Inside these posts: Congress

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Exelon CEO: Congress should ‘do nothing’ on energy policy

John W. Rowe. (Chuck Berman/Chicago Tribune)

Natural gas will remain cheaper than other sources of electricity generation for “a long time,” Exelon Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive John W. Rowe said Tuesday.

“I have never seen a time, not once, where one fuel source seems to be so dominant for so long,” said Rowe, one of the senior utility executives in the U.S. and former head of two utility trade organizations in Washington. “The supply-demand equations for gas are very powerful and I believe they are real for a long time.”

As a result of those economics, Rowe said, the U.S. Congress should “do nothing” on energy policy and allow the market to replace aging coal generating plants with natural gas, which releases less carbon than coal when burned. Get the full story »

Congress puts off cuts to doctor Medicare payments

Congress has agreed to a one-month delay in Medicare payment cuts to doctors, giving a short-term reprieve to a looming crisis over treatment of the nation’s elderly.
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White House to push for tech policy action in 2011

The Obama administration on will push Congress next year to move ahead on critical technology policies, the White House’s technology chief said on Thursday. Get the full story »

Experts say Congress may slow green job growth

Republican gains in the next Congress will likely curtail spending on green construction projects, but the sector promises to be a source of job growth for an economy that sorely needs it, advocates say.

“America needs 30 million jobs. Our mission ought to be to make those green jobs,” David Foster, executive director of the BlueGreen Alliance, a coalition of nine labor unions and four environmental groups, told the Greenbuild Expo in Chicago. Get the full story »

Congress sets sights on alternative minimum tax

Bipartisan leaders in Congress are vowing to spare more than 21 million taxpayers from significant tax increases when they file their returns next spring by adjusting the alternative minimum tax before the end of the year. Get the full story »

Doctors urge Congress to halt Medicare pay cuts

The American Medical Association unleashed its latest salvo Monday in its campaign against cuts in Medicare payments to doctors with a survey that finds overwhelming concern among Americans.

The physician’s group did an online survey of 1,000 Americans aged 18 and older and found 94 percent of them said they are concerned about the cuts to doctors who treat elderly patients.

The group released the findings at a meeting in San Diego to kick off a new advertising and lobbying push to convince lawmakers to block payment cuts — set to take effect Dec. 1 — before they recess for the Thanksgiving holiday later this month. Get the full story »

U.S. decision on China yuan practices looms

President Barack Obama’s  administration faces a deadline on Friday on whether to formally declare for the first time that China manipulates its currency, following an election-year vote in Congress to get tough with Beijing. Get the full story »

U.S. regulators vow team effort on financial reform

U.S. regulators will put up a united front before a divided Congress on Thursday, promising to cooperate on hundreds of new rules aimed at preventing Wall Street excesses from triggering another financial crisis. Get the full story »

Bill on outsourced jobs fails Senate test

As expected, a Senate bill designed to end tax breaks for U.S. companies that move jobs and manufacturing plants overseas failed a key test vote Tuesday.

With a 53-45 vote, Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic efforts to end debate and ultimately vote on a “jobs” bill. Get the full story »

SEC watchdog: Timing of Goldman case ’suspicious’

Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein at the Senate hearing on the role of investment banks during the financial crisis, Apr. 27, 2010. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)

The timing of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s case against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was “suspicious,” the federal regulator’s watchdog said Wednesday.

The SEC filed civil fraud charges against Goldman in mid-April, the same day the watchdog group released a damning report that accused the SEC of mishandling its probe of Allen Stanford’s alleged Ponzi scheme.

The report, authored by SEC Inspector General David Kotz, said the SEC had suspected as early as 1997 that Stanford was running a Ponzi scheme, but did nothing to stop it until late 2005. Get the full story »

Cybercrime bill on list for passage this year

Capitol Hill staffers have made progress stitching together cybersecurity proposals into a huge bill, aides said, with Senate leadership putting it on their short list for passage this year. Get the full story »

Future hiring will mainly benefit the high-skilled

Whenever companies start hiring freely again, job-seekers with specialized skills and education will have plenty of good opportunities. Others will face a choice: Take a job with low pay — or none at all. Get the full story »

White House: August jobs report reassuring

The White House on Friday greeted a better than expected August employment report as reassuring news after a recent spate of “unsettling” economic data, and reiterated it was working with Congress to take additional steps to boost U.S. growth and hiring. Get the full story »

Chinese steelmaker hailed for dropping U.S. deal

Lawmakers from U.S. steel-producing states on Thursday welcomed a decision by China steel company Anshan Iron and Steel Group to put its investment in a U.S. steel plant on hold.

“Not only would this venture have set a dangerous precedent further undermining our domestic steel market, but it posed serious national security concerns,” Rep. Tim Murphy, a Pennsylvania Republican, said in a statement. Get the full story »

Bush-era tax cuts likely on fall agenda for Congress

A congressional debate about extending Bush-era tax cuts for middle class American families will probably happen later this year, the White House said  Monday.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the debate would probably happen in the fall, before the conclusions of a fiscal commission appointed by President Barack Obama  on the U.S. deficit challenge, which is due by year-end.