Blackouts in US Northwest due to heat wave, deaths reported
As the Pacific Northwest swelters in an unprecedented heat wave, an electrical utility in the Washington state city of Spokane has announced that more rolling blackouts have started that will cut off electricity and air conditioning to some customers.
Haaland OK'd at Interior, 1st Native American Cabinet head
FILE - In this Feb. 23, 2021, file photo Interior Secretary nominee Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., speaks during her confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. On March 15, the Senate confirmed her as Interior Secretary. Haaland was confirmed by a 51-40 vote, the narrowest margin yet for a Cabinet nomination by President Joe Biden. Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo and a 35th-generation resident of New Mexico, thanked hundreds of supporters at a virtual party hosted by Native American organizations. Jonathan Nez, president of the Navajo Nation in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, called Haaland’s confirmation “an unprecedented and monumental day for all first people of this country.
Senate energy panel backs Haaland for interior secretary
FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, file photo, Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., listens during the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing on her nomination to be Interior secretary, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jim Watson/Pool Photo via AP, File)WASHINGTON – A key Senate committee on Thursday approved the nomination of New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland to be interior secretary, clearing the way for a Senate vote that is likely to make her the first Native American to lead a Cabinet agency. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved Haaland's nomination, 11-9, sending it to the Senate floor. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was the lone Republican to support Haaland, who won unanimous backing from committee Democrats. The committee vote follows an announcement Wednesday by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, that she will support Haaland in the full Senate.
Senate confirms Raimondo as Biden commerce secretary
FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2021 file photo, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Commerce, Rhode Island Gov. The Senate has voted to confirm Raimondo as President Biden's commerce secretary. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)WASHINGTON – The Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to confirm Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to serve as President Joe Biden’s commerce secretary and help guide the economy's recovery during and after the coronavirus pandemic. Later Tuesday, the Senate voted 95-4 to confirm Cecilia Rouse to be chair of Biden's Council of Economic Advisers.
Biden pick for transportation, Buttigieg, advances in Senate
The Commerce Committee approved the nomination of Buttigieg, a 39-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, on a 21-3 vote. His nomination now heads to the full Senate, where a vote could happen as early as this week. He would be the first openly gay person, and one of the youngest, confirmed by the Senate to a Cabinet post. Biden has been urging the Senate, where Democrats hold a bare majority, to move quickly on his Cabinet picks given the current COVID-19 crisis. He signed an executive order mandating masks on airplanes and in public transportation to help stem the spread of the deadly virus.
Senate investigators fault FAA over Boeing jet, safety
In a report released Friday, Dec. 18, 2020 the Senate Commerce Committee also said the FAA continues to retaliate against whistleblowers. In a report released Friday, the Senate Commerce Committee also said the FAA continues to retaliate against whistleblowers. Both grew out of concern about the agency's approval of the Boeing Max. The Senate report, however, criticized a key part of the FAA review. It said that Boeing “inappropriately influenced" FAA testing of pilot-reaction time to a nose-down pitch of the plane.
Social media CEOs to face grilling from Republican senators
WASHINGTON – Less than a week before Election Day, the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google are set to face a grilling by Republican senators who accuse the tech giants of anti-conservative bias. With the election looming, Republicans led by President Donald Trump have thrown a barrage of grievances at Big Tech’s social media platforms, which they accuse without evidence of deliberately suppressing conservative, religious and anti-abortion views. The tech platforms are gateways to news online. It proposes that Congress enact rules preventing tech platforms from taking local news content without fair payment. “For too long, social media platforms have hidden behind Section 230 protections to censor content that deviates from their beliefs,” Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., the committee chairman, said recently.
Slade Gorton, former Washington US senator, dies at 92
FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2006, file photo, former Republican Sen. Slade Gorton, center, is introduced at a fundraiser for Republican Senate candidate Mike McGavick in Bellevue, Wash. Gorton, who served in the Washington Legislature, and as state attorney general before he became a three-term U.S. senator, has died. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)SEATTLE Slade Gorton, a patrician and cerebral politician who served as a U.S. Senate Republican leader before he was ousted by the growing Seattle-area liberal electorate in 2000, has died. Gorton died Wednesday in Seattle, said J. Vander Stoep, who served a Gorton's chief of staff in the Senate. In 1980, he won a coveted U.S. Senate seat by knocking off the legendary Maggie Warren G. Magnuson, appropriations committee chairman and Senate president. But within a year, Evans decided to vacate the other Senate seat, and Gorton launched his comeback.
Govt Watchdog: Politics caused 'Sharpiegate' frantic rebuke
Former Obama NOAA chief Jane Lubchenco, a scientist at Oregon State University, said in an email that high level officials put politics and their own jobs above public safety. By the time the two tweets were posted, Alabama was no longer in the hurricane centers warning cone, although it had been in previous days. Jacobs said things went crazy in the middle of the night.Then-NOAA communications chief Julie Kay Roberts told the inspector generals office that Walsh told her there are jobs on the line. The report said there was no credible evidence found to say that jobs were threatened. The Inspector General instead selectively quotes from interviews, takes facts out of context.The White House declined comment.
Lawmakers rip FAA for not disclosing documents on Boeing Max
The committee's top Democrat, Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington where Boeing builds the long-grounded 737 Max joined Wicker in criticizing FAA's failure to turn over documents. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, pressed Dickson on whether Boeing lied to the FAA about safety concerns around the Boeing plane. This week, Wicker and Cantwell introduced legislation to revamp the FAA's process for certifying new passenger planes. Boeing hopes to win FAA approval this year for changes it is making to the plane so airlines can resume using it. Dickson said, as he has many times, that FAA will approve Boeing's work when it is convinced the plane is safe.
Senate approves $2.8B plan to boost conservation, parks
The bill would spend about $2.8 billion per year on conservation, outdoor recreation and park maintenance. "Americas hundreds of millions of acres of public lands are the result of hundreds of years of exploration and conservation,'' said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnnell, R-Ky. Those measures are especially needed now, when communities surrounded by public lands have high unemployment rates because of shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Gardner said. Trump has tweeted in favor of the lands bill, saying it "will be HISTORIC for our beautiful public lands.'' Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., credited a new coalition of lawmakers from both parties who support conservation and public lands.
In time of crises, lands bill gives Senate a chance to unite
The bill, set for a Senate vote this coming week, would spend about $2.8 billion per year on conservation, outdoor recreation and park maintenance. McConnell told the two senators, who are both seeking reelection this year, that he would not consider the bill unless Trump was on board. Cantwell credited Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., for forcing attention on the conservation fund by blocking a 2018 spending bill that did not renew the program. While widely supported, the outdoors bill faces sharp opposition, mainly from Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and other Gulf Coast senators pushing to ensure it includes revenue-sharing for their states from offshore drilling. Calling Trump's record on the environment "the worst one in history,'' Cantwell said Gardner, Daines and other Republicans will be forced to defend the president as they go before voters.