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Kicking the Can
December 6, 2018

As Congress' budget fight rages on, Republicans and Democrats on Thursday approved a two-week measure that will prevent a partial government shutdown for at least another two weeks, reports CNN.

The previous deadline by which Congress had to come to a budget agreement was December 7, but now, that has been punted to December 21. Trump will need to sign the measure to make it official. Over the past few weeks, Trump has been demanding $5 billion in border wall funding, saying he would "totally be willing" to have a shutdown over the issue. While Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said Democrats would only agree to $1.6 billion for border wall funding, Trump called his $5 billion number "firm."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she is willing to re-authorize $1.3 billion in funding for border security, not a border wall, but Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) called this concession "unacceptable," adding, "I can't imagine the president is willing to accept that." Brendan Morrow

May 19, 2016

At its quadrennial conference on Wednesday, the United Methodist Church's delegates voted, 428 to 405, to have the church's Council of Bishops appoint a commission to study allowing gay, lesbian, and transgender clergy, and the consecration of same-sex marriage. With about seven million members in the U.S., the Methodist Church is America's third-largest congregation — after Roman Catholics and Southern Baptists — and unlike other mainline Protestant denominations, such as Presbyterians and Evangelical Lutherans, it does not permit openly gay ministers or same-sex marriage.

More than 100 measures dealing with the Book of Discipline's rules on sexuality were sent to the meeting in Portland for consideration, but the bishops urged the delegates to hold off on voting on any of the proposals. The body appointed by the bishops will conduct a "complete examination and possible revision of every paragraph in our Book of Discipline regarding human sexuality," and the Methodists can address the recommendations at the next conference. The compromise measure was broadly seen as an attempt to avoid a schism over LGBT issues, especially with the church's growing ranks in Africa and Asia, which are generally more conservative than in the U.S. Peter Weber

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