News Roundup 10/23/2017
By Andy Gutierrez
1. Senate Moves Forward with Hurricane Relief:
On Monday the Senate approved $36.5 billion in hurricane relief with a preliminary vote of 79-16. The final vote is expected to take place on Tuesday, if passed it would then need the president’s signature. The plan includes $18.7 billion to replace funds for emergency relief programs, and more than $500 million to help rebuild Puerto Rico.
Senators worked quickly to approve this bill, as emergency relief programs were expected to run out of money soon without it. Although the plan will help Puerto Rico receive crucial aid, it does not include additional aid for Florida and Texas, which was requested by congressional delegates in those states. The White House promises more aid is coming to not only Puerto Rico, but to Florida and Texas as well in the next few weeks.
Source: AP News
2. New Information on Niger Ambush:
New information on the ambush that resulted in the deaths of nine soldiers and the injury of 2 others is being learned after Chief Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford revealed a timeline of events on Monday. The ambush occurred on October 4th and was committed by ISIS in Niger, but this is as much as investigators could ascertain.
A briefing at the Pentagon on Monday revealed soldiers called for support an hour after the ambush and there was no indication that the soldiers were not following orders at the time of the ambush. Many lawmakers did not even know that the US had forces in Niger, even though congress has been notified many times. President Trump has been criticized for his conversation with the widow of one of the deceased soldiers, with some calling his remarks insensitive.
3. More Accuse James Toback of Sexual Harassment:
Filmmaker and screenwriter James Toback is being accused of sexual harassment after the Los Angeles Times published an investigation where 38 women have come forward accusing Toback of sexual harassment. By Monday the number rose to over 200 as many women contacted The Times and the Los Angeles Police Department regarding the similar cases involving Toback, but many of these reports are still unverified.
Toback would lure young women under the pretense that they were going to do an interview or an audition before sexually harassing them, according the stories told by the women. Toback has denied the accusations, and refused to comment. His long-term agent quit over the weekend.
Source: Los Angeles Times
4. Climate Change Damage Costly:
The Government Accountability Office released a report on Monday that shows the federal government has spent more than $350 billion in natural disaster aid in the last 10 years, not including the most recent hurricanes and wildfires. The number could rise to $35 billion per year by 2050.
The report also mentions that the federal government does not do a good job preparing for recurring costs. It shows that many parts of the US are prone to some type of natural disaster, whether it be flooding or hurricanes. The president does not believe that climate change is real and has appointed many to his cabinet that agree with him.
Source: AP News
5. Iowa Withdraws Request:
Monday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds withdrew the state’s request to be excluded from Obamacare this year. Reynolds' original intention was to offer a single healthcare plan to residents of the state that would lower premiums and raise deductibles, but the president had trouble approving it without breaking the law.
This would lead to a plan that was ran by the state and could accommodate all its residents regardless of income. After discovering the plan would increase the country’s debt, the governor withdrew the request. Other states have proposed similar plans in the past, but have since withdrawn their request as well.
Source: New York Times