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Politics On The Money — Labor chief touts efforts to promote job growth

05:07  22 january  2022
05:07  22 january  2022 Source:   thehill.com

Japan minister aims to control COVID while achieving growth

  Japan minister aims to control COVID while achieving growth TOKYO (AP) — The Japanese minister responsible for containing COVID-19 while steering the world’s third largest economy toward growth says he is confident he can carry out that precarious “balancing act.” “We know infectious diseases aren’t going away ever,” Daishiro Yamagiwa said Wednesday at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo. “Co-existing with them while revitalizing the economy toward growth is our job,” he said. Japan had managed to cut“We know infectious diseases aren’t going away ever,” Daishiro Yamagiwa said Wednesday at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo. “Co-existing with them while revitalizing the economy toward growth is our job,” he said.

Happy Friday and welcome to On The Money, your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

Today's Big Deal: Labor Secretary Marty Walsh discusses the so-called Great Resignation in an interview with The Hill and broad efforts the administration is taking to promote job growth.

We'll also look at Democrats' renewed push to revive President Biden's stalled Build Back Better Act in wake of the party's failed effort to pass voting rights legislation.

But first, did you see the recent discovery made by astronomers about how one blackhole helped aid the birth of stars?

China cuts interest rates as economic growth slows

  China cuts interest rates as economic growth slows Compared to a year earlier, the economy grew 4% in the last three months of 2021, official figures show.Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4% for the last three months of 2021 from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

For The Hill, we're Sylvan Lane, Aris Folley and Karl Evers-Hillstrom. Reach us at slane@thehill.com or @SylvanLane, afolley@thehill.com or @ArisFolley and kevers@thehill.com or @KarlMEvers.

Former Obama official blasts Supreme Court justices for blocking Biden's vaccine mandate: 'They really don't want to stop this pandemic'

  Former Obama official blasts Supreme Court justices for blocking Biden's vaccine mandate: 'They really don't want to stop this pandemic' David Michaels, the former assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, said he believes the GOP-appointed judges "don't care" about the coronavirus crisis. "We're not going to stop this pandemic, and we're not going to get people back to work and the country back to normalcy if we don't have some much better workplace protections," he said. The Supreme Court last week struck down Biden's vaccine-or-test mandate for private companies with more than 100 employees, but allowed the mandate to take shape for healthcare workers at federally funded facilities.

Let's get to it.

Biden Labor chief touts back-to-work push

  On The Money — Labor chief touts efforts to promote job growth © Provided by The Hill

President Biden's Labor secretary on Friday brushed off concerns about the so-called Great Resignation while touting broad efforts to promote job growth in the second year of the Biden administration.

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh maintained in a wide-ranging interview with The Hill that Americans "want to go to work," even as the U.S. experiences a high quit rate and American workers gain new leverage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I think the key of 2022 is going to be, honestly, focusing on getting people back to work," Walsh said.

Why Are States Sitting on Hundreds of Billions in Unspent COVID Relief Money?

  Why Are States Sitting on Hundreds of Billions in Unspent COVID Relief Money? With the Omicron variant disrupting schools and putting state and local governments nationwide on its heels once again, some lawmakers are talking about another round of pandemic relief. But before that discussion goes anywhere, Washington has a question to answer: Whatever happened to the trillions of dollars in pandemic relief that Congress already approved? In a Sunday column in The New York Times, liberal pundit Ezra Klein noted that the $1.

  • Walsh stressed that upping the nation's COVID-19 vaccination rate and getting past the pandemic will help alleviate workforce issues.
  • He defended the Biden administration's economic record, noting that more people joined the workforce in 2021 than any other time in the last 25 years.
  • The secretary added that the U.S. needs to prioritize apprenticeships to fill jobs in construction, particularly when it comes to housing.

"I think we're going to need additional housing in our country in the next five to 10 years, we're going to have lots more development going on in our country," he said, emphasizing the need for "workers at all different levels of construction."

The background: U.S. employers have struggled for months to hire and retain workers. The unemployment rate dropped sharply to 3.9 percent last month as the U.S. added 199,000 jobs in December, well below economists' expectations.

Steve Bannon Suggests 'Scumbag' Senator Lindsey Graham Is Secretly Backing Biden

  Steve Bannon Suggests 'Scumbag' Senator Lindsey Graham Is Secretly Backing Biden "We need you guys to step up to the plate, Lindsey Graham, and tell us who you are," Bannon said while calling for the unmasking of five "traitor" GOP senators.During the Thursday edition of his War Room: Pandemic podcast, Bannon vowed to "find out" the identities of the five GOP senators that Biden said privately "agree with whatever I'm talking about" but remain silent and refuse to back his agenda over fears that they would be "defeated in a primary.

The Hill's Alex Gangitano has the interview here.

Biden should pivot to a pro-growth strategy on immigration reform

  Biden should pivot to a pro-growth strategy on immigration reform If Biden is to garner bipartisan support, the focus should be on making a pro-growth case for increasing the number of legal immigrants. The reason: Until Trump's presidency, Republicans traditionally were the party that favored strong growth along with free trade and open immigration policies. And the case is even more compelling today.Consider what has happened to U.S. economic growth in the post-war era. During the second half of the 20th century annualized economic growth averaged close to 3.5 percent, but it has slowed to 1.8 percent in the past two decades. Part of the reason relates to U.S.

WHAT JOE SAYS GOES

Democrats hope to salvage Biden's agenda on Manchin's terms


Video: Bipartisan group pushes for modest election overhaul bill (MSNBC)

In the wake of a failed effort to pass voting rights legislation, Democrats are turning their attention back to reviving President Biden's stalled Build Back Better Act, which hit a wall in December when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced he couldn't support it.

Democratic lawmakers say they're willing to concede more ground to Manchin in order to get something passed into law, even though it will fall well short of the ambitious vision they announced last year.

"I think we should tell Sen. Manchin, 'You won, write the bill and tell us what you can support,'" said one Democratic senator, who requested anonymity to discuss party strategy. "That way he would stop dancing around."

  • Manchin on Thursday told reporters that he's ready to rip up the Build Back Better Act. "We're going to start with a clean sheet of paper and start over," he said.
  • Several Democrats say a lot of work has already been done on core elements of the bill and that much of it still can be salvaged.
  • Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) cited compromise language to reduce the cost of prescription drugs and funding for universal pre-K as likely candidates to include in a final bill, along with a package of tax incentives and funding to address climate change.

The Hill's Alex Bolton has more here.

Labor agency bucks courts to attack independent workers

  Labor agency bucks courts to attack independent workers Presidential politics and union interests may be driving NLRB decision-making through regulation, rather than legislation.The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently took steps toward redefining who is an independent contractor and who is an employee. The move could limit self-employment options, making it harder for independent contractors to work for themselves. The change also would clear the way for unions to organize these workers, since entrepreneurs would get swept under the same legal status as employees. And that's likely the real motivation.

CHIPS ARE COMING

Intel to build $20B Ohio factory amid chip shortage

Intel announced Friday it is investing $20 billion to build chip factories in Ohio amid a shortage of computer chips worldwide.

The "mega-site" will be constructed outside of Columbus on 1,000 acres of land in Licking County, according to a statement from Intel. Construction is expected to start near the end of 2022 and be completed in 2025.

The project will initially employ 7,000 construction jobs and 3,000 Intel jobs with thousands more long-term jobs expected in the future.

"Today's investment marks another significant way Intel is leading the effort to restore U.S. semiconductor manufacturing leadership," CEO of Intel Pat Gelsinger said.

WAGE HIKES

Biden's $15 minimum wage hike for federal agencies goes into effect

Federal agencies were directed to implement President Biden's $15 an hour minimum wage for government workers on Friday.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a memo to heads of executive departments and agencies, which provides guidance for adjusting pay rates for employees to at least $15 per hour. The rule is set to take full effect on Jan. 30.

The higher wage will impact 70,000 workers from mainly the Defense Department, Department of Agriculture and Department of Veterans Affairs, according to OPM. The agency found that "the vast majority" of the 2.2 million federal workers already earn a pay rate of at least $15 per hour.

Amazon faces possible union election at New York warehouse

  Amazon faces possible union election at New York warehouse Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island have shown enough support to hold a union election, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) confirmed on Wednesday. © Michael Nagle/Bloomberg/Getty Images/FILE Chris Smalls, a fired Amazon fulfillment center employee, center, holds a sign during a protest outside an Amazon.com facility in the Staten Island borough of New York, U.S., on Friday, May 1, 2020.

Good to Know

Bitcoins lying on American money © Provided by The Hill Bitcoins lying on American money Cryptocurrency prices took a nosedive on Friday, wiping out hundreds of billions in the crypto market.

The news follows reports that Russia's central bank is proposing a ban on cryptocurrencies in the nation, the world's third-largest region for cryptocurrency mining.

Here's what else have our eye on:

  • Amazon and Meta, Facebook's parent company, spent record sums on federal lobbying in 2021 as they fought legislation to limit their expansive market power.
  • General Motors is investing $154 million to renovate a plant in New York that will create an estimated 230 more jobs in order to produce electric motor parts.
  • Peloton shares plummeted Thursday after CNBC obtained documents stating the company is temporarily halting the production of its bikes and treadmills.

That's it for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill's Finance page for the latest news and coverage. We'll see you Monday.

Amazon faces possible union election at New York warehouse .
Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island have shown enough support to hold a union election, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) confirmed on Wednesday. © Michael Nagle/Bloomberg/Getty Images/FILE Chris Smalls, a fired Amazon fulfillment center employee, center, holds a sign during a protest outside an Amazon.com facility in the Staten Island borough of New York, U.S., on Friday, May 1, 2020.

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