JOBS AND UNEMPLOYMENT
“The question we must ask today, on the 78th anniversary of the founding of the Works Progress Administration is: Why isn’t there the political will to take dramatic steps to address today’s jobs emergency?” — National Memo 4/8/13
Michigan Democrats introduce bill to increase minimum wage: “Michigan workers were dealt a staggering blow last year when Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed a so-called “right to work” law to gut unions. Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation on Friday that may help combat the negative effects of that law by raising the minimum wage from $7.40 to $10 an hour. Minimum wage in the state has not been raised since 2008.” — Think Progress 4/12/13
House GOP bill could take away worker’s overtime pay: “On Thursday morning, the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing regarding the innocuously titled Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013, which would allow workers to choose between receiving overtime pay or additional time off in exchange for extra hours on the job. While supporters of the legislation say it would give employees the freedom to decide on their own how to use their overtime, critics argue that the power would really be in the hands of the boss.
“This legislation is based on smoke and mirrors,” said National Partnership for Women and Families senior adviser Judith Lichtman in her testimony before the committee. “It pretends to offer the time off people need, when they need it, but in fact, it is a pay cut for workers without any attendant guarantee of time.” — Crooks and Liars 4/11/13
Progressives fight Obama on Social Security cuts: “For progressive Democrats in Congress, a fight with President Obama over the inclusion of cuts to Social Security in his budget proposal may be just a warm-up for the real looming battle: the 2014 midterms.
“Defending the entitlement program has long been a pillar of the Democratic Party, and it’s one that lawmakers say they cannot ignore. As a bonus, it helps Democrats draw a stark difference with the GOP ahead of the midterms—if only they can convince the president to drop the proposal first.” — National Journal 4/10/13
Sequestration affecting Native American programs: ““Sequester” is a bad word in Washington these days. Although Congress itself approved this concept, nearly all members of Congress seem to want to deny responsibility for it. Lots of bills have been introduced either to avoid sequester or to modify its effects on certain programs. Nothing has passed.
“Sequester is in effect now, and nearly all federal programs will begin feeling its effects for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2013 (which ends September 30). More funding cuts loom in Fiscal Year 2014 if both houses of Congress can’t agree on some other way to bring federal spending in line with revenues.
“What does this mean for Indian Country?” — Friends Committee On National Legislation – March 2013
“But here’s what it means when it comes to housing: up to 140,000 fewer low-income families receiving housing vouchers, more children exposed to lead paint, higher rent for people who can’t afford it and a rise in homelessness.
“These are among the human costs of sequestration noted in a new paper by Doug Rice, senior policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, who has worked on housing policy for ten years.” — The Nation 4/5/13