US Politics News Bits for Friday, May 19th 2017

Finance Committee Chairman ready to move forward with health care bill

Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat and Finance Committee Chairman, is ready to move forward with the health care reform bill. The bill, which is being developed by negotiators, would reduce the cost of health care reform to less than $1 trillion over a decade’s time.

AP publishes images of dying Marine; Gates strongly disproves

A vocal Defense Secretary Robert Gates expressed his strong disproval of the Associated Press’ decision to show images o f a dying marine, calling the decision “appalling”. The photograph was published even after the father of the Marine requested that the photos not be published. Associated Press stood by its decision to publish the images saying that they wished to communicate the horrors of war to their readers.

US angry that Israel to continue settlement building; delays Mideast peace talks

Just this week, Israel-Palestine peace talks resumed after months of non-communication. The United States insisted that the resumption of peace talks was contingent upon Israel’s decision to halt new settlement building projects in the West Bank. Friday, Israel seemed to defy the United States when it announced its decision to continue its West Bank building projects. President Barack Obama’s administration expressed its disproval in a statement that made it clear that the United States would not recognize Israel’s new settlement projects as legitimate. The United States continues to encourage Israel to halt their settlement so that peace talks can continue. Saeb Erekat, Palestine’s senior negotiator believes that Israel’s decision will delay peace talks indefinitely.

Iran’s chief envoy accuses US government of forgery

The Iranian government accused the United States of forging important documents in order to build a case against Tehran’s nuclear program. In a letter, Iran’s chief envoy wrote that the documents are not authentic, but neglected to specify which documents the United States allegedly forged.

CIA Director’s position seems safe

Currently, Leon Panetta’s seems secure after some uncertainty about the security of CIA Director’s position. Panetta attempted to keep the CIA’s secrets under wraps after investigations into their interrogation practices began. His arguments for keeping CIA interrogation information secret did not convince the Obama administration to keep quiet about the findings.

Democrat support for troop increase in Afghanistan waning

Support for increasing United States troops in Afghanistan seems to be falling among Democrats in the Senate. While some in the Senate feel that increasing troops in Afghanistan is the only way to be successful in the war, other are less certain that a major troop increase is the answer. Democrats in the Senate, sensing the fall in public support for the war, are interested in speeding up the education and furnishing of Afghan armed forces with what it needs to assume responsibility for the security of the war torn country.

Obama allows WH visitor logs to be made public

President Barack Obama has authorized the release of information regarding White House visitors. Previous administrations keep the visitor logs secret, but the Obama administration has, for the first time, made the information public.