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Senate Fails to Renew Emergency Unemployment Aid

Senate Fails to Renew Emergency Unemployment Aid

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released this statement after a procedural vote on extending emergency unemployment insurance benefits failed in the Senate:

Today the Senate once again failed to approve an extension of emergency unemployment insurance, 40 days after the benefit was allowed to lapse. The bill fell short by one Republican vote. 

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Cory Booker Wins Special Senate Election in New Jersey

Cory Booker Wins Special Senate Election in New Jersey

In yesterday's special U.S. Senate election in New Jersey, Democrat Cory Booker soundly defeated his opponent Steve Lonegan and made history by becoming the state's first African American U.S. senator.

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Reid Moves Toward Votes on NLRB, Other Nominees

Senate votes on several of President Obama’s nominees to vital cabinet and agency positions, including Secretary of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) members, could come as soon as Monday. Republicans have blocked those and other nominations through Senate rules and filibuster threats.

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Reflecting on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

This week Americans will celebrate July 4th and America’s independence. It also will be a time when public ceremonies are held to swear in newly naturalized American citizens. That gives us a chance to reflect on comprehensive immigration reform and think about the economic implications. 

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Tell Reid It's Time to End the ‘Silent’ Filibuster

Tell Reid It's Time to End the ‘Silent’ Filibuster

It’s time to get the U.S. Senate back on track and end the gridlock of the “silent filibuster” and actually force filibustering senators to take the floor and talk if they want to block legislation. You can help.

While activists today deliver tens of thousands of letters to their senators on Capitol Hill urging them to stop the misuse and abuse of the Senate filibuster, you can, too, by calling 1-866-937-5062 and telling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) to publicly support strong rules reform by co-sponsoring Senate Resolution 4.

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Make the Call: The Shocking Truth About the U.S. Senate

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) is leading a campaign to change the current rules that govern the U.S. Senate that hurt the democratic process. 

CWA writes on its "Fix the Senate Now" site:

In the past, our nation was able to move forward on landmark legislation that put in place workers' rights, civil rights, retirement security for seniors and much more.

But today, obscure tactics—like the "silent" filibuster—allow individual senators to hold the nation's work hostage while cutting backroom deals. And the problem is getting worse.

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Cohen: We Need Senate Rules Reform

Illustration by DonkeyHotey/Flickr

This post originally appeared at The Huffington Post.

For several years now, the Communications Workers of America has been working with Fix the Senate Now, a broad coalition of democracy, community, women, faith-based and civil rights groups that are fed up with a Senate that functions more like Cicero's Senate of ancient Rome than a 21st century democracy. Despite being considered the world's model deliberative body, in reality it's a place where little gets done because of the abuse of the Senate rules. This isn't news.

Pick up the phone right now and urge your Senator to support Senate Rules Reform. Call 1-888-966-9836 or text RULESREFORM to 69866. 

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Trumka: Hawaii’s Inouye ‘Exemplified America’s Values’

Photo courtesy of Sen. Inouye's office.

Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), 88, who served the Aloha State in Congress for more than 50 years, died Monday in Bethesda, Md. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Inouye “was the person every American aspires to be.”

His courage under fire, visionary leadership and love for his country and his constituents are an inspiration for everyone. From a war hero to a United States senator, Sen. Inouye exemplified America’s values. He fought valiantly, broke down barriers and was a fierce advocate for what is right and good. Our nation lost an American hero yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

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Todd Akin—Let the Nonsense Tour Begin

Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin's "Common Sense" Nonsense tour, was greeted by activists yesterday.

Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin could have selected a better title for his campaign travels with Phyllis Schlafly and other prominent extreme conservatives than a “Common Sense” bus tour. A more appropriate title, according to Missouri activists, would be Akin’s Nonsense Tour. After all, what politician, other than Mitt Romney, has made so many statements recently that defy common sense? 

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Minimum Wage: Not Just for Kids

Minimum Wage: Not Just for Kids

As Congress considers raising the nation’s minimum wage, it’s a good time to point out that it’s not just for teens earning pocket money. At $7.25 an hour, the current minimum wage hasn’t been raised for three years. Proposals in both the House and Senate would increase the federal minimum wage to $9.80 by July 1, 2014.

A report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) points out that

87.9 percent of those affected nationally by increasing the federal minimum wage to $9.80 are 20 years of age and older. The share of those affected who are 20 or older varies by state, from a low of 77.1 percent in Massachusetts to a high of 92.4 percent in Florida (and 93.9 percent in the District of Columbia).

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