Washington DC

photo of Congress
Lawrence Jackson, whitehouse.gov.

Lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill last week for a short session before the November election. Their priorities include passing a spending bill to avert another government shutdown and coming up with a funding plan to fight the Zika virus. The pressure is on to adjourn the session quickly to allow embattled incumbents, like North Carolina’s Sen. Richard Burr, time to campaign in their home states.
 

photo of David Gilkey and Zabihullah Tamanna
Monika Evstatieva / NPR via AP

An NPR photojournalist and an Afghan translator were killed in Afghanistan this week by Taliban forces. David Gilkey and Zabihullah Tamanna were traveling in Southern Afghanistan when their convoy came under attack. Two other NPR staff were unharmed. David Gilkey is the second American journalist to die in the Afghanistan conflict.

Because life isn't all political drama and misdeeds, we bring you a video of the young panda Bao Bao frolicking in the snow at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

Congressman David Price
price.house.gov

Rep. David Price (D-NC) plans to vote for the budget agreement, proposed on Wednesday by representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Patty Murray (D-WA). Though he's not convinced it will be enough in the long run.

"It's hard to imagine sequestration looming over us for ten years," said Price.  "We are going to need to do something bigger and ambitious at some point."

"It does not necessarily mean we're on our way to larger agreements," Price added.

Lawmakers from North Carolina and Virginia met earlier today in Richmond to plan out the future of a high-speed rail corridor that would link Raleigh to Washington. The meeting was largely symbolic.

Dave DeWitt: High-speed rail is essentially derailed, thanks to last year’s federal budget deal that zeroed out funding in 2012. Some money is still left over from previous grants, but it’s a small percentage of what is needed to make a high-speed train a reality.