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The Secretary claimed that he did not have the authority under the law to grant the claims — generally, the federal government cannot be sued by its employees or members of the military for claims for costs or damages.
Why This Matters: This is yet another example of the Trump Administration appearing to be callous in the face of pain and suffering of innocent people caused by its actions — and to deny these claims while the shutdown was ongoing seems particularly tone deaf. However, the Secretary is correct when it comes to the law — the government is immune from private lawsuits or claims for damages like this. Still, the Secretary could have called on Congress to take action to provide financial compensation to these victims over and above the health care benefits the VA is already providing. That would have been the right thing to do for our Veterans and their families. Congress could and should take action.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer “Glacier blood,” or “watermelon snow,” is sweeping across the Alps, and researchers are eager to survey the snow to figure out what’s responsible for the mysterious phenomenon—the culprit: algal blooms. A new study has found that the same algae that cause dreaded red tide are now blooming en masse on mountains worldwide. […]
One more of the Trump administration’s rollbacks will meet its demise as EPA Administrator Michael Regan and the Biden administration are planning to reinstate protections for many marshes, streams, and wetlands — expanding again the coverage of the Clean Water Act under the “Waters of the U.S.” or “WOTUS” rule.
Why This Matters: Since the late 1700s, 221 million acres of wetlands have been drained in the U.S. for agricultural use. This development has had severe consequences, including fertilizer and pollution runoff threatening drinking water for millions of people.
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