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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Executive Order to Promote Pay Equality for Women

President Obama is expected to sign an executive order on Tuesday that would prevent federal contractors from retaliating against employees who exchange information about their salaries.

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NPP Analyzes “Competing Visions” for America

Earlier this week, National Priorities Project (NPP) released its annual analysis of the budget proposals put forward by the president, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and the House Budget Committee, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

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New Farm Bill Threatens Agricultural Sustainability

As global warming continues to threaten agricultural yields and food security, Congress is missing an opportunity to use agricultural subsidies as investments in improving sustainability. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2012 was the hottest year ever in the USA since record keeping began in 1895, surpassing the previous high by a full degree Fahrenheit.

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