02-26-2021  4:28 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
I-5 Rose Quarter Project Open House
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NORTHWEST NEWS

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.

Black Restaurant Week Comes to Portland

National event highlights Black-owned restaurants, cafes, and food trucks, creates countrywide database to support Black businesses

Portland Police Launch Team to Investigate Shootings

 The Enhanced Community Safety Team will be comprised of three sergeants, 12 officers and six detectives, and will staff a seven-member on-call unit to respond to shooting scenes, examine evidence, interview witnesses and do immediate follow-up investigations

NEWS BRIEFS

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 ...

Seattle Black Artist To Be Featured in Amazon Prime Series

The Northwest African American Museum (NAAM), in Seattle, Washington, is launching a call for artist...

NIKE, Inc. and Goalsetter Partner to Increase Financial Literacy Among America’s Youth

Goalsetter uses digital platforms to engage youth and help them better understand financial well-being, while saving for their future ...

Six Trailblazing Black Judges to Discuss Overcoming Challenges Feb. 26

The online program panel judges include Justice Adrienne Nelson, the first Black justice of the Oregon Supreme Court and the first...

Oregon high court affirms juries can acquit in split votes

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court, ruling before the start of a murder case, has upheld that a defendant can be acquitted by a nonunanimous verdict, months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that guilty verdicts must be unanimous.The decision Thursday keeps Oregon as the only state...

All Oregonians eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by July 1

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — All Oregonians who are 16 and older will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations no later than July 1, Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday. The governor presented her new vaccine eligibility timeline for the state during a news conference Friday — outlining...

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

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. ...

The Heroes Within Us

Black History Month, as it exists today, continues the practice of “othering” Black people in America. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

New Orleans move to vacate 22 non-unanimous jury convictions

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Prosecutors in New Orleans moved Friday to have convictions overturned for 22 people found guilty of felonies by non-unanimous juries, and to review hundreds of other such convictions obtained under a law with roots in the Jim Crow era. District Attorney Jason Williams,...

Oregon high court affirms juries can acquit in split votes

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court, ruling before the start of a murder case, has upheld that a defendant can be acquitted by a nonunanimous verdict, months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that guilty verdicts must be unanimous.The decision Thursday keeps Oregon as the only state...

WNBA approves Montgomery's role in new Dream ownership group

ATLANTA (AP) — Former Atlanta Dream guard Renee Montgomery made history on Friday as part of a three-member investor group that was approved to purchase the team.The ownership change follows pressure on former Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a Republican who angered WNBA players with her opposition to...

ENTERTAINMENT

Maren Morris, Chris Stapleton lead ACM Awards nominations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton are the leading nominees for the Academy of Country Music Awards, but only Stapleton joined the all-male ballot for the top prize of entertainer of the year. The academy announced on Friday that Morris and Stapleton both had six...

Tonywatch: Playwright Katori Hall 'reaching for humanity'

NEW YORK (AP) — Most playwrights who dip their toes into musical theater for the first time go small. Not Katori Hall: Her first assignment was to capture the life of a musical giant — Tina Turner.“I’m not really scared of much, which is probably why I felt like...

Laying out data, Netflix touts its record on inclusivity

NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix on Friday released a study it commissioned from top academic researchers that shows the streaming giant is outpacing much of the film industry in the inclusivity of its original films and television series.For years, academic studies have sought to capture...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are...

Hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls taken in mass abduction

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Gunmen abducted 317 girls from a boarding school in northern Nigeria on Friday,...

Some local GOP leaders fire up base with conspiracies, lies

A faction of local, county and state Republican officials is pushing lies, misinformation and conspiracy theories...

Pandemic leaves many Romanian patients without critical care

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Andrei, a 32-year-old Romanian man who has been HIV positive since he was a baby,...

Officials: 400 escape, 25 dead after Haiti prison breakout

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haitian authorities announced Friday that more than 400 inmates escaped and 25...

Vaccination 'passports' may open society, but inequity looms

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Violet light bathed the club stage as 300 people, masked and socially distanced,...

I-5 Rose Quarter Project Open House 2
By The Skanner News

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats voted Thursday to reject President Barack Obama's tax deal with Republicans in its current form, but it was unclear how significantly the package might need to be changed.

The Skanner News Video

By voice vote in a closed caucus meeting, Democrats passed a resolution saying the tax package should not come to the House floor for consideration as written, even though no formal House bill has been drafted. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., introduced the resolution.

Said Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas: "If it's take it or leave it, we'll leave it."

Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., said "it's a pretty clear message. We don't like the bill."

The vote will at least temporarily stall what had seemed to be a grudging Democratic movement toward the tax package. Before the caucus vote took place, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Obama's tax compromise embodies "the objective we need to reach" even though Democrats dislike several components.

"We're going to have an increase in taxes on working Americans ... if we continue to have gridlock," Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, said on MSNBC.

But the the voice vote in the caucus was quite lopsided. Rep. Shelley Berkley of Nevada told reporters afterward that "one person voted against it. That would be me."

Asked what happens next, Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the No. 3 person in the Democratic leadership, said, "I don't know. Well wait and see."

Speaking earlier Thursday at a White House event promoting American exports, Obama said the vote will determine whether the economy "moves forward or backward."

The president again pressed Congress to pass the agreement, saying it has the potential to create millions of jobs. He said if it fails, Americans would see smaller paychecks and fewer jobs.

But Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said "the jury is still out" on the measure's enactment because many Democrats are furious over an estate tax provision.

Obama agreed to exempt the first $5 million of a deceased person's estate, and to tax the rest at 35 percent. Congressional Democrats had expected a 45 percent tax rate on anything above $3.5 million. Without congressional action, the estate tax will revert to an even higher rate: 55 percent on estates valued above $1 million. That should have strengthened Obama's hand when negotiating with Republicans, Van Hollen said.

Some Democrats have reluctantly embraced the tax package, which would let rich and poor Americans keep Bush-era tax cuts that were scheduled to expire this month. Even so, 54 House Democrats wrote a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying they're opposing the deal.

Led by Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont, they said they were against "acceding to Republican demands to extend the Bush tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires."

"We're paying a king's ransom," Welch said in an interview. "We didn't need to and couldn't afford to."

The 54 Democrats, by themselves, would not be enough to block the package in the House, depending on how much support it gets from Republicans.

After Obama publicly defended the plan for a third day Wednesday, and Vice President Joe Biden met with Democratic lawmakers in the Capitol for a second day, several Democrats predicted the measure will pass, mainly because of extensive Republican support.

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., predicted the tax cut compromise "will be passed by virtually all the Republicans and a minority of Democrats." He said he would vote against it.

Obama said more congressional Democrats would climb aboard as they studied details of the $900 billion year-end measure.

Raising the direst alarm yet, his administration warned fellow Democrats on Wednesday that if they defeat the plan, they could jolt the nation back into recession.

Larry Summers, Obama's chief economic adviser, told reporters that if the measure isn't passed soon, it will "materially increase the risk the economy would stall out and we would have a double-dip" recession. That put the White House in the unusual position of warning its own party's lawmakers they could be to blame for calamitous consequences if they go against the president.

With many House and Senate Republicans signaling their approval of the tax cut plan, the White House's comments were aimed mainly at House Democrats who feel Obama went too far in yielding to Republicans' demands for continued income tax cuts and lower estate taxes for the wealthy.

Obama says the compromise was necessary because Republicans were prepared to let everyone's taxes rise and to block the extension of unemployment benefits for jobless Americans if they didn't get much of what they wanted.

Economists say the recent recession officially ended in June 2009. But with unemployment at 9.8 percent, millions remain out of work or fearful of losing ground economically, and the notion of the nation falling back into a recession would strike many as chilling. It also could rattle markets and investors.

The deal Obama crafted with Senate Republican leaders would prevent the scheduled Dec. 31 expiration of all the Bush administration's tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003, even though Obama had often promised to end the cuts for the highest earners.

House Democrats, who will lose their majority in January, still hold a 255-179 edge in the current Congress. To pass a big bill with mostly Republican votes would mark a dramatic departure from recent battles, such as the health care overhaul, which was enacted with virtually no GOP support in either chamber.

Passage of Obama's plan seems more assured in the Senate, where numerous Democrats have agreed that the president had little choice in making the compromises with Republicans. Still, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he and colleagues are considering possible changes, and action could come within days.

 

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