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Senate To Roll Back Banking Regulations

10 years after financial crisis, Senate prepares to roll back banking rules. WaPo: "The Senate is preparing to scale back the sweeping banking regulations passed after the 2008 financial crisis, with more than a dozen Democrats ready to give Republicans the votes they need to weaken one of President Barack Obama’s largest legislative achievements... The core of the new bill exempts about two dozen financial companies with assets between $50 billion and $250 billion from the highest levels of scrutiny by the Federal Reserve, the nation’s central bank. Supporters argue that the legislation would bring much-needed relief to midsize and regional banks that were treated like their much larger counterparts under the 2010 legislation known as Dodd-Frank. Opponents say it would weaken the oversight needed to stave off the type of dangerous lending and investing that brought the U.S. economy to its knees. The Senate is slated to take an initial procedural vote this week to move the measure forward, and if it eventually becomes law, it would be the most substantial weakening of Dodd-Frank since it was passed."

WV Teachers Continue Strike Into Eighth Day

WV teachers will strike for eighth day after legislative impasse. CNN "West Virginia public school teachers will strike for an eighth day Monday because the state legislature didn't meet their demand for higher pay and better benefits over the weekend. All 55 counties announced school closures for Monday. About 20,000 teachers walked out February 22, keeping almost 277,000 students out of class. Union leaders say the teachers won't return to work until they get a 5% raise. The pay raise remains in legislative limbo. At the state capitol in Charleston, a conference committee has been appointed to resolve the differences between the state Senate and House. It's not known when the committee will meet, so it's possible the strike could stretch out for days."

Dems See Surge In TX Early Voting

Democrats pin hopes on enthusiasm gap with surge in early voting. Austin American-Statesman: "Thanks largely to a huge surge in Democratic turnout, Texans in the 15 largest counties have smashed the record for early voting in a non-presidential year, raising Democratic hopes that they will benefit from an excitement gap in the fall 'The one thing you have to measure is, are our people enthusiastic now compared to their people, and the answer is a resounding, ‘Yes,’' Ed Espinoza, executive director of Progress Texas, which provides research and strategy to help elect Democrats, said Sunday. While there is no necessary correlation between primary and general election turnout, more than twice as many people voted early in the Democratic primaries in 2018 as in 2014, while Republican early voting crept up by 15 percent, according to final figures posted Saturday by the Texas Secretary of State’s office. Altogether, 885,574 Texas voted in person or by mail over the 11 days of early voting, which ended Friday. The primary is Tuesday."

PA Special Congressional Race Tests Turnout

PA Race offers clues about midterms voter turnout. NPR: "Less than two years after Donald Trump won a western Pennsylvania congressional district by double digits, a special election race between a young Democrat and a deeply conservative Republican is now closer than either side had expected. The congressional race is being run in Pennsylvania's 18th district, but the March 13 election is expected to offer clues about how voters will turn out in the November midterms. Rick Saccone, the Republican, and Conor Lamb, his Democratic opponent are vying for a seat that opened in October when eight-term Congressman Tim Murphy resigned following a personal scandal... Murphy's old district stretches from the mostly liberal suburbs of Pittsburgh, south into conservative, rural areas that are dominated by the energy industry. For more than a decade, Murphy maintained support from across the district, but while this is a regional race, polarized national politics loom large and the two campaigns are using very different strategies to woo voters... A loss in this district would not only be deeply embarrassing for the party, but might show an erosion of support among voters who supported Trump in 2016."

DACA 'Deadline' Marks Inaction By Congress

DACA’s future rests with Congress, courts. Boston Globe: "Monday is the deadline set by the Trump administration for Congress to approve fixes to a program protecting young immigrants, but a US Supreme Court ruling last week means the shield will stay in effect for at least a few months and perhaps until well after midterm elections. The administration went directly to the nation’s highest court after US District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco decided in January that beneficiaries of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program could apply for renewals. The justices left Alsup’s decision in place until lower federal courts can hear challenges to the executive order in which Trump said he would end DACA unless Congress acts, calling the so-called Dreamers program an abuse of executive power... The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals put its review of Alsup’s decision on fast track, but legal experts don’t expect a decision until June at the earliest. From there, it is expected to go to the Supreme Court. In January, the president proposed a path to citizenship for 1.8 million young immigrants as part of an immigration package that included $25 billion for a wall and other border enforcement measures and sharp cuts to legal immigration. The Senate rejected it. Immigrant advocates and their allies in Congress want a narrower bill that would protect DACA recipients, possibly combined with limited border enforcement measures, but the administration has balked."

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U.S. Aluminum and Steel Workers are an Endangered Species. Leo Gerard: "The United States can’t assure its own national security if its steel and aluminum mills and skilled mill workers are extinct. Tariffs on imported metals will give U.S. producers time to recover from illegal practices that undercut them."

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