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Stories by J.T. Lain

‘Hard choices’ at VA could include cut to unemployability benefit

Faced with a “hard decision” on the budget, the Department of Veterans Affairs is again considering new limits on the Individual Unemployability benefit that currently helps more than 200,000 disabled veterans.... Read more»0

Doubling down: McCain, Flake don’t soften edges despite poll showing

What do you do when you are listed as one of the most unpopular people in your home state? If you’re a U.S. senator from Arizona, apparently you stick to your guns.... Read more»0

McCain, 2 GOP women senators, help defeat repeal of Obamacare

Sen. John McCain’s decision to buck his party early Friday and vote against a GOP plan to repeal Obamacare was both hailed as an example of “amazing courage” and derided as “betraying his conservative constituency.” He joined Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine to vote against a repeal of parts of the Affordable Care Act. ... Read more»0

House OKs spending bill with border wall funds

The House passed a $713.4 billion defense spending “minibus” Thursday that rolled four separate spending bills together with scores of amendments, including almost $1.6 billion to begin construction of a border wall.... Read more»0

Flake raises more than $4 million for expected tough 2018 campaign

U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, often called one of the most vulnerable senators facing re-election in 2018, has started aggressively fundraising, and reported having almost $3 million in the bank.... Read more»0

McCain cajoles, condemns, coerces Senate in emotional return

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave Sen. John McCain 16 minutes of floor time Tuesday and McCain used every minute of it, capping an already emotional return to the Senate with a call to action for his fellow lawmakers that hit every emotion on the scale.... Read more»0

Trump taunts states, like Arizona, that denied voter data to task force

Arizona election officials had sharp words for President Trump after he suggested that states that are withholding voter information from his commission have something to hide. “We could say the same thing about him,” shot back Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez. “What is he hiding in his taxes?”... Read more»0

House OKs $689 billion defense bill, with almost as many amendments

The House passed a $689 billion defense budget Friday that includes funding for Pentagon operations – along with a record number of attempts at amendments, on everything from the border wall to professional sports. Included is funding for the A-10s based in Tiucson.... Read more»0

Democrats cry foul at removal of border wall ban from defense budget

The 2018 defense spending bill that is expected to come up for a House vote Friday will not have language that would have prevented Pentagon funds from being used to build a border wall.... Read more»0

Flake, Kaine urge Congress to reclaim power to OK military action

Congress has been too willing to cede its constitutional authority to approve the use of military forces and it’s time to take that responsibility back, Sens. Jeff Flake and Tim Kaine said Wednesday.... Read more»0

Arizona will comply with only some of White House request for voter data

Arizona will comply with some of a request from the Trump administration's "Commission on Election Integrity" for public records on the state’s 3.6 million registered voters, Secretary of State Michele Reagan said Friday.... Read more»0

Tribe OKs plan to begin shutdown of Navajo Generating Station

The lights will stay on at the Navajo Generating Station until 2019 as the Navajo Nation Council voted 18-4, after hours of debate Monday, for a new agreement with the plant’s operators. The new lease agreement allows for decades of decommissioning work to begin in 2019 and includes amendments giving the tribe control of water to the plant and some of its assets.... Read more»0

Ducey touts value of Mexico trade, hopes to be in any negotiations

Gov. Doug Ducey told a U.S.-Mexico diplomacy conference Wednesday that maintaining good trade between the countries is important, and he expects the state to have a “seat at the table” in any upcoming trade negotiations.... Read more»0

McCain’s line of questioning for Comey not exactly a straight line

Former FBI Director James Comey may have expected many things when he testified to a Senate committee Thursday – but being promoted to president was probably not one of them. But that’s what Arizona Sen. John McCain appeared to do in a question in which he accidentally called the former FBI chief “President Comey.”... Read more»0

VA: Treating vets discharged ‘other than honorably’ can cut suicides

A program that lets veterans with other-than-honorable discharges get emergency mental health care is just one of the steps the VA is taking to address increasing suicides by vets. The agency says 20 veterans in the U.S. take their own lives per day. Of those, only six used VA health care.... Read more»0

Trump’s first budget draws praise, pans from Az lawmakers

The White House said its proposed $4.09 trillion budget shows “respect for the people who pay the bills,” but Arizona Democrats said deep domestic cuts make it a “dangerous plan” that will hurt the most vulnerable Americans.... Read more»0