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AP News | Equities.com |

House Democrats approved legislation Thursday that they say would help close the gap between what men and women are paid in the workplace, though the measure faces little chance of overcoming Republican opposition in the Senate.

The bill, which is supported by President Joe Biden’s administration, passed 217-210 on a mostly party-line vote. It is the latest salvo in a long-running debate about equality of pay and the government’s role in ensuring it.


Kimberly Redmond | Equities.com |

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform approved legislation on Wednesday that seeks to make Washington, DC, a state, sending the measure to the House for a vote later this month.

The bill, titled HR 51, would turn the district of 66 square miles into a state called Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, named after abolitionist, author and longtime DC resident Frederick Douglass.


Reuters | Equities.com |

Apple Inc is refusing to testify at an upcoming U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing on competition issues related to mobile app stores, the bipartisan leaders of the panel said on Friday.

App makers long have accused Apple’s App Store for iPhones and iPads, along with Google’s Play store for Android devices, of engaging in anticompetitive behavior by requiring certain revenue sharing payments and setting strict inclusion rules. A subcommittee hearing was being planned for late April but no date has been set yet.


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Democrats renewed their efforts Wednesday to muscle through the largest overhaul of U.S. elections in a generation, setting up a fight with Republicans that could bring partisan tensions to a climax in the evenly split Senate and become a defining issue for President Joe Biden.

Democrats and Republicans both see the legislation, which touches on nearly every aspect of the electoral process, as fundamental to their parties’ political futures. The Senate bill, similar to a version passed by the House earlier this month, could shape election outcomes for years to come, striking down hurdles to voting, requiring more disclosure from political donors, restricting partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts and bolstering election security and ethics laws.


Reuters | Equities.com |

(Reuters) - Two U.S. senators on Wednesday said they have introduced a bipartisan bill aimed at boosting taxpayer returns from federal oil and gas leasing, the latest in a string of moves in Washington seeking to reform drilling on public lands.

The bill, authored by Senators Jacky Rosen, a Democrat from Nevada, and Chuck Grassley, a senior Republican from Iowa, would increase the minimum bid price per acre during lease auctions and raise the royalty rate companies must pay on...


Reuters | Equities.com |

Vanita Gupta, President Joe Biden’s nominee for the Justice Department’s No. 3 post, expressed regret on Tuesday for her past “harsh rhetoric” and said she does not favor cutting police funding, as she faced sharp Republican criticism during her U.S. Senate confirmation hearing.

The Senate Judiciary Committee conducted its hearing into the Democratic president’s nominations of Gupta as associate attorney general and Lisa Monaco as deputy attorney general, the department’s No. 2 job. Biden’s fellow Democrats on the committee voiced support for both nominees, but Republicans attacked Gupta.


Reuters | Equities.com |

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, a member of the Republican Senate leadership, said on Monday he will not run for office in 2022, making him the latest Republican lawmaker in Congress to opt for retirement.

The 71-year-old Missouri Republican, who last year called on then-President Donald Trump to be more aggressive in preparing to acquire and deliver coronavirus vaccines, calmly announced his impending departure in a video on Twitter in which he thanked voters for enabling him to have a career in public service.


AP News | Equities.com |

The Senate steered on Friday toward a voting marathon on Democrats’ $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill after enduring an extraordinary half-day holdup forced by a Republican foe of President Joe Biden’s top legislative priority.

The chamber planned to begin voting around midday on a mountain of amendments, mostly by GOP opponents and virtually all of which were destined to be rejected. That would set the Senate on course toward approving its reworked version of the massive measure, probably over the weekend, and shipping it back to the House so it could whisk the final package to Biden for his signature.


AP News | Equities.com |

President Joe Biden’s Cabinet is taking shape at the slowest pace of any in modern history, with just over a dozen nominees for top posts confirmed more than a month into his tenure.

Among Biden’s 23 nominees with Cabinet rank, just 13 have been confirmed by the Senate, or a little over half. And among the 15 core nominees to lead federal agencies, 10 have been confirmed, or about two thirds. According to the Center for Presidential Transition, about a month into their first terms, the previous four presidents had 84% of their core Cabinet picks confirmed.


Reuters | Equities.com |

Negotiations over President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill go into overdrive this week as the U.S. Senate begins debate over the sweeping legislation and lawmakers jockey to include pet projects, while tossing others overboard.

Senator Angus King, an independent aligned with Biden’s Democrats, has been pushing for billions of dollars to expand high-speed broadband service in rural areas - an idea that could attract Republican support.