Author: Harry Feirman

Energy and Environment Powerful lawmaker wants to ‘invalidate’ the Endangered Species Act. He’s getting close

The congressman who said he “would love to invalidate” the Endangered Species Act is closing in on his goal. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) recently shepherded five bills out of the Natural Resources Committee he chairs that would dismantle the law piece by piece. Many Republicans on the panel say the proposals are necessary changes that would modernize the…

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Tax Overhaul Bears Gifts for Conservatives, Including Rights for ‘Unborn’

Tucked away in the Republican tax plan are several provisions that have little to do with overhauling the tax code and more to do with ensuring conservative lawmakers vote for the legislation. The 400-plus-page bill released Thursday includes changes that would codify the rights of “unborn children,” allow tax-exempt religious organizations to engage in political activities and impose hurdles…

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Why Has the E.P.A. Shifted on Toxic Chemicals? An Industry Insider Helps Call the Shots

 For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has struggled to prevent an ingredient once used in stain-resistant carpets and nonstick pans from contaminating drinking water. The chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, has been linked to kidney cancer, birth defects, immune system disorders and other serious health problems. So scientists and administrators in the E.P.A.’s Office of Water were alarmed in…

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GOP tax plan will change 401(k)s

Stakeholders say they’ve heard that Republicans are considering significantly lowering the amount of money people can tuck into their traditional 401(k) plans on a pre-tax basis. Currently, people can contribute up to $18,000 annually to their traditional 401(k) plans. Those contributions are paid before taxes, meaning people don’t pay taxes on the money until they…

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THE DRUG INDUSTRY’S TRIUMPH OVER THE DEA

“In April 2016, at the height of the deadliest drug epidemic in U.S. history, Congress effectively stripped the Drug Enforcement Administration of its most potent weapon against large drug companies suspected of spilling prescription narcotics onto the nation’s streets.” By then, the opioid war had claimed 200,000 lives, more than three times the number of…

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Donald Trump and the Dawn of the Evangelical-Nationalist Alliance

“For many evangelicals and conservative Catholics, ‘Make America Great Again’ meant above all else returning to a time when the culture reflected and revolved around their Judeo-Christian values. When there was prayer in public schools. When marriage was limited to one man and one woman. When abortion was not prevalent and socially acceptable. When the…

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As ACA enrollment nears, administration keeps cutting federal support of the law

For months, officials in Republican-controlled Iowa had sought federal permission to revitalize their ailing health-insurance marketplace. Then President Trump read about the request in a newspaper story and called the federal director weighing the application. Trump’s message in late August was clear, according to individuals who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private…

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Trump Nominates a Coal Lobbyist to Be No. 2 at E.P.A.

President Trump on Thursday nominated Andrew R. Wheeler, a coal lobbyist with links to outspoken deniers of established science on climate change, to help lead the Environmental Protection Agency. In announcing Mr. Wheeler, a former aide to Senator James M. Inhofe, to be deputy administrator of the agency, the White House tapped an experienced legislative…

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White House plans to demand immigration cuts in exchange for DACA fix

The White House is finalizing a plan to demand hard-line immigration reforms in exchange for supporting a fix on the DACA program, according to three people familiar with the talks — an approach that risks alienating Democrats and even many Republicans, potentially tanking any deal. The White House proposal is being crafted by Stephen Miller,…

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