Supreme Court rules health law may largely stand

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld most of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law, saying it was authorized by Congress’s power to levy taxes. The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four more liberal members. The ruling upheld the individual mandate requiring nearly all Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty. The court did substantially limit a major piece of the law, one that expanded Medicaid, the joint federal-state program that provides health care to poor and disabled people. Seven justices agreed that Congress had exceeded its constitutional authority by coercing states into participating in the expansion by threatening them with the loss of existing federal payments. Read more…

House Democrats press for details on Asia-Pacific trade deal

A majority of House Democrats have admonished U.S. trade officials for failing to consult with Congress and disclose details of negotiations on an Asia-Pacific trade deal. On Wednesday, 132 of 191 Democrats sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk pressing him to increase transparency and openness in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks while ramping up engagement with Congress as complaints increase about the secrecy of the talks. Read more…

Bill would exempt CAFOs from reporting under Superfund Act

The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee hosted a hearing on Wednesday, June 27, to deliberate on the “Superfund Common-Sense Act” introduced by Congressman Billy Long, R-Mo., According to National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President J.D. Alexander, the legislation (H.R. 2997) would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the courts from imposing what Alexander called expensive liability and needless regulation on U.S. agriculture. Read more…

New Mexico veterinary official says VS outbreak is ‘significant’

New Mexico Livestock Board state veterinarian Dr. Dave E. Fly has said in a release issued June 20 that an outbreak of vesicular stomatitis (VS) in the state is significant. Initially found in the outskirts of Tularosa, Otero County, in April, suspected cases of the viral disease have been reported in southwestern San Miguel and northern Socorro counties. The board says counties along the path of the Rio Grande are at greater risk, as the disease tends to appear along waterways. Regulation on livestock movement in effect until state is declared free of VS. Read more…

New TxDOT application provides real-time travel information

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has launched a new online map application, Drive Texas™ that provides travelers with real-time traffic conditions, traffic and weather feeds, as well as links to other useful travel information. Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Stuffed jalapeno burgers

Blended with cream, filled with cheese, salsa and jalapenos, this burger’s like no other for your Fourth of July cookout. Read more…