Federal Government

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President Obama is sending a $4 trillion budget to Congress this morning, and Democrats in the region are glad it calls for lifting budget caps on most federal agencies.

Remember sequestration? It’s those indiscriminate budget cuts that rip through most every federal agency. Many first term lawmakers like Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine say it’s dumb for that deal to tie lawmaker’s hands now.

Virginia’s hospitals are required  to treat anyone who comes to their emergency rooms, and they’re spending about $600 million a year on charity care.  Meanwhile, state lawmakers refuse to expand Medicaid, and the federal government is cutting payments for Medicare.  Unless something is done,  some hospitals say they may be forced to close.  

Patricia Springer owns a small business – Moonbeam Massage.  She’s happy to help people who’ve suffered an injury or illness, but since the great recession began, business has been slow.

Virginia Lawmakers Question Offshore Drilling

Jan 28, 2015
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A bipartisan group of Virginia lawmakers say the Interior Department move to open up Virginia’s coast to drilling is raising more questions than answers. 

Some proponents of drilling off Virginia’s coast are dubious. The maps of natural resources off the eastern coast haven’t been updated in three decades, and Virginia Republican Congressman Rob Wittman says he thinks energy companies are dubious of this administration’s energy policies and won’t want to invest the resources necessary.   

whitehouse.gov

The agenda President Obama is laying out at the start of this new Congress is being rejected by Virginia Republicans who now have more power at the Capitol than Democrats. 

While Republicans were just swept into power running against President Obama’s economic policies, the president told lawmakers in last week’s State of the Union address that the economy is soaring again because of his policies. He’s now hoping to expand on that progress through things like offering two years of free community college and tax credits for child care.

Virginia’s two Democratic Senators are expected to hold a lot of sway as more moderate voices in the new Republican controlled Senate. 

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