Congress

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Finding common ground

MSR Editorial

Standing up for the middle class in new Congress

I’m grateful to the people of Minnesota for giving me the chance to serve a second term as senator. And I’m ready to keep fighting for middle-class families and for families aspiring to be in the middle class. Republicans now control the Senate majority, and while serving in the minority will be a new experience for me, my job will remain the same: working hard for Minnesota. And just as I worked across the aisle during my first term when Democrats held the majority, I’ll look for areas of agreement with my Republican colleagues. For example, both sides agree we need to cut wasteful spending so we can fund important priorities like education and research and development without running up the deficit. Continue Reading →

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President Obama visits St. Paul

 

 

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer

President Barack Obama, in St. Paul on Wednesday, reiterated his vow he made earlier in his State of the Union address in January that he will take action when needed if Congress won’t. “I’m just going to do what I can…” proclaimed Obama during a nearly 20-minute speech to an enthusiastic overflowing audience at the Union Depot in downtown St. Paul. Continue Reading →

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Nearly five million Black households hit by food stamp cuts

By Frederick H. Lowe

Contributing Writer

 

Approximately 4.7 million African American households will see their monthly food stamp allotment dramatically reduced beginning this month. Bread for the World, a non-partisan, Christian citizens’ movement in the United States to end hunger, determined the number of Black households that would  be affected by cuts in food stamps with United States Department of Agriculture data. In 2010, Congress voted to cut $11 billion from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs or SNAP, and the first of three fiscal years of cuts begin this week. During the first fiscal year of the cut, which ends Sept. 30, 2014, $5 billion will be sliced from the program. Continue Reading →

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Fiscal cliff most threatening for Blacks, other communities of color

 
Effects would add more hurt to Great Recession’s impact 
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Low- and moderate-income people will immediately be adversely affected if the country plunges over “the fiscal cliff” at the beginning of the year, predicts a former Obama administration member. Automatic tax hikes and spending cuts will take place unless Congress and the White House reach an agreement by December 31. Last week, on a New America Media-scheduled teleconference with reporters, including the MSR, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Senior Fellow Jared Bernstein said that “low-income people will feel [it] right away if we go over the fiscal cliff” on January 1.      

“Current conditions actually are very tough on low-income people,” said Bernstein. “Fifteen percent of the population are in poverty, and if you look at folk who are disproportionately low-income, African American poverty is closer to 28 percent [and] Hispanics at 25 percent. Continue Reading →

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A post-election mobilization agenda

 

 

 

 

 

By Julianne Malveaux

Guest Commentator

 

Before the president takes the oath of office for a second time, African Americans should mobilize around these issues:

 

Sequestration

Unless the Democrats and Republicans can cut a deal during the lame-duck session of Congress, our budget will be cut automatically. While House Speaker John Boehner has softened his tone just a bit and indicated his willingness to compromise, he still has to herd his Tea Party colleagues into also agreeing on ways to avoid sequestration. The notion of cutting expenditures at a time of slow economic growth makes no sense. Neither does sequestration, a desperate move to avoid a compromise. What do we need to address the deficit? Continue Reading →

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A historical presidential election

This nation’s voters face a historic decision November 6, 2012: choosing between two Harvard graduates, both good, admirable family men, each with similar visions but clear differences on how to meet them. Given the improvement trend in the economy, does America change horses midstream and risk reversing improvement? Will Americans allow President Obama to complete his mission to help America recover economically and spiritually? In six days, the final votes will determine our future course. I urge America to set aside the issue of race and appreciate the character of President Obama as well as the content of his policy proposals. Continue Reading →

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