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Economy Archive

Pallone Brings Health Policy Chops to Energy Panel Post

By choosing Frank Pallone Jr. to be ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee for the 114th Congress, House Democrats tapped a lawmaker with a track record for helping some of the poorest Americans gain access to medical care.

Online Sales Tax Measure May Snag in House

Though the Senate appears ready to pass a second bill allowing states to require online retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases made by their residents, House leaders seem intent on keeping the issue out of an end-of-Congress rush for action.

Republicans Have the Senate, Now What Happens to the Filibuster? | Commentary

Now that the GOP has swept into control of the Congress, it is immediately confronted with familiar realities. Because of the Senate rules, under most circumstances it is necessary to get 60 votes to get anything major done.

Credit Card Security Must be Strengthened | Commentary

Congress is back in session and we’re entering what will hopefully be a booming period for America’s small businesses during the holiday shopping season. However, a subtle but persistent threat remains to our long-term economic security posed by cyber-criminals and lax credit card security measures that allow financial and identity fraud to occur. While these cyber-crimes are certainly menacing, they more pose serious implications for business growth by diminishing consumer confidence. And while there are plenty of issues for Congress to debate in the lame-duck session, the importance of preserving consumer trust in financial transactions and protecting consumer information are issues everyone can agree on.

As Time Runs Out, House Leaders Spar on Funding, Immigration

House GOP leaders are taking a wait-and-see approach as their conference has begun splitting into factions over how to fund the federal government and whether to bring immigration into the mix.

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Rangel Still Fighting to Clear His Name

Four years after the House censured Rep. Charles B. Rangel on ethics charges, the 23-term Democrat from New York is still fighting to wipe that from the record—literally.

For the 114th Congress, It's Economic Growth or Nothing | Commentary

Tuesday marked another historic change election. Now comes the hard part: The Republican Party’s new majority must make 2015 the year in which Congress gets serious about economic growth and putting America back to work. If it doesn’t, the 114th Congress will be seen as a squandered opportunity for the GOP to rebrand itself as the party of prosperity for every American.

'Tis the Season to Right a Shopping Wrong | Commentary

The start of the holiday shopping season has evolved from a single day, Black Friday, to a five-day stretch of promotions and discounts, and is now on the verge of consuming almost all of November. Technology that enables easy, at-home shopping has benefited both retailers and consumers, but it often exploits a major tax loophole that gives online retailers an unfair advantage and leaves consumers vulnerable to tax penalties. It’s time for Congress address the online sales tax disparity head on, in a way that takes the burden off consumers and makes the relationship between brick-and-mortar stores and their online counterparts more equitable.

Jobs Gains Ease Wage Pressure -- on Congress

The gradually building recovery in the labor market may be one reason for the lack of urgency on Capitol Hill for action on the minimum wage.

Ballot Actions Only Sharpen the Divide on Minimum Wage

The strong support voters showed in the midterm elections for increasing the minimum wage reinforced the idea of broad popular support for raising the wage floor and led Democrats to revive their calls for a higher federal minimum.

New Management in Congress Means a Return to Regular Order | Commentary

After the political analysts complete their commentary on the meaning of the 2014 election, the serious work will begin to get this country back on the right track. There is much to do, big issues that have been ignored too long, our national security, and leadership not least of all.

Michigan Democrat May Join With GOP on Health Law Tweaks

Senate Republicans lacking a filibuster-proof majority next year will need to attract crossover votes from a shrinking pool of centrist Democrats if they are to have any hope of making legislative changes to the health care law. 

GOP Mulls Next CBO Director

Flush from their capture of the Senate, Republicans in both chambers are reviewing more than a dozen potential candidates to succeed Douglas W. Elmendorf as director of the Congressional Budget Office after his term expires Jan. 3.

Next Year's Defense Bill to Bear Stamp of New Chairmen

The Republican triumphs in the November elections put the job of writing next year’s Senate defense policy bill in the hands of a leading critic of the Obama administration’s national security strategy and an aggressive watchdog over Pentagon weapons procurement policies.

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Setting Up a Congressional Office | Commentary

Tip O’Neill once said, “It’s easier to run for office than to run the office.” Running a campaign and creating a congressional office are vastly different tasks. Setting up a House or Senate office includes all the challenges of starting a small business with all the red tape of a bureaucracy. During the past 37 years the Congressional Management Foundation has helped thousands of new members of Congress and their staffs set up freshman offices. Here are seven mistakes to avoid.

The President Must Decide to Compromise or Obstruct | Commentary

Normally the day after the midterm election in the sixth year of a president’s term, all focus shifts to the next presidential election. That will not be the case this year. With Republicans having won a majority in the Senate and with a bigger Republican majority in the House, President Barack Obama has to make a choice. What does he want to accomplish in his last two years as president? The decision is his alone. He can continue the “take it or leave it” legislative strategy he has followed his first six years in office or he can choose to work with Republicans and Democrats in the Congress to find agreements on some issues of critical importance to all Americans.

Unified Coalition Supports Lifting the Crude Oil Export Ban | Commentary

Slowly but surely, political leaders from both sides of the aisle are joining energy industry executives to support repealing the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 , which currently bans the export of U.S. crude oil. This law made sense 40 years ago, after a six-month OPEC oil embargo resulted in gasoline scarcity and an economic disaster.

December Surprise? States May Change The Electoral College System Before 2016

Two years from now, we will have just elected a new president. We know the election date: Nov. 8, 2016. What we don’t know is just how our votes will count. Under the Constitution, states decide how to allocate Electoral College votes — and there are rumblings of change.

Low Hanging, Long Lasting Economic Fruit on America's Public Lands | Commentary

Whatever the next Congress brings us, let’s hope it brings a fresh perspective on how to balance the management of our public lands, and a renewed push to actually get things done. The 113th Congress has had one of the worst records in history when it comes to protecting unique landscapes across the West, including stalling bills that would strengthen Arizona’s economy.

Changes Ahead With a Republican Senate and House | Commentary

In January of 2014, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., laid out his vision for putting the Senate back in order should he become majority leader: a robust committee process; an open debate process; an open amendment process; and using the clock to gain consensus. These are tried and true practices for moving legislation in the United States Senate.

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