News September 21

Senator Sanders

Budget Showdown With just days left until the government runs out of funds to operate, the Republican-led House on Friday passed a funding bill that has no chance of passing in the Senate because it contains a provision that cuts off all funding for the Affordable Care Act, the new national health care law.  After the House vote, Sen. Bernie Sanders told Thom Hartmann that 47 million Americans lack health insurance but the Republicans are "completely ignoring this reality." AUDIO

Stop the Sequester Senate Democrats plan to not only strip language defunding Obamacare from the House-passed funding bill but also push for increased spending on programs that have been subject to across-the-board spending cuts. “Sequestration is an absolute disaster. It’s causing enormous harm right now. It will continue to cause enormous harm,” Sen. Sanders told The HillLINK 

Monsanto Protection The measure to fund the federal government that passed the House on Friday included a rider that shields companies like Monsanto from lawsuits over genetically modified crops , the New York Daily News reported. In the Senate, Sens. Sanders and Jeff Merkley oppose the special protection. LINK

Community Development Sen. Sanders returned to City Hall on Friday to celebrate Burlington’s progress over the past 30 years through the Community and Economic Development Office. Created by Sanders’s mayoral administration in 1983, the office has contributed to the redevelopment of the Lake Champlain waterfront, support of businesses and the creation of new housing initiatives, theBurlington Free Press reported online. LINK


Syria Weapons Disclosure Syrian authorities submitted an "initial disclosure" of the nation's chemical weapons stockpiles to international inspectors on Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported. Additional verification details are expected from the Syrian government, international officials said. LINK


Power Plant Pollution The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a proposal to limit greenhouse gases from new coal-fired power plants. The proposal, released Friday, requires new coal plants to limit their emissions by using cutting-edge technology that captures carbon dioxide before it is released into the atmosphere, The Wall Street Journal reported. LINK

The Fed The White House is asking Democratic senators to start offering their public support for Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve Chairman, a Senate Democratic aide told Politico Friday. Obama administration officials are making clear that Fed Vice Chairwoman Yellen is Obama's choice after former White House economic adviser Larry Summers withdrew from consideration Sunday.

Deadbeat Nation President Obama said in a speech Friday that the United States of America is in danger of becoming a "deadbeat nation" if Republicans in Congress do not pass legislation to raise the debt ceiling, The Hill reported. LINK  

Chicago Shooting The Chicago Tribune reported Friday that thirteen victims, including a 3-year-old boy, were shot by a lone gunman, who opened fire with a high-powered rifle at a late-night pick-up basketball game in Chicago. LINK  


Supreme Court Judge Geoffrey Crawford was appointed by Gov. Peter Shumlin to the Vermont Supreme Court. Crawford replaces Associate Justice Brian Burgess, who recently announced his retirement, according to the Burlington Free PressLINK

Jobless Rate Holds In a state Labor Department report, Vermont’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.6 percent in August, the fourth consecutive month of increases in both the size of the labor force and number of people unemployed, reported the Burlington Free PressLINK

Brattleboro Retreat A private Vermont psychiatric hospital that is facing the loss of its federal funding, has cleared a big step toward meeting the concerns of inspectors from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. CMS has accepted a plan by the Brattleboro Retreat that clears the way for a surprise inspection from regulators before the end of next month, The Associated Press reported.LINK