Kay Hagan

The weight of paper files at the VA's Winston-Salem office threatened to collapse the floor.
Office of the Inspector General/Department of Veterans Affairs

Hundreds of thousands of veterans have been waiting months - sometimes years - for their disability claims to be processed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Recently, piled up claims threatened to buckle the floor at the Winston-Salem office. 

Thom Tillis
NCGA

A high-profile potential challenger for Kay Hagan's U.S. Senate seat is on the verge of getting some major financial support. 

Backers of North Carolina's House Speaker Thom Tillis have put together an independent committee that would support a potential bid for Hagan's seat in Congress.  Organizers of the group "Grow NC Strong" say they have filed paperwork with federal officials to create a political action committee. It would be a "super-pac" which would have no limits on raising and spending money to support Tillis, but would operate separately from any campaign Tillis organizes.

Strickland Farms tobacco and house
Leoneda Inge

Farmers in North Carolina and around the country are keeping their eyes on Washington, where Congress is crafting a new Farm Bill

The Senate's version cuts more than $2 billion in agricultural spending per year, but includes about $100 billion in subsides over the next five years.  President Obama has asked Senators to find more ways to save money, including cuts to a farm insurance program.

Kay Hagan
hagan.senate.gov

U.S. Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) announced Wednesday morning on facebook that she supports gay marriage.  The announcement comes on the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court hears the opening arguments for the Defense Of Marriage Act.

“I have a great deal of respect for varying opinions on the issue,” she says.  “After much thought and prayer, I have come to my own personal conclusion that we shouldn’t tell people who they can love or who they can marry.”

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC)
U.S. Senate

Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) says she's co-sponsoring a bill that would prohibit colleges from using federal grants for their advertising budgets. 

Sen. Hagan and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) presented the proposal Tuesday.  They say higher education institutes need more financial oversight to ensure responsible spending.  Sen. Hagan said the measure will prevent for-profit colleges in particular from recruiting people who might end up deep in debt.

"Use your taxpayer dollars on education, improving education outcomes for students," Hagan said.

North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan
www.hagan.senate.gov

Senators from both sides of the political aisle have come to a compromise on federal immigration reform.  North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan is welcoming an immigration proposal from a group of eight of her colleagues. Their proposal seeks to revamp the system that allows immigrants into the country as well as create a citizenship pathway for the millions of immigrants currently in the country illegally. 

North Carolina's U.S. Senators are as divided as House Republicans and the President over a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. Democratic Senator Kay Hagan today echoed sentiments from the president and fellow Democrats calling for revenue from higher taxes for the wealthiest Americans.

Kay Hagan: "At the top end of the income, especially those people making $1 million and more in income every year should definitely have a higher rate. The main aspect is we've got to avert any tax hikes on the middle class families."

North Carolina’s two US Senators agree eliminating tax loopholes should be part of the equation as congress works to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. Congress has to decide whether tax cuts should be extended for any Americans and if automatic cuts to federal government should be partially or completely stopped. Democratic U.S. Senator Kay Hagan supports reduced spending and changes to the tax code.

Meredith Younger Spell
Leoneda Inge

Tens of thousands of furniture retailers, buyers and journalists from more than 100 countries are in High Point this week for the bi-annual High Point Market.  Those in the furniture industry say business is up this year across the country.   That is good news for a state like North Carolina that has been tied to the industry for generations.  Changing Economy Reporter Leoneda Inge visited a showroom in High Point that’s getting a lot of attention this year.

With Congress back in session U.S. Senator Kay Hagan is touting a bill she says will help small businesses. Jeff Tiberii reports.

Jeff Tiberii: The Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act of 2012 is expected to come up for a vote this week. Hagan says the legislation has bipartisan support and will accomplish two things.

Kay Hagan: The first is an income tax credit on new payroll. And this is either through hiring new people or increasing current wages and there will be a 10-percent income tax credit to the small businesses.

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