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Education & Labor Archive

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.

'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.

How Congress Can Fix the Student Debt Crisis | Commentary

As Congress works to reauthorize the Higher Education Act and strengthen student loan policies, the challenges are daunting:

Education Official Who Left Under Ethical Cloud Returns to Washington | Commentary

My organization, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, recently requested information from the Department of Education and the University of California system about the role former Education official Robert Shireman — and the organization he heads, California Competes — are playing in the development of education policy. CREW believes Shireman’s coziness with Wall Street short sellers, and his overall indifference to playing by the rules, should make government officials wary of working with him.

We Need Affordable Child Care for Working Families | Commentary

Our children deserve the best care and education possible, but working parents in Chicago and across the country face a frustrating lack of access to affordable, quality child care. At a time when many families need two incomes just to make ends meet, quality child care is an absolute necessity and one of the biggest financial burdens working families face.

Congressional Baseball Is More Than a Game | Commentary

In the three years I’ve pitched in the Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game, I’ve put these numbers up: 1.7 ERA, 34 K’s, 10 hits allowed, and a WHIP of 0.8571 in 21 innings pitched. These are numbers I am looking to improve upon in this year’s contest.

After Failing to Renew Unemployment Insurance, Congress Is a Culprit in Foreclosure Crisis | Commentary

In the immediate aftermath of the nation’s 2008 foreclosure crisis, Congress played a constructive role in keeping Americans in their homes. Lawmakers supported loan modification programs and sweeping financial reforms, and — while many rightfully demanded more action — these efforts eased the effects of the crisis.

PBGC Premium Increases Punish the Good Guys | Commentary

Here we go again. The insatiable Highway Trust Fund needs replenishing and, as CQ Roll Call’s David Harrison reported June 13, “House Republicans now are looking at another round of ‘pension smoothing’ combined with another increase in premiums to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which guarantees the pensions of workers with defined benefit retirement plans.”

Let's Focus on Access, Cost and Speed to Improve Higher Education | Commentary

In the lexicon of acronyms, there is one that stands apart as not only wise, but politically savvy. KISS, which stands for “Keep it simple, Simon,” is credited as a U.S. Navy design principle in the 1960s. KISS is based on the principle that most systems work best if they are kept simple — common sense, but critical.

FCC Should Focus Broadband Internet Improvements on Rural Communities | Commentary

In the late 1800s, when wagon trains were traveling westward in America, they had a saying: “You don’t move ahead by leaving some behind.”

Unemployment Extension Vital for Long-Term Jobless | Commentary

Last December, House and Senate Republicans uniformly said they would not consider an unemployment insurance extension unless there was a bipartisan compromise that was fully paid for, contained some unspecified reforms to the program and created jobs. In early April, after three months of negotiations and numerous false starts, they got just that: The Senate finally approved a bipartisan bill that met every one of those demands, while paying benefits through the end of May.

Making Student Success a Priority in Federal Policy | Commentary

As the nation strives to meet the growing need for talent to drive today’s knowledge economy and democratic society, more and more Americans agree that increasing postsecondary attainment is critical. Business, union leaders, governors from both parties and President Barack Obama, agree that higher rates of college-level learning are needed — both to ensure the nation’s progress and to enhance the lives of millions of individual Americans. The political will for postsecondary attainment is there and growing, but it’s up to Congress to capitalize on it, creating federal policies that make student success in higher education a national priority.

Let's Choose Children Over the Charter Industry | Commentary

Our children are too precious, and education funding too scarce, to risk turning either over to unscrupulous or incompetent organizations. That’s why charter schools were originally supposed to be something akin to a small, controlled experiment: public school laboratories intended to encourage new ways to educate students. That way, if something turned out not to work, the risk to students, educators and communities could be contained.

A Lesson in Fairness From My Mother | Commentary

When I consider issues in Washington, I regularly call on the wisdom and advice my mother gave Carl, my sister and me over the years. She taught us of hard work and persistence, she taught us of the sacrifices that mothers make for children and for our country, and she taught us of fairness.

We Rise and Fall Together: America Needs a Raise After the Defeat of the Minimum Wage Fairness Act | Commentary

Last week, members of Congress had the opportunity to show their commitment to the millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet and to create a prosperous future for all America. Congress had the chance to raise the incomes of 28 million Americans and help millions of families lift themselves out of poverty by voting to pass the Minimum Wage Fairness Act. They chose instead to kill the legislation.

America Still Lags, But Hunger for Education Attainment Grows | Commentary

As the global demand for postsecondary skills continues to rise, America finds itself in a challenging position. Postsecondary attainment is increasing nicely here at home, but our improvements are anemic compared to the pace of attainment around the world. New data tells the story, and it points to a much needed wake-up call for Congress and the White House,state policymakers, higher education officials, employers, civic leaders and more.

Medical Spending Surges With Health Law Sign-Ups

Health care spending surged 9.9 percent during the first quarter of 2014 as people who gained insurance coverage under the health care law apparently began using more medical services, the government said today.

WGDB: Reid: Koch Brothers Aren't Interested In Unemployment Extension, Minimum Wage

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

218: Boehner Talks Jobs, Economy in GOP's Weekly Address

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An Honesty Gap in the Pay Gap Debate | Commentary

President Barack Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress have begun rallying this month to a long-suffering legislative solution to gender pay inequities, cocksure that Republican opposition to the measure will weaken the ascendant rabble-rousers ahead of the November midterms.

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