A massive tornado ripped through the southern suburbs of Oklahoma City, Monday afternoon, killing
at least 51 people24 people, according to the state medical examiner’s office.
The death toll was expected to rise.
Helicopter images showed large tracts of Moore, Okla., completely leveled by what the National Weather Service says was at least an EF-4 tornado with winds in excess of 166 mph. The tornado stayed on the ground for 40 minutes and traveled 20 miles.
Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn will seek to offset federal aid to victims of a massive tornado that blasted through Oklahoma City suburbs on Monday with cuts elsewhere in the budget.
“That’s always been his position [to offset disaster aid],” a spokesman told the Huffington Post Monday night. “He supported offsets to the bill funding the OKC bombing recovery effort.”
Read More: Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) on Sandy Relief
Cole called it “hypocritical” for lawmakers whose districts have benefited from federal aid after previous disasters to require sweeping spending cuts in order to authorize the storm aid. “We have never done that in the past in a disaster, and we certainly shouldn’t do so now,” Cole said.
In other news:
Giant technology firm Apple is paying billions of dollars less than it should in U.S. taxes each year, according to a report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The panel will hold a hearing on the matter Tuesday in Washington, D.C. Apple CEO Tim Cook will be there to defend the company.
The subcommittee’s report says Apple avoids the tax payments mainly by shifting profits to three subsidiary companies in Ireland. The investigation found Apple is taking advantage of technicalities in U.S. and Irish tax laws to avoid paying any tax on a huge portion of its profits.
“They’ve created corporations that don’t exist anywhere for tax purposes,” says Sen. Carl Levin, a Democrat from Michigan who is chairman of the subcommittee. “That is right at the epitome of creative tax gimmickry.”
As the farm bill approved by the Agriculture Committee last week reaches the Senate floor Monday afternoon, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) will be a few hours into an experiment: eating for a week on the meager food budget afford by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Murphy announced on Twitter that he would take the SNAP Challenge, which is the brainchild of the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC).
That means Murphy will be eating on a few dollars per day, as his colleagues debate a measure that would cut $4 billion from the SNAP budget over the next decade. Murphy is using the $3 per day allowance FRAC and allies recommended in 2007 guidelines for lawmakers interested in the challenge, although government data shows the program averaged about $4.40/day nationwide in fiscal year 2012.
The Rio Grande Valley has a load of troubles: high unemployment, low paying jobs, warring Mexican cartels, a meager tax base and legions of people without health insurance. While many of those woes seem incurable, expanding Medicaid to the region’s uninsured is to , who runs several local health clinics, a no-brainer.
“I think if we’re not ready, if Texas doesn’t buy in in the next three months, shame on us,” she says.
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