06-22-2018  3:29 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Lawsuit seeks lawyer access to immigrants in prison

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A rights group filed an emergency lawsuit in federal court Friday against top officials of U.S. immigration and homeland security departments, alleging they have unconstitutionally denied lawyers' access to immigrants in a prison in Oregon.Immigration and Customs...

Oregon woman accused of mistreating 3 children

HILLSBORO, Ore. (AP) — Police arrested an Oregon woman accused of criminally mistreating three children in her care.Lt. Henry Reimann of the Hillsboro Police Department says Merlinda Avalos limited the kids to two peanut sandwiches a day, prevented them from using the bathroom at night and...

Man charged in 1986 killing of 12-year-old Tacoma girl

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A Lakewood man suspected of killing a 12-year-old girl in Tacoma over three decades ago has been charged with murder and rape.The News Tribune reports Pierce County prosecutors charged 66-year-old Gary Hartman Friday in connection with Michella Welch's death in 1986. She...

Federal agency approves Idaho field burning rules

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal officials have approved Idaho's request to loosen field burning rules.Backers say the move offers more flexibility to keep smoke away from people but health advocates counter that it will lead to breathing problems for some residents.The U.S. Environmental...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

The Latest: Germany, Mexico, Belgium headline Saturday games

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Friday at the World Cup (all times local):1:13 a.m.Will Germany follow Brazil's lead in righting the ship after a rocky World Cup start, or will the defending champ find itself keeping company with Argentina, needing help if it hopes to advance?The World Cup could...

Trial set in long-delayed post-Katrina racial shooting case

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A trial date has been set for a white man accused of shooting at three black men in what federal prosecutors said was a racially motivated attack following Hurricane Katrina.The case of Roland Bourgeois Jr. has dragged on for years. He was indicted five years after the...

Xhaka and Shaqiri score for Swiss, make Albanian symbol

KALININGRAD, Russia (AP) — Albania's national flag was at the center of Switzerland's 2-1 victory over Serbia on Friday at the World Cup.Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri celebrated their goals by making a nationalist symbol of their ethnic Albanian heritage.Both players put their open hands...

ENTERTAINMENT

Actress Betty Buckley wants to 'make America happy again'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — There's busy. And then there's Betty Buckley busy.The veteran singer and actress began the month with four nights of concerts in New York celebrating the release of her new live album, "Hope."Buckley appeared earlier this week on the season finale of The CW's "Supergirl,"...

So much TV, so little summer: Amy Adams, Kevin Hart, Dr. Pol

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The fall television season is months away but that's no reason to stare moodily at a blank screen. In this era of peak TV, there are so many outlets and shows clamoring for your summertime attention that it can be as daunting as choosing between a mojito and a frozen...

Honduran girl in symbolic photo not separated from mother

NEW YORK (AP) — A crying Honduran girl depicted in a widely-seen photograph that became a symbol for many of President Donald Trump's immigration policies was not actually separated from her mother, U.S. government officials said on Friday.Time magazine used an image of the girl, by Getty...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Mexican players can have beef again at the World Cup

MOSCOW (AP) — Mexico's mantra for this World Cup is "No Excuses," and that includes no complaining about...

US officials say girl on Time cover isn't separated from mom

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Border Patrol officials said Friday that a girl who is pictured on the cover of this...

Ex-New England Mafia boss 'Cadillac Frank' guilty in slaying

BOSTON (AP) — Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme was convicted Friday of killing a nightclub owner to keep...

UK split by Brexit divide 2 years after vote to leave EU

LONDON (AP) — It's been two years since the shoppers and traders of London's Romford market voted by a wide...

Italy vows to expel far more migrants, but it won't be easy

ROME (AP) — Barely a week in office, Italy's populist interior minister lost no time in bringing home his...

Rival Koreas agree to August reunions of war-split families

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North and South Korea agreed Friday to hold temporary reunions of families...

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 11, 2016. Coal-state Democrats waged a fight for health benefits for thousands of retired miners, pointing to President Harry S. Truman’s promise 70 years ago guaranteeing a lifetime of coverage. The stopgap spending bill contains a short-term fix and the issue will be revisited next spring. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
ANDREW TAYLOR, MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — With less than hour to spare, the Senate late Friday backed legislation averting a government shutdown as coal-state Democrats retreated on long-term health care benefits for retired miners but promised a renewed fight for the working class next year.

The vote was 63-36 and sent the stop-gap spending bill to President Barack Obama, who signed the measure early Saturday morning. The Senate also passed and sent the president a $10 billion water bill with money for the California drought. The vote was 78-21.

The votes came hours after Democrats dropped threats to block the spending measure in hopes of using the shutdown deadline to try to win a one-year respite for 16,500 miners facing the loss of health care benefits at year's end. Instead, the legislation provides benefits at a cost of $45 million for four months.

Democrats evoked President-elect Donald Trump, a working class hero in coal country, in pressing for more benefits. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a potential member of the Trump Cabinet, led the fight of coal-state Democrats.

But House Republicans were unrelenting — and had already vacated the Capitol for a three-week holiday — forcing Democrats to concede. Manchin acknowledged Friday night that he did not have the votes to block the bill, but said "the fight will continue" next year.

"I'm born into a family of coal miners. If I'm not going to stand up for them, who is?" he asked reporters.

Manchin was meeting with Trump on Monday.

The fight gives Democrats, who suffered devastating election losses a month ago at the hands of working-class voters, a chance to say they and not the GOP are the true champions of the common man.

Manchin was joined by other coal-state Democrats who face re-election in 2018 in states Donald Trump won last month, including Pennsylvania and Ohio.

"We're just getting warmed up," said Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., vowing a fight next year. "These miners and their families kept their promise, put their lives at risk. ... It's not too difficult for a senator or House member to keep a promise."

The dispute over health benefits and a separate fight over controversial legislation to shift more of California's scarce water resources to inland farmers were the final battles of a two-year session marked by constant quarreling. It was capped by a burst of productivity on legislation to authorize hundreds of water projects, repair Flint, Michigan's lead-tainted water system, and keep the government running through April.

Congress will take a break before reconvening on Jan. 3 to get a swift start on repealing key elements of the Affordable Care Act and confirming Trump's Cabinet.

The underlying funding bill would keep the government running through April 28 to buy time for the incoming Trump administration and Congress to wrap up more than $1 trillion in unfinished agency budget work. It also provides war funding, disaster aid for Louisiana and other states, and an expedited process for considering Trump's nominee for defense secretary, retired Gen. James Mattis.

The trucking lobby won permanent relief from recent Transportation Department rules mandating more rest and overnight breaks for long-haul drivers, though the White House and Main Street Republicans were denied in a bid to revive the Export-Import Bank's ability to approve export financing deals exceeding $10 million.

The miners' issue had history. Seventy years ago, President Harry S. Truman guaranteed a lifetime of health and pension benefits for retired miners to avert a strike.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the four-month extension was better than nothing. McConnell himself represents thousands of miners in the struggling coal industry and said he tried to get a longer solution in talks with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

"Would I have preferred that provision to be more generous? Of course I would have," the Republican said in a speech on the Senate floor.

The House had left town on Thursday, creating a dynamic in which the Senate had little choice but to adopt the stopgap measure. Both the funding measure and a water projects bill passed there by sweeping bipartisan votes.

Democratic opponents of the popular water projects bill, led by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., assailed provisions to divert more water to corporate farmers. The bill also authorizes long-delayed funding of $170 million to help Flint, Michigan, to fix its lead-tainted water system.

Democrats griped that GOP negotiators on the water bill dumped a permanent "Buy America" provision requiring U.S.-produced steel be used in water projects. But that effort lost steam Friday.

The spending bill also would provide $7 million to reimburse the New York Police Department for the cost of security around Trump Tower in Manhattan, far less than the $35 million the city requested.

 

 

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Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this story.

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