Aug. 31, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Guest Observer Archive

Government Should Aid Businesses Based on Impact, Not Identity | Commentary

Obscurely nestled between the 50th and 60th anniversaries of the Brown v. Board of Education decision and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a much overlooked milestone. That is the 55th anniversary of the creation of the Office of Minority Business Enterprise, the predecessor of the Minority Business Development Agency as we know it today.

The Dark Money Complex | Commentary

There’s a scandal that’s been brewing at the IRS for years — but not the one you’re thinking of. This one has nothing to do with conservative groups.

Confronting a Crisis: Child Refugees at our Southwest Border | Commentary

The U.S. faces an urgent and mounting humanitarian crisis — in the past nine months, 52,000 unaccompanied Central American children have crossed our border without authorization. The desperate parents of these children have sent them on a 1600-mile trek north to escape violence, poverty and disease, all the while unwittingly exposing them to rape, abuse, trafficking, and other dangers, including death from starvation and exposure to the elements. After arriving on U.S. soil, their harrowing journey continues as the federal government scrambles to provide adequate food, clothing, and shelter while they wait to be processed through a system that is over-burdened and under-funded.

Labeling Laws Should Be Consistent Across all Venues | Commentary

The Food and Drug Administration will soon issue final regulations detailing a national standard for what is known as “menu labeling.” This new national standard will require restaurant and similar retail food establishments (think grocery and convenience stores) of 20 or more same-brand locations to display calories on the menu, menu board or drive-thru, as well as provide additional nutrition information to consumers upon request.

Ring the Alarm Bells Over Puerto Rico | Commentary

Puerto Rico’s government-owned electric power authority is facing a deadline Thursday to make $661 million in payments to Citibank and a consortium headed by Scotia Bank. The authority, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, which goes by the acronym PREPA, had its rating cut by Standard & Poor’s on July 31 to CCC, or eight steps below investment grade and “vulnerable to nonpayment.”

First Step to Fix VA Can't Be the Last | Commentary

The Department of Veterans Affairs health care access crisis was a long time in the making. Many years of inadequate funding, creative accounting, budget gimmickry, and lengthy delays in passing appropriations bills stretched the VA’s capacity to the breaking point and made competent management of the agency next to impossible.

Save Medicare's Home Health Benefit | Commentary

The Affordable Care Act was sold to the American public with the promise of improved access to health care for all who previously could not afford it. In a September 2013 speech on the ACA, President Barack Obama recalled examples of Americans he had met during his campaign who, because of financial obstacles, had to unfairly choose between their home and their health care.

Protecting the Ryan White Program | Commentary

More than 25 years ago, a young boy named Ryan White stole the hearts and minds of Americans everywhere when he was diagnosed with a rare and mysterious disease called AIDS. A lot has changed since the disease claimed the lives of Ryan and countless others. There are now more than 1.1 million people living with HIV or AIDS in the U.S. today — the highest level of people ever in our country living with HIV. That’s largely due to both people living longer and the level of new infections, roughly around 50,000, each year.

Compassion Needed in Addressing Nation's Immigration Woes | Commentary

Each day, waves of children ranging from toddlers to teenagers flee terrible violence and economic desperation in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and arrive in this country in search of safe haven. They are being sent alone, unaccompanied by their families. This fiscal year alone, Border Patrol agents have apprehended more than 50,000 unaccompanied children at our Southwest border, a sharp increase over previous fiscal years. The surge of unaccompanied minors is an acute humanitarian crisis.

Message to EPA: Don't Quit While We're Ahead | Commentary

When I was younger, I competed on a swim team and spent most of my free time training. I learned a lot from that experience, but what stuck with me is that winning or losing began with a good training plan — and sticking to it. Sure, our team had tough three-hour practices and occasional progress plateaus, but executing the plan resulted in more wins than losses.

Why Congress Should Dispense With the Export-Import Bank | Commentary

Myron Brilliant, head of International Affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, recently graced these pages with a stirring defense of how the taxpayer-funded Export-Import Bank is “indispensable.” He provided several anecdotes to demonstrate how the Ex-Im’s taxpayer-subsidized loans help “small businesses” that just couldn’t survive without the government financing their exports.

Something to Celebrate: America's Lifesaving Work| Commentary

Dire headlines from around the globe and polls showing a record-breaking plunge in the public’s confidence in our Supreme Court, Congress and the office of the president may make the average American want to throw up their hands in despair. But in what many might consider the least expected place to look, I have found something truly worth celebrating. I wish more Americans knew about the unprecedented American effort that saves millions of children’s lives around the world every year providing a true beacon of hope.

7 Themes Emerge for Hillary Rodham Clinton and 2016

Republican operatives are as lost as last year’s Easter eggs when it comes to stopping Hillary Rodham Clinton. It’s two years from the presidential election, important 2014 elections are in front of us, and Clinton hasn’t even decided whether she will run. But the well-oiled Republican attack industry has thrown everything at her but the kitchen sink.

How to Compete with China in Africa | Commentary

Extending the African Growth and Opportunity Act, set to lapse on Sept. 30, 2015, will enable the U.S. to maintain a competitive edge against China in the rapidly expanding African market.

Reforming the VA Requires Standing Up for Science | Commentary

Robert McDonald’s nomination to head the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs was unanimously approved by the Senate recently.

Industry an Effective Partner in Preparing for Biological Threats | Commentary

Recently, news emerged that six vials of smallpox were discovered in an old storage room at the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland. Fortunately, the vials were quickly isolated and secured, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that onsite personnel have not identified any infectious exposure risk to lab workers or the public. The week prior, workers at a CDC lab were exposed to anthrax, though thankfully none became ill.

Paul Ryan Anti-Poverty Plan Targets Regressive Regulation| Commentary

Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin recently unveiled a plan to address poverty and increase opportunity and upward mobility for low-income Americans. While many commentators may focus on the congressman’s proposals to reform education and the social safety net, Ryan’s plan also suggests important reforms in another area that significantly affects low-income households: regulation.

Bipartisan Legislation Built With Quality Patient Care in Mind | Commentary

Although Americans might struggle to find consensus on many policy issues related to health care, when faced with a serious health issue we unite behind the common goal of helping those living with it. Policymakers, health officials and the public have thrown their muscle behind putting a stop to once-deadly childhood illnesses, harmful toxins, and other threats to our health and safety.

The Open Road: Keeping Interstates Toll-Free Protects the Economy and Preserves Americans' Freedom | Commentary

Americans love the open road — it symbolizes the freedoms our country provides and a sense of exploration that has helped build our nation. The vast interstate network of asphalt and pavement for decades has facilitated people’s travel to places near and far for commerce or recreation. Now, that free system is under attack by some policymakers who want to roll back longstanding restrictions on tolling interstates. Doing that, as Massachusetts Transportation Department chief Richard A. Davey suggested in a July 25 Roll Call guest opinion column, would enable states to slap economically punitive fees on roads that traditionally have been toll-free. Such a policy reversal would be financially devastating for families and businesses, and the mere notion of it should alarm everyone who uses the interstates.

The McDonald's Case: Matching Labor Law to Workplace Reality | Commentary

McDonald’s is now responsible for labor law violations committed in its restaurants — even if the store is owned by a franchisee.

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