12-07-2019  8:58 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Food Professionals See Opportunities to “Scale Up” in School Cafeterias and on Store Shelves

Two Portland women are addressing disparities in the local food scene with Ethiopian and Haitian flavors, ingredients

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders

In 1995, Boone was the first African American woman hired by Portland Fire & Rescue; this year she became its first African American Chief

Christmas Tree Shopping is Harder Than Ever, Thanks to Climate Change and Demographics

For Christmas tree farms to survive, shoppers will need to be more flexible

November Holiday Travel at PDX Brings More Comfort, Convenience and Furry Friends

If you’ve not been to Portland International Airport in a few months, you’re in for some surprises.

NEWS BRIEFS

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

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

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Need for Blood Doesn’t Stop for Holidays – Donors Needed

Those who come to give through Dec. 18 will receive a Amazon.com Gift Card ...

North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

Lawyers argued that the monument was installed at the end of Reconstruction to further the false “Lost Cause” narrative,...

Artist Talk with 13-year-old Local to be Held This Tuesday, Nov. 26

Hobbs Waters will be discussing his solo exhibit “Thirteen” at The Armory in Portland ...

Commercial ocean crabbing further delayed in Oregon

NEWPORT, Ore. (AP) — State shellfish managers say the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season will be further delayed until at least Dec. 31 along the entire Oregon coast as testing shows crab are still too low in meat yield in half of the areas along the coast.The World reports the...

2 businesses sue pipeline company over 2016 explosion

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Two businesses whose Northwest Portland storefronts were destroyed by a 2016 gas explosion have filed new lawsuits against the company that was digging at the time.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Portland Bagelworks owners Kim and Rik Bartel are suing Loy Clark...

Missouri fires football coach Barry Odom after 4 seasons

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri fired football coach Barry Odom on Saturday, ending the four-year stay of a respected former player who took over a program in disarray but could never get the Tigers over the hump in the brutal SEC.The Tigers finished 6-6 and 3-5 in the conference after...

Powell, Missouri snap 5-game skid with win over Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — In a game started by third- and fifth-string quarterbacks, the outcome was decided by one of their backups. It was appropriate enough for Arkansas and Missouri, two teams facing their longest losing streaks in decades.Fayetteville High School graduate Taylor Powell...

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

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

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

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

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

NFL At 100: Rooney Rule has its positives and its faults

In 2003, the NFL had three minority head coaches: future Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dungy, Herman Edwards and Marvin Lewis. In the 12 previous seasons, there had been six. Total. Considering that the majority of the players in the league 16 years ago were minorities, that imbalance was...

Voting site reopened in Georgia after grassroots fight

HAZLEHURST, Ga. (AP) — When local election officials shut down a polling site in a predominantly black area of a rural Georgia county, displaced voters couldn’t look to the federal government to intervene as it once did in areas with a history of racial disenfranchisement.So residents...

Haley: Killer 'hijacked' Confederate flag meaning for some

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said in an interview that a man who gunned down nine worshipers at an African American church in 2015 “hijacked” the ideals many connected to the Confederate battle flag.Haley told conservative political commentator and Blaze TV host Glenn Beck...

ENTERTAINMENT

R. Kelly charged with paying bribe before marrying Aaliyah

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors are accusing singer R. Kelly of scheming with others to pay for a fake ID for an unnamed female a day before he married R&B singer Aaliyah, then 15 years old, in a secret ceremony in 1994.The revised indictment, filed Thursday in New York, accuses...

Bloomberg: His news reporters need to accept restrictions

NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg says employees at his news organization need to accept restrictions with their paycheck, including the ban on investigating their boss.Bloomberg, billionaire founder of Bloomberg News, was asked in a CBS News interview about...

Billy Joel, Kardashians Diplo descend on Miami for Art Basel

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — As gallerists and collectors descend on Miami's most prestigious art fair by day, the Hollywood crowd knows it's all about the exclusive after parties. Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and Pharrell were in town while DJ Khaled and rappers Travis Scott and Gucci Mane held...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Q&A: Does a manufacturing slump threaten the US economy?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defying fears and predictions, the U.S. economy is still shrugging off President Donald...

AP Exclusive: 629 Pakistani girls sold as brides to China

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Page after page, the names stack up: 629 girls and women from across Pakistan who...

Tensions as yellow vests join French retirement protests

PARIS (AP) — Paris police skirmished Saturday with yellow vest activists joining a wave of protest actions...

AP Exclusive: 629 Pakistani girls sold as brides to China

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Page after page, the names stack up: 629 girls and women from across Pakistan who...

Venice tide barriers pass another test, but skeptics remain

VENICE, Italy (AP) — Floated along by barge , one of the 10-ton barriers designed to relieve...

Q&A: Does a manufacturing slump threaten the US economy?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defying fears and predictions, the U.S. economy is still shrugging off President Donald...

McMenamins
Stephen Ohlemacher the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Despite a delay, the White House pushed hard Thursday for the House to pass a tax package that would save millions of Americans thousands of dollars in higher taxes beginning Jan. 1.

Some Democratic lawmakers are seeking changes to the package that could derail the bill. Democratic leaders are staying hands-off, leaving it to President Barack Obama to persuade fellow Democrats not to put the package at risk by imposing a higher estate tax than he negotiated with Republicans.

"I think the president has been working it hard," Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., a member of the House Democratic leadership team, said Thursday.

The Senate overwhelmingly passed the package Wednesday, with broad bipartisan support. Obama is urging the House to pass it without changes, so he can sign it into law before a sweeping series of tax cuts expires at the end of December.

But first, they will hold a vote on imposing the higher estate tax, backed by rebellious Democrats who say the package is too generous to the wealthy.

House Democratic leaders originally arranged for a final vote on the measure by Thursday evening, but the timetable was in danger of slipping after a dispute arose over the terms of the debate.

"This is a vote people are making for their consciences, and for their districts," said Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., chairwoman of the House Rules Committee.

House Democratic leaders are not twisting arms on the estate tax vote, Slaughter said. They are leaving that to the White House.

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

"It just seems like the momentum is with a bill that is unchanged," said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. Cummings said he will vote against the bill, despite a call from Obama earlier in the week.

The stakes are high. 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.

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

The tax cuts, enacted under former President George W. Bush, include 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.

"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.

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 lower 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.

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ill., said Thursday that he won't vote for the bill because it doesn't make the tax cuts permanent.

"A two-year extension of the tax code is not going to encourage the kind of investment that's going to begin to create jobs in this economy," Pence said on NBC's "Today."

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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