Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Politics

Rep. C.W. Bill Young: 'It's time to legislate'

'It's time to legislate,' Young says

Rep. C.W. Bill Young said House Republicans have made their political point on Obamacare but now it's time to move on. "The politics should be over," he said in an interview Wednesday. "It's time to legislate." Young, R-Indian Shores, said he would support a "clean" stopgap spending bill, one that does not defund or delay Obamacare, so that budget conferees could begin working on larger issues. The veteran Pinellas County lawmaker joins a group of nearly 20 Republicans who say they would pass the continuing resolution with no strings attached. That would be enough to pass the measure, if all Democrats joined. But Speaker John Boehner hasn't allowed a vote and the House is pursuing a piecemeal approach. Young, who has consistently voted against the health care law, said he told Boehner, "let's get on to legislating." Asked about the pressure Boehner is under with the rise of the tea party, Young said: "He withstood the pressure for a long time. He finally has agreed to the outspoken minority of his conference. And they're pretty much in charge right now. … When you don't have the votes in your own conference, then your leadership is very difficult."

Representatives to forgo salaries

Tampa Bay Reps. Gus Bilirakis and Vern Buchanan are among at least 108 lawmakers — 56 Republicans and 52 Democrats — who have said that they plan to donate or refuse compensation earned over the course of the government shutdown, according to a tally by the Washington Post. (The count includes a few members who already donate their salary to charity). Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, posted a photo on his Facebook page late Tuesday of him signing a letter asking that his pay be withheld "for as long as the federal government is shut down." Buchanan, R-Sarasota, said in a statement: "No small business would pay someone who refuses to do their job. So why should Senators or House members be paid for failing to fulfill one of their most basic responsibilities? They shouldn't." Members of the House and Senate have earned $174,000 annually since 2009.

Shutdown brings Democrats together

Shortly before the government shut down, House Republicans crafted their final spending offer, including two health care provisions designed to scare red-state Senate Democrats facing re-election battles: one to delay the Affordable Care Act's unpopular individual mandate and another removing subsidies for lawmakers and their staffs. But the Democrats didn't budge, killing the proposal without a single defection. Their unity was so assured that Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., didn't bother to convene a private caucus meeting to discuss the measure before the vote. After a difficult summer for the party — with President Barack Obama and lawmakers deeply divided over Syria, surveillance policies and a looming Federal Reserve nomination — the budget battle that resulted in the shutdown early Tuesday has brought rare unity to the Democrats. "We're joined with the president now," said Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois. "This is totally irresponsible on House Republicans' part. It threatens the economy. It threatens jobs across America. We've got to make a stand, to make it clear once and for all that we are not going to be held hostage."

Times Washington bureau chief Alex Leary contributed to this report.

Comments
Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

NEW PORT RICHEY — A seasoned historic hotel renovator and operator is going to take a crack at getting New Port Richey’s city-owned Hacienda Hotel back into action. New Port Richey City Council members, acting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, u...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis stepped into a growing controversy over President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, criticizing the separation of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexican border and saying that "populism" and "creating psychosis" are not t...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

At this moment, she is Tampa Bay’s most influential export. A smart, accomplished and powerful attorney making life-altering decisions on an international stage.But what of tomorrow? And the day after?When the story of President Donald Trump’s border...
Published: 06/19/18
‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

SEATTLE — The call came at mealtime — an anonymous threat demanding $5,000 or her son’s life. So Blanca Orantes-Lopez, her 8-year-old boy and his father packed up and left the Pacific surfing town of Puerto La Libertad in El Salvador and headed for t...
Published: 06/19/18
Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

WASHINGTON - As he prepared to visit Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump on Tuesday continued to insist that Congress produce comprehensive immigration legislation, while anxious Republicans explored a narrower fix to the administration policy of se...
Published: 06/19/18
Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill for the Trump administration to end the separation of families at the southern border ahead of a visit from President Donald Trump to discuss legislation.Trump’s meeting late Tuesday afternoon with...
Published: 06/19/18
Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another facility intended for detaining undocumented children is reportedly in the works for Houston as the number of children separated from their parents at the border continues to swell.Southwest Key Programs, the same contractor that operates the...
Published: 06/19/18
Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

ST. PETERSBURG — They appear to rise out of nowhere — two enormous, reclaimed-water tanks with an artist’s white clouds scudding across a blue background.A closer view reveals silhouettes of a lone coyote howling at the sky, mangrove islands, oak, cy...
Published: 06/19/18
FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says he’s willing to testify before Congress

FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says he’s willing to testify before Congress

The FBI agent who was removed from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election for sending anti-Trump texts intends to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and any other congressional committee that asks, his attorney sai...
Published: 06/17/18
Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

The Trump administration’s move to separate immigrant parents from their children on the U.S.-Mexico border has grabbed attention around the world, drawn scorn from human-rights organizations and overtaken the immigration debate in Congress.It’s also...
Published: 06/17/18