Khanna Reintroduces War Powers Resolution

California Congressmember Ro Khanna has reintroduced a War Powers Resolution to end the war in Yemen for the third time in as many months.

The Senate made history by passing the resolution 56-41 last month, but House Republican leadership was able to block a vote on the bill while they retained control.

Now, however, Democrats are securely in the helm of the House, increasing the chances that the legislation will pass.

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Joshua Tree Damages to Last Three Centuries

The government shutdown resulted in damages to the Joshua Tree National Park that the former superintendent says could take 300 years to resolve.

Visitors to the park actually cut down ancient Joshua trees — which take a full 60 years just to mature — so that they could make illegal roadways into the park.

Human waste from illegal camp sites also contributed to incalculable ecological damage to the park, which houses trees as old as 1,000 years.

Friends of Joshua Tree nonprofit director John Lauretig argues that the park should be completely closed if the government shuts down again to prevent any further damage.

“If the government doesn’t fund or staff the parks appropriately, then they should just close the parks to protect the parks and protect the people.”

Shutdown Cost U.S. $11 Billion

A report from the Congressional Budget Office shows that the 35-day partial government shutdown cost the U.S. economy $11 billion.

While the CBO believes that roughly $8 billion of those losses are recoverable, at least $3 billion are permanent.

This devastating news comes as a bipartisan committee is beginning the daunting task of attempting to find a middleground between U.S. lawmakers and the president that will keep the government open after the three-week stopgap measure expires February 15.

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Stacey Abrams With the Clapback

Democrats have chosen former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams to deliver the rebuttal to the president’s State of the Union address next week.

The address, which was previously cancelled due to the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, will take place Tuesday, February 5.

Abrams headed a monumental campaign in Georgia last year, and many still suspect she only lost because of election mishandling on the part of the Georgia government. Abrams recently launched Fair Fight Action, which is an advocacy group suing Georgia election officials for mismanagement of the state’s 2018 midterm elections.

An End to The War in Afghanistan?

Multiple news outlets are reporting that the United States government and the Taliban are negotiating towards peace in Afghanistan.

Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, the key U.S. negotiator with the Taliban, has told The New York Times that the group has agreed in principle to initial drafts of a deal.

If an agreement can be reached, it would end 17 years of bloodshed in the country as well as the longest war in U.S. history.

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Pelosi Stands Her Ground

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has said that the president’s State of the Union address will not happen this Tuesday as planned.

Despite the president’s agreement to sign a temporary stopgap measure reopening the government for three weeks, Pelosi insists that the SOTU will still not take place.

The president had planned to give the address this Tuesday, but Pelosi has said that nothing will happen until the shutdown is officially and completely over.

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Government Temporarily Reopens

President Trump announced his endorsement of a spending bill to temporarily reopen the government this afternoon.

He made the announcement after the Senate failed to pass a spending bill to end the shutdown yesterday.

The agreement does not, however, resolve the issue of border wall funding, meaning it will only reopen the government for three weeks if a permanent solution can not be reached.

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Roger Stone Arrested

Former Trump advisor Roger Stone was arrested early Friday morning and charged with obstruction, witness tampering, and lying to Congress.

He was released a few hours later on $250,000 bond. He apparently left the courthouse waving a double peace sign in the style of Richard Nixon.

Although he was arrested at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the FBI also executed a warrant for his New York residence as well.

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A Win for Women

Iowa’s abortion ban — the most restrictive in the country — was just struck down, and New York is working to protect women’s access to the procedure even if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

An Iowa district court struck down the incredibly restrictive law, which banned all forms of abortion after the moment a fetal heartbeat is detected; most women don’t even know that they are pregnant by the time a heartbeat can be registered.

The bill was signed into law last year by the state’s female governor, adding a little extra salt to the wound as well as to the legacy of women oppressing other women.

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