Tag Archives: U.S. Congress

ON THE FENCE: A ‘good government’ could fix the Farm Bill

A ll we seem to hear about the U.S. Farm Bill is that Congress can’t renew it because of the part of it that pays for SNAP (food stamps), but not much is said about farms, farmers and food. The first Farm Bill was a federal government response to one of the Great Depression’s spectacular market […]
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The congressional districts with the most opioids per person 

The epidemic is worst in Appalachia and the South. The areas most flooded with prescription opioids are mostly represented by Republicans. The opioid crisis has taken a steep toll nationwide, but the South and Appalachia are particularly inundated with highly addictive prescription painkillers. What’s next: The House passed roughly 60 opioid-related bills in June; a timeline […]
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Lawmakers, conservationists ask Congress to reauthorize fund

The fund, created in 1965, spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year on land consolidation, conservation easements, urban parks and other projects. Time is running out for Congress to reauthorize a program that uses offshore drilling royalties to pay for land conservation and outdoor recreational projects across the nation, a Montana lawmaker and conservation […]
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Telehealth is the wave of the future

Wallowa hospital official tells Congress it has work to do. Doctors routinely made house calls in the ’40s. The practice may be enjoying a revival, especially in rural areas such as Wallowa County. In the latest iteration, the doctor won’t be present in flesh and blood but on a television screen over the Internet. It’s […]
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Editorial: Lack of guestworker bill leaves farmers hanging

Apparently, Congress can afford to put off revamping the H-2A guestworker program. But farmers can’t. Caught up in the swirl of confusion surrounding the immigration issue on Capitol Hill is a guestworker visa program that serves as a lifeline for many U.S. farmers. Called the H-2A visa, it allows farmers to bring in guestworkers from […]
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Musicians Line Up In Opposition To Wyden’s Royalty Bill

As a massive bill to change music royalty payments closes in on passage, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden threatens a procedural halt, unless his proposals get consideration. Music industry professionals are lobbying Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., to stand down and allow a bill updating music rights laws to pass. Musicians and industry groups have worked for […]
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Congress could have reformed flood insurance — but let the opportunity float away

The increasingly dysfunctional program has been extended through the end of the hurricane season — and through the end of election season. It’s August, which means peak Atlantic hurricane season is upon us. We hope the damage won’t be anything like last year’s — which saw catastrophes strike Texas (Harvey), Florida (Irma), and Puerto Rico […]
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Rep. Walden joins call for Oregon wildfire aid

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., wrote a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting federal aid for farmers and ranchers affected by wildfires burning across the state. Rep. Greg Walden is the latest among several high-ranking Oregon politicians to request federal aid for farmers and ranchers suffering through a particularly intense wildfire season across the […]
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Bill Allowing More Sea Lions To Be Killed Clears Key Hurdle

A bill that would make it easier to kill sea lions that gobble endangered salmon in the Columbia River has cleared a key committee in the U.S. Senate. The measure allows the federal government to issue permits to Washington, Idaho and Oregon, and several Pacific Northwest tribes, allowing up to 100 sea lions to be […]
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Congress passes flood insurance extension, again punting on reforms

The extension passed Tuesday is the seventh stopgap Congress has passed since long-term authorization lapsed last year. The Senate on Tuesday passed a short-term extension of the federal flood insurance program, sending it to President Trump for his signature hours before an Aug. 1 deadline. The 86-to-12 vote preserves access to flood insurance for U.S. […]
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