WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

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House, Senate Disagree On Violence Against Women Act

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The U.S. House is this week scheduled to vote to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, but Democrats in the region are opposing the bill because it scraps new provisions added by the Senate.

When the Violence Against Women Act initially became law in the 1990s, it garnered unanimous support in the Senate. Like most everything coming out of this Congress, however, it's now become an intensely partisan bill. 

The Senate version of the reauthorization, passed in late April, explicitly extends protections to the gay, lesbian and transgender communities and allows more immigrants who are abused to obtain visas. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) believes that goes too far. 

"I have concerns about expanding the bill," Goodlatte says. That provision is not included the House version.

But Democrats, such as Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), say this new House bill is just another example of the GOP being out of touch with the majority of Americans on gender issues. 

"Republicans in Virginia were voting for a transvaginal probe, around the country they're talking about questioning whether you have contraceptive coverage' the Ryan budget cuts women infant and children  pregnant women infant and children  nutrition programs," Scott says.

"It doesn't appropriately address several issues that other versions of the reauthorization had," he says of the bill.

Republicans counter that Democrats included touchy political issues in the legislation in order to score political points. With polls showing that Democrats are appealing more to female voters, Republicans accuse them of including social issues for partisan reasons. The House bill is expected to pass and then the two chambers will have to reconcile their differences.  

NPR

Smithsonian Sets Phasers To Restore On Original Starship Enterprise

The Starship Enterprise — from the original Star Trek series — has gotten a restoration fit for a real life spacecraft. It goes on display this week at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
NPR

In Quest For Happier Chickens, Perdue Shifts How Birds Live And Die

Perdue Farms, one of the largest poultry companies in the country, says it will change its slaughter methods and also some of its poultry houses. Animal welfare groups are cheering.
WAMU 88.5

Jonathan Rauch On How American Politics Went Insane

Party insiders and backroom deals: One author on why we need to bring back old-time politics.

WAMU 88.5

Episode 5: Why 1986 Still Matters

In 1986, a federal official issued a warning: If Metro continued to expand rapidly, the system faced a future of stark choices over maintaining existing infrastructure. Metro chose expansion. We talk to a historian about that decision. We also hear from a former Metro general manager about the following years, and from an Arlington planner about measuring how riders are responding to SafeTrack.

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