Unemployed Americans Kicked Out of Capitol, Forced to Share Their Stories Outside

Six hard-working Americans joined House Democrats gathered at the Capitol on Tuesday afternoon to share stories of their struggle to find employment in a rough job market. The event, which was scheduled to take place inside the Capitol as a hearing, was abruptly cancelled by House Republican leadership. This forced the unemployed workers and dozens of supporters to relocate the event at the last moment.

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Western Land Rights Enter Spotlight after Amateur Pundit’s Celebrity

Approximately 245 million acres of land in the United States is publicly managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Close to two-thirds of that land, 155 million acres, is used for livestock grazing, based on permits and leases issued by the BLM.

A small fee, as well as the current system of permits and leases, helps protect American land from overuse, overgrazing, pollution, and helps ensure its continued viability for future generations.

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The Soaring Cost of the Carried Interest Loophole: Hedge Fund Managers' Pay Rose 50 Percent Last Year

The 25 highest-paid hedge fund managers took home $21.15 billion last year, according to just-released numbers published by Institutional Investor’s Alpha magazine. David Tepper, founder of Appaloosa Management, topped the list for the second year in a row, earning $3.5 billion in 2013, up 59 percent over 2012. Four of those on Alpha’s “Rich List” took home more than $1 billion in 2013.

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Reimagining Government: Two States Address CEO Pay

One of the rites of spring is the annual publication of CEO pay data. Soaring stock markets last year fattened executive pay checks to levels not seen since before the 2008 financial collapse. The average large company CEO took home $10.5 million last year, up 13 percent from 2012, according to an analysis published by USA Today.

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Technically Speaking: Making Sense of Discharge Petitions, Cloture and Filibusters

Articles discussing extending unemployment insurance benefits and raising the minimum wage frequently toss around procedural terms.

How many signatures does a discharge petition have, and how many does it need? Why are all these “procedural” votes necessary before anything gets a final up-or-down vote? How does one filibuster? In civics text books, a filibuster seems to require a passionate, hours-long speech that brings all activity in the Senate to a screeching halt, so why doesn’t that seem to happen in practice?

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Emergency Unemployment Extension Expected to Take Back Seat to Tax Extenders

On Monday, the House recess ends, and representatives will be returning to Washington.

Before the recess, the Senate passed legislation to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program, supporting the retroactive extension of assistance to job-seekers who are struggling to find employment in a rough job market. In theory, representatives have spent the last two weeks in their home districts interacting with and getting feedback from their constituents, including on long-term unemployment insurance.

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Senate Mandates Private Tax Collectors, Despite Past Failures

On April 3, the Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved a package of tax breaks, heavily tilted to corporations that will cost the Treasury an estimated $85 billion this year. Most of these tax giveaways were part of a package known as “tax extenders” that expired at the end of last year.

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Government in Action: Eradicating Polio

In the early part of the 20th century, polio ravaged America. Caused by a communicable virus, polio can devastate the central nervous system and lead to paralysis that makes breathing and walking difficult. Many young victims spent long periods of time encased in metal tubes, known as iron lungs, which helped them to breathe. Others were consigned to leg braces to help them walk. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was America’s most famous polio patient.

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Information for Economic Opportunity: Ensuring Equal Pay through Transparency

Today is Equal Pay Day, the date representing how far into the new year the average woman would have to work in order to earn the same as the average man did in the previous year. In recognition, President Obama took executive actions and the Senate began work on a bill, all aimed at closing the pay gap and ensuring women earn equal pay for equal work. Each of these efforts is based on the same premise: that better access to information can expand economic opportunity.

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Emergency Unemployment Benefits Bill Passes the Senate, Increasing Pressure on the House

The Senate voted to extend the emergency unemployment compensation program yesterday evening in order to support more than 2 million unemployed Americans as they get back on their feet. (See how your senator voted here.)

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