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Jamie Dupree’s Washington Insider
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TSA: “Financial limitations” causing airport screeners not to show up for work

  • 1:59 pm Wednesday, January 16th, 2019 by Jamie Dupree

After previously denouncing press reports of higher than normal absences of airport security personnel during a partial government shutdown as “fake news,” the Transportation Security Administration said on Wednesday that more of its employees are not showing up for work because of money issues caused by a missed paycheck last week, as the shutdown entered a 26th day with no resolution in sight.

In a news release, the TSA stated that “many employees are reporting that they are not able to report to work due to financial limitations,” as the agency said its absentee rate was up from the same day [More]

Pelosi suggests delay for Trump State of the Union due to shutdown

  • 10:41 am Wednesday, January 16th, 2019 by Jamie Dupree

With a partial government shutdown showing no signs of being resolved, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday basically ‘disinvited’ President Donald Trump from a scheduled January 29 State of the Union Address, saying that the Secret Service and Homeland Security Department should not be tasked with such a major event while they are in a shutdown status.

“Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened,” Pelosi wrote in a letter sent to the President on Wednesday morning.

There was no immediate reaction [More]

AG nominee urges better focus on stopping mentally ill from buying guns

  • 4:00 am Wednesday, January 16th, 2019 by Jamie Dupree

President Donald Trump’s choice to be U.S. Attorney General told Senators on Tuesday that he favors stronger measures by the federal government to insure that people who suffer from mental illness are not able to purchase firearms in the future, arguing that would be the simplest way to strengthen efforts to stop gun violence in America.

“The problem of our time is to get an effective system in place that can keep dangerous firearms out of the hands of mentally ill people,” Attorney General nominee William Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“That should be priority number one, and it’s going to [More]

Judge blocks Trump bid for citizenship question on 2020 census

  • 3:30 pm Tuesday, January 15th, 2019 by Jamie Dupree

In a legal defeat for the Trump Administration, a federal judge in New York ruled on Tuesday that efforts by the Commerce Department to add a question on U.S. citizenship to the 2020 census was ‘unlawful for a multitude of independent reasons’ – not because of the substance of the question – but for how officials circumvented normal procedures to approve the query.

In a 277 page decision issued on Tuesday morning, Judge Jesse Furman repeatedly rebuked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, saying his decision to add a question on citizenship was ‘arbitrary and capricious.’

“Secretary Ross acted without observing [More]

Barr: Mueller not involved in ‘witch hunt’ over Russia probe

  • 10:55 am Tuesday, January 15th, 2019 by Jamie Dupree

Confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday for President Trump’s choice for the post of U.S. Attorney General became quickly consumed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of the investigation into Russian interference, as nominee William Barr broke with a prime accusation of the President about the Mueller investigation.

“I don’t believe Mr. Mueller would be involved in a witch hunt,” Barr said, who was pressed immediately by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to investigate what Republicans say was wrongdoing within the FBI and Justice Department with regards to President Trump.

Barr’s statement was notable – since President Trump has repeatedly [More]

Coast Guard misses paychecks as partial shutdown reaches Day 25

  • 4:05 am Tuesday, January 15th, 2019 by Jamie Dupree

The bitter political dispute over funding for President Donald Trump’s border wall extended its reach on Tuesday, with over 40,000 members of the Coast Guard not being paid as scheduled, joining 800,000 federal workers who missed a paycheck last week, as there were no indications of any break in the impasse, which was spurred by a funding lapse for part of the federal government that started before Christmas.

“We must re-open the government immediately,” said Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), as Democrats – and some Republicans – highlighted the stories of federal workers from back home who are being financially squeezed by [More]

House Democrats launch sweeping probe of prescription drug prices

  • 4:01 pm Monday, January 14th, 2019 by Jamie Dupree

With the first of a series of hearings set for later this month, Democrats on a key House committee on Monday sent letters to a dozen major pharmaceutical companies, demanding documents and information on how those drug giants set their prices, questioning why the cost of big name drugs have gone up at more than four times the rate of inflation over the last 12 years.

“The Committee on Oversight and Reform is investigating the actions of drug companies in raising prescription drug prices in the United States, as well as the effects of these actions on federal and state budgets [More]

President Trump on border wall: “I will never, ever back down”

  • 3:01 pm Monday, January 14th, 2019 by Jamie Dupree

President Donald Trump used a speech before a convention of farmers in New Orleans on Monday to make an extended defense of his call for funding for a border wall, a dispute which has spurred a partial government shutdown, making clear he will not accept anything less from Congress than full funding for his wall along the border with Mexico.

“We’re going to have a wall, we’re going to have a barrier, we’re going to have something that’s going to be very strong,” the President said to cheers at the 100th gathering of the American Farm Bureau.

“When it comes to keeping [More]

Trump heads to see farmers with shutdown in fourth week

  • 9:40 pm Sunday, January 13th, 2019 by Jamie Dupree

With no solution in sight to a partial government shutdown which has denied scheduled paychecks to some 800,000 federal workers, and forced hundreds of thousands of those same employees to continue working without pay, President Donald Trump flies to New Orleans on Monday to address an agricultural group which is a very familiar with some of the impacts from the shuttering of certain federal agencies since the weekend before Christmas.

“Even though he’s not directly trying to hurt our farmers, this shutdown is going to hurt our farmers,” said American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall at the 100th American Farm Bureau [More]

Border wall fight didn’t really start until after GOP lost House

  • 4:00 am Saturday, January 12th, 2019 by Jamie Dupree

While President Donald Trump has repeatedly made clear his desire to build hundreds of miles of wall along the Mexican border since early in his campaign for President, the GOP Congress never really came close to approving billions of dollars for the wall, though there were certainly opportunities for Republicans at several points to win as much as $25 billion for the border while the GOP was in charge of Congress in 2017 and 2018 – but those efforts failed as most GOP lawmakers backed away from possible bipartisan immigration compromises.

As Republicans worked on two years of spending bills during [More]

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