Obama signs stopgap spending bill that averts shutdown

1 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

At White House, El Paso lawmaker gets encouragement for domestic agenda.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is sending legislation to President Barack Obama that would head off the threat of a government shutdown at midnight Wednesday.

President Obama hugs Illinois Senate President Pro Tempore Don Harmon as he meets with state legislators at the White House on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) WASHINGTON– State Rep. He noted that 17 states have already raised the minimum wage, four have passed laws giving workers paid family leave, and two are offering free community college. Republican negotiators on Capitol Hill reached a deal Tuesday on the policy bill, authorizing the Pentagon to tap into emergency war funds to cover a budget hole in regular defense operations. The Democrats, many from red states, discussed minimum wages, paid sick and medical leave, college affordability and criminal justice reform. “We’ve seen this year that even when there was inaction, many states still took action,” said Michael Blake, a New York assemblyman. “We are not going to sit on the sidelines and let inaction be our answer.” Infighting among Republicans in Congress prompted House Speaker John Boehner’s resignation last week. Approval of such stopgap measures used to be routine, but debate this year was delayed by tea party lawmakers who demanded that the must-pass bill be used to punish Planned Parenthood, stripping it of federal money because of its practice of supplying tissue from aborted fetuses for scientific research.

Also on Obama’s state government agenda: expanding pre-Kindergarten education, reforming licensing laws to allow more people to get jobs, and limiting pollution from power plants. “So over the last few years, states likes yours have gotten a lot done. Obama, though, says he won’t accept a boost in defense spending unless Congress also busts the budget caps and approves an equal hike in domestic programs. All of us are going to push that domestic agenda.” Texas Democrats will have to wait until the Legislature convenes again in 2017 to try fulfilling Obama’s mission. The confab was clearly timed to coincide with the impending deadline for the Republican Congress to pass a spending bill to keep the federal government open at the start of the fiscal new year Thursday.

John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called the threat “shameful” at a time of increasing international dangers, and said Mr. Obama was misdirecting his anger over spending. “What this legislation does do, among other things, is ban torture, increase the pay for our men and women in uniform, strengthen sexual assault prevention and response, extend retirement benefits to hundreds of thousands of service members, and allow the president to continue transferring detainees to foreign countries,” Mr.

Democrats have lost 919 state legislative seats since 2009, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and now have complete control of just 11 statehouses — and four of those states have Republican governors. “I’m in a red state,” said North Carolina state Rep. The legislators were in Washington this week to meet with Democratic donors through the State Innovation Exchange, a liberal answer to the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council.

But this year, with the GOP now in control of the House and Senate, Republican defense hawks said the cuts are hitting the Pentagon too deeply, and said threatened to withhold support for the 2016 budget until defense got a boost. We know what the political realities are in red states, but we can reach across the aisle.” Obama joked around with the lawmakers, reminding them he once had their job. “I invited all of you here because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you’ve got to be nice to state legislators.

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