Aug. 29, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Guest Observer Archive

A Veteran's Perspective: Congress Must Not Threaten Climate Leadership | Commentary

I joined the military so I could serve my country and defend the values that define the American way of life. Active leadership of the United States on the world stage has proven essential to solving the great global challenges of the past.

"Hand-Me-Down" Menu Regulations Just Don't Fit Convenience Stores | Commentary

Anyone with older siblings or cousins remembers the joys of “hand-me-down” clothes. They were a common-sense approach for Mom, of course. But somehow those outfits never fit right, felt right, or looked right — they sagged here and bunched up there, and certainly weren’t your favorite color or style.

If Prevention Is Good for People -- Why Not Medicare? | Commentary

Over the last decade, the discussion about reforming our health care system has focused on changing from a “sick” care to a “well” care system — or in other words being less reactive and more preventive in our approach to medicine. If we can prevent illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, or even cancer, we have the potential to make millions of people healthier and reduce the cost of treating these diseases. However, making this change requires an up-front investment that may not yield a return for some time. This does not make the idea unacceptable, but in order to gain support, it must be fully understood.

The US-Africa Summit: Footnote or Defining Moment? | Commentary

Much hangs in the balance this week with over 40 African heads of state gathered in Washington for the historic U.S.-Africa Leadership Summit. Congress needs to pay attention because the outcome will determine whether this marks the defining moment when the United States asserts its global leadership to become the key economic and strategic partner to a globalized and vigorous Africa, or whether it allows Africa to slip back into America’s blind spot, effectively ceding the continent’s markets and political allegiance to Asia, in particular China.

Raising the Bar for Student Success | Commentary

For the first time in our history, American students have crossed the 80 percent high-school graduation rate threshold, remaining on pace to reach a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020. To succeed in today’s economy, earning a high school diploma is a necessary first step, not the end goal. Yet too often, the path to a diploma is not rigorous enough to prepare our graduates for their next steps. America cannot compete globally if 20 percent of our team isn’t at the starting line, and still others are not prepared for success in college or their careers.

Risk in Egypt: A Fixed Price on Uncertainty | Commentary

As African leaders gather for the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, it is hard to ignore Egypt. If countries can be too-big-to-fail, Egypt is that country for the North Africa region.

Survival of the Fittest From Paid Sick Days | Commentary

New York City workers as of the end of last month are now able to start using their earned sick leave. Since April, New York City workers in all but the smallest firms have able to earn up to five paid sick days a year to care for themselves or an ill family member. It is estimated that about 1.2 million workers will be able to take sick leave for the first time beginning July 30. Nonetheless, a staggering 41 million Americans remain without access to basic paid sick leave protections.

New Markets: A Tax Credit That Works for America's Communities | Commentary

As Congress gears up for its five-week summer recess, we suggest our colleagues visit a business or community development project in their area that was financed by the New Markets Tax Credit. You will be impressed.

Corporate Tax: Bring It Up to Code | Commentary

Last week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew called on Congress to eliminate corporate “inversions,” the practice whereby U.S. companies relocate their headquarters to countries with more desirable tax structures. Concern over the erosion of our corporate tax base is important and shouldn’t be taken lightly. That said, what is of greater concern is our inability as a country to address the global competitiveness of our corporate tax rate. U.S. corporate tax rates are not yet competitive enough, in part due to the fact that Congress has yet to pass a fully-comprehensive tax code that addresses competitiveness.

Problematic Disabilities Treaty Up for Consideration Again | Commentary

Since the birth of our special needs daughter Bella more than six years ago, my wife Karen and I have become vocal advocates for the rights of the disabled. That is why we have been so opposed to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities since it first came up in 2012.

NLRB Stacking the Deck Against Small Businesses and Employees | Commentary

Behind every small business is a story of entrepreneurial vision and risk taking. All startups are a daunting endeavor. That’s why the franchising model was created — to help launch new businesses, leveraging resources from successful nationally recognized companies to individual operations.It’s a model that has worked well for decades — franchisors grow and expand their brand-reach while franchisees realize the dream of starting their own business.

Hepatitis is Still the Silent Killer | Commentary

Although the price of a revolutionary new hepatitis C treatment has made headlines recently, the real hepatitis crisis continues largely unreported. A more immediate problem for many Americans is not how much one hepatitis C treatment might cost; it is how many Americans are infected with viral hepatitis and do not even know it.

Congress Vs. GM: 'Why Not Jail' Squares Off Against K Street | Commentary

GM CEO Mary Barra has appeared before congressional committees no fewer than four times in the past few months to testify about her company’s deadly ignition switch problem, emerging gradually from her initial persona as a mournful penitent to a posture of straight-backed, jaw-locked defiance during questioning by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., in mid-July.

The Congressional Earmark Ban: the Real Bridge to Nowhere | Commentary

In 2005, a $223 million earmark to fund the construction of a bridge from Ketchikan, Alaska, to the tiny island of Gravina, Alaska, captured national attention. The earmark, which was included in a bill to provide funding for reconstruction efforts after Hurricane Katrina, rightfully drew scorn and ridicule from across the country. In 2007, Congress stripped the earmark.

Restore the Senate | Commentary

Something has gone terribly wrong when the American people have a less favorable impression of Congress than Brussels sprouts, root canals, and used car salesmen. Most people today believe the Senate in particular has become completely dysfunctional. And in many ways it has. I’ve served in the Senate for nearly 38 years, and I have never seen it this bad.

What You Don't Know About Migrant Children May Kill Them | Commentary

A family in Guatemala City received a knock on the door. Standing there were several gang members with one demand. “We’ve come to take your daughter,” they said, according to one of our local Church World Service partners. “Our boss wants her.” It was an emergency and the family had to act quickly.

Caging the Captive Tiger Problem | Commentary

If your neighbor has a tiger in his backyard, he might not have to tell you.

Boxing Champ: My Gun Didn't Protect Me | Commentary

For 20 years, my ex-husband Jim said he would kill me if I ever tried to leave him. On November 23, 2010 — the day I told him that I wanted a divorce — he tried his best to stay true to his word. That night, Jim came into my room and said he had to show me something. I could see the knife sticking out of his shorts. I couldn’t see the gun in his pocket.

Time is Right for Real Housing Reform that Protects Property Rights | Commentary

A monumental opportunity has presented itself as Julian Castro, former mayor of San Antonio, takes over as the new secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Congress looks ahead on the critical issue of housing finance reform.

Congress Should Explore Greater Flexibility in the Workplace | Commentary

Capitol Hill is often described as one of the most difficult work environments in the U.S. The workforce is made up of extremely dedicated young people working very long hours, and participating in a public policy process that impacts the lives of millions of people. Because of those demands congressional managers often find it difficult to explore office policies that might enhance how employees align their professional and personal lives.

SIGN IN




OR

SUBSCRIBE

Want Roll Call on your doorstep?