Among the many great benefits of the common-sense health reform
package we passed last month is a guarantee that finally in America,
being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition. As we bring an end
to discriminatory policies like gender rating and begin to ensure
coverage for maternity, preventive, and wellness care, our health
legislation at long last puts our mothers' and sisters' and daughters'
health care on equal footing with our fathers' and brothers' and sons'.
It is time, now, with your help, to do the same for women's earnings.
We showed with health reform that we can still accomplish great things
in Congress, even if our party is forced to go it alone. I cannot think
of a better way to follow this historic success than finally signing
the Paycheck Fairness Act into law. Sign the petition today and tell my colleagues in the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.
For more than 200 years the
United States Postal Service has connected Americans, facilitated
commerce and provided good paying jobs for millions of Americans. As a
result of postal workers' high level of service, the Postal Service has
become one of the most trusted organizations in America. But the Postal
Service's tradition of service is under more pressure than ever before
due to a financial crisis jeopardizing its viability for years to come.
In the last three years alone, mail volume has fallen off a cliff,
from 213 billion pieces in 2006 to 177 billion pieces in 2009, driving
down Postal Service revenues at a time when their health care and
pension obligations are increasing. In response to these problems, the
Postal Service has cut jobs through attrition and put many cost saving
measures into place to help address the issue. Unfortunately, a
comprehensive strategy or business model that puts the Postal Service
on a sustainable path has yet to be implemented.
To get to the bottom of this issue, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing last week
to examine the status of the Postal Service, and evaluate recent
reports from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Postal
Service Inspector General and the Postal Service on short and long-term
strategies for the financial viability and stability of the USPS.
Do I have to respond to the 2010 census?
Yes, participation in the 2010 census is vital and required by law.
By being counted, you're helping your community secure the resources and representation it needs and deserves. Accurate data reflecting changes in your community are crucial in deciding how almost $450 billion in federal funding per year is allocated for projects like new hospitals, roads, job training centers, and schools. That's more than $4 trillion over a 10-year period. Census data also determine apportionment in the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislatures.
Today the Department of Health and Human Services Office of
the Inspector General released a new report on the Food and Drug
Administration’s inspections of domestic food facilities. Among its
findings, the report identifies significant weaknesses in FDA’s inspections
of food facilities, including the fact that FDA inspects less than a quarter of
food facilities each year, and that more than half of all food facilities have
gone five or more years without an FDA inspection.
The report shows what we have feared for too long: that that
our domestic food facilities are not being adequately inspected and FDA needs
additional authorities to keep the food on our tables safe. This is
unacceptable in our modern society and an important reminder that we must
provide FDA with the needed tools to properly inspect food facilities and
effectively react to problems in order to ensure the safety of the food
American families eat. Quite simply, picking up food at the grocery store
should not be a health risk.
At a time when party line bickering seems to have reached an all time high,
efforts to pass comprehensive food safety legislation have risen above
partisanship. In fact, our food safety bill passed out of the Senate HELP
Committee without a single ‘no’ vote and a similar bill passed in
the House with strong bipartisan support. This legislation is long
overdue and it is my hope that we can soon pass the FDA Food Modernization
Act of 2009 on the Senate floor in order to get the bill reconciled with
the House and on the President’s desk to be signed into law.
The author is chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.
I’m worried about this year’s census.
I’m not worried about ACORN rigging the count – we already succeeded in kicking them out of the census. I’m not worried about the President’s attempt to run the census out of the White House – we beat that power grab back last year. I’m not even worried about privacy – this year’s 10-question census form is the shortest in memory.
No, what worries me is blatant misinformation coming from otherwise well-meaning conservatives. They are trying to do the right thing, but instead they are helping big government liberals by discouraging fellow conservatives from filling out their census forms.
America and China share a terrible
delusion. They are in denial about currency manipulation. Both officially
state that China is not devaluing its currency.
In mid-March, Chinese Prime
Minister Wen Jiabao flatly denied that China deliberately suppresses
the value of its currency against the dollar, a practice that decreases
the price of its exports and increases the cost of America goods imported
into China. Similarly, the U.S. Treasury Department, which is required
by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 to name foreign
currency manipulators in bi-annual reports, has not in the past decade and
a half called out
China -- including in the past two reports submitted during the Obama
China and America decline to
acknowledge what everyone else knows: China suppresses the value of
its currency to gain a trade advantage over America. The New York Times reported on the
practice in a story
published March 14 describing how currency manipulation has worked wonders
for Chinese industry while killing American manufacturing.
Tax cuts were the biggest individual component of the Recovery Act.
Even though only half of taxpayers have filed so far this year, tax
refunds are already up nearly 10% from last year due to the Recovery
As you file your 2009 income taxes, you may qualify for a
series of new tax cuts that were established through the Recovery Act.
You could, for example, save money for attending college, making
energy-saving home improvements, purchasing a home for the first time,
or buying a new car.
Here are some of the new tax credits available through the Recovery Act that you may be eligible for:
March 16, 2010, 02:37 pm
By Erika Wood, attorney, and Garima Malhotra, research associate, at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.
Today Congress is listening to 4 million silenced Americans.
Leaders of the House Judiciary Committee are holding a hearing on the
Democracy Restoration Act, legislation
that seeks to restore the right to vote to people with a criminal
records who are out of prison, living in the community.
This bill would eliminate the last blanket barrier to the
franchise, and reverse decade of discrimination create by laws firmly
rooted in our country’s Jim Crow history.
5.3 million American
citizens are denied the right to vote because of a criminal conviction
in their past. Four million are people who are out of prison, living in
the community. States vary on whether, when and how they restore voting rights to people with criminal conviction, but all told
35 states continue to disenfranchise people who are out of prison, often for decades and sometimes for life.
disenfranchisement laws trace directly back to Jim Crow and were part
of a concerted effort to maintain white control over access to the
polls. Enacted alongside poll taxes and literacy tests, criminal
disenfranchisement laws were part of a larger backlash against the
adoption of the Reconstruction Amendments. At the same time states
enacted these disenfranchisement provisions, they began to expand the
criminal codes to punish offense they believed freed slaves were most
likely to commit. The result: suppressed African-American political
power for decades.
Today, 13% of African-American men in our country have lost the right to vote.