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House approves measure to allow guns in national parks

WASHINGTON — In a stinging defeat for gun-control advocates, Congress has voted to allow people to carry loaded guns in national parks and wildlife refuges.

The House approved the measure, 279-147, on Wednesday, one day after the Senate acted.

A total of 105 Democrats in the House joined 174 Republicans in supporting the gun measure, which essentially restores a Bush administration policy that briefly allowed loaded guns in national parks earlier this year. The measure, which is included in a bill imposing new restrictions on credit card companies, allows licensed gun owners to bring firearms into national parks and wildlife refuges as long as they are allowed by state law.

The vote was a bitter disappointment for gun-control proponents, who watched as a Democratic-controlled Congress handed a victory to gun-rights advocates that they did not achieve under Republican rule.

Bush policy undone: The Obama White House on Wednesday undid a Bush administration policy that used federal regulations to undermine a wide range of state health, safety and environmental laws. Many of the federal regulations limited the ability of injured consumers to sue companies in state courts. The Bush administration rule-making effort also had undercut state financial regulation and state consumer protections in many fields.

fraud task force: Senior Obama administration officials on Wednesday launched a high-level task force to use technology to help detect and prevent health care fraud that robs the nation's coffers of billions of dollars each year. Attorney General Eric Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius also directed federal investigators and prosecutors to expand special strike forces to Detroit and Houston, where "erratic" billing data suggest high levels of fraud, waste and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid programs.

foreclosure law: President Barack Obama signed into law Wednesday legislation that encourages banks to spare homeowners from foreclosure. The law expands an existing $300 billion program that encourages lenders to adjust a mortgage if the homeowner agrees to pay an insurance premium.

House approves measure to allow guns in national parks 05/20/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:59pm]
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