May Day coverage, zombie Trumpcare, Dems get a deal…

Tuesday, May 2, 2017




► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle’s May Day marches and rallies focus on immigrants’ rights, peace — Thousands of May Day marchers took to the streets in Seattle Monday to demand an end to deportations, affirm the need for strong labor laws and voice concerns about xenophobia, racism and military spending.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand:

May Day: “Immigrants are welcome here” (by Jeff Johnson)

Amazon contractors, community deliver a message of solidarity

► In today’s Yakima H-R — Immigrants, advocates rally for 
comprehensive immigration reform — “¿Que queremos?” “¡Justicia!” “¿Cuando?” “¡Ahora!” “The people, united, will never be divided!” “Sí, se puede!” Roughly 1,000 people marched for immigration reform Monday in Yakima, chanting their desire for justice, fair treatment and a legal path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants living and working in the U.S.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Diverse Tri-City crowd rallies for May Day

► In today’s Olympian — Windows broken, nine arrested in Olympia May Day protest

► In today’s NY Times — On May Day, protesters take to streets nationwide — In major cities and dozens of smaller communities, protesters marched for immigrants, for workers, for women and for others, grafting their myriad pleas onto a day traditionally reserved for the cause of laborers around the world. Many surrendered a shift’s pay. Labor and immigrants’ rights activists, criticizing Trump’s detention and deportation agenda, had called for a general strike on May 1, also known as May Day, to emphasize the overlap between the concerns of unauthorized immigrants — on whom farms, restaurants, construction projects and other industries depend — and those of workers.

► From The Hill — A May Day call for justice (by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Maria Elena Durazo) — Cesar Chavez said that our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own. As we celebrate International Workers’ Day, known around the world as May Day, it is clear that Chavez’s vision is not yet fulfilled.




► In today’s Washington Post — House Republicans continue health-care push, may leave changes to Senate — In the messy effort to rally their often unruly party around a measure to replace big parts of President Barack Obama’s health-care law, House leaders have been forced to leave other objectives by the wayside and focus on one simple, political goal: pass a bill they can say repeals Obamacare — even if it has no hope of survival in the Senate — to shield their members in next year’s elections.

ALSO at The Stand — Call Congress! Urge them to vote ‘NO’ on new Trumpcare bill — Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-3rd) is reportedly the only member of Washington’s delegation of Republicans who says she will vote “no.” Rep. Dave Reichert (R-8th), who has said protecting people with pre-existing conditions is a must, says he’s “undecided” on this bill that would allow states to remove protections for people with pre-existing conditions. (?!) Presumably, Reps. Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rodgers plan to vote “yes.” So keep the calls coming to urge opposition! Please call your U.S. Representative TODAY toll-free at 866-829-3298 and leave a message for him or her to vote “NO” on the new American Health Care Act (AHCA), also known as Trumpcare.

► From Politico — House Republicans floundering on Obamacare repeal — House Republicans and the White House kicked off the week thinking they’d finally pass their Obamacare repeal bill. But by Tuesday morning, worry had once again gripped the House GOP leadership, as Speaker Paul Ryan and his team floundered in their bid to land the votes.

► From Politico — GOP suffers surprise defection on Obamacare repeal — President Donald Trump dialed up his campaign-trail ally Rep. Billy Long on Monday, after the Missouri Republican announced his decision to vote against the Republican plan to replace Obamacare. The goal was straightforward: Persuade Long to change his mind. It didn’t work.




► In today’s Wenatchee World — Alcoa gets 1-year reprieve from PUDHopes of a restart at Alcoa’s Wenatchee Works aluminum plant have been extended, officially, for a year. The Chelan County PUD Commission voted on Monday to approve Alcoa’s request for a one-year deferral of the $67 million contract charge that otherwise would have been due in June. The PUD staff recommended the delay because it preserved the possibility for jobs in the community.

► From KUOW — Seattle commits to adopting income tax, or at least trying to — Seattle officials have committed themselves to trying to adopt the city’s first income tax. Monday, the City Council passed a resolution to start the process. But the city faces legal uncertainty in this area. That’s because the state Supreme Court once ruled an income tax unconstitutional, and no city or county has approved one ever since.

► In today’s Seattle Times — REI says store-employee pay up an average 10 percent — Wage hikes are costing the outdoor retailer as much as $25 million, CEO says at annual membership meeting. REI had said its move toward higher pay had been under way for months, but it came at a time when employees had been increasingly vocal about wage and scheduling issues. A Seattle City Council member had held a forum in which some REI workers talked of low wages and erratic hours.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Just considering forming a union raises wages and working conditions. So what are you waiting for?




► In today’s Seattle Times — Former Washington Gov. Mike Lowry, table-pounding liberal, dies at 78 — Former Gov. Mike Lowry, a proud liberal Democrat who championed causes including universal health care and reparations for Japanese Americans interned during World War II, died Monday at 78 following complications from a stroke. Said Gov. Jay Inslee: “Mike Lowry served with compassion and humility. He had a big heart and cared deeply about the people of this state.”

ALSO at The Stand — ‘People’s Governor’ Mike Lowry passes away at 78

► In today’s News Tribune — Mental patient throws exit sign, breaks security officer’s jaw, documents say — A patient at Western State Hospital in Lakewood is charged with second-degree assault after allegedly hurling an “exit” sign at a security officer and breaking his jaw.



► In today’s Washington Post — Democrats confident they can block Trump’s agenda after spending-bill win — Democrats’ lopsided victory on the five-month deal, which is likely to be approved this week, means it will be very difficult — if not impossible — for the GOP to exert its will in future budget negotiations, including when it comes to Trump’s 2018 budget blueprint.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Key Sound Transit deal back on track with federal budget agreement — A compromise deal to fund the federal government provides Sound Transit and Community Transit with millions of dollars they’ve been counting on to expand light rail and bus service in Snohomish County.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Federal budget deal delivers solid Hanford funding for next 5 months

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Congressional spending compromise includes protection for state’s marijuana industry

► In today’s Pittsburgh P-G — Funding agreement protects orphan miner health care, but doesn’t resolve pension issues — A new government funding agreement permanently protects thousands of retired miners’ health care, but doesn’t resolve pension shortfalls that also worry coal workers. Legislative leaders have agreed to the provisions as part of a $1 trillion government funding bill, and rank-and-file members are expected to approve it later this week.

PREVIOUSLY at The Stand — Time running out for Congress to act on mine workers’ benefits (April 6)

► From The Hill — Trump: U.S. ‘needs a good shutdown’ — President Trump on Tuesday called for a “good shutdown” in September to fix the “mess” in government. He also expressed frustration that legislation needs 60 votes in the Senate because of the filibuster, saying it would be necessary to elect more Republicans or “change the rules.”




► From CNN — Hollywood crisis averted: Writers reach deal with studios — It was a cliffhanger ending, but the Writers Guild of America and the studios have reached a new deal that will keep the scripts coming and Hollywood at work. The threat of the first strike in a decade was averted after a marathon negotiating session that went past the midnight deadline, leaving much of Hollywood staying up late and checking social media, looking for hints as to whether there would be picket lines on Tuesday. The parties issued a joint statement confirming the three-year agreement.




► In the Seattle Times — It’s time for a national $15 minimum wage (by Sens. Bernie Sanders and Patty Murray) — It has been 10 long years since Congress passed legislation to raise the minimum wage. The erosion of the federal minimum wage is a major reason why more than 43 million Americans are living in poverty today. People are working, and they’re working hard. But they’re going nowhere in a hurry. Health-care costs are going up, child-care costs are going up, college costs are going up, and housing costs are going up. Wages are not. That has got to change.

Instead of costing jobs, increasing the minimum wage boosts the economy by increasing consumer spending and reducing employee turnover. The truth is that cities and states that raised the minimum wage in 2014 experienced faster job growth than those that did not. In terms of wage policy in America, the nation with more income and wealth inequality than any other major country, the bottom line is not complicated. In the year 2017, a job must lift workers out of poverty, not keep them in it. We must raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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