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Staffers Walk Out Of Congress In Protest Over Brown And Garner Cases

Dozens of congressional staff walked out of the Capitol Thursday, gathering on the steps to make the hands-up gesture that has come to symbolize frustration with the deaths of two unarmed black men.
NPR

House Poised To Vote On Controversial 'Cromnibus' Spending Bill

The House narrowly moved a massive spending bill forward Thursday, setting up a potentially close final vote. The bill has been criticized for easing rules on campaign finance and banks.
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Steeped In Tradition: The Story Of The Senate's Signature Soup

One of the long-time practices of the “World’s Greatest Deliberative Body” has nothing to do with bills and laws; it's all about beans, ham hocks and onions.

NPR

Congressional Plan To Fund Military Comes With A Side Of 'Land Grab'

Material tacked onto the authorization bill adds 250,000 acres of new wilderness, expands national parks, and moves toward a national women's history museum. 'Ethically, it stinks,' says Sen. Coburn.
NPR

Pension Deal In Spending Bill Will Cut Benefits Before Safety Net Fails

The agreement comes as several "multi-employer" pension plans are insolvent. The federal government guarantees those plans' benefits, but might not be able to handle all of them failing at once.
NPR

First The Protest, Then The Storm: Bay Area's 5 Straight Nights Of Clashes

Oakland and Berkeley demonstrators have broken into stores and blocked freeways and rail lines, part of a movement born of frustration about police shootings in Staten Island, N.Y., and Ferguson, Mo.
NPR

Should Homeowners With Solar Panels Pay To Maintain Electrical Grid?

Utilities say consumers who put solar panels on their roofs should help pay to maintain the lines that carry the power they sell back into the system. Panel leasing firms say that's anti-competitive.
NPR

From Potatoes To Salty Fries In School: Congress Tweaks Food Rules

The giant federal spending bill that's expected to go to a vote Thursday will give schools some flexibility in implementing nutrition standards. Also a winner: the potato lobby.
NPR

Spending Bill Provision Would Provide Big Boost To Party Fundraising

The 1,600-page omnibus spending bill includes language that raises contribution limits to the national party committees, bringing them above the realm of merely wealthy donors. Under the provision, donors can give a party a total of $778,000 — each year, an eight-fold increase.
WAMU 88.5

Will Ethics Reform Accomplish Anything? Some Virginia Legislators Raise Doubts

Fairfax County legislators take the unusual step of disclosing campaign contributions in the course of their work, but some legislators that just wouldn't work to address Virginia's ethics issues.

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