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LABOR, ECONOMY & THE CLIMATE

Rep. Cummings Cites “Grave Concerns” Over Trump’s Emoluments Policy

A frustrated Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) sent a letter to officials within the Trump Organization, pressing for more information about how the President’s businesses operate in compliance with the US Constitution. Cummings released to the public on Wednesday a 9-page glossy pamphlet provided by the Trump Organization to the House Oversight Committee this month. The document detailed how Trump’s business would avoid violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which prohibits Presidents from accepting foreign gifts. Government ethics watchdogs warned that foreign entities could attempt to curry… Keep Reading

Trump Aide Mulvaney Cites 1996 Study to Backstab Appalachian Voters

A Republican congressman who represents some of the most deprived parts of the country is anxious that the Trump administration is recklessly planning on destroying a program designed for his constituents. Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) admonished top White House budget aide Mick Mulvaney on Wednesday, saying the administration was relying on a 21-year-old study when justifying plans to shutter the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). Johnson told Mulvaney that the program last year raised $866 million in public and private investment, and that more than three-quarters of… Keep Reading

Feinstein, Other Dems Back Probation Officer Arrest Bill Decried as Abusive by House Dems

A bill that advanced through the House could lead to unconstitutional abuses by lightly-trained law enforcement officers, Democrats have warned. Some of their colleagues in the Senate, however, appear poised to help the legislation become law. Federal probation officers would be granted the power to arrest those not under their direct supervision, under the proposal. It passed the House on Friday in a 229-177 vote, largely along party lines. If and when Senators decide to take up the measure, it will have the support of… Keep Reading

Steve Mnuchin Walks Back Administration Support of Glass-Steagall

President Trump isn’t interested in restoring the Glass-Steagall Act, reversing prior claims made by White House officials. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Thursday that the administration doesn’t support the segregation of retail and investment banking—the crux of the Depression-era legislation. “We think that would have a very significant problem on [sic] the financial markets, on the economy, and on liquidity, and we think there are proper things that we could look at around regulation,” Mnuchin said. “But we do not support a separation of banks… Keep Reading

Amid Scandal-Plagued Week, Trump Agenda Looks In Trouble

A lynch pin of President Trump’s nationalist agenda looks dead on arrival in the Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that Trump’s proposed “border adjustment tax” stands little chance of being approved by the upper chamber. Calls for such a levy served as part of the Trump campaign’s broadsides against free trade agreements and the deindustrialization of the United States. “It probably wouldn’t pass the Senate,” McConnell told Bloomberg news on Tuesday, referring to the border tax. “The Secretary of the Treasury, and [Speaker… Keep Reading

SCOTUS: Okay for Debt Collectors to Hound People, Even After Statute of Limitations Expires

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that debt collectors can pursue payments, even if they’re fully-aware that the validity of their claim has expired. Justices ruled 5-3 that creditors can file litigation to get money owed by debtors, after the statute of limitations on the debt has passed. The decision reversed a federal appellate court order, which forbade the behavior under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The case centered around an Alabama woman, Aleida Johnson, who had filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, in federal… Keep Reading

Rare Setback for the GOP Assault on Obama-Era Regulations

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) dismissed Democrats’ outrage over the firing of FBI Director James Comey, and promptly proceeded to business as usual in the upper chamber: repealing regulations approved by the prior administration. Only this time, the Majority Leader didn’t succeed. A motion to advance legislation that would repeal a methane emissions rule was defeated Wednesday morning in a 51-49 vote. Republicans tried to move the resolution forward under the Congressional Review Act (CRA)—a law that allows Congress to repeal recently-approved regulations by a… Keep Reading

Dept. of Energy Declares “Emergency” At Nation’s Most Radioactive Site

A tunnel collapse at the Hanford Nuclear site forced workers to evacuate or take cover out of fear of a potential radiological release. The incident occurred Tuesday morning, prompting the Department of Energy to issue an alert to employees, the media, and residents nearby. “There are concerns about subsidence in the soil covering railroad tunnels near a former chemical processing facility,” the statement read. It later described a 20-square-foot cave-in of soil into tunnels carrying “contaminated materials.” The DOE claimed that there is “no indication… Keep Reading

Pelosi Refuses to Back Single Payer, Despite GOP Deathmongering Suddenly Taking Center Stage

Democrats are endeavoring to point out that tens of thousands of Americans face a death sentence if House Republicans’ current healthcare plan is signed into law. “With the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, it is estimated that 43,956 people will die,” Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) said Thursday morning, on the House floor. “Long live the Republican Party.” But while Dems have shown an interest in saving lives, their leader is wasting an opportunity to advocate for the 27 million Americans left completely uninsured by Obamacare.… Keep Reading

Scumbag Scott? EPA Head Pruitt Allegedly Violated His Own Ethics Agreement Already

President Trump’s top environmental regulator has been accused by Senate Democrats of violating his own ethics agreement. Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt allegedly failed to seek proper authorization before partaking in a lawsuit over Ozone standards set by the Obama administration. Pruitt had an interest in the case as a plaintiff, while Oklahoma Attorney General. “Under your tenure as Administrator, the EPA has already asked the courts five times to delay consideration of a lawsuit,” five Democratic Senators said, in a letter sent on… Keep Reading

Trump Tweets Call to End Legislative Filibuster

The President of the United States took to his favorite social media platform on Tuesday, and called for the full dismantling of the filibuster. Donald Trump attacked the long-standing Senate procedure, when striking out at a negotiated budget deal on Capitol Hill. The agreement left out many of his top priorities, including money for a border wall and the stripping of funding from so-called “sanctuary cities.” “The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate… Keep Reading

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