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Obama, Congress focus on unemployment benefits
Obama, Congress focus on unemployment benefits Katherine Hackett, an unemployed Connecticut woman who introduced Obama, called the benefits “absolutely essential” to covering her necessities, such as her mortgage and health care, as she looked for work. She said she's cut expenses and “is not just 

Mel Watt becomes new chief overseeing Fannie, Freddie
Eulada Watt looks on in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House, January 6, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT) Watt, 68, said in a statement he was “honored” to lead the little known, but very

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Understanding how mortgage interest rates are quoted

Senate Republicans approve Price and Mnuchin nominations after changing the rules to stymie Democrats' boycott

Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee voted Wednesday to recommend the nominations of Tom Price as Health and Human Services secretary and Steve Mnuchin as Treasury secretary to the full Senate after changing rules to stymie a boycott by Democrats.

Both nominations advanced by 14-0 votes with only Republicans attending the meeting.

The move came after Democrats prevented votes for both men Tuesday, charging that Price and Mnuchin misled the committee.

That delaying tactic infuriated Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who called the move "pathetic" and Democrats "idiots."

Committee rules require at least one member from each party to be present for a meeting. But the committee's Republicans changed the rules Wednesday to allow for confirmation votes, Hatch said.

“We took some unprecedented actions today due to the unprecedented obstruction on the part of our colleagues," Hatch said.

Democrats have said Mnuchin, a wealthy Wall Street executive, misled the committee in his response to a written question about foreclosures at Pasadena’s OneWest Bank while he ran it from 2009-15.

When policy hits home: For Turners Falls woman, family visit delayed by Trump's immigration ban

TURNERS FALLS — Iranian native and Turners Falls resident Vida Tayebati was excited to see her parents for the first time in years — but President Donald Trump’s seven-country immigration ban turned her anticipation to despair.

“It’s really hard, I haven’t slept for the last three days,” Tayebati, 29, said Monday morning. “This ban directly affects individuals and families, and doesn’t affect the government. I feel that I’m losing my second home. It’s like you’ve started something and then suddenly it’s taken away without a reason.”

Tayebati’s parents, who are in their 60s and whom she declined to name for safety reasons, received visas two weeks before Friday, when the president signed an executive order effectively halting all immigration to the United States from the Muslim-majority countries of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, for 90 days.

In addition, the order indefinitely barred Syrian refugees from the U.S., and shut the door on all refugee admissions for 120 days. According to the executive order, it was signed “to temporarily reduce investigative burdens on relevant agencies,” and to allow for a “realignment of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for Fiscal Year 2017.”