Farm in Winter

Agriculture secretary pressed about pandemic relief funds for farmers

(Missouri Independent) – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack faced questions on how his agency is doling out emergency pandemic aid and fostering collaboration with historically Black colleges during a Thursday hearing before the House Agriculture Committee. Committee Chairman David Scott, a Georgia Democrat, asked Vilsack for “critical updates on the implementation of pandemic relief programs, including […]

Navient Website

Missouri Attorney General obtains $53 million settlement from student loan servicer Navient

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced that Navient, one of the nation’s largest student loan servicers, entered into a civil settlement agreement with his office and 38 other states for abuses originating in predatory student loans. The agreement resulted in a $53 million settlement for Missourians: $2.5 million in restitution and $51 million in private […]

Phone Scam

Missouri Attorney General joins others in working to stop international scam calls

The Missouri Attorney General urged the Federal Communications Commission to put in place measures that will help stem the tide of foreign-based illegal robocalls that attempt to scam Americans. “Combating annoying, and sometimes dangerous, robocalls is an important mission of the Attorney General’s Office. Using the latest technology and working with telecom partners to control […]

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USDA invests $222 million in rural community infrastructure

 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small announced that USDA is investing $222 million to build and improve critical community facilities (PDF, 729 KB) in 44 states, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico. This community infrastructure funding will benefit nearly 2.5 million people in rural communities. It also […]

Cargo or container ship docked for unloading

White House says “Easing of supply chain problems to start with backed-up seaports”

(Missouri Independent) – The first seaport to improve its facilities following passage of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill could be in Savannah, Ga., a senior Biden administration official said Tuesday. President Joe Biden has yet to sign the measure, which Congress sent to Biden’s desk late last week, funding improvements in highways, transit, ports, waterways, airports, […]

A gavel and a name plate with the engraving Lawsuit

Gun safety group files suit alleging NRA illegally coordinated with Hawley campaign

(Missouri Independent) – The Giffords gun safety organization has sued the National Rifle Association and the campaigns of U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley and U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana, alleging the group used shell corporations to improperly aid the Republican lawmakers in 2018. The suit alleges two NRA affiliates made up to $35 million in illegal […]

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Missouri Attorney General joins suit against Biden Administration to stop federal funding of abortions

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt yesterday joined a lawsuit brought by Ohio and ten other states against the Biden Administration, challenging a federal rule change that would allow taxpayer dollars to be used to encourage and support abortions. The lawsuit, filed yesterday in the U.S. Southern District of Ohio, seeks to reinstate rule changes made […]

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How a Mississippi court case could pave the way for new abortion bans across the U.S.

(Missouri Independent) – A six-week abortion ban in Texas enacted in September forced those seeking abortion services in the Lone Star State to look across state lines for care. But the timing couldn’t have been worse for Texans living near the state’s eastern border. The law took effect as neighboring Louisiana was reeling from the […]

Power Plant via Unsplash

Missouri Attorney General joins 19 state coalition urging Congress to reject legislation that increases energy fees

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt joined a 19-state coalition urging Congress to reject burdensome legislation that would increase fees on energy producers and hit American consumers with even greater price hikes. The two bills in question are the Methane Emissions Reduction Act in the Senate and a provision of the Build Back Better Act in […]

Student Loan Application (Photo by Nick Youngson via Creative Commons)

Democrats’ vision for free community college would boost undocumented students

(Missouri Independent) – The massive economic policy package Democrats are trying to muscle through Congress could open the door to free community college for undocumented immigrants. But that lifeline for many people now denied access to higher education could also reignite controversies in Republican-leaning states over immigration and federal overreach. The provision on immigrants was […]

Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri

Congress passes bill to prevent government shutdown, Blunt only Missouri Republican in support

(Missouri Independent) – Congress made a last-minute dash to avert a government shutdown on Thursday, with the U.S. Senate and House approving a short-term spending bill just hours ahead of a midnight deadline. Every Democratic and independent senator and 15 Republicans supported the bill in the 65-35 vote. The GOP senators in the “aye” tally included […]

Dreamer photo courtesy of Unsplash

Biden administration rolls out new rule to bolster DACA as lawsuit continues

(Missouri Independent) – The Biden administration on Monday unveiled a proposed new rule that would strengthen the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to protect undocumented people in the program from legal challenges. The proposed rule, announced by the Department of Homeland Security, would “preserve and fortify” the DACA program, an Obama administration-era initiative that protects […]

Abortion graphic

U.S. Supreme Court schedules December 1 oral arguments in major abortion case

(Missouri Independent) – The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on December 1, 2021, in a case that threatens to overturn decades of abortion protections established under the landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade. The upcoming case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, stems from a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 […]

Construction workers installing solar panels

USDA invests $464 million in renewable energy infrastructure to help rural communities, businesses and ag producers reduce energy costs

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the Department is investing $464 million to build or improve renewable energy infrastructure and help rural communities, agricultural producers, and businesses lower energy costs in 48 states and Puerto Rico. “USDA continues to prioritize climate-smart infrastructure to help rural America build back better, stronger and more […]

County Fair

Northwest Missouri State Fair officials announce results of Rabbit, Swine and Sheep shows

Results of the Rabbit Show at the Northwest Missouri State fair in Bethany have been announced. Dalanie Auffert of Parnell exhibited the Grand Champion best in show and was recognized as Junior Advanced Showman. Robyn Snuffer of Gilman City had the Reserve Champion Best in Show and was the Senior Showmanship winner. Caroline Littlewood of […]

Citizenship Graphic Version 2

House reconciliation package would provide path to citizenship for millions

(Missouri Independent) – A provision tucked in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package would direct Congress to chart a path for citizenship for millions of undocumented people. If passed, the House provision would provide a pathway to citizenship for those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, often referred to as Dreamers, farmworker workers; those […]

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Biden administration opens civil rights investigation into states banning school mask mandates

(Missouri Independent) – Federal education officials have launched civil rights investigations in five Republican-led states that have prohibited school districts from mandating mask-wearing, saying those policies could amount to illegal discrimination against students with disabilities. The Biden administration notified the education chiefs in Iowa, Tennessee, South Carolina, Utah, and Oklahoma of the investigations through formal letters Monday. The new investigations will examine […]