06-05-2020  5:30 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Thousands March Peacefully for 7th Night in Portland

NBA Portland Trail Blazer star Damian Lillard walked at the front of the crowd arm-in-arm with young demonstrators

Districts Jettison School Police Officers Amid Protests

Mayor Ted Wheeler: “Leaders must listen and respond to community. We must disrupt the patterns of racism and injustice.”

Two De La Salle North Grads Forge Thrilling Paths

A med student and a Fulbright scholar reflect on their time at the school.

OHSU Resident Uses TikTok, Student Outreach, to Show Representation in Medicine

A group of high school students weighing careers in health care were recently greeted on Google Meet by a physician whose social media star is on the rise.

NEWS BRIEFS

Resources for Supporting Racial Justice in Oregon

Learn about how to get involved with local organizations that have been fighting for decades for racial justice. ...

Business Donates Profits

On Sunday, June 7, the owners of Pine State Biscuits are donating all of their profits to the NAACP and ACLU from all five of their...

NAMC-Oregon Statement on Racism, Inequity & Violence Against Black People

All of us at NAMC-Oregon are angered and deeply saddened by the police murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the...

Civil Rights and Social Justice Organizations Call for a National Day of Mourning Today

At 12:45 p.m. PT today, the NAACP is asking for everyone to take a moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. ...

ACLU Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Minneapolis Police for Attacking Journalists at Protests

The lawsuit’s lead plaintiff, Jared Goyette, a journalist covering the demonstrations, was shot in the face with a rubber bullet ...

Seattle mayor bans tear gas use for 30 days amid protests

SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle mayor has banned the police use of tear gas as protests continue in the city and nationally over the killing of George Floyd. Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a news conference Friday afternoon that the ban would continue for 30 days. The move came hours after three...

Multnomah County applies to ease coronavirus restrictions

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Multnomah County officials submitted reopening framework to Gov. Kate Brown’s office Friday in the hope of beginning phase 1 of the state’s plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions.If approved, restaurants in Multnomah County on June 12 could once again offer...

Kansas, Missouri renew Border War with 4-game football set

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas and Missouri are resuming their bitter Border War in football after the former Big 12 rivals agreed to a four-game series in which each school will play two home games beginning in September 2025.The fourth-longest rivalry in college football dates to 1891, but...

OPINION

Responding to Challenging Questions in a Nation Still in Upheaval

Nate McCoy attempts to answer tough questions in a letter to his sons ...

Mayor Ted Wheeler: Portland and the Path Forward

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler invites Portlanders, as public servants, to join him "in insisting that we never return to business as usual." ...

Local Business Leaders Share Messages of Hope

President, CEO of SAIF says each of us must move forward in "our understanding of the problem, in holding ourselves accountable for our own attitudes and biases, and in coming together, not apart." ...

Time to Stop Messing Around and Strike at the Root of Police Violence

Thomas Knapp says the root of police violence is the creation of "police forces" as state institutions separate from the populace and dedicated to suppressing that populace on command ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Black cops feel pain of Floyd's death, duty to their uniform

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Black police officers find themselves torn between two worlds: They feel the pain of seeing yet another black man killed at the hands of fellow officers, yet they must also try to keep the peace during angry protests fueled by that death.Those feelings, familiar to many...

Goodell says NFL was wrong for not listening to players

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league was wrong for not listening to players fighting for racial equality and encourages them to peacefully protest.One day after 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes and several of his peers released a video demanding the league condemn...

DC paints huge Black Lives Matter mural near White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — The city of Washington capped nearly a week of demonstrations against police brutality Friday by painting the words Black Lives Matter in enormous bright yellow letters on the street leading to the White House, a highly visible display of the local government's embrace of...

ENTERTAINMENT

New York Times says senator’s op-ed didn’t meet standards

NEW YORK (AP) — In an embarrassing about-face, The New York Times said Thursday that an opinion piece it ran by U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton advocating the use of federal troops to quell nationwide protests about police mistreatment of black Americans did not meet its standards.Cotton's op-ed,...

CMT special focuses on good news work of everyday heroes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country stars highlighted the heroic work of citizens and communities around the country who were coming together to help each other in the middle of the coronavirus epidemic during the "CMT Celebrates Our Heroes" TV special.But Wednesday's show largely didn't address...

Ill-considered posts lead to lost jobs amid protests, crisis

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A writer from a “Law & Order" spin-off and the play-by-play broadcaster for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings found themselves out of jobs after making social media posts this week that their bosses found too incendiary or insensitive, highlighting an apparent...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Jordan giving 0 million for racial equality, justice

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand are giving 0 million to organizations...

Mayor downplays rough police treatment of NYC protesters

NEW YORK (AP) — Another day of protests over the death of George Floyd brought more examples of New York...

Officers suspended after man, 75, shoved and hurt on video

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Prosecutors were investigating Friday after a video captured police in Buffalo shoving...

The Latest: NM high court suspends consumer debt collection

SANTA FE, N.M. — The New Mexico Supreme Court is temporarily suspending consumer debt collection such as...

UN health agency: Wear mask if you can't keep your distance

The World Health Organization is broadening its recommendations for the use of masks during the coronavirus...

Pandemic accelerates Mormon missionaries' transition online

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah (AP) — Wearing dress shirts, ties and name tags, three missionaries with The Church of...

McMenamins
Ben Feller AP White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is asking Congress for the power to shrink the federal government and merge federal agencies in an effort to make government more efficient and consumer friendly.

The president is calling it "a big idea."

Obama is trying to rally Republicans in Congress to get behind the plan, which could save $3 billion over 10 years.

Under the proposal, six major trade and commerce agencies with overlapping programs would be merged. The Commerce Department would be among those that would cease to exist.

President Ronald Reagan is the last president who had the type of reorganizational power that Obama is seeking from Congress.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

President Barack Obama will ask Congress on Friday for greater power to shrink the federal government, and he would start by trying to merge six major trade and commerce agencies whose overlapping programs can be baffling to businesses, the White House said Friday. The Commerce Department would be among those that would cease to exist.

Obama will call on Congress to give him a type of reorganizational power last held by a president when Ronald Reagan was in office. The Obama version would be a so-called consolidation authority allowing him to propose mergers that promise to save money and help consumers. The deal would entitle him to an up-or-down vote from Congress in 90 days.

It would be up to lawmakers, therefore, to first grant Obama this fast-track authority and then decide whether to approve any of his specific ideas.

"The government we have is not the government we need," said Jeffrey Zients, who is leading the effort as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Obama will announce his effort at the White House on Friday morning. Administration officials first confirmed the news to The Associated Press.

In an election year and a political atmosphere of tighter spending, Obama's move is about more than improving a giant bureaucracy. He is attempting to directly counter Republican arguments that he has presided over the kind of government regulation, spending and debt that can undermine the economy - a dominant theme of the emerging presidential campaign.

Republicans have often aligned themselves with smaller government. So politically, Obama is trying to put the onus on Republicans in the House and Senate to show why they would be against the pursuit of leaner government.

From Capitol Hill, a spokesman for Sen. Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, pledged Obama's plan would get a careful review.

But the spokesman, Don Stewart, also said: "After presiding over one of the largest expansions of government in history, and a year after raising the issue in his last State of the Union, it's interesting to see the president finally acknowledge that Washington is out of control."

Obama has an imperative to deliver. He made the promise to come up with a smart reorganization of the government in his last State of the Union speech last January.

At the time, Obama grabbed attention by pointing out the absurdity of government inefficiency. In what he called his favorite example, Obama said: "The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they're in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them when they're in saltwater. And I hear it gets even more complicated once they're smoked."

The White House said the problem is serious for consumers who turn to their government for help and often do not know where to begin.

Not in decades has the government undergone a sustained reorganization of itself. Presidents have tried from time to time, but each part of the bureaucracy has its own defenders inside and outside the government, which can make merger ideas politically impossible. That's particularly true because "efficiency" is often another way of saying people will lose their jobs.

Obama hopes to enhance his chances by getting Congress to give him the assurance of a clean, relatively speedy vote on any of his proposals.

There is no clear sign that Obama would get that cooperation. He spent much of 2011 in utter gridlock with Republicans in Congress.

In a related development, the White House announced Friday that Karen Mills, the administrator of the Small Business Administration, would be elevated to Cabinet-level rank. But her job would essentially disappear if Obama has his way.

If he gets the new fast-track power to propose legislation, Obama's first project would be to combine six major operations of the government that focus on business and trade.

They are: the Commerce Department's core business and trade functions; the Small Business Administration; the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; the Export-Import Bank; the Overseas Private Investment Corporation; and the Trade and Development Agency. The goal would be one agency designed to help businesses thrive.

The official said 1,000 to 2,000 jobs would be cut, but the administration would do so through attrition; that is, as people routinely leave their jobs over time.

The administration said the merger would save $3 billion over 10 years by getting rid of duplicative overhead costs, human resources divisions and programs.

The name and potential secretary of the new agency have not been determined.

The point, the White House says, is not just making the government smaller but better by saving people time and eliminating bureaucratic nightmares. The idea for the consolidated business agency grew out of discussions with hundreds of business leaders and agency heads over the last several months.

Zients presented Obama as the CEO of an operation who should have more power to influence how it is designed. According to the White House, presidents held such a reorganizational authority for about 50 years until it ran out during Reagan's presidency in 1984.

Obama has a series of other ideas about consolidating departments across the government, to be rolled out later, Zients said.

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