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August 2, 2007 | Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Times Staff Writer
A divided House on Wednesday approved sweeping healthcare legislation that would expand government benefits for children and seniors while boosting tobacco taxes and cutting Medicare payments to private insurance companies. The largely party-line 225-204 vote came after hours of rancorous debate and parliamentary stalling tactics by Republicans. Cheers rang out in the House chamber when Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) announced that the legislation had passed.
July 25, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Low- and middle-income people are paying millions of dollars in fees to file their tax returns because of an Internal Revenue Service decision to end a free telephone filing service, an inspector general said Tuesday. "Once again the IRS has made a taxpayer service decision based on questionable data," said J. Russell George, Treasury inspector general for tax administration.
July 23, 2007 | George Skelton
This is how it seems: The state Assembly speaker uncorked two bottles of very expensive wine as legislative leaders sat around negotiating a budget deal. They got a little buzz on and decided to go out and mug some blind, disabled and elderly poor. That's not exactly what happened, probably. But it's close enough to be cataloged as nonfiction.
July 19, 2007 | From the Washington Post
While John Edwards was winding up a tour of America's most impoverished areas, another Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), came to Washington on Wednesday to stake his own claim as a poverty warrior -- and present a vision for fixing struggling inner cities that directly challenges that of Edwards.
July 2, 2007 | Sam Enriquez, Times Staff Writer
A year after losing Mexico's presidential election, leftist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador proved he can still draw a crowd, filling the capital's central square Sunday with tens of thousands of supporters eager for his message of relief and justice for the country's poor. "The people of Mexico have a heart that is collectivist, free and progressive," Lopez Obrador, 53, said to cheering supporters who waited hours for his 1 p.m. arrival at the city's sprawling Zocalo.
June 27, 2007 | Tiffany Hsu, Times Staff Writer
Three groups representing local public transit riders and conservation interests united Tuesday in an effort to require the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to hold off on fare increases until their environmental effects can be measured.
June 27, 2007 | Ann M. Simmons, Times Staff Writer
The exchange between judge and defendant happens many times every court day. "You got a lawyer? Can you afford one?" Judge Arthur L. Hunter Jr. will say in his customarily affable way, which often puts the person standing in front of him at ease. "OK, I'm going to appoint you a public defender." But the number of times Hunter has said those words and then seen the defendant receive subpar representation spurred him to take on the city's indigent-defense program.
June 15, 2007 | H.G. Reza, Times Staff Writer
Last month, when plans for a 38-unit apartment building of low-cost housing for seniors came before the San Juan Capistrano City Council, there was no opposition. After some minor tinkering, the council unanimously approved the project. Three years earlier, though, the city was not so accommodating when a developer proposed building 60 rental units for poor working families.
June 7, 2007 | Kathy M. Kristof, Times Staff Writer
The federal government has been urging people to sock away money for their retirement, but many low-income families would be foolish to take that advice, according to a report released Wednesday by a Washington think tank. Low-income households face "astronomical" penalties for saving, according to the report by the National Center for Policy Analysis. For example, each $1 saved by a single mother earning $15,000 a year could cost her $2.60 in higher taxes and lost government benefits.
May 28, 2007 | Janet Hook, Times Staff Writer
When Elaine Ellis began her rounds as a New York nursing assistant one morning this spring, she had an improbable companion: John Edwards, the Democratic presidential candidate, who had accepted a union invitation to spend the day with a low-wage worker. When Ohio steelworkers went on strike last fall to protest a plant closing, who joined their rally? John Edwards. Next month, low-income survivors of Hurricane Katrina will have another visit from former Sen. Edwards (D-N.C.
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