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Defying Trump, Senate panel approves funding for U.N. climate body

UNFCCC funded by Senate panelThe United States is still a party to the 1992 UNFCCC, which oversees the Paris agreement, although Trump announced in June that he would withdraw the nation from the global climate pact and cease funding the Green Climate Fund, which supports clean energy and climate adaptation projects in vulnerable countries.

The United States has usually contributed to around 20 percent of the UNFCCC budget.

Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, the amendment’s author, said on Twitter on Thursday: “Despite @RealDonaldTrump’s dangerous #ParisAgreement decision & unwillingness to act, we can & will fight back to combat #climatedisruption.”

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House passes Harvey aid, debt limit extension, government funding

House passes Harvey aid billThe House on Friday passed a nearly $15.3 billion disaster aid package that also raises the debt ceiling and extends government funding for three months into December.

Lawmakers approved the legislation 316-90, and it now heads to President Trump's desk.

The massive package will replenish rapidly dwindling emergency accounts as Florida braces for the impact of Hurricane Irma this weekend and Texas picks up the pieces after the devastation of the Harvey storm.

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Sources: Trump Jr. said he did not recall WH involvement in response to meeting

Donald Trump, Jt.Donald Trump Jr. told Senate judiciary committee staffers Thursday that he did not recall the details of White House involvement in the public response to his 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer and did not know much about the Air Force One meeting that allegedly led to the production of the statement, sources told CNN.
Trump Jr. was explicitly asked whether he either took any of the Russian participants in the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting to see his father -- now President Donald Trump -- or whether he told his father about the meeting after, sources said. He insisted he did neither.
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House GOP blocks vote protecting medical marijuana states

Rohrbacher blocks pot voteSeveral lawmakers said Wednesday that GOP leaders won’t allow the full House to vote on an amendment that bars the Justice Department from pursuing states that have legalized medical marijuana.

Without legislation, states would lose protection they have enjoyed for the past four years, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions could begin his long-sought crackdown on the rapid expansion of legalized pot.

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How Washington lobbyists fought flood insurance reform

Lobbyists killed flood insurance reformThe catastrophic weather in Texas has thrown the spotlight on the federal government’s troubled flood insurance program, which is nearly $25 billion in debt after huge payouts following Katrina, Sandy and other devastating hurricanes.

But as Houston starts the long process of recovering, lobbyists in Washington have already maneuvered to slow lawmakers efforts’ to overhaul the National Flood Insurance Program and protect their industries’ profits.

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John McCain Rips Donald Trump For Pardoning Joe Arpaio

John McCain rips Trump over pardonSen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) harshly criticized President Donald Trump for pardoning Joe Arpaio, the former Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff who was found guilty of criminal contempt after illegally targeting Latinos.

Trump’s pardon Friday of Arpaio, who was found to have “willfully violated” a 2011 court order barring him from detaining individuals based solely on suspicion about their legal status, was the first of his presidency.

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Russia dossier firm founder speaks with Senate judiciary investigators

Glenn Simpson testifiesGlenn Simpson, the former journalist who helped compile the Russia dossier with allegations of collusion by President Donald Trump's top aides, spoke with staff on the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday for more than 10 hours.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley originally subpoenaed Simpson last month after Simpson refused to testify before the committee, but the Iowa Republican dropped the subpoena after Simpson agreed to speak privately with committee staff.

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