INSIDE THE BELTWAY

Frustrated local leaders urge Congress to move faster on regulating water contaminants

BY: - June 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — Local officials and community leaders on Wednesday pushed Congress to designate toxic chemicals that are contaminating drinking water as hazardous materials, which would trigger federal cleanup standards. In addition, two Democratic senators from Michigan, Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, introduced legislation that would put additional obligations on the Pentagon to initiate cleanup at […]

Colonial Pipeline CEO: Paying ransom was ‘one of the toughest decisions I have had to make’

BY: - June 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — The CEO of Colonial Pipeline, which underwent a ransomware attack in early May that led to massive shutdowns of gas stations across the Southeast, said during a U.S. Senate hearing on Tuesday that it was his decision to pay a ransom to restore the company’s operations. “It was one of the toughest decisions I […]

COMMENTARY

Congress considers future of the military draft, while Supreme Court holds off

BY: - June 8, 2021

By Max Margulies, United States Military Academy West Point and Amy Rutenberg, Iowa State University The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear arguments in the case of National Coalition for Men v. Selective Service System. In doing so, it acceded to the Biden administration’s wishes that it not address the question of whether women […]

Colonial Parkway would get a boost under Biden budget request

BY: - June 7, 2021

Basic needs at the largest U.S. national parks top the Biden administration’s first proposed lists of projects to receive funding through public lands trust funds, showing how much maintenance is needed even as parks brace for record numbers of visitors this summer. The projects likely wouldn’t be visible to the usual tourist, but they are […]

‘Get a shot and have a beer’: Biden touts free brew, pro sports tickets and child care to boost vaccines

BY: - June 2, 2021

WASHINGTON — Free child care during COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Late-night appointment slots on Fridays. And free beer for everybody over 21 if President Joe Biden’s vaccination goal is reached next month. These are some of the latest incentives and strategies lined up by the Biden administration to boost national vaccinations against COVID-19 leading up to the […]

Antitrust concerns are increasing on Capitol Hill. Advocates say they should extend to drug pricing.

BY: - June 2, 2021

Congress is beginning to take notice as corporations become increasingly dominant in one or more marketplaces. It’s investigating whether Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook are engaging in anticompetitive practices. And Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., just published a book about the need to revive the government’s antitrust powers. But if this is to be a new era of trust-busting, advocates […]

U.S. Senate GOP filibuster blocks commission to probe U.S. Capitol attack

BY: - May 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Friday blocked consideration of a bill creating a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate what happened leading up to and during the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol. Legislation to form an investigatory panel into that attack passed the House of Representatives earlier this month, with 35 House Republicans joining Democrats in […]

Heading for a national park? It’s going to be the ‘biggest season in the history of the Park Service,’ some senators say

BY: - May 27, 2021

Leaders of a U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday extolled national parks for providing a respite during the COVID-19 pandemic, but cautioned that enthusiasm for outdoors recreation will create its own problems in this summer’s tourism wave. Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent and the chairman of a subcommittee that oversees the U.S. National Park Service, […]

Biden urges Congress to act on policing reform after meeting with George Floyd family

BY: - May 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — A year after George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis police officer, his family returned Tuesday to Washington, D.C., where lawmakers have been attempting to craft a bipartisan bill to overhaul the nation’s policing laws. Congress failed to act by the anniversary of Floyd’s death — the deadline that President Joe Biden had urged lawmakers […]

Astronaut Rickey Arnold sees Hurricane Florence from the ISS. Credit: NASA

Biden allocates $1 billion to prepare for hurricane, wildfire season

BY: - May 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is doubling the amount of federal funding to help states prepare for natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires, he announced Monday. His administration is directing $1 billion to the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program, which sends resources to communities, states, and tribal governments to prepare for extreme weather events. […]

Electric buses, asphalt and bridges: Politicians jostle for federal transportation cash

BY: and - May 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — The nearly $1 billion that U.S. Rep. Garret Graves is seeking through Congress’ revamped earmarks process isn’t a typo. The Louisiana Republican says Baton Rouge desperately needs a new bridge to alleviate a crush of roadway congestion — at a cost of $955.2 million for several projects. That far exceeds the $20 million that […]

COMMENTARY

As America’s infrastructure crumbles, politicians treat the problem like a partisan board game

BY: - May 24, 2021

No, America, this is not a drill. In Texas, supposedly the nation’s energy capital, more than 4.5 million homes and businesses were left without light and power for days on end as a freakish winter storm and cold wave caused the state’s insular power grid to fail under the demand. More than 150 deaths resulted […]