Senators Vote To Proceed With Health Care Debate

The Senate voted Tuesday to begin debating a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. It remains uncertain as to what that replacement might look like. No formal legislation has been drafted. But senators moved to take the procedural first step, known as a "motion to proceed." The vote was 51-50, with Vice President Pence casting the tiebreaking vote. Debate will now begin, most likely on a measure to fully repeal the law, also known as Obamacare. With all Democrats opposing the measure,...

Read More

The State of Things

“The State of Things” covers diverse issues & topics in NC. Frank Stasio talks to authors, musicians, politicians, & citizens about subjects that matter to North Carolinians.

In an emotional return to the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon, Sen. John McCain admonished the leaders of his party for their managing of the health care bill and called instead for "regular order."

The biggest story of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for Wednesday might be about the people who aren't there.

The chairman and ranking member wanted Donald Trump Jr., the president's oldest son, and Paul Manafort, the president's onetime campaign chairman, to appear and testify — either voluntarily or involuntarily, if necessary, under subpoena.

Those witnesses said they agreed — but they arranged with the committee to do so in private as opposed to under the TV lights.

In a joint Rose Garden press conference Tuesday, President Trump stood beside Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and said the United States is helping Syrian refugees by supporting their needs close to home.

"Our approach supporting the humanitarian needs of displaced Syrian citizens as close to their home country as possible is the best way to help most people." Trump said.

The House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday considered looking into President Trump's financial ties, particularly those linking him to a bank that had been involved with laundering Russian money.

But Republican members voted "nyet" on a straight party-line vote of 34-26.

Updated: 7:26 p.m.

The House overwhelmingly passed a sanctions bill on Tuesday that would punish Russia for interfering in the 2016 election and tie President Trump's hands in terms of lifting economic restrictions on Moscow.

President Trump is keeping up relentless pressure on his attorney general, telling reporters "time will tell" whether Jeff Sessions stays or goes.

GreatAmericanEclipse.com

The solar eclipse is less than a month away.  Thousands will come to Western North Carolina to see it, but there is one scenario that could ruin everyone’s fun – what if it rains that day?

Paul Ryan To Face A Challenge In 2018

14 hours ago

The 2018 elections are more than a year away, but already, several candidates are talking about challenging Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. Ryan has held his southern Wisconsin seat for nearly 20 years. But many constituents are upset with Ryan’s shepherding of an Affordable Care Act replacement through the House.

Contrary to what you may have seen on social media, the so-called "Goldwater rule," a code of ethics prohibiting most psychiatrists from giving opinions about the mental state of anyone they have not evaluated, remains in effect.

The rule re-emerged in headlines Tuesday in the form of an article on the health news website Stat News.

Pages

Arts & Performance

Blue Ridge Public Radio continues to invest in the development of local programming and content with the hiring of Matt Peiken as the NPR station’s first Arts Producer.

Peiken, whose entire journalism career has concentrated in covering arts and culture, will produce segments for Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and will develop a range of digital elements for BPR’s web and mobile platforms. He’ll also lay the groundwork for a new, weekly arts and performance showcase for BPR.

WCQS

It's a bittersweet day here at Blue Ridge Public Radio.  Thirty one years ago this month, music director Dick Kowal hit the airwaves.   Today, he hosted his last show.   While it's  impossible to capture all of the amazing accomplishments of his talented career, we do have some highlights, and a few good stories.  BPR's Helen Chickering reports.

(Dick Kowal on the air)

“It’s about 6 minutes after 9, good morning.”

If you live in Western North Carolina, chances are, you know this voice.

(Dick Kowal on the air)