Byron York: Support Falling in Polls, Harry Reid Announces Rush to Pass Immigration Bill - Washington Examiner - With a new poll showing falling support for the Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced an accelerated schedule in which the Senate would take a final, up-or-down vote on passing the bill by the end of next week. "I’m just telling everybody that we’re going to either file cloture on this on Friday or Saturday or Sunday or Monday,” Reid said as the Senate opened its morning session. Filing for cloture means that a final vote would be held three days later. So if Reid filed for cloture on Monday, June 24, a final vote on the bill would be held on Thursday, June 27. The Senate’s July Fourth break starts the week after. Reid warned his fellow lawmakers that if they want to consider amendments to the Gang of Eight bill, they need to be prepared to work virtually nonstop between now and then. "This may not be one of our normal weekends,” Reid said. “We’ve got to move forward on this legislation.”Why? Debate in the full Senate only started last week. Why is Reid rushing to pass such a sprawling, multifaceted piece of legislation in such a short period of time? Is there an emergency? Read more........
(2) House Passes Ban on Abortions After 20 Weeks of Pregnancy - Washington Examiner - The Republican-led House Tuesday passed a bill banning most abortions after 20 weeks.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, approved by a vote of 228 to 196, comes in the wake of gruesome details that emerged during the trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted of murdering babies born during the late-term procedures. The trial highlighted medical evidence about fetal development and their ability to feel pain beyond 20 weeks.
Supporters of the bill cited the Gosnell trial during the floor debate.
“I, like all Americans, was disgusted to learn of the horrific and illegal abortion procedures performed by Kermit Gosnell,” Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said after the vote. “By banning abortion after 20 weeks, today’s bill will save the lives of innocent children from enduring the excruciatingly painful death of a late abortion.” Read more.......
(3) Clinton IRS Commissioner: Tax Audit of Virginia Farmer, Martha Boneta - Just a Coincidence? - Fauquier Free Citizen - After clashing in court with a powerful Virginia environmental group, farmer Martha Boneta faced a second threat: an ominous U.S. Internal Revenue Service audit notice she received in the mail.
Boneta suspects the events are related, that her struggle to protect her property rights is part of a larger national story involving IRS harassment of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. A former IRS commissioner who serves on a council that has sparred with Boneta over her property said the concerns are unfounded.
“You are humbled and terrorized by the whole process,” Boneta told Watchdog. “You wake up every day with a terrible feeling, and initially you don’t want to tell anyone what has happened. But as I gradually began to speak out, more people began to join with me. Anyone who is a farmer, or a concerned citizen, has a stake in this fight. But I came into the process very reluctantly.”
As Watchdog previously reported, Boneta’s name is now synonymous with the fight for property rights in Virginia. The Boneta Bill (House Bill 1430), which is designed to strengthen and clarify the state’s Right to Farm Act, passed the House of Delegates in a 77-22 vote in February. Read more.......
(4) Medicaid Expansion in Virginia Now Under Serious Review - NBC12 - A hot button issue brought hundreds of demonstrators to the State Capitol on Monday. More than 200 showed up as the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission met for the first time to review changes to the Medicaid program.
Both sides are giving their reasons for and against Medicaid expansion, but the commission said we're still in the beginning process of trying to understand that type of change.
Expansion could mean coverage for 400,000 more people in the state. Opponents say, right now, the Medicaid program is a broken system.
"The idea really is to get everybody dependent on government - somebody has got to pay for that, and I think a lot of it is going to be waste," said Senator Dick Black with District 13, who is against Medicaid expansion.
Across the Capitol grounds, a smaller group in favor of the expansion gathered. These demonstrators believe it will provide much needed health care for the uninsured. Read more.......