Washington

Fear of losing unemployment benefits pervades the United States

BY: - July 31, 2020

Congress is continuing to squabble over whether to extend a federal supplement to unemployment insurance and if they do, by how much. But as they argue over whether to continue the supplement at $600 a week or some fraction of that, out-of-work Americans are left to worry whether they can survive on state benefits that […]

As John Lewis lies in state at the U.S. Capitol, mourners reminded to get in ‘good trouble’

BY: - July 28, 2020

WASHINGTON — The immortal words of the late civil rights leader John Lewis rang out from the U.S. Capitol Monday during a private ceremony in celebration of his life. “You must find a way to get in the way,” he said in a recording of a 2014 commencement speech he gave at Emory University. “You must […]

If $600 checks from Washington disappear, unemployed workers will have to make do with state’s amount

BY: - July 28, 2020

CORRECTION: A new Illuminator story has been published explaining that self-employed workers in Louisiana are entitled to a fraction of the $600 they’d been getting and, therefore, won’t see their checks fall to zero.  Also, the headline of this story has been edited for accuracy.   The expiration of the $600 supplement that the federal […]

Even as Louisiana homelessness surges, federal rental assistance ends

BY: - July 25, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has not been kind to Natasha Blunt. She has already lost her grandmother and best friend to the disease. Now she may lose her home, too. Blunt lost her job at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center at the start of the pandemic. And now, like tens of thousands of others across […]

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy

Gap in federal unemployment payments all but certain after Senate adjourns without unveiling proposal

BY: - July 24, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democratic leaders slammed Republicans Friday for leaving in the lurch millions of jobless Americans who are relying on enhanced unemployment benefits to stay financially afloat amid ongoing public health and economic crises. Republicans in Congress and the White House were engaged in heated negotiations this week over the details of their party’s proposal […]

Louisiana’s congressional delegation can’t stop the Great American Outdoors Act

BY: and - July 23, 2020

WASHINGTON — Major environmental legislation sailed through Congress Wednesday while the nation’s political leaders were stuck in intense negotiations over the contours of a fifth coronavirus relief package. The bill would provide $9.5 billion over five years to pay down the National Park Service’s maintenance backlog and provide permanent funding at $900 million per year […]

Vaccine makers say a COVID-19 shot could be available in early 2021

BY: - July 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — Leaders of the companies working on some of the top candidates for COVID-19 vaccines predict they should have shots available by early 2021, but said they will rely on the federal government to determine how to distribute them. The heads of five biopharmaceutical companies with promising vaccine candidates told members of Congress Tuesday […]

Trump repeats threat to veto defense bill if military bases honoring Confederates are renamed

BY: - July 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — Despite the assertion from leading senators that they have the votes to override him, President Donald Trump repeated his threat to veto the National Defense Authorization Act if it includes a provision to rename 10 U.S. Army bases that were named for Confederates.  Those 10 Army bases include Fort Polk in Vernon Parish […]

Civil Rights hero John Lewis changed America making ‘good trouble’

BY: - July 18, 2020

Civil Rights icon and longtime Georgia Congressman John Lewis, who advocated for change through nonviolence, died late Friday night at the age of 80. The Georgia Democrat was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in late December. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed his death, saying the country had lost “one of the greatest heroes of […]

Vice President Mike Pence

White House determines 18 states are in coronavirus ‘red zone,’ but doesn’t publicize findings

BY: - July 17, 2020

This article about the coronavirus red zone was originally published by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit newsroom based in Washington, D.C. By Liz Essley Whyte A document prepared for the White House Coronavirus Task Force but not publicized suggests more than a dozen states, including Louisiana, should revert to more stringent protective measures, limiting […]

Key senators predict victory in battle with Trump over renaming military facilities that honor Confederates

BY: - July 13, 2020

WASHINGTON — Key U.S. senators are preparing for battle with the White House over renaming military facilities that honor Confederates — and they’re expecting to win. Sen. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat who backs the effort, said he believes the GOP-controlled Senate would override a possible presidential veto of a defense policy bill that would […]

Vice President Mike Pence to visit Baton Rouge Tuesday to discuss Louisiana’s COVID-19 response

BY: - July 10, 2020

Louisiana, especially the Baton Rouge area, has seen a disturbing spike in COVID-19 cases, which has caused the federal government to make the capital city one of three cities nationwide where it’s adding 5,000 COVID-19 tests a day.  Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the federal government’s coronavirus task force, will travel to Baton Rouge […]