Parents tote toddlers to D.C. to press for expanded child tax credit, child care funds

by Ashley Murray, Pennsylvania Capital-StarMay 1, 2024 WASHINGTON — Families gathered outside the U.S. Capitol Tuesday to “make a fuss for babies,” who they believe are being left behind by lawmakers who direct only a fraction of U.S. resources to young children. Sabrina Donnellan of Girdwood, Alaska, sits with her 13-month-old, Blakely, on the lawn

U.S. Supreme Court floats return to trial court for Trump in presidential immunity case

by Jacob Fischler, Pennsylvania Capital-StarApril 25, 2024 WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court appeared skeptical Thursday of former President Donald Trump’s argument he is immune from criminal charges that he tried to overturn his loss in the 2020 election. Dozens of anti-Trump protesters gathered outside the U.S. Supreme Court on April 25, 2024, while the

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey assails corporations for holding consumers captive to ‘greedflation’

by John Cole, Pennsylvania Capital-Star PHILADELPHIA— U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina M. Khan discussed their plans to combat big corporations excessively increasing prices for goods during a roundtable discussion Tuesday.  “They have in a sense, my view of it, a captive audience,” said Casey (D-Pa.). “A captive set of a

Experts say the economy is getting better, but consumers don’t feel that way. Here’s why.

by Casey Quinlan, Pennsylvania Capital-StarMarch 30, 2024 Americans are still worried about their financial stability even as their recession fears lessen. High prices at the grocery store and consumers’ memories of their pre-pandemic budgets may be playing a role. Here’s what financial and economic experts have to say about what this week’s economic indicators tell

Casey joins US Steelworkers union in call for investigation into China shipbuilding practices

by Kim Lyons The United Steelworkers union on Tuesday filed a petition with U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai, alleging China has used “protectionist and predatory policies” in global shipbuilding, calling on President Joe Biden to conduct a trade investigation into China’s practices in the maritime, logistics and shipbuilding sectors. China “has been relentless in

David McCormick, running again for Pa. GOP Senate nomination, takes his campaign to CPAC

by John Cole Republican U.S. Senate candidate David McCormick said “the America we know is slipping away” during an appearance Friday at the 2024 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.  David McCormick, who is running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, is shown speaking to supporters during a

Despite rhetoric, both Trump and Biden have had limited power to change gun policy

by Peter Hall, Pennsylvania Capital-StarFebruary 9, 2024 When former President Donald Trump addressed a crowd at the National Rifle Association’s Great American Outdoor show Friday in Harrisburg, there was little doubt that his remarks about the right to bear arms would be well received. Pistols celebrating the presidency of Donald Trump are readied for display

Pennsylvania receives $26 million USDA grant to support its food supply chain

by John Cole, Pennsylvania Capital-StarJanuary 11, 2024 U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday that the USDA is investing $26 million in Pennsylvania agriculture under the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure (RFSI) program. Gov. Josh Shapiro (center) joins Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (right) and PA Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding (left) to announce a $26

How to support veterans this holiday season

by Cassie Miller, Pennsylvania Capital-Star The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is encouraging Pennsylvanians to support the Commonwealth’s 800,000 veterans and their families through several statewide programs this year.  Soldiers lining up for the annual New York City Veterans Day Parade (Getty Images) “By supporting one of these programs, you are letting

Spending on health care in the US rises to $4.5 trillion in 2022; a return to pre-pandemic growth rates

by Erik Gunn, Pennsylvania Capital-StarDecember 15, 2023 After skyrocketing in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and then tempering almost as dramatically a year later, healthcare spending in the U.S. rose just over 4% in 2022, hitting $4.5 trillion, the federal government announced this week. The annual growth in the nation’s healthcare spending appears

U.S. House votes to censure Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib over Israel remarks

by Jacob Fischler, Pennsylvania Capital-StarNovember 7, 2023 The U.S. House voted late Tuesday to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib for remarks the Michigan Democrat has made about Israel and Palestine amid the ongoing war in the Middle East. U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., right, comforts Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., center, when Tlaib became emotional during remarks

Shutdown inches closer as U.S. House GOP fails to pass defense bill, lawmakers exit D.C.

by Jennifer ShuttSeptember 21, 2023 WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans were unable for a third time Thursday to begin debate on the Defense funding bill, throwing another wrench into Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s leadership tenure. The Capitol. (Jennifer Shutt, States Newsroom) The 212-216 vote that rejected the rule for the $826 billion Defense spending measure was

Hospitals plead with Congress to avert $8 billion in cuts in Medicaid funding

by Ashley Murray, Pennsylvania Capital-StarSeptember 15, 2023 WASHINGTON — Healthcare representatives from across the United States are urging Congress to halt cuts to funding that helps hospitals care for uninsured or low-income patients who rely on Medicaid. Hospitals and health systems are asking Congress to avert or delay a forthcoming $8 billion cut to “America’s

New round of COVID-19 booster shots on the way after CDC recommendation

by Jennifer Shutt, Pennsylvania Capital-Star WASHINGTON — Americans older than six months should get an updated COVID-19 booster this fall, according to a recommendation the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued Tuesday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended Americans should get the updated COVID-19 vaccine. (Javier Zayas Photography/Getty Images) The vaccine

Allegheny County Dems select Lindsay Powell for House special election

by Kim Lyons, Pennsylvania Capital-StarJuly 31, 2023 PITTSBURGH – On Saturday, Democrats in Allegheny County selected Pittsburgh-area nonprofit director Lindsay Powell to be their nominee in a special election that will determine the balance of power in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.  Pittsburgh’s City/County Building (Pittsburgh City Paper photo) Powell, who is director of workforce

Feds, states reach settlement in lawsuit over Chesapeake Bay pollution from Pa.

by Danielle E. Gaines, Pennsylvania Capital-StarJuly 12, 2023 A settlement agreement has been finalized in a lawsuit that alleged federal officials weren’t doing enough to stop Chesapeake Bay pollution originating in Pennsylvania. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, environmental groups and state governments filed a notice in U.S. District Court on Wednesday, dismissing the 2020 lawsuit.

Here’s what the Supreme Court’s new election law ruling means for Pa. | Patrick Beaty

by Capital-Star Guest Contributor, Pennsylvania Capital-StarJune 29, 2023 By Patrick Beaty The Guardian, or Authority of Law, created by sculptor James Earle Fraser, rests on the side of the U.S. Supreme Court on September 28, 2020, in Washington, DC. (Al Drago/Getty Images). On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down an important decision with major

Funding the 500: Pa.’s school funding fix is the challenge of our time | Monday Morning Coffee

by John L. Micek, Pennsylvania Capital-StarJune 19, 2023 Commonwealth Court Judge Renée Cohn Jubelirer’s February order declaring Pennsylvania’s public school funding system unconstitutional did far more than set a precedent. McCaskey High School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on May 30, 2023. (Photo by Amanda Berg for the Capital-Star) She handed Pennsylvania policymakers perhaps the greatest challenge they will ever

Democrat Heather Boyd wins special election, securing Democratic Pa. House majority

by Peter Hall, Pennsylvania Capital-StarMay 16, 2023 [*This story was updated at 12:26 a.m., May 16, 2023, to reflect updated unofficial vote tallies] Heather Boyd speaks at her victory party after winning the 163rd Pennsylvania House District special election on Tuesday, May 16, 2022. (Capital-Star photo by Peter Hall) Democrat Heather Boyd won the special

Pa.’s juvenile detention centers are overcrowded, but building more isn’t the answer, advocates say

by Peter Hall, Pennsylvania Capital-StarApril 20, 2023 Youth advocates and a juvenile justice official called on Pennsylvania lawmakers to address a shortage of space and staff that has created a crisis affecting children in the justice system. Christopher Spriggs is the acting executive director of the currently shuttered Glen Mills School (Philadelphia Tribune photo) While the

U.S. House GOP unveils plan on debt ceiling, spending cuts; Biden slams ‘wacko notions’

by Jennifer Shutt, Pennsylvania Capital-StarApril 19, 2023 U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. (Getty Images) WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans unveiled a debt limit proposal Wednesday that would lift the nation’s borrowing capacity by $1.5 trillion or suspend it through March. The bill, introduced by Speaker Kevin McCarthy, carries along with it numerous Republican initiatives

Pa.’s Fetterman to return to U.S. Senate by April 17

by Kim Lyons, Pennsylvania Capital-StarMarch 29, 2023 PITTSBURGH — U.S. Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., will return to the Senate on April 17, after spending several weeks in the hospital for treatment of clinical depression, a source close to the senator confirmed to the Capital-Star on Wednesday.  Fetterman checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical

‘My country is in trouble’: Central Pa. volunteers fighting targeted violence share their stories

by Frank Pizzoli, Pennsylvania Capital-StarMarch 19, 2023 Three central Pennsylvania residents who volunteered to serve in a federal program aimed at addressing violence targeted at vulnerable populations and others, say the experience has been a  lesson in “the ABCs of constructive dialogue.” Joseph Bubman, Founding Executive Director, Urban Rural Action (URA photo). Urban Rural Action

Why shocking new data shows we can’t stop fighting hate | Wednesday Morning Coffee

by John L. Micek, Pennsylvania Capital-StarMarch 15, 2023 If you ever needed a reminder that we can’t turn a blind eye to hate, then new data from the Anti-Defamation League should more than do the trick. As the Capital-Star reported Tuesday, white supremacist propaganda hit an all-time high across the country in 2022, even as antisemitic propaganda more

U.S. hits debt limit and Treasury Department begins ‘extraordinary measures’

by Jennifer Shutt WASHINGTON — The nation reached its debt limit Thursday, beginning the uncertain process known as extraordinary measures, in which the U.S. Treasury Department uses accounting maneuvers to avoid defaulting on the debt. The often-used practice is intended to give the Republican House, Democratic Senate and Biden administration time to negotiate a bipartisan agreement

A new year, a new governor, a new chance to clean up the Chesapeake Bay | Opinion

by Capital-Star Guest Contributor, Pennsylvania Capital-StarJanuary 15, 2023  By Harry Campbell As one year ends and another begins, many of us have hope and optimism for the new year. In these early days of 2023, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is encouraged that momentum in 2022 can bring us closer to cleaner rivers and streams in Pennsylvania. Most

Pa. residents bought nearly 71K guns in November, data show

by John L. Micek, Pennsylvania Capital-StarDecember 19, 2022 Pennsylvania residents bought nearly 71,000 guns in November, part of a nationwide buying spree that saw Americans purchase approximately 1.4 million guns, a new analysis of FBI data shows. That seasonally adjusted nationwide tally of 1.36 million weapons sold includes 840,000 handguns and 520,000 long guns (rifles and shoguns), according

Pa. approves 36 new historical markers honoring artist Keith Haring, others

by Cassie Miller, Pennsylvania Capital-StarDecember 8, 2022 Three-dozen more blue and gold historical markers will soon adorn roadsides in 18 counties across the commonwealth. The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) announced Thursday that it has approved 36 new historical markers, selected from 91 applications, to join the more than 2,000 markers already spread throughout

Raphael Warnock’s Georgia win matters to Pa. This is why

by John L. Micek, Pennsylvania Capital-StarDecember 8, 2022 U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock’s, D-Ga., runoff win against Republican Herschel Walker on Tuesday night was a big deal in a lot of ways. For one thing, Warnock, the pastor of the storied Ebenezer Baptist Church (once ministered by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) in Atlanta, is now the first Black man to

A controversial Pa. prison for migrants is closing. Three things to know

by John L. Micek, Pennsylvania Capital-StarDecember 2, 2022 Putting a cap on years of protests, a controversial prison for asylum seekers in Berks County will shut its doors next month, according to published reports. Officials in Berks County announced Wednesday that the federal government, which operates the Berks County Residential Center in Bern Township, will terminate its

Mass shootings prompt new calls for assault weapons ban. Will it happen?

by John L. Micek, Pennsylvania Capital-StarNovember 28, 2022 There was no mistaking the anger in President Joe Biden’s voice on Thanksgiving Day as he once again decried America’s fatal love affair with guns. “The idea we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick. Just sick,” Biden said, according to the Associated Press. In the wake of deadly shootings

Parties challenge ballots as counties keep counting votes in pivotal Pa. House races

by Peter Hall, Pennsylvania Capital-StarNovember 14, 2022 Monday proved true what Melissa Cerrado said she told voters on thousands of doorsteps during her campaign for a Pennsylvania House seat in Montgomery County: Every vote counts. Cerrado, the Democratic candidate challenging Republican incumbent state Rep. Todd Stevens in the 151st Legislative District, held on to a