The U.S. House of Representatives on a vote of 256-167 (proceeding under the TARGET Act) has approved a $1.3 trillion spending bill to avert a government shutdown and to fund federal agencies through Sept. 30, sending the measure over to the Senate ahead of a midnight Friday deadline.
Arizona Delegation: YES McSally, O’Halleran, Sinema; NO Biggs, Gallego, Gosar, Grijalva, Schweikert.
The Senate is expected to vote late on Thursday or Friday, before current government funding expires at midnight on Friday. There could still be another brief Aqua Buddha shutdown from Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) desperately seeking attention.
You can read the massive 2,232-page, $1.3 trillion spending bill to search for what is hidden in it.
Here are a few highlights of what is (and is not) in the spending bill compiled from several sources including the Washington Post, Politico, and Vox.com.
Defense spending generally favored by Republicans is set to rise $80 billion over previously authorized budget sequester levels, including a 2.4 percent pay raise for military personnel and $144 billion for Pentagon hardware.
Domestic spending generally favored by Democrats is set to rise by $63 billion over previously authorized budget sequester levels, including increases in funding for infrastructure, medical research, veterans programs and efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. Civilian federal employees get a 1.9 percent pay raise.
Posted in Abortion, Arizona Congressional Delegation, AZBlueMeanie, Budgets, Congress, Economics, Education, Election Integrity, Gun Policies, Healthcare, Housing, Immigration, Labor, Legislation, Mexico Border, Military, Party Politics, Taxes, Transportation
Tagged DACA, government shutdown, opioid epidemic, Planned Parenthood
Steve Benen has the February jobs report. Job growth soars in February, exceeding expectations:
Headed into this morning, most economic observers expected the new jobs report to show steady growth, with roughly 200,000 new jobs. As it turns out, the projections weren’t nearly optimistic enough.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that the economy added 313,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate held steady at 4.1%, which is very low.
Just as encouraging, the revisions for the previous two months – December 2017 and January 2018 – were both up significantly, pointing to an additional 54,000 previously unreported jobs.
Before Donald Trump starts tweeting that these are record-breaking numbers, let’s note that while this is certainly the strongest report of his presidency, the nation topped 300,000 monthly jobs seven times in the Obama era: April 2011, January 2012, April 2014, June 2014, May 2015, and October 2015.
Also keep an eye on the Federal Reserve’s reaction to the new data. If the markets start to drop today, it’s probably because of fears of rising interest rates.
The first jobs report of 2018 looks an awful lot like the jobs reports from the last several years. Steve Benen has the January jobs report, Job growth stays on course as 2018 gets underway:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that the economy added 200,000 jobs in January, up a bit from December’s totals. The unemployment rate held steady at 4.1%, which is very low.
Perhaps the most notable development in the report was the increase in hourly wage growth. Expect a spirited debate over the possible explanations for this, including the inevitable result of low unemployment, the Republican tax cuts, and the minimum-wage hikes that recently kicked in across much of the country.
Also note, once a year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes revised month-to-month job data for the previous year, and that’s reflected in today’s report. We now know that in 2017, the U.S. economy generated 2.17 million jobs – which is a pretty healthy number, though it’s lower than what Americans have seen in recent years.
The economy added 2.3 million in 2013, 2.99 million in 2014, 2.71 million in 2015, and 2.24 million in 2016, making 2017 the worst for job growth since 2012, when the economy added 2.17 million jobs.
A House investigation finally confirmed yesterday that there is “credible evidence” Republican Rep. Don “Tequila” Shooter violated a sexual harassment policy and created a hostile working environment at the Capitol. Well no shit.
The Arizona Capitol Times reports, Rep. Shooter sexually harassed women, created hostile work environment, investigator finds:
A House investigation confirmed today that there is “credible evidence” Republican Rep. Don Shooter violated a sexual harassment policy and created a hostile working environment at the Capitol.
After the allegations against Shooter surfaced, House Speaker J.D. Mesnard suspended Shooter from his powerful position as the chairman of the House Appropriations committee.
Mesnard said today Shooter will be permanently removed from all committee assignments immediately. Mesnard also said he will seek to censure Shooter for his behavior.
Excuse me? I’m sorry, but the remedy here is one of only two options: Rep. Shooter can either voluntarily resign his seat, or the House should vote for expulsion of a member. A censure is merely a slap on the wrist with no serious consequences.
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, AZBlueMeanie, Civil Rights, Constitution, Ethics, Governor, IOKIYAR, Labor, Party Politics, Scandals
Tagged Arizona Civil Rights Act, Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination, hostile work environment, sexual harassment