President Obama didn’t mention climate change in his statement on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, but plenty of lawmakers marked the day with a call for action.
“The aftermath of this event has brought us to very clear conclusions,” said Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y. “Climate change should no longer be considered a simple threat, but a very real, clear, and present danger.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said in his own statement: “The improvements taking place all across our state speak volumes about the determined nature of our residents and our foresight to prepare for what we understand to be a new normal with regard to the changing frequency of what used to be once-in-a-generation storms.”
Plenty of others chimed in on Twitter:
Today is the one year since Superstorm Sandy #O29. We must stop using climate-disrupting dirty energy or face more severe storms….— Matt Cartwright (@RepCartwright) October 29, 2013
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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are threatening to block the spending bill—and prevent the Senate from leaving town—"because it would not extend benefits for retired coal miners for a year or pay for their pension plans. The current version of the bill would extend health benefits for four months. ... Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Thursday afternoon moved to end debate on the continuing resolution to fund the government through April 28. But unless Senate Democrats relent, that vote cannot be held until Saturday at 1 a.m. at the earliest, one hour after the current funding measure expires."
The South Korean parliament voted on Friday morning to impeach President Park Geun-hye over charges of corruption, claiming she allowed undue influence to a close confidante of hers. Ms. Park is now suspended as president for 180 days. South Korea's Constitutional Court will hear the case and decide whether to uphold or overturn the impeachment.
Participants in the women's march on Washington the day after inauguration won't have access to the Lincoln Memorial. The National Park Service has "filed documents securing large swaths of the national mall and Pennsylvania Avenue, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial for the inauguration festivities. None of these spots will be open for protesters."
President Obama on Thursday announced a pay raise for civilian federal employees of 2.1 percent come January 2017. He had said multiple times this year that salaries would go up 1.6 percent, so the Thursday announcement came as a surprise. The change was likely made to match the 2.1 percent increase in salary that members of the military will receive.
The House has completed it's business for 2016 by passing a spending bill which will keep the government funded through April 28. The final vote tally was 326-96. The bill's standing in the Senate is a bit tenuous at the moment, as a trio of Democratic Senators have pledged to block the bill unless coal miners get a permanent extension on retirement and health benefits. The government runs out of money on Friday night.