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 Congress Today
House - meets at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 4, 2015.
Senate - meets at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 4, 2015.
 Breaking News
From washingtonpost.com:
As House panel issues subpoenas, questions mount over Clinton e-mails
A congressional committee issued subpoenas Wednesday seeking information about Hillary Rodham Clinton's use of a private e-mail account for official business while she was secretary of state, setting up a potential legal clash with the presumptive Democratic front-runner for president.
Clinton teases about a woman president at Emily's List gala
Likely Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton got a whooping round of applause from a friendly audience on Tuesday for a sly reference to her not-yet-official candidacy, but did not tip her hand about when she will make it official.
White House counts on Sen. Wyden to deliver on a trade deal
Three weeks ago, Sen. Ron Wyden got an unlikely phone call. On the line was President Obama, who last year helped foil the Oregon Democrat's plans to shepherd a modest tax bill through Congress. Obama was calling to thank Wyden for his support of the president's sweeping trade agenda which, in a reflection of the topsy-turvy politics of the issue, has drawn support from Republican leaders and staunch objections from many Democrats.
Obama's Keystone veto will stand after Senate vote fails
This post has been updated.The Senate failed to override President Obama's veto of a bill authorizing construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, severely dimming prospects for its approval in the next two years.
U.S. ambassador to South Korea 'in great spirits' after knife attack
SEOUL - U.S. ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was in stable condition and in high spirits Thursday after being slashed in the head and hand by an armed assailant calling for Korean unification at a seminar in central Seoul yesterday.
Federal Eye: Tired of shutdown battles? This bill would end them for good.
Tired of fretting about government shutdowns? Budget lapses would be a thing of the past under a new proposal from a House Democrat who wants to put an end to them for good.Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) said this week that he is seeking co-sponsors for a "Shut Down the Shutdowns Act" that would automatically extend existing appropriations levels for another fiscal year whenever Congress fails to fund agencies before their money expires.
GovBeat: A 'battle for Seattle' between two airlines is fueling huge growth
SEATAC, Wash. - The first thing a traveler driving to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport sees, even before the main terminal itself, is a fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft, decked out in the blue and white trim of Alaska Airlines, huddled around the airport's North Satellite. The second thing he sees is a massive traffic jam of cars, inching along toward the arrivals level. Locals know to pick up arriving passengers on the speedier departure level.
Fact Checker: Lawmaker claims illegal immigrants released by Obama are committing a murder a day
"Every day, all along border states, maybe other places, there are murders by people who have been arrested coming into this country, who have been released by the Obama administration, I believe in violation of the law, who are murdering Americans all over our cities. We hold the Democrat Party and the president personally accountable for this action."
Texan Will Hurd defies the odds for House Republicans. Can he last?
Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tex.) knows he has a complicated political identity that often confuses people: "The question I get asked most of the time is, how did the black dude get elected in a Hispanic district?"
Strauss: What is the Montgomery County school district thinking?
The D.C. Public Schools District has closed for Thursday, March 5, because of a big sleet/snow storm strongly forecast to hit the greater Washington D.C. region. So have the school systems in the following counties: Prince George's, Howard and  Anne Arundel  in Maryland; Fairfax, Arlington, Loudoun, Prince William as well as Alexandria City and Manassas City in Virginia.  So what about Montgomery County Public Schools?
Amid Clinton controversies, Democrats yearn for an alternative
Democratic activists in early presidential nominating states say that new controversies swirling around Hillary Rodham Clinton have made them more eager than ever for alternatives in 2016.The undercurrent of anxiety about Clinton's vulnerabilities has grown in recent days with potentially damaging news of foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation and the former secretary of state's use of private email accounts to conduct official business.
Top Vilsack adviser to run Hillary Clinton's Iowa campaign
A top adviser to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, is leaving the Obama administration to manage Hillary Rodham Clinton's likely presidential campaign in Iowa, four Democrats familiar with the move said Wednesday.
The Fix: Support for using ground troops against the Islamic State is increasing
A new poll from Quinnipiac University released on Wednesday offers a startling bit of data: Americans now support the use of ground troops against the Islamic State by a two-to-one margin.The surprise there (if any) is in margin, not majority. Since the conflict with the Islamic State gained national attention at the end of last summer, polling has indicated increasing support for the use of ground troops -- a move that the Obama administration has rejected. The Quinnipiac poll is the two dots at far right on the chart below.
The Fix: The remarkable Republican takeover of state legislatures, in 1 chart
If you want to understand how destructive the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections were to the long-term downballot prospects of the Democratic party, all you need to do is look at this chart via Pew's terrific Fact Tank site.
The Fix: A thorough analysis of Rand Paul's support for Netanyahu, as measured in clapping
There has been some discussion of an animation of Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) rather sedate clapping at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech before Congress on Tuesday. By discussion, we mostly mean "online complaining." As usual.
Top Biden backer: Hillary Clinton will 'die by 1,000 cuts' on e-mail story
This story has been updated.One of Vice President Biden's most prominent supporters said Wednesday that twin controversies swirling around Hillary Rodham Clinton should give Democrats serious pause about anointing her as the party's presidential nominee.
WorldViews: One way to make winter better: Canadian city ponders man-made ice highway
As the D.C. area faces a grim winter storm this Thursday that could paralyze city streets, Canada may be able to teach a few lessons in how to deal with ice and snow.The country already has some of the world's longest highways, but soon it may also have the world's first one that is constructed with ice. It would be called the "Freezeway."
WorldViews: Can a solar eclipse shut down Europe?
In the United States, power outages are usually caused by extreme weather events such as blizzards or hurricanes. In Europe, however, experts are getting worried about a phenomenon that originates far away from the Earth's atmosphere.
China's new terrorism law provokes anger in U.S., concern at home
BEIJING - A new draft counterterrorism law here is provoking unusually strong condemnation, from multinational companies trying to do business in China to domestic dissidents trying to stay out of jail and from global human rights groups to foreign health workers.
Indian government blocks film about 2012 New Delhi rape case
NEW DELHI - A magistrate's court in New Delhi upheld a police complaint Wednesday blocking the showing of an hour-long documentary film in India about a fatal gang rape in 2012."India's Daughter" was set to air on the BBC, other international channels and the Indian cable news channel NDTV on Sunday, International Women's Day. But because of the intense interest in the film, and the Indian government's moves to quash it, the BBC moved up the premiere to Wednesday evening in Britain.
Netanyahu's speech to Congress fails to jolt electoral needle at home
JERUSALEM - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew home Wednesday to face a tougher, less adoring crowd than the cheering legislators in Washington. Awaiting him were Israeli voters - and a tight election in less than two weeks.
U.S. ambassador to Seoul wounded by assailant
TOKYO - The U.S. ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was attacked by an armed assailant at a seminar in central Seoul where he was scheduled to give a lecture Thursday morning.Television reports from Seoul showed Lippert, a former assistant secretary of defense and adviser to President Obama, bleeding from his head and hand at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, across the road from the U.S. Embassy. Police said he was attacked with a 10-inch knife. According to reports, the attacker yelled: "No war! The two Koreas should be unified."
Bettina Graziani, early supermodel, dies
Bettina Graziani, the willowy Parisian redhead who became one of the first global supermodels, posing for fashion luminaries such as Hubert de Givenchy, Christian Dior, Coco Chanel and Valentino, died March 2 in a Paris hospital.
Before Nemtsov's assassination, a year of demonization
MOSCOW - Days after Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was killed at the Kremlin's doorstep, his grieving allies say that a year of dark accusations of treason and fascism laid the groundwork for his death.
Unprecedented surge in online tax scams raises questions about TurboTax
When Jeff Parish signed on to his TurboTax account recently, he was surprised to see that the popular online filing service had already calculated a federal refund - to the tune of more than $5,000. But there was a problem. The 61-year-old marketing executive from Fairfax County, Va., was just starting the process of filing his taxes, not finishing it. Somebody had broken into his account, completed a fraudulent return and diverted Parish's refund to a prepaid debit card.
GOP challenge: Cut taxes for wealthy, show concern for middle class
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Wednesday unveiled the first major tax plan by a potential 2016 presidential candidate, attempting to combine help for the struggling middle class and windfalls for the very wealthy.
Netflix tries to explain its apparent sudden flip-flop on net neutrality
A top Netflix exec is probably wishing he'd stayed in bed.The company's chief financial officer, David Wells, told an investor conference Wednesday that Netflix isn't "pleased" about the Federal Communications Commission's recent vote on net neutrality, which slapped strong new rules on Internet providers.
On Leadership: After getting a raise, the glow fades fast
Raises are ticking upward this year, with the average salary bump expected to come in at roughly 3 percent in 2015. That marks the highest increase since 2009, according to one forecast. Workers should be grateful, right?
 stateline.org - State and Local Issues

Latest state and local issue stories and analyses from stateline.org and the Pew Center on the States.

States move slowly toward digital textbooks
Despite enthusiasm for digital textbooks at the national level, states have been slow to get on board. But the movement is gaining strength.
Indiana gov squashes vp speculation
TODAY'S TAKE: Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is the latest GOP governor who says he's not interested in becoming Mitt Romney's running mate.
Note to readers: A new Stateline is coming soon
Stateline and the Pew Center on the States are launching a new website at Pewstates.org
AZ: Arizona's immigration law gets its day in U.S. Supreme Court
When Paul Clement walks into the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday he's going to try to convince at least five justices that Arizona has an inherent right to enforce federal immigration laws.
NC: North Carolina judge vacates death penalty under racial justice law
In a landmark ruling, a North Carolina judge on Friday vacated the death penalty of a black man convicted of murder, saying prosecutors across the state had engaged in deliberate and systematic racial discrimination when striking black potential jurors in death penalty cases.
NJ: New Jersey drops out of lawsuit against EPA over ozone
New Jersey has dropped out of a lawsuit challenging the White House decision to bypass strict ozone standards that the EPA had recommended as necessary to protect human health.
Search for News by State:  
 Hot Issues In-Depth
Current Issues State of the Union Address - 2004
Information and resources on Pres. Bush's 2004 State of the Union Address

President Bush's 2004 State of the Union Address, 1/20/2004: Responses: State of the Union News Coverage: Historical Coverage of State of the Union Addresses:
 Governing.com - State and Local News
The Way We Tax: A 50-State Report
The vast majority of state tax systems are inadequate for the task of funding a 21st-century government. Most of those tax systems are also unfair. They break the golden rule of tax equity: collect the lowest possible rates on the widest possible base of taxpayers.
Governing February Issue
  • Assessments: Alan Ehrenhalt on living with "lifestyle centers"
  • Potomac Chronicle: Donald F. Kettl on the states as beggars
  • Technology: Thomas R. Davies on outside resources for new IT leaders
  • Tax Talk: David Brunori on the principles of sound tax policy
  • Economic Development: William Fulton on how a city's size affects its competitiveness
  • Environment: Tom Arrandale on the risks of weakening longstanding laws

  •  White House Update
    White House schedule information and recent statements and news releases.

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