The Republican-controlled U.S. House voted 241-175 on Wednesday to require the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to Nebraska. The vote was symbolic since the U.S. Senate, controlled by Democrats, is not likely going to consider the House bill. The U.S. State Department is currently analyzing TransCanada’s proposal to build the pipeline, and it’s not known when a decision will be announced.
Four of Oklahoma’s five U.S. House members voted for the bill on Wednesday. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, whose district was devastated by a tornado on Monday, was back in Oklahoma and could not vote but expressed support for the legislation.…
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President Barack Obama is planning to travel to Oklahoma on Sunday to check on tornado relief efforts, thank first responders, comfort victims and families and show the nation’s solidarity with the stricken citizens.
The president is a gifted orator and, in his remarks from the White House on Tuesday about the tragedy, captured the physical and emotional work ahead:
“There are empty spaces where there used to be living rooms and bedrooms and classrooms, and, in time, we’re going to need to refill those spaces with love and laughter and community,” Obama said.…
Read the rest of President Clinton’s Speech after Oklahoma City Bombing
By Wednesday night:
_ More than 400 federal personnel were on the ground in the impacted area, including teams that are working directly with families and individuals who were affected by the tornadoes.
_ More 2,200 individuals impacted by the tornadoes had registered with FEMA for direct assistance available through the major disaster declaration provided by President Barack Obama on Monday night.
_ Since Monday night, the national Urban Search and Rescue teams completed searches of more than 1,200 structures in the affected area.…
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By Wednesday morning, the Federal Emergency Management Agency had mobilized 400 people to Oklahoma to coordinate relief efforts in the areas devastated by tornadoes.
President Barack Obama receive updates from his team overnight, according to a White House official. The president spoke with Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, on Tuesday night “to make clear that FEMA stood ready to continue to support the people of Oklahoma through the immediate response phase as well as the recovery, and to let the Senator know that Oklahomans remained in his thoughts and prayers.”
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is scheduled to travel to the affected area on Wednesday to meet with local officials and see ongoing response efforts first hand, the White House official said.…
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President Barack Obama spoke this morning in the State Dining Room at the White House about the tornadoes that hit Oklahoma on Monday. He was accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, and Richard Serino, the FEMA deputy administrator.
Here is a transcript of his remarks:
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. As we all know by now, a series of storms swept across the Plains yesterday, and one of the most destructive tornadoes in history sliced through the towns of Newcastle and Moore, Oklahoma.…
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Obama pledges federal support in remarks at White House.
“For all those who’ve been affected, we recognize you face a long road ahead,” the president said. “In some cases, there will be enormous grief that has to be absorbed. But you will not travel that path alone.”
President urged people to send help through American Red Cross. He said he had talked to Moore Mayor Glenn Lewis. The president spoke Monday night to Gov. Mary Fallin and Rep. Tom Cole.
Oklahoma congressmen spoke this morning, along with House Republican leaders.…
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President Barack Obama’s disaster declaration for Oklahoma makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma, and Pottawatomie counties.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster, according to FEMA.
Federal funding is also available to state, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma, and Pottawatomie counties.…
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President Barack Obama Will Make Statement Today About Tornado Damage, Disaster Declaration Approved
President Barack Obama approved a major disaster declaration for Oklahoma to help move federal resources to Oklahoma in the wake of the devastating tornadoes that hit this week.
Obama is expected to make a statement this morning, around 9 a.m. central time, after receiving a briefing from top Homeland Security officials.
The president sent FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate to Oklahoma.
According to a White House official, FEMA on Monday began deploying additional resourcesincluding:
· An Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) to the state emergency operations center in Oklahoma City to coordinate with state and local officials in support of recovery operations.…
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The Inspector General for the U.S. Treasury Department, which includes the Internal Revenue Service, released its report on IRS targeting of some conservative groups applying for tax exempt status. The report can be read here.
Members of Congress have expressed outrage at the practice, and congressional panels are set to investigate the IRS handling of the requests.
President Barack Obama released a statement Tuesday night:
“I have now had the opportunity to review the Treasury Department watchdog’s report on its investigation of IRS personnel who improperly targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.…
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Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, is a member of the House Oversight Committee, which held a hearing last week on the killings of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans at the U.S. mission in Benghzi, Libya last September. The four were killed in an organized attack by a group armed with grenades and automatic weapons.
The witnesses at the hearing were State Department whistleblowers with direct knowledge of the circumstances of the attack: Mark Thompson, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Counterterrorism; Gregory Hicks, Foreign Service Officer & former Deputy Chief of Mission/Chargé d’Affairs in Libya; and Eric Nordstrom, Diplomatic Security Officer & Former Regional Security Officer in Libya.…
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