Briefs

Senate panel splits over Xavier Becerra, Biden’s pick to lead Health and Human Services

BY: - March 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — A Senate panel divided evenly along party lines Wednesday over the nomination of Xavier Becerra, President Biden’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. The 14-14 vote came in the Senate Finance Committee, with Democrats in support of advancing Becerra’s nomination and Republicans opposed to sending it to the full […]

Biden urges states to speed up COVID-19 vaccinations for teachers

BY: - March 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is urging states to prioritize teachers for COVID-19 vaccines, setting a goal of ensuring that every pre-kindergarten through 12th grade educator, school staff member and childcare worker is able to receive at least one shot this month. At least 34 states and the District of Columbia have some or all […]

U.S. Senate confirms Cardona as education secretary

BY: - March 2, 2021

The Senate on Monday confirmed Miguel Cardona to lead the U.S. Department of Education in a 64-33 vote. Cardona, a longtime educator from Connecticut, will be tasked with helping schools reopen during the pandemic and leading the $68 billion agency.  “There is no one better suited for this job in this moment than Miguel Cardona,” […]

Missouri schools to receive $123 million as Parson releases budget withholdings

BY: - March 1, 2021

Missouri public schools will receive $123 million withheld from the state education budget, as Gov. Mike Parson announced Monday he ended all restrictions on general revenue spending in the current budget. The release comes earlier than anticipated. When state Budget Director Dan Haug laid out Parson’s spending proposal for the coming year in January, he […]

Judge rules ‘E-Raffle’ machines must face trial in Missouri illegal gambling case

BY: - February 27, 2021

Tritium International Consultants, a Florida company that markets gambling machines to fraternal and service clubs, will go on trial on felony charges in Linn County. Associate Circuit Judge William Devoy on Friday ruled that Prosecuting Attorney Shiante McMahon proved there is probable cause to believe the machine is an illegal gambling device. Devoy set an […]

U.S. House Agriculture panel to key in on climate change and farming

BY: - February 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — Democrats are eyeing proposals that would support programs for U.S. farmers—who have suffered catastrophic losses from severe weather events in recent years—to reduce carbon emissions on their land. In his first major policy hearing as House Agriculture Committee chairman, Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) said Thursday that the issue of climate change would be […]

Judge puts off ruling in Missouri illegal gambling case

BY: - February 26, 2021

LINNEUS — A  Linn County judge said Thursday he needed time to determine whether games seized in a Brookfield Eagles Lodge are illegal slot machines or a legal raffle. Associate Circuit Judge William Devoy didn’t say when he would rule whether the felony charge against Florida-based Tritium International Consulting would go to trial in circuit […]

U.S. Senate panel calls on governors, mayor to talk big new infrastructure package

BY: - February 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senators who could decide the fate of President Joe Biden’s push for a major new infrastructure package seemed open to his priorities at a hearing Wednesday, particularly Biden’s emphasis on replacing vehicles that run on gas and diesel with ones that use electric power. But when it came to the question of who […]

U.S. Senate confirms Vilsack for a second stint as Agriculture secretary

BY: - February 23, 2021

WASHINGTON —The Senate on Tuesday in a 92-7 vote confirmed former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack to run the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a second time. Vilsack, 70, also headed the $151 billion agency under the Obama administration, for eight years.  But he has garnered criticism from Black and minority farmers for his treatment of […]

Feds ship out COVID-19 vaccines delayed by winter storms

BY: - February 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — White House officials said Monday that thawing temperatures and a weekend of around-the-clock work has begun to clear a backlog of 6 million COVID-19 vaccines that were delayed due to last week’s devastating winter storms. On Monday, 7 million doses were set for delivery across the country, a figure that includes both delayed […]

Biden pick for Interior secretary likely to face rocky confirmation hearing

BY: - February 22, 2021

U.S. Senate Republicans may use next week’s Interior confirmation hearing for Rep. Debra Haaland to air their grievances about the Biden administration’s energy policies, running the risk of alienating Native Americans in Western states. GOP Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming and Steve Daines of Montana sit on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which will […]

Winter storms delay shipments of 6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses nationwide

BY: - February 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — The extreme cold weather across much of the country has delayed 6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, slowing a vaccination rate that has been steadily rising since the Biden administration took office last month. The backlogged doses account for roughly three days’ of delayed shipments affecting all 50 states, due to road closures, snowed-in […]