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Interior sec. calls for 'right-sizing' of Utah's Bears Ears Nat'l Monument

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommended reducing the size of the 1.5-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah, drawing immediate criticism from Democratic and environmental groups who called his plan “nonsense.”... Read more»1

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House OKs banking deregulation bill, consumer advocates worry about impact

When Vietnam vet Randall Stankewicz was getting the runaround from his mortgage lender, he complained to the Servicemember Affairs Office in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – which settled the issue in 10 days. But that office would be eliminated under a sweeping bill approved by the House that would undo many of the financial reforms approved in 2010 as part of the Dodd-Frank Act.... Read more»

Forest Service chief confident on wildfires despite proposed budget cut

The Forest Service faces a $970 million budget cut in 2018, but the agency's chief said he is confident the service will have the resources to battle wildfires next year, although he acknowledged that President Trump’s budget proposes “very difficult reductions in some very important programs.”... Read more»

House OKs McSally bill to waive lie detectors for some Border Patrol applicants

The House overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to waive polygraph tests for veterans applying for Border Patrol jobs, despite concerns that it could open the door to problem hires. Rep. Martha McSally's bill comes as Customs and Border Protection grapples with President Trump’s plan to hire an additional 5,000 agents.... Read more»1

Despite $1.2 billion in purchases, tribal land buy-back ‘treading water’

The Interior Department has “not accomplished much” in its program to buy up marginal Indian lands and return them to tribes, despite spending two-thirds of a $1.9 billion fund for the program.... Read more»

Trump plan to exit Paris accord riles Arizona Democrats, warms GOP

President Trump said Thursday the U.S. will withdraw from a global agreement on emissions that “handicaps” the economy, a move that Arizona critics charged will end up harming both the economy and the environment.... Read more»

GOP health bill could cost 23 million coverage; 400,000 in Az

The Republican plan to replace Obamacare will force as many as 23 million Americans off health insurance over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office reported, with local experts predicting more than 400,000 of those will be in Arizona.... Read more»

BioDiv tells UN that U.S. has 'obligation' to protect species threatened by border wall

Tucson's Center for Biological Diversity, along with representatives of the Tohono O'odham in Sonora and a coalition of Mexican enviro groups, are pushing for the UN to investigate the consequences of the Trump administration's plan to build a border wall along the northern edge of a nature preserve.... Read more»

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»

Grijalva slams Trump's 'voter fraud' commission as Orwellian

Tucson Democrat Raul Grijalva said President Trump's announcement of a "Commission on Election Integrity" is "straight out of an Orwell novel." Trump, who has repeatedly made unfounded claims that illegal voting played a significant role in the 2016 election, named VP Pence and "voter ID" advocate Kris Kobach to the panel.... Read more»

Trump orders review of predecessors’ national monument designations

President Donald Trump ordered the Interior Department Wednesday to review two decades of national monument designations, actions he said represent an “egregious use of government power” affecting millions of acres of land — including four monuments in Arizona.... Read more»

Polygraphs for Border Patrol applicants seen as hurdle to hiring rush

Customs and Border Protection officials are considering ways to waive polygraphs for some applicants as the agency works to meet President Trump’s push to hire thousands more border agents. But it would also relax a policy meant to curb a wave of corruption that CBP faced in its last hiring boom, a change critics called “alarming.”... Read more»

Grijalva joins BioDiv lawsuit over environmental impact of border wall

Rep. Raúl Grijalva and the Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity launched a lawsuit Wednesday to force the Trump administration to consider the environmental impact of border enforcement, including the construction of a wall, along the U.S.-Mexico border. ... Read more»

Az lawmakers praise Trump on Syria strike, but warn about not being consulted

Most Arizona lawmakers agreed Friday that Syria’s apparent use of chemical weapons against civilians called for quick action by the U.S., but some said President Donald Trump went about it the wrong way.... Read more»

Resolution mine official calls permitting process a barrier to business

The Resolution Copper Mine in Arizona would be operating by now in most countries, but is still years away from getting all the permits it needs, a company official said Tuesday. But Rep. Raul Grijalva said "we have regulations ... to make sure environmental, public health and all other attributes of community impact are taken into account."... Read more»

Advocates leery of plan to hire more immigration judges, prosecutors

Advocates say a backlog in immigration courts denies justice to the accused, but they are not ready to endorse President Donald Trump’s plan to speed up the process by hiring more judges and prosecutors.... Read more»

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