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Economy Archive

Congress Should Correct Distortions in the Coal Market and Invest in Struggling Coal Communities | Commentary

Many of the hardest-working communities in America are in the Appalachian coal region that stretches from Ohio and Pennsylvania, to Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia. For decades, workers have given all of their daylight hours in the darkness of mines so their families and others across the country can keep their lights on. But for decades these communities have suffered economic decline, as widespread job losses have decimated cities and towns and left families with little support. Generations of coal miners have seen their jobs disappear, from 122,000 in 1985 to just 58,000 in 2012, a reality driven largely by market forces and inequities embedded in the coal market.

Port Dispute May Force Obama to Invoke Taft-Hartley Act

When managers of cargo terminals at 29 West Coast ports closed their facilities to ships last weekend, they opened the door to a new discussion about when the president can invoke powers under labor law to keep the country’s transportation networks running.

Shippers Expecting Happier Chinese New Year

West Coast ports opened with a backlog of ships waiting to unload this week, after vessel operations were halted by employers over the weekend.

Patent Trolls Come in All Shapes and Sizes | Commentary

Mythological trolls — described as old and ugly creatures living under bridges or in caves — are known for one central feature: generally troublesome and injurious to human enterprise. Much of the same can be said for today’s patent troll — the dubious business entity again drawing the ire of Congress that exists solely to acquire patents and make claims of infringement in court.

Senate Democrats' Unity Strategy Will Face Tough Tests

The opening gambit by Senate Democrats on a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security gives a strong signal about how the party intends to handle its position as the minority on the Senate floor.

U.S. Commission of International Religious Freedom: Muslims and Hare Krishnas are Out in Majority-Muslim Azerbaijan | Commentary

As the national debt continues to spiral, now at more than $17 trillion, Congress should be commended for investigating wastes of tax payer money such as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America — both media organizations shown to have clearly gone off the rails, either working against U.S. allies or directly supporting our nation’s enemies. Perhaps the next target for Congress’ cross hairs should be the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Housing Actions Shored Up by Stronger Finances

The improving financial health of the Federal Housing Administration, partly the result of a recovering housing market, is giving the Obama administration room to take executive actions on affordable housing.

Republicans Pressed to Block Obama Housing Actions

Add affordable housing to President Barack Obama’s list of unilateral actions on which he’s flexing his muscles at an unfriendly Congress.

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Heritage to Offer Conservative Budget Blueprint

More than 100 cost-savings proposals, due out from the Heritage Foundation on Thursday, could provide ammunition for conservative lawmakers in coming debates over restructuring entitlement programs, addressing the post-sequester discretionary spending caps, reauthorizing the Highway Trust Fund and raising the debt limit.

How to Conduct a Congressional Customer Service Survey | Commentary

Everyone knows Congress has an extremely low approval rating in the eyes of the American public. Yet, that rating is based on but a sliver of members of Congress covered by the news media and only a fraction their work. The media and the public are fixated on Congress’ legislative responsibilities and ignore legislators’ direct interactions with constituents, or their “customer service” work. Just think if we judged Amazon.com by its coverage in The New York Times instead of the services it delivers.

Democrats Rebuff DHS Bill Over Immigration Provisions

Democrats banded together Tuesday to block the Senate from considering a Homeland Security spending bill, leaving GOP leaders scrambling to find another path forward to challenge the president over immigration.

Legislative Branch: Eyeing 10 Percent Boost

Lawmakers and congressional agencies are eyeing small jumps in fiscal 2016 legislative branch funding, even though President Barack Obama’s proposed budget includes billions in spending increases and a rollback of sequester cuts.

Checking the House Science Committee's New Subpoena Power | Commentary

What is Congress asking of scientists?

Hammerin' Harmon Marches On | Commentary

Natitude was a potent force last fall, and with every new season, Washington becomes more of a baseball town. Again. Once upon a time, the District was a madhouse for everything that happened between the foul lines. The Washington Senators, the town’s first franchise, became a team in 1901, one of the American League’s Original Eight, and captivated the mid-Atlantic with six decades of baseball magic. The team moved to Minneapolis for the 1961 season, and brought with it a young slugger named Harmon Killebrew.

Congress Should Pass the President's 'Kill List' | Commentary

President Barack Obama’s penultimate budget will be delivered to Congress Monday. Per the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, the president’s budget will enumerate recommended spending levels for nearly every federal program, project and activity.

How New Orleans Ended Veteran Homelessness | Commentary

In New Orleans, we are all too familiar with the feeling of homelessness. After Hurricane Katrina, literally all of us were without a home.

The Case for Year-Round Pell Grants | Commentary

As Congress takes up reauthorization of the Higher Education Act this year, it will have to address several policy concerns, including the rising cost of college and the need to increase degree attainment rates in the U.S. Notwithstanding those concerns, college access will continue to be a major issue. How can our nation expand college opportunities to those who have long been underrepresented, including lower-income students, minorities, and those who are the first in their families to attend college, ramping up the number of degree earners?

Boehner Plans to Authorize House Suit Against Obama Over Immigration

House Republican leaders are finalizing a plan that would authorize the chamber to take legal actions against President Barack Obama over his executive actions on immigration.

Releasing the Promise of American Natural Gas | Commentary

American natural gas represents one of the greatest and most unexpected success stories of the past century. Only a decade ago, experts feared America was running out of this critical energy resource, and we were growing increasingly reliant on foreign imports. But innovation and technology have turned upside down this once-pessimistic outlook, putting our nation in the driver’s seat. Thanks to the shale revolution, today we have more than enough natural gas to meet our energy needs and production continues to thrive. In fact, America is now the world’s No. 1 natural gas producer.

GOP Leaders Pull Abortion Ban on Female Members' Revolt

Faced with an intraparty rift over a 20-week abortion ban, House Republican leaders Wednesday night replaced the bill with a measure that would prohibit federally funded abortions and resembles a plan that was approved by the chamber during the 113th Congress.

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