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 Congress Today
House - meets at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 7, 2015.
Senate - meets at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 7, 2015.
 Breaking News
From washingtonpost.com:
WashingtonPost.com  
Justice Dept. investigating potential airline price collusion
The Justice Department is investigating whether some of America's biggest airlines have colluded to keep airfares high, striking at an industry that has posted record profits recently while limiting routes and affordable seats, officials familiar with the matter said Wednesday.
Seeking like-minded tourists, White House lifts photo ban on tours
For more than four decades, a White House tour was a hushed event, where visitors moved at timed intervals through the executive residence, their cameras in their pockets, taking in the portraits of past presidents, the antique furniture and the color of the drapes.
Obama on renewing U.S.-Cuba ties: 'This is what change looks like'
In a speech to Cuban American voters in May 2008, candidate Barack Obama said it was time for the United States "to pursue direct diplomacy, with friend and foe alike."Republican and Democratic critics called him naive, and for years, the weight of history, political gridlock and the intransigence of global foes seemed to bear them out.
Obama takes health-care victory lap in Tennessee
NASHVILLE - If last week was Barack Obama's best week as president, Wednesday felt a bit like a victory lap.In the morning, the president celebrated a final agreement with Cuba to reopen the long-shuttered U.S. embassy in Havana. A few hours later, he spoke and took questions in an elementary school cafeteria in suburban Nashville in front of a crowd of doctors, nurses and area residents who had written letters to him about health care.
As Donald Trump surges in polls, Democrats cheer
For Democrats, Donald Trump amounts to a kind of divine intervention.With the Republican Party on an urgent mission to woo Latino voters, one of its leading presidential candidates has been enmeshed for two weeks in a nasty feud over his inflammatory comments about Mexican immigrants.
In Puerto Rico, deepening doubt and confusion about what comes next
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - Rafael Ortiz returned to Puerto Rico from New Jersey 20 years ago, eager to live the good life amid the sun-splashed beaches and verdant forests of the place of his birth.But more than ever, he finds himself lost in the cloud of uncertainty that grows thicker as this island's economic problems grow more dire. He is wary of making improvements to his apartment. He hesitates to trade in his 1997 Mitsubishi, because he feels safer knowing he has the money in the bank. That way, he said, he could always opt to join the tens of thousands who flee to the mainland each year to escape the grip of Puerto Rico's faltering economy.
Thousands gather in Madison, Wis., for the latest Sanders rally
MADISON, Wis. - Bernie Sanders stood before 10,000 screaming fans in this liberal college town on Wednesday night and promised to fulfill all of their progressive dreams: paid vacation for all, generous maternity leave, tuition-free public colleges, a minimum wage of $15, no more big banks, less youth unemployment, dramatic prison reform and an end to economic inequality.
The D.C.-area unemployment rate at 4.7 percent
The Washington-area unemployment rate dropped to 4.7 percent in May from 5 percent a year ago, according to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. About 57,000 more people are on company payrolls across the region, and the number of people unemployed dropped by about 10,900.
Companies are speaking out on social issues and getting results
When Donald Trump called Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers while announcing his presidential run, it wasn't his fellow Republicans, but companies such as NBCUniversal and Macy's that most closely held his feet to the fire.
The Episcopal Church approves religious weddings for gay couples after controversial debate
This analysis is by George Conger, who has reported on the Anglican/Episcopal world for almost 20 years, writing for newspapers and magazines in England, the United States and Australia. He also serves as an Episcopal priest in a parish in Florida.
Justice halts Electrolux's buy of GE's appliance division
ANTITRUSTU.S. halts Electroluxdeal for GE unitThe Justice Department filed a lawsuit Wednesday to stop Sweden's Electrolux, which owns the Frigidaire, Kenmore and Tappan brands, from buying General Electric's appliance business, the agency said in a statement.
Justice halts Electrolux's buy of GE's appliance division
ANTITRUSTU.S. halts Electroluxdeal for GE unitThe Justice Department filed a lawsuit Wednesday to stop Sweden's Electrolux, which owns the Frigidaire, Kenmore and Tappan brands, from buying General Electric's appliance business, the agency said in a statement.
The Fix: OK, now Hillary Clinton seems to have some problems in Iowa
This is the photo that probably kept a lot of people in Brooklyn from sleeping last night. At least, people at Hillary Clinton's campaign headquarters in Brooklyn.With Bernie Sanders about to come on in Madison, the arena is more or less full. pic.twitter.com/TXMV7Agtfz
The Fix: Did Republicans jump the gun on the Confederate flag?
Politicians were tripping over themselves to call for the Confederate flag to be taken down in the wake of the Charleston shootings. But a new poll found Americans weren't quite so decisive.In fact, for once, politicians might actually have gotten out ahead of public opinion.
Jeb Bush's education foundation releases donor list a day after his tax returns
This report has been updated.A nonprofit education foundation established by Jeb Bush has released a full list of donors dating back to its founding in 2007. The list comes a day after the former Florida governor released 33 years of tax returns.
The Fix: Here are 12 other times Donald Trump vilified illegal immigrants in no uncertain terms
Lately, Donald Trump has not been on immigrant advocates' good side.Since announcing he's running for president, the real-estate mogul has managed to call illegal immigrants "rapists" -- "Some, I assume are good people," he caveated -- and drug-toting criminals. It cost him his relationships with Univision, NBC, Macy's and even Flo Rida.
Greek finance chief vows to resign if voters back European bailout demands
ATHENS - Greece's outspoken finance minister said Thursday he would resign if his country votes "yes" in a referendum on Europe's bailout proposal, offering the clearest indication that the government's future is on the line in the Sunday vote.
Russians boycott European summit over Finnish blacklist
VIENNA - A diplomatic row is brewing between Russia and Finland over Helsinki's refusal to grant entry visas to six Russian officials who are on a sanctions blacklist over the crisis in Ukraine.Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin, who was among the Russians barred from traveling to Helsinki this weekend for a parliamentary meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, told reporters Thursday that the Kremlin considers it "unacceptable" to pare down its 15-member delegation. So Moscow is boycotting the meeting entirely.
WorldViews: Has the global Jewish population finally rebounded from the Holocaust? Not exactly.
In 1939, the global population of Jewish people worldwide peaked at around 16.6 million. That population was soon decimated by the Holocaust, which saw Nazi Germany and its collaborators kill approximately 6 million Jews. In just a few horrifying years, the global population of Jews had fallen by more than a third.
In Ramadi, the Islamic State settles in, fixing roads and restoring electricity
BAGHDAD - Six weeks after routing Iraqi security forces from Ramadi, Islamic State militants have entrenched themselves in the city, repairing key infrastructure, managing local government and building up defenses to thwart any attacks.
Bankruptcy is a real possibility for Greece. Does its leader have a plan?
ATHENS - Even Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's inner circle appeared Wednesday to be asking the question that has been on the minds of European Union leaders for months: Does he have a game plan as bankruptcy looms in his struggling Mediterranean nation?
Militants launch major assault in Egypt's Sinai
CAIRO - Militants linked with the Islamic State unleashed a wave of attacks on the military in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday, briefly seizing key checkpoints and signaling a bold new campaign by insurgents in one of the region's most stable countries.
E.U. slams the door on talks with Greece before Sunday referendum
ATHENS - European officials on Wednesday slammed the door on any further negotiations with Greece before a national referendum planned for Sunday, daring the Athens government to go ahead with a vote that holds peril for the country no matter which option Greeks choose.
U.N. slashes food aid to Syrian refugees
BEIRUT - The United Nations said Wednesday that it is slashing food aid for Syrians because of funding shortfalls that are already deepening the suffering of millions of refugees from their country's protracted civil war.
Mortgage rates move higher ahead of holiday weekend
Mortgage rates continued to wander upward, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, with the 30-year fixed-rate average hitting its highest point of the year.The 30-year fixed-rate average climbed to 4.08 percent with an average 0.6 point, its highest level since early October. (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount.) It was 4.02 percent a week ago and 4.12 a year ago. The 30-year fixed-rate average has remained above 4 percent for four weeks in a row.
 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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 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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