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White House Abandons Fight Over Foreign Aid

VOA News/By Ken Bredemeier, Steve Herman The White House on Thursday abandoned its fight with Congress over whether to fund $4 billion in foreign aid and will allow the money to be spent.  President Donald Trump had considered cutting the spending on the ground that it was wasteful and unnecessary, but he retreated when it became apparent that some key lawmakers were opposed. "The president has been clear that there is waste and abuse in our foreign assistance, and we need to be wise about where money is going," a senior White House official told VOA, "which is why he asked his…
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Warren Wows in Iowa As Candidates’ Sprint To Caucuses Begins

VOA News/By Associated Press DES MOINES, IOWA - The chant “2 cents, 2 cents, 2 cents”started in the back of a crowd that packed sidewalks at the Iowa State Fair. Elizabeth Warren, basking in the spontaneous adulation of her proposed wealth tax, prompted roars with her call for the ultra-wealthy to “pitch in 2 cents so everybody gets a chance to make it.” A night before, the Massachusetts senator enjoyed similar treatment when Democrats at a party dinner jumped to their feet _ some beginning to dance at the opening bars of Dolly Parton's “9 to 5,” the song that would…
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Democratic Frontrunner Biden’s Verbal Gaffes Mounting

VOA News/By Ken Bredemeier WASHINGTON - Former Vice President Joe Biden is the leading Democratic presidential contender among two dozen candidates looking to take on President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, but Biden is proving to be unchallenged at committing verbal gaffes on the campaign trail. Biden, with four decades on the American political scene, has long been afflicted with jumbling his public pronouncements into word salads that leave listeners guessing as to their meaning and political opponents quick to attack the 76-year-old politician. The latest instances have come in the Midwest farm state of Iowa, where many of…
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LPR News

US Mass Shootings Stoke Issues of White Supremacism and Gun Control

VOA News/ By Rob Garver WASHINGTON - A pair of mass shootings in Texas and Ohio over the Saturday and Sunday have dragged two of the most divisive issues in American politics -- the rise of violent white supremacism and gun control -- to the forefront of public conversation as politicians across the ideological spectrum are preparing for what is expected to be an extremely contentious 2020 election campaign. The two shootings, which left 29 people dead and at least 53 more wounded, combine to create a clear political crisis for the Trump administration and its allies in Congress. The first…
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Trump Continues Attacks on Baltimore and One of its Lawmakers

VOA News/ By Ken Bredemeier President Donald Trump remained focused Monday on his criticism of the eastern city of Baltimore, Maryland, and one of its top officials, Congressman Elijah Cummings, who has been critical of the Trump administration. "Baltimore, under the leadership of Elijah Cummings, has the worst Crime Statistics in the Nation. 25 years of all talk, no action!" Trump wrote on ; "So tired of listening to the same old , Reverend Al will show up to complain & protest. Nothing will get done for the people in need. Sad!" The Rev. Al Sharpton is holding an event…
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Mueller Testimony Frustrates Both Parties by Rarely Straying From His Report

VOA News - By Masood Farivar WASHINGTON - “I’ll refer you to the report on that.” “That’s accurate based on what’s in the report.” “I don’t want to wade in those waters.” So it went for more than five hours as former special counsel Robert Mueller appeared before two congressional committees Wednesday to testify about his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and alleged presidential obstruction of justice, closely hewing to a final report he submitted to Attorney General William Barr in March. Ahead of his appearance before the House judiciary and intelligence committees, Mueller, a former FBI…
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Democrats: Trump, Republican Inaction on Election Security Puts US at Risk

VOA News - By Jeff Seldin Democratic lawmakers accused President Donald Trump and the Senate's leading Republican of working to kill legislation designed to protect the upcoming presidential election from interference by Russia and others. They also warned that because of Trump and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's efforts, time is running out to get improved security measures in place for the 2020 vote. "It appears that the majority leader, at the behest of the White House, has made it his goal to kill any meaningful legislation," Mark Warner, the vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told reporters during…
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Spokesman Denies Reports of Puerto Rico Governor’s Resignation

By VOA News A spokesman for Puerto Rico's embattled governor tamped down rampant media reports that Ricardo Rossello was about to step down after two weeks of massive protests calling for his ;"Gov. Ricardo Rossello Nevares has not resigned," Anthony Maceira said Wednesday. "As he said yesterday, he is in a process of reflection and listening to the people." Maceira said that some media outlets had published "incorrect rumors'' and that "whatever decision is taken will be officially communicated, as always.'' Also Wednesday, Puerto Rican House Speaker Johnny Méndez told Rosello that the island's lawmakers had begun impeachment proceedings against ;Several officials in the Rosello administration…
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Mueller: Investigation Did Not Exonerate Trump of Alleged Obstruction

VOA NEWS - By Ken Bredemeier WASHINGTON - Former special counsel Robert Mueller told Congress Wednesday that his investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election did not exonerate President Donald Trump of allegedly obstructing justice by trying to thwart the probe, even though the leader has frequently claimed it did. As hours of testimony started, House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler asked the prosecutor, "Did you totally exonerate the president?" "No," Mueller responded, later adding, "The president was not exculpated for the acts he allegedly committed." Mueller explained, however, that Trump could not be criminally charged because of a…
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Reed’s Bipartisan Flood Insurance Reform Would Help Prevent Premiums from Swamping Homeowners & Businesses

Legislation extends National Flood Insurance Program for 5 yrs., institutes reforms to make it more affordable, efficient & sustainable WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) joined Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and others in introducing the National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization and Reform Act of ; The bipartisan bill would reauthorize the National Flood Insurance program for five years, implement new reforms -- including Senator Reed’s provisions to invest more in flood mitigation -- and cap premium increases each year. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was originally established in 1968 and is the…
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