July 30, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Guest Observer Archive

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.

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.

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.

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.

Get Patriot Modernization Back on Target | Commentary

The public, after the recent Malaysian Airlines tragedy in Eastern Ukraine and the Iron Dome systems’ protection of Israel, is now keenly aware of the lethality of missiles and the necessity of properly integrating and operating air defense systems. This air and missile defense mission is one of the U.S. Army’s top priorities, so it’s been on target ensuring the Patriot missile system continues to evolve to outpace the threat. Unfortunately, the Senate Appropriations Committee is not yet on board.

Pension Predators Continue to Prey on Seniors | Commentary

The Government Accountability Office recently released the details of its monthslong undercover investigation into companies targeting and preying on retirees with so-called pension advance schemes. Run by scammers a rung below payday lenders, these companies market to financially distressed retirees and trade their future pension payments in exchange for a lump-sum cash transfer.

Beyond Dollars: There's More Washington Can Do to Promote Transportation Investment | Commentary

Our nation’s transportation infrastructure is the backbone of a strong U.S. economy. But with a trillion-dollar backlog, America is simply not spending enough to keep its infrastructure in good repair. Investing in transportation is about more than filling potholes and paving roads; investment creates jobs and stimulates economic activity. Across the political spectrum, from the Simpson-Bowles Commission to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the AFL-CIO, there is broad, bipartisan consensus to invest more in transportation.

Lessons Congress Can Learn From Australia's Carbon Tax Debacle | Commentary

For the past few years, Australia has been lauded by environmentalists as an example other countries should emulate. The adulation began in 2012, when the country enacted its “carbon tax” — a $21.50 charge (in U.S. dollars), increasing annually, on each ton of carbon dioxide emitted by the country’s power plants. Australia’s list of admirers extended all the way to the White House, where President Barack Obama described the country’s actions as “good for the world.”

'Fair Workweek' Is Latest Ploy to Organize Retail, Restaurant Employers | Commentary

On Tuesday, top Democrats and a who’s who of labor activists unveiled the latest attack on American businesses. Joined by Reps. George Miller, D-Calif., and Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., a confederation of labor groups and their activist allies known as the Center for Popular Democracy launched the benevolent-sounding “Fair Workweek Initiative.” The effort is being led by Carrie Gleason — a longtime activist organizer with deep ties to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union — and purports to ostensibly win “predictable, stable, transparent schedules” for workers. The real goal of this campaign, however, is to support full-fledged union organizing drives within the restaurant and retail industries.

Why Ex-Im is Indispensable | Commentary

Debate in Congress over the future of the U.S. Export-Import Bank is coming to a head. Absent congressional action, Ex-Im will be unable to provide new loans or guarantees to American exporters after its charter expires on Sept. 30.

Congressional Meddling May Derail Victory Over Iran | Commentary

At every critical moment along the diplomatic path to a resolution of Iran’s nuclear program, vocal members of Congress have threatened to impose new sanctions that could torpedo the process. Last Friday, when Iran and the P5+1 powers, the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, announced they would continue talks through a new hard deadline on November 24, was no exception. While this extension should be hailed as a victory for the United States, this belligerent, vocal minority continues to threaten the resolution of this decades-long, vexing foreign policy problem.

A Reflection on the Veterans Job Corps Act of 2012 | Commentary

This September will mark the two-year anniversary of the Veterans Jobs Corps Act of 2012 currently blocked by the Senate. The bill, which was drafted on bipartisan lines, would have created jobs for up to 20,000 veterans. This defeat came at a time when one out of four young veterans were unemployed, when 76,000 veterans went homeless on any given night, and when suicide rate for veterans was more than 500 a month. So, why did this happen? What caused the Senate to vote down a bill that would have benefited thousands of the dedicated men and women who served this great country? First, let’s take a look at what the bill would have done.

More Sunshine on 340B Good for Patients | Commentary

In his recent opinion piece, Ascension Health CEO Robert Henkel pleads with Congress not to tinker with the 340B Drug Discount Program (“Placing the Health and Well Being of Patients First”, Roll Call, July 16). The program was created in 1992 to benefit medically underserved patients in the outpatient setting, but it has grown into a lucrative opportunity for many disproportionate share hospitals (DSH).

Iran Collides With International Community in Mideast Conflicts | Commentary

Recent reports about Saudi troops amassing to secure that country’s border with Iraq underscores the multinational dimensions of the conflicts raging inside both Iraq and Syria. Civil wars that might have initially only threatened the two dictators are now endangering the entire region and global security.

Congress Should Agree on Allowing a Third National Wireless Carrier | Commentary

Already this year, we’ve seen announcements of two major transactions in the media and telecommunications space: Comcast announced plans to acquire Time Warner Cable, and AT&T announced plans to acquire DirecTV. Congress has begun weighing in on these transactions and, if recent press reports are to be believed, they will soon have an opportunity to review the long-rumored merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. It is this third proposed transaction that is most interesting because it carries the potential of a policy dilemma for both Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

Washington: Over-Leveraged on All Fronts | Commentary

One of the most frequently discussed concepts in the past six years is leverage. The financial crisis of 2008-09 is regarded by many economists as a crisis caused by excessive leveraging of borrowed funds. This was an “investment leverage” crisis. But we can also see excessive leveraging in the political realm of society, especially in Washington.

It's Time to Ratify the Treaty America Envisioned | Commentary

As we approach the 24th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, our nation has seen great advancement in opportunities for millions of Americans with disabilities to lead fruitful, productive lives as a result of this law. The ADA has also served as a standard for disability rights movements worldwide and as a framework for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a treaty which seeks to ensure the rights of people with disabilities worldwide.

An Important Step Forward in Protecting the Innocent | Commentary

With all the focus on gridlock in Washington, there are certain areas where Congress ought to be able to find common ground. One such area is the Justice for All Reauthorization Act, which I am proud to co-sponsor.

The True Patriotic Response to our Growing Tax Crisis | Commentary

On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing that will examine a critical issue impacting the long-term health of the U.S. economy – our international tax system. Dubbed “Love it, Leave It or Reform It!” the committee promises to delve into the specific issue of corporate tax inversions, which describes a practice whereby companies reincorporate in a foreign country.

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