You need to know this. House Republicans continue to point the finger at President Obama for the government shutdown. However, Senate Democrats are moving forward with a plan to prevent economic disaster. According to the New York Times, rather than waiting for the Tea Party to come to their senses, Democratic leaders in the upper chamber will present a debt ceiling increase proposal this week. Their plan will raise our nation's legal borrowing limit, without any strings attached. And, it will make clear that President Obama and the Democrats are not the ones holding up a fiscal deal. Senate leadership is confident that the measure would with pass, however they will need the support of at least six Senate Republicans to pass the filibuster threshold. This solution is far from ideal, as the proposal could take about a week to move through the legislative process. That means that even if the Democrats get support, and all goes as planned, the final vote may not happen until two days before the debt ceiling deadline. This all could be solved by Speaker John Boehner allowing a vote on fiscal legislation in the House. But, he continues to claim that there aren't enough votes to pass a clean continuing resolution, or an increase to the debt limit. President Obama replied to the Speaker's claim, saying, “If Republicans and Speaker Boehner [are] saying [that] there are not enough votes, then they should prove it.” However, allowing a vote would let the American people see who is really behind this economic terrorism. It's great that Senate Democrats are working on a plan to prevent financial disaster, but Americans would rather see Republicans end this economic hostage taking, and stop using our economy as a pawn in their political games.
In screwed news... Wall Street and the banksters are starting to worry about this economic chaos. On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 130 points, and the market started trending down again by Tuesday morning. And, banks around our nation reported that they are starting to prepare for an economic panic. According to the Financial Times, U.S. banks started stuffing ATMs with extra cash, and they are considering plans to advance funds to Americans who rely on government income. The measures are part of a “debt ceiling playbook” that the banks developed the last time our nation came close to default. As House Republicans continue to claim that breaching the debt ceiling will not cause serious harm, the markets and the banks apparently think otherwise. Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund said that failing to raise the debt limit “could very seriously damage not only the U.S. economy, but the entire global economy.” Perhaps the banksters and the Wall Street billionaires can convince Tea Party Republicans to stop holding our economy hostage.
In the best of the rest of the news...
A lot more Americans are buying electric vehicles. In fact, sales are up almost 450 percent compared to just one year ago. According to the Think Progress Blog, more people are purchasing the vehicles as they overcome so-called “range anxiety” - the worry that an electric vehicle won't have enough battery for their daily commute. As more people learn that electric vehicles can go hundreds of miles between charging, they are realizing that they too can own one. The U.S. market for these vehicles has become so strong, that the International Energy Agency says that our nation has a larger stock of electric vehicles than anywhere else on Earth. Many experts believe that lower prices and tax credits have also helped fuel sales, and many Americans are making the switch in an effort to curb global warming. The IEA predicts that battery and electric vehicle prices will continue dropping for years to come, making this clean technology available to many more Americans. Together, we can support this innovative and important technology, and help the fight against global warming while we still have a chance.
The federal healthcare exchanges have been criticized since they opened, but state-run exchanges have been quietly enrolling thousands of Americans. In Kentucky, more than 7,000 applications were completed in just two days. Hawaii signed 1,200 people up on the first day alone. And, Connecticut has already enrolled more than 1,000 people. These numbers clearly show how well the Affordable Care Act roll out would have been if more states created their own insurance marketplaces. And, it makes clear why many Republican-led states opted to put more work on the federal government. According to healthcare experts, state-based exchanges offer simpler design and services, and they were better tested before the roll out. However, the federal government faced the challenge of setting up a much larger infrastructure that would be able to handle a huge volume of activity. Essentially, Republican lawmakers knew that pushing this task on to the Administration meant a more complicated system, which they believed made it more likely to fail. But, the Affordable Healthcare Act appears to be off to a great start, and it's a strong first step toward real national healthcare.
And finally... Some Michigan lawmakers are working on a very serious problem. Last week, they introduced legislation to ensure that the pint of beer you've been sold actually contains 16 ounces. Yep. The Liquor Control Act would make it illegal to use so-called “cheater pints,” which look like a pint glass but don't really contain a pint worth of beer. State Representative Brandon Dillion, a co-sponsor of the bill, said, “a lot of people, I think, would appreciate knowing what they get when they order a pint.” And, beer enthusiasts in Michigan are thrilled to see that someone is taking on this serious problem. Self-employed plumber, Gary Lord, said, “A pint should be a pint, and the U.S. Pint, to the best of my knowledge, is 16 ounces.” Considering Detroit's economic woes, you'd think that lawmakers would be too busy to worry about the size of their beer glass. Thankfully for beer drinkers, that's not the case.
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