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New York GOP lawmaker looks to overturn Dems’ block of bill expanding college tuition for Gold Star families

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New York GOP lawmaker looks to overturn Dems' block of bill expanding college tuition for Gold Star families

A Republican New York assemblyman spoke out on “Fox and Friends” after state Democrats blocked a bill expanding college tuition aid to Gold Star families earlier this week, despite approving such aid for illegal immigrants just a week ago.

“This is one of those things of misplaced priorities that needs to be simply fixed as quickly as possible,” said Robert Smullen, who’s also a retired Marine, on Saturday morning.

“This is one of those things of misplaced priorities that needs to be simply fixed as quickly as possible.”

— Republican New York Assemblyman Robert Smullen

“This was blocked in a committee vote. It needs to come out into the assembly onto the floor so it can be debated and then actually, I think the governor will sign it, he has indicated that he would. It’s really time for action. It’s a time for us to take care of the families of our service members who are fallen.”

NY DEMS BLOCK BILL EXPANDING COLLEGE TUITION FOR GOLD STAR FAMILIES AFTER APPROVING $27M IN TUITION AID FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS: REPORT

The Assembly’s Higher Education Committee voted 15 to 11 on Tuesday to shelve the bill, meaning it won’t be going to the floor for debate and a vote.

The move comes just a week after the state approved $27 million for a program allowing illegal immigrants to qualify for state aid for higher education.

“This is a bipartisan thing. So, it is a process of procedural foul that needs to be corrected as quickly as possible. That’s really where leadership comes in. If we lead properly, we would then be able to take care,” Smullen said, noting that the bill proposing aid to Gold Star families has been blocked for years.

“We have been working very hard to make sure this is an inclusive program. So it includes those who are killed in combat but also those that are killed in the line of duty. And it makes it an equitable thing so those people that go forward that do our duty, they do their oath to the Constitution to support and defend, they know that we got their backs covered and that their families will be taken care of,” he added.

New York Democrats defended the blocking of the bill, saying the aid to Gold Star families was not within the state’s budget and noted that there’s a similar program that provides $2.7 million to 145 students who are dependents of veterans who served in combat zones.

TUNNEL TO TOWERS CONTINUES TO HELP FAMILIES OF FIRST RESPONDERS AND MILITARY VETERANS

Mike Whyland, a spokesman for Assembly Democrats, said the Republican-led bill “would have expanded the eligibility beyond the scope and should be considered within the context of the budget.”

But Smullen reiterates that supporting Gold Star families “should absolutely be our first priority” and points to the recent death of Christopher Slutman, Marine reservist and a member of New York City Fire Department, who was killed on Monday by a roadside bomb near a U.S. base in Afghanistan.

“When you think about it, we as a society, as a civilization, and New York particularly, ought to be a leader in this nation to take care of those who need it most.  And, you know, we just had a marine reservist killed in Afghanistan. A member of FDNY, very tragic.”

— Republican New York Assemblyman Robert Smullen

“When you think about it, we as a society, as a civilization, and New York particularly, ought to be a leader in this nation to take care of those who need it most.  And, you know, we just had a marine reservist killed in Afghanistan. A member of FDNY, very tragic,” Smullen said.

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“We need to be thinking most about their families in times like this. Our condolences to them. Also to be able to say we have got your back. We have got this covered. So, you, as a service member, can always do the right thing knowing that your family is going to be taken care of.”

The Republican legislator then urged people to call up their representatives and demand them to bring the measure to a vote, pass it, and get the governor to sign it.

Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report.

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Hundreds of decks of playing cards arrive for Washington state lawmaker who criticized nurses

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Washington state lawmaker riles nurses by saying that some spend 'considerable' time playing cards

The Washington state senator who suggested that some nurses “play cards” during a “considerable” portion of their shifts received more than 600 packages of playing cards Tuesday as backlash over her remarks continued to grow.

The United Parcel Service location in Tumwater, Wash., said that it received 667 packages of playing cards addressed to state Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, after an open letter criticizing her remarks circulated on Facebook last week and included Walsh’s P.O. box address, Seattle’s KOMO-TV reported.

“You said that not all nurses deserve breaks as they just sit around playing cards while on shift anyway,” the letter read. “I know nurses who can go all night without food or a bathroom break. I know nurses with nerve damage and back pain from doing whatever it takes to take care of patients. I know nurses who cry in their cars. Do you think that’s where they play cards, Senator Walsh?”

WASHINGTON STATE LAWMAKER RILES NURSES BY SAYING SOME SPEND ‘CONSIDERABLE’ TIME PLAYING CARDS

Washington state Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, angered nurses by commenting in a speech that some nurses may spend a lot of time playing cards in rural hospitals. (Associated Press)

Washington state Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, angered nurses by commenting in a speech that some nurses may spend a lot of time playing cards in rural hospitals. (Associated Press)

The letter went on to predict that after the next election cycle Walsh may find herself with “plenty of time to play cards and plenty of cards to play with.”

Walsh first drew criticism from nursing professionals while debating a bill last week that would require uninterrupted meal and rest breaks for nurses and would also provide mandatory overtime protections for them.

She pushed for an amendment that would exclude hospitals with fewer than 25 beds from the provision, arguing that such small facilities struggle to provide 24-hour care as it is.

“I would submit to you that those (small hospital) nurses probably do get breaks,” Walsh said. “They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day.”

Despite the bill being passed with Walsh’s amendment, her ill-received comments sparked a flurry of social media posts mocking her.

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Walsh addressed the issue Monday, apologizing to those who were offended and saying she would spend a day shadowing a nurse throughout his or her 12-hour shift.

“I want to offer my heartfelt apologies to those I offended with my comments on the Senate floor last Tuesday. I was tired, and in the heat of argument on the Senate floor, I said some things about nurses that were taken out of context – but still they crossed the line.”

In 2012, some comments by Walsh on a different subject also went viral, the News Tribune of Tacoma reported. That year Walsh bucked most other members of the state GOP by speaking out in support of same-sex marriage. The state’s House subsequently backed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

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Bernie Sanders wrong about prisoners and voting, ex-con released under Trump reform law says

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Bernie Sanders wrong about prisoners and voting, ex-con released under Trump reform law says

The first man released from prison under President Trump’s criminal justice reform law reacted to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., saying that prisoners should be permitted to vote by noting the “logistical” problems of allowing prisoners serving a sentence to vote and backing prisoners who served their time to have their rights restored.

“I do know while you’re incarcerated you do lose some of your liberties. But my thing is, once a person has been completely released and they paid their debt to society and they are back in society actually functioning, paying taxes, then they should have their rights restored to vote,” Matthew Charles, who was released from prison under the First Step Act, said on Fox News’  “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”

KAMALA HARRIS BACKTRACKS, NOW SAYS CRIMINALS LIKE BOSTON BOMBER ‘SHOULD BE DEPRIVED’ OF RIGHT TO VOTE

“But during the period they’re incarcerated, it’s going to be like a complex issue because of the logistics. You got people incarcerated in states that they actually are not from.”

Sanders opened himself to scrutiny this week after saying that not only should incarcerated prisoners be permitted to vote but that Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should also be permitted to vote.

“If somebody commits a serious crime, sexual assault, murder, they will be punished. But I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people,” Sanders said Monday on a CNN Town Hall.

Trump’s re-election campaign called out Sanders Wednesday, describing his idea “deeply offensive.”

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“The extremity and radicalism of the 2020 Democrats knows no bounds,” Trump campaign press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News.

“Giving imprisoned terrorists, sex offenders, and murderers the right to vote is an outrageous proposal that is deeply offensive to innocent victims across this country, some of whom lost their lives and are forever disenfranchised by the very killers that 2020 Democrats seek to empower,” she said.

Fox News’ Sally Persons and Alex Pappas contributed to this report.

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George Conway praises Hillary Clinton for her op-ed on Mueller probe: ‘I’m with her’

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George Conway calls Trump a cancer that needs to be removed in blistering op-ed

The husband of top White House official Kellyanne Conway expressed solidarity with Hillary Clinton after the former secretary of state wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post urging Congress to pursue the findings from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, telling his followers on Twitter, “I’m with her.”

In the piece published Wednesday afternoon, Clinton called for holding President Trump “accountable for obstructing the investigation and possibly breaking the law” but insisted that choosing between “immediate impeachment or nothing” was a “false choice.” She also referred to the Mueller report as “road map” for Congress.

“It’s up to members of both parties to see where that road map leads — to the eventual filing of articles of impeachment, or not,” Clinton wrote. “Either way, the nation’s interests will be best served by putting party and political considerations aside and being deliberate, fair and fearless.”

George Conway, who has made a name for himself as an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, praised the 2016 presidential candidate on Twitter and highlighted a portion from her op-ed, where she acknowledged that some may say she’s “not the right messenger.”

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“Perhaps so. Probably so. But if she’s with the Constitution, I’m with her,” Conway tweeted.

Conway regularly slams the president and repeatedly has questioned his mental fitness. The president fired back on Twitter last month.

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