Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 4:27 am
In what The Associated Press called a "final flurry of accomplishment" Tuesday night, lawmakers were able to push through a bill that extended a package of tax breaks, which had expired at the end of 2013, and confirmed 12 more judicial nominees. NPR's Ailsa Chang reported the confirmations also marked a big accomplishment for the Obama administration.
Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 3:08 pm
It seems long ago now, but in the 1960s, '70s and '80s, murders and robberies exploded as cocaine and other illegal drugs ravaged American cities.
Then came June 19, 1986, when the overdose of a college athlete sent the nation into shock just days after the NBA draft. Basketball star Len Bias could have been anybody's brother or son.
Congress swiftly responded by passing tough mandatory sentences for drug crimes. Those sentences, still in place, pack federal prisons to this day. More than half of the 219,000 federal prisoners are serving time for drug offenses.
Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 12:57 pm
For two decades Atlanta restaurant owner Jim Dunn offered a group health plan to his managers and helped pay for it. That ended Dec. 1, after the Affordable Care Act made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
Subsidies under the health law for workers to buy their own coverage combined with years of rising costs in the company plan made dropping the plan an obvious — though not easy — choice.