The Truth in Settlements Act: A Good First Step toward Ending the Tax Deduction for Corporate Fines and Settlements

When corporations commit fraud or have an accident that threatens human health or damages the environment, they pay a fine or settlement to resolve legal claims. These costs can run into the billions of dollars. In general, out-of-court settlements paid to a government for punitive damages (those designed to punish corporations for lax business practices that cause public harm) cannot be deducted from a firm’s taxes.

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People Use Government to Stay Connected: The Post Office

A year before the Declaration of Independence was signed; the Continental Congress passed a bill establishing the national post office. Ever since, the post office has played a vital role in facilitating the flow of ideas and goods across our far-flung land. In its quest for ever quicker and more efficient deliveries, the post office has been an early supporter of every new transportation innovation in our country’s history.

Mail Moves Slowly in the Colonies

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: A Public Solution for Widespread Individual Problems

The Great Recession that started in 2007 wiped out $7 trillion of wealth in America and led to 4.5 million families losing their homes to foreclosure. As people picked up the pieces from the meltdown, the abuses within the financial services industry became increasingly clear. An angry public demanded action.

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We Can Fix This. We've Done It Before. Re-imagining Government

When I talk to people who work in Washington, DC these days, I'm struck by the resignation. The political/policy professionals with whom I interact regularly are discouraged by the political posturing that undermines serious efforts at addressing national needs. They've counted noses and can tell me why nothing can happen in the next month, before November, before the end of the year, before the next presidential election. They tell us why we should give up. The fatigue is palpable, heavy, and contagious.

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Re-Imagining Government By "the People": Women's Suffrage

One hundred and sixty-six years ago, 300 women and a few men gathered in the small, upstate New York town of Seneca Falls at the first convention to discuss and advocate for women’s’ rights. At the close of the two-day event, 100 of those gathered signed a “Declaration of Sentiments” that included a resolution supporting women’s right to vote.

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Corporate Inversions: A “Get Out of Taxes Free” Card

If you don’t pay your taxes in America, you risk heavy fines or even jail time. That is, unless you are a major, profitable corporation able to merge with a firm registered in a low-tax country.

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Highway Trust Fund Temporarily Saved, Unemployed Still Waiting on EUC

The House of Representatives has voted to approve a temporary extension of the National Highway Trust fund until May 2015 – the legislation will save hundreds of thousands of construction jobs, which would have been lost without the patch.

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Ethics Training for All Members of Congress

Reps. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Scott Rigell (R-VA) introduced legislation on July 14 to require all members of the House of Representatives to participate in annual ethics training.

The legislation would essentially extend the requirement – which already applies to all senators, Senate staff, and House staff – to all members of Congress.

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Congress's Latest Assault on the EPA

On July 9, Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) introduced H.R. 5034, the Stop the EPA Act of 2014. Incorporating the worst aspects of previous attempts to undermine the ability of federal agencies to address needed public protections, this bill would require a joint resolution of congressional approval for any standard developed by the U.S.

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Bipartisan Unemployment Benefits Bills in Both Houses

Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Dean Heller (R-NV) have introduced a bill (S. 2532) in the Senate to extend benefits for the long-term unemployed for five months. Reps. Dan Kildee (D-MI) and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) have introduced companion legislation (H.R. 4970) in the House of Representatives.

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