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Opinion Archive

Why Budget Politics Matter | Commentary

Early this month, President Barack Obama released his fiscal 2015 budget blueprint — a document that would look familiar to anyone who has reviewed the budgets of preceding years. The document — and the administration — takes the position that we need to address and resolve the challenges of our tax code. What are needed now are substantive steps to make tax reform a reality. Political talking points need to be transformed into meaningful reforms.

All Aboard the Music Bus | Commentary

Harmony. Unity. Parity.

Japan and the Trans-Pacific Partnership: All In, or Out?

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman will give congressional lawmakers an update on the Obama administration’s trade agenda Thursday, including its efforts to close out Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. While that agreement is expected to be concluded in the coming months, U.S. agricultural groups are concerned that it may fall short of the comprehensive deal they had hoped for.

Full Employment Requires Job Growth in Manufacturing, Reduction in Trade Deficit | Commentary

Though job growth over the past six months has averaged about 175,000 new jobs per month, economists agree that number isn’t where it should be. Full employment, in which nearly everyone willing and able to work has the chance to do so, remains elusive.

Barra Can't Blame 'Old GM' for Today's Problems | Commentary

Why did General Motors wait a full decade to recall more than 1.6 million vehicles that have been connected to 31 deaths and dozens of injuries?

The US-China Relationship Begins With Our Young People | Commentary

First Lady Michelle Obama recently traveled to China to promote educational exchange, and she called on young Americans — from every background, every walk of life — to study in China, learn Mandarin and forge friendships that will deepen cross-cultural understanding. Her message: Understanding China is a critical skill, one that all Americans must gain in order to compete, collaborate and succeed in the 21st century.

Crafting the Taiwan Relations Act | Commentary

For 35 years, the Taiwan Relations Act has provided a vehicle for peace in the Pacific and a means of maintaining a direct relationship with the more than 23 million Taiwanese people who are one of our most important allies and trading partners.

It's Time to Address the Public Health Threat of Chronic Kidney Disease | Commentary

Chronic kidney disease came as a surprise to Nancy Vice of Warminster, Pa. Severe, unexplained back pain at age 27 sent her to the hospital, where she received her diagnosis and learned she would immediately have to begin dialysis or receive a kidney transplant. Her mother donated a kidney, and Nancy had five years of good health until the transplant failed. For the past 17 years, she has relied on dialysis to survive.

Senator Thad Cochran, Underdog?

Forget about Matt Bevin’s challenge to Sen. Mitch McConnell in the Kentucky Republican primary or Milton Wolf’s bid to knock off Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts in that state’s GOP contest. The Senate primary to watch is Mississippi’s.

Filling Gaps in the Fight Against Nuclear Terror | Commentary

A little past midnight at a gas station in Mexico a man approached a car, forced the driver and passenger out at gunpoint and bound them in an empty parking lot before driving off. In the carjacked vehicle was Cobalt-60, a highly radioactive material that could be used to make a dirty bomb. The radioactive cargo disappeared for two days before eventually being recovered.

Free the Brews! | Commentary

There are 1.2 million home brewers across the county producing more than 2 million barrels of beer each year. Young Americans love craft beer, and brewing new options to satisfy our sophisticated palates has become an exciting business for young entrepreneurs.

When We Sideline Science, Our Democracy Suffers | Commentary

Is the House Science Committee sidelining science? Based on a new, comprehensive look at the witnesses who have appeared before the committee in the past 12 years, it seems so.

Is There Anything Bipartisan in the Attempts to Improve Obamacare? | Commentary

Republicans, at long last, are coalescing around a broad Obamacare replacement plan, set to be released by House leadership later this month. While Republicans will undoubtedly use it to pummel vulnerable Democrats in November, the $1.4 trillion question is really what happens after November.

We Must Ensure the Reliability, Affordability of the Electric Grid

No other electricity network on Earth provides as much power to as many people as reliably and affordably as the American grid does. But keeping the lights on is a highly complex undertaking.

Natural Gas Exports Can Help America and Our Allies

I recently visited Ukraine to speak directly with leaders in the region. We talked about ways the United States could support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. They stressed the role energy policy plays in this crisis.

Keystone XL Is a Pipeline for Imbalanced Energy Policy Decisions

The debate over the Keystone XL pipeline is about more than clean energy. The scientific documents being used to support it are riddled with corporate conflicts of interest. The business case has never been strong. Officers at the State Department — on the job since before Secretary John Kerry’s tenure — greased the skids for the pipeline despite being paid to render impartial judgment. Every aspect of the project, from business to science to politics, truly stinks.

On Yucca Mountain, Obama Again Treats Law as Merely a Suggestion

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., delivered a rousing speech on the House floor earlier this month reminding the American people that, in Congress, “We don’t pass suggestions ... we don’t pass ideas — we pass laws. And we expect them to be faithfully executed.”

A Clean Energy Economy and Jobs

Ocean energy provides an exciting opportunity for the United States to help advance the goal of developing clean, renewable energy, lessening our reliance on foreign oil, and creating new industries and thousands of rewarding jobs. In my home state of Maine, tidal energy and deepwater, offshore wind are just two examples of ocean energy demonstration projects where inspiring vision and effort are helping to lead the way.

American Innovation + Smart Policy = Big Savings

Climate change is happening. The American people are experiencing the hottest years on record and the most severe floods, wildfires and droughts in modern history. My home state of California is currently facing an unprecedented drought that is threatening the prosperity of everyone from urban and rural communities, to farmers, fishermen and sportsmen, to large and small businesses.

Health and Wellness Are Top FDA Priorities | Letter to the Editor

A recent Roll Call commentary (Congress, FDA Need to Act to Protect College Students, Roll Call, March 20th) indicated that the FDA has inappropriately delayed access to a meningococcal serogroup B (or MenB) vaccine in the United States. This assertion is false. In fact, the FDA is committed to responding rapidly to public health threats.

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