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The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill to strengthen U.S. traveling restrictions for citizens from 38 countries. Under the new bill, people from the countries where visas are waived will now have to obtain a travel visa if they have visited Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria within the last five years. Countries involved with the program will be required to share information with the U.S. about suspected terrorists. “This legislation will help close gaping security gaps and improve our ability to stop dangerous individuals before they reach our shores,” said Republican Rep. Michael McCaul, who serves as the House Homeland Security Committee’s chairman. Nearly 20 million people visit the United States through the visa waiver program. It was implemented 29 years ago to increase tourism and strengthen our nation’s relationship with other countries. Read more.

New Study Shows Lack of Diversity on Capitol Hill

A new study released by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies highlights the racial disparities on Capitol Hill. The report revealed that minorities only make up a mere 7.1 percent of senior-level Senate staff. Within the 336 people who hold high positions within the Senate, only 24 individuals are people of color. There are twelve Asians, seven Latinos, three African-Americans, and two Native Americans. “People who care about policy and are involved in the day-to-day work can read about the lives of other Americans, listen to constituents and go out on fact-finding missions to better understand other people’s critical public policy needs,” writes Janell Ross. “But like all human beings, senior-level Senate staffers are going to best understand and be most inclined to prioritize the issues and topics that their own experiences have made real and clear.” Read more.

Cicely Tyson Honored by Kennedy Center

Legendary actress Cicely Tyson’s accomplishments in entertainment were recognized by the Kennedy Center last night. Tyson, who is 90-years-old, has been in the industry for 60 years. She has received 12 Emmy nominations, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, and had a Golden Globe nomination. Tyson is currently starring in a Broadway play called The Gin Game and has been featured on shows like How to Get Away with Murder and House of Cards. “I’m turning around,” said Tyson. “Maybe the reason why I’ve been given this second time around is that it will allow me to be an actress.” George Lucas, Rita Moreno, Carole King, and Seiji Ozawa were also honored. Read more.


NEWS ROUNDUP: House Passes Bill To Tighten Visa Program…AND MORE  was originally published on