Tony Pugh, The Miami Herald

Tony Pugh

The Miami Herald

Washington, DC, United States

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Past articles by Tony:

Trump, Sessions feud spills over into dispute over policy on criminal justice reform

Attorney General Jeff Sessions an President Donald Trump have been feuding for more than year over the Russia investigation. Now they’re at odds on the best path to make reforms in criminal justice policy. → Read More

Trump, Congress try to breathe life into long-delayed criminal justice reform package

Efforts to merge a House prison reform bill with a Senate sentencing reform measure are picking up steam after months of inaction. The Trump administration is working to make it happen even after voicing earlier opposition to relaxing federal sentencing requirements. → Read More

Will Southern voters be swayed by Democrats’ health care attacks on GOP?

GOP opposition to Obamacare, long a badge of honor for Republicans in the south, could become a liability in the minds of independent voters and wavering Republicans not sold on President Trump’s brand of Republicanism. As the mid-term election season heats up, Democrats will target GOP candidates over the Obamacare repeal attempt, Medicaid expansion and protections for pre-existing conditions. → Read More

SNAP work requirements could increase deep poverty for some

Designed to boost the earnings and job prospects of low-income Americans, proposed work requirements for food stamp recipients could have another unexpected effect: causing deep poverty rates to spike among those who lose their benefits and can’t find work, researchers say. → Read More

States using election security grants for new voting machines that won't be ready for 2018

Southern states with vulnerable elections systems are using millions in federal grants as down payments on costly new replacement voting machines. The new systems won't be completed in time to meet Congress' goal for the grants: The 2018 midterms → Read More

Supreme Court gerrymandering decision signals more legal challenges to come

The U.S. Supreme Court's handling of two cases alleging partisan gerrymandering is expected to spur even more legal action over the constitutionality of crafting electoral maps that tend to favor one political party. → Read More

Holder's Democratic redistricting group backs new lawsuits in 3 states

Former Attorney General Eric Holder's National Redistricting Foundation wants a new majority-black congressional district in Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana to counter alleged violations of the Voting Rights Act. → Read More

Supreme Court decision halts Georgia voting rights lawsuit

By upholding Ohio's system of removing from the rolls voters who skip elections, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a death blowto a Georgia lawsuit that claimed the state's own "purge" process violated federal federal law. → Read More

Toxic waste sits buried at sea. Will it be rattled by Trump's planned seismic testing?

As coastal towns await the Trump administration's decision on seismic testing for oil and gas in the Atlantic Ocean, business groups and elected officials are sounding a new alarm: Tests could affect hazardous waste dumped in the ocean decades ago. → Read More

Delayed seismic testing decision puts energy industry at odds with Trump administration

The Trump administration is overdue for a decision on whether to allow seismic testing for oil and gas beneath the Atlantic Ocean. The delay has brought accusations of bureaucratic dysfunction from the energy industry, despite their broad support for President Trump's energy policies. → Read More

Florida congressional delegation gives thumbs-down to offshore drilling

Florida's congressional delegation united in opposition to offshore drilling → Read More

Farm bill's food stamp work requirements could have time limit under new amendment

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway said he's trying to add time limits to job training activities that food stamp participants can use in order to meet proposed new work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. → Read More

Organizers work toward ballot initiatives to push Medicaid expansion

Stymied by legislative blockades, organizers in four states are trying to enact Obamacare's Medicaid expansion by gathering petition signatures and putting the issue before voters in the 2018 mid-term elections. But only three southern states could employ the tactic. → Read More

50-something food-stamp recipients could face tough job search under proposed rules

House farm bill adds work requirements for food stamp recipients in their 50s. Advocates say older workers would take longer to find employment. Republicans won't soften the proposal, though. They say states can ease program rules, if they want. → Read More

Injection drug use and opioid epidemic drives hepatitis C infections

Reported hepatitis C infections jumped 22 percent to nearly 3,000 in 2016 as intravenous drug use related to the opioid crisis continued to cause collateral public health damage. CDC says actual new cases may have topped 41,000. → Read More

Trump policies, rhetoric unlikely to scare immigrant voters away from polls

Activists working with immigrant voters say a “climate of fear” — stoked by rising deportation arrests and the failure of Congress and Trump to strike a deal on DACA — is stirring greater interest in their voter outreach efforts for the upcoming midterms. → Read More

Mississippi’s Medicaid work requirement would cause 20,000 parents to lose coverage

Roughly 20,000 low-income parents in Mississippi would lose their Medicaid coverage over five years, if the Trump administration approves a state plan to make program enrollees work at least 20 hours per week. → Read More

Mississippi’s Medicaid work requirement would cause 20,000 to lose coverage

Roughly 20,000 low-income parents in Mississippi would lose their Medicaid coverage over five years, if the Trump administration approves a state plan to make program enrollees work at least 20 hours per week. → Read More

Surgeon General wants more people to carry naloxone to fight opioids

Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams urged Americans to keep the overdose drug, naloxone, handy as opioid fatalities continue to mount. Public health experts support the request, but say more is needed. → Read More

2020 Census citizenship question could spur legal battle over citizen-only redistricting

Adding a question about citizenship on the 2020 Census could prompt some states to craft future electoral maps based on citizen population, not total population. The Supreme Court left open that possibility with its decision in a 2016 case. → Read More