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Monday, Jan 23rd

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The GOP Shut Down a Program That Might Have Prevented Dallas and Baton Rouge

GOP cut funds for vet studyAs the right-wing outrage machine would have it, the shootings of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge by U.S. military veterans were the fault of President Obama. “How many law enforcement and people have to die because of a lack of leadership in our country?” Trump recently wrote in a Tweet.

But seven years ago, when a little-known division in the new president’s Department of Homeland Security sought to explore the potential violence of returning veterans—one that might have aided local law enforcement with intelligence in Dallas and Baton Rouge—it was Congressional Republicans who succeeded in pushing to shut the program down.

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Dems release parallel Benghazi report ahead of GOP

John LewisDemocrats on the House Select Committee on Benghazi released their rebuttal to the Republican-led committee’s argument on Monday, before the GOP leaders published their own report.

The 339-page Democratic report aims to refute allegations expected to be made by Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) in what they have long claimed is a partisan witch hunt.

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House Democrats end gun-vote sit-in

House Dems end sit-inDemocrats ended their sit-in on the House floor at around 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon, after more than 24 hours of stalling proceedings to call for action on gun control legislation.

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) spoke while surrounded by his Democratic colleagues to close the protest, which lasted through the night after beginning shortly after11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

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Senate passes bill allowing Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia

Senate pass bill allowing familiees to sue Saudi ArabiaThe U.S. Senate passed legislation on Tuesday that would allow survivors and relatives of those killed in the Sept. 11 attacks to file lawsuits seeking damages against the government of Saudi Arabia.

The legislation, known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA, passed in the Senate by unanimous voice vote.

If it passes the House of Representatives and is signed into law by U.S. President Barack Obama, JASTA would allow lawsuits to proceed in federal court in New York as lawyers try to prove that the Saudis were involved in the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

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Obama vetoes anti-climate change measures passed by Congress

obamaPresident Barack Obama has vetoed two measures that would have blocked steps that his administration is taking to address climate change.

One would have nullified carbon pollution standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. The second would have voided a set of national standards designed to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas pollution from existing power plants.

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Pelosi unsure omnibus can pass

PelosiHouse Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday she’s unsure whether the $1.1 trillion year-end government spending bill will pass the House — despite support from President Obama and congressional leaders in both parties and chambers.

Asked if she's “confident” the package will win enough Democratic votes to move through the lower chamber, Pelosi didn't pause for a second.

“No,” she told reporters in the Capitol. “We're talking it through.”

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Dem senators call on Pentagon for transparency on child sex abuse

Dem Senators want probe into miitary chile abuseThree female Democratic senators are pushing the Pentagon for more transparency on child sex abuse cases in the military, following a recent report highlighting the prevalence of such cases.  

Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) sent Defense Secretary Ashton Carter a letter Tuesday urging him to reform the military judicial system "so that it is transparent and accountable."

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