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 Congress Today
House - meets at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, February 27, 2015.
Senate - meets at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, February 27, 2015.
 Breaking News
From washingtonpost.com:
Police: Eight killed at multiple crime scenes in rural Missouri
Eight people were found dead, including the shooter, at multiple crime scenes near the southern Missouri town of Tyrone, authorities said.According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, seven people were killed within Texas County at four different residences. A 36-year old man, who is believed to be the gunman, was also found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said in a statement. A ninth individual, an elderly woman, was discovered at a fifth residence. She "appeared to have died from natural causes," according to the highway patrol.
As Obama nears close of his tenure, commitment to Silicon Valley is clear
In 2004, when Barack Obama was running for the U.S. Senate, he made his first visit to Google's campus and saw firsthand how a search on the Internet worked. It left such a strong impression that he returned during his first presidential run vowing to protect the industry.
Inside one of the most intense, and unusual, Pentagon contracting wars
The much-anticipated contract was awarded just before Christmas. BAE Systems trumpeted its victory in a press release and got to work building the Army a new armored vehicle. Finally, one of Pentagon's most intense-and bizarre-contracting wars was over.
Internal audit slams DHS for canceling technology to fight bio-threats
Ever since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and the anthrax letters that followed, the government has struggled to develop a reliable and easy way to detect pathogens that could signal a devastating biological attack.
After eight years together, Boehner and McConnell still find disputes on strategy
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) know each other very well. They aren't close personal friends - no one can recall the last meal they had together - but they talk strategy and tactics on a regular basis.
GOP's 2016 hopefuls test their messages on conservative activists
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, seeking to sustain his momentum in the early race for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, made a muscular appeal Thursday to the party's conservative base - touting his blue-collar roots and casting himself as a leader tough enough to take on the world's biggest challenges.
GovBeat: Texas conservatives want to stop funding groups affiliated with a U.N. green initiative
In the latest effort by conservatives to fight what they see as overreach by the United Nations, two Texas Republican lawmakers have filed legislation aimed at a nonbinding plan for sustainable development that the United States and more than 100 other countries signed in 1992.
Innovations: The epic quest to become the first $1 trillion company
There are plenty of reasons why Apple could become the first $1 trillion company. First of all, there's the iPhone, still the best business on the planet ever. Then, there's the company's unprecedented ability, Steve Jobs or no Steve Jobs, to bring new high-end products to market each year, and make them all part of a networked mega-ecosystem. In just the past year, Apple has introduced the Apple Watch, Apple Pay, Apple HealthKit and Apple HomeKit - four potentially big innovations with the ability to invent (or re-invent) huge industries.
In the Loop: CRS Report of the Week: 'The Measles: Background and Federal Role in Vaccine Policy'
With measles cases popping up around the country, CNN/ORC surveyed Americans on whether vaccinations should be mandatory. Nearly 80 percent said yes, parents should be required to vaccinate their children. And nearly 60 percent said children who are not shouldn't be allowed to attend public school. Other public polls have shown similar findings.
Federal Eye: Investigators probing for criminal activity with Lois Lerner's missing emails
Federal investigators are looking for possible criminal activity in connection with the missing emails of a central figure in the Internal Revenue service's targeting scandal.The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration testified at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Thursday that it tracked down nearly 33,000 emails from ex-IRS official Lois Lerner.
Fact Checker: Sarah Palin's inaccurate claim about suicides of veterans of the 'war on terror'
"How many have done more than this generation in uniform? The war on terror is the longest military engagement in U.S. history. So many have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tens of thousands wounded. More than 6,800 dead. The strain on military and their families, it is enormous....The longer someone is deployed and redeployed, the more likely they will suffer PTSD...They suffer disproportionate unemployment numbers...And worse, oh friends, worse, the suicide rate among our best and our brightest is 23 a day. As we gather here - we're safe, we're secure, we're having fun - four days together at a conference, in these four days, 92 of our veterans will have taken their lives." 
Facing skepticism, Jeb Bush begins outreach to conservatives
PALM BEACH, Fla. - Jeb Bush acknowledged that he may not be a flashy speaker or make the loudest arguments. But the Republican presidential hopeful offered himself to his skeptical right flank Thursday night as a fellow conservative who is passionate about fixing problems and has a record of doing so.
'You coward,' top House Democrat tells GOP counterpart
It's been a chippy week at the U.S. Capitol, with Republicans and Democrats sniping back and forth over the impending lapse of funding for the Department of Homeland Security.While a stopgap resolution appeared to be in sight late Thursday, the tensions spilled out on the House floor after 7 p.m. as the second-ranking leaders for each party sparred over the funding clash.
Sarah Palin focuses on veterans' issues at CPAC
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin mostly avoided political theatrics at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday, delivering a speech focused primarily on advocating for veterans' issues.
Hillary Clinton takes center stage at CPAC 2015
This story has been updated.Thousands of conservatives gathered Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference to hear from potential Republican presidential contenders at an event that serves as an unofficial kick-off of the 2016 presidential race.
Walker: If I can take on union protesters, I can handle the Islamic State
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's energetic speech Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference infused his potential 2016 presidential bid with fresh momentum among the Republican Party's grassroots activists.
Walker: If I can take on union protesters, I can handle the Islamic State
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's energetic speech Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference infused his potential 2016 presidential bid with fresh momentum among the Republican Party's grassroots activists.
Families of slain Islamic State hostages react to outing of 'Jihadi John'
LONDON - The widow of a man killed by the masked Islamic State militant previously known as "Jihadi John" said Friday she wanted him caught alive, insisting he does not deserve an "honorable death." Britain's prime minister, meanwhile, defended the country's security agencies amid questions about intelligence gathering on the man - identified by The Washington Post as Mohammed Emwazi - during his many years in Britain.
WorldViews: The Obama-Netanyahu fight over Iran, explained
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress on March 3, focusing on the dangers of Iran's nuclear program, and the threat it poses his country. The planned speech is laden with controversy: the White House sees it as a deliberate attempt to undermine U.S. negotiations with Tehran; other critics believe it's a political stunt aimed to help Netanyahu at home ahead of Israeli elections later in March.
China suspends ivory carving imports, but move won't stop poaching
BEIJING - China has announced a one-year suspension on imports of carved ivory products from Africa, but conservationists said the largely symbolic move would do nothing in itself to stem the illegal ivory trade here that is fueling rampant poaching in Africa.
WorldViews: Chart: The sad state of religious freedom around the world
More than three-quarters of the world's population lived in countries with "high" or "very high" levels of restriction on religion in 2013, according to a new Pew Research Center report titled "Latest Trends in Religious Restrictions and Hostilities."
Cash-strapped North Korea steps up mining output
SEOUL - The sharp fall in global commodity prices is starting to have an impact on North Korea, economists say, hurting a state that relies heavily on exports of minerals to keep its economy afloat - and its gargantuan military funded.
'Jihadi John' is a Kuwaiti-born Londoner named Mohammed Emwazi
LONDON - For months he taunted, knife in hand, his voice slightly muffled behind the mask that became the grim symbol of Islamic State barbarism. But when the identity of the killer known as "Jihadi John" was revealed Thursday, the profile that emerged was disturbingly familiar: a young man whose parents' decision to immigrate to the West afforded him a comfortable life and an education, but who ultimately found identity and succor in extremist ideology.
WorldViews: Watch: Islamic State militants smash ancient, irreplaceable artifacts with sledgehammers
A video uploaded to social media Thursday appeared to show Islamic State fighters destroying ancient artifacts in the Iraqi city of Mosul and its environs. The jihadists have been in control of the city since last summer. Their puritanical, fundamentalist brand of Islam deems icons and images of divinity, including those from pre-Islamic civilizations, to be forbidden.
Wonkblog: Congress to delay arbitrary deadline it set for itself
Republicans in control of Congress, unable to agree on how to respond to President Obama's immigration policies, could miss a deadline they set for themselves to extend funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which expires Friday. Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), the majority leader, plans to hold a vote on a temporary bill that would extend funding for another three weeks. You might ask whether there's any point to setting an arbitrary deadline for yourself if you're just going to push it back when you realize you can't meet it. In fact, though, Boehner's bill confronts opposition from both Democrats who view this as nonsense and conservative Republicans who view it as a concession. It's unclear whether he has the 218 votes he needs to pass it. If the bill fails, the deadline will not be postponed, and the department's funding will expire. In other words, Congress is becoming so dysfunctional it can barely kick the can down the road anymore.
Security firm finds link between China and Anthem hack
A Northern Virginia cyber security firm says it has uncovered links between Chinese government-sponsored researchers and the hack of health insurance giant Anthem.Malicious software used in the Anthem hack conclusively matches malware that was used to target a small U.S. defense contractor and that the FBI has said originated in China, said Rich Barger, chief intelligence officer of ThreatConnect.
My crowdfunding campaign: Weaving math, science and robots into girls' dresses
Welcome to On Small Business's series spotlighting interesting crowdfunding campaigns in Washington. Every other week, we'll feature a new company or individual attempting to raise money through these new online portals.
How baby boomers can revamp the economy
For generations, the dream retirement was one spent in warmer climates, on the beach and often walking distance from a golf course.Chris Farrell, a senior economics contributor at Marketplace, is among those now laughing at the idea. Farrell, 61, is the author of "Unretirement: How Baby Boomers Are Changing the Way We Think About Work, Community and the Good Life."
 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.
Search for News by State:  
 Hot Issues In-Depth
Current Issues Election Reform
Information and resources to help you explore election reform issues.

Federel Legislation:
  • H.R. 3295, Help America Vote Act of 2001 (Ney/Hoyer)
  • U.S. House Votes on HR 3295
  • GOP.gov Committee Central - H.R. 3295 Floor Situtation on Conference Report (GOP.gov,10/8/02)
  • GOP.gov Committee Central - HR 3295 Floor Situation (12/12/01)
  • S.565, Equal Protection of Voting Rights Act of 2001 and S 565, Senate Votes.
  • Bipartisan Substitute Amendment to S. 565 - Senate Democratic Policy Committee
  • Election Reform: Senate Amendment No. 2688 to S. 565 - Senate Republican Policy Committee

    Latest News:
  • Colorado Election Workers Are Still Tabulating Votes: 'Provisional' Ballots to Become Widespread Under New Law (Wash.Post,11/15/02)
  • Bush signs election reform bill into law (The Hill,10/30/02)
  • Election Reform Bill Is Passed by Senate (Wash.Post,10/17/02)
  • House Approves Election Reform (Wash.Post,10/11/02)
  • Conferees Reach a Pact On Election Law Reforms (Wash.Post,10/05/02)
  • New Election, Same Old Problems (Wash.Post,09/12/02)
  • New Life For Vote Reforms? (Roll Call,09/12/02)
  • Justice Dept, Fla. Reach Voting Deal (Wash.Post,06/29/02)
  • Democrats Question Handling of Fla. Voting Probes (Wash.Post,05/31/02)
  • Election Reform Passes In Senate (Wash.Post,04/12/02)
  • Prospects dim for election overhaul bill (CNN,03/01/02)
  • Election Reform Bill Stalls Over ID Debate (Wash.Post,02/28/02)
  • Bush Budget to Back Election Reform (Wash.Post,01/16/02)
  • Election Officials Seek New Funds, Not Rules (Wash.Post,01/15/02)
  • House Approves Election Overhaul (Wash.Post,12/13)
  • Election Reform Gains In Both Chambers (Roll Call,12/13)
  • House passes election bill: Debate marks year anniversary of Supreme Court decision (CNN,12/12)
  • Agreement Reached on Election Reform Bill (Wash.Post,11/15)
  • Gore, White House dismiss election report (CNN,11/11/01)
  • A Year After Contested Election, Few States Have Made Changes (Wash.Post,11/06)
  • Report Finds Flaws In Election System: House Judiciary Committee Democrats Support National Voting Standards (Wash.Post,08/21)
  • Report Urges Expanding Federal Role in Elections: Task Force Recommends Guidance, Not Mandates (Wash.Post,8/10/01)
  • Election Report Delivered to Bush: He Lauds 'Key Principles'; Democrats Call It Lacking (Wash.Post,08/01)
  • Report: Illinois's Election the Most Problem-Plagued (Wash.Post,07/29)
  • Study Finds Millions of Votes Lost (Wash.Post,07/17)
  • Study Finds National Voting Disparity (Wash.Post,07/09)
  • Pentagon Will Revise Military Voting Procedures (Wash.Post,06/23)
  • Getting Out the Vote, Electronically Despite Problems With Cost and Errors, New Machines Are Getting a Close Look (Wash.Post,06/13)
  • A Long Road for Election Reform? (Wash.Post,05/9)
  • Florida Lawmakers Approve Election System Overhaul (Wash.Post,05/05)
  • House effort to create bipartisan election panel fails (CNN,03/29)
  • Senators hear election system called antiquated (CNN,03/07)
  • Internet Voting: A Web of Intrigue? (Wash.Post,03/07)
  • Election Coverage Burned to a Crisp: House Grills Networks' 'Beat the Clock' Approach (Wash.Post,02/15)
  • House in Dispute Over Election Reform Panel (Wash.Post,02/15)
  • Election Panel Back on Track (Roll Call,02/08)
  • House Members Vow to Aid State Voting System Changes (Wash.Post,02/06)
  • Reform Panel May Be DOA (Roll Call,02/01)
  • Election Reform Gets Push From Bush, Congress: House Leaders to Create Special Panel (Wash.Post,01/25)
  • No E(asy) Cure: Electronic voting won't fix butterfly ballots, dimpled chads or W.'s presidency (Scientific American,02/01/01)

    News Special Coverage
  • THE CONSORTIUM REPORT / A Review of the Florida Vote (Wash.Post)
  • CNN.com In-Depth Special: Florida Ballots Project

    Congressional Committees
  • House Administration
  • House Democratic Caucus Special Committee on Election Reform
  • House Judiciary
  • Senate Committee on Rules and Administration

    Administration Statements
  • Remarks by the President on Federal Election Reform, 7/31/01

    Key Groups and Organizations:
  • National Commission on Election Standards & Reform - National Association of Counties
  • National Governors Association
  • National Conference of State Legislatures - Elections Reform Task Force
  • FEC - About Elections and Voting
  • Federal Election Reform Network
  • The Voting Integrity Project
  • Alliance for Better Campaigns

    Other Resources:
  • NASS Election Standards Task Force recommendations
  • Remarks of Deborah M. Phillips, Chairman, The Voting Integrity Project On the Introduction of The Election Reform Act of 2000
  •  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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