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Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 7:16 AM
Updated: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 7:15 AM
WASHINGTON — Again?
Yup. While you were sleeping, Congress was shutting down the government — and then reopening it — in a familiar display of dysfunction. It's the second time this year lawmakers have let funding lapse while they staged standoffs intended to draw attention to their causes.
The first was a result of Senate Democrats' strategy on immigration. But Friday's episode was less about strategy and more about aimless drift. After little action Thursday, a single senator dug in, forcing the Senate to stall and miss the midnight deadline. Like kids scrambling to clean up before Mom and Dad get home, lawmakers then had to rush to turn the lights back on before federal employees were due to report to work.
A recap of the action overnight and early Friday:
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
The government has been operating on funding from a series of short-term spending measures. Three weeks ago, Senate Democrats dug in and decided to use a deadline to try to force Republicans to work with them on a deal for "Dreamer" immigrants, whose protections from deportation are due to expire in March. No deal came together and the government shut down over the weekend. Ultimately, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., agreed to hold votes on an unspecified immigration bill in return for Democrats' votes to reopen the government for three more weeks.
DIDN'T THEY HAVE A DEAL?
Yes. Senate leaders used the three weeks to hash out a two-year, $400 billion budget agreement. McConnell and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer announced it Wednesday, lauding it as a major breakthrough. The deal found support in both parties largely because it has something for everyone — both the military spending Republicans wanted and the money for domestic programs Democrats sought. It also includes $89 billion for disaster relief sought by both parties.
WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM?
The bill does nothing on immigration. That's the problem for Democrats, especially in the House, where no vote has been promised on Dreamers, who have lived in the country illegally since they were children. For some Republicans, the problem was spending, specifically too much of it. The budget will put the U.S. on track to reach a $1 trillion deficit. For some fiscal conservatives who just spent years opposing President Barack Obama's deficits, that's tough to swallow. Still, leaders expected they could thread the needle to find the votes to pass the bill in both the House and Senate.
WHERE DID THIS GO WRONG?
From the beginning. The Senate had to move fast to pass the deal. But Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a fiscal conservative and resident contrarian, pumped the brakes, using his objection allowed under Senate rules to delay a vote until after 1 a.m. Friday. By the time the Senate passed the deal just before 2 a.m. the government had been officially shuttered for nearly two hours. The House rushed to approve its version, wrapping up the vote just after 5:30 a.m. President Donald Trump signed the bill three hours later, reopening the government.
SO DID IT MATTER?
The brief shutdown likely won't register for most people. Congress and the president acted in time to allow federal employees to get to work on Friday, keeping disruptions to a minimum. The budget deal approved by Congress matters a lot to the Pentagon, and for domestic programs for opioids, health centers and research funding. The budget agreement will set spending for programs for the next two years — if they stick to it. Under the short-term agreement approved early Friday, the government is funded for another six weeks to give lawmakers time to craft a budget plan. If they don't have something long-term in place by then, the country could be in shutdown mode again in March.
Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 11:49 AM
Updated: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 12:06 PM
— Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, and Rick Gates, who served as a campaign aide, are facing new charges in special counsel Robert Mueller's criminal case against the pair, Politico reported Wednesday.
READ MORE: Mueller investigation: Lawyer pleads guilty to lying to investigators in Russia probe | Who is Rick Gates and why was he indicted by Robert Mueller? | Who is Paul Manafort, the man indicted in Robert Mueller’s Russian investigation? | What are Paul Manafort and Rick Gates charged with? | MORE
Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 12:14 PM
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — About 100 students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School poured into the state Capitol this morning to call for tighter gun control laws in the wake of last week’s massacre on their school campus.
The students arrived at a Tallahassee high school to extended applause late Tuesday after a 400-mile trip on three buses, The Associated Press reported.
Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 11:43 AM
— Evangelical leader Billy Graham, who counseled presidents and preached to millions of people worldwide, died Wednesday at 99.
How Graham got his start
Graham, the son of a North Carolina farmer, started preaching throughout the south and midwest.
He was “born again” after hearing a preacher’s service in 1934 in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to CNN.
He attended Florida Bible Institute and it was there while taking a midnight stroll in 1937 on the 18th green when he received his calling from God, Graham wrote in his biography. He was baptized Dec. 4, 1938, in Silver Lake, Florida, and ordained the following year, according to CNN.
After graduating, Graham moved to Illinois to continue his education at Wheaton College, where he met his wife, according to The New York Times.
Advisor to presidents and welcomed by world leaders
Graham advised 10 presidents starting with Harry Truman. Barack Obama was the last president Graham met with, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Graham was most closely linked to President Richard Nixon whom he endorsed in 1968. Years later, recordings of the two were released in which they made anti-Semitic remarks. Graham apologized, saying he did not recall making the statements.
Not only did Graham counsel American presidents, world leaders of religiously restrictive countries welcomed him.
He was invited to preach in China as well as in Pyongyang by North Korean dictator Kim Il-sung, according to the New York Times. He also visited communist countries in Eastern Europe to promote peace.
Graham’s global reach
Graham was not the first evangelical but he was able to use communication and technology to gain an unprecedented reach.
Through the use of radio, books, magazines, television and the internet Graham’s “crusades” reached more than 200 million people on almost every continent.
Graham wrote 30 books and his sermons were translated into 48 languages and sent to 185 countries by satellite, according to the New York Times.
He held a crusade in Madison Square Garden in 1957. It was so popular, it was extended from six to 16 weeks and ended with a rally with 100,000 people in Times Square. It was Graham’s longest revival meeting ever.
His final crusade was in 2005 in New York City. However, the Billy Graham Evangelical Association continues to organize them.
Graham formed the Billy Graham Evangelical Association in 1950. The group continues to organize crusades, radio and television programs and publishes the Decision magazine. The association trains thousands of evangelicals and missionaries and sends a rapid response team to help in disaster areas.
His son, Franklin Graham, who developed his own following, was tapped to lead the association in 1995, according to the New York Times.
Daughter Anne Graham Lotz and grandsons Will Graham and William Graham Tullian Tchividjian are part of the ministry.
Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 9:02 AM
— Evangelist Billy Graham died Wednesday at age 99 at his North Carolina home.
Graham, who preached Christianity to millions around the world, was also a confidant of U.S. presidents from Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush.
Here are some quotes from the man who became known as “America’s Pastor.”
Source: Brainy Quotes