Briefs

Agriculture secretary pressed about pandemic relief funds for farmers

BY: - January 21, 2022

WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack faced questions on how his agency is doling out emergency pandemic aid and fostering collaboration with historically Black colleges during a Thursday hearing before the House Agriculture Committee. Committee Chairman David Scott, a Georgia Democrat, asked Vilsack for “critical updates on the implementation of pandemic relief programs, including the […]

Biden says ‘big chunks’ of his spending bill could still succeed, including climate plan

BY: - January 20, 2022

President Joe Biden said Wednesday the climate and child care provisions in his domestic spending agenda could still become law this year, even as the larger plan has stalled in the Senate over other items that Biden conceded may not pass — such as an expanded child tax credit. In a nearly two-hour news conference, […]

Here’s how you can order free COVID tests

BY: - January 19, 2022

The federal government launched a website to order free at-home tests for COVID-19 Tuesday, one day ahead of schedule. Each residential address is eligible to receive four tests total, regardless of household size, which will be shipped completely free of charge in an estimated seven to 12 days. Individuals can sign up for their tests […]

Forest Service in ‘paradigm shift’ to use logging, controlled burns to prevent wildfires

BY: - January 18, 2022

The Biden administration will announce Tuesday it is using $3 billion from last year’s infrastructure law to revamp the federal approach to wildfire management, introducing a 10-year plan to deal with the large swaths of the West scientists consider most at risk of destructive blazes. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, is scheduled […]

Online orders for free at-home COVID tests to begin Jan. 19

BY: - January 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Friday launched a new website for Americans to request up to four free COVID-19 tests per household. The administration is buying 1 billion at-home rapid COVID-19 tests, and Americans will be able to begin ordering the tests online on Jan. 19 at COVIDtests.gov. This is part of the administration’s effort to […]

Bridge funding in infrastructure law on the way to states

BY: - January 14, 2022

The federal government will begin releasing more than $5 billion for distressed bridges in the first year of funding under the recent infrastructure law, President Joe Biden said in a Friday video message. He specifically mentioned the Brent Spence Bridge connecting Ohio and Kentucky, the Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington […]

Sinema won’t support changes in the Senate filibuster, in setback for voting rights bill

BY: - January 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema on Thursday appeared to end a push by Democrats to change the Senate’s filibuster rules and pass major voting rights legislation. Sinema said during a Senate floor speech that she believed any changes to the filibuster would continue to create political division, despite her concerns over a wave […]

Biden sends medical teams to 6 states, promises more free COVID tests and masks

BY: - January 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the federal government will deploy military medical units to six states to assist hospitals overwhelmed with the recent spike of the omicron coronavirus variant. Starting next week, more than 120 medical personnel — the beginning of a deployment of 1,000 service members — will go to hospitals […]

Congressional Black Caucus calls for Senate action on voting rights

BY: - January 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is expected to meet with Senate Democrats on Thursday to push for the swift passage of two voting rights bills, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus are applying pressure for action as well. During a press conference at the Capitol on Wednesday, caucus Chair Joyce Beatty said that members […]

Schumer insists ‘failure is not an option’ as voting rights fight intensifies

BY: - January 12, 2022

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the Senate will act as soon as Wednesday to attempt to again pass voting rights legislation. “Failure is not an option for the democracy of America,” the New York Democrat said at a Tuesday press conference with other Senate Democrats. “We’re running out of time.” Schumer […]

Complaints about White House handling of COVID-19 aired at U.S. Senate hearing

BY: - January 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — Senators from both political parties expressed their frustration with the Biden administration coronavirus response team during a Tuesday hearing that keyed in on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance on vaccines, as well as the shortage of COVID-19 tests available for Americans. The hearing also was highlighted by a tense exchange between […]

The University of Missouri-Columbia's iconic columns, remains of the school's first building, stand in front of Jesse Hall, which houses administrative offices. (University of Missouri photo)

University of Missouri curators vote down mask rule to open spring semester

BY: - January 11, 2022

Despite hearing from President Mun Choi that a mask rule could be the key to keeping University of Missouri campuses open, the UM Board of Curators on Tuesday morning voted down recommendations for a temporary mask requirement. The nine-member board voted 3-6 against a plan proposed by Choi to require masks in most indoor spaces. […]