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 Congress Today
House - meets at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, April 13, 2015.
Senate - meets at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, April 13, 2015.
 Breaking News
From washingtonpost.com:
Senate passes budget after lengthy, politically charged 'Vote-a-rama'
The Senate passed a budget proposal early Friday morning after a marathon voting session in which both parties looked to set themselves up to score political points for the 2016 election. During "Vote-a-rama," as it's been dubbed, senators worked for hours through dozens of amendments to the Republican budget proposal, staying in the Capitol late Thursday into Friday. With their amendments, senators sought to draw attention to favored political causes, force others to weigh in on big debates and cause headaches for the other party.
Harry Reid will not run for reelection in 2016
This story has been updated.Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) announced Friday morning that he would not seek re-election in 2016, citing the lingering injuries from a violent accident on New Year's Day that has left his vision impaired in his right eye.
Regional offensive against rebels trying to take over Yemen presses on
SANAA, Yemen - Saudi Arabia pressed its bombardment of neighboring Yemen on Friday, striking near the presidential compound in the rebel-controlled capital at dawn as well as at military installations, residents reported.
Iraqi Shiite militias balk at offensive if U.S. airstrikes are involved
BAGHDAD - Iraqi militia forces that have led the fight against Islamic State militants in Tikrit balked at U.S. intervention Thursday, saying that they would stop thousands of fighters under their influence from joining an offensive on the city.
French prosecutor: Co-pilot took doomed flight on deliberate dive
MONTABAUR, Germany - Almost 10 minutes before panicked screams echoed through the aisles as Flight 9525 plunged toward the French Alps, Andreas Lubitz - a 27-year-old electronic-music buff who had clawed his way up from flight steward to co-pilot - was silent and alone in the cockpit.
Officials: Saudi-led action relied on U.S. intelligence
Saudi Arabia told the Obama administration and Persian Gulf allies early this week that it was preparing a military operation in neighboring Yemen, and relied heavily on U.S. surveillance ­images and targeting information to carry it out, according to senior American and Persian Gulf officials.
Indiana governor signs Religious Freedom Restoration Act
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed into law Thursday a religious liberties bill that has been criticized by gay rights groups as a "license to discriminate."The Religious Freedom Restoration Act will prevent state and local governments from imposing a "substantial burden" on a person's free exercise of religion, unless the government can demonstrate a compelling reason. It mirrors a federal law enacted in 1993; similar statutes are on the books in 19 states.
On Leadership: This tech CEO is taking a real stand against Indiana's 'religious freedom' law
On Thursday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed into law the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act," which will ban state and local governments from putting a "substantial burden" on a person's free exercise of religion. Many opponents are concerned that in practice, it could open the door to discrimination, providing legal grounds for businesses to refuse services to gays and lesbians for religious reasons.
The Fix: Country music is a good choice for Ted Cruz, politically speaking
Ted Cruz said Tuesday that he became a country music fan after 9/11 because it was more patriotic than rock. MSNBC guest Jamilah Lemieux made fun of Cruz on Wednesday, saying, "nothing says 'let's go kill some Muslims' like country music." Later on in the program, host Ari Melber said the comment was "not appropriate."
The Fix: Where America's undocumented immigrants work
Undocumented immigrants were more likely to work in white-collar jobs in 2012 than they were in 2007, according to new analysis from Pew Research Center. Overall, though, the occupations held by those who immigrated illegally and the rest of the population differ dramatically.
Federal Eye: Does the U.S. Postal Service have an unfair competitive advantage?
Special treatment from federal, state and local governments has given the U.S. Postal Service an unfair advantage over private-sector competitors such as the United Parcel Service and FedEx, according to an economic analysis released this week.
Harry Reid is retiring. Here's how the political world reacted.
Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) will retire at the end of his current term in office, a decision that will roil the Democratic leadership ranks and throw open a competitive seat that could be pivotal in the battle for the Senate. Here's an early look at how the political world reacted to Reid's decision:
Reid: 'I haven't been perfect, but I've really tried my hardest...'
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced Friday he would not be running for reelection in 2016. His full statement:FROM SENATOR REID: THANK YOU
Ted Cruz raised more than $1 million for his presidential bid in first day, says his campaign
This post has been updated. Sen. Ted Cruz's presidential campaign had a goal after it officially launched Monday: raise $1 million in a week.Turns out it only took a few hours.
The Fix: Ben Affleck drops obligatory 'Batman' reference during Congressional testimony
Ben Affleck was on Capitol Hill on Thursday to testify in front of the Senate State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee. His wife, Jennifer Garner, pictured in the blurry background of the photo above was also in attendance as was Bill Gates, who also testified. During Affleck's remarks, he recognized Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who briefly appeared in The Dark Knight Rises.
The Fix: Ben Affleck drops obligatory 'Batman' reference during Congressional testimony
Ben Affleck was on Capitol Hill on Thursday to testify in front of the Senate State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee. His wife, Jennifer Garner, pictured in the blurry background of the photo above was also in attendance as was Bill Gates, who also testified. During Affleck's remarks, he recognized Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who briefly appeared in The Dark Knight Rises.
WorldViews: Pakistan's long history of fighting Saudi Arabia's wars
Saudi Arabia's campaign against Houthi rebel forces in Yemen, which began with waves of airstrikes overnight on Thursday, has laid down a new marker in the dangerously unstable Middle East.As WorldViews discussed earlier, the Saudis coordinated their action with a coalition of Sunni majority countries, sharpening the perception that the offensive was part of a wider regional conflict with Iran, a Shiite power that has backed the Houthis and is locked in a larger game of geopolitical chess with the Saudis in various corners of the Middle East.
WorldViews: 4 reasons you should care about Nigeria's election
ABUJA, Nigeria - On Saturday, Africa's most populous and oil-rich country will go to the polls. The election looks to be the tightest in the 16 years since military rule ended in Nigeria - and it appears likely that the contest between President Goodluck Jonathan and former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari could devolve into violence.
A year into a conflict with Russia, are sanctions working?
MOSCOW - When it comes to inflicting economic pain on Russia, the Kremlin may be doing a better job than Western sanctions. Just don't tell that to the Russian people, who overwhelmingly blame the West for a deepening recession that has parts of central Moscow starting to look like a ghost town.
How can airlines prevent crashes like this in the future?
Flying is safer than ever before, yet in this era of locked cockpit doors and pilot screening, authorities said Thursday that a single aviator was able to deliberately crash a commercial airliner in the French Alps.
The Germanwings co-pilot: What we know so far
Germanwings co-pilot:What we know so far ●Andreas Lubitz was the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525, which crashed in France on Tuesday. He was 27, and he began his career as a pilot for Germanwings in September 2013.
The vicious funding cycle that makes it hard for women to compete in tech
The jury is still out (literally) on the sex discrimination suit between Ellen Pao and her former employer, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.But win or lose, Pao's legal quest has put a magnifying glass on the status of women in Silicon Valley -- and testimony from her former boss John Doerr, one of the most successful venture capitalists out there, highlights a vicious cycle in the way start-ups are funded that can limit women's ability to succeed in the tech industry.
 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
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
  • 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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