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Biden urges city leaders to take advantage of billions in federal relief funds

President Joe Biden on Monday urged local and city governments to continue to use the $130 billion in funds allocated to them from the American Rescue Plan to help during the pandemic. ... Read more»

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Feds giving states $260 million for highway safety

The federal government has announced that it is giving nearly $260 million in grants to states to beef up their highway safety - funding which will comes from the recently enacted bipartisan infrastructure law and be used to support a broad range of traffic safety priorities.... Read more»

Can you hear me now? Centrist positioning makes Arizona's Sinema a player, pariah

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s refusal to back the Biden administration’s spending package has made her a target for Democrats – but it has also landed her numerous meetings with the president this week and led to surprisingly high support for her among Arizona Republicans.... Read more»

House Democrats advance budget resolution, overcoming standoff on timing of infrastructure vote

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday muscled through a $3.5 trillion budget framework, overcoming a standoff with a handful of centrists who had demanded the House first approve the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed by the Senate. ... Read more»

What the U.S. didn’t learn in Afghanistan, according to the government’s own Inspector General

A lacerating report this week was the 11th in a clear-eyed series that revealed the US failure to reconstruct Afghanistan over two decades - so why didn’t anyone heed the inspector general’s warnings? ... Read more»

How Congress will attempt the biggest expansion of U.S. social programs since FDR

The Senate passed a massive bipartisan infrastructure bill and an even larger budget blueprint that would pave the way for historic changes in the U.S., but getting the packages to President Biden’s desk will still require balancing competing factions among congressional Democrats.... Read more»

Senate-approved infrastructure bill would raise wildland firefighter pay

The sweeping infrastructure bill that the U.S. Senate passed on Tuesday would lay the groundwork for raising federal wildland firefighter pay, one month after Pres. Biden announced one-time raises and bonuses to ensure they earn at least $15 an hour. ... Read more»

U.S. Senate OKs $1.2T bipartisan infrastructure bill

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed a sweeping bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, a milestone for one of President Joe Biden’s priorities after months of negotiation led by and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Rob Portman of Ohio.... Read more»

Democrats release $3.5T budget bill as infrastructure fight comes to a head

Senate Democrats issued their budget Monday for a $3.5 trillion package that pours funding into social programs, climate change initiatives and free education, queuing up a widely expected maneuver toward passage without GOP support. ... Read more»

FactCheck

Senators Sinema and Portman claim infrastructure bill Is 'paid for'; experts disagree

Both Republican Rob Portman and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, the senators who negotiated a bipartisan infrastructure bill, have claimed the legislation is “paid for” - but a budget watchdog group says the bill only pays for about half of the $548 billion in new spending.... Read more»

USDA chief calls for overhaul of forest management in western states

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the federal government needs to do a better job of forest management after viewing damage from the million-acre August Complex fire - a rare admission in an era where climate change receives the brunt of the blame for the spate of wildfires. ... Read more»

Senate gears up to get massive infrastructure bill off ground

Democrats racing to vote on the massive Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, after the Senate finally unveiled the 2,702-page bill late Sunday, strode into some quicksand from Republicans less worried about the timeline as the August recess looms. ... Read more»

A mega-dairy is transforming Arizona’s aquifer and farming lifestyles

Smaller dairy farmers nationwide have weathered years of milk prices below the cost of production, and now they face a new adversary: concentrated animal feeding operations - CAFOs - whose groundwater pumping is seen by many as the primary cause of their drying wells.... Read more»

Infrastructure bill falters again with doomed vote in Senate

After weeks of negotiations between the White House and Senate on President Joe Biden's proposal to beef up U.S. infrastructure, a test vote gauging willingness to debate the $1 trillion package failed. ... Read more»

Analysis

Can Biden’s plan to remove urban highways improve the health of American cities?

The $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework put forward by the Biden administration, which includes funding for a $1 billion “reconnecting communities” program, offers few details about ameliorating displacement, one of the many challenges faced by the new urban renewal movement.... Read more»

Tribal leaders from Tucson and across the nation bring litany of needs to federal funding hearing

While members of the House Natural Resources subcommittee sparred over the American Jobs Plan, tribal leaders focused more on the laundry list of needs for Native Americans, from schools and healthcare to roads and public safety, and less on where the money comes from.... Read more»

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