December 2010 Current Events: U.S. News
Here are the key events in United States news for the month of December 2010.
House Censures Rep. Rangel for Ethics Violations (Dec. 2): The House of Representatives votes 333–79 to censure Representative Charles Rangel (Dem., N.Y.) for ethics violations, including failure to pay income taxes and improperly soliciting donations. Censure is the worst punishment Congress can give to a member, short of expulsion. Rangel is the 23rd member of the House to be censured.
Congress Approves Child Nutrition Bill (Dec. 2): The House of Representatives votes 264–157 to pass the child nutrition bill, which expands the scope of the current school lunch program and implements improvements to the overall health of the foods available and provided through that program. The Senate previously passed the bill unanimously. The bill was supported by First Lady Michelle Obama, who believes the improved program will help reduce both childhood hunger and obesity. The program will cost approximately $4.5 billion to implement; about half of that budget will be provided by a cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps.
Health-Care Reform Act Declared Unconstitutional by Federal Judge (Dec. 13): Henry Hudson, a federal judge from Virginia, rules that one of the main provision of the health-care form law is unconstitutional. The ruling claims that under the Commerce Clause, a law requiring all Americans to hold health insurance, as the reform law states, is beyond the regulatory power of the federal government. The judge does not request that the implementation of the act be suspended, however. There are approximately two dozen lawsuits challenging the health care law; other judges who have ruled on the constitutionality of the act have found in favor of the President's plan.
Senate Votes to Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (Dec. 18): The Senate votes 65 to 31 in favor of repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the Clinton-era military policy that forbids openly gay men and women from serving in the military. Eight Republicans side with the Democrats to strike down the ban. The repeal is sent to President Obama for his final signature. The ban will not be lifted officially until Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, agree that the military is ready to enact the change and that it won't affect military readiness. (Dec. 22): President Obama officially repeals the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military policy.