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 Congress Today
House - meets at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 (pro forma).
Senate - meets at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 (pro forma).
 Breaking News
From washingtonpost.com:
Charter confirms acquisition of Time Warner Cable in $55 billion deal
Charter Communications confirmed Tuesday its $55 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable, a merger that would create a powerful cable and broadband Internet contender in an industry long lacking competition.
Gen. Dempsey's first fight in Iraq shapes his approach to Islamic State
In the summer of 2014, President Obama and his senior aides were scrambling to respond to the lightning advance of Islamic State fighters across Iraq and the collapse of local forces in the face of the onslaught.
Justice Department reaches settlement with Cleveland over police conduct
The Justice Department has reached a settlement with the city of Cleveland over the conduct of its police officers, according to a Justice official, the latest case in which the Obama administration has investigated excessive use of force and the violation of constitutional rights by a local department.
Senate committee backs measure to allow VA to recommend medical pot
Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other chronic pain issues may be able to ask their VA doctors for a new treatment soon: medical marijuana.Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to back the Veterans Equal Access Amendment. Under the measure, Veterans Affairs (VA) would be allowed to recommend medical marijuana to patients for medicinal purposes for everything from back pain to depression to flashbacks.
Iraq opens operation to choke off Islamic State lifelines in Ramadi
BAGHDAD - Iraq opened a military operation Tuesday seeking to put a stranglehold on Islamic State militants in Ramadi, an operation military officials say is necessary before any attempt to retake the city.
Catastrophic flooding hits Texas and Oklahoma
Days of flash flooding, tornadoes and historic rainfall across central Texas and Oklahoma swept away hundreds of homes and left at least five people dead and a dozen missing, emergency officials said Monday.
How student debt became a presidential campaign issue
The $1.3 trillion burden of student debt is becoming an issue in the 2016 presidential campaign as candidates court the millions of Americans grappling with the high cost of college.Congressional Democrats are advocating for debt-free public higher education and pushing party front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton to take up the issue in her campaign.
Fact Checker: Setting the record straight on measuring fetal age and the '20-week abortion'
"In no way, shape or form is a 20-week fetus viable. There's no evidence of a 20-week fetus surviving, even with intensive medical care."-American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Executive Vice President Hal Lawrence, quoted in a news article, May 13, 2015
Maryland's 'free range' parents cleared of neglect in one case
A Maryland couple investigated for neglect after they let their two young children walk home alone from local parks have been cleared in one of two such cases, according to the family's attorneys and documents.
A tumultuous year for U-Va. comes to a close, with sighs of relief
CHARLOTTESVILLE - At the University of Virginia's commencement exercises, graduates of the Class of 2015 received their diplomas, took pause to revel in the moment and then let out a collective sigh of relief.
What if you could get a colonoscopy without drinking that terrible liquid?
There is general agreement that colonoscopies save lives. About 140,000 people will be diagnosed with colon or rectal cancers this year, according to the American Cancer Society, and about 50,000 will die from those diseases.
Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi marries longtime aide
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) married a longtime aide on Saturday, one year after his office swatted down rumors of a romance amid criticism of their shared taxpayer-funded travel.Cochran, 77, married Kay Webber, 76, an executive assistant who first joined his office in 1981, in a private family ceremony in Gulfport, Miss., his office said in a one-sentence statement Monday.
VA ban on IVF coverage adds insult to injury
TAMPA - After Army Staff Sgt. Alex Dillmann was paralyzed from the abdomen down in a bomb blast in Afghanistan, the Department of Veterans Affairs paid to retrofit his Chevrolet Silverado truck so he could drive it and bought him a handcycle so he could exercise.
Obama at Arlington on Memorial Day pays tribute for a 'debt we can never fully repay'
President Obama marked Memorial Day by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery and thanking American soldiers and their families for sacrifices made from World War II through the war in Afghanistan.
Senate NSA vote underscores rift in 2016 field
This post has been updated. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) spent the weekend taking a victory lap on an issue he's hoping gives him traction in the race for the White House.On Saturday, he celebrated his role in forcing the Senate to adjourn without taking action to extend or replace a controversial surveillance program, as it ended a week that included hours of critical floor speeches led by the Kentucky senator by dramatically rejecting a number of short-term extensions of the current Patriot Act in the early hours of the morning.
Fact Checker: National American Miss pageant: Fact checking its award claims
"Participants in our program have the opportunity to take home their share of more than $25,000 in cash and prizes being awarded at the Miss Virginia state pageant and over $500,000 in cash, prizes, college scholarships and a new 2015 Ford Mustang convertible being awarded at the national pageant."
Kentucky conflict? Paul, McConnell start to clash
Mitch McConnell stood at his desk on the Senate floor after 1 a.m. Saturday, the eyes of his colleagues trained on him. He seemed bewildered."Enter your motion to reconsider," Laura Dove, his chief floor aide, told the majority leader, the exchange audible throughout the chamber. "You need to enter your motion to reconsider."
Huckabee: What if the Supreme Court picked the president?
This story has been updated.Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee engaged in a lively debate on Fox News Sunday with anchor Chris Wallace, his former colleague.Huckabee was a talk show host on Fox before quitting earlier this year to prepare for his second presidential bid. Wallace said he was "struck" by some "very bold policies" Huckabee had laid out in his announcement. His questions suggested that he thought Huckabee had changed some of his positions since becoming a candidate.
Defense Secretary Carter: Iraq's forces showed 'no will to fight' Islamic State
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Iraqi forces "showed no will to fight" as the Islamic State militant group captured the city of Ramadi, and he rejected calls by Republican lawmakers to commit ground troops to the conflict.
For Hillary Clinton, having Beyonce's support doesn't hurt. But does it help?
Hillary Clinton's campaign, hoping to make the most of an appearance by Beyonce at a recent fundraiser, has twice in the past several days tweeted a photo of the pop diva at the New York event.The move was met with some eye-rolling, especially at one of the tweets that included the rather corny appeal to potential supporters to "Say you'll Bey on #TeamHillary2016." But a nod from the pop superstar could help spur an important group of voters to at least pause to consider her candidacy.
Balz: A Rubio 2016 blueprint, for all to see
It isn't often that a presidential campaign blueprint comes packaged between covers and available in bookstores and online for all to see. But that's the inescapable conclusion from looking through the pages of the book entitled, "2016 and Beyond," by Republican pollster Whit Ayres.
Balz: A Rubio 2016 blueprint, for all to see
It isn't often that a presidential campaign blueprint comes packaged between covers and available in bookstores and online for all to see. But that's the inescapable conclusion from looking through the pages of the book entitled, "2016 and Beyond," by Republican pollster Whit Ayres.
Chinese military sets course to expand global reach as 'national interests' grow
BEIJING - China said on Tuesday it plans to extend its military's global reach to safeguard its economic and maritime interests, while insisting it did not seek confrontation with its neighbors despite "provocative actions"over disputed islands and "meddling" by the United States.
Belarusan foreign minister: 'We want to be friends with everybody'
The Washington Post met with Belarusan Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei in Minsk, Belarus, shortly before he departed for a European Union summit where leaders were discussing how to improve ties with former Soviet nations. What follows are excerpts of the interview.
WorldViews: Bangladesh prime minister says 'mentally sick' migrants should be punished
On Sunday, Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina weighed in on the migrant drama unfolding in Asia, calling for the middlemen who facilitate refugees to be punished, in comments published by the state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS).
Would-be governor 'El Bronco' has a word for Mexico's political parties
MONTERREY, Mexico - The Bronco Bus pulled into the slum on the outskirts of town, and Mexico's most curious candidate took the stage in front of a flashing neon-green horse head.Jaime Rodriguez, a.k.a. "El Bronco," a 57-year-old former mayor and alfalfa farmer, wants to be governor of the border state of Nuevo Leon, a major economic hub and home to the third-largest metropolitan area in Mexico. His profane, man-of-the-people persona has made him an unlikely front-runner in next month's midterm elections. But the main reasonhis candidacy has captured so much attention is that he has succeeded without the help of Mexico's powerful political parties, choosing instead to run as an independent.
$75,000 will get you a lot of house in Havana - if you're Cuban
HAVANA - A few hours and a mojito or two after arriving in this 500-year-old city, with its ocean vistas and dazzling architecture, American visitors often ask: Can I buy a piece of this?They cannot. The Cuban government doesn't allow it. The U.S. government doesn't allow it.
Belarus president, 'Europe's last dictator,' flirts with the West
MINSK, Belarus - The United States' top diplomat once called this cloistered nation the last dictatorship in Europe. Its fearsome security services are still named the KGB. But after a year of geo­political conflict with Russia, some in the West say Belarus may not be so bad after all.
 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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Information and resources to help you understand the issues.
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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

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    White House schedule information and recent statements and news releases.

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