News & Notes

Nov 11, 2014

REPORT: Making the Grade: How Investments in America’s Infrastructure Benefit Our Economy and Environment

A new report from the BlueGreen Alliance shows that repairing America’s infrastructure could create 2.7 million jobs across the economy and increase the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $377 billion, while reducing carbon pollution and other greenhouse gas emissions and better protecting communities from the impacts of climate change.

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Oct 29, 2014

As Infrastructure Crumbles, Trillions Of Gallons Of Water Lost

Imagine Manhattan under almost 300 feet of water. Not water from a hurricane or a tsunami, but purified drinking water — 2.1 trillion gallons of it.

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Mar 13, 2014

Gas Explosion a Reminder of NYC's Aging Infrastructure

NEW YORK - Even while the exact cause remains unknown, a deadly blast that leveled two Manhattan buildings served by a 127-year-old gas main has provided a jarring reminder of just how old and vulnerable much of the infrastructure is in New York and many other cities nationwide.

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Feb 7, 2014

State Dept.: Keystone XL would have little impact on climate change

Replacing the Keystone XL pipeline with oil-laden freight trains from Canada may result in an average of six additional rail-related deaths per year, according to a U.S. State Department report that is adding to pressure for President Barack Obama to approve the line.

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Feb 2, 2014

Without Keystone, oil trains may cause six deaths per year: U.S. State Department report

Replacing the Keystone XL pipeline with oil-laden freight trains from Canada may result in an average of six additional rail-related deaths per year, according to a U.S. State Department report that is adding to pressure for President Barack Obama to approve the line.

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Jan 21, 2014

Proposal Seeks Change to Plumbing Codes

Washington — The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry (UA) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) have reached an agreement on a landmark proposal to save energy and water in new buildings. The two organizations jointly submitted a proposal to the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) to require the insulation of hot water piping in new buildings.

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Dec 11, 2013

Environmentalists, unions, industry seek to fix expensive natural gas pipeline leaks

PITTSBURGH — Unions and environmentalists have found one point of agreement in the bitter debate over the natural gas drilling boom: fixing leaky old pipelines that threaten public health and the environment. It's a huge national effort that could cost $82 billion.

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Dec 5, 2013

BCTD Secretary-Treasurer Booker Touts BCTD/Disney Partnership at White House Forum

Booker appeared on a panel with Robert Johnson, a Vice President for Labor Relations from the Walt Disney Co., to talk about the successful and enduring relationship that the Building Trades continues to enjoy with Disney, and how that partnership is creating value and benefit not only to Disney, but to the surrounding communities located near its theme parks in Florida and California via the opportunities that we have created through our joint labor-management apprenticeship programs.

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Dec 4, 2013

Brandon McGuire, Veteran & Local 367 Recruiting Director, Speaks to Senate about VIP Program

Brother McGuire was invited to present before the US Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee this November as part of a discussion on the high unemployment rate for returning veterans. He cited the VIP program as a primary example of how private organizations are helping veterans transition into the civilian workforce after serving their country. Helmets to Hardhats and the G.I. Bill were also cited as important resources for veterans seeking work. 

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Nov 7, 2013

UA's Veterans in Piping (VIP) Program Recognized by Department of Labor

Each year, the U.S. Department of Labor honors those who have served our nation by hosting a Salute to Veterans event at the Department’s Washington D.C. Headquarters.  This year’s event was held on November 6, 2013, and the United Association’s Veterans in Piping (VIP) Program was recognized for its success in providing high-quality skills training and guaranteed job placement for active duty military personnel leaving the service.

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Jan 28, 2013

Housing emerges as economic bright spot after years in the dark

The nation’s housing market is surging again after years of historic declines, and the unique forces powering its return could last well into 2013.

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Jan 16, 2013

Falling U.S. Oil Imports Will Reshape the World Crude Market

By 2014, the U.S. will import just 6 million barrels of crude oil per day, or roughly a third of what it uses, according to a recent forecast from the federal Energy Information Administration. That’s less than half the amount of 2006, when imports accounted for 60 percent of total U.S. oil consumption.

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Jan 15, 2013

House Approves $50.7 Billion in Emergency Aid for Storm Victims

WASHINGTON — After fierce lobbying by political leaders in states across the Northeast, the House of Representatives on Tuesday night approved a long-awaited $50.7 billion emergency bill to provide help to victims of Hurricane Sandy.

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Jan 14, 2013

California could be next oil boom state

 

California is sitting on a massive amount of shale oil and could become the next oil boom state. But only if the industry can get the stuff out of the ground without upsetting the state's powerful environmental lobby.

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Jan 4, 2013

Job Creation Is Still Steady Despite Worry

Despite concerns about looming tax increases and government spending cuts, American employers added 155,000 jobs in December. Employees also enjoyed slightly faster wage growth and worked longer hours, which could bode well for future hiring.

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Dec 17, 2012

Obama’s picks for State Department and Pentagon could be announced Friday

President Obama hopes to announce his new national security nominees Friday, but the date depends on the status of the “fiscal cliff” negotiations, administration officials said.

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Dec 11, 2012

Obama Calls Michigan Right-To-Work Bill ‘The Right To Work For Less Money’

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Even with the outcome considered a foregone conclusion, the heated battle over right-to-work legislation in the traditional union bastion of Michigan shows no sign of cooling.

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Dec 10, 2012

Democratic tax writers predict fiscal cliff deal

Two top House Democratic tax writers predicted that Republicans will relent on tax rates and agree to a fiscal cliff deal — but not before Christmas.
 

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Oct 24, 2012

Obama counting on ground game

President Barack Obama’s campaign is confident that its ground game will produce the winning margin in November — but while they’re well ahead of Mitt Romney, things are a lot tougher than they were in 2008
.

 

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Oct 24, 2012

Elizabeth Warren Leads Scott Brown by 5 points in latest US Senate race poll

Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren leads Republican incumbent Scott Brown in the latest poll of their US Senate race.

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Sep 21, 2012

Seniors boo Ryan at Medicare speech

Paul Ryan met loud boos and taunts, as well as deep skepticism, as he attacked President Obama's healthcare law at an AARP event Friday.

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Sep 16, 2012

U.S. to File W.T.O. Case Against China Over Cars

The Obama administration plans to file a broad trade case at the World Trade Organization in Geneva on Monday accusing China of unfairly subsidizing its exports of autos and auto parts, a senior administration official said late Sunday, in a move with clear political implications for the presidential elections less than two months away.

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Sep 7, 2012

Elizabeth Warren: Obama Will Repair "Rigged" System

Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren cast herself as a champion of a beleaguered middle class and a foe of moneyed interests in a speech to the Democratic National Convention designed to give a jolt of energy to her campaign while defending Barack Obama's record on consumer rights.

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Sep 7, 2012

Obama’s speech about morality and America’s future

On Tuesday, Michelle Obama talked about who Barack Obama is and where he came from. On Wednesday, Bill Clinton talked about where the country and the economy have been and how we struggled to get to where we are now. As Chuck Schumer put it earlier today, those two performances teed up Barack Obama to devote tonight’s speech to talking about the future.

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Aug 28, 2012

Obama is deporting more immigrants than Bush. Republicans don’t think that’s enough.

The GOP is toughening its stance on immigration in its 2012 party platform. But that’s partly in response to Obama’s own hawkish stance on immigration enforcement. In fact, both parties are now pushing different programs with the same goal: to increase enforcement of laws that target illegal immigration on the local level.

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Aug 28, 2012

Platform’s Sharp Turn to Right Has Conservatives Cheering

One party platform stated that Hispanics and others should not “be barred from education or employment opportunities because English is not their first language.” It highlighted the need for “dependable and affordable” mass transit in cities, noting that “mass transportation offers the prospect for significant energy conservation.” And it prefaced its plank on abortion by saying that “we recognize differing views on this question among Americans in general — and in our own party.”

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Aug 27, 2012

Scott Walker: Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan to take Wisconsin

Gov. Scott Walker said on Monday that he thinks the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan spells a Wisconsin victory for the Republican ticket in November.

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Aug 19, 2012

As always, Florida in the middle of the voting wars

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Stick a pin almost anywhere on a map of Florida and you’ll find a legal battle over who will be eligible to vote in the coming presidential election — and when, and how, and where.

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Aug 18, 2012

Big gulf between political parties, divisions within

American politics has long been defined as red vs. blue, and everything about the 2012 election speaks to the chasm that separates the two parties. But a major new study highlights how those divisions are only a part of the dynamic shaping the political landscape.

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Aug 16, 2012

DCCC opens fall ad campaign with shot at Ryan's Medicare plan

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released its first ad of the general election season on Thursday, attempting to saddle a Republican freshman lawmaker with the Medicare cuts in Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget — an attack that's likely to play a central role in much of their strategy this year.

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Aug 16, 2012

Obama announces new manufacturing institute in Ohio

The power of incumbency: New projects in key political states.

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Aug 15, 2012

Mark Pocan crushes opponents to win Democratic primary for Congress

There were some influential people at Mark Pocan's election night party Tuesday night at the Brink Lounge on East Washington Avenue.

Among the guests were state Sen. Mark Miller (D-Monona) and state Rep. Terese Berceau (D-Madison), who were both elected to the Legislature the same time Pocan was in 1998. Dane County Executive Joe Parisi was also there.

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Aug 15, 2012

The other Paul Ryan plan: $800B in Medicaid cuts

WASHINGTON — Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan for Medicare gets all the attention, but the GOP vice presidential candidate has proposed more fundamental changes to medical care for the poor and disabled.

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Aug 13, 2012

AFL-CIO to ramp up attacks on GOP ticket over Medicare, taxes

The super-PAC representing the nation’s largest labor federation intends to ramp up its efforts targeting presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his newly announced running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

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Aug 13, 2012

The Romney Budget is Even More Radical Than the Ryan Budget

Mitt Romney doesn’t want to own the Paul Ryan budget. I think it’s a little late for that.

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Aug 9, 2012

AFL-CIO chief: Democrats will pick up seats in the House this November

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Thursday that Democrats would gain ground in the House this November but he wouldn't predict they would retake control of the lower chamber.

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Aug 9, 2012

The U.S. economy gets a dash of good news for a change

 

It’s fair to say that the U.S. economy has been in a worrisome funk these past few months. The unemployment rate has barely budged after a slew of disappointing jobs reports that started in April. GDP growth in the second quarter of the year turned out to be a tepid 1.5 percent annualized rate. The Federal Reserve noted glumly that “economic activity decelerated somewhat over the first half of this year.”

 

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Jul 12, 2012

Mitt Romney stayed at Bain 3 years longer than he stated

Government documents filed by Mitt Romney and Bain Capital say Romney remained chief executive and chairman of the firm three years beyond the date he said he ceded control, even creating five new investment partnerships during that time.

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Jul 11, 2012

Romney Invested Millions in Chinese Firm That Profited on US Outsourcing

Last month, Mitt Romney's campaign got into a dustup with the Washington Post after the newspaper reported that Bain Capital, the private equity firm the GOP presidential candidate founded, invested in several US companies that outsourced jobs to China and India.

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Jul 6, 2012

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law May Bar 9% From Presidential Election

Three-quarters of a million Pennsylvanians may be denied a chance to vote in November unless they can come up with an acceptable form of identification, a tally released by the state suggests.

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Jun 22, 2012

Romney’s Bain Capital invested in companies that moved jobs overseas

Mitt Romney’s financial company, Bain Capital, invested in a series of firms that specialized in relocating jobs done by American workers to new facilities in low-wage countries like China and India.

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Jun 21, 2012

Labor Targets the Midwest

The Midwest is ground zero for organized labor this fall.

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Jun 21, 2012

Romey Campaign Asks Florida Governor to Downplay Good Economy

NEW YORK -- There has always been friction between Mitt Romney and certain Republican governors over how best to frame the state of the economy. While the presumptive GOP nominee has argued during his campaign that the recovery is far too slow, the electoral implications for making that case in states that include Virginia, Ohio and Michigan are much more complicated.

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May 8, 2012

Obama's 'to do' list for Congress: jobs, mortgages

Pressuring Congress, President Barack Obama is laying out an election year "to do" list Tuesday that urges lawmakers to take another look at economic proposals to promote job creation and help families refinance their mortgages.

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May 8, 2012

Awaiting Obama visit, experts consider boon of GlobalFoundries

Experts agree the semiconductor industry in Saratoga County and Albany is having an economic impact on the Glens Falls area.

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May 5, 2012

In campaign kickoff, Obama vows to keep fighting for middle class

COLUMBUS, Ohio--President Obama officially kicked off his reelection campaign Saturday afternoon by blasting the economic policies of Republican Mitt Romney and pronouncing the prospect of his election a threat to the middle class.

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Apr 30, 2012

Obama emphasizes kept promises before union crowd

President Obama roused union members behind supporting his re-election bid in a speech Monday to labor leaders, a core Democratic constituency with which his administration has had differences in his first term.

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Apr 25, 2012

Big Labor's Big Moment

For years Big Labor has been looking small, but it doesn’t feel that way now.

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Mar 22, 2012

Obama tells federal agencies to 'cut through red tape' to OK part of Keystone XL

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama pushed Thursday for the speedy approval for the southern leg of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline as he insisted oil has an important place in his national energy plans.

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Mar 9, 2012

U.S. Extends Its Run of Strong Job Growth Another Month

In yet another sign of a strengthening recovery, the United States added 227,000 net jobs in February, the third consecutive month of gains over 200,000. The unemployment rate was unchanged from 8.3 percent in January, the Labor Department reported Friday, as nearly a half million people who had been staying on the sidelines rejoined the search for work.

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Mar 2, 2012

Pipefitters endorse Obama, despite Keystone decision

President Obama’s rejection of a federal permit for the Keystone XL pipeline raised the question: Would unions hold it against him in the 2012 election? On Thursday, the nation’s plumbing and pipefitters union made it clear the answer was no.

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Mar 1, 2012

Plumbers' Union Endorses Obama

President Barack Obama may never win over “Joe the Plumber,” but he was endorsed Thursday by the plumbers’ union.

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Feb 27, 2012

White House gives blessing to partial Keystone XL pipeline construction

The White House backed TransCanada Corp.’s bid to build a major portion of the Keystone XL oil pipeline Monday, a move that could shield President Obama from growing GOP attacks over the project.

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Feb 23, 2012

The GOP’s Real Tax Cut Goal Has Nothing To Do With The Middle Class (CHART)

You’d think that with the economy growing, and indeed accelerating in its growth, the GOP would be setting itself up to claim all the credit come November — rather than reluctantly embracing President Obama’s call for a payroll tax cut, while talking down its efficacy as a tonic for the job market.

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Feb 17, 2012

Mitt Romney vs. Michigan GOPers on labor

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. — The endorsements of Michigan’s top Republicans are falling to Mitt Romney despite an uncomfortable divide over a key issue: labor.

 

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Feb 16, 2012

Unlike Obama, Romney Will Stand Up to Big Labor

President Obama Has Tilted The Field In Favor Of Big Labor At The Expense Of American Businesses And Employers

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Feb 16, 2012

Negotiators reach deal; vote expected soon on $150B economic package

Congressional negotiators gave final approval early Thursday to an economic plan worth more than $150 billion that would extend a payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits.

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Feb 15, 2012

Mitt Romney reminds voters he really, truly hates unions

During the course of the Republican presidential primary, Mitt Romney has made a number of attempts to establish that one of his conservative values is that he hates unions. Unlike all the issues on which Romney makes news by changing his position, he's been consistent in his opposition to unions, and every now and then he sallies forth to remind us that he does have this one authentic claim to conservatism.

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Feb 3, 2012

Unemployment rate falls to 8.3%; fifth straight monthly decline

The U.S. job market strengthened at the start of the year as employers added an unexpectedly large number of new jobs and the unemployment rate in January dropped for the fifth straight month

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Feb 1, 2012

Romney, citing safety net, says he’s ‘not concerned about the very poor’

In an interview with CNN Wednesday morning that should have been a Florida victory lap, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney made a fumble that could give rivals an attack ad sound bite.

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Jan 24, 2012

Poll finds white working-class voters souring on Mitt Romney

Today's ABC/Washington Post poll makes clear how unpopular both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are and how much more unpopular they have become recently as they battle for the Republican presidential nomination.

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Jan 10, 2012

Ground Game Determines Candidates’ Strength

MANCHESTER, N.H. — The 2012 primary campaign has been by far the most volatile on record, with one candidate after another surging to the front of the pack and then falling back again.

 

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Jan 10, 2012

Romney worried about pink slip? Bain gave him golden parachute

As you may have heard, Mitt Romney declared over the weekend that there were times when he, too, worried about getting a “pink slip.” Romney’s GOP rivals immediately pounced, with Rick Perry claiming: “I have no doubt that Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips, whether he was going to have enough of them to hand out.”

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Jan 10, 2012

Ind. Dems end boycott, GOP plans initial vote

AP)  INDIANAPOLIS — A divisive labor bill is back in Republican hands after Indiana House Democrats on Monday ended a three-day boycott of the chamber to stall the measure.

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma said the right-to-work bill will get a committee vote Tuesday morning and could make it out of his chamber by the end of the week if Democrats continue to attend House sessions.

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Jan 10, 2012

Indiana Dems Restart Legislative Boycott To Stop ‘Right-To-Work’ Bill

Indiana Democrats are once again walking out of the state legislature, in order to tie up a “right-to-work” bill that would hinder labor unions

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Jan 9, 2012

The Rapid Economic Recovery Republicans Are Praying Against

Everything that’s supposed to happen in politics this year, and everything that has happened for the last several months, has been premised on the tacit, but seemingly safe assumption: The economy will remain weak for years.

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Jan 6, 2012

Romney’s tax plan saves top 1 percent $82,000

The Tax Policy Center has released its formal analysis of Mitt Romney’s tax plan. The result? Regressive, but not as regressive as the tax plans of his rivals. Compared to current rates, Romney’s plan would cost a family in the bottom 20 percent $157 and save a family in the top 1 percent $82,000. That looks pretty tilted toward the rich. But here it is against the other GOP tax plans the Tax Policy Center has assessed — and against President Obama’s September proposal to the supercommittee:

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Jan 6, 2012

Employers add 200,000 jobs, unemployment rate falls to 8.5 percent, lowest in nearly 3 years

WASHINGTON — Employers add 200,000 jobs, unemployment rate falls to 8.5 percent, lowest in nearly 3 years

 

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Jan 6, 2012

Indiana Labor Measure Is Expected to Progress

INDIANAPOLIS — House Democrats brought state lawmaking to a halt in Indiana for much of this week, refusing for a third straight day on Friday to come out to their chamber floor in a procedural effort to stop “right to work” legislation at the center of a mounting battle over unions here.

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Jan 4, 2012

President Obama bypasses Congress and puts Richard Cordray in as top consumer finance watchdog

WASHINGTON --President Barack Obama will announce from Shaker Heights today that he is using his power to bypass the Senate and installing former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.

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Jan 4, 2012

Obama sidesteps GOP opposition to install 3 members on National Labor Relations Board

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama recess-appointed three members to the National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday, bypassing fierce opposition from Republicans who claim the agency has leaned too far in favor of unions.

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Jan 4, 2012

‘Right to Work’ Republicans Deprived of a Quorum in Indiana

CHICAGO — On what was to be the first day of a new lawmaking session in Indiana, most Democratic state representatives stayed away from the House floor on Wednesday, preventing the Republican majority, which has made “right to work” legislation a top priority, from doing business.

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Jan 4, 2012

Should the U.S. export its natural gas? A debate flares.

Last year, fuel was America’s #1 export. But not everyone’s so keen on watching the United States ship out all that energy to the rest of the world. Case in point: On Wednesday, Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) fired off a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu asking him whether it was really such a swell idea for the United States to be exporting its newly abundant natural gas resources all over the globe. Some experts, after all, have raised concerns that such exports could have unexpected downsides.

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Dec 19, 2011

GOP Keeps Appointments on Hold

Senate Republicans are taking steps to try to block President Barack Obama from using his power to make appointments while lawmakers are away for the holidays. But the president could hold a trump card or two.

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Dec 17, 2011

Analysts Say Economic Recovery Might Suffer if Tax Break Is Allowed to Expire

WASHINGTON — Economists are warning that the looming expiration of a temporary payroll tax cut — and the possibility that Congress will not extend it — would cause families to spend less and could sap strength from a fragile recovery.

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Dec 16, 2011

Crippling the Right to Organize

UNLESS something changes in Washington, American workers will, on New Year’s Day, effectively lose their right to be represented by a union. Two of the five seats on the National Labor Relations Board, which protects collective bargaining, are vacant, and on Dec. 31, the term of Craig Becker, a labor lawyer whom President Obama named to the board last year through a recess appointment, will expire. Without a quorum, the Supreme Court ruled last year, the board cannot decide cases.

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Dec 15, 2011

Obama taps two for NLRB posts

President Obama will nominate two new members of the National Labor Relations Board, the White House announced Wednesday.

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Dec 15, 2011

Under-26 Gain Insurance Under Health-Care Overhaul

About 2.5 million young adults have gained health-insurance coverage since the health-overhaul law let people stay on their parents' plan until they turn 26, according to government figures released Wednesday.

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Dec 12, 2011

House approves oil, gas pipeline safety bill

The House on Monday evening approved legislation that reauthorizes federal oil and gas pipeline safety laws, and includes several improvements aimed at preventing some of the pipeline accidents that have taken place in the U.S. over the last few years.

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Dec 12, 2011

Spending bill hostage in payroll tax fight

A massive year-end spending deal hung in the balance late Monday as a frustrated Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sought to use the package to win more cooperation from the Republican House on the question of extending payroll tax breaks backed by President Barack Obama.

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Dec 8, 2011

Senate GOP blocks Obama’s nominee to lead consumer bureau

Senate Republicans voted nearly in unison Thursday to block the confirmation of Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

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Dec 8, 2011

Union vote quells NLRB controversy

A Boeing Machinists union voted late Wednesday to approve a four-year contract extension, likely ending a months-long labor debate that provoked Republican attacks on the National Labor Relations Board and the White House.

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Dec 7, 2011

President Obama puts focus on economic inequality

President Obama cast himself as the savior of the middle class Tuesday in a policy and political battle with Republicans who, he said, want to let Americans "fend for themselves.

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Dec 6, 2011

Obama calls for 'fair shot' for all Americans in speech evoking Theodore Roosevelt

OSAWATOMIE, Kan. -- President Obama called for a "fair shot" for all Americans on Tuesday in a speech that evoked former President Teddy Roosevelt, pressing for stronger regulation and oversight, as well as increased taxes on the wealthy, to help the country return to broad-based prosperity.

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Dec 4, 2011

White House pushes for confirmation of consumer watchdog nominee

White House officials Sunday issued a new report aimed at ramping up pressure on Senate Republicans to support President Obama’s choice to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as key GOP lawmakers renewed their vow to block any nominee unless broad changes are made to the watchdog agency.

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Dec 2, 2011

Unemployment falls to 8.6 percent; economy adds 120,000 jobs

Unemployment dropped to 8.6 percent in November, its lowest level in nearly three years.

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Nov 16, 2011

First Part of Jobs Bill Approved

Congress bucked conventional wisdom Wednesday and showed that it can agree – sometimes – on jobs-related measures.

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Nov 15, 2011

Senator Harkin: Republican attacks on workers' rights won't create jobs

With working families struggling to make ends meet and Americans taking to the streets to protest the growing gap between the haves and have-nots, it is long past time for Congress to start coming up with real solutions that will create jobs and rebuild a strong American middle class. Unfortunately, it seems that congressional Republicans are still more interested in playing political games than coming up with solutions. Instead of joining with Democrats to work on job-creation proposals that Americans overwhelmingly support, Republicans are trying to convince Americans that the National Labor Relations Board — a small federal agency charged with defending workers’ rights — is somehow responsible for our nation’s economic woes.

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Nov 15, 2011

Joe Biden and Hilda Solis Cheer Ohio Workers, Admonish Kasich

The Obama administration has tread lightly with regards to getting involved in the collective bargaining battles being waged largely on the state level. When Ohio was considering the repeal of Gov. John Kasich's SB 5, which curbed collective bargaining rights for all public workers, the administration declined to weigh in, only to later affirm that the president opposed the legislation.

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Nov 15, 2011

Romney Promotes 'Right to Work', Bashes 'Stooges' in NLRB

At a campaign stop in the Palmetto State today, Mitt Romney continued to promise to “unwind” what President Barack Obama has done during his term in the White House and spoke of his desire to return rights to workers.

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Nov 14, 2011

TransCanada says it will reroute planned pipeline

TransCanada says it will move its planned oil pipeline out of the environmentally sensitive Sandhills area of Nebraska, and is confident the project will still win approval.

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Nov 14, 2011

Wisconsin Dems and Unions to Kick Off Recall Effort at Midnight

The Democratic effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, in a backlash against his anti-public employee union legislation and the state budget, isn’t just set to begin tomorrow — the kickoff will now happen right after midnight!

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Nov 1, 2011

Pass this bill: Why Congress must put people back to work rebuilding our country

Twenty-nine years ago this November, an American president of one party asked a Congress controlled by another to pass a transportation jobs bill. "It will stimulate 170,000 jobs in the hard-hit construction industries," he argued, "and an additional 150,000 jobs in related industries." As a result, he concluded, "we will be preserving for future generations of Americans a highway system that has long been the envy of the world."

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Oct 27, 2011

Obama supports Ohio effort to repeal anti-union legislation

National Democrats including President Obama are lending support to an effort by Democrats and labor allies in Ohio to repeal legislation that curbed collective bargaining rights for state employees.

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Oct 26, 2011

Mitt Romney is '110% behind' Ohio law limiting union power

After refusing to comment on a controversial effort by Ohio Gov. John Kasich to limit public employees’ collective bargaining rights, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday delivered an enthusiastic endorsement of the measure.

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Oct 25, 2011

Obama's Next Executive Action: Jobs for Veterans

Today the administration will announce plans to create jobs for veterans continuing on President Barack Obama’s efforts to boost the economy through a series of executive actions.

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Oct 25, 2011

GOP Takes Second Crack at Labor Board

House Republicans are again moving forward with legislation to limit the power of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

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Oct 24, 2011

Democrats Push Bill to Fund Infrastructure

WASHINGTON—Senate Democratic leaders said they would try to pass legislation to spend $50 billion on infrastructure improvements around the country and provide $10 billion as start-up capital for an infrastructure bank to help fund road and bridge repairs.

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Oct 24, 2011

Obama Agenda: "We Can't Wait"

“With his jobs plan stymied in Congress by Republican opposition, President Obama on Monday will begin a series of executive-branch actions to confront housing, education and other economic problems over the coming months, heralded by a new mantra: ‘We can’t wait’ for lawmakers to act..."

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Oct 21, 2011

Senate Blocks New Obama Jobs Bill

Yesterday, all Senate Republicans voted to block President Obama's new jobs bill that would have saved or created 400,000 jobs.

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Oct 21, 2011

Occupy Wall Street, Unions Get their Activism Together

The Occupy Wall Street protests that began as a nebulous mix of social and economic grievances are becoming more politically organized — with help from some of the country’s largest labor unions.

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Oct 12, 2011

Republican senators vote down Obama's US jobs package

 

UNITED against Barack Obama, Senate Republicans have voted to kill the jobs package the president had spent weeks campaigning for.

The rejection is a stinging loss at the hands of lawmakers opposed to stimulus-style spending and a tax increase on the very wealthy.

Forty-six Republicans joined with two Democrats to filibuster the $447 billion plan. Fifty Democrats had voted for it, but the vote was not final. The roll call was kept open to allow Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen to vote.

The likely 51-48 eventual tally would be far short of the 60 votes needed to keep the bill alive in the 100-member Senate.

 

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Oct 11, 2011

Senate Republicans likely to kill Obama jobs bill

 

 WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's jobs bill, facing a critical test in the Senate, it appears likely to die at the hands of Republicans opposed to stimulus spending and a tax surcharge on millionaires.

Obama has been waging a campaign-style effort seeking to rally public support behind the $447 billion measure, which will be the subject of a Senate vote Tuesday. The plan combines payroll tax cuts for workers and businesses with $175 billion in spending on roads, school repairs and other infrastructure, as well as unemployment assistance and help to local governments to avoid layoffs of teachers, firefighters and police officers.

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Oct 11, 2011

Obama Meets With Unemployed Workers, Toasts ‘to More Jobs’

 

President Obama took time out of campaign fundraising this evening to share a beer with a group of unemployed construction workers looking to get back on the job.

At the Harp and Celt Restaurant and Irish Pub in Orlando, Fla., Obama raised a glass — Guinness, to be specific — “to more jobs.”

Sitting around the table with four unemployed workers, the president, who was joined by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, outlined his case for Congress to pass the American Jobs Act and invest in infrastructure so that construction workers can get back to work.

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Oct 4, 2011

Union chief implores liberal activists to get Obama’s back on jobs proposal

 

 

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka implored liberal activists Thursday to get behind President Obama’s jobs bill.

Speaking at the Take Back the American Dream conference, the head of the nation’s largest labor federation said activists should support the White House’s $447 billion proposal, which includes funding to repair infrastructure, modernize school buildings and provide aid to local and state governments. Trumka said the legislation would help build a nationwide movement on jobs.

 

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Sep 22, 2011

Welders push for keystone Pipeline

 

If the Keystone XL Pipeline project proved as dangerous as opponents claim, environmental litigation specialist Randy Miller promised Wednesday, he'd gladly be chained next to celebrity protester Daryl Hannah.

However, the Tulsa attorney told a chuckling crowd at Pipeliners Union Local 798 headquarters that the proposed $7 billion project, which would carry Canadian tar sands, crude and other oil from the northern border to the Gulf of Mexico, is safe and environmentally sound.

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Sep 14, 2011

American Jobs Act Will Put Our Country Back To Work and Revitalize the Economy

"Challenging Congress to put aside partisan politics and do the right thing for American workers, President Obama laid out a bold plan to revive our economy and turn our country around.  Jobs, jobs, jobs - was the key theme of the President's address and in his message he once again demonstrated his unwavering support for and commitment to American workers. He also showed great personal courage in taking his message directly to the United States Congress and to the American public.

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Sep 12, 2011

Obama proposes higher taxes for wealthy to fund jobs bill

President Obama announced plans Monday to fund his $447 billion jobs bill largely by raising taxes on wealthier families, provoking immediate opposition from congressional Republicans.

The sequence of event suggests that despite the recent pledges of greater bipartisanship, many of the fiscal and economic stumbling blocks that have left Washington gridlocked in recent months remain firmly in place.

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Sep 6, 2011

Biden, Obama rally support with Labor Day speeches

Vice President Joe Biden rallied support Monday in Ohio, delivering a scathing rebuke of Ohio Republican governor John Kasich’s push to curb collective bargaining rights earlier in the year.

“It’s time to turn the tide in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida … and it seems to me that’s exactly what you’re doing here in Ohio,” Mr. Biden said. “This is the fight of your life.”

Mr. Biden, who delivered his speech the same day President Obama traveled to Michigan to deliver his Labor Day speech, urged supporters to continue a push to repeal a controversial collective bargaining bill passed by state lawmakers and signed into law by Mr. Kasich.

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Sep 6, 2011

Obama tells Detroit: I'll defend union rights

In his strongest words of support for organized labor, President Barack Obama told a riverfront crowd of thousands Monday in Detroit: "As long as I'm in the White House, I'm going to stand up for collective bargaining."

His remarks came as a welcome salve to organized labor, which has suffered some big defeats this year. Legislatures in Wisconsin and Ohio put severe limits on collective bargaining for public-sector employees, and some Republican legislators are pushing to make Michigan a right-to-work state.

Obama said organized labor gets the credit for the rise of America's middle class and that legislative battles to curb union rights threaten the nation.

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Aug 16, 2011

Organizers Sue Michigan for Anti-Union Law

 DETROIT (CN) - Michigan passed an unconstitutional new law that bans the state from awarding public contracts to any group that uses or even encourages unionized labor, union organizers claim in a federal lawsuit.


     Gov. Richard Snyder signed the Michigan Public Act 98 of 2011 into law on July 19. Nicknamed the Fair and Open Competition in Government Contracting Act, the trades councils say it affects bidders, contractors, subcontractors and labor organizations equally.

     The 10-page complaint against Snyder says that section 5(a) of the law prohibits Michigan and all state governmental units "from entering into or expending funds under a contract for the construction, repair, remodeling or demolition of a public facility, if the contract or any subcontract under the contract contains a term that requires or encourages bidders, contractors or subcontractors to enter into or adhere to agreements with a collective bargaining organization relating to the construction project or other related construction projects."

     Contractors often rely on project labor agreements (PLAs) to standardize shift schedules, breaks and travel times - a practice that streamlines work and deters strikes on joint projects, unions say. Since it involves collective bargaining, it would be banned under Michigan's new law.

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Aug 15, 2011

Obama pressing Congress to create infrastructure bank

President Barack Obama is pressing Congress to create a new "infrastructure bank" to finance highway and rail construction, create jobs and jump-start the stalled economy, but the proposal faces hurdles on Capitol Hill.

White House officials have described the bank as a new government entity that would make loans to support public-works projects of regional and national significance with private funding. That includes interstate highways, rail lines linking Midwest farmers to West Coast ports, and equipment for planes to link up to a new satellite-based air-traffic-control network.

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Aug 15, 2011

Romney strongly against unions

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) has incorporated vocal criticism of organized labor into his stump speeches, making it a central component of his presidential campaign.

Romney seems to have made unions — traditionally a bugaboo of many conservatives — a focal point of his jabs, hitting labor groups more often than most of his fellow contenders for the Republican presidential nomination.

Twice this week, during campaign stops in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, Romney expressed unprompted support for so-called right-to-work laws, which allow workers to join a workplace without being forced to either join a union or pay its membership fees.

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Aug 14, 2011

Perry welcomed Chinese firm despite security concern

It was the kind of scene that Texas Gov. Rick Perry will point to often as he rolls out his presidential campaign: a ribbon-cutting ceremony just outside Dallas, launching a corporate headquarters, with hundreds of new jobs, and validating what he calls his “Texas miracle” of growth.

After a months-long courtship that included a trip to China, where he dined with the company’s chief executive, Perry announced that telecommunications firm Huawei Technologies would base its U.S. operations in Plano. In a video of that October 2010 event — now playing on YouTube, courtesy of the governor’s office — Perry praised the company’s “really strong worldwide reputation” and its chairman, Ren Zhengfei, whose straight talk he said reminded him fondly of West Texans.

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Aug 14, 2011

Stop Coddling the Super-Rich

OUR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.

While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors.

These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places.

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Aug 14, 2011

The Case for ‘Made in the USA’

We gotta grow some jobs, and that’s a fact, and we probably aren’t going to be able to do it with big ol’ jobs programs funded by the Federal Government, what with today’s politics and all, and that means if this Administration wants to stay in the jobs game they’re going to have to find some smaller and more creative ways to do it.

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Aug 12, 2011

House Dems Accuse Issa Of Shilling For 'Corporate Interests' With NLRB Subpoena

House Democrats accused Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on Friday of overstepping his bounds in subpoenaing documents from the quasi-independent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), as well as going to bat for "corporate interests" in his role as House oversight chairman.

On Sunday, Issa's office issued a subpoena to the labor board seeking documents relating to a highly publicized complaint issued against the Boeing Company by the agency's acting general counsel earlier this year. The complaint has put the future of a Boeing plant in South Carolina into limbo, and Republicans have repeatedly seized on it to attack the labor board and President Obama as anti-business job killers.

In a letter to Issa's office, Democratic Reps. Elijah E. Cummings (Md.), George Miller (Cal.), and John Conyers, Jr. (Mich.) urged Issa to drop the subpoena, accusing him of merely carrying out the wishes of Boeing in his fight with the labor board.

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Aug 11, 2011

VIDEO: Romney: Corporations Are People Too

At an Iowa State Fair appearance Thursday morning, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney responded to a heckler who was calling for increased taxes on corporations by summoning his inner John McCain. "Corporations are people, my friend," the GOP presidential candidate said.

Romney, who won the Ames Straw Poll in 2007 but is skipping it this year, spoke for about 20 minutes at the Des Moines Register's state fair soapbox. In line with conventional wisdom that the New Hampshire primary—which, unlike the Iowa caucuses, is widely regarded as a must-win for Romney—is more focused on fiscal policy than social issues, Romney spent the entire time focused on the economy.

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Aug 11, 2011

PA state GOP against state’s prevailing wage laws

Southampton (Franklin) Supervisors joined with forces with other area municipalities Tuesday morning when they approved a resolution opposing the use of prevailing wage regulations in municipal projects.

Supervisor Sam Cressler says passage of the resolution cements the township’s support for an initiative to eliminate or amend state laws that demand payment of prevailing wages for local projects.

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Aug 10, 2011

America’s debt is not its biggest problem

For a few days there it seemed like President Obama was the master of the bond market. This is a Triple-A nation, he intoned on Monday, and always will be a Triple-A nation no matter what some rating agency says. As if in applause, Treasury bonds rallied furiously in price and yields sunk to cyclical lows. Unfortunately, what they were applauding was the slow growth and perhaps recessionary future that an AA-plus nation faces with too much debt and too little fiscal flexibility to increase demand.

It is critical for politicians and investors alike to distinguish between cause and effect, disease and symptom. Washington has been operating the past few months under the assumption that the United States and our euro-zone economic trading partners are experiencing a debt crisis that must be resolved by exorcising excessive spending in the near term. To Republicans, and even many co-opted Democrats, the debate starts with spending cuts and how much must be done to appease voters and the markets, both now and in November, when the “Gang of Twelve” committee that resulted from the debt-ceiling deal potentially follows through with its mandate.

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Aug 9, 2011

Analysis: For unions, state votes may point way for 2012

(Reuters) - Labor unions and their Republican opponents are pouring record amounts of cash into state ballot fights over workers' rights this year that could shape the political agenda in the 2012 election.

The contests in Wisconsin and Ohio -- both crucial "swing" states expected to be decided by slim margins when Democratic President Barack Obama runs for re-election next year -- pit newly elected Republican governors and state legislators against traditionally Democratic labor groups.

Both are seen as tests of union strength and Republican staying power after big Republican victories in 2010 state elections. The tens of millions of dollars being spent -- much of it coming from outside the two states -- are making them among the most expensive state votes ever.

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Aug 8, 2011

Judge OKs project labor agreements

A federal judge late last week blessed agreements between the city and building-trade unions that were designed to save $300 million on public construction projects over four years.

Judge Robert Patterson Jr.'s Aug. 4 decision came in response to a suit filed by the Building Industry Electrical Contractors Association and the United Electrical Contractors Association, which had alleged that the project labor agreements violate the National Labor Relations Act.

The plaintiffs argued that the agreements “constitute an impermissible attempt to regulate labor relations in the construction industry” and also violate state competitive bidding statutes.

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Aug 7, 2011

Obama: Creating jobs must be Washington’s top priority

Marking the end of a tumultuous week for Washington and Wall Street, President Barack Obama used his weekly address to urge Congress to focus all of its attention on job creation as soon as it reconvenes in September.

In remarks recorded before the U.S. government saw its credit rating lowered for the first time, Obama called the deficit-reduction agreement Congress passed this week an important step for the country’s long-term economic outlook.

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Aug 5, 2011

Obama Pushes Jobs Agenda: Plan to Aid Veterans Comes on Heels of Better-Than-Expected Employment Report

President Barack Obama said Friday he is committed to reviving the U.S. economy and Americans' job prospects, as the White House struggles with market turmoil, slow job growth and a divided Congress focused on reducing the deficit.

"My concern right now—my singular focus—is the American people. Getting the unemployed back on the job, lifting their wages. Rebuilding that sense of security the middle class has felt slipping away for years," Mr. Obama said Friday as he announced a plan to spur hiring of veterans, who face particular challenges finding work.

The plan would offer tax credits for companies that hire veterans as well as enhanced training for those leaving the military.

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Aug 4, 2011

Obama: FAA deal is a win for workers

President Obama hailed today's congressional agreement that revives funding for the Federal Aviation Administration.

"I'm pleased that leaders in Congress are working together to break the impasse involving the FAA so that tens of thousands of construction workers and others can go back to work," Obama said in a statement.

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Aug 4, 2011

Baird to push pipelines and perimeter during meeting with Hillary Clinton

There is nothing exceptional in the fact Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is headed to Washington today to visit to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. What is exceptional is that no one seems to want to talk about it.

“Minister Baird looks forward to discussing a number of important initiatives of mutual interest,” was all spokesman Chris Day offered.

One issue sure to come up is the State Department’s upcoming ruling on the TransCanada Keystone XL crude oil pipeline that would link central Alberta with the Gulf of Mexico. The House of Representatives voted in late July to force the State Department to make a decision by Nov. 1.

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Aug 3, 2011

Obama: 'The future is going to be determined' by the 2012 election

The 2012 presidential election could be more important than the 2008 election, President Obama warned voters at a series of campaign stops in his hometown of Chicago on Wednesday.

Obama, speaking during a teleconference with supporters ahead of a pair of Democratic National Committee fundraisers in Chicago, said that the next election "in some ways may be more important than the last one."

"The future is going to be determined by this election," Obama said.

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Aug 3, 2011

Nancy Pelosi slams GOP on job creation in column

Now that the debt ceiling has been raised, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says it's time for Congress to focus on creating jobs -- and she slams House Republicans while she's doing so.

In a column for USA TODAY, the Democratic leader writes that the new bipartisan "super" committee created under the newly signed debt-ceiling law should focus on ways to create jobs and grow the economy as it tries to find ways to reduce the deficit.

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Aug 3, 2011

Americans For Prosperity Accused Of Voter Suppression In Wisconsin Recall Elections

Americans for Prosperity, the conservative advocacy group backed by billionaires Charles and David Koch, has been accused of attempting to suppress Democratic voter turnout in the Wisconsin Senate recall elections.

Patch.com reported that Charles Shultz, a Democrat who lives in the 10th Senate District, received an absentee ballot application form last week from AFP that contained incorrect information on it. The form instructed him to mail it back to the wrong location by Aug. 11 -- two days after the recall election in his district between Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R) and Shelly Moore (D) is set to take place, on Aug. 9.

Politico obtained a copy of the AFP mailer, which was also distributed to voters in the 2nd District.

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Aug 3, 2011

Chamber threatens suit over union rules

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is likely to sue the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) if it finalizes a set of proposed rule changes that would hasten union elections.

A senior official with the business group told reporters at the National Press Club on Wednesday that the Chamber has serious problems with the proposed rules and will seek a court injunction if they are not changed. That could stall the implementation of the new rules, if not overturn them in court.

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