Washington Watch

Congressman Calling it Quits After 58 Years

Posted on 02/24/2014 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsRep. John Dingell Jr. of Michigan has announced he will retire from Congress, leaving behind his record as the longest-serving Capitol Hill lawmaker in history. A Democrat, Dingell is one of 20 House members who have already announced their retirements (not counting those who are running for other offices, resigning or leaving for other reasons), according to this rundown from Roll Call. Dingell served 58 years after replacing his late father and namesake in the seat. He was a proponent of the …

At 101, He’s Running … for Congress

Posted on 02/24/2014 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsIf Joe Newman of Sarasota, Fla., makes it to Capitol Hill, he could be a one-man Congressional Centenarian Caucus. Newman, 101, has announced he’s running as a write-in candidate for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Newman has 11 years on Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas, who’s the oldest member of Congress. When Newman was learning to walk, William Howard Taft was president. He’s older than Social Security. “At what age does a person become too old to think and reason?” Newman …

CBO Report Offers Mixed Message on Minimum Wage Hike

Posted on 02/20/2014 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsA new report by the Congressional Budget Office offers fodder for both sides of the debate about raising the nation’s $7.25-an-hour minimum wage. Democrats are cheering the nonpartisan agency’s finding that a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 would lift about 900,000 low-wage workers out of poverty. But Republicans say that what’s important is the report’s estimate that 500,000 jobs would disappear as businesses adjust to the new wage. The CBO found smaller impacts from a wage hike to …

Obama Budget Said to Drop ‘Chained CPI’

Posted on 02/20/2014 by | Senior Editor, Money Team | Comments

Money & SavingsThe White House says it is dropping a proposal that would have lowered the cost-of–living adjustments for Social Security and other government social programs, according to published reports. President Barack Obama had previously proposed tying inflation adjustments to the so-called chained CPI, which measures inflation more conservatively, in exchange for tax increases. Republican lawmakers, who have backed the chained CPI,  didn’t go along with the deal. Politico reported a White House official saying: “Over the course of last year, Republicans …

Will Congress Help Medicare Patients Cut Red Tape?

Posted on 02/13/2014 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsA congressman is expressing confidence that a bill he sponsored — to fix a problem faced by many Medicare patients who are left without coverage for skilled nursing care — will pass this year. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., who introduced the bill with Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, told reporters in a conference call that the legislation has picked up 137 cosponsors. “This is not happening in a vacuum,” Courtney said, according to the Connecticut Mirror. “It’s happening because there is …

Stop Selling Smokes, Senators Tell Drugstores

Posted on 02/11/2014 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsPharmacies should follow the example of CVS Caremark and kick the habit of selling tobacco products, a group of Democratic senators said Feb. 10 in letters to major chain drugstores. The letter from Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, chairman of the Senate health committee, and seven colleagues ratchets up the pressure on Walgreens, Rite Aid and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) to voluntarily stop selling cigarettes. CVS made the move already, saying it would forgo the profits because …