Home Virginia Politics Virginia News Headlines: Tuesday Morning

Virginia News Headlines: Tuesday Morning

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Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, February 24. Also, check out likely 2017 Republican candidate for statewide office Pete Snyder basically laughing off Rudy Guiliani’s despicable remarks about President Obama (“I do not believe that the president loves America … He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.” Giuliani also claimed his remarks weren’t racist because Barack Obama “was brought up by a white mother, a white grandfather, went to white schools, and most of this he learned from white people.” Oh, and Giuliani added, “From the time he was 9 years old, [Barack Obama] was influenced by Frank Marshall Davis, who was a communist.”) So…yeah, that’s the vitriol and slime that Pete Snyder’s defending.

*Republicans divided as DHS shutdown looms (Yep, Republicans are moving to shut down a part of the government – this time, the part that helps protect us from terrorist attacks and other threats. What a party!)

*Scott Walker’s insidious standards (Again, what a party!)

*A deranged GOP (“Why Giuliani’s burst of nonsense matters.”)

*Washington Post: On Homeland Security funding, Republicans govern without logic (And on a lot of other things, too, from climate change to the Affordable Care Act to…you name it, pretty much.)

*Bill O’Reilly and Fox News Redouble Defense of His Falklands Reporting

*CBS Has Released The Falklands Protest Footage Bill O’Reilly Asked For. It Doesn’t Support His Claims.

*VA secretary sorry for false special forces claim

*Va. lawmakers won’t disclose income from other state jobs (They absolutely need to be disclosing this stuff, even if corrupt jerks like Tommy Norment don’t like it.)

*Va. budget negotiators reach agreement (“The deal rejects fee increases and Medicaid expansion but embraces other McAuliffe spending priorities.”)

*Va. lawmakers get more time to redraw districts (“The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia moved the April 1 deadline to either Sept. 1 or 60 days after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a pending appeal from congressional Republicans, whichever comes first.”)

*Va. Senate defeats bill to require attorney general to defend state law (Crazy bill, good riddance.)

*Israel resolution sparks passion, controversy, in Va. House (The reason is not support for Israel, it’s the language of this specific resolution, which is over the top, extreme, and in conflict with decades of official U.S. and Israeli policy, plus U.N. Security Council resolutions, about the future status of “occupied territories.”)

*Amendment to solar energy bill aids Dominion

*General Assembly notebook: Senate panel backs extenstion of autism insurance mandate

*Public safety: Off the rails (“The recent derailment of a CSX train carrying volatile crude oil to Yorktown has raised a host of issues that need a better public airing – among them, where such trains are at any given time and where they are going.”)

*General Assembly briefs: Senators welcome back Puller and Lucas

*Virginia in minority with lack of legislative video, audio archives (It’s actually available, albeit with a delay, over at Richmond Sunlight. But yeah, it’s nuts that the General Assembly doesn’t just provide it, as do a lot of Virginia cities and counties.)

*Our view: No secret ballot for these voters

*Montgomery County supervisors quiz Mountain Valley Pipeline representatives

*Loudoun board member quits race for chairman after legal woes surface

*Virginia measure could put PETA out of the animal shelter business

*Extreme February cold ices over most of Chesapeake Bay in rare event

*Temperatures to remain 10 to 20 degrees below normal in D.C. area

  • Just released by Quinnipiac.

  • Reality check: the economy’s improving, so there’s more money to spend, yet Republicans STILL managed to leave a massive, gaping hole in the budget due to their Obama Derangement Syndrome-fueled rejection of Medicaid expansion in Virginia. #FAIL

  • The latest non-Giuliani-related insanity from “Bobby” McDonnell’s BFF: 1)  Yoga Tricks People Into Speaking ‘In Hindu’; 2)  Immigration Will Give Mexico Control Of US Politics.

  • From Rep. Don Beyer’s office.

    Beyer – Wittman Bill Protects DHS Employees’ Pay from Shutdown

    Washington, DC – Congressman Don Beyer introduced the bipartisan DHS Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act today to ensure that all federal Department of Homeland Security employees receive retroactive pay if there is a shutdown, regardless of furlough status.  Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA) is the lead Republican cosponsor.  They are joined by Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-DC), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Donna Edwards (D-MD), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Scott Rigell (R-VA), John Delaney (D-MD), and Barbara Comstock (R-VA).

    “The role of DHS employees has never been more critical than it is today.  Yet for the second Congress in a row, federal workers face lost paychecks due to furloughs mandated by partisan politics,” said Rep. Beyer.  “Today’s bipartisan proposal ensures DHS employees will not lose their pay just because Congress cannot agree on a funding bill.  The men and women of the DHS work hard every day to keep us safe.  Now we have to uphold our commitment to them.”

    “Our federal workers are hardworking individuals who are committed to serving their fellow citizens. They deserve better than the dysfunction that too often plagues our budgeting and appropriations process. I am pleased to support this bill that would provide a degree of certainty to a dedicated workforce, the majority of whom would still be expected to serve in the event of a shutdown. To deny them the pay they have earned is unacceptable,” said Rep. Wittman.

    The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the largest federal employee union representing 650,000 federal and DC government workers, voiced its support for the bipartisan legislation.

    AFGE National President J. David Cox said, “AFGE applauds Representative Don Beyer (D-VA) and Representative Rob Wittman (R-VA) for introducing the ‘DHS Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act of 2015.’  This legislation will help ensure that federal employees will be paid retroactively should DHS funding lapse at the end of the week.  We thank the Congressmen for recognizing that federal employees are not the cause of any shutdown and should not be punished by being deprived of their pay.”    

    If DHS funding lapses at midnight on February 27th, 85 percent of DHS employees would be designated “excepted” and would be asked to work without pay until a funding agreement is reached.  The remaining approximately 30,000 employees would be furloughed without pay.

    “The dedicated employees of the Department of Homeland Security should not be penalized if the Department shuts down,” said Congressman Steny H. Hoyer. “From securing our nation’s borders to guarding our airport checkpoints, we rely on these employees to keep America safe, and they should be compensated for the hard work they do every day. Federal employees responsible for the safety and well-being of our nation have already endured furloughs and salary freezes, and it is only right that we ensure they receive the pay they have earned. I’m proud to join my colleagues in cosponsoring this bill, and I will continue to advocate for our nation’s hardworking public servants.”

    “Congress did not penalize workers after the 2013 shutdown, and that is the only fair thing to do again this year,” Congresswoman Norton said.  “DHS employees have had nothing to do with the disagreements we in Congress have amongst ourselves.”

    Rep. Van Hollen said, “The Congress should do its job, put politics aside, and fully fund the Department of Homeland Security. In a time of heightened security around the world, DHS employees are securing our borders, our shopping malls, and our airports. In the event that Congress fails to uphold its responsibility to fund the Department, hard-working DHS employees should not have to pay the price. This bill helps to honor their commitment and their sacrifice by guaranteeing they are paid when funding is restored.”

    “Effectively carrying out DHS’ vast and daunting mission requires a herculean effort every day by thousands of hardworking civil servants,” said Rep. Connolly, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Federal workforce. “If DHS is shut down, the furloughed employees deserve to be made whole.  They do not deserve to be victims of congressional dysfunction.”

    “Federal workers should not pay the price for Washington’s dysfunction,” said Rep. Rigell. “We need to make sure these hard working men and women are made whole.”

    “I am proud to represent many dedicated men and women who work each day to make sure that our country is safe at the Department of Homeland Security. As someone who employed hundreds of people in the private sector, I am embarrassed that we habitually play politics with federal workers – that’s no way to treat a workforce. This bipartisan legislation will ensure that even in the event of a partial shutdown Homeland Security Employees will receive the pay they deserve for the critical work they do,” said Rep. Delaney.

    “The House did its work, and now the Senate must act responsibly to fund the Department of Homeland Security and respect the rule of law.  If that fails, this bipartisan legislation will give a sense of stability to our dedicated federal employees and their families at DHS.  The federal workforce should not go without paychecks because Congress cannot reach an agreement on a funding bill.  It is not fair to them or their families.  Congress has provided back pay in the past and should again now if it fails to reach a deal before the end of the week,” said Rep. Comstock.

  • Good work by Del. Alfonso Lopez!

    (Richmond, VA) – Today, the Virginia State Senate voted (39-0) to approve Delegate Alfonso Lopez’s (D-Arlington) legislation enhancing protections for tenants from retaliatory eviction (HB1905). The bill has already been approved by the House of Delegates and will now go to Governor Terry McAuliffe for his signature.

    “Tenants should not have to fear retaliation when they exercise their rights to file a formal complaint or report a code violation.” said Delegate Lopez, a leading advocate for fair and affordable housing in the General Assembly. “This bill is an important step in the right direction. I am proud that the General Assembly has taken action to strengthen this fundamental protection.”

    Delegate Lopez brought the bill to the Virginia Housing Commission over the summer, where a working group of landlord and tenant advocates debated the issue and found common ground. The compromise legislation was then endorsed by the full Virginia Housing Commission in December.

    This legislation gives greater discretion to the courts to determine if a landlord has retaliated against a tenant by taking actions such as raising the rent or terminating the tenancy after the tenant does any of the following: makes a complaint regarding a code violation; files suit against the landlord; joins a tenants’ organization; or testifies against the landlord.

    These tenant actions are protected under current law, but it is very difficult for tenants to benefit from these protections because the wording of the current law contains a loophole. Specifically, the express requirement that the retaliation be the “primary” reason for the landlord’s action.

    As long as a landlord can convince the court that he had another, co-equal reason for his action, a court could find the intent to retaliate is immaterial. This legislation clarifies that any action by a landlord motivated by retaliation is unlawful.

  • Statement of Glen Besa, Director Sierra Club Virginia Chapter in response to the Governor signing SB1349

    We are disappointed that SB1349 is now Virginia law. This new law suspends critical review of Dominion and Appalachian Power electricity rates and overcharges over the next 5 years as we begin implementation of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. This is a time for greater transparency and oversight, not less. There are vaguely defined commitments to efficiency and solar power in the law that we will be counting on the Governor to push Dominion and Appalachian Power to implement to address climate change.