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Homeland Security: Fewer Central American kids crossing border

Homeland Security officials said Tuesday that they have cut the time it takes to deport Central American adults and seen a sharp drop in the number of children trying to cross the border. Secretary Johnson said officials had reduced the time it takes to repatriate adults to Central America, from about 33 days to about four days now.... Read more»

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McCain files bill to replace Obama's wildfire funding request

McCain is supporting more money for the Forest Services wildfire budget, just one week after President Obama included wildfire funding as part of an emergency border request to Congress.... Read more»

Lawmakers debate need for, focus of $3.7 billion border request

Two days after the president sought 3.7 billion in emergency funding to stem a tide of immigrant children on the Southwest border, lawmakers were split over the request. Backers said it is urgently needed, but opponents said the money will do little to stop future crossings.... Read more»

Senate panel takes up plan to settle Bill Williams River water dispute

Tribal and state lawmakers urged a Senate panel to pass a water-rights deal between the Hualapai and Freeport Minerals Corp., saying time is fast running out. The deal for tribal water rights in the Bill Williams River watershed is backed by the state’s congressional delegation.... Read more»

McCain: Surge in unaccompanied minors fault of Obama, Congress

After touring the Nogales Border Patrol station Friday, U.S. Sen. John McCain held a press conference in which he blamed the Obama’s immigration policy and the failure of comprehensive immigration reform for thousands of unaccompanied minors coming to the U.S.... Read more»

Grijalva cancels tour of Nogales border shelter

U.S. Rep. Grijalva canceled a tour of the facilities for hundreds of unaccompanied minors at the Nogales Border Patrol station after officials refused to allow accompanying clergy to visit with him. Tuesday, officials said reporters will be offered a 20-minute tour in which no questions will be allowed.... Read more»2

Feds insist minors caught at the border will ultimately be sent home

Leaders of five federal departments detailed their agencies’ responses as they struggle to cope with the surge of unaccompanied immigrant children caught crossing the Southwest border. The influx flooded facilities in Texas and led to hundreds of youths being shipped to Arizona and elsewhere.... Read more»

Grijalva lauds Tucson VA hospital for low wait times

While the Veterans Administration Hospital in Phoenix has been beset by scandal, the VA hospital in Tucson has successfully passed a nationwide audit by the Department of Veteran Affairs. New patients waited an average of 33 days for an appointment, while current patients waited a day.... Read more»1

House unanimously passes VA bill

The House unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that allows veterans who having been waiting too long to go outside the VA system to seek health care.... Read more»

McCain, Flake back plan to let vets seek non-VA health care

With problem-plagued health care at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Arizona’s senators joined other lawmakers to back a bill letting vets seek care elsewhere. The bill, and a similar Democratic measure, come in the wake of problems that forced the VA secretary’s resignation.... Read more»

Land fight nears end for Coconino homeowners

It took a wildfire, three Congresses and years of work, but some Coconino County residents may soon be able to make their properties whole again. The Senate has approved a bill correcting a 50-year-old surveying error that had put some private homes in the national forest.... Read more»

Lawmakers see little victories, big flaws in $3.9 trillion budget

Arizona’s congressional delegation had predictable reactions to the federal budget proposed last week — split on party lines. Democrats are “more likely to see value in stressing what the budget does for their district.”. Republicans, on the other hand, find that their districts are looking for a “dumping on ‘big-spending’ Obama” tack.... Read more»

Nonprofits spent money on Az campaigns despite donor warnings

Two of the tightest races for U.S. Senate in 2012 were in Nevada and Arizona. Republican candidates eked out wins in both states with help from four so-called “dark money” nonprofits, whose funding can be traced back to the network of organizations backed by the Koch brothers.... Read more»

GOP lawmakers dislike ‘how’ as much as ‘what’ of Obama speech

President Obama’s State of the Union address renewed calls for comprehensive immigration reform and action on economic opportunity, including an increased minimum wage and extended unemployment insurance benefits. But Republicans in Arizona’s congressional delegation quickly attacked the speech not just for what the president wants to do but how he vowed to do it.... Read more»

Nominees for 6 vacant Az judgeships get long-stalled hearings

Months of waiting – and more than two years in one case – were over in less than two hours Tuesday when a Senate committee breezed through nomination hearings for six Arizona judicial nominees. After a generally friendly hearing, the six nominees — including Tucson’s Rosemary Marquez — will still have to wait at least one week for a committee vote, followed by a full Senate vote.... Read more»

Flake lifts long hold on judge nominations, including Marquez

Sen. Jeff Flake has lifted a block on five of six judicial nominees to the federal bench in Arizona, where the American Bar Association has said vacancies are “dramatically worse” than in other states. Among the nominees who will move ahead to Senate review are Tucson’s Rosemary Marquez, first nominated in 2011.... Read more»

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