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Alan K. Ota


Alan K. Ota covers Congressional leadership as a senior writer for CQ Roll Call. Prior to joining the leadership and legal affairs team, he covered taxes and technology, and was a Tokyo and Washington correspondent for The Oregonian.

A Washington native, Alan is a graduate of UC Berkeley and was a Nieman fellow at Harvard University. He grew up in Maryland lives in Arlington, Va.

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Stories by Alan K. Ota:

Reduced in Scale, Steel-Makers Still Forge Coalitions

Nov. 20, 2013

An army of nearly 400,000 workers made the steel industry a powerhouse in the 1980s. With a current workforce a third that size, the industry needs allies to widen its reach in Washington, D.C.

Some Lawmakers See Bipartisan Potential in Manufacturing Measures

Nov. 20, 2013

Offshoring became a mantra for corporate America in the past decade, as companies shifted production abroad to save on wages and overhead. Now, a halting recovery in manufacturing employment in the United States — fueled by low domestic energy costs and rising wages in emerging economies — has pushed the industry to the front of a new bipartisan drive to spur job creation before the 2014 elections.

Tax Incentive Plans Quietly Taking Shape for Startups

Sept. 20, 2013

The technology boom of the 1990s that created a wave of new businesses and jobs was built on innovation that lawmakers would dearly love to revive in today’s sputtering economy.

Minimum Wage May Wait Until 2014 Action

Sept. 20, 2013

The National Federation of Independent Business and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce stand adamantly against a higher minimum wage, and even a package of tax incentives would make the plan a tough sell for many businesses.

A Change in Calculation on Unfunded Liabilities, or Change of Heart?

July 24, 2013

As a top aide to President George W. Bush, Andrew Biggs argued for allowing workers to funnel payroll taxes into stocks instead of the Social Security trust fund backed by Treasury bonds. But Biggs has now emerged as a leader in prodding public pension funds to use a new gauge — based on Treasury bonds, not stocks — to evaluate unfunded liabilities.

Detroit's Woes Put New Spotlight on Pension Overhaul Proposals

July 24, 2013

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah seemed to be trying to spark interest in an issue that was thoroughly on the back burner when he introduced a bill, with no co-sponsors, early this month addressing troubled public pension funds.

Obama Adviser Furman at Center of Wage Debates

June 19, 2013

Jason Furman, the White House’s nominee to become chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, made a compelling case as an analyst in 2007 for a new minimum wage of $7.25 as “a useful step to help working families escape poverty.”

Democrats Look for Momentum on Minimum Wage

June 19, 2013

Congressional Democrats hope to seize momentum from states as they push to raise the minimum wage for the first time in four years.

Lawmaker Pay Again in Play as Democrats Tie Paychecks to Debt Limit

June 13, 2013

Democrats in the Senate and House are pushing proposals to suspend lawmaker pay if Congress does not authorize a higher debt limit when the need arrives this fall.

Boehner Seeks Spending 'Cuts and Reforms' Greater Than Debt Limit Increase

June 12, 2013

Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio, pushing back against White House demands for no-frills legislation on the federal borrowing cap, is calling for another round of spending cuts beyond the sequester as part of any agreement to raise the debt limit.

Portman Seeks Path to Break Impasse on Cordray Nomination

May 28, 2013

Sen. Rob Portman has been conferring with Richard Cordray, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as part of an effort to clear the way for his Senate confirmation and avert a Democratic threat to use the “nuclear option” to curb filibusters.

Planned Floor Action on Cordray Will Highlight Senate Impasse

May 20, 2013

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada plans to press for a vote the week of May 20 on the nomination of Richard Cordray as permanent director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in a move that is sure to divide the parties.

Toomey to Press For Bigger Debt Limit Prioritization Plan in Senate

May 10, 2013

Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, maintaining a Republican drumbeat for payment “prioritization” in case of a debt limit stalemate, plans to push for a broader version of the House-passed plan to protect holders of Treasury bonds and Social Security beneficiaries.

Gamesmanship Over Budget in Full Swing as Reid Prepares Next Move

April 22, 2013

Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and his team are preparing to turn up the pressure on Republicans over a budget conference committee aimed at reaching a broad debt deal.

With Tax Effects, Chained CPI Draws Coalition of Opposition

April 19, 2013

When the Obama administration included in its fiscal 2014 budget proposal a plan that would effectively reduce Social Security benefits over the years, officials braced for a strong backlash from Democrats and other defenders of the entitlement program.

For Boskin, a New Measure Is Unchained

April 19, 2013

Stanford economist Michael J. Boskin has a suggestion for President Barack Obama to pitch his chained consumer price index proposal on Capitol Hill: Keep it simple.

Baucus Budget Vote Casts Doubt on Democratic Plan

March 25, 2013

A defiant stand by Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus against his party’s budget blueprint has raised new questions about the Democrats’ agenda for tax overhaul and deficit reduction.

Nowhere to Hide in Senate Vote-a-Rama

March 20, 2013

The first vote-a-rama on a Senate budget resolution in four years offers each party a chance to force the other to cast politically treacherous votes, and both sides are lining up for the opportunity, which could begin as early as Friday.

House Watching for 'Poison Pills' as Senate Turns to Continuing Resolution

March 13, 2013

Republicans and Democrats in the House expect to support the Senate’s version of a fiscal 2013 continuing resolution, provided that the spending package doesn’t arrive weighed down with contentious new provisions.

Democrats Push More Aggressive Minimum Wage Plan, Use Taxes as Lure

March 7, 2013

Senate Democrats are looking for sweeteners such as small-business tax incentives they hope will attract support from Republicans and constituent groups for a plan to raise the minimum wage to a level beyond what President Barack Obama has proposed.

Senate Set to Turn Back Democratic and GOP Sequester Alternatives

Feb. 27, 2013

The Senate is expected to defeat Thursday competing Democratic and Republican alternatives to the $85.3 billion in automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin Friday.

Senate GOP Divided on Sequester Alternative

Feb. 26, 2013

A split among Senate Republicans over what to propose as a substitute for the sequester has complicated plans for Senate votes this week on competing GOP and Democratic deficit reduction proposals.

Reid Releases $110 Billion Plan to Replace Sequester With Revenue, Spending Cuts

Feb. 14, 2013

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada laid out a $110 billion plan on Thursday to replace the sequester with higher taxes on the wealthy, tax revenue from oil derived from tar sands and spending reductions in agriculture subsidies and defense.

Lawmakers Say Sequester Replacement Plan Slipping to Late March

Feb. 13, 2013

Even as they blame one another for automatic spending cuts set to take effect March 1, key lawmakers on both sides believe the best chance for a bipartisan deal to restructure the sequester will come by the end of March.

Reid Decries House Inaction on Sequester; Both Sides Look Past March 1

Feb. 12, 2013

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid criticized the House on Tuesday for not moving a sequester replacement plan as the onset of the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts nears and lawmakers say the likelihood of congressional action before the March 1 deadline diminishes.

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