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First Friday Ask IMA - Post Election Update TODAY

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, December 2, 2016

With the election finally over, DC is preparing for the start of a new Administration and Congressional Session in January. Republicans control both the legislative and executive branches, meaning there will be tremendous opportunity to enact their policy agenda. Please join IMA-NA staff today, December 2nd at 1:00pm EST to hear insights on how the Trump Administration's Cabinet choices could impact our industry, what the House and Senate are likely to focus on in the coming year, and how to get involved in shaping upcoming tax reform and the other issues important to the industrial minerals industry.

 

Click here to Register.

Tags:  administration  Congress  first friday  legislation  Legislators  politics  president  Regulations 

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2016 Primaries - Democratic Debate and Results

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, March 9, 2016

As primary season continues on, the races are shaping up to be drawn out affairs for both parties. In the wake of Bernie Sanders's surprise upset in Michigan's primaries it is a good time to note that at this point, both Democratic candidates are openly criticizing fracking.  During the debate on March 7th, in Detroit, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders expressed intentions to effectively ban fracking, either directly or through regulation. This stance is in line with Bernie Sanders's record on the issue of natural gas development, but Hillary Clinton has begun to take a harder line on the future of fracking in the United States.  Policies banning fracking would impact not only energy development in the United States but would have a tremendous impact on other industries, such as the industrial sand producers in the states. 

Here are the the respective opinions from both Democratic candidates:

Hillary Clinton: "I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking can continue to take place,” with all the conditions she would impose on the practice.

Bernie Sanders: “We’ve got to regulate everything that is currently underway,” and anybody who is fracking must disclose all chemicals they are using. He went on to say fracking can’t be done safely, he doesn’t support it, and it is a “national crisis”.

 

Tags:  2016 primaries  Bernie Sanders  democrats  fracking  Hillary Clinton  industry  policy  politics 

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Trade Promotion Authority Bill Stalls in House

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, June 12, 2015

Despite President Obama's attempts to whip Democrat votes, the trade package that would grant him fast-track authority to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement failed this afternoon, after the House voted down the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) portion by a margin of 126-302. The package, which already passed the Senate in May, required the passage of both TAA and the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) measures in order to make it to the President's desk. Democrats had expressed disapproval with the drafted TAA plan, taking the stance that the financial assistance for workers was not substantial enough to offset the potential job losses resulting from TPP.  Due to his party's resistance to the overall trade package, President Obama personally made the plea for votes during a Hill visit this morning.  When Minority Leader, Representative Nancy Pelosi (CA-12), announced her intention to vote down the measures it was clear the President's visit had little impact on his Caucus.

Following the TAA vote, the Republicans decided to vote on the TPA portion in a symbolic gesture of support for the trade package. The TPA portion was agreed to by a vote of 219-211. It is probable the House will vote on TAA again next week, in hopes that over the weekend enough votes can be whipped to enact passage of the full deal. Should the vote on TAA fail again, the Republicans have expressed confidence they can pass TPA as a freestanding measure.  It remains to be seen whether the House will be able to follow the lead of the Senate and pass this important measure that will allow for continued development of international trade agreements.

Tags:  Capitol Hill  congress  legislation  politics  president  tpa  tpp  trade 

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Proposed Budgets Pass in Both House and Senate

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, March 27, 2015

This week, both the House and the Senate passed their respective budgets for FY 2016.  Following the House's narrow passage of their proposed budget on Wednesday, the Senate also managed to pass a proposed budget in the early hours of Friday morning. The final vote of 52-46 happened shortly before 3:30 in the morning following hours of votes on the numerous amendments offered.  The "vote-a-rama", as it is being called, included over 40 amendments largely aimed at forcing each party to vote on issues with political capital.

Although each House passed budget proposals, the real test will be whether the chambers can agree on a final budget prior to the April 15th deadline.  It has been over 5 years since Congress has managed to agree on a final budget and it remains to be seen whether the GOP can deliver a package the different segments of the party will support. In the coming weeks, the GOP will attempt to deliver on at least part of the campaign promises which gave them control of both the House and the Senate.

For more details on the Senate budget package click here

For more details on the House budget package click here.

Tags:  budget  Congress  House  politics  Senate 

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President Obama's State of the Union Focuses on the Future

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, January 21, 2015

On January 20th, President Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union address.  The President opened his address by stating, "The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong," before turning the focus of his remarks to the future of the nation and the middle class.  Coming off better economic and poll numbers than he has seen in years, the President declared the success of policies enacted to expand health coverage and opportunities to the working class. He also took the opportunity to reiterate his goal to put tax credits into place favoring the middle class while increasing taxes on capital gains. Outside of voicing commitment to growing and supporting the middle class, the speech touched on the domestic issues of immigration, the importance of access to affordable education, and updating cybersecurity measures.  President Obama's foreign policy remarks stressed the nation's commitment to supporting Syria in the ongoing conflict with ISIL, the importance of trade agreements, and the country's strength in leading with "a persistent, steady resolve." Overall, the State of the Union reflected much of the current national climate while still signalling continuations of more contentious policies.

The possibility for bipartisanship in the 114th Congress remains to be seen as the President's agenda is interpreted and worked through a Republican controlled Congress.  One thing is certain through all this, based on the State of the Union President Obama continues to stand by his policies and their record to this point.

 

To read the full text of the State of the Union click here.

Tags:  administration  obama  politics  president  speech  state of the union 

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114th Congress Starts with a Bang

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, January 9, 2015

On January 6th, members of the 114th Congress were sworn in and business for the year officially began.  The 114th Session got underway with the administrative business of electing party leadership in both Houses. While the Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Harry Reid (D-NV) simply switched titles as Republicans took the Majority in Senate, the House elections were more dramatic.

Representative John Boehner (R-OH) was elected as Speaker of the House for the 3rd time, but not before 25 Republicans cast votes for alternative candidates. This number of defections hasn't been seen in decades and demonstrates the continued rift in the Republican party. Traditionally, the vote for Speaker of the House is a non-contentious expression of party support for leadership. With 25 Members making a stand on such an administrative vote, it would seem Speaker Boehner will have his hands full trying to manage his conference during this session. It remains to be seen as Committee assignments are designated if the dissenting votes will cost Members coveted positions within the Committees. Thus far Representatives Daniel Webster (R-FL) and Richard Nugent (R-FL) have lost their seats on powerful Rules Committee amid speculation of action against the other dissenters.  As a start to a Congressional session where Republican control the House, by the biggest majority since the 1920s, and the Senate the election for Speaker of the House leaves much to be desired for the Republican party.

 Congressional Leadership for the 114th Session is officially as follows:

• Senate Majority Leader- Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
• Senate Minority Leader- Harry Reid (D-NV)
• Speaker of the House- John Boehner (R-OH)
• House Majority Leader- Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
• House Majority Whip- Steve Scalise (R-LA)
• House Minority Leader- Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
• House Minority Whip- Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

Tags:  Congress  politics 

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