INSIDE THE BELTWAY

Bipartisan senators and Biden strike a deal on $550B in new infrastructure spending

BY: - July 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of U.S. senators say they have worked through the sticking points on a major infrastructure package, and the Senate agreed on a procedural vote on Wednesday night to advance to debate on the proposal. That announcement came a week after Republicans blocked a test vote on the deal, with GOP […]

CDC says the vaccinated should wear masks indoors in areas with high infection rates

BY: - July 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials on Tuesday urged Americans in areas of the country with the highest surges in COVID-19 infections to once again wear masks when they are in public, indoor settings — even if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The updated recommendations marked a sharp shift from the agency’s guidance in May that Americans fully vaccinated against […]

U.S. Senate Republicans block advance of bipartisan infrastructure plan, but talks continue

BY: - July 22, 2021

WASHINGTON —  Senate Democrats’ attempt to start debate on a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan was blocked by Republicans on a party-line vote Wednesday, as lawmakers hustle to wrap up negotiations over drafting that legislation. In the 49-51 test vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, (D-N.Y.), switched his vote to “no,” a procedural move that […]

Some water systems push back on treatment costs for ‘forever chemicals’ regulation

BY: - July 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — Local water utilities worried about getting hit with lawsuits and high cleanup costs are stepping up their lobbying of Congress as lawmakers move to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, has garnered bipartisan support and two Michigan lawmakers, Reps. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat, and Fred Upton, a […]

‘Our democracy is in peril’: Women risk arrest in voting rights protest in D.C.

BY: - July 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Diane Howard of Cleveland traveled to the nation’s capital with hundreds of other women to urge Congress to pass an elections overhaul and undo new state laws that restrict voting access. A community activist for half a century, Howard said that this is not the first time she’s seen voting rights under attack. […]

COMMENTARY

Why the PRO Act makes sense for workers and the middle class

BY: - July 20, 2021

By Thomas King Over the past few months, advocates, including the Democratic Socialists of America, labor unions and other groups, have made more than a million calls to encourage voters who support labor rights to call their senators in support of the PRO Act (Protecting the Right to Organize). Since we began, Sens. Joe Manchin […]

COMMENTARY

 For Virginia, climate action is a matter of faith

BY: - July 20, 2021

By Karen McElfish This past year has challenged Virginia in unforeseeable ways. Our faith communities have been tested by not one, but four converging crises: the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic recession, racial inequalities and the climate crisis. As the nation hoped and prayed for a better future, it was the wisdom and guidance of our […]

U.S. House to vote next week on expanding PFAS regulation, backers say

BY: - July 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress and Biden administration officials at a conference on Wednesday outlined how they’re attempting to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water—including an upcoming vote in the U.S. House. EPA Administrator Michael Regan, a former top environmental official in North Carolina, said the agency is currently in the process of regulating […]

Chuck Schumer: Congress should legalize weed on the federal level

BY: - July 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate says decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level is a change that’s “long overdue,” and that he’s prioritizing that effort amid a growing number of states legalizing cannabis. To that end, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday unveiled a draft proposal for removing cannabis from the federal […]

COMMENTARY

Virginia’s Congressional delegation should support the president’s tax justice proposals

BY: - July 14, 2021

By Chris Wodicka As the immediate crisis of the pandemic and recession abates, Congress has a rare opportunity to address long-standing needs, including many that pre-dated the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Biden administration and congressional negotiators have reached a bipartisan agreement to fund physical infrastructure improvements — like roads and bridges — additional legislation has been […]

How the new, expanded federal child tax credit will work

BY: - July 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — The most ambitious part of the pandemic stimulus package signed by President Joe Biden earlier this year is about to hit the bank accounts of millions of U.S. parents. Starting this week and ending in December, the vast majority of U.S. households with children will begin receiving monthly payments as a result of changes […]

VP Harris says DNC will pour $25M into voting rights protection

BY: - July 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris announced Thursday that the Democratic National Committee will spend $25 million to protect voting rights, in response to a wave of laws pushed by Republican lawmakers in state legislatures that would restrict voting access. The move comes after Democrats have been stymied in their attempts to enact a national […]