01-24-2020  3:57 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Controversial Washington Lawmaker Spreads Views Across West

Republican Rep. Matt Shea was suspended from the Republican caucus in the wake of a December report that found he was involved in anti-government activities and several lawmakers have called on him to resign, something he says he will not do

2020 Census Begins in Remote Toksook Bay, Alaska

Census takers begin counting remainder of 220 remote Alaska villages as part of national headcount

St. Andrew Parish Presents 2020 Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards

The awards are given to people whose service embodies the values of Dr. King, who used nonviolence, civil disobedience, and Christian teaching to advance the cause of civil rights in America

The Skanner in Step With Changing Times

Celebrating a history of service

NEWS BRIEFS

Shari's Restaurants Celebrate National Pie Day

Receive a free slice of pie with any entrée purchase at participating Shari's locations from 4 p.m. till 10 p.m. on Thursday, Jan....

Nashville Airport Store Seeks Works by African American Authors

The store, a namesake project of Mrs. Rosetta Miller-Perry and The Tennessee Tribune, will open March 2020 ...

Annual “Salute to Greatness” Luncheon Celebrating Students, Community & Civic Leaders

Keynote Speaker: Ms. Rukaiyah Adams, Chair of Oregon Investment Council & Chief Investment Officer at Meyer Memorial Trust....

Grant High School Students to Read Their Own Work at Broadway Books

Local author and writing instructor Joanna Rose will lead thegroup of young writers at the event to be held on Wednesday, January 22 ...

AG Rosenblum Announces $4 Million Settlement with CenturyLink

Since 2014, Oregon DOJ has received more than 1,200 consumer complaints about CenturyLink ...

Man convicted of murder in mother's death escapes custody

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon resident who was convicted of murder in the death of his mother in her Eugene home in 2004 has escaped from the supervision of the Psychiatric Security Review Board, officials said.The Register-Guard reports the review board sent a notice Thursday asking for the...

Coalition of states sue over rules governing 3D-printed guns

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorneys general in 20 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging a federal regulation that could allow blueprints for making guns on 3D printers to be posted on the internet. New York Attorney General Tish James, who helped lead the coalition...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

How Putting Purpose Into Your New Year’s Resolutions Can Bring Meaning and Results

Only 4% of people report following through on all of the resolutions they personally set ...

I Was Just Thinking… Mama in the Classroom

I wrote my first column in 1988 for a local newspaper about a beloved Dallas guidance counselor and teacher that most students called “Mama” ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Democrats struggle to build broad support on eve of voting

OSAGE, Iowa (AP) — As Joe Biden wrapped a bus tour of Iowa this week, the elderly crowd gathered at VFW Hall 7920 was a stark reminder of the former vice president's struggle to attract young people. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, needs to strengthen his standing with older voters. Elizabeth...

NFL initiative yields PSA on man killed by Dallas officer

DALLAS (AP) — A public service announcement honoring the life of a black man killed in his living room by a white Dallas police officer who said she mistook his apartment as her own debuted as part of an NFL initiative aiming to promote social justice and racial equality.The two-minute video...

Plea change set in African American church fire case

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A suspect set for trial next month in a series of fires at African American churches in Louisiana is now scheduled for a change-of-plea hearing. Holden Matthews has pleaded not guilty to federal charges arising from the arson fires at south Louisiana churches. However, a...

ENTERTAINMENT

'NewsHour' host and debate moderator Jim Lehrer dies at 85

NEW YORK (AP) — Jim Lehrer, longtime host of the nightly PBS “NewsHour” whose serious, sober demeanor made him the choice to moderate 11 presidential debates between 1988 and 2012, has died, PBS said Thursday. He was 85.Lehrer died “peacefully in his sleep,”...

Brittany Howard looks past and forward ahead of the Grammys

NEW YORK (AP) — Leaving a successful band is never easy. For Brittany Howard, stepping away from the roots-rockers Alabama Shakes wasn't easy — but it was necessary.“Being on my own was really important to me creatively. It was a really big risk and it was a really big...

Review: Um, what? 'The Turning' is a muddled take on madness

It's really not a good sign when a movie ends with a bold, shocking flourish and much of the audience can be heard muttering through the credits: “Wait, um ... WHAT?”Not, “Ooh” or “Wow” or “Hmm" or "Interesting!” Nope, this is more like an...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

15-year-old Gauff upsets '19 champ Osaka at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Coco Gauff plays nothing like what her age — still just 15 — or...

Russian Auschwitz survivor: Only coincidence that I lived

MOSCOW (AP) — The 75 years since Yevgeny Kovalev was a teenage prisoner in Auschwitz have been marked by...

Book reveals 2 fathers linked by grief to 2015 Paris attacks

PARIS (AP) — Lola Salines happily accepted the last-minute concert ticket from a friend the night of Nov....

Thunberg brushes off mockery from US finance chief

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Climate activist Greta Thunberg on Friday brushed off criticism and mockery from...

Russian Auschwitz survivor: Only coincidence that I lived

MOSCOW (AP) — The 75 years since Yevgeny Kovalev was a teenage prisoner in Auschwitz have been marked by...

N Korea names sharp-tongued army figure as foreign minister

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has named a sharp-tongued former army officer with little foreign...

McMenamins
Andrew Taylor the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democrats controlling the House are promising to freeze the budgets of most Cabinet departments while wrapping Congress' unfinished annual spending bills into a single catchall measure.

The 423-page measure, released in the wee hours Wednesday, would cap the agencies' operating budgets at $1.2 trillion, the level of the budget year that ended in September. That's about 4 percent less than President Barack Obama asked for.

There are many exceptions to the freeze. Health care programs for veterans and the military would get a boost, as would the Pell Grant program for low-income college students. People serving in the military would get a 1.4 percent pay raise, but civilian federal workers would have their salaries frozen, as requested by Obama last week.

The bill also would provide $159 billion to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A widely backed food safety bill is hitching a ride on the legislation. The measure passed the Senate by a 75-25 vote last week but got caught in a snag because it contained revenue provisions that, under the Constitution, must originate in the House.

Senate Democrats are working on a different approach that would provide slightly more money and would include thousands of pet projects sought by lawmakers. It's unclear whether that measure can get enough support from Republicans to pass. The House bill is free of such "earmarks."

The House could pass its measure as early as Wednesday - over Republican protests that it still spends too much money and that they won't have had enough time to review it. House Republicans want a short-term measure to punt the unfinished budget business into January, when they will assume the majority.

The bill combines the annual operating budgets for every federal department or agency. In an unprecedented collapse of the federal budget process, not a single one of the 12 annual spending bills has yet passed Congress.

The bill, combined with a massive measure to extend the Bush-era tax cuts, extend unemployment benefits and cut the payroll tax, represents the bulk of Congress' unfinished work as the lame-duck session approaches its close.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., said the legislation would "salvage some investments which over the long haul just might create more jobs than a tax break for millionaires."

Obey was able to find money for some Democratic priorities because accounts for the census and military bases closing are $11 billion below fiscal 2010 levels.

That allowed Obey to maintain increased federal air marshall presence on international flights, add money for the Indian health Service, and provide $550 million for Obama's signature "Race to the Top" program that provides grants to better-performing schools.

The budget for high-speed rail would take a cut as would Obama's budget for construction of new federal buildings. But housing subsidies for the poor would get an increase, as would grants to localities to shelter the homeless.

The underlying bill would provide the Pentagon $513 billion for core operations, which is a 1 percent increase to cover pay and health care, but $17 billion less than requested by Obama in February.

The Department of Homeland Security would see its budget frozen rather than rising almost 3 percent as Obama sought.

Foreign aid programs, however, would receive a $2.2 billion - more than 4 percent - increase to fund counterinsurgency programs by the Pakistani government, help stabilize Iraq and meet long-standing commitments to Israel and Egypt.

The bill also contains $624 million to implement the nuclear weapons treaty with Russia, known as New START, that's pending before the Senate.

In the Senate, Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, backed by Democratic leaders, has fashioned an "omnibus" spending measure - providing almost $20 billion more than the House bill - that he wants to substitute for the measure being passed across the Capitol.

Such omnibus measures have been a routine but oft-criticized way for Congress to wrap up its unfinished work. Only two spending bills have passed the House and not a single one has passed the Senate.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., opposes Inouye's move, but GOP members of the Appropriations Committee, such as Sens. Thad Cochran of Mississippi and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, are open to the idea.

It's not clear how strongly McConnell will push against the omnibus measure, however, and key McConnell ally Robert Bennett, R-Utah, says he prefers an omnibus to Obey's approach of "locking in" most of last year's policies and funding levels. But he doesn't know if there are the 60 votes needed to defeat a filibuster by GOP conservatives.

Any move to pass Inouye's earmark-laced omnibus measure is sure to whip up howls of protest from anti-earmark lawmakers and tea party activists.

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