April 16, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Guest Observer Archive

Marijuana Legalization: It's Time, Congress | Commentary

Last month, the Justice Department and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued simultaneous memos, clarifying the Obama administration’s position on financial institutions working with state-legal marijuana-related businesses. In short, the guidance issued indicated that, absent evidence that the businesses were violating certain Justice Department priorities and assuming the financial institutions complied with new Bank Secrecy Act reporting requirements, it would not be a department priority to prosecute financial institutions that serve these customers.

Democrats Need to Support Free Trade | Commentary

Almost ten years ago under President George W. Bush, Democrats in the House and Senate voted overwhelmingly against the last controversial free trade agreement to come before Congress, the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Now leading Democrats in Congress are threatening to deny or delay, giving President Obama the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) essential to complete two of the largest free trade agreements in American history, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Partnership (TTIP). These agreements have enormous potential for creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and an almost one percent increase in U.S. GDP without adding to the deficit.

Time for the Senate to Act on Patent Reform and Protect Jobs | Commentary

In announcing recent actions by the White House to combat patent trolls and strengthen America’s patent system, Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council and assistant to the president for economic policy, succinctly observed, “It’s no small deal that the president of the United States chose to make a call for patent reform legislation in his State of the Union address.”

Trade with Asia Will Help Revitalize the Beleaguered U.S. Economy | Commentary

While the United States economy continues to falter, some in Congress are standing in the way of a key trade vote that has the potential to benefit our stagnant economy.

Americans Want Immigration Reform. Will House Republicans Act? | Commentary

Top-to-bottom immigration reform would grow our economy and create jobs, reduce the debt, make our country safer, energize American innovation and competitiveness, and tame illegal immigration. It’s overwhelmingly supported by a majority of Americans from across the political spectrum.

Making the American Dream Real With Immigration Policy | Commentary

Tariq Farid was raised in the fruit orchards of Pakistan. His parents made their living off nature’s bounty but always dreamed of something bigger. They dreamed of raising their son in a land of opportunity, in a country where he could reach his full potential.

Don't Wipe Out Flood Insurance Reform | Commentary

Next week the House plans to take up its bill to delay much-needed National Flood Insurance Program reforms adopted less than two years ago, with lawmakers from the Gulf region and the Eastern seaboard leading the charge.

The Economic Case for Permitting Crude Oil Exports | Commentary

Since the gasoline shortages of the 1970s, Congress has, with only a few exceptions, barred all U.S. crude oil exports. But an energy policy that may have made sense 40 years ago no longer does. Innovative drilling techniques have spawned an oil and natural gas boom in the United States. Since oil surpluses can create as many problems as oil shortages, it’s time to eliminate those export restrictions.

Investing Student Loan Profits in Borrower Education | Commentary

According to recent reports from both the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Budget Office, the federal student loan program will continue to turn a profit through at least 2024. The GAO reports that federal student loans originated between 2007 and 2012 will bring in $66 billion in revenue for the federal government, while the CBO projects that student loan interest revenue will result in an additional $9 billion in profit over 10 years.

Will the President Keep His Conservation Promise With His Budget? | Commentary

In the coming days, President Barack Obama will propose his budget. As recent weeks and months have shown, the United States faces enormous budgetary challenges, and the president might be tempted to scale back important plans — but now is no time to compromise on matters that will impact our nation for decades to come.

Youth Sports: A Game-Changer in the Fight to End Obesity | Commentary

As we all know, February is Black History month, a time for us to celebrate the contributions of many trailblazing African-Americans, including the athletes who revolutionized their respective sports and impacted the nation. Accordingly, we recognize the contributions of Jackie Robinson, Ernie Davis, Althea Gibson, Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton and countless others who overcame barriers to enhance their sports.

Slouching Toward Tyranny | Commentary

The Constitution of the United States enumerates specific powers for the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, and periodic spasms of tension between them have punctuated American politics since the founding of the republic. But today, we’re seeing something far more dangerous than an imbalance of power between these branches.

House Immigration Principles: Not Working for the American People | Commentary

No one is denying that our nation’s immigration system is broken and needs to be fixed. Unfortunately, the immigration proposal recently unveiled by House leaders bears an uncanny resemblance to a “piecemeal” repackaging of the disastrous Senate plan. If it talks like a duck and walks like a duck, it’s a duck.

Conservative Values Are Found in Changes to Immigration Laws | Commentary

As the representative for a congressional district with the one of the largest percentages of Latinos — California’s 10th, in the Central Valley — I’ve had many people assume that my support for real and effective immigration reform boils down to one thing: votes.

A Quick Fix for the Economy and Job Creation | Commentary

Your neighbors have lived in their home for years. Their kids grew up with your kids, you’ve shared barbecues and block parties and you see them in church every Sunday. And now Immigration and Customs Enforcement vehicles surround the house, sirens blaring, as your children watch out the windows, confused, frightened and concerned about what their friend’s dad did wrong.

The Time Is Now for Comprehensive Immigration Reform | Commentary

Elon Musk was born in South Africa and, like millions of others, he came to the United States for better opportunities and to make a better life for himself. In 1992, he arrived in the United States to attend the University of Pennsylvania, then moved to California. Today, he is CEO and chief designer of SpaceX, CEO and chief product architect of Tesla Motors, and co-founder of PayPal. These multimillion-dollar companies are actively boosting the American economy and employing thousands of Americans — Tesla’s Fremont, Calif., plant alone employs 2,000 experienced autoworkers.

Immigration Overhaul: Good Ethics and Good Economics | Commentary

The heart and the head too seldom agree. But there’s one issue on the 2014 congressional agenda on which they unquestionably can: Immigration reform is both sound ethics and smart economics.

Reforming Immigration to Protect America's Breadbasket | Commentary

In recent years, Americans have become increasingly interested in where their food comes from. Twitter is inundated with photos of fruits and vegetables accompanied by hashtags such as #EatLocal and #CleanEating. Trendy restaurants now boast their farm-to-table menus, while young Americans flock to farmers markets for weekend outings.

Immigrants in America: Open For Business | Commentary

If Congress would look at immigration reform as an opportunity, 2014 would be the year to make significant changes happen for the future of this nation.

Realizing the Digital Future Means Letting Go of the Past | Commentary

Apparently some members of Congress think about more than re-election.

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