House Democrats Almost Thwart Derivatives Deregulation
House votes to keep government open, deregulate derivatives, despite Pelosi's opposition. The Hill: "By a vote of 219-206, the House sent the bill to the Senate ... The vote split Democratic leaders, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) opposing the bill and criticizing the White House, but Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) backing it. Fifty-seven Democrats voted for the bill, while 139 opposed it ... The Democratic opposition delayed the vote on the bill for hours, with Republican leaders waiting to see whether they would have the support needed to push it through. Shortly before 9 p.m., GOP leaders announced they were moving ahead, gambling that the bill would survive on the floor."
"JPMorgan CEO helped whip votes" notes The Hill.
Fight moves to Senate. Bloomberg: "'There are no perfect bills,' Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor minutes after the House passed the proposal 219-206 late yesterday. 'But this bill is so much better than' a three-month measure that would risk another shutdown fight in early 2015, the Democrat said. The Senate may pass it as soon as today if opponents such as Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Republican Ted Cruz consent."
Liberal Senators still oppose. The Hill: "A growing number of Senate Democrats are siding with liberal star Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and threatening to vote against a year-end omnibus because of a controversial Wall Street provision. Democratic Sens. Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Carl Levin (Mich.), Chris Murphy (Conn.), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Mark Udall (Colo.) and Tammy Baldwin (Wis.) said they were undecided about how to vote..."
Conservatives mad too. Politico: "...they think [Boehner] cut them out of the funding process and fumbled a chance to pick apart Obama’s immigration actions as soon as they were announced by not using the must-pass funding bill to undo it ... Top congressional Republicans were firm on avoiding shutdown showdowns this winter, indicating that the sway conservatives had over the rest of their party leading up to the October 2013 shutdown has declined."
Wall Street "resurgent" in Washington. Bloomberg: "Wall Street’s success, after four years of struggling to persuade Congress to ease the Dodd-Frank Act, is a precursor to more fights next year against some of the law’s hallmarks: the consumer protection bureau and stiff oversight of big financial companies whose failure could threaten the financial system. 'The Wall Street interests -- the big banks -- they’re back,' said Richard Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s second-ranking Democrat."
Politico explains "How Wall St. Got Its Way": "Several lobbyists involved in the talks said one key to getting appropriators behind the language during final negotiations was that in recent months regional banks — such as PNC, Fifth Third and SunTrust — began to be more vocal about wanting the pushout provision changed. This gave the industry a more sympathetic face to present to lawmakers than the big Wall Street banks, such JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, which were blamed for causing the 2008 financial crisis."
But Pelosi "made her point." W. Post: "Shorter Pelosi: Stop taking me -- and liberal Democrats -- for granted. Pelosi's power play not only forced a delay of the vote, which was originally planned for early Thursday afternoon, but also made the White House send chief of staff Denis McDonough to Capitol Hill this evening to cajole/plead with House Democrats to vote for the legislation ... the power within the base of the Democratic party is deeply grounded in an anti-Wall Street populism ... they may have won the wider war -- or at least scored a tactical victory that puts her and the party's liberal wing in a stronger position..."
Yet more Senators oppose Weiss nomination. The Hill: "Six left-leaning senators have joined Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in opposition to an Obama administration Treasury Department nominee — meaning he will need multiple Republican votes in order to be confirmed. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) told The Huffington Post on Thursday that she will oppose the confirmation of Antonio Weiss, an investment banker who was nominated to be undersecretary for domestic finance."
"The Vanishing Male Worker"
NYT explores "The Vanishing Male Worker": "The share of prime-age men — those 25 to 54 years old — who are not working has more than tripled since the late 1960s, to 16 percent ... Many men, in particular, have decided that low-wage work will not improve their lives, in part because deep changes in American society have made it easier for them to live without working. These changes include the availability of federal disability benefits; the decline of marriage, which means fewer men provide for children; and the rise of the Internet, which has reduced the isolation of unemployment. At the same time, it has become harder for men to find higher-paying jobs. Foreign competition and technological advances have eliminated many of the jobs in which high school graduates ... once could earn $40 an hour, or more. The poll found that 85 percent of prime-age men without jobs do not have bachelor’s degrees. And 34 percent said they had criminal records, making it hard to find any work ... A smaller work force is likely to lead to a slower-growing economy, and will leave a smaller share of the population to cover the cost of government, even as a larger share seeks help."
NLRB eases union organizing. WSJ: "Employees with access to their employer’s email system have the right to use it for union organizing and other communications about wages and working conditions, but only during 'nonworking time,' the National Labor Relations Board ruled Thursday."
Kerry Warmly Welcomed At Climate Talks
Secretary of State Kerry joins international climate talks. The Hill: "'If you're a big, developed nation and you're not helping to lead, then you are part of the problem,' Kerry told delegates from 190 nations gathered in Lima, Peru, for a United Nations climate change conference. The gathering is meant to build momentum ahead of the final meeting in Paris next year."
America's standing among nations is up. NYT: "...the enthusiastic reception on climate issues comes a month after a historic announcement by the United States and China, the world’s two largest polluters, that they would jointly commit to cut their emissions. Many international negotiators say the deal is the catalyst that could lead to a new global climate change accord that would, for the first time, commit every nation in the world to cutting its own planet-warming emissions."