Politics Senate: Want to help the economy? Pass these conservation bills
Minimum wage increase imperiled in covid relief bill by Senate official’s ruling
The guidance from the parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, was communicated privately to key Senate offices and confirmed by aides in both parties. It could be a major setback for liberals hoping to use Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief bill as the vehicle for their long-sought goal of raising the federal minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 an hour. And it could create divisions in the party as some push Democratic leaders for dramatic action to get around the parliamentarian’s ruling. Democrats had been anxiously awaiting the decision, but their next steps are not clear. Liberals are already pressuring Senate Majority Leader Charles E.
With the new Congress two months into its term, lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle have found agreement on legislation to help conserve our public landscapes and aid our nation's economic recovery.
By a bipartisan vote, the House of Representatives last week passed the- a package of bills that would enhance access to our public lands and rivers, safeguard them and facilitate job creation.
These balanced conservation measures, which can play a role in sustaining local communities, were introduced in the last Congress, so they've already undergone much debate, revision and committee action in the Senate and House. The Pew Charitable Trusts thanks House members for their quick action and urges the Senate to do the same.
Confusion as Arizona Senate abruptly informs Maricopa County to hold transfer of materials for election audit
Arizona Senate Republicans are now telling Maricopa County elections officials to hold the transfer of elections materials for an independent audit, sowing confusion after a judge ruled their subpoenas for ballots and machines were enforceable. © Provided by Washington Examiner Following a monthslong legal fight over access to the November election results, Maricopa County Elections Department posted to Twitter on Tuesday a photo of dozens of boxes that appeared ready for transport. "To comply with the Senate’s subpoena, we’re readying all 2.1 million ballots to transfer to the Senate’s custody.
Among the measures in the package is theAct, which would safeguard roughly 400,000 acres of public lands - from the San Juan Mountains in Southwestern Colorado to the White River National Forest in the central mountains - and honor veterans by creating the first national historic landscape at Camp Hale, where World War II soldiers trained for winter combat.
The House also passed the, which would protect more than 126,000 acres of the Olympic National Forest as wilderness and designate approximately 465 miles of rivers as wild and scenic in Washington state. The bill would also safeguard critical salmon habitat and sources of clean drinking water.
Senate Democrats announce deal on unemployment insurance, allowing Biden bill to move forward
The Senate will debate and vote on amendments to the proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus starting Friday, a process that is expected to bring fiery exchanges but ultimate passage of President Biden's top legislative priority.The agreement would extend the existing $300 weekly unemployment benefit through Sept. 6, as well as provide tax relief on benefits for households making under $150,000.
Other bills in the lands package aim to protect more than 1 million acres of public land and 500 miles of rivers in California, ensuring access to unparalleled outdoor recreation opportunities in thenear Los Angeles; the Los Padres National Forest and Carrizo Plain National Monument along the state's ; and key forests in the portion of the state.
Other measures in the Protecting America's Wilderness and Public Lands Act would restore fish and wildlife habitat in California, Washington state and Colorado, make California forests more resilient to fire and protect the land and waters surrounding.
As has become clear during the pandemic, people want and need to connect to the outdoors by walking in the neighborhood, gardening or visiting a nearby park. And even during this time of limited travel, national parks and other public lands and waters have drawnof visitors.
Senate approves Biden's $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan
The victory for Democrats came after long impasse over competing proposals for the bill's boost to unemployment benefits.The 50-49 vote, entirely along party lines, came after the Senate remained in session for more than 24 hours of marathon votes. Senate Republicans sought to amend the legislation but Senate Democrats largely stuck together to defeat any major changes to the bill — one of the largest federal aid packages in history.
Sound conservation policy helps ensure healthy herds of game for hunters, reliable runs of trout, salmon and rockfish for anglers, and clean air and watersheds for nearby communities. Preservation of intact landscapes is also critical to a fully functioning ecosystem, which absorbs and stores carbon and can therefore play a significant role in mitigating the effects of climate change. And protected watersheds can provide clean water for towns, a significant potential savings for communities compared with the cost of municipal water treatment.
Clean water is not the only economic benefit of protecting lands and rivers, of course. Nationwide, outdoor recreation - from hunting, fishing and camping to cycling, boating and more - accounts forin annual gross economic output and generates American jobs, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Those are significant numbers and behind the figures are real stories of gear-makers, retailers, outfitters and others whose livelihoods depend on consumer access to public lands and waters.
The House-approved lands and rivers package would help local economies while conserving these places for generations of visitors. By acting soon on the package and sending it on to President Joe Biden for his signature, the Senate can improve access to public lands and rivers, preserve significant habitat and continue to advance the nation's economic recovery - all of which are inextricably linked.
Marcia Argust directs U.S. public lands and rivers conservation work for The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Georgia Senate Republicans advance bill to end no-excuse absentee voting .
Despite Democratic opposition, Georgia Republicans advanced a sweeping elections omnibus bill out of the Senate that would end no-excuse absentee voting. Four Republicans did not vote on the bill, which was approved 29-20.