The Infrastructure Bank - An Economic Elixir?

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With Congress returning this week, 90 Second Summaries kicks back into gear for the fall. All eyes will be on President Obama as he delivers an address Thursday evening to a joint session of Congress. Mr. Obama is expected to propose a infrastructure-related program to get the economy moving again, and an infrastructure bank is a prime candidate for inclusion in this package.

Last season, we covered a prominent infrastructure bank bill by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT3) and released an interview with the Congresswoman alongside it. Rep. DeLauro has reintroduced her proposal for the 112th Congress, so we are updating this episode to account for recent developments, and we'll be posting highlights of the interview on Thursday.

Here's the episode:

As always, the one-pager with more details is below the fold.

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ACTION: Thank CT House Dems For FISA Vote

(Cross-posted from Daily Kos.)

As DavidNYC noted in his Orange-to-Blue endorsement post of Jim Himes yesterday, Chris Shays has a history of pretending to be a "moderate" while voting again and again for Bush's policies.

This morning, Shays joined many in both parties in Congress by standing with Bush again on the FISA "compromise".

In fact, Chris Shays has been busy doing his best impersonation of a Blue Dog all week, voting for the war supplemental without timelines that passed yesterday before voting for the for the disastrous FISA bill that passed today.

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Largest Title X Increase in 35 Years

Back in July I posted about the inclusion of money for family planning and pregnancy prevention into the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill.  I wasn't at all happy with how the measure was framed as a way to reduce abortions, but the possibility of a significant increase for Title X was certainly something to cheer about.

The appropriations bill has now passed both the House and Senate and it includes $310 million for Title X.

Emily Douglas of RH Reality Check has the details:

It's all bad news, all the time, you say? Well, that's not true on Fridays! Last night, the House of Representatives passed the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill -- which, as suggested by its title, provides funding for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education -- by a vote of 274-141.
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It turns out that there is something to cheer about this bill after all. In a win for reproductive health care, the appropriations bill includes a $27.8 million funding increase for important Title X family planning dollars, bringing the total funding for Title X to $310.9 million. This is the largest increase in Title X funding in 35 years.

Bush is expected to veto the appropriations bill over discretionary spending, and unfortunately there aren't enough votes to override.      

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Framing Choice

EDITED: Tim Ryan is actually a Democrat. My apologies for the error.

Big news on the family planning front today.  Representatives Rosa Delauro (D-CT) and Tim Ryan (D-OH) got the House to include $647 million for family planning and pregnancy prevention into the Appropriations bill.  The measure is titled: "Reducing the Need for Abortions Initiative." I hate, hate, hate how this is being framed but I can't help being excited at how the money will be spent.  It's the biggest shift on this front since Bush came to power.

Here are the changes specific to contraception from Tim Ryan's press release:


Preventive provisions:

Access to contraceptive information and services is an important element of preventing pregnancy. In addition to several funding increases for programs that increase access to contraceptives, the bill also contains provisions that seek to reduce teen pregnancy

-The first increase in more than 6 years for the Title X  family planning program,

-Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grants - a new Program at CDC - to support medically accurate, age-appropriate approaches to preventing teen pregnancies that include information about both abstinence and contraception, including the dissemination of science-based tools and strategies to prevent HIV, STD, and teen pregnancy.  

21 Republicans crossed party lines to vote in favor of the new funding.  Now they can go back to their districts and tell constituents that they voted for legislation that will help "reduce abortions." But the real news here is the shift on sex ed and funding for Title X.  Both programs have been nearly choked to death under the Bush administration.  This is a small step in the right direction.

Meanwhile anti-choicers still aren't happy...

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Compete America opposes $15,000 scholarship & Pascrell Defends the American Dream!

Cross posted at Daily Kos

Yesterday Senator Bernie Sanders managed to get an amendment accepted that takes a 5,000 fee, a minuscule drop in the bucket of total labor arbitrage profits from using cheap labor, to fund scholarships for Americans to go to college.

Yet, Corporations, who claim we need to invest in America whine that they shouldn't have to give back to America while they ship our jobs offshore.      

Compete America, a Cheap Labor lobbyist group, blasted the Sanders amendment claiming it is:

an outrageous and onerous tax increase on our nation's most innovative companies, and could make the H-1B program cost-prohibitive, especially for smaller businesses.

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Diaries

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