12-14-2019  9:37 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Louisiana State University President Heading to Oregon Job

F. King Alexander will succeed Ed Ray, who is retiring from the position at Oregon State University at the end of June after 17 years as president. Ray will continue in a teaching role at the university

PHOTOS: Black Santa Visits Northwest African American Museum

The Skanner's Seattle photographer Susan Fried was on hand to snap some photos

English Language Learners' Success Translates Into a $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Teacher Julie Rowell

Oregon educator boosts student achievement and future prospects at Gresham High School

Portland Resident Hoping to Donate Kidney to Black Recipient

Fewer Black patients receive live kidney donations

NEWS BRIEFS

Friends of the Children Chapter Coming to Tacoma, Executive Director Announced

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Oregon Humane Society Celebrates the Adoption of the 11,000th Pet of 2019

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EPA Approves Funding for Oregon and Washington to Improve Drinking Water, Wastewater Infrastructure

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Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

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Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

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Man convicted of hate crime for punching transgender woman

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man convicted of punching a transgender woman has been sentenced to probation. Dominick Gonzales, 38, changed his plea Friday and was convicted of first-degree bias crime for punching the woman in Northwest Portland in September, Multnomah County District...

Oregon Supreme Court upholds district attorney suspension

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New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

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Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

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Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Former Gary, Indiana, Mayor Richard Hatcher dead at 86

Former Gary Mayor Richard Hatcher, who became one of the first black mayors of a big U.S. city when he was elected in 1967, has died. He was 86.Hatcher died Friday night at a Chicago hospital, said his daughter, Indiana state Rep. Ragen Hatcher, a Gary Democrat. She did not provide a cause of her...

Reparations mark new front for US colleges tied to slavery

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AP Exclusive: China tightens up on info after Xinjiang leaks

The Xinjiang regional government in China’s far west is deleting data, destroying documents, tightening controls on information and has held high-level meetings in response to leaks of classified papers on its mass detention camps for Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim minorities,...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Lemonade' by Beyoncé is named the AP's album of the decade

NEW YORK (AP) — The top 15 albums of the decade by Associated Press Music Editor Mesfin Fekadu:1. Beyoncé, “Lemonade”: At the beginning of this decade, Beyoncé was already the greatest singer of her generation. She won a record six Grammys in a single night, had women...

'Mad Men' actress Christina Hendricks files for divorce

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Mad Men” actress Christina Hendricks filed for divorce Friday from her husband of 10 years, actor Geoffrey Arend. Hendricks filed the marriage dissolution documents in Los Angeles Superior Court, citing irreconcilable differences. The 44-year-old Hendricks...

‘Rise of Skywalker’ is almost here, but a dark side looms

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When Disney bought Lucasfilm for more than billion in 2012, there were lofty expectations of reviving “Star Wars” in spectacular hyper-speed fashion with a new trilogy that continued the story of Luke Skywalker and other beloved characters.The space saga...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Preservation or development? Brazil’s Amazon at a crossroads

TRAIRAO, Brazil (AP) — Night falls in Brazil’s Amazon and two logging trucks without license plates...

Under pressure, Hallmark pulls gay-themed wedding ads

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US finally giving boot to official foot measurement

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China welcomes preliminary deal in trade war it blames on US

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Boris Johnson goes north to celebrate crushing election win

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged Saturday to repay the trust of voters in the...

Disagreement drags UN climate talks into a 2nd extra day

MADRID (AP) — U.N. climate talks in Madrid dragged into a second day of extra time Sunday, with officials...

McMenamins
By The Skanner News

WASHINGTON (AP) — A massive tax package that would save millions of Americans thousands of dollars in higher taxes is headed for a vote in the House Thursday even as rebellious Democrats complain it is too generous to the wealthy.

House Democratic leaders plan to pass the bill Thursday. But first, they will hold a vote on imposing a higher estate tax than the one negotiated by President Barack Obama.

The Senate overwhelmingly passed the package Wednesday, with broad bipartisan support. Now, Obama is urging the House to pass it without changes, so he can sign it into law.

"I know that not every member of Congress likes every piece of this bill, and it includes some provisions that I oppose," Obama said. "But as a whole, this package will grow our economy, create jobs, and help middle class families across the country.

"As this bill moves to the House of Representatives, I hope that members from both parties can come together in a spirit of common purpose to protect American families and our economy as a whole by passing this essential economic package," Obama said.

The stakes are high as the House begins debate. If the House passes the higher estate tax, the bill would go back to the Senate, jeopardizing the entire package and representing a public rebuke of Obama by members of his own party.

A vote is expected Thursday afternoon.

Many House Democrats, even critics of the bill, are resigned to it ultimately passing with the lower estate tax, especially after the Senate passed it, 81-19.

"The overwhelming vote in the Senate should bring everyone to religion," said Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J. But, he added, "Let's have a tangible signal that we really feel that this is unreasonable, what we're doing in terms of the estate tax."

Tax cuts affecting Americans at every income level are scheduled to expire Jan. 1 — a little more than two weeks away. The package would extend them for two years.

The tax cuts includes a more generous child tax credit, tax breaks for college students, lower taxes on capital gains and dividends and a series of business tax breaks designed to encourage investment. The package would also renew a program of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed and enact a one-year cut in Social Security taxes.

A worker making $50,000 in wages would save $1,000 under the cut in Social Security taxes. A worker making $100,000 would save $2,000.

The bill's cost, $858 billion, would be added to the deficit.

"The president has been clear from the beginning that there are provisions in this bill he does not support," Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said. "But they were necessary compromises in order to secure the president's top priorities — initiatives targeted to strengthen growth, create jobs and help working and middle-class families.

At the insistence of Republicans, the plan includes an estate tax that would allow the first $10 million of a couple's estate to pass to heirs without taxation. The balance would be subject to a 35 percent tax rate.

Many House Democrats want to impose a higher estate tax, bringing back the levels in place in 2009. They persuaded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to allow a vote on the change, arguing that the higher estate tax would affect only 6,600 of the wealthiest estates, and would save $23 billion.

"It doesn't create jobs, it adds to the deficit," Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said of the more generous estate tax. "Is that the message this Congress wants to send at a time of high deficits?"

In 2009, individuals could pass $3.5 million to their heirs, tax-free. Couples could pass $7 million, with a little tax planning, and the balance was taxed at a top rate of 45 percent.

The estate tax was allowed to expire for 2010. But under current law, it would come back in 2011 at even higher levels, with a top tax rate of 55 percent. Democrats said their plan to reinstate the 2009 tax is still more generous than current law; many Republicans said the estate tax should be done away with altogether.

"I don't like this bill, but I like even less the notion of raising taxes on average Americans," said Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif.

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said any changes to the bill would derail the entire package, putting millions of Americans at risk of a significant tax increase next year.

"Now it's up to our colleagues in the House, and we urge Democrat leaders to resist playing political games and making partisan changes so that American taxpayers won't be hit with a huge, job-killing tax hike on Jan. 1," McConnell said.

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