Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday he continues to seek a comprehensive two-year budget agreement that would lift the debt limit and set fiscal 2020 federal spending before the August congressional recess to avoid a potential mid-September government default and Oct. 1 shutdown.“We’ll be trying to reach an agreement soon because the House is only in for three more weeks and time is running out,” McConnell said at a news conference.Agreement by the Democrat-led House, the GOP-led Senate and the White House on a comprehensive deal is necessary to avoid the need for a stopgap funding measure and short-term debt relief.“It’s time to get serious on a bipartisan basis,” McConnell said.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday didn’t rule out a vote on a debt limit increase before the August recess, though she stressed raising nondefense spending caps for fiscal 2020 is still essential to negotiations, according to Roll Call.“Let’s see how the conversations go,” Pelosi said. “We certainly do not want any thought of default on the part of the full faith and credit of the United States of America.”The primary sticking point remains over Democratic calls for increased nondefense spending that Republican leaders oppose, according to the report.Democratic leaders have sought $647 billion for nondefense discretionary spending in fiscal 2020 while the White House has sought to abide by a 2011 deficit-reduction law which called for $543 billion in nondefense spending.The $100 billion nondefense spending difference and disputes over Democrats’ preferred $733 billion defense spending topline and Republicans’ preferred $750 billion topline has stymied negotiations for months.Timing for an agreement is compressing rapidly as Congress is scheduled to be in recess for the month of August and the first week of September.Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tia Dufour ADC AUTHOR
WILMINGTON, MA — Below is a round-up of what’s going on in Wilmington on Thursday, May 31, 2018:Happening Today:Weather: Mostly sunny, with a high near 80. Light south wind increasing to 6 to 11 mph in the morning.In The Community: The Wilmington High School Baseball team is holding a fundraiser at Jake n Joes Bar & Grille (230 Mishawum Road) in Woburn on Thursday, May 31, 2018, from 11:30am to close (12:30am Friday). Bring this flyer and 20% of your bill will be donated to the WHS Baseball program. Applies to dine-in and take-out only, not delivery.In The Community: Do you like to sing? Do you enjoy performing? Come join the Merrimack Valley Chorus at one of its regular weekly rehearsals. You just might discover a passion for a cappella singing, and you’ll also make some great new friends! Open rehearsals are every Thursday at 7pm at the Wilmington Arts Center (219 Middlesex Avenue).At The Library: Going Native: Low Maintenance Trees and Shrubs at 7pm. [Learn more and register HERE.]At The Senior Center: Computer Class at 9:15am. Art Class at 10am. Aerobics at 10:30am. Knitting/Crocheting at 11am. Ceramics at 1pm. Game Day at 1pm. Stress Management at 1pm. Mabel & Jerry Performance at 1pm. [Learn more HERE.]At The Town Museum: The Wilmington Town Museum is open from 10am to 2pm.Live Music: Larry Gilbert performs at Rocco’s Restaurant & Bar (193 Main Street) beginning at 6pm. … Pianist Ricky Lauria performs at Tremezzo (2 Lowell Street) at 8pm.Go Wildcats!: 3 WHS teams are in action today. See the complete schedule HERE.(NOTE: What did I miss? Let me know by commenting below, commenting on the Facebook page, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. I may be able to update this post.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedThe Wilmington Insider For August 23, 2018In “5 Things To Do Today”The Wilmington Insider For August 16, 2018In “5 Things To Do Today”The Wilmington Insider For January 11, 2018In “5 Things To Do Today”
Share Tom Fitzpatrick, FUGRO/FlickrFlooding in Houston, Texas from Hurricane Harvey in 2017Federal government inspectors say the Environmental Protection Agency needs to get better at reaching out to vulnerable communities during Texas disasters.That’s the takeaway from a report released Tuesday on part of the agency’s response to Hurricane Harvey in 2017.In Harvey’s wake, more than 60 drinking water facilities and 40 wastewater plants up and down the Gulf Coast shut down.The EPA’s Office of Inspector General said in the report that the agency’s staff for Texas and surrounding states “successfully fulfilled” its mission in responding to those problems. But the report said the agency didn’t do as good of a job communicating the risks of those water problems to the region’s large Vietnamese and Spanish-speaking communities.Not that the agency didn’t try.“For the first time during a hurricane response, [the agency’s regional office] deployed environmental justice liaisons to communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey,” the report said. “EPA Region 6 also established a telephone hotline and email account to provide updates on the response and receive environmental justice concerns.”But, the report said, those efforts didn’t go far enough.The agency distributed translated pamphlets outlining potential water hazards from the storm, but didn’t have enough of those pamphlets to go around. The report said the information in the pamphlets wasn’t made available online in Vietnamese.“It is not known how many people needed translated materials but did not receive them,” the report said, noting that as a result, “nonnative English speakers may have lacked essential public safety information regarding the risks of floodwaters and how to disinfect drinking water.”The EPA has agreed to fix those shortcomings, but that work might not be finished until March of 2020, after this year’s hurricane season.The Environmental Integrity Project, an advocacy group that has highlighted what it calls the “man-made environmental disasters” from Harvey, said in a statement the improvements the EPA has agreed to “do not go nearly far enough.”“EPA needs to begin requiring that municipal wastewater treatment plants and industries in the future be built with better flood planning, including by locating them outside of flood zones, or built with berms, walls or artificial wetlands that would help protect them from flood waters,” the group said in a statement.The inspector general’s office is expected to release a separate report on the EPA’s response to air quality concerns after Harvey later this year.
Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Superna Kalle, a former longtime Sony Pictures Television exec, has joined Lionsgate’s Starz as executive VP of international digital networks.Kalle will report directly to Starz COO Jeffrey Hirsch and will be based in the company’s Santa Monica, Calif., office. She will lead the international expansion of Starz-branded digital and linear services and channels, overseeing strategy and operations.Kalle spent 16 years at Sony Pictures Television, where she most recently served as SVP and GM of U.S. networks. At SPT, she launched Sony Movie Channel, Spanish-language movie network Cine Sony Television, and getTV, the company’s first digital subchannel dedicated to classic programming. Earlier, she was SPT’s SVP of international networks and VP of corporate development for Sony Pictures Entertainment. After leaving Sony in 2015, Kalle was a senior adviser to several media companies — including Starz, Lionsgate, and CBS/Showtime — on international SVOD strategy, digital operations, restructuring and global business development.“Superna is a globally respected digital and television executive,” Hirsch said in announcing her hire. “Superna’s deep experience in digital platforms, television networks, distribution and entering emerging markets will guide our international businesses, grow our channels’ digital presence and take us to the next level.”Kalle holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from New York City’s Barnard College and an MBA New York U.’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.Separately on the digital front, Starz earlier this year hired Ameesh Paleja, formerly CEO of Lionsgate-backed Atom Tickets, as chief technology officer.