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Showing blog posts tagged with sequestration

Senate Passes Lopsided House Budget, Unemployment Insurance Extension Still Up in the Air

Photo via Bernard Pollack

The U.S. Senate passed the House bipartisan budget agreement (64–36) last night, sending it to President Barack Obama, who has signaled he supports the package. 

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Republicans Rounding Up Hostages as Budget Deadlines Near

Photo via Ken Lund/Flickr

Congress is headed toward yet another manufactured budget crisis after House Republicans today passed legislation that AFL-CIO Government Affairs Director William Samuel says will provoke another government shutdown by making “ransom demands” that are “unacceptable” and “unrealistic."

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Seriously? Scoring Zero

The current tracking of Congress’ popularity shows that only 15% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing. Now, House Speaker John Boehner struck another tone deaf moment at a political fundraiser in Idaho when he warned that when Congress returns in September, he will lead Republicans in holding up the government’s business to pick a fight with President Obama over the nation’s debt ceiling. More than 11.5 million Americans are out actively looking for work, while the economy languishes with 2 million fewer jobs than at the end of 2007, more than five and a half years ago. Median family income remains thousands of dollars below the level it reached in 2007. And thousands of America's workers are staging strikes this week to raise their low-wage pay to something respectable. Americans want more jobs and a raise in pay now. How does a showdown on the integrity of the United States of America and paying its bills help address jobs and pay now? They don’t.

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The Puzzle of the Unemployment Rate

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its latest report on the job market on Aug. 2. It had some good news for African Americans: The black unemployment rate in July dipped to 12.6%, its lowest level since January 2009. The BLS also reported that since August 2012 the unemployment rate for adult black men (those older than 20) remains below its 14.4% level in January 2009 and was reported at 12.5% in July. More importantly, the share of black men holding jobs continues to rebound from its record low of 56.5% in 2011 to 59.2%, almost equal its level of 60.4% in January 2009. That was the good news.

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Congress Passes Bill to End FAA Furloughs

Photo courtesy Brian D Hawkins

The U.S. Senate passed a bill Thursday night to eliminate furloughs to air traffic controllers. Today, the House also passed the bill, which now goes on to the president for his signature. The furloughs caused thousands of flight delays—with some reaching three hours—and public outcry is significant.

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The Cost of European Austerity Measures: 10 Million Newly Jobless

U.S. lawmakers and policymakers who are pushing extreme austerity measures and spending cuts over job-creating investments as the magic path to economic stability should take a long hard look at what’s happened to the nations of the European Union (EU) that have imposed strict fiscal austerity policies.  Unemployment has soared, according to a new report on the EU labor market from the International Labor Organization (ILO).

There are more than 10 million more jobless people in Europe now than at the start of the crisis. There are now more than 26 million Europeans without jobs, with young and low-skilled workers being the hardest hit.

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The Consequences of Austerity Are Dire

Severe budget cuts (for example, the kind required by the sequester), also known as “austerity” policies—expected to be implemented in 119 countries across the globe in 2013—are the wrong solution to the world’s economic crisis, concludes a new paper released by the Initiative for Policy Dialogue and the South Centre.

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Trumka: Austerity Only Weakens the Economy

Trumka: Austerity Only Weakens the Economy

Calling sequestration “just a fancy word for a dumb idea,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the 750,000 job-killing, across-the-board budget cuts and other moves toward fiscal austerity will “further weaken the economy and cost jobs” and make even worse “the crisis of mass unemployment. Millions of Americans who want to work cannot find jobs.”

Writing in a special report in The Hill on jobs and the economy, Trumka says:

On some days, it seems like all of official Washington is racing to embrace the most destructive consensus since the Iraq war.

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Day of Action Calls for Repeal of ‘Cockamamy’ Sequester

Photo of an Arizona "Repeal Sequester" event.

In more than 100 events across the country Wednesday, working families rallied outside lawmakers’ offices, federal agencies, military bases and elsewhere to shine a spotlight on the impact of the sequester’s across-the-board cuts that will cost more than 750,000 jobs this year alone and to call for its repeal.

While most of the actions aimed at members of Congress were focused on Republicans who are using the sequester as leverage to get their way in Congress, in Beckley, W.Va., a group of more than 50 AFGE and other union members and community supporters received a shout out of support from Rep. Nick Rahall (D).

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Union Radio Show Spotlights Sequester as Working Families Call for Repeal

As part of  Wednesday’s national day of action to repeal the sequester, “Building Unions,” a weekly radio show from the Connecticut AFL-CIO and Greater Hartford Central Labor Council will discuss sequestration, its impact on working families and the drive to repeal the across-the-board budget cuts.

The show airs from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on WATR 1320 AM. Click on the “Listen Live” button to stream the show that will feature Connecticut AFL-CIO President John Olsen, labor council President Peggy Buchanan and members of AFGEAFT and the Machinists (IAM).

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