The government shutdown begins its second week with the parties still bitterly divided and Republicans increasingly tying the impasse to a looming deadline to avoid a default on U.S. debt in 10 days. Former U.S Congressman Jim McCrery was serving in the House during the last government shutdown. The Shreveport native now is on the steering committee for the Campaign to Fix the Debt. That’s a Washington-based nonpartisan organization to address the nation’s fiscal policies. McCrery believes that if the debt ceiling isn’t raised it will wreak economic havoc across the globe.
The U.S. Senate and House have two dramatically different versions of a federal farm bill, and that comes as a disappointment to U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas. The Democrat backed a bipartisan Senate version passed last month. Pryor said he feels pressure from lobbies that oppose the farm bill and are trying to divide the Arkansas delegation.
John Atkins, president of the Shreveport-Bossier Military Affairs Council, said his organization will award tuition assistance scholarships in June.
The liaison organization between Barksdale Air Force Base and the Shreveport-Bossier community is preparing to roll out a $100,000 scholarship program for Barksdale airmen enrolled in college programs. The Shreveport-Bossier Military Affairs Council raised the dollars in haste when it learned that the military tuition assistance program would be cut due to automatic spending cuts by Congress. The tuition assistance has since been reinstated.
A two-day conference that gets under way Saturday, March 2, in Dallas is meant to help people become more articulate and tell a persuasive story in opposition to fracking, the natural gas drilling technique. The Frack Attack National Summit is organized by Earthworks, a Washington, D.C.-based environmental policy firm. Spokesman Alan Septoff said the conference is aimed at creating a unified message in opposition to fracking.
A University of Louisiana at Lafayette professor emerita of English has started an online petition to urge state lawmakers to restore funding to the state’s public universities. Ann Dobie has gathered nearly 2,000 signatures through her petition on the site signon.org. She hopes the petition is a wake-up call to lawmakers that higher education budget cuts have far reaching consequences.