Congress

Keith Srakocic / AP

The March 13 special election to fill the vacant seat in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District south of Pittsburgh is widely viewed as a bellwether for the midterm elections later this year, and that’s due in part to candidate Rick Saccone’s (R-Elizabeth) vocal support for President Donald Trump.

Philly Congressman Brady Won't Seek Another Term

Jan 31, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

U.S. Rep. Bob Brady of Philadelphia will not seek another term in Congress, giving up the seat he's held for two decades, his office said Wednesday.

Brady revealed the news to reporters and Democratic Party ward leaders in Philadelphia, his hometown and the city where he has been the longtime Democratic Party leader.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Parents of 180,000 children across Pennsylvania, including 14,000 kids in Allegheny County, are breathing sighs of relief now that funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program has been renewed for six years.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Shark Snider cut out of preschool early for an appointment with his pediatrician, Dr. Jonathan Weinkle of Squirrel Hill Health Center. The 3-year-old’s snoring had gotten worse, and his parents were worried it could be a symptom of something bigger.

Susan Walsh / AP

A former drug prosecutor who once ran for state attorney general is entering the field vying to succeed Republican U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta in 2019.

Joe Peters announced Monday that he'll seek the Republican Party's nomination to run for Pennsylvania's 11th District seat in Congress. The district stretches from Shippensburg in southcentral Pennsylvania some 140 miles to rural northeastern Pennsylvania. The primary election is May 15.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

 

Many observers have found loopholes in the Republican tax bill passed by the Senate and House late Tuesday and into early Wednesday. Some provisions were even found to violate budget rules and were changed last minute. University of Pittsburgh law professor Tony Infanti found that one loophole could also leave targets of sexual misconduct vulnerable. Infanti discussed the provision with 90.5 WESA's An-Li Herring.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania is urging Congress to shift its focus to funding the Children's Health Insurance Program, instead of pursuing the federal tax overhaul bill. 

The insurance plan covers nearly 9 million children nationwide whose parents make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to afford private insurance. About 180,000 Pennsylvania children are covered by CHIP.

Matt Rourke / AP

 

The open enrollment period for people buying health insurance through the Affordable Care Act comes to a close this Friday—a period half as long as last year’s. Nearly 80 percent of Pennsylvanian consumers selected the “middle-of-the-road” silver plan last year, but this year, costs for silver plans have rocketed.

ERIKA BERAS / 90.5 WESA

Community health clinics in Pennsylvania say they are on the verge of crisis. 

Congress has yet to reauthorize federal health center grant funding to Federally Qualified Health Centers, or FQHCs, which provide primary, dental, behavioral and substance abuse services to people with limited access to care. The Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers said this money comprises roughly 13 percent of the total revenue for FQHCs in the commonwealth.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

As lawmakers hash out differences between the tax bills in front of Congress, they must decide whether to keep a proposed tax break for oil and gas investors -- and just how big the reduction should be.

An-Li Herring / WESA

Democrats have chosen former federal prosecutor Conor Lamb (D-Mt. Lebanon) to run in the March 13 special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District.

An-Li Herring / WESA

State Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Elizabeth), 59, will be the GOP’s nominee in the special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. He won the nomination at a convention the Republican Party of Pennsylvania held in Canonsburg Saturday.

 

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

Tech giants are testifying before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Tuesday about Russian efforts to spread disinformation in the U.S. Representatives of Facebook, Twitter and Google, along with two national security analysts, will speak with lawmakers about ways that Russia has used the social media platforms.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

This week is Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy’s last in Congress. The embattled politician is resigning with one year left in his term, meaning Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District must hold a special election to fill the vacancy.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

A fifth Democrat, and eighth candidate overall, has announced his run for a southwestern Pennsylvania congressional seat being vacated by GOP Congressman Tim Murphy.

Conor Lamb announced his candidacy Saturday. He recently resigned as an assistant U.S. attorney in Pittsburgh and is the nephew of Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb. This will be the first run for public office by 33-year-old Conor Lamb.

Murphy is resigning effective Oct. 21 after the anti-abortion lawmaker urged his former mistress to get an abortion.

Marc Levy / AP

It’s been less than a week since U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Upper St. Clair) announced he’s resigning from Congress, and already three Republican state lawmakers have declared they will run for his seat.

State Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Elizabeth) declared Sunday that he’s suspending his U.S. Senate campaign to jump into the race. He joined state Sens. Kim Ward (R-Hempfield) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-Jefferson Hills), who announced last week that they will run to replace Murphy.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

It's been more than two weeks since Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico—knocking out the power grid, leaving people homeless and hospitals with dwindling supplies. Despite President Donald Trump's comments contrasting the storm to a "real catastrophe like [Hurricane] Katrina," many in Pittsburgh are eager to respond to the island's needs.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Congress is back in session, and they have less than two weeks of legislative days to solve a slew of problems. By the end of the month, Congress needs to: 

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Among Pittsburgh DREAMers who benefited from the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals program – also called DACA – the Trump administration's decision to end the program elicited reactions ranging from distress to resignation on Wednesday.

Some were at a loss, saying they have no way to ensure they can stay in the U.S. if DACA expires in six months without a replacement from Congress.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

In Southwestern Pennsylvania, there’s a congressional district that looks like a hammer.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Tuesday that the Trump Administration will rescind the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals program – also called DACA – and allow legal protections for the roughly 800,000 “DREAMers,” who arrived in the country illegally as children, to expire in six months.

Unless Congress acts, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said on Tuesday, ending DACA will hurt the city’s universities and hospitals as well as tech and other corporate employers.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP Photo

Unless Congress passes the Miners Protection Act by April 28, more than 2,000 retired union coal miners in Pennsylvania will lose their health care.

The bill proposes to use interest from the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act to shore up the health and pension funds administered by the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA).  

NPR

The Republican health care bill under consideration in the House of Representatives would change health coverage for a lot of people. It would no longer require that Americans buy health insurance, for instance, and it would eliminate current subsidies, replacing them with a fixed refundable tax credit. To help Americans understand where Congress stands on the debate over this legislation, NPR and Member stations around the country have compiled a database of Congressional members’ positions on the bill.

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Evan Vucci / AP

President Trump will address a joint session of Congress for the first time on Tuesday evening at the Capitol, around 9 p.m. Eastern Time. The address comes a day after Trump gave an outline of his budget plan for Congress, which would increase defense spending and make cuts to domestic programs. Following tradition, House Speaker Paul Ryan invited the president to make the speech to lay out his agenda in the early days of his new administration.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

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Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

A Pennsylvania congressman helped save the life of a man found unconscious in a Washington, D.C. office building. 

Republican Tim Murphy of Allegheny County helped the man Wednesday. 

Murphy and staffers were waiting for an elevator in the Rayburn House Office Building when it opened and a mail clerk was on the floor with a head wound suffered when he collapsed and fell.  

He performed CPR while others found a defibrillator, which a Capitol police officer used.

The man's breathing and pulse were restored. 

Can The House Sue President Obama?

Aug 6, 2014

As Speaker of the House John Boehner moves forward with an unprecedented lawsuit against President Obama, we checked in with University of Pittsburgh Professor of Law David Harris to explain what’s going on.

“This is the first time ... that the House of the Senate has actively moved to sue the president," Harris said. "There’s been nothing like that before.”

He added that although anybody in the United States can sue anybody else, he does not believe this to be a legitimate legal action.

“The major impediment to this suit going forward is what we call ‘standing to sue,’" Harris said. "In federal court, which is where the suit will be, the Constitution requires what they call a ‘case or controversy.’ What that provision has been interpreted to mean over the many years and decades is that the person suing actually has to have a personal stake in the outcome, in the sense that they will be harmed, they will be personally affected."

Sen. Casey Says Shutdown is 'More Likely Than Not'

Sep 30, 2013

As a possible government shutdown inches closer to reality, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) is hoping a last-minute resolution can avert the crisis.

Mike Doyle on the Sequestration Deadline

Feb 23, 2013
US House of Representatives

Congress must enact legislation every year to provide funding for the operations of the federal government. Unfortunately, Congress is deeply divided over different philosophies about the role of the federal government. The infamous across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration are set to take effect March 1st. Could legislators be forced to finally come up with a compromise? U.S. Congressman Mike Doyle weighs in.