Congress http://michiganradio.org en Politics, profits delay action on arsenic in drinking water http://michiganradio.org/post/politics-profits-delay-action-arsenic-drinking-water <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Arsenic is nearly synonymous with poison. But most people don't realize that they consume small amounts of it in the food they eat and the water they drink.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Recent research suggests even small levels of arsenic may be harmful. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been prepared to say since 2008 that arsenic is 17 times more toxic as a carcinogen than the agency now reports.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Women are especially vulnerable.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">EPA scientists have concluded that if 100,000 women consumed the legal limit of arsenic each day, 730 of them eventually would get lung or bladder cancer.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The EPA, however, hasn’t been able to make its findings official, an action that could trigger stricter drinking water standards. The roadblock: a single paragraph inserted into a committee report by a member of Congress, an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity found.</span></p><p> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 14:33:00 +0000 David Heath 18220 at http://michiganradio.org Politics, profits delay action on arsenic in drinking water Conyers joins suit to get back on ballot http://michiganradio.org/post/conyers-joins-suit-get-back-ballot <p>DETROIT (AP) - Longtime Congressman John Conyers has joined a federal lawsuit taking aim at the requirement that petition collectors be registered voters.</p><p>Conyers joined the suit Thursday, two days after Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett determined he doesn't have enough signatures to appear on the Aug. 5 Democratic primary ballot.</p><p>The suit was filed against Garrett and Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson by the ACLU on behalf of two petition circulators and others. The signatures they gathered weren't counted because they hadn't complied with state voter registration requirements.</p><p>Conyers first was elected to the House in 1964. He represents Michigan's&nbsp;13th&nbsp;district, including Detroit and several suburbs.</p><p>The ACLU also asked the court to order Garrett and Johnson to stop enforcing the law the group deems unconstitutional.</p><p>Johnson's office declined comment.</p><p> Thu, 15 May 2014 18:57:23 +0000 The Associated Press 17623 at http://michiganradio.org Conyers joins suit to get back on ballot Jack Lessenberry weighs in on the John Conyers ballot snafu http://michiganradio.org/post/jack-lessenberry-weighs-john-conyers-ballot-snafu <p></p><p>Congressman John Conyers turns 85 on Friday, but a petition-gathering snafu is likely not the birthday gift Conyers would have wished for.</p><p>He’ll be filing an appeal with the state after yesterday's announcement by Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett that Conyers did not have enough valid signatures on his nominating petitions to be on the August primary ballot.</p><p>Garrett says only 592 of the necessary 1,000 signatures are valid. Many signatures were disqualified because the people collecting the signatures were not registered voters. According to law, that voids the signatures they collected.</p><p>If his appeal to the state fails, Conyers is talking about mounting a write-in campaign for the primary.</p><p>All of this has those who have watched John Conyers since he was first elected to Congress in 1964 thinking about his "epic journey" through the decades, and what an ending to a career this could be.</p><p>Michigan Radio's political commentator Jack Lessenberry joined us today to talk about this.</p><p><em>*Listen to the interview above.</em></p><p> Thu, 15 May 2014 01:29:27 +0000 Stateside Staff 17606 at http://michiganradio.org Jack Lessenberry weighs in on the John Conyers ballot snafu End of a career for Conyers? http://michiganradio.org/post/end-career-conyers <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">If you like irony, think about this. Sixty years ago, the president of General Motors was nominated to be Secretary of Defense.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Today, we remember only one thing about “Engine Charlie” Wilson – his famous quote: “I thought what was good for our country was good for General Motors, and vice versa.”&nbsp; Today, that would almost certainly have sunk his nomination.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Back then, it caused scarcely a ripple. Wilson died in 1961, and I wonder what he would say if he came back to life and learned that Chrysler was owned by the Italians, Ford was about to have a Jewish CEO and his beloved GM had not only gone bankrupt, it was now a much smaller company run by a woman. Oh yes, and by the way – the president of the United States is black.</span></p><p> Fri, 02 May 2014 16:14:04 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 17462 at http://michiganradio.org End of a career for Conyers? Jack Lessenberry gives us a preview of this year's election http://michiganradio.org/post/jack-lessenberry-gives-us-preview-years-election <p></p><p>Today we spoke with Michigan Radio’s political analyst, Jack Lessenberry, about the upcoming elections.</p><p>We are a little more than four months away from the statewide primaries, the statewide Republican and Democratic conventions, and some seven months away from the general election in November. Among many local and Congressional races, that's also when Michiganders will go to the polls to vote for Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State.&nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 21:04:00 +0000 Stateside Staff 17298 at http://michiganradio.org Jack Lessenberry gives us a preview of this year's election With Michigan members of Congress hitting the exit, replacements scramble for money http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-members-congress-hitting-exit-replacements-scramble-money <p>Congressmen don’t stay on the job forever, though it sometimes seems like it.</p><p>This year will be the last for Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, first elected in 1978, and Rep. John Dingell, D-Michigan, the all-time longevity champ, who has represented a Detroit-area district since 1955.</p><p>Their retirements, while momentous, weren’t very surprising. Indeed, Carl Levin announced that he wouldn’t run for re-election more than a year ago. Far more shocking was the sudden decision by two mid-Michigan Republican Congressmen to bow out.</p><p>Both Rep. Dave Camp, R-Michigan, and Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, had safe seats, a fair amount of seniority, and are youngish men by congressional standards. Yet within the last few days, both said they wouldn’t run for re-election.</p><p>That set off something of a mad scramble.</p><p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 14:34:20 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 17143 at http://michiganradio.org With Michigan members of Congress hitting the exit, replacements scramble for money Stateside for Tuesday, April 1, 2014 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-tuesday-april-1-2014 <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Today is the day. After months and months of debate, Healthy Michigan is here. That's the official name for the state's newly expanded Medicaid program. Today, on Stateside: Who is eligible for the new coverage and why are other states looking to Michigan for lessons learned?</span></p><p>Then, it made news: the merger between financially struggling Albion High School and its neighbor, Marshall. Now, more than halfway through the school year, we checked in on how the students are faring.</p><p>And, a new report is breaking new ground in the study of inequality among our children, and the findings for Michigan children are troubling.</p><p>First on the show, a<span style="line-height: 1.5;">nother hugely surprising retirement from Congress. Republican Congressman Dave Camp, who represents Michigan's 4th district, announced that he will not run again for re-election. Camp has served in Congress for 24 years and has been chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.</span></p><p>Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta, co-hosts of Michigan Radio's It's Just Politics, joined us today to talk about what’s next for Camp and what this means for Michigan in Congress.</p><p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 20:14:20 +0000 Stateside Staff 17063 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Tuesday, April 1, 2014 Congressman Dave Camp will not be running for re-election http://michiganradio.org/post/congressman-dave-camp-will-not-be-running-re-election <p>Another hugely surprising retirement from Congress: Republican Congressman Dave Camp, who represents Michigan's 4th district, announced that he will not run again for re-election. Camp has served in Congress for 24 years and has been chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.</p><p>Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta, co-hosts of Michigan Radio's It's Just Politics, joined us today to talk about what’s next for Camp and what this means for Michigan in Congress.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 19:52:59 +0000 Stateside Staff 17057 at http://michiganradio.org Congressman Dave Camp will not be running for re-election President to deliver State of the Union address Tuesday http://michiganradio.org/post/president-deliver-state-union-address-tuesday <p>President Barack Obama will issue a call for expanding economic opportunity in his State of the Union address. He'll press a divided Congress to help shrink the income gap between the rich and poor, while asserting that he will take action on his own if lawmakers don't.<br /> Sat, 25 Jan 2014 20:28:00 +0000 Steve Carmody & The Associated Press 16175 at http://michiganradio.org President to deliver State of the Union address Tuesday How the $1 trillion federal budget deal might help Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/how-1-trillion-federal-budget-deal-might-help-michigan <p>What a difference three months makes.</p><p>After the knock-down, drag-out budget debacle that shut the government down in October, here we are in January. And, perhaps goaded by the furious reaction of most Americans to last fall’s budget showdown, last week saw both chambers of Congress quietly and meekly passing a $1 trillion federal budget deal.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Detroit Free Press Washington reporter Todd Spangler joined us today to talk about this deal.</span></p><p> Tue, 21 Jan 2014 02:15:19 +0000 Stateside Staff 16099 at http://michiganradio.org How the $1 trillion federal budget deal might help Michigan Suspect Dead, Two Police Officers Injured In Chase At U.S. Capitol http://michiganradio.org/post/us-capitol-edge-after-reports-gunshots <h6><strong>We last updated this post at 7:19 p.m. ET.</strong></h6><p>A woman who authorities say tried to ram a security barrier outside the White House led the Secret Service and U.S. Capitol Police on a high-speed chase that ended near Capitol Hill, where gunshots were fired by police. Congressional lawmakers were briefly ordered to shelter in place, but by 3 p.m. ET, police had lifted the lockdown.<p>The incident left a suspect dead and two police officers injured. Thu, 03 Oct 2013 19:19:08 +0000 14707 at http://michiganradio.org Suspect Dead, Two Police Officers Injured In Chase At U.S. Capitol Michigan members of Congress look forward to Syria debate http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-members-congress-look-forward-syria-debate <p>Michigan’s congressional delegation is weighing in on the President’s call for congressional authorization for military action in Syria.</p><p></p><p>Michigan’s senior U.S. Senator says he’s glad the President is seeking congressional approval for a military strike against Syria.</p><p></p><p>In a written statement, Democratic Senator Carl Levin says “A congressional vote to authorize the use of force would strengthen the President’s decision to take military action.” Levin adds the President should also use this time to help the Syrian people “defend themselves”.</p><p></p> Sat, 31 Aug 2013 20:41:08 +0000 Steve Carmody 14222 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan members of Congress look forward to Syria debate Michigan Congressman says President Obama should consult Congress before a military strike on Syria http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-congressman-says-president-obama-should-consult-congress-military-strike-syria <p>West Michigan Congressman Justin Amash says he wants the House to go back into session to address potential military action against Syria.</p><p></p><p>A U.S. military strike is expected in the next few days in response to the Syrian government’s alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians.</p><p></p><p>Amash told a group at a Battle Creek coffee shop today that the president must consult with Congress first.</p><p></p><p>“If the president intends to use force, we expect to be called back into session,” says Amash, “We demand we be called back into session to have a vote.”</p><p></p> Wed, 28 Aug 2013 20:15:25 +0000 Steve Carmody 14180 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Congressman says President Obama should consult Congress before a military strike on Syria Why do most people distrust their elected leaders? http://michiganradio.org/post/why-do-most-people-distrust-their-elected-leaders <p>When you think about the government – local, state, or federal - how much do you trust those leaders whom you've elected?</p><p>We certainly know that public approval ratings for Congress are at abysmally low levels. The latest Gallup poll finds 78% of U.S. voters disapprove of the job Congress is doing; only 17% approve.</p><p>Let's look more closely at what we all think about our leaders. And for that, we've raised that special 50-50 flag, that's half Wolverine maize and blue and half Spartan green and white. Charley Ballard, who directs the State of the State Survey for Michigan State University, and Tom Ivacko, who does the Michigan Public Policy surveys for the University of Michigan's Center for Local, State and Urban Policy, both joined us in the studio today.</p><p> Tue, 02 Jul 2013 21:12:52 +0000 Stateside Staff 13343 at http://michiganradio.org Why do most people distrust their elected leaders? Stateside for Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-tuesday-july-2nd-2013 <p>Do you trust your government? What about your government? Do your elected leaders trust you?</p><p>Disapproval rates of Congress are at all-time lows - gridlock, and indecision. Can we change the dynamic, and what does it mean going forward?</p><p>And census results show a surprising trend: the state's male population is growing. We took a look at what's behind the numbers.</p><p>Also we spoke with Michael Narlock, head of Astronomy at the Cranbrook Institute of Science, about the best places to go in Michigan for stargazing this summer.</p><p>And Darrin Camilleri, President of the Michigan Federation of College Democrats, joined us to talk about increasing tuition and raised interested rates for student loans.</p><p>Also we continued our week-long series of stories from immigrants about what America means to them.</p><p>Today we heard from Linda Steinke, whose family came to the U.S. from Iran in the 1970s when her father had the opportunity to work in the auto industry.</p><p>First on the show, the group Keep Michigan Wolves Protected has filed language with the Secretary of State to put another petition on the 2014 ballot. The group wants to ban wolf hunting in Michigan.</p><p>If the language is approved, the group will try and collect more than 160 thousand signatures to put the question to voters.</p><p>Rick Pluta, the Lansing Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network joined us today.</p><p> Tue, 02 Jul 2013 20:41:45 +0000 Stateside Staff 13349 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013 Supreme Court to hear case which directly affects Panera Bread workers in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/supreme-court-hear-case-which-directly-affects-panera-bread-workers-michigan <p>The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in a dispute between President Obama and congressional Republicans which is directly affecting the lives of Michigan workers.</p><p>At issue is the president’s authority to make "recess" appointments.</p><p>Recess appointments are made when the president fills a governmental position while the Congress is in recess.</p><p>In this case, President Obama filled three vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board without getting his appointees confirmed by Congress.</p> Mon, 24 Jun 2013 16:00:12 +0000 Steve Carmody 13205 at http://michiganradio.org Supreme Court to hear case which directly affects Panera Bread workers in Michigan Annual Pew legislative review shows that one-party states get a lot done http://michiganradio.org/post/annual-pew-legislative-review-shows-one-party-states-get-lot-done <p>One of the criticisms frequently aimed at Congress is that "gridlock" where decisions come slowly, if at all, as both sides draw their respective lines in the sand, and there's just not much compromising.</p><p>That is not the case with state legislatures across the country where, thanks to one-party control in 37 states, we're seeing action and lots of it.</p><p>Stateline is an independent, non-partisan news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts. This week it released its <a href="http://www.pewstates.org/research/featured-collections/legislative-review-2013-85899482166">annual review of state legislatures</a>, giving us a look at the major budget and policy developments at all 50 state capitols.</p><p>Scott Greenberger, an editor for Stateline, joined us today in the studio.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Thu, 13 Jun 2013 21:18:19 +0000 Stateside Staff 13045 at http://michiganradio.org Annual Pew legislative review shows that one-party states get a lot done John Dingell becomes the longest-serving member of Congress http://michiganradio.org/post/john-dingell-becomes-longest-serving-member-congress <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A piece of history is being written in the United States Congress.</span></p><p>Tomorrow is the day that John Dingell becomes the longest-serving member of Congress ever, surpassing the late Robert Byrd of West Virginia.</p><p>He began representing the people of southeast Michigan on December 13, 1955. And 57-and-a-half years later, he is still there.</p><p>He joined us today to talk about his experiences.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Thu, 06 Jun 2013 21:24:25 +0000 Stateside Staff 12929 at http://michiganradio.org John Dingell becomes the longest-serving member of Congress Stateside for Thursday, June 6th, 2013 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-thursday-june-6th-2013 <p>He's worked with 11 presidents, taken several thousand votes, and tomorrow, Michigan Congressman John Dingell becomes the longest serving member of Congress ever. We spoke with Dingell about his 57 years in D.C.</p><p>And, Shakespeare in the Arb is starting its 13<sup>th</sup> season with “Much Ado About Nothing.” Katherine Mendeloff, a lecturer in the Drama Department of the Residential College, spoke with us about the upcoming performances.</p><p>And, this weekend, Harry Potter fans are gathering in Michigan to watch college quidditch teams compete. Former player Krystina Packard joined us in the studio.</p><p>Also, a new project launched in Ann Arbor is working to bring together high school students and senior citizens to make history come alive. We spoke with the project’s co-founder and one of the participating teachers about how this has impacted students.</p><p>First on the show, it's time for our weekly check-in with Detroit News Business Columnist Daniel Howes.</p><p>This week, it seems the topic is the fact that the proverbial "Day of Reckoning" is at hand when it comes to the City of Detroit. Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is trying to work out settlements with the city's creditors, and the treasures at the Detroit Institute of Arts could be at risk.</p><p>He joined us in the studio today to discuss the issue.</p><p> Thu, 06 Jun 2013 21:19:06 +0000 Stateside Staff 12925 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Thursday, June 6th, 2013 Michigan Rep. Amash played "key role" in votes against Boehner http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-rep-amash-played-key-role-votes-against-boehner <p>Members of the new 113th Congress were sworn in last week, and they went about picking their leaders.</p><p>Republicans in the House of Representatives still hold a majority, so Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) was elected to a second term as Speaker of the House.</p><p>But the votes didn't come without controversy as <a href="http://http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/boehners-battle-85729.html#ixzz2HIwjVZGj">Politico </a>reported:</p><blockquote><p>In an unusually suspenseful roll-call vote of the new House of Representatives, Boehner garnered 220 votes, but 12 Republican lawmakers either opposed him, voted present or abstained.</p></blockquote><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;">That was a change from his unanimous election to the Speakership two years ago.</div><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;">&nbsp;</div><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;">A group of Republican representatives led an 'anti-Boehner' effort the day of the vote.</div><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;">&nbsp;</div><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;">Roll Call reported Michigan Rep. Justin Amash played a 'key role' in the effort against Boehner.</div><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;">&nbsp;</div><blockquote><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;">Republican Reps. <a href="http://www.rollcall.com/members/31947.html">Justin Amash</a> of Michigan, <a href="http://www.rollcall.com/members/31499.html">Mick Mulvaney</a> of South Carolina and Raúl R. Labrador of Idaho played key roles in organizing the plot. But participants describe its origin as organic and not led by any particular member, despite the suggestion by at least one House Republican that Amash was the ringleader.</div><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;">&nbsp;</div><p>One member who participated in the effort described it as the work of small groups of Republican lawmakers who concluded independently that new leadership was needed in the speaker’s office. After learning of their agreement on the subject through discussions on the House floor during the week or two before Thursday’s vote, they decided to band together in an attempt to assemble a group of 25 members committed to opposing Boehner.</p></blockquote><p><a href="http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2013/01/04/Boehner-I-dont-hold-grudges/UPI-44191357324449/">UPI reports</a> Boehner told the group of twelve in a privatee meeting that he doesn't hold grudges and that his door will always be open to them. Mon, 07 Jan 2013 15:52:05 +0000 Mark Brush 10639 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Rep. Amash played "key role" in votes against Boehner