Jan Brewer vetoes anti-gay bill in Arizona

Jan Brewer vetoes anti-gay bill in Arizona

Gov. Jan Brewer on Wednesday vetoed a Republican bill that set off a national debate over gay rights, religion and discrimination and subjected Arizona to blistering criticism from major corporations and political leaders from both parties. Loud cheers erupted outside the Capitol building immediately after Brewer made her announcement. “My agenda is to sign into […]

Showdown vote on vets benefits coming in Senate

Showdown vote on vets benefits coming in Senate

A Democratic bill enhancing health care, education and job-training benefits for veterans faces an uphill climb as the Senate approaches a showdown vote on the $21 billion legislation. Both political parties generally favor helping the nation’s 22 million veterans and their families, especially in a congressional election year. But Republicans consider the wide-ranging legislation too […]

Obama looking to improve odds for minority boys

Obama looking to improve odds for minority boys

Long before he arrived at the White House, Barack Obama was the son of a single mother, challenged and tempted by the same societal ills that disproportionately keep African-Americans impoverished and behind bars. Now the nation’s first black president is unveiling a new initiative aimed at breaking down those obstacles, and pledging to continue the […]

New food warnings on sugar and calories

New food warnings on sugar and calories

Those “Nutrition Facts” labels that are plastered on nearly every food package found in grocery stores are getting a new look. Calories would be in larger, bolder type, and consumers for the first time would know whether foods have added sugars under label changes being proposed by the Obama administration. Serving sizes would be updated […]

Balancing on a minimum-wage political tightrope

Balancing on a minimum-wage political tightrope

Sen. Mark Pryor is doing a delicate dance over congressional Democrats’ upcoming push to boost the federal minimum wage. The Democrat from Republican-leaning Arkansas says he’ll vote against the bill, but on the key roll call may oppose GOP efforts to filibuster it to death. Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska, another red state where […]

Obama, Boehner meet at White House

Obama, Boehner meet at White House

Disentangled from showdowns or looming crises, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner held a rare one-on-one Oval Office meeting Tuesday addressing potential areas of common ground that could lay a foundation for more ambitious goals like immigration and trade that remain long shots for action this year. Aides to both political rivals described […]

Plan to shrink military faces Congressional skepticism

Plan to shrink military faces Congressional skepticism

The Obama administration’s push for a smaller, nimbler military must now face the scrutiny of a Congress that has spent years battling the Pentagon’s vision for a new security strategy. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is proposing to shrink the Army to its smallest size in three-quarters of a century, hoping to reshape the military after […]

Vets benefits bill expected to win initial Senate approval

Vets benefits bill expected to win initial Senate approval

A sprawling Democratic bill expanding health, education and other benefits for veterans seems ready to clear an initial hurdle in the Senate. Yet the election-year measure faces an uncertain fate as Republicans try to make it smaller and find ways to pay for it. The legislation, which sponsor Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., says would cost […]

New rules to limit pushing unhealthy foods in shools

New rules to limit pushing unhealthy foods in shools

Even the scoreboards in high school gyms eventually will have to promote good health. Moving beyond the lunch line, new rules that will be proposed Tuesday by the White House and the Agriculture Department would limit marketing of unhealthy foods in schools. They would phase out the advertising of sugary drinks and junk foods around […]