<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Philadelphia Political News and Philadelphia Politics]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/politics http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.comen-usWed, 26 Jul 2017 20:59:29 -0400Wed, 26 Jul 2017 20:59:29 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Ex-Manafort Associate Tied to Russian Mafia: DOJ]]> Wed, 26 Jul 2017 18:15:03 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/firtash-ukraine-file.jpg

The Department of Justice has identified a former business associate of ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort as an "upper-echelon [associate] of Russian organized crime."

As NBC News reports, the declaration came in a 115-page filing as part of the government's case against Dmytro Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch once involved in a failed multimillion-dollar deal to buy New York's Drake Hotel with Manafort, and an important player in the Ukrainian political party for which Manafort worked.

In 2008, according to court records, Manafort's firm was involved with Firtash in a plan to redevelop the Drake Hotel for $850 million. Firtash's company planned to invest more than $100 million, the records say.

One of the other partners working with Manafort on the deal was the former exclusive broker for Fred Trump's properties, Brad Zackson. Fred Trump is the late father of Donald Trump.

Photo Credit: Ronald Zak/AP (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Senate Rejects Repeal Proposal of Affordable Care Act]]> Wed, 26 Jul 2017 17:44:00 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Senate_Rejects_Repeal_and_Replace-150110450381100001.jpg

The Senate rejected a bill to undo Obama-era health care reforms in a 55-45 vote Wednesday, just hours after the White House expressed "excitement about the progress" made to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 

<![CDATA[WH: Sessions Should Focus on Immigration Issues and Leaks]]> Wed, 26 Jul 2017 16:26:04 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WH_on_Jeff_Sessions-150109874957100001.jpg

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Donald Trump continue to be "disappointed" in Attorney General Jeff Sessions, adding Trump wants Sessions to focus on the Justice Department, immigration policies and White House leaks.

<![CDATA['Disruptive': WH Defends Trump's Anti-Transgender Policy]]> Wed, 26 Jul 2017 15:55:25 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WH_on_New_Transgender_Military_Policies-150109707611400001.jpg

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended a new Trump administration policy banning transgender service members from the military, saying it was an "expensive and disruptive" policy.

<![CDATA[A Look Back at When Trumps Shared Support for LGBT Community]]> Wed, 26 Jul 2017 12:38:11 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_TRUMP_TWEETS_TRANSGENDER_2-150108490008800001.jpg

In a series of tweets on July 26, President Donald Trump said transgender people are no longer allowed in the military. In the past, Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, have promoted their support of the LGBT community.

<![CDATA[Bridgegate: Christie Under Fire]]> Sun, 26 Jan 2014 13:06:14 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/christie+gwb+scandal+inset.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images/AP Images]]>
<![CDATA[Here's What a 'Skinny Repeal' of Obamacare Would Look Like]]> Wed, 26 Jul 2017 08:07:30 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/skinnyrepealfeuerherd.jpg

The Senate agreed to open debate on repealing and replacing Obamacare on Tuesday, but it’s still unclear what senators will be voting on in the end, NBC News reported.

One new option emerged on Tuesday: A so-called skinny repeal bill that would eliminate the Affordable Care Act's penalties for individuals who go without insurance and companies that don’t offer it. It would also remove a tax on medical-device manufacturers. 

By voting on a partial repeal bill, Republicans would avoid heated debates within their party over cuts to Medicaid, subsidies for private insurance, and which Obamacare regulations to change or eliminate.

But that doesn’t mean skinny repeal would be a minor change. 

Scrapping the mandate could create major policy headaches, however, including millions more uninsured, a spike in premiums, and a potential exodus of insurers from the market. If these changes came to pass, they would violate Republican promises to lower premiums and increase competition.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite]]>
<![CDATA[Local Patients Waiting for Decision in Health Care Battle]]> Wed, 26 Jul 2017 00:47:51 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Local_Patients_Waiting_for_Decision_in_Health_Care_Battle.jpg

The future of your health care is now in the hands of the U.S. Senate. Republicans barely got the votes they needed to simply debate a new health care bill and their first option for replacing Obamacare was voted down. NBC10's Keith Jones spoke to local patients who are waiting for answers in regards to their health care.

<![CDATA[How the Supreme Court May be Helping Chaka Fattah]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 19:37:21 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Chaka-Fattah1.jpg

Former Pennsylvania congressman Chaka Fattah is serving a 10-year prison sentence on 22 related corruption charges. In part two of his investigation into Fattah's downfall, NBC10 investigative reporter George Spencer shows us how a new Supreme Court ruling could aid in his appeal. Watch PART 1 HERE.





Photo Credit: NBC10 ]]>
<![CDATA[NBC10 Investigators: How Congressman Fattah Was Taken Down]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 18:30:01 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Fattah-AP_253040434541.jpg

George Spencer and the NBC10 investigators track down how illegal campaign activity over a decade ago ultimately brought down former Pennsylvania Congressman Chaka Fattah.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Sen. John McCain Returns to Senate Floor]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 16:52:08 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/DIT+MCCAIN+RETURN+THUMB.jpg

Sen. John McCain returned to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to cast a vote to start debate on the Senate GOP health care bill. McCain had been absent from the Senate since he was diagnosed with brain cancer.

<![CDATA[Trump Doubles Down on Sessions Criticism]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 16:34:08 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Trump_on_Sessions-150101355642900001.jpg

President Donald Trump's slipping confidence in Attorney General Jeff Sessions was on full display on Tuesday, after he took the opportunity to double down on his criticism of Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the Russian investigation. 

<![CDATA[Trump Praises Senate for Moving on Health Care Reform]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 16:37:54 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Trump_Senate_Health_Care-150101350505600001.jpg

President Donald Trump, during a Tuesday news conference with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, praised the Senate for voting to move forward on health care reform.

<![CDATA[Calif. Gov. Extends Climate Change Bill, Adds 10 Years]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 22:41:03 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/173*120/gov+brown-0627.jpg

Gov. Jerry Brown signs legislation Tuesday keeping alive California's signature initiative to fight global warming, which puts a cap and a price on climate-changing emissions.

The Democratic governor was joined by his celebrity predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who signed the 2006 bill that led to the creation of the nation's only cap and trade system to reduce greenhouse gases in all industries.

The program has become closely watched around the world, promoted by Schwarzenegger and Brown alike a successful way to reduce emissions that hasn't taken the steam out of California's thriving economy.

Brown's signature added 10 years to the program, which had been scheduled to expire in 2020. It follows a frenetic push by Brown and his legislative allies to craft a plan that businesses and environmentalists would both find acceptable.

In the end, the extension was supported by a wide range of business and environmental groups that said it's the most cost-effective way to combat climate change. But it met fierce opposition from environmental justice groups that said it's riddled with giveaways to the oil industry, including too many free pollution permits.

Schwarzenegger signed a bill in 2006 that authorized state environmental regulators to create a cap and trade program, but the authorization would have expired in 2020 without action from lawmakers.

After the extension passed, Schwarzenegger highlighted the support from eight Republican lawmakers, saying they've shown that the GOP can get behind free-market solutions to climate change.

Schwarzenegger's bill required the state to reduce its carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 — a target the state is on track to meet. Legislation approved last year set a new, much more aggressive goal to reduce emissions another 40 percent by 2030.

Cap and trade puts a limit on carbon emissions and requires polluters to obtain permits to release greenhouse gases. Some permits, known as allowances, are given away while others are auctioned, generating billions of dollars in revenue for the state. The money is a key funding source for a high-speed train between San Francisco and Los Angeles, one of Brown's top priorities.

The governor's office said he'll sign separate legislation tied to the cap and trade extension later this week. That includes a bill that could give Republicans more say in spending the money and another to improve efforts to monitor and clean up the air around some of the dirtiest sources of pollution, such as oil refineries.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Did Trump Declassify Secret CIA Program With a Tweet?]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:43:24 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/donaldtrumpvoterfraud.jpg

In a series of Monday night Tweets attacking what he refers to as the “Amazon Washington Post,” U.S. President Donald Trump apparently declassified a CIA program to arm Syrian rebels, NBC News reports.

"The Amazon Washington Post fabricated the facts on my ending massive, dangerous, and wasteful payments to Syrian rebels fighting Assad.....," Trump wrote, calling the Post's stories "Fake News" and accusing the paper of being a "Lobbyist for Amazon and taxes."

Last week the Washington Post first reported that Trump had decided to end a covert CIA program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels.

The program, which the Obama administration initiated in 2013, has always been classified, with U.S. government and military officials declining to ever confirm its existence on the record.

Photo Credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Senate Showdown: Health Care Vote Looms]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 09:11:22 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/215*120/Screen+Shot+2017-07-25+at+8.49.19+AM.png

U.S. Senate prepares for vote that could pave the way for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare."

<![CDATA[Former Scouts, Organizers React to Trump's Political Speech]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 16:17:46 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/priAP_17205844006665.jpg

President Donald Trump's appearance at a national Boy Scout event hit a nerve with many former scouts and parents of scouts after his speech turned political. The organization responded to the backlash by stressing its non-partisan roots.

At the Boys Scouts of America's National Jamboree in West Virginia on Monday, the president brought up issues such as health care, "fake media," and "the swamp" in Washington.

Many in the crowd of 40,000 scouts, leaders and volunteers booed when Trump asked whether former President Barack Obama had come to a Jamboree. Video clips also showed them jeering Hillary Clinton after Trump said that his election opponent "didn't work hard" in Michigan. The scouts also chanted "we love Trump." 

Former scouts and parents took to social media to express opposition to the politicized speech.

The Boy Scouts of America's Facebook page was inundated with comments about Trump on posts both about and unrelated to the Jamboree.

User Beth Mitchell Huntsberry commented, "The BSA should immediately lose their tax exempt status. I will no longer be associated with the organization. My time and money will go elsewhere."

"No, I am the proud mother of a former scout who was sheltered from that pack of lies speech at the Jamboree. Done with scouts after you felt the need to have my kid listen to a liar stroke his ego on our time," said Jude Nevans Cleaver, another Facebook commenter.

Some drew comparisons between the president's speech in front of the Boy Scouts and his campaign-style rallies. 

National Scout Jamborees are typically held every four years and Trump is the eighth president to attend, The Associated Press reported. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were Boy Scouts, while Trump was not a member of the organization. Obama, a former member of the Indonesian Scout Association, addressed a 100th anniversary event in 2010 by video.

Pete Souza, a White House photographer for Obama during his presidency, posted an Instagram photo following Trump's speech showing his former boss meeting a cub scout. 

In a statement in response to the backlash, the Boy Scouts of America noted that the organization is non-partisan. They said that inviting the sitting president to the National Jamboree is a "long-standing tradition."

"The Boy Scouts of America is wholly non-partisan and does not promote any one position, product, service, political candidate or philosophy. The invitation for the sitting U.S. President to visit the National Jamboree is a long-standing tradition and is in no way an endorsement of any political party or specific policies."

The statement added that the "sitting U.S. President serves as the BSA's honorary president. It is our long-standing custom to invite the U.S. President to the National Jamboree."

The White House has not responded to a request for comment.

CORRECTION (July 25, 4:16 p.m. ET): The article misidentified the scouting organization that former President Barack Obama belonged to. He was a member of the Indonesian Scout Association, not the Boy Scouts of America.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Sunoco Pipeline Construction on Hold in West Goshen Township]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 14:33:54 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Sunoco+Pipeline+Halt+_24463896.jpg

UPDATE: A judge ordered a halt to drilling operations.

Construction on a controversial pipeline stretching through Delaware County and Chester County has been temporarily halted in West Goshen Township. 

A judge granted an injunction stopping all construction of Sunoco's Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids pipeline in West Goshen until the matter can be brought for a full trial before the Public Utility Commission, according to a spokesperson with the Eastern Pennsylvania Food & Water Watch.

Earlier this month, West Goshen Township filed a petition for the injunction against Sunoco Pipeline LP, accusing the company of violating a settlement agreement in the construction of the pipeline. A spokesperson for West Goshen claimed Sunoco began construction to install and operate the pipeline near Greenhill and Boot roads without notifying West Goshen Township officials.

"We look forward to demonstrating to the Public Utility Commission how we have complied at all times with our agreement with West Goshen Township," a spokesperson for Sunoco wrote to NBC10 Monday in response to the injunction. 

The $2.5 billion, 350-mile Mariner East 2 pipeline will carry 275,000 barrels of liquid natural gas a day from Ohio and western Pennsylvania to a processing facility in Marcus Hook, Delaware County. The 20-inch pipe and a second 16-inch line cuts through 23.6 miles of land in Chester County and 11.4 miles in Delaware County, county planners say.

The pipeline has been the subject of controversy. In addition to the injunction from West Goshen Township, residents in West Whiteland and Uwchlan townships claimed the pipeline was contaminating their water leading to a suspension in the pipeline’s construction which later resumed.

A leak at the Delaware County site of the pipeline also caused thousands of gallons of drilling mud to flow into the Chester Creek in Middletown Township earlier this month.

Pennsylvania Senator Chris Quinn, who represents Delaware County, called for a halt on the pipeline's construction until more safeguards are put in place.

"What is occurring here is unacceptable," Quinn said. "I am asking the governor and DEP secretary to come down here with Sunoco contractors and tour the incident sites where these breeches have occurred."