Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

U.S. House approves bill to avert government shutdown this week

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved legislation to avert a widespread government shutdown later this week with a bill extending temporary federal funding through Dec. 20. The legislation passed the House by a vote of 231-192, with all but a dozen Republicans voting against the funding.

Two jail guards for Jeffrey Epstein charged with cover-up in his suicide

Two jail officers falsified records to cover up their failure to check in on accused sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in the hours before the financier killed himself, U.S. prosecutors said on Tuesday. According to an indictment, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas fell asleep and surfed the internet instead of monitoring Epstein, who was found unresponsive on Aug. 10 in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Manhattan. An autopsy concluded that Epstein hanged himself.

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to pay states' lawyers, urged to help victims

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP got court approval on Tuesday to reimburse millions of dollars in legal fees for states that back its proposed $10 billion settlement of opioid lawsuits, but with a condition meant to help victims of the addiction crisis. Purdue had told Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain at Tuesday's hearing in White Plains, New York that paying the fees for seven firms that work on behalf of states and local governments would help bring structure to its Chapter 11 case and resolve it quickly.

An officer and an impeachment witness, he draws ire of Trump allies

Inside the hearing room, U.S. Republican lawmakers repeatedly thanked Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman for his military service on Tuesday before challenging his testimony about President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine. But outside the ornate chamber in the House of Representatives, it was a different story, with the White House and its backers unleashing on social media a full-throated attack on the uniformed officer's credibility and loyalty.

Indiana teachers use 'outside voices' to demand higher wages

Thousands of chanting red-clad Indiana teachers swarmed the state capitol on Tuesday, demanding higher salaries and reforms to evaluation policies in a protest that forced half the state's school districts to cancel classes for the day. "It's time to use our 'outside voices,'" read one of the signs hoisted by largely peaceful Indiana State Teachers Association demonstrators wearing red hats and sweaters as they stood at the steps of the capitol, some beating on 5-gallon paint barrels as improvised drums.

Democrat Warren vows to use 'every tool' to combat white nationalist violence

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren said on Tuesday if elected to the White House she would use "every tool" at her disposal to combat white nationalist violence, beginning with directing the FBI and Justice Department to put a renewed focus on domestic terrorism. Warren, one of 18 Democrats vying for the party's nomination to take on President Donald Trump in November 2020, said U.S. law enforcement agencies have prioritized investigating international terrorism since the September 2001 attacks, even as the FBI logged more than 7,000 hate crimes in 2018.

White House expert tells impeachment hearing that Trump made improper demand of Ukraine

A White House official told impeachment investigators on Tuesday that President Donald Trump's request that Ukraine investigate a political rival was an improper demand as he fended off Republican efforts to cast doubt on his competence and loyalty to the United States. Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the White House National Security Council's top Ukraine expert and a decorated Iraq war veteran, testified at the third public impeachment hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, wearing his blue dress military uniform and medals.

Seller of bullets to Las Vegas gunman pleads guilty to ammo licensing offense

An ammunitions dealer who acknowledged selling hundreds of incendiary tracer rounds to the gunman who killed nearly 60 people at a Las Vegas music festival two years ago pleaded guilty on Tuesday to manufacturing bullets without a license. Douglas Haig, 57, of Mesa, Arizona, became the first and only person arrested and charged in connection with the Oct. 1, 2017, massacre, which ended when the gunman, Stephen Paddock, killed himself.

Where Democratic presidential candidates stand on 'Medicare for All' ahead of next debate

Perhaps no issue has divided the field of Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls more than the debate over "Medicare for All." Progressive candidates favor the sweeping proposal, which would replace private health insurance with a single government-run plan. More moderate candidates have embraced less drastic measures they say would achieve universal healthcare coverage while allowing individuals to choose their plan.

Influential U.S. doctors group calls for ban on vaping products

The American Medical Association (AMA) on Tuesday called for a total ban on all e-cigarette and vaping products that are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as smoking cessation tools. The AMA is urging regulators and legislators at the state and local levels to ban the sale and distribution of all e-cigarette and vaping products, and stipulates that those products should only be available by prescription.