WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Democratic congressman is introducing a bill to curb a Defense Department program that provides machine guns and other surplus military equipment for free to local law enforcement agencies across the country.<br />
Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia says his bill is a response to the death of an unarmed black teenager shot by a white police officer in a St. Louis suburb. The bill comes as members of Congress have called for the Justice Department to investigate the shooting in Ferguson, Mo.<br />
Johnson said city streets should be a place for businesses and families, "not tanks and M16s." He said a 24-year-old Pentagon program that transfers surplus military equipment to local law enforcement has led to police agencies resembling paramilitary forces.
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.