In the News

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  • House of Representatives extends NSA warrantless surveillance program, a blow to privacy advocates
    Posted in In the News on January 11, 2018 | Preview rr
    Tags: National Security

    The House of Representatives has passed a bill extending the National Security Administration’s warrantless surveillance program for six years, rejecting a years-long effort from a bipartisan group of lawmakers to make changes that would protect the privacy of American citizens. The law allows the NSA to obtain the communications of foreigners from American companies like Google and AT&T without a warrant, even if data on American citizens is swept up in the process. The law now faces a vote in ... Read more

  • Rep. Suzan DelBene visits housing development
    Posted in In the News on January 4, 2018 | Preview rr

    MOUNT VERNON — U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene visited Wednesday the Summerlynd neighborhood, an affordable housing development that’s unique in Skagit County. The development on Summerlynd Lane in Mount Vernon has 11 affordable family homes. Seven were built by Skagit Habitat for Humanity, and four were built by the Home Trust of Skagit, which owns all of the land. Summerlynd is the only development in the county built under a home trust model, where homes are guaranteed to remain affordable for 99 ye... Read more

  • Inslee, Durkan to fight federal decision on marijuana enforcement
    Posted in In the News on January 4, 2018 | Preview rr

    Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is criticizing a Trump administration decision to rescind an Obama-era policy that paved the way for legalized marijuana to flourish in numerous states. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session's move would leave it to U.S. attorneys where pot is legal to decide whether to aggressively enforce federal marijuana law. Inslee said Thursday that would be a mistake. Inslee says the decision disregards Washington voters who approved the legalization of recreational pot in 2012. In... Read more

  • The Real Future of Work
    Posted in In the News on January 1, 2018 | Preview rr
    Tags: Jobs and the Economy

    In 2013, Diana Borland and 129 of her colleagues filed into an auditorium at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Borland had worked there for the past 13 years as a medical transcriptionist, typing up doctors’ audio recordings into written reports. The hospital occasionally held meetings in the auditorium, so it seemed like any other morning. The news she heard came as a shock: A UPMC representative stood in front of the group and told them their jobs were being outsourced to a contract... Read more

  • It's a done deal: Congress wraps up massive tax package
    Posted in In the News on December 20, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Tax Reform

    WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans delivered an epic overhaul of U.S. tax laws to President Donald Trump on Wednesday, bringing generous tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans while providing smaller cuts for middle- and low-income families. In a re-vote due to a last-minute hiccup, the House passed the massive $1.5 trillion tax package that affects everyone’s taxes but is dominated by breaks for business and higher earners. Democrats call the legislation a boon to the rich t... Read more

  • Editorial: Open internet now up to Congress, Legislature
    Posted in In the News on December 19, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Science and Technology

    When the decision came down in last week’s 3-2 vote by the Federal Communication Commission to dismantle the Open Internet rules that had been adopted by the FCC in 2015, no one noticed a change in online speeds or the cost of services. But the “net neutrality” protections are gone, or are nearly so. The government will no longer regulate high-speed internet services as a utility. Adopted in 2015 as the Open Internet rules, the regulations prohibited internet service providers from blocking lega... Read more

  • Washington's U.S. House delegation votes along party lines on Republican tax bill
    Posted in In the News on December 19, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Tax Reform

    Washington’s congressional delegation split predictably along partisan lines in Tuesday’s 227-203 vote to approve the Republican tax bill. Voting yes were all the state’s Republican representatives: Dave Reichert, R-Auburn; Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane; Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside; and Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Vancouver. Nationally, a dozen Republicans broke with the GOP to oppose the measure. No House Democrat voted for the bill, including all six from Washington state: Pramila Jayapal, D-Se... Read more

  • House approves Trump's massive tax overhaul, but last-minute glitch delays final passage
    Posted in In the News on December 19, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Tax Reform

    The GOP tax bill hit a procedural snag Tuesday. Democratic lawmakers say three provisions in the $1.5 trillion tax package violate Senate rules and will need to be amended or removed, before the upper chamber votes. The House will then need to re-vote on the measure, likely on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, the Republican led House passed the most significant overhaul of the tax code in three decades and the Senate was poised to follow suit, giving Republicans their first major legislative win a... Read more

  • Dem seeks to curb tax breaks for employee buyouts over sexual misconduct
    Posted in In the News on December 18, 2017 | Preview rr

    A House Democrat unveiled legislation on Monday that would prevent businesses from deducting the costs of buyouts for employees accused of sexual misconduct to lower the amount of taxes owed. Rep. Carolyn Maloney's (D-N.Y.) proposal would expand a provision tucked into the GOP's final tax reform legislation that comes amid the national reckoning over sexual harassment. Under the GOP tax overhaul set for votes in both the House and Senate this week, any settlement payments or attorney fees relate... Read more

  • Ballard Locks, federal infrastructure, deserve more funding
    Posted in In the News on December 17, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Environment, Budget and Fiscal Responsibility

    Washington lawmakers are right to press President Donald Trump’s administration to fund much needed maintenance and upgrades at the Ballard Locks in Seattle. In a letter sent Friday, a coalition of representatives urged Trump and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to fund the locks improvements in their 2018 and 2019 budgets. This work is needed to ensure that the Lake Washington Ship Canal’s linkage to Puget Sound continues to operate safely and reliably. The locks are among numerous public facil... Read more