Today’s News & Commentary — February 15, 2017
Today the House is scheduled to vote on rules for state-sponsored retirement savings plans aiming to fill the gap for workers who do not have employer-sponsored plans. Seven states (California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington) are already in the process of implementing such plans, and have been aided by Labor Department rules governing automatic-enrollment and payroll deductions. However, Republicans are now trying to block those rules. Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), the chairman of the House subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pension, issued a statement saying that “[o]ur nation faces difficult retirement challenges, but more government isn’t the solution.” Also up for a vote today: the unionization of 3,000 Boeing workers in Charleston. Read coverage of that vote here and here.
Earlier this week, protestors from all over Wisconsin marched to the Milwaukee County Courthouse for “A Day without Latinos.” Several thousand protestors gathered in opposition to Trump’s immigration policies and the recent series of ICE raids. Specifically, they sought to challenge Milkwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s decision to enroll his deputies in an ICE program that would allow them to perform immigration law enforcement functions in the county. According to an organizer from Voces de la Frontera, more than 150 businesses owned by Latinos and non-Latinos voluntarily closed for the day in support of the protest. During the march, Sheriff Clarke posted a statement in response, stating in part that “[t]here must be a zero tolerance for allowing people to illegally enter this country and establish permanent residency.”
Finally, could Ivanka Trump give the Democrats the bump they need for paid maternity leave? On Monday, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) unveiled a new bill called the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act and said that she is hopeful the President’s daughter will help advocate for its passage, in part based on her support for the issue during the Republican National Convention. Rep. Maloney said that she sent a copy of the legislation to Ms. Trump and is waiting to hear back. The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) and would provide six weeks of paid leave to all federal employees following the arrival of a child.