WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously mourned the loss of life in Israel's worst ever forest fire and pledged to support assistance.
The non-binding resolution passed Tuesday, sponsored by outgoing Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.), "mourns the loss of life and extends condolences to the families affected by the fire in northern Israel" and "supports the Obama Administration’s offer of, and rapid efforts to provide, United States fire fighting assistance to Israel in response to this disaster."
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish groups praised the renewal of a law funding school meals, but expressed concern that it was financed in part by money designated for food stamps.
The approval in the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act means the bill -- which had been subject to some last minute wrangling -- is ready for enactment by the president.
The bill extends for another ten years funding for school lunches and breakfasts for children from families that depend on the meals, estimated at 4.2 million households.
Former Rep. Stephen J. Solarz, who died Monday night at the age of 70 after a long battle with esophogeal cancer, was an outstanding public servant. Steve served the people of Brooklyn in the House of Representatives from 1975 to 1992 with distinction, boundless energy, great intellect, and a true passion to pursue justice.
If you're among that Jewish faction – formerly a majority, now we're not so sure – that favors fairly liberal immigration policies and sees comprehensive immigration reform including a path to citizenship for some here illegally as a political priority, your worst nightmare is about to come true.
After one of those “holds” that has nothing to do with the person being considered for high office, the Senate has confirmed Jacob “Jack” Lew as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Lew, who is now deputy secretary of state, held the OMB job at the end of the Clinton administration.
Lew has always struck me as one of the smartest people in Jewish/public life, which leads to this question: if he's so smart, why does he want this thankless job?
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish groups expressed disappointment in the U.S. Senate's failure to pass an enhanced equal pay act.
The Paycheck Fairness Act, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last year, would have enhanced the 1963 Equal Pay Act, one of the first civil rights acts, to restrict the criteria employers use to justify pay differentials and to eliminate caps on discrimination lawsuits, among other measures.
Business groups opposed the law, saying its measures were burdensome and costly.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A congressional letter to President Obama urging clemency for Jonathan Pollard garnered 39 signatures, all Democrats.
In comments at a press conference Thursday, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said he initiated the letter, written in coordination with a broad array of Jewish groups, mostly out of humanitarian concerns for the convicted Israeli spy, imprisoned 25 years, but also as a spur in the peace process.
With the Republicans on their way in as leaders of the House, Tea Party activists ratcheting up their attacks on a hated federal government and President Obama sounding more and more like a whipped dog, we're going to hear a lot of talk in the next few weeks about cuts to the huge federal budget deficit.
Of course, most of this is just talk, since almost nobody is willing to do the two things that would really make a deficit dent: raise taxes and cut the military.
(JTA) -- U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor's promise that the new GOP majority will "serve as a check" on the Obama administration was "not in relation to U.S.-Israel relations," his spokesman said.
Brad Dayspring told The Washington Post Monday that the comment last week by Cantor (R-Va.), the putative leader of the House of Representatives, to visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been misinterpreted to refer to Israel.