03-03-2021  9:20 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Blumenauer, Pressley Reintroduce Legislation to Fully End Qualified Immunity

Unjust doctrine shields police officers from accountability for misconduct and criminal behavior

Ruby Haughton-Pitts’ Dismissal as Oregon AARP Director Draws Fire

State leaders, members and supporters are questioning AARP’s secrecy around the decision to fire the highly regarded leader after two years of service

All Oregonians Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine by July 1

People who are 45 to 64 with underlying health conditions will be eligible starting March 29

City Permanently Cuts Funds to Portland Neighborhood Group

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who oversees the city’s civic life bureau, opted to remove funding from Southwest Neighborhoods Inc. after an audit found that money had been mismanaged.

NEWS BRIEFS

$500,000 Grant Funding Will Invest In Racial Equity In WA

Kaiser Permanente commits funding to grassroots organizations to dismantle practices and structures that prevent communities of color...

Girls Inc. of the PNW Welcomes Cyreena Boston Ashby as CEO

Boston Ashby has served as interim executive director since summer 2020, plans to focus on paths to addressing learning loss ...

Changes Made To Scheduling Vaccine Appointments via the Vaccine Information Tool

Adults who are 65 and older, and most people who are eligible for vaccines in Phase 1A in the Portland metro area, will no longer be...

Senators Markey, Smith, and Booker and Rep. Jackson Lee Re-introduce Legislation to Make Juneteenth a National Holiday

“Juneteenth,” observed on June 19, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States ...

HB 1465, To Increase the Death Tax Rate in Washington State To 40%

The Washington Policy Center's Vice President for Research, Paul Guppy today released a study on the bill ...

Sheriff's sergeant on leave over a year in sex abuse probe

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office sergeant remains on paid leave more than a year after Redmond Police started investigating him over an alleged sexual assault.A newly released police report outlines an ongoing criminal investigation into Richard...

University of Oregon to return to mostly in-person classes

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The University of Oregon will go back to predominately in-person instruction for the fall term, officials said. President Michael Schill says the decision was made following an announcement Friday from Gov. Kate Brown that higher education will be included in the...

Ex-Cardinals coach Wilks new defensive coordinator at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Steve Wilks is returning to coaching as the defensive coordinator at Missouri.Wilks, who was hired by Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz on Thursday, took last year off after spending the previous 14 seasons in the NFL. The stint was highlighted by a year as the head coach of...

OPINION

OHA Marks 1 Year One-Year Anniversary of Oregon’s First COVID-19 Case

Director thanks Oregonians and asks state residents to maintain pandemic precautions and choose vaccination ...

Democracy and White Privilege

“White Nationalists” who believe that America only belongs to its “White” citizens, who live and have lived according to “White Privilege” are ignoring the words of the Declaration of Independence ...

The Leadership Conference Submits Letter in Support of H.R. 40

H.R. 40 finally forces the U.S. government to recognize and make amends for the decades of economic enrichment that have benefited this nation as a result of the free labor that African slaves were forced to provide ...

Letter to the Editor Re: Zenith Energy

The time is now for Portland City Council to stop Zenith Energy’s transporting fossil fuels into and out of our city. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ICC investigates alleged crimes in Palestinian territories

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Wednesday she has launched an investigation into alleged Israeli crimes in the Palestinian territories, plunging the court into the midst of one of the most fraught conflicts of the past half century.The...

Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee to honor civil rights icons

DETROIT (AP) — Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr. was a young activist emerging from the 1961 sit-ins and Freedom Rides that fought for Black civil rights and an end to racial segregation when he received his next assignment.It was one that would help change the course of American history.“I...

NBA says million going to HBCUs through All-Star Game

ATLANTA (AP) — The last shot of Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game will be worth 0,000 for either the Thurgood Marshall College Fund or United Negro College Fund, the league said Wednesday in revealing how an estimated million in charitable donations from the contest will be...

ENTERTAINMENT

6 Dr. Seuss books won't be published for racist images

BOSTON (AP) — Six Dr. Seuss books — including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo” — will stop being published because of racist and insensitive imagery, the business that preserves and protects the author's legacy...

Vanessa Bryant still perseveres after Kobe, Gigi's death

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Vanessa Bryant said she is focused on “finding the light in darkness” in an emotional interview with People magazine detailing her attempts to push forward after her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gigi died in a helicopter crash early last year.Bryant said...

Dolly Parton on her 50th Grammy nod: 'It's always special'

NEW YORK (AP) — It's been 51 years since Dolly Parton earned her first Grammy nomination, and this year the national treasure who has won nine Grammys throughout her career is competing for her 50th honor.Parton's first Grammy nomination was at the 1970 show for “Just Someone I Used...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Biden health pick taking heat for support of abortion rights

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s pick for health secretary is taking heat from Republicans...

Biden vows enough vaccine for all US adults by end of May

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said the U.S. expects to take delivery of enough coronavirus vaccine...

EXPLAINER: Pope's risky Iraq trip aims to boost Christians

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is pushing ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite rising...

Kremlin says Russia will respond to new Western sanctions

MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin on Wednesday shrugged off new Western sanctions over the poisoning and arrest of...

Strong earthquake shakes central Greece, felt in Balkans

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of at least 6.0 struck central Greece...

ICC investigates alleged crimes in Palestinian territories

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Wednesday she has...

By Tom Cohen CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Now we're getting somewhere.  Expected concessions by House Speaker John Boehner have moved negotiations on avoiding the fiscal cliff to a new level as the deadline for Congress to act shrinks to two weeks.

Sources told CNN over the weekend that Boehner's latest proposal dropped Republican opposition to two key demands by President Barack Obama -- higher tax rates on the wealthiest Americans and an automatic extension of the federal debt limit.

Boehner's office insisted no deal had been reached, but didn't dispute the information from the sources about the concessions.

"The lines of communication remain open but there is no agreement, nor is one imminent," said Boehner's spokesman, Michael Steel.



Congress had been scheduled to end its work last week, but legislators will return Monday with leaders warning members to be prepared to stay until Christmas and then return after the holiday until the year's end.

While the latest twists in the negotiations indicate a possible breakthrough, Boehner's offer also included hardline positions on spending cuts and reforming entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that are opposed by Obama's liberal base.

The Ohio Republican's move sought to shift the onus on Obama to bring the Democratic position on spending cuts and entitlement reforms closer to the changes sought by the Boehner and the GOP.

Obama has repeatedly said that once Republicans accepted that tax rates on high-income Americans must increase, he would be willing to negotiate on other issues.

The president also has insisted that raising the federal debt ceiling should be separated from the political process of negotiating deficit reduction.

With the federal debt approaching the current ceiling of $16.4 trillion, Boehner's new offer would allow the government to again raise the borrowing cap -- a move that has faced strong GOP opposition since Republicans swept the U.S. House in 2010.

Boehner has consistently insisted that any increase in the debt limit must be offset by equal or greater spending cuts.

It was not immediately clear if his new proposal yielded on that demand, or whether Boehner will insist that proposed spending cuts in his plan must offset any debt limit increases.

According to one source, who spoke on condition of not being identified further, Boehner also proposed allowing tax rates on household incomes over $1 million to return to the higher rates of the 1990s while extending current reduced rates for all income up to that threshold.

In addition, his proposal includes a chained Consumer Price Index, which takes into account changes in quantity and prices of products, and an increase in the age of eligibility for Medicare, according to a source familiar with the talks.

Those two steps would affect benefits for senior citizens and other participants in entitlement programs, and labor unions and advocacy groups for the elderly were expected to oppose them.

A source familiar with the talks called Boehner's offer "insufficient on revenue and rates."

However, the White House does consider it "progress" and reiterated Steel's statement, saying that the "lines of communication are open," the source said.

Obama and Boehner did not speak Sunday, sources said.

The president demands that tax rates increase on incomes over $250,000, a stance that was central to his re-election campaign and is supported by most Americans, according to consistent poll results.

Boehner has been under pressure from the White House, Democrats, the business community and some fellow Republicans to give up a staunch opposition to any increase in tax rates.

A separate source said there was not enough time to get a deal passed before Christmas. If a deal gets reached soon, then passage by January 1 would be tight but achievable, the source said.

Last week, Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen said a deal would have to be reached by Christmas to allow enough time for the legislative process to approve the required measure or measures by the end of the year.

Boehner previously had offered to increase tax revenue by eliminating unspecified deductions and loopholes, but drew the line at allowing any rates to go higher.

Conservatives trying to shrink the federal government generally oppose increasing tax revenue. They are particularly opposed to higher tax rates because history shows that once rates go up, it is difficult to later reduce government revenue by lowering them again.

Obama and Democrats argue that increased revenue, including higher tax rates on the wealthy, must be part of broader deficit reduction to avoid the middle class from getting hit too hard.

Boehner met Thursday afternoon with Obama at the White House in their second face-to-face talks of the week. The two then spoke by phone on Friday, according to news reports.

CNN's Jessica Yellin and Brianna Keilar contributed to this report.

 

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