enthusiasm for digital textbooks at the national level, states have been slow to get on board. But the movement is gaining strength.
Indiana gov squashes vp speculation
TODAY'S TAKE: Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is the latest GOP governor who says he's not interested in becoming Mitt Romney's running mate.
Note to readers: A new Stateline is coming soon
Stateline and the Pew Center on the States are launching a new website at Pewstates.org
AZ: Arizona's immigration law gets its day in U.S. Supreme Court
When Paul Clement walks into the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday he's going to try to convince at least five justices that Arizona has an inherent right to enforce federal immigration laws.
NC: North Carolina judge vacates death penalty under racial justice law
In a landmark ruling, a North Carolina judge on Friday vacated the death penalty of a black man convicted of murder, saying prosecutors across the state had engaged in deliberate and systematic racial discrimination when striking black potential jurors in death penalty cases.
NJ: New Jersey drops out of lawsuit against EPA over ozone
New Jersey has dropped out of a lawsuit challenging the White House decision to bypass strict ozone standards that the EPA had recommended as necessary to protect human health.
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Current Issues Medicare Coverage of Prescription Drugs
Prescription drug debate moves to Senat floor.
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  •  Governing.com - State and Local News
    Governing.com
    The Way We Tax: A 50-State Report
    The vast majority of state tax systems are inadequate for the task of funding a 21st-century government. Most of those tax systems are also unfair. They break the golden rule of tax equity: collect the lowest possible rates on the widest possible base of taxpayers.
    Governing February Issue
    Articles:
  • Assessments: Alan Ehrenhalt on living with "lifestyle centers"
  • Potomac Chronicle: Donald F. Kettl on the states as beggars
  • Technology: Thomas R. Davies on outside resources for new IT leaders
  • Tax Talk: David Brunori on the principles of sound tax policy
  • Economic Development: William Fulton on how a city's size affects its competitiveness
  • Environment: Tom Arrandale on the risks of weakening longstanding laws


  •  White House Update
    White House schedule information and recent statements and news releases.

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