Civil Rights News: Health Care Repeal Rejected, Women in Combat, Obama on Economy

Senate Rejects Repeal of Health Care Law
New York Times

Senate Democrats crushed the Republican attempt to repeal last year’s health care law.
“The Republicans’ obsession with repealing the new health reform law is not based on budgetary considerations,” said Democratic Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “It is based strictly on ideology.”
Despite the defeat, Republicans are still determined to challenge the law on Capitol Hill and in the Supreme Court.

Women Serving in Combat: US Panel to Recommend Ban be Lifted
Los Angeles Times

A commission composed of current and retired officers and non-commissioned generals are expected to send a recommendation to lift a ban on women serving in combat. The commission addressed the long-held apprehension that “women in combat impede mission effectiveness because they cannot handle the same equipment or tolerate the same physical stress as men.” Yet in today’s wars, women already serve in the front lines. Senior officials say that current wars have prompted change in thought, and that men who have served with women have fewer reservations. The recommendation will reach Congress and the White House in March, but will not be a Pentagon priority because integrating openly gay soldiers and managing budget constraints will take precedence.

Barack Obama Focuses on the Economy

President Barack Obama plans to focus on the economy during his trip to central Pennsylvania today. The President will announce a tax incentives and small business loans guarantee package, promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and clean-energy jobs as America’s key to economic success. With January’s unemployment numbers soon to come out and the Federal Budget due on Feb. 15, the White House is expected to stay geared toward economic policy for some time.

Compiled by Leah Bui, Brianna Deitrich, and Alice Thompson