September 2015 Current Events: U.S. News
Here are the key events in United States news for the month of September 2015.
Judge Reverses Tom Brady's Suspension (Sept. 3): Judge Richard Berman of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan reverses Tom Brady's four game suspension in the NFL's deflated football scandal, dubbed deflategate by the media. Judge Berman's decision does not cover if Brady tampered with the footballs or if Brady knew that the team's employees had been deflating them. Instead, the ruling says that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell does not have the authority to suspend Brady under the contract between the NFL and the players' union.
Flavia Pennetta and Novak Djokovic Win the U.S. Open (Sept. 12-13): Flavia Pennetta defeats her childhood friend and fellow Italian Roberta Vinci, 7–6, 6–2, to win her first Grand Slam title. Minutes later, during the award ceremony on-court interview, Pennetta shocks the tennis world by announcing that she is retiring from tennis. The previous day, Vinci provides another major surprise when she defeats heavy favorite Serena Williams in one of the biggest upsets in tennis history. Before the upset, Williams had been only two wins away from a rare calendar grand slam, which hasn't been achieved since Steffi Graf did it in 1988. The following day, Novak Djokovic defeats Roger Federer in four close sets, 6–4, 5–7, 6–4, 6–4, to win his third Grand Slam title in 2015, and tenth overall.
Candidates Attack Trump in Second Republican Debate (Sept. 16): A second Republican debate is held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. The three-hour debate featured several 2016 presidential candidates in the crowded field, including Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Also joining in to this debate is former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina. Fiorina seizes the opportunity in the debate to address Trump's controversial comments attacking her appearance in a recent Rolling Stone interview. Responding to his comments in the debate, Fiorina says, "I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said." Her response receives thunderous applause from the audience. (Sept. 21): Less than a week after the debate, Scott Walker holds a press conference to announce that he is quitting his Republican presidential campaign. Since entering the race, Walker has been slipping in the polls. During the press conference, Walker says, "I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive, conservative alternative to the current front-runner." That front-runner, Donald Trump, still leads in the polls after two debates.
House Votes to Cut Planned Parenthood Funding (Sept. 18): The House approves legislation that will block Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funding. The vote, 241-187, falls largely along party lines. Republicans have increased their push to defund the non-profit organization since secretly recorded videos were released by anti-abortion activists. The videos allegedly show Planned Parenthood officials talking about fetal tissue sales. Democrats argue that the organization provides health care to thousands of low-income women. Currently, Planned Parenthood receives around $450 million annually in federal funds. The legislation will almost certainly be blocked by Senate Democrats who have already blocked an earlier push to defund Planned Parenthood. Furthermore, President Obama has said that he will veto the bill.
Pope Francis Visits the U.S. (Sept. 22): Pope Francis arrives in Washington D.C. to begin his first visit to the United States. President Obama is present to welcome him at Andrews Air Force Base. It is the first time Obama has greeted a foreign visitor at the military base. Pope Francis will be in Washington D.C. until Sept. 24. Then he travels to New York City and Philadelphia. While in New York City, he will go to the United Nations to meet with world leaders. He returns to Rome on the evening of Sept. 27.
Senate Blocks Abortion Ban Bill in Historic Vote (Sept. 22): Senate Democrats block the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill that the House passed last week. The bill, a federal 20-week abortion ban with very limited exceptions, has a final vote of 54-42, short of the 60 needed for it to pass. Maine Senator Susan Collins and Illinois Senator Mark Kirk are the only two Republicans to vote against the legislation. The vote is historic because it is the first time that the Senate has voted on a 20-week federal abortion ban, despite multiple votes on the issue in the House. However, the fight over abortion in the Senate isn't over. Texas Senator Ted Cruz says that Senate Republicans will not agree on a federal budget that includes continuing to fund Planned Parenthood. The government will shut down again if a new federal budget is not approved by September 30.
Speaker of the House John Boehner Resigns (Sept. 25): During a press conference, John Boehner announces that he is stepping down as Speaker of the House. He also announces that he will retire from Congress on October 30, 2015. Boehner goes on to say he had originally planned to announce his departure on his 66th birthday on Nov. 17, but moved up the date because of the "turmoil that's been churning now for a couple of months" in Congress. Republican House members will vote on his replacement during the Oct. 8 leadership elections.
Temporary Spending Bill Prevents Government Shutdown (Sept. 30): A few hours before the fiscal year begins, a temporary spending bill is passed, avoiding a federal government shutdown. The temporary measure will keep all federal offices funded and open through Dec. 11. However, the bill does not address any of the major fiscal policy disputes between Democrats and Republicans, setting the stage for another battle in December.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
Source: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
2016 Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina
Source: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
2016 Presidential Candidate and Senator Ted Cruz
Source: AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez
Speaker of the House John Boehner
Source: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin