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Monday, Apr 21st

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Get rate info Mitch McConnell high on hemp provision in farm bill

hemp production in farm billThe cannabis universities and colleges across the country could soon start growing isn’t the kind that tie-dye clad, 4/20-observing coeds might have hoped for.  But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is pretty high on it.

The five-term Kentucky senator today is celebrating the inclusion, in the farm bill conference report, of language he promoted that would allow colleges, universities and state departments of agriculture to grow test plots of hemp for industrial uses. It’s a move that proponents are calling a first step toward large-scale cultivation of the crop.

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NY Congressman threatens reporter after being asked about fundraising allegations

Michael GrimmEmbattled New York Republican Rep. Michael Grimm threatened to "break" a NY1 reporter and throw him off a balcony after President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

The confrontation occurred on Capitol Hill when reporter Michael Scotto followed up questions about the President's speech by pressing the congressman on a federal investigation into his fund-raising.

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What Are Those Green Ribbons People Were Wearing During the State of the Union Speech?

green ribbonsThe green ribbons were worn in honor of the victims of gun violence. ABC News reported that the ribbons were an effort put together by Rep. James Langevin (D-RI), who was himself in an accidental shooting victim.

Lauren Fox with U.S. World News noted that the green and silver used on the ribbons represent the colors of Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six staff members were killed in December. A comment on the Wall Street Journal live blog said the ribbons were provided by the Newtown Action Alliance, a newly formed group focusing on gun violence prevention.

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House Republicans Pass Sweeping Anti-Abortion Bill

House of RepresentativesThe House of Representatives passed a bundle of abortion restrictions Tuesday that would dramatically reduce the number of health insurance plans that cover the procedure. The vote was 227 to 188, with one lawmaker voting present

The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7), sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), would prohibit insurance plans sold in the new health care exchanges from covering abortion, and it would eliminate tax benefits for small businesses that purchase insurance plans covering abortion. The bill would also prevent the District of Columbia from using its own locally raised funds to subsidize abortion care for low-income women.

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Trey Radel resigns from Congress in wake of cocaine scandal

RadelUS Rep. Trey Radel (R) of Florida, a once-rising star in the tea party movement, resigned from Congress on Monday, following a November conviction of cocaine possession.

Congressman Radel pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of narcotics possession in November, after he was caught Oct. 29 trying to buy 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover federal agent in Washington’s Dupont Circle area. During his trial, he reportedly told Judge Robert Tignor that he had “hit a bottom” and realized that he needs help. Radel was sentenced to a one-year probation and a $250 fine.

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$1 trillion U.S. farm bill to include $9 billion in food stamp cuts

food stamp cutsCongressional negotiators have a deal on a $1 trillion U.S. farm bill stalled in Congress for two years, a key senator said Monday.

Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said while necessary conferees' signatures had yet to be obtained, the House Rules Committee was expected to meet to get the conference report ready for House floor consideration no later than Wednesday, Roll Call reported.

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Most Americans say this Congress is worst in their lifetime

Congress the worst everThe current Congress is not only unproductive, but most Americans see it as the worst they've ever known, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll released Thursday.

Two-thirds said the 113th Congress, which left for the year last week, is the worst in their lifetime. Twenty-eight percent disagreed. Nearly three in four said this Congress has done nothing to deal with the nation's problems.

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