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House Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Say 'Eliminate Sequester'

Photo courtesy of the House Progressive Caucus.

Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs, released a statement yesterday that there is one simple way we can deal with the upcoming Republican-manufactured faux budget crisis designed to extract painful benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid: eliminate it. 

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Supreme Court to Hear Arguments to Overturn Vital Part of Voting Rights Act

Photo from AFL-CIO's My Vote, My Right campaign in Philadelphia, Pa.

A new voter ID law threatened to disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters who are mostly people of color in South Carolina last year. Florida officials tried to curtail early voting that could have kept African Americans and others from the polls. Texas went for a twofer in voter suppression with a restrictive voter ID bill and a redistricting plan that put the voting rights of millions of African Americans and Latinos at risk.

Thanks to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, the federal government was able to step in and preserve the people’s right to vote. But now the same forces behind the nationwide voter suppression effort are looking to the U.S. Supreme Court to repeal Section 5 and arguments begin Wednesday.

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Day of the Fallen: Workers Defense Project Rally and March in Texas

Photo courtesy of the Workers Defense Project.

Twice a year, the Workers Defense Project (WDP) in Austin, Texas, celebrates the Day of the Fallen through an action march and rally. On Wednesday, Feb. 27, more than 600 community supporters, activists, advocates and construction workers are expected to attend and join in the call for good, safe jobs for Texas construction workers. The WDP and community allies will meet at the state Capitol in Austin and show elected officials why people working in construction deserve more than low pay and few benefits.

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In the States Roundup for Feb. 26

Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore

Here's a look at some of the key battles in the states over the past week.

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McDonnell, Scott Move the Right Way on Medicaid

Photo courtesy of the Alliance for Retired Americans.

McDonnell, Scott Move the Right Way on Medicaid is a cross-post from Working America's Main Street blog

Over the past week, we’ve had a big and welcome surprise. Two of the loudest opponents to ensuring more people get health care coverage through Medicaid have been Virginia’s Gov. Bob McDonnell and Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott. Now, both have moved—grudgingly—in the direction of accepting the Medicaid funds allocated to states.

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Help USW Save Hawaiian Jobs

Photo courtesy of United Steelworkers.

You can help save more than 250 good, family-sustaining United Steelworkers (USW) refinery jobs, along with more than 2,000 other related jobs, by signing a USW petition urging state and local officials to work with Tesoro Corp. to find a buyer for its Kapolei, Hawaii, refinery.

The company announced earlier this year that it planned to close the refinery in Oahu, where the USW represents some 250 production and maintenance workers. Click here to sign the petition.

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Granite State's Repeal of Minimum Wage Not Set in Stone, Time to Restore and Boost

Wisconsin Jobs Now photo

If New Hampshire’s lawmakers are “serious about encouraging New Hampshire's economic development, they will consider re-establishing the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation,” writes New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie in a column on SeaCoastOnline, a website for several state newspapers. 

In 2011, Republican legislators repealed the state’s minimum wage law. Rep. Carol McGuire (R) went so far as to suggest that there should be no wage floor at all and if an employer wanted to pay $5 an hour that was just fine with her.

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Union Members @Work: Action

Union Members @Work: Action

Today, as part of the AFL-CIO’s weeklong launch of @Work, we are featuring “Action,” one of the seven categories featured on the site.

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Biggest Driver of Income Inequality? Income from Capital Gains and Dividends

Chart courtesy of Mother Jones.

A new, non-partisan study by Thomas Hungerford of the non-partisan Congressional Research Service confirms that the explosion of income inequality over the past 15 years is fueled by rapidly rising income from capital gains and dividends. 

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Good Trade Policy: Three 'Thought Experiments'

The United States and 10 other countries are negotiating our next big trade agreement, called Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. It's time to re-examine what works and what doesn't work.

Imagine a thought experiment, where we put environmentalists in each country in charge of negotiating the next trade agreement. Preposterous! I know. Stick with me. This is a thought experiment.

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