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Wednesday, Oct 18th

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Senators Try To Rein In Saudi Arabia’s Brutal U.S.-Backed Campaign In Yemen

Senate wants to rein in Saudi war in Yemen

An influential bipartisan duo of lawmakers is using this week’s consideration of a must-pass defense spending bill to try to help millions of people in Yemen, where a Saudi-led, U.S.-backed coalition has killed thousands of civilians in a conflict that has created desperate new health and starvation crises.

Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) are rallying support for an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that would condition U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia on American officials guaranteeing that Riyadh is following international humanitarian law, particularly on permitting the delivery of American-bought cranes to unload ships filled with food at a major Yemeni port.

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WH: Trump 'looks forward' to signing resolution condemning white supremacists

White supremacists denounced in Congressional billThe White House announced Wednesday that President Donald Trump will "absolutely" sign a resolution condemning the Charlottesville violence and white supremacy.

Congress passed the bipartisan joint resolution condemning the Charlottesville violence -- as well as "white nationalists, white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups"-- earlier this week, pushing Trump to sign the resolution explicitly condemning the racist gathering.
The House passed the joint resolution by unanimous consent Tuesday night, a day after the Senate easily approved it.
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Defying Trump, Senate panel approves funding for U.N. climate body

UNFCCC funded by Senate panelThe United States is still a party to the 1992 UNFCCC, which oversees the Paris agreement, although Trump announced in June that he would withdraw the nation from the global climate pact and cease funding the Green Climate Fund, which supports clean energy and climate adaptation projects in vulnerable countries.

The United States has usually contributed to around 20 percent of the UNFCCC budget.

Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, the amendment’s author, said on Twitter on Thursday: “Despite @RealDonaldTrump’s dangerous #ParisAgreement decision & unwillingness to act, we can & will fight back to combat #climatedisruption.”

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House passes Harvey aid, debt limit extension, government funding

House passes Harvey aid billThe House on Friday passed a nearly $15.3 billion disaster aid package that also raises the debt ceiling and extends government funding for three months into December.

Lawmakers approved the legislation 316-90, and it now heads to President Trump's desk.

The massive package will replenish rapidly dwindling emergency accounts as Florida braces for the impact of Hurricane Irma this weekend and Texas picks up the pieces after the devastation of the Harvey storm.

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Sources: Trump Jr. said he did not recall WH involvement in response to meeting

Donald Trump, Jt.Donald Trump Jr. told Senate judiciary committee staffers Thursday that he did not recall the details of White House involvement in the public response to his 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer and did not know much about the Air Force One meeting that allegedly led to the production of the statement, sources told CNN.
Trump Jr. was explicitly asked whether he either took any of the Russian participants in the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting to see his father -- now President Donald Trump -- or whether he told his father about the meeting after, sources said. He insisted he did neither.
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House GOP blocks vote protecting medical marijuana states

Rohrbacher blocks pot voteSeveral lawmakers said Wednesday that GOP leaders won’t allow the full House to vote on an amendment that bars the Justice Department from pursuing states that have legalized medical marijuana.

Without legislation, states would lose protection they have enjoyed for the past four years, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions could begin his long-sought crackdown on the rapid expansion of legalized pot.

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How Washington lobbyists fought flood insurance reform

Lobbyists killed flood insurance reformThe catastrophic weather in Texas has thrown the spotlight on the federal government’s troubled flood insurance program, which is nearly $25 billion in debt after huge payouts following Katrina, Sandy and other devastating hurricanes.

But as Houston starts the long process of recovering, lobbyists in Washington have already maneuvered to slow lawmakers efforts’ to overhaul the National Flood Insurance Program and protect their industries’ profits.

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