Top 5 Live –WURD Wednesday March 4
1. Congress Sends Homeland Bill to Obama Without Conditions
Bitterly admitting defeat, the Republican-controlled Congress sent legislation to President Barack Obama on Tuesday that funds the Department of Homeland Security without any of the immigration-related concessions they initially demanded.
“Sanity is prevailing,” said New York Republican Peter King, a former chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, before the House voted in favor of the $40 billion spending bill. All 182 Democrats present voted for the bill. It received only 75 Republican “yes” votes.
The outcome was a major victory for Obama and the Democrats. And it was a wholesale retreat for Republicans, who have spent months railing against an “unconstitutional overreach” by Obama in extending deportation stays and work permits to millions of immigrants in this country illegally.
2. Wolf’s $30B budget: Blueprint or dead on arrival?
Gov. Wolf on Tuesday unveiled a nearly $30 billion spending plan that would raise the state income and sales taxes to pay for property tax cuts in every school district.
The proposal would fundamentally revamp how – and how much – residents pay in taxes.
“I campaigned on the idea that we need a new approach to governing Pennsylvania – one that challenges the status quo and takes on old problems in fundamentally new ways,” Wolf told a joint legislative session.
No sooner had the Democrat wrapped up his speech, the Republicans who control the House and Senate hurled cold water on it.
3. LeSean McCoy traded to Bills
The Philadelphia Eagles have a trade in place to send running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
In return, the Bills will send linebacker Kiko Alonso to the Eagles, the source said.
The trade cannot be made official until the new league year begins next Tuesday at 4 p.m.
McCoy has the NFL’s third-most rushing yards (6,792) and fourth-most rushing touchdowns (44) since he was drafted by the Eagles in the second round in 2009. He finished last season with 1,319 rushing yards, third-most in the NFL.
4. Supreme Court set to hear second major Obamacare challenge
The U.S. Supreme Court will weigh a second major case targeting President Barack Obama’s healthcare law on Wednesday when it considers a conservative challenge to tax subsidies critical to the measure’s implementation.
If a majority of the nine justices rules against the administration, up to 7.5 million people in at least 34 states would lose subsidies that help low- and moderate-income people afford private health insurance, unless Congress or the affected states act immediately.
Such a ruling could also have a broader impact by deterring younger, healthier people from buying health insurance, which would lead to premiums rising for older, less healthy people who need healthcare most, said Rand Corporation economist Christine Eibner.
5. Justice report finds systematic discrimination against African-Americans in Ferguson
A Justice Department civil rights investigation prompted by the police shooting of Michael Brown has concluded that the Ferguson Police Department and the city’s municipal court engaged in a “pattern and practice” of discrimination against African-Americans, targeting them disproportionately for traffic stops, use of force, and jail sentences.
From 2012 to 2014, 85 percent of people subject to vehicle stops by Ferguson police were African-American; 90 percent of those who received citations were black; and 93 percent of people arrested were black. This while 67 percent of the Ferguson population is black.
In 88 percent of the cases in which the Ferguson police reported using force, it was against African-Americans. From 2012 to 2014 black drivers were twice as likely as white drivers to be searched during traffic stops, but 26 percent less likely to be found in possession of contraband
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Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon