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Obama Calls for ‘Year of Action’ – U.S. ‘Does Not Stand Still’WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking to energize his sluggish second term, President Barack Obama vowed Tuesday night in his State of the Union address to sidestep Congress “whenever and wherever” necessary to narrow economic disparities between America’s rich and poor. He unveiled an array of modest executive actions to increase the minimum wage for federal contract [...]
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Obama to Stress ‘Opportunity’ in State of the Union AddressWASHINGTON (AP) — Struggling to generate second-term momentum, President Barack Obama will use Tuesday’s State of the Union address to announce new executive actions on job training and retirement security, while prodding a divided Congress to work harder on expanding economic mobility for middle class Americans. Obama’s broad themes — described by the White House as opportunity, [...]
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U.S. Govt.: Proof-of-Citizenship Requirements Block VotingWICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The U.S. Election Assistance Commission found Friday that heightened proof-of-citizenship requirements likely would hinder eligible citizens from voting in federal elections, handing down a ruling that denied requests from Kansas, Arizona and Georgia to modify the registration form for their residents. The decision came just hours before a court-imposed deadline in [...]
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Bill Seeks to Restore Parts of Struck-Down Voting Rights ActWASHINGTON (AP) — Four states — Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas — would again have to get approval from the Justice Department before making any changes in the way they hold elections under a bipartisan bill introduced Thursday to restore parts of the Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional. Supporters [...]
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New Budget Funds U.S. Government Through SeptemberWASHINGTON (AP) — After last fall’s tumultuous, bitterly partisan debt ceiling and government shutdown battles, a sense of fiscal fatigue seems to be setting in among many Washington policymakers as President Barack Obama prepares for his fifth State of the Union address later this month. A declining U.S. budget deficit, still-accommodative Federal Reserve and a [...]
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Washington Governor Calls for Minimum Wage Increase  OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington already has the highest state minimum wage in the country, and Gov. Jay Inslee says it should go even higher. Inslee said in his annual State of the State address Tuesday that too many parents with full-time jobs are struggling to put food on the table for their families. [...]
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Senate Passes Budget, Averts $63B in Sequestration CutsWASHINGTON (AP) — Congress sent President Barack Obama legislation Wednesday scaling back across-the-board cuts on programs ranging from the Pentagon to the national park system, adding a late dusting of bipartisanship to a year more likely to be remembered for a partial government shutdown and near-perpetual gridlock. Obama’s signature was assured on the measure, which [...]
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Is Congressional Budget Deal a Success if it Achieves Little?WASHINGTON (AP) — People hoping for a government that works better can’t decide whether to cheer or lament a bipartisan budget bill that legislative leaders call a breakthrough even as they acknowledge it does little. In an era of low expectations, House passage of the bill marks a rare cease-fire that should avoid a repeat [...]
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LOS BANOS, Calif. – In the heartland of California, tanker trucks filled with fresh milk still roll to processing plants; farmers have plowed under withered cotton stalks to make way for winter wheat or alfalfa; and citrus trees weighed down with navel oranges and tangerines wait for pickers to help deliver the fruit to the [...]
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$63B in Sequestration Cuts to be Restored to U.S. BudgetWASHINGTON (AP) — Shedding gridlock, key members of Congress reached a modest budget agreement Tuesday to restore about $63 billion in automatic spending cuts from programs ranging from parks to the Pentagon. The increases would be offset by a variety of spending reductions and increased fees elsewhere in the budget totaling about $85 billion over [...]
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