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Lawmakers Still Deadlocked Over Medicaid In Virginia

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The war of words is heating up between Democrats and Republicans as the July first deadline approaches to come to some kind of agreement on the budget, currently at an impasse over whether or not Virginia should accept federal money to expand Medicaid to 400,000 people living with a low income or disabilities.

Democrats are now openly talking about the prospect of shutting down the government.

State Sen. Donald McEachin (D-Richmond), chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, says Democrats advocating for Medicaid expansion are willing to push past the July 1 deadline if that's what it takes to win health care insurance for 400,000 low-income or disabled Virginians. He says Republicans should act on the budget already adopted by the Senate.

"If the Republicans aren't prepared to negotiate or act or move forward, then if we have to go past June 30 to make that happen then we just have to do that," McEachin says.

McEachin says the Republicans are engaging in brinksmanship by failing to act on the budget approved by Senate Democrats. But House Republicans say the Democrats are the ones engaging in brinksmanship.

"The prospect of going past June 30 is wholly unnecessary, and there's no reason to even be discussing it," says Speaker Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg). "The governor is planning to take Virginia over the cliff. They are essentially planning to shut down government. I think this is reckless, irresponsible and would be devastating to the commonwealth."

Legislators still have two months to strike some kind of a deal, although neither side is showing any sign of backing down.

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

NPR

Squeezed By Drought, California Farmers Switch To Less Thirsty Crops

Water scarcity is leading farmers away from planting staples and towards planting higher-value, lower-water specialty crops. Think wine grapes and pomegranates instead of citrus and avocados.
WAMU 88.5

Obama's Trip to Africa & Foreign Aid

By visiting Africa this month, President Obama is drawing attention to one of the diplomatic tools that most directly shapes America's relationships with other countries: foreign aid and assistance. But now all policy makers at home feel the United States is pursuing the soundest strategy when it comes to providing aid abroad. We explore the issue with the official in charge of the Africa portfolio for the United States Agency for International Development.

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

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