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Why Trump’s effort to curb immigration could hurt US economy

WTOP | Posted on March 1, 2018

Nearly half the new jobs the government foresees emerging by 2026 will require only a high school diploma — or none at all. Those jobs share something else in common, too: Hundreds of thousands of them will likely be taken by low-skilled immigrants who are willing to do work that many Americans won’t. Lost in the immigration debate raging in Washington is the vital economic role played by immigrants who don’t have the education, training or skills that the Trump administration and many Republicans in Congress say should be a pre-requisite. Economists say that especially with unemployment at a 17-year low and the growth of the workforce slowing, immigrants — skilled as well as unskilled — are vital to the economy.


Colorado to pay Nebraska $4M in Republican River settlement

The Denver Post | Posted on February 27, 2018

Colorado officials have agreed to pay Nebraska $4 million to settle old claims that their state violated a water-sharing compact involving the Republican River. The settlement requires Colorado to make the payment by Dec. 31, 2018, even though state officials did not admit to any violations of the Republican River Compact. Colorado legislators must approve the funding before the deadline, or the settlement will become invalid.


House Oversight Probes Scott Pruitt’s Travel Expenses

Roll Call | Posted on February 27, 2018

EPA administrator has been under fire for first-class travel and luxury hotel stays.  As questions about the official travel habits of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt mount, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is demanding documents and other information on his first-class flights, as it looks into whether federal laws were broken.Pruitt has for several months been under fire for incurring high travel costs at taxpayer expense. After recent news reports of Pruitt’s use of expensive first-class flights and stays at luxury hotels, an EPA spokesman said the administrator had been given a “blanket waiver” to fly first class for security reasons.


House Oversight Probes Scott Pruitt’s Travel Expenses

Roll Call | Posted on February 27, 2018

EPA administrator has been under fire for first-class travel and luxury hotel stays.  As questions about the official travel habits of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt mount, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is demanding documents and other information on his first-class flights, as it looks into whether federal laws were broken.Pruitt has for several months been under fire for incurring high travel costs at taxpayer expense. After recent news reports of Pruitt’s use of expensive first-class flights and stays at luxury hotels, an EPA spokesman said the administrator had been given a “blanket waiver” to fly first class for security reasons.


How a black history event at USDA became a ‘Me Too’ moment

Politico | Posted on February 22, 2018

Rosetta Davis said she had not planned on publicly sharing what she alleges are the most intimate and painful details of her 16 years working for the Agriculture Department. But after hearing department officials praise the work environment at USDA during a Black History Month event last week, she said she felt compelled to speak. Before an audience of USDA employees in Jefferson Auditorium at USDA headquarters, Davis said she was fed up by what she described as years of sexual harassment and retaliation by senior management in civil rights offices. She said she had had consensual sex with D. Leon King, a director in the Office of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, in exchange for a promised promotion. Davis also named Brian Garner, director of the Farm Service Agency’s Office of Civil Rights, and several other top officials as contributing to a hostile work environment.“Don't hide your faces now!” Davis told the audience, adding, “Don't try to stop me from speaking. Why won't anyone do something about this? Can someone please help me?”


Interior to implement massive overhaul despite criticism

Capital Press | Posted on February 22, 2018

nterior Secretary Ryan Zinke is pressing ahead with a massive overhaul of his department, despite growing opposition to his proposal to move hundreds of public employees out of Washington and create a new organizational map that largely ignores state boundaries. Zinke wants to divide most of the department’s 70,000 employees and their responsibilities into 13 regions based on rivers and ecosystems, instead of the current map based mostly on state lines.The proposal would relocate many of the Interior Department’s top decision-makers from Washington to still-undisclosed cities in the West. The headquarters of some of its major bureaus also would move to the West.


Iowans to Ted Cruz: Blocking Northey nomination could harm future presidential aspirations

Des Moines Register | Posted on February 22, 2018

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s ongoing blockade against Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey’s appointment to the U.S. Department of Agriculture could do lasting damage to his standing in the first-in-the-nation caucus state and perhaps imperil a future run for president, several leading Republicans said this week.


Group weighs in on humane handling Supreme Court cases

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on February 22, 2018

The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) in Washington, D.C., has filed amicus briefs in two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court involving state limits on food products sold based on animal care, the group said in a news release. Both cases — Missouri, et al. v. California and Indiana, et al. v. Massachusetts — push back on state laws in California and Massachusetts that limits the types of meat and eggs that can be raised or sold within their borders.


Pending transport regs could be bad for live animals

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on February 22, 2018

Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) are promoted as the solution to keeping sleepy drivers off the road, even if the load is livestock. That sounds simple on the surface, but ELDs are being used as control tools for unrealistic regulations.  Under Federal rules, after a maximum of 14 hours of time in the truck (11 hours of driving), truckers must take a whopping 10-hour sleep break! I don’t know how many out-of-touch bureaucrats it took to write this law, or what rationale the “sleep police” at the DOT used to come up with it, but almost nobody over the age of 16 can sleep for 10 straight hours. Maybe 4 to 6 hours of sleep after every 12 hours of driving would be realistic, but not an impossible 10! The cattlemen began explaining the dilemma this regulation causes: One rancher named Mike periodically sends 10 to 15 head of cattle to the sale barn. The truck that picks them up also has to pick up small herds at surrounding ranches to fill the load. It can take a full day to get the ranch pickups completed before the driver is ready to head for the sale barn or feedlot.


Farm act would exempt farms from emissions reporting

Brownfield Ag News | Posted on February 22, 2018

New legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate that would exempt farms from reporting air emissions.


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