U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar introduced two guaranteed income bills on Friday aimed at sending $1,200 monthly checks to most Americans before the end of the decade, according to reports.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has revealed for the first time that his firm SpaceX owns Bitcoin (BTC).
The company is yet to officially announce how much Bitcoin it has purchased, however Musk’s other company Tesla purchased $1.5B of the cryptocurrency earlier this year which sparked a major Bitcoin price rally.
That rally came to an abrupt end after Tesla stopped taking Bitcoin payments due to environmental concerns, but speaking at “The ₿ Word” — a virtual Bitcoin (BTC) event — the erratic tech billionaire suggested Tesla was on the verge of accepting the cryptocurrency again following promising signs the percentage of renewable energy used for mining was increasing.
The changing narrative of Bitcoin going “green” may help reignite a rally, with Coin Metrics co-founder Nic Carter telling CNBC a few hours ago that BTC’s fundamentals are getting better in terms of sustainability.
Musk appeared alongside Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and moderator Steve Lee from Square Crypto. Musk did not reveal any additional details about SpaceX’s purchase apart from saying:
“I do own Bitcoin, Tesla owns Bitcoin, SpaceX owns Bitcoin, and I do personally own a bit of Ethereum and Dogecoin of course.”
Regent Seven Seas Cruises released the fares for sale at 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday. By 11 a.m., all the spots had been snapped up by people eager to spend more than four months on a cruise ship. The strong interest may be a positive sign for the cruise industry as it tries to rebound from the pandemic.
The voyage, which will span 34,500 nautical miles, includes 66 ports of call, as the Seven Seas Mariner will visit 31 countries and four continents. Passengers will also see 61 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The child tax credit had always been an empty gesture to millions of parents like Tamika Daniel.
That changed Thursday when the first payment of $1,000 hit Daniel’s bank account — and dollars started flowing to the pockets of more than 35 million families around the country. Daniel, a 35-year-old mother of four, didn’t even know the tax credit existed until President Joe Biden expanded it for one year as part of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that passed in March.
Previously, only people who earned enough money to owe income taxes could qualify for the credit. Daniel went nearly a decade without a job because her eldest son is autistic and needed her. So she got by on Social Security payments. And she had to live at Fairfield Courts, a public housing project that dead-ends at Interstate 64 as the highway cuts through the Virginia capital of Richmond.
But the extra $1,000 a month for the next year could be a life-changer for Daniel, who now works as a community organizer for a Richmond nonprofit. It will help provide a security deposit on a new apartment.
“It’s actually coming right on time,” she said. “We have a lot going on. This definitely helps to take a load off.”
Biden has held out the new monthly payments, which will average $423 per family, as the key to halving child poverty rates. But he is also setting up a broader philosophical battle about the role of government and the responsibilities of parents.
Democrats see this as a landmark program along the same lines as Social Security, saying it will lead to better outcomes in adulthood that will help economic growth. But many Republicans warn that the payments will discourage parents from working and ultimately feed into long-term poverty.
Some 15 million households will now receive the full credit. The monthly payments amount to $300 for each child who is 5 and younger and $250 for those between 5 and 17. The payments are set to lapse after a year, but Biden is pushing to extend them through at least 2025.
The president ultimately would like to make the payments permanent — and that makes this first round of payments a test as to whether the government can improve the lives of families.
Biden invited beneficiaries to the White House to mark the first round of payments, saying in a Thursday speech that the day carried a historic resonance because of the boost it will give families across the nation.
“This would be the largest ever one-year decrease in child poverty in the history of the United States of America,” the president said. “Millions of children and their families, starting today, their lives are about to change for the better. And our country would be better off for it as well.”
Annual benefit hike could top 6% due to fast-rising inflation. But retirees would have to wait until 2022 to see it.
The 69 million Americans who collect Social Security are on track to get the biggest cost-of-living hike since 1983, with one advocacy group for senior citizens projecting a 6.1% increase to benefits due to surging inflation.
The bad news: Recipients will have to wait for that bump because the Social Security Administration adjusts its payments only once a year, starting with December benefits that are paid in January. That means seniors and other Social Security beneficiaries wouldn’t receive a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) until January 2022.
In the meantime, prices forto at a time when Social Security recipients got what was among the meagerest of COLA adjustments in recent years — a 1.3% increase for 2021. As the pandemic eases, a rapid reopening of the economy is fueling pent-up spending for goods and services that in many cases remain in short supply, prompting inflation to compared with a year earlier.
Former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann told “Watters’ World” Saturday that the federal government wants Americans to “check our Bill of Rights” at the door when it comes to COVID vaccines.All of America is based upon the fact that we have rights against the government. And they want us, just as a matter of idea, [to] give up all of our first 10 Bill of Rights, our civil liberties, and say, “We’ll take it from here, we’re the federal government.” Because don’t let anybody suffer any delusions about this. There is a database. There will be a database, and everybody will be in that database. And it’s not just vaccine status, it will be your entire medical history. It will be connected to your finances. This is going to get bigger, bigger, bigger, so you stop it now, and you don’t give any information to any government questioner at your door.
The Department of Education canceled an additional $55.6 million in student loan debt for 1,800 student who were victims of a for-profit college fraud, bringing the total amount of canceled student loan debt by the Biden administration to $1.5 billion.
“Today’s announcement continues the U.S. Department of Education’s commitment to standing up for students whose colleges took advantage of them,” Miguel Cardona, the secretary of education, said in the department’s statement released Friday.
The latest loan cancellation is for students who attended Westwood College, Marinello Schools of Beauty and the Court Reporting Institute. This is the first time the department approved loan forgiveness to students who attended schools other than Corinthian Colleges, ITT Technical Institute and American Career Institute since 2017.
The White House is scheduled to issue an executive order Friday to promote competition throughout the U.S. economy in the most ambitious effort in generations to reduce the stranglehold of monopolies and concentrated markets in major industries.
The order — whose details POLITICO first reported last week — marks a major push by President Joe Biden’s administration to focus on competition as part of the economic recovery from the pandemic. It also offers a response to progressives’ criticisms that the federal government has focused too much on supporting banks and other corporations without concern about the effect on consumers, who have watched their choices dwindle over the years.
The credit lines usually allowed customers to borrow anywhere from $3,000 to $100,000, according to CNBC. In a FAQ portion of the letter, the bank explained that the account closures “may have an impact on your credit score,” adding that they could not be reviewed or reversed. “We apologize for the inconvenience this Line of Credit closure will cause,” the bank said, according to CNBC. “The account closure is final.”
In a statement sent to CNBC after its initial report was published, a Wells Fargo spokesman said, “We realize change can be inconvenient, especially when customer credit may be impacted,” adding that the bank was “committed to helping each customer find a credit solution that fits their needs.”
According to the news outlet, Wells Fargo said customers will be given a notice 60 days before their account is shut down, with remaining balances requiring minimum payments at a fixed rate. The Hill has reached out to Wells Fargo for additional information.
AAA and the Oil Price Information Service says the average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County is now at $4.285, nearly 10 cents higher than a month ago. In Orange County, the same gallon of gas is at $4.239.
Gas prices typically rise as summer travel ramps up and California phases in its higher-cost summer blend. Demand may be even higher this year due to a pent-up desire to hit the road after more than a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions.
As pandemic life recedes in the U.S., people are leaving their jobs in search of more money, more flexibility and more happiness. Many are rethinking what work means to them, how they are valued, and how they spend their time. It’s leading to a dramatic increase in resignations — a record 4 million people quit their jobs in April alone, according to the Labor Department.
In normal times, people quitting jobs in large numbers signals a healthy economy with plentiful jobs. But these are not normal times. The pandemic led to the worst U.S. recession in history, and millions of people are still out of jobs. Yet employers are now complaining about acute labor shortages.
The Biden administration on Wednesday ordered a ban on U.S. imports of a key solar panel material from Chinese-based Hoshine Silicon Industry over forced labor allegations, two sources briefed on the matter said.
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Asian stocks were broadly steady Thursday after U.S. shares moved in narrow ranges as traders digested commentary from Federal Reserve officials on the outlook for stimulus. Treasuries held a retreat.
Stocks were little changed in Japan, climbed in Hong Kong and edged lower in China, where the central bank increased its injection of short-term cash into the financial system. U.S. futures advanced, following a modest drop in the S&P 500 despite gains among firms that benefit from economic reopening. A rally in Tesla Inc. helped the Nasdaq Composite eke out another record. The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield remained below 1.50%.
Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, who’s penciled in a rate hike next year, said the economy will likely meet the Fed’s threshold for tapering asset purchases sooner than people think. His Atlanta counterpart Raphael Bostic said the central bank could decide to slow such purchases in the next few months. Neither are currently voting members of the Fed’s rate setting committee.
The dollar was little changed, while the yen held a slump, in part as the rebound from the pandemic dents the allure of haven currencies. Traders were monitoring for any impact from news that the U.S. is poised to bar some solar products made in the Xinjiang region over alleged human rights abuses.
The Coalition to Reimagine Public Safety gathered at the steps of the Pittsburgh City County building on June 19 to discuss their goals towards decreasing the Pittsburgh Police budget, and instead funneling those funds to invest in resources for numerous efforts to combat problems stemming from violence, homelessness, drug use, and mental health. The goal of these policy changes, the coalition said, is to make Pittsburgh more safe and livable for minority communities.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto took office in 2014, and the Pittsburgh Police budget during that year was $74 million. Since then, the Pittsburgh Police budget has increased almost 60% to a budget of $115 million according to a recent report conducted by the Abolitionist Law Center. This number equates to one-fifth of the city’s annual budget. The Coalition to Reimagine Public Safety conveyed at a press conference the desire to decrease the police budget, at minimum, by $40 million to put into other community investments.
Jasiri X, founder of 1Hood Media, discussed the structural and systematic violence that minority communities face, and that violent crimes are often a result of these issues. Without available resources to these communities, the issue cannot be resolved, Jasiri X explained.
The record volume of cargo has overwhelmed longshoremen, truck drivers, warehouses and railroads. Vessels are waiting up to five days just to get into port, and it can take 10 more days for a container to be loaded on a train.
The store has reopened and there are “Now Hiring” signs posted.
Officials said Wilkinsburg residents would see a steep cut in their property tax bill, and Pittsburgh would benefit from a 15,000-person gain in population.
Property taxes in Wilkinsburg are among the highest in Allegheny County. Wilkinsburg officials said that hurts homeowners and hinders redevelopment.
“If you’re a homeowner who makes $20,000 per year and your house is worth $45,000, you pay 35 percent more in Wilkinsburg than you do in the city so it’s really difficult for people in Wilkinsburg to absorb those costs,” said Tracey Evans, of Wilkinsburg Community Development Corp.
“There are a lot of people who want to stay here, and people who want to move into Wilkinsburg, but the taxes are too much of a burden to promote homeownership or to promote entrepreneurship,” said Wilkinsburg Mayor Marita Garrett.
Garrett said Pittsburgh already provides fire service and trash pickup for the borough.
Garrett said she supports a merger even though it would eliminate her job.
“As a public servant, it’s not about us, it’s about the public if you’re getting into it for the right reasons,” Garrett said.
The petition needs about 340 signatures of Wilkinsburg residents in order to go on the November general election ballot. Pittsburgh City Council must also approve the proposal.
The referendum would not affect Wilkinsburg School District, but officials said it may prompt a school merger with Pittsburgh. Wilkinsburg students from grades 7 through 12 currently attend Pittsburgh Public Schools.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) —
The owner of three coal-fired power plants in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Ohio said Thursday that it will shut them down.
Houston-based GenOn Holdings LLC said it will shut down a generating unit at both Avon Lake station on Lake Erie near Cleveland and Cheswick station on the Allegheny River outside Pittsburgh by Sept. 15.
It said it will shut down two generating units at the much larger Morgantown station on Maryland’s Cobb Neck peninsula by next June 1.Combined, the four coal-fired units can provide up to 2,421 megawatts.
In a statement, GenOn blamed “unfavorable economic conditions, higher costs including those associated with environmental compliance, an inability to compete with other generation types and evolving market rules that promote subsidized resources.
”Coal power has fallen out of favor in the climate change era amid a push for cleaner power sources that produce less pollution and greenhouse gases. U.S. coal production has been in steady decline, down by about one-third over the past decade.
Coal also has been buffeted by a flood of cheaper natural gas from shale formations, including the vast Marcellus Shale reservoir underneath Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.
Shutdown of the units is subject to a 90-day reliability review period by the regional electric grid operator PJM, GenOn said.
The embattled project to carry oil from Canada to Nebraska had been on life support since President Biden’s first day in office and stalled by legal battles for years before that.
The Canadian pipeline company that had long sought to build the Keystone XL pipeline announced Wednesday that it had terminated the embattled project, which would have carried petroleum from Canadian tar sands to Nebraska.
The announcement was the death knell for a project that had been on life support since President Biden’s first day in office and had been stalled by legal battles for years before that, despite support from the Trump administration.
On the day he was inaugurated, Mr. Biden, who has vowed to make tackling climate change a centerpiece of his administration, rescinded the construction permit for the pipeline, which developers had sought to build for over a decade. That same day, TC Energy, the company behind the project, said it was suspending work on the line.
On Wednesday, the company wrote in a statement that it “will continue to coordinate with regulators, stakeholders and Indigenous groups to meet its environmental and regulatory commitments and ensure a safe termination of and exit from the project.”
Security analysts from the University of Minnesota warned the U.S. Agriculture Department in late May about a growing danger — a cyber crime known as ransomware that could wreak more havoc on Americans’ food sources than Covid-19 did.
A week and a half later, the prediction became reality as a ransomware attack forced the shutdown of meat plants that process more than a fifth of the nation’s beef supply in the latest demonstration of hackers’ ability to interrupt a critical piece of the U.S. economy.
The hack of the global meatpacking giant JBS last weekend is also the starkest example yet of the food system’s vulnerability to digital threats, especially as internet technology and automation gain an increasing role across farmlands and slaughterhouses. But federal oversight of the industry’s cybersecurity practices remains light, despite years of warnings that an attack could bring consequences ranging from higher grocery prices to contaminated food.
LONDON (AP) — The Group of Seven wealthy democracies agreed Saturday to support a global minimum corporate tax rate of at least 15% in order to deter multinational companies from avoiding taxes by stashing profits in low-rate countries.
G-7 finance ministers meeting in London also endorsed proposals to make the world’s biggest companies — including U.S. based tech giants — pay tax in countries where they have lots of sales but no physical headquarters.
Britain’s Treasury chief Rishi Sunak, the meeting’s host, said the deal would “reform the global tax system to make it fit for the global digital age and crucially to make sure that it’s fair, so that the right companies pay the right tax in the right places.”
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who attended the London meetings, said the agreement “provides tremendous momentum” towards reaching a global deal that “would end the race-to-the-bottom in corporate taxation, and ensure fairness for the middle class and working people in the U.S. and around the world.”
The meeting of finance ministers came ahead of an annual summit of G-7 leaders scheduled for June 11-13 in Carbis Bay, Cornwall. The U.K. is hosting both sets of meetings because it holds the group’s rotating presidency.
Senate parliamentarian strikes down minimum wage hike in latest COVID-19 relief bill
Progressives are willing to accept defeat on the minimum wage for now and vote for President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief package. But they’re channeling their energy into a renewed push to kill the filibuster.
One day after the Senate parliamentarian effectively forced a $15 minimum wage hike out of Democrats’ coronavirus relief package, leading liberal activists are racing to turn their bitter setback into opportunity. The need to sacrifice a key Biden priority in order to ensure the Covid aid bill can pass the Senate with a simple majority has handed progressive lawmakers and their allied groups a new talking point in their long-running quest to eliminate the legislative filibuster.
The decision to have a deregulated electricity market stems back to 1999 when legislation was first introduced to deregulate the market in Texas. Supporters of the bill said it would create more competition in the sector and lower prices for consumers.
However, households under the deregulated market paid rates 13 percent higher than the nationwide average from 2004 to 2019, according to the Journal. Those who used traditional utilities in Texas paid 8 percent less than the national average during that time frame.
The data used for the analysis came from the federal Energy Information Administration.
Although deregulation in Texas was designed to allow for more competition, mergers in the industry have left Texans with two main retail electricity providers.
- Democrats want a $15 minimum wage policy to be included in President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid relief plan.
- A $15 hourly pay scale would more than double the current $7.25 federal minimum wage.
- It still wouldn’t offer a living wage to low-paid single adults and families in many areas, according to a CNBC analysis of state cost-of-living data.
Democrats are pushing to get a $15 federal minimum wage into President Joe Biden’s Covid relief package. For many, that pay still wouldn’t be enough.
The measure will cause many rollovers, in which hundreds of billions of dollars move annually from 401(k)s to individual retirement accounts, to be more heavily regulated. It also gives investors who feel they have been given bad rollover advice the right to file a lawsuit or arbitration claim.
Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders announced Wednesday that they have agreed to provide low-income Californians a $600 state stimulus payment to help them weather financial hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic, part of a $9.6-billion economic recovery package that also includes $2.1 billion in grants for small businesses.
The “Golden State stimulus” payments provided under the state proposal, which will be expedited for legislative approval next week, are in addition to the $600-per-person stimulus checks already approved by Congress and would be on top of direct payments of up to $1,400 per person that have been proposed by House Democrats.
Struggling homeowners received some welcome news Tuesday, with the Biden administration announcing it will extend forbearance and foreclosure relief.
McDonald’s is one of the nation’s largest employers of low-wage workers. And because it’s everywhere, it’s a great place to test the effects of minimum wage laws.
Shares of CVS Health Corp. CVS, +0.83% were little changed in premarket trading Tuesday, after the drugstore and health benefits company reported fourth-quarter profit and revenue that beat expectations. Net income fell to $973 million, or 74 cents a share, from $1.75 billion, or $1.34 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted earnings per share declined to $1.30 from $1.73, but beat the FactSet consensus of $1.24. Total revenue rose 4.0% to $69.55 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $68.73 billion. Among CVS’s business segments, all beat expectations, with pharmacy services revenue falling 1.9% to $36.36 billion amid continued price compression, retail/long-term-care revenue rising 6.6% to $24.06 billion and health care benefits revenue climbing 11.4% to $19.10 billion. For 2021, CVS expects adjusted EPS of $7.39 to $7.55, compared with the FactSet consensus of $7.54. The company said it has administered more than 3 million COVID-19 vaccines in over 40,000 long-term care facilities. The stock has gained 1.0% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.47% has advanced 8.5%.Source: CVS Health beats profit, revenue expectations, as it has administered more than 3 million COVID-19 vaccines – MarketWatch
On Feb. 8, Gov. Tom Wolf (D-York) held a press conference to reaffirm his belief in increasing the minimum wage in Pennsylvania, and outlined a plan that would incrementally raise minimum wage to $15 an hour, from its current rate of $7.25 an hour.
At his press conference, Wolf emphasized that $7.25, which a press release called “embarrassingly low,” can no longer be considered a livable wage, as the cost of food, gas, housing, and other essential services have gone up. Pennsylvania’s minimum wage was last increased in 2009, when the federal minimum wage requirement increased.
“Too many essential workers are earning poverty wages while putting themselves at risk to keep our society running,” said Wolf in a press release. “They keep food on shelves, move crucial supplies, take care of our children, and support people with disabilities. And thousands of them earn poverty wages. These hardworking people deserve better. They deserve a living wage.”