06-22-2018  3:34 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 ...

Police: Oregon toddler dies after being left in hot car

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A toddler in Oregon died after being left alone in a hot car while her mother went to work as a family nurse practitioner, authorities said Friday.Nicole Engler, 38, of Roseburg told investigators she thought she had taken her 21-month-old daughter Remington to daycare...

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...

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...

By Helen Silvis | The Skanner News

Any day now, the House of Representatives could vote on the budget reconciliation bill, a controversial package that will cut federal spending by $54 billion. The savings would come from cuts to programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, veterans benefits, Head Start, child support enforcement and aid to foster children.

Republican leaders say the bill is necessary to reduce the federal deficit, but so far they have not managed to secure the 218 votes necessary to pass the bill in the House. Opponents — including some Republicans — say the bill makes cuts in exactly the wrong places, and will set back efforts to reduce poverty and hunger in the Northwest.

U.S Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., said he opposes the bill because he is concerned about its impact on low-income Americans.

"These are very mean-spirited cuts that are going to hurt the poorest among us in Oregon," De Fazio said. "They include cuts to school lunch programs, food stamps, Medicaid and cuts to school loans, which will affect young people who are trying to better themselves.

"The worst thing about this is that these cuts are not intended to reduce the deficit, but to make room for large tax cuts, which will benefit the most wealthy. They are rewarding wealth one week and hurting struggling people the next."
Negotiations about the exact content of the budget reconciliation bill are still under way, but if it is passed into legislation its many provisions will likely include:

• More than $1 billion in cuts to the food stamp program. Nationally, up to 170,000 people would lose their food stamps.
• At least $10 billion in cuts from Medicaid. Under the bill, states will be allowed for the first time to charge low-income pregnant women and children for medical services.

• A $5 billion (40 percent) cut in federal funding for child support enforcement over the next five years. Child support enforcement in Washington last year collected $591 million for children. In Oregon, child support enforcement collected $294 million in 2003.

• Cuts of $732 million to the Supplemental Security Income program, which provides modest income assistance to poor elderly individuals and people with disabilities.

• A 2 percent across-the-board cut to veterans' services. Analysts say this likely will reduce health care benefits to veterans.

• Cuts of $577 million over 5 years from services to foster children living with relatives.
Among its many additional provisions, the bill would include cuts to child care assistance for low-income working families.

"This bill would be devastating for people in Washington state," said Julie Watts, acting director for the statewide Poverty Action Network, a nonprofit coalition of anti-poverty groups. "This is bad policy; these are bad choices. Our lawmakers should be voting against them. It's just bad for the state."

Both Oregon and Washington have made progress in reducing hunger rates in recent years. Just a couple of years ago, the state of Oregon was rated highest in the nation for hunger; now it is No. 17, close to the U.S. average. Washington state, in the top five for hunger for eight years, is now No. 10. Advocates say that helping more eligible families apply for food stamps was what made the difference.

"The reason we have made progress in reducing hunger in Oregon is directly linked to the aggressive expansion of use of the food stamp program among low-wage working Oregonians," said Janet Bauer, federal budget coordinator for Oregon Center for Public Policy, a nonprofit left-of-center think tank. "The provisions that have allowed low-income working adults to access food stamps would be eliminated in the bill. So I think our gains are in jeopardy under the House proposal."

Bauer, Watts and other advocates say they fear that low-income women and children will simply not get necessary medical care, because they will not be able to afford to pay the new charges.

"What research has found is that people can't afford to participate in Medicaid, so they drop off, or they can't get necessary medications," Bauer said. "The ultimate outcome is deteriorated health and higher emergency room costs.
"The health care needs don't go away. When people can't afford other treatment they end up relying on the emergency system. We don't believe these cuts will result in any reduction in cost to society."

Watts said cuts to child support enforcement and child care will hurt thousands of children in Washington state. In addition, she said, cuts to services for foster children living with relatives will hurt efforts to keep children within their families.

"The state would be forced to cut support to abused and neglected kids," she said.
Rep. De Fazio argues that it is wrong to cut social programs in order to finance tax cuts that benefit only a small number of wealthy people.

"If they were really serious about reducing the deficit, there are a lot of places they could cut that wouldn't hurt working people," he said.

"I have my own list. For example, if they were to reinstate the 2001 tax rate just for people making over $350,000 a year, we could save $27 billion. That would create six times as much income for the federal government for deficit reduction.

"And if we looked at offshore tax shelters, clarified those rules and put some limits on those, we could capture $65 billion over the same five-year time period."

De Fazio also suggested saving $50 billion by cutting the military's Star Wars program, which he says does not work.
"There are some places where the federal government is clearly wasting money or giving it away to people who don't need it," he said. "We're borrowing $1.2 billion a day to run the federal government and basically handing the bill to our kids and grandkids."

Despite a hefty Republican majority in Congress, changes to the bill are highly likely. Many Republican moderates are reluctant to support the cuts to social programs. Other Republicans oppose specific proposals, such as cuts to programs that help dairy farmers, proposals to allow offshore drilling along the U.S. coastline or the provision that would allow oil companies to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The Senate version of the bill, which did not include provisions to drill in Alaska or cut the food stamps program, passed last week. Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., voted for the bill; Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., voted against it. When Senate and House bills differ, a committee made up of members of both houses decides on the final version passed into law.
For more information about opposition to the bill, visit cwla.org/advocacy/nocapsonkids.htm.

 

Oregon Representatives

Rep. Earl Blumenauer
729 N.E. Oregon St. Suite 115
Portland, OR 97232
Phone: 503-231-2300
Fax: 503-230-5413

Rep. Peter DeFazio
151 W. Seventh St. Suite 400
Eugene, OR 97401
Phone: 541-465-6732
Toll free: 1-800-944-9603

Rep. Darlene Hooley
21570 Willamette Dr.
West Linn, OR 97068
Phone: 503-557-1324
Fax: 503-557-1981

Rep. Greg Walden
843 East Main St. Suite 400
Medford, OR 97504
Phone: 541-776-4646
Toll free from 541 area code:
1-800-533-3303
Fax: 541-779-0204

Rep. David Wu
620 S.W. Main St. Suite 606
Portland, OR 97205
Phone: 503-326-2901
Toll free: 1-800-422-4003
Fax: 503-326-5066

 

Washington Representatives

U.S.Rep Brian Baird
O.O. Howard House
750 Anderson St. Suite B
Vancouver, WA 98661
Phone: (360) 695-6292
Fax: (360) 695-6197

U.S.Rep Norm Dicks
Norm Dicks Government Center Suite 500
345 Sixth St.
Bremerton, WA 98337
Phone: 360-479-4011
Toll free: 800-947-6676
Fax: 360-479-2126

U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings
2715 St. Andrews Loop Suite D
Pasco, WA 99301
Phone: 509-543-9396
Fax: 509-545-1972

U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee
21905 64th Ave. W. Suite 101
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
Phone: 425-640-0233
Fax: 425-776-7168

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen
2930 Wetmore Ave. Suite 9F
Everett, WA 98201
Phone: 425-252-3188
Toll-free: 1-800-562-1385
Fax: 425-252-6606

U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott
1809 Seventh Ave. Suite 1212
Seattle, WA 98101-1399
Phone: 206-553-7170
Fax: 206-553-7175

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris
10 North Post, Sixth Floor
Spokane, WA 99201
Phone: 509-353-2374
Fax: 509-353-2412

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert
2737 78th Ave. S.E. Suite 202
Mercer Island, WA 98040
Phone: 206-275-3438
Toll free: 877-920-9208
Fax: 206-275-3437

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith
3600 Port of Tacoma Road Ste. 106
Tacoma, WA 98424
Phone: 253-896-3775
Fax: 253-896-3789

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