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Church, state meet when pope addresses Congress, to dismay of some

Gilbert resident Simon Spanton doesn’t have anything against Pope Francis. It’s the combination of Pope Francis and Congress he has a problem with. “The pope seems like a nice guy,” said Spanton, 73. “But I see no place for religion in government.”... Read more»

Az lawmakers see mixed demand for tickets to watch pope’s speech

When Pope Francis gives a historic address to Congress next week, up to 50,000 people could be standing in a ticketed area of the West Front of the Capitol to watch the speech on large TV screens. Not as many of them will be Arizonans, however, as could be.... Read more»

Az delegation splits on party lines as House votes to strip Planned Parenthood funding

A sharply divided House on Friday passed two strong anti-abortion bills that supporters said would help stop an American “genocide,” but critics derided as a political “farce” to appeal to pro-life voters. Lawmakers voted largely along party lines to approve one bill to strip federal funding for Planned Parenthood for a year.... Read more»

Franks, abortion opponents attack Planned Parenthood in House hearing

An emotional Rep. Trent Franks, R-Glendale, accused Planned Parenthood on Wednesday of selling body parts of “innocent babies they’re guilty of killing” in abortion procedures. Critics noted that no officials from Planned Parenthood were invited to testify.... Read more»

House, Senate panels forward bills to halt T-O casino in Glendale

Bills that would halt construction on a Tohono O’odham casino in Glendale passed committees in both the House and the Senate on Wednesday. The Keep the Promise Act of 2015 – introduced by U.S. Sen. John McCain and U.S. Rep. Trent Franks – would “prohibit gaming activities on certain Indian land in Arizona until the expiration of certain gaming compacts” in 2027.... Read more»2

House panel: ICE released 30,000 convicted criminals in 2014

House lawmakers grilled ICE Director Sarah Saldaña on Tuesday, saying her agency had released more than 30,000 immigrants with criminal records in 2014 while failing to act against other immigrants its officers stopped.... Read more»

McSally, McCain target 'spotters' who warn border traffickers

With her first piece of legislation, introduced Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Martha McSally joined with Sen. John McCain in focusing on spotters for drug cartels — who conduct covert surveillance to help smugglers dodge border agents.... Read more»1

Lawmakers question authorizing military force against ISIS

President Obama wants Congress to authorize the use of military force against the Islamic State militants waging a brutal campaign in parts of Iraq and Syria. House members asked if the request was too narrow and if allies were capable of holding on to any U.S. gains.... Read more»

Utility employee drafted anti-solar letter signed by Az congressmen

Rooftop solar companies are using deceptive marketing to push risky leases on consumers, and federal regulators need to step in. That was the message sent by six Arizona congressmen to the FTC and the recently created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But one of those letters was drafted by an employee of Arizona Public Service, the state’s largest utility and one of the largest campaign donors for the group of lawmakers.... Read more»

Prop 122 aims to allow state to reject certain federal laws, rules

Proposition 122 would amend the state Constitution to say that Arizona may exercise its "sovereign authority" to restrict the use of its money and personnel to purposes consistent with its Constitution. It's the second straight election with sovereignty on the ballot. ... Read more»

Az lawmakers want greater say in U.S. strategy against ISIS

Members of the state's congressional delegation differed on exactly what the U.S. strategy toward ISIS should look like, but they mostly agreed that they should have a greater say in it. The comments came as lawmakers were being briefed by White House officials on the plan. ... Read more»1

Leaders from tribe, Glendale break ground on $400M casino resort

Leaders of the Tohono O’odham Nation and Glendale broke ground Thursday on a $400 million casino resort that has been the subject of lawsuits and legislation to block it.... Read more»

Az lawmakers split on party lines over immigration

A pro-immigration scorecard gave a zero to all Republicans in the Arizona delegation but no less than a 73 to the Democrats. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott, welcomed his zero on the "far-left" scorecard; Rep. Raul Grijalva was "honored" by his perfect score. ... Read more»2

Az advocates hail, condemn Supreme Court ruling on contraception

Reaction was swift to the Supreme Court's ruling that businesses cannot be forced to provide workers' contraceptive coverage, if it conflicts with the owners' religious beliefs. Supporters hailed it as a victory for religious rights, while opponents saw it as a setback for women's rights. ... Read more»

National pro-life leaders undaunted by failure of Az abortion law

National Right to Life leaders said Tuesday they are not concerned about the Supreme Court’s refusal to reinstate an Arizona law banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, expressing confidence that similar measures will pass in other states.... Read more»

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