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Senate committee approves health care plan

WASHINGTON (AP) - With support from a lone Republican, a key Senate committee Tuesday approved a middle-of-the-road health care plan that moves President Barack Obama's goal of wider and affordable coverage a giant step closer to becoming law.

Maine Republican Olympia Snowe said she was laying aside misgivings for now and voting to advance the bill, a sweeping $829-billon, 10-year health care remake that would help most Americans get coverage without creating a new government insurance plan. "When history calls, history calls," said Snowe.

October 13, 2009 | Staff Report | AP Politics


Marshall to hold town hall meeting in Forsyth tonight

Rep. Jim Marshall has scheduled two town hall meetings. The first one will be held tonight in Forsyth at the Monroe County Board of Education auditorium, 25 Brooklyn Ave., from 6-8 p.m. The second meeting is scheduled for Aug. 24 at the VFW Post 6605 in Warner Robins, 1011 Corder Road, from 6-8 p.m. Both meetings are open to the public.

August 19, 2009 | Staff Report | AP Politics


Sotomayor to be first Hispanic on US high court

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sonia Sotomayor won confirmation Thursday as the first Hispanic U.S. Supreme Court justice in a Senate vote that capped a summer-long debate heavy with ethnic politics.

Sotomayor, President Barack Obama's first Supreme Court nominee, will be sworn in Saturday as the court's 111th justice, third woman and first nominee by a Democrat in 15 years.

August 06, 2009 | The Associated Press | AP Politics


Senate Approves Chambliss-Isakson Legislation to Ensure Counting of Overseas Military Ballots

WASHINGTON - The Senate approved by voice vote today an amendment to the defense authorization bill co-sponsored by U.S. senators Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., to ensure that all ballots cast by U.S. troops overseas are counted in elections.

"Of the 992,000 military and overseas absentee ballots requested for the 2006 election, more than 660,000 never reached election officials," said Chambliss, the bill's lead Republican sponsor and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "This is simply unacceptable. I'm glad my colleagues recognized that our military men and women serving overseas to ...

July 23, 2009 | Staff Report | AP Politics


Senate sides with Obama, removes F-22 money

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate voted Tuesday to halt production of the Air Force's missile-eluding F-22 Raptor fighter jets in a high-stakes showdown over President Barack Obama's efforts to shift defense spending to a new generation of smaller F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

The 58-40 vote reflected an all-out lobbying campaign by the administration, which had to overcome resistance from lawmakers confronted with the potential losses of defense-related jobs if the F-22 program was terminated.

July 21, 2009 | By Jim Abrams Associated Press Writer | AP Politics


Ex-Ga. Gov. Barnes announces gubernatorial bid

ATLANTA (AP) - Former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes is asking voters to give him his old job back.

Barnes made the announcement Wednesday. The Democrat pledged to create jobs and to improve education and transportation. He acknowledged past mistakes, such as feuds with the state's teachers, that some have blamed for his surprising defeat in 2002.

June 03, 2009 | by Shannon McCaffrey The Associated Press | AP Politics


Sotomayor nominated to high court

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama named federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor as the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice on Tuesday, praising her as "an inspiring woman" with both the intellect and compassion to interpret the Constitution wisely.

Obama said Sotomayor has more experience as a judge than any current member of the high court had when nominated, adding she has earned the "respect of colleagues on the bench," the admiration of lawyers who appear in her court and "the adoration of her clerks."

May 26, 2009 | By Ben Feller The Associated Press | AP Politics


Ga. Senate set to take up budget

ATLANTA (AP) - As the Legislature plunges into its final week, the state Senate's budget-writing panel is set to tackle an $18.6 billion spending plan that funnels more state dollars to Medicaid.

The health program for the poor has seen its rolls skyrocket in the economic downturn. But the shift in funds to account for projected growth in Medicaid means more cuts elsewhere throughout the budget, which has already passed the House.

March 30, 2009 | Staff Report | AP Politics


Social Security beneficiaries to receive $250 recovery payments in May

Vice President Joe Biden and Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, announced Thursday that the federal government will send out $250 economic recovery payments to people who receive Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits beginning in early May 2009 and continuing throughout the month. No action is required to get the payment, which will be sent separately from the person's regular monthly payment.

"The Social Security Administration and Commissioner Astrue have been working closely with other federal agencies to get these payments out the door in record time and into the hands of folks who need ...

March 26, 2009 | Report from the Social Security Administration | AP Politics


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