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The Pronk Pops Show 1071, Story 1: U-3 Unemployment Rate 3.9% and U-6 Unemployment Rate 7.8% — Labor Participation Rate Falls To 62.8% Far Below 66-67% Rate For Booming Economy — Number of Americans Not In Labor Force Increased By 410,000 and Hits High of 95,745,000! — Real Reason For .2% Drop in U-3 and U-6 Unemployment Rates — Mediocre Job Report — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Address Record 87,000 Plus National Rifle Association Members in Dallas, Texas — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1071, May 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1070, May 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1069, May 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1068, April 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1067, April 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1066, April 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1065, April 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1064, April 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1063, April 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1062, April 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1061, April 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1060, April 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1059, April 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1058, April 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1057, April 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1056, April 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1055, April 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1054, March 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1053, March 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1052, March 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1051, March 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1050, March 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1049, March 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1048, March 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1047, March 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1046, March 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1045, March 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1044, March 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1043, March 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1042, March 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1041, February 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1040, February 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1039, February 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1038, February 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1037, February 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1036, February 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1035, February 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1034, February 15, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1033, February 14, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1032, February 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1031, February 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1030, February 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1028, February 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1027, February 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1026, February 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1025, January 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1024, January 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1023, January 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1022, January 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1021, January 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1020, January 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1019, January 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1018, January 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1017, January 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1016, January 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1015, January 9, 2018

 

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Image result for cartoons on unemployment rate and labor participation

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Story 1: U-3 Unemployment Rate 3.9% and U-6 Unemployment Rate 7.8% — Labor Participation Rate Falls To 62.8% Far Below 66-67% Rate For Booming Economy — Number of Americans Not In Labor Force Increased By 410,000 and Hits High of 95,745,000! — Real Reason For .2% Drop in U-3 and U-6 Unemployment Rates — Mediocre Job Report — Videos

 

Alternate Unemployment Charts

The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers.

The U-3 unemployment rate is the monthly headline number. The U-6 unemployment rate is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) broadest unemployment measure, including short-term discouraged and other marginally-attached workers as well as those forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment.

 

Public Commentary on Unemployment

Unemployment Data Series   Last Updated: May 4th, 2018

The ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment Rate for April 2018 is 21.5%.

http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts

Unemployment Game Show – Are you Officially Unemployed? | Mint Personal Finance Software

Does Government Create Jobs?

3 Reasons Why You Can’t Find a Job – Learn Liberty

Defining the Unemployment Rate

Is Unemployment Undercounted?

Frictional Unemployment

Structural Unemployment

Cyclical Unemployment

What Is the Natural Rate of Unemployment?

Labor Force Participation

Unemployment rate falls to lowest point since 2000

Unemployment rate down to 3.9%, but wages slow to rise

Kevin Hassett on the April jobs report: It’s a strong economy, strong report

Unemployment Rate Drops To 3.9% In April | CNBC

April jobs report shows growth, unemployment decline

April Jobs Growth Weaker Than Expected

Labor participation has hit a 38-year low, and that’s a problem

PBS NewsHour

Published on Jul 2, 2015

Transforming America’s Outdated Labor Market

Murray Rothbard on Economic Recessions

The Future of Austrian Economics | Murray N. Rothbard

F A Hayek – Unemployment And The Free Market

 

Civilian Labor Force Level

161,527,000

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

 

Series Id:           LNS11000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Civilian Labor Force Level
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1998 137095 137112 137236 137150 137372 137455 137588 137570 138286 138279 138381 138634
1999 139003 138967 138730 138959 139107 139329 139439 139430 139622 139771 140025 140177
2000 142267(1) 142456 142434 142751 142388 142591 142278 142514 142518 142622 142962 143248
2001 143800 143701 143924 143569 143318 143357 143654 143284 143989 144086 144240 144305
2002 143883 144653 144481 144725 144938 144808 144803 145009 145552 145314 145041 145066
2003 145937(1) 146100 146022 146474 146500 147056 146485 146445 146530 146716 147000 146729
2004 146842(1) 146709 146944 146850 147065 147460 147692 147564 147415 147793 148162 148059
2005 148029(1) 148364 148391 148926 149261 149238 149432 149779 149954 150001 150065 150030
2006 150214(1) 150641 150813 150881 151069 151354 151377 151716 151662 152041 152406 152732
2007 153144(1) 152983 153051 152435 152670 153041 153054 152749 153414 153183 153835 153918
2008 154063(1) 153653 153908 153769 154303 154313 154469 154641 154570 154876 154639 154655
2009 154210(1) 154538 154133 154509 154747 154716 154502 154307 153827 153784 153878 153111
2010 153484(1) 153694 153954 154622 154091 153616 153691 154086 153975 153635 154125 153650
2011 153263(1) 153214 153376 153543 153479 153346 153288 153760 154131 153961 154128 153995
2012 154381(1) 154671 154749 154545 154866 155083 154948 154763 155160 155554 155338 155628
2013 155763(1) 155312 155005 155394 155536 155749 155599 155605 155687 154673 155265 155182
2014 155357(1) 155526 156108 155404 155564 155742 156011 156124 156019 156383 156455 156301
2015 157063(1) 156734 156754 157051 157449 157071 157035 157132 156700 157138 157435 158043
2016 158387(1) 158811 159253 158919 158512 158976 159207 159514 159734 159700 159544 159736
2017 159718(1) 159997 160235 160181 159729 160214 160467 160598 161082 160371 160533 160597
2018 161115(1) 161921 161763 161527
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.

 

Labor Force Participation Rate

62.8%

 

Series Id:           LNS11300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force participation rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1998 67.1 67.1 67.1 67.0 67.0 67.0 67.0 67.0 67.2 67.2 67.1 67.2
1999 67.2 67.2 67.0 67.1 67.1 67.1 67.1 67.0 67.0 67.0 67.1 67.1
2000 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.1 67.1 66.9 66.9 66.9 66.8 66.9 67.0
2001 67.2 67.1 67.2 66.9 66.7 66.7 66.8 66.5 66.8 66.7 66.7 66.7
2002 66.5 66.8 66.6 66.7 66.7 66.6 66.5 66.6 66.7 66.6 66.4 66.3
2003 66.4 66.4 66.3 66.4 66.4 66.5 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 65.9
2004 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 66.0 66.1 66.1 66.0 65.8 65.9 66.0 65.9
2005 65.8 65.9 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0
2006 66.0 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.3 66.4
2007 66.4 66.3 66.2 65.9 66.0 66.0 66.0 65.8 66.0 65.8 66.0 66.0
2008 66.2 66.0 66.1 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 65.8
2009 65.7 65.8 65.6 65.7 65.7 65.7 65.5 65.4 65.1 65.0 65.0 64.6
2010 64.8 64.9 64.9 65.2 64.9 64.6 64.6 64.7 64.6 64.4 64.6 64.3
2011 64.2 64.1 64.2 64.2 64.1 64.0 64.0 64.1 64.2 64.1 64.1 64.0
2012 63.7 63.8 63.8 63.7 63.7 63.8 63.7 63.5 63.6 63.8 63.6 63.7
2013 63.7 63.4 63.3 63.4 63.4 63.4 63.3 63.3 63.2 62.8 63.0 62.9
2014 62.9 62.9 63.1 62.8 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.8
2015 62.9 62.7 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.7 62.6 62.6 62.3 62.5 62.5 62.7
2016 62.8 62.9 63.0 62.8 62.6 62.7 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.8 62.7 62.7
2017 62.9 62.9 63.0 62.9 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.9 63.0 62.7 62.7 62.7
2018 62.7 63.0 62.9 62.8

 

Unemployment Level

6,346,000

 

Series Id:           LNS13000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Level
Labor force status:  Unemployed
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1998 6368 6306 6422 5941 6047 6212 6259 6179 6300 6280 6100 6032
1999 5976 6111 5783 6004 5796 5951 6025 5838 5915 5778 5716 5653
2000 5708 5858 5733 5481 5758 5651 5747 5853 5625 5534 5639 5634
2001 6023 6089 6141 6271 6226 6484 6583 7042 7142 7694 8003 8258
2002 8182 8215 8304 8599 8399 8393 8390 8304 8251 8307 8520 8640
2003 8520 8618 8588 8842 8957 9266 9011 8896 8921 8732 8576 8317
2004 8370 8167 8491 8170 8212 8286 8136 7990 7927 8061 7932 7934
2005 7784 7980 7737 7672 7651 7524 7406 7345 7553 7453 7566 7279
2006 7064 7184 7072 7120 6980 7001 7175 7091 6847 6727 6872 6762
2007 7116 6927 6731 6850 6766 6979 7149 7067 7170 7237 7240 7645
2008 7685 7497 7822 7637 8395 8575 8937 9438 9494 10074 10538 11286
2009 12058 12898 13426 13853 14499 14707 14601 14814 15009 15352 15219 15098
2010 15046 15113 15202 15325 14849 14474 14512 14648 14579 14516 15081 14348
2011 14013 13820 13737 13957 13855 13962 13763 13818 13948 13594 13302 13093
2012 12797 12813 12713 12646 12660 12692 12656 12471 12115 12124 12005 12298
2013 12471 11950 11689 11760 11654 11751 11335 11279 11270 11136 10787 10404
2014 10235 10365 10435 9724 9740 9474 9610 9602 9266 8972 9064 8704
2015 8951 8634 8578 8546 8662 8265 8206 7996 7891 7884 7948 7907
2016 7811 7806 8024 7942 7465 7812 7723 7827 7919 7761 7419 7502
2017 7642 7486 7171 7021 6837 6964 6956 7127 6759 6524 6616 6576
2018 6684 6706 6585 6346

 

95,745,000: Record Number Not in Labor Force as Boomers Retire

By Susan Jones | May 7, 2018 | 11:40 AM EDT
A growing number of retirees is pushing up the number of Americans counted as “not in the labor force.”

(CNSNews.com) – The number of employed Americans has broken eight records since President Trump took office, but on the not-so-sunny side, the number of Americans not in the labor force also keeps increasing, breaking six records since Trump took office in January 2017.

Last month, a record 95,745,000 Americans were counted as “not in the labor force,” meaning they are not employed and are not seeking a job, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statics. “This category includes retired persons, students, those taking care of children or other family members, and others who are neither working nor seeking work,” BLS said.

With record numbers of people not in the labor force, the labor force participation rate has remained stubbornly low in recent years.

In April, only 62.8 percent of the non-institutionalized, civilian population over the age of 16 was either working or actively looking for work. This compares with an all-time high of 67.3 percent in the first four months of 2000.

In a March 2018 report, the Congressional Budget Office noted that a lower labor force participation rate is associated with lower gross domestic product and lower tax revenues. It is also associated with larger federal outlays, because people who are not in the labor force are more likely to enroll in federal benefit programs, including Social Security.

This past January, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the labor force participation rate will continue to decline over the next 30 years from the current 62.8 percent to 61.0 percent in 2027 and to 59.2 percent in 2047.

According to that report, “The continued retirement of the baby-boom generation is the most important factor driving down the overall participation rate.” The first Baby Boomers — people born between 1946 and 1964 — turned 65 in 2011.

CBO has identified three factors pushing down the participation rate, and three factors pushing it up in future years, as follows:

On the downside:

— First, younger workers who are replacing Baby Boomers in the labor force tend to participate in the labor force at lower rates.

— Second, the share of people receiving disability insurance benefits is generally projected to continue increasing, and people who receive such benefits are less likely to participate in the labor force.

— Third, the marriage rate is projected to continue declining, especially among men, and unmarried men tend to participate in the labor force at lower rates than married men.

On the upside:

— First, the population is becoming more educated, and workers with more education tend to participate in the labor force at higher rates than do people with less education.

— Second, the racial and ethnic composition of the population is changing in ways that increase participation in the labor force. CBO expects Hispanics to make up an increasing share of the population, which would increase the overall labor force participation rate, and it expects non-Hispanic whites to make up a diminishing share, which would decrease the participation rate — resulting, on net, in an increase.

— Third, increasing longevity is expected to lead people to work longer.

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/95745000-record-number-americans-not-participating-labor-force-boomers

The U.S. Labor Market: 2017 Review and Outlook

 by Jed Kolko

The US labor market forged ahead in 2017. Job growth was strong and steady after accounting for hurricanes and extreme weather. Unemployment kept falling and wage growth picked up a bit. Best of all—the labor market recovery reached many of the least well-off, including those who were hurt most in the recession.

Still, the good news hasn’t touched everyone. The biggest short-term challenge is not growth, but distribution—some sectors of the economy and a few regions of the country lagged. Furthermore, the welcome narrowing of some labor market gaps in 2017 might turn out to be temporary. The labor market also faces longer-term challenges from technological disruption and polarization. In short, behind the successes of 2017, we found plenty to watch, wonder and even worry about in the year ahead.

A look back at 2017: leaps and momentum, with room to grow

The labor market made impressive gains this past year. October 2017 was the 85th consecutive month of job growth. So far in 2017, monthly job growth has averaged 169,000—down modestly from previous years, but more than we’d expect after so many years of recovery and expansion. Job growth is also still far ahead of what’s needed to keep up with low working-age population growth.

The result is more people are working. Two key measures improved notably: The U-6 rate, a broad measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those involuntarily working part time, fell from 9.2% in December 2016 to 7.9% in October 2017. And, over the same period, the share of 25–54 year-olds at work rose to 78.8% from 78.2%. Not only are these measures improving, but they’re improving at the same rate or better than they were a year ago. Even after years of gains, the labor market recovery still has momentum.

What’s more, the labor market probably still has room to grow. Granted, the market looks very tight by some measures. The headline unemployment rate (U-3) is 4.1%, its lowest point since the end of 2000. There are nearly as many job openings as unemployed workers. Employers are laying off fewer workers today than in the early 2000s.

But other measures suggest there’s still slack. Several key measures of the labor market haven’t returned to their 2000 levels, including the broad U-6 unemployment rate, the share of people unemployed for more than six months, and the employment-to-population ratio among people of prime working age. These indicators stand in contrast to the measure that gets the most attention—the narrower headline unemployment rate, which doesn’t count people who are willing and able to work but aren’t looking. Thus, the headline rate probably overstates labor market tightness.

Wage trends also point to some remaining slack. Wage growth has averaged 2.6% year-over-year throughout 2017, similar to 2016 and ahead of the pace from 2010 to 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) monthly jobs report.

Why haven’t wages risen even faster in 2017 as the unemployment rate has dropped? It’s partly a measurement issue. The measure of wage growth in the jobs report probably understates 2017 wage gains. The BLS releases an alternative measure of wages and benefits that accounts for changes in the job mix—and that indicator has accelerated in 2017. Furthermore, this alternative measure has historically tracked the employment-to-population ratio among prime-age workers closely. Today, this measure of wage growth is what we’d expect for the improving, but not gangbusters, prime-age employment-to-population ratio.

Thus, the headline unemployment rate probably overstates labor market tightness, while wage growth in the jobs report probably understates 2017 wage gains. That means, first, there may be more room for employment to expand. And, second, wage growth is neither quite as slow nor as puzzling as it initially appears.

Even better news: labor market gaps narrowed in 2017

By themselves, solid job expansion, falling unemployment and strengthening wage growth would be reason enough to cheer 2017. But there’s more—the greatest gains have gone to the people who needed them most. The least well-off and those hurt most by the recession typically saw larger employment and wage increases than others. Thus, labor market inequalities narrowed in 2017.

Let’s look first at industries. Over the past year, employment increased most in middle-wage industries, such as couriers and messengers, non-store retailers and homebuilding contractors. Middle-wage industries fared worst during the recession, losing more jobs than both higher- and lower-wage industries. Their newfound strength is a welcome rebound.

Strikingly, after losing jobs in 2016, manufacturing grew 1.3% in the past year, nearly the same pace as employment overall. In addition, wages rose most in lower-wage industries, as they have for several years. Wages in lower-wage industries were up 3.6% in September 2017 year-over-year versus 2.6% in middle-wage and 2.5% in higher-wage industries.

These trends translate to better conditions for people with fewer advantages in the labor market—including those with less education. Whatever the measure—unemployment, earnings or risk from automation—people with more education typically fare better in the labor market. But, over the past year, people with a high school degree or less have notched the biggest employment gains, whether measured by the unemployment rate or the employment-to-population ratio. This group has also had proportionally bigger wage gains than people with a bachelor’s or graduate degree.

Inevitably though, not every corner of the labor market is thriving. Job growth has been slower in the Northeast and Midwest than in the South and West. In fact, ten of the 103 largest metros lost jobs in the past year, including several in the Great Lakes region.

We find laggards not only by geography, but also by sector. Three sectors lost jobs in the past year. Employment in the information sector was dragged down by losses in motion pictures, broadcast outlets and telecoms. The retail sector overall lost jobs, particularly brick-and-mortar stores that directly face online competitors. At the same time, non-store retailers and related industries like couriers and warehouses gained.

The places and industries left behind are not our only labor market concerns. We’ve also got our eye on several big questions for next year.

What to watch, wonder and worry about in 2018

Let’s start with the too-much-of-a-good-thing worry. If the labor market tightens further—or if, as some argue, the market is already so tight that it has little room to grow—what challenges will we contend with? That leads to our first big question:

ONE: How will employers respond to a tightening labor market? Falling unemployment and rising wages for people with less education are drawing in job seekers and raising their expectations. On the Indeed site, searches for full-time work have increased, but not for part-time work. But good news for workers brings challenges for employers. Companies may have to raise wages, relax hiring requirements or invest more in on-the-job training, and they might struggle to fill part-time jobs. Tellingly, more job-seekers are searching using terms like “no background check” and “felony-friendly” jobs. And employers looking for technical workers might also face the additional challenge of future restrictions on immigration to the US and the rising interest of US tech workers in Canadian jobs.

Then there are longer-term concerns. We have big questions about why people remain out of work, whether labor market polarization will increase again and how people whose jobs disappear will manage.

TWO: Will fewer workers be sidelined by illness and disability? The share of prime-age adults who aren’t working because of illness or disability has risen from 2% in 1970 to over 5% today, and the percentages are much higher for adults with a high school degree or less. This long-term trend has worsened with the opioid crisis. Some in this category may never work again. But there is a glimmer of good news: Illness and disability is keeping fewer people out of work today than in 2015. The tightening labor market—especially for less-educated adults—may be lifting wages enough to lure some of these adults back to work.

THREE: Will labor market gaps start widening again? The narrowing of employment and wage gaps in 2017 might not last. Although middle-wage jobs grew fastest in the past year, polarization of the labor force could return. The latest BLS projections point to faster job growth in high-wage and low-wage jobs, with slower growth of middle-wage jobs and for people with a high school degree or less.

Plus, geographic gaps are likely to worsen. Job growth today is faster in larger metros than in smaller metros or rural areas. Future job growth will probably continue to lag in rural areas, where slower-growing occupations are concentrated. In contrast, the fastest-growing occupations are clustered in places like the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, Washington DC, and other expensive coastal markets. In particular, higher-paying, cutting-edge tech jobs increasingly are concentrated in top tech hubs.

FOUR: How will workers manage painful disruptions? Hard as it may be to believe, there is less disruption and churn in the labor market today than in the early 2000s and much less than in the 1940s and 1950s. In fact, economists worry that there’s too little job-switching, business turnover and mobility, not too much. Still, for people whose jobs are being disrupted by automation or globalization, the pain is real. And it’s not just factory workers and farmers. Most of the jobs in shrinking occupations are now in service positions like secretaries and data-entry work. People in threatened occupations are looking at opportunities in new fields. On Indeed’s site, we see truckers checking out mining and heavy-equipment-operation jobs, while retail workers are clicking on customer service and sales-rep roles.

Those are some of the questions we’ll be looking at next year. Both the best news from 2017 and some of our top concerns for 2018 are about the distribution of labor market gains, not the overall growth rate. The labor market is entering 2018 with strength and momentum, and these longer-term challenges are moving—as they should be—into the foreground.

https://www.hiringlab.org/2017/12/05/2017-us-labor-market-outlook/

 

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this news release is embargoed until           USDL-18-0683
8:30 a.m. (EDT) Friday, May 4, 2018.

Technical information:
 Household data:     (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
 Establishment data: (202) 691-6555  *  cesinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:      (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


                         THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- APRIL 2018


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 164,000 in April, and the unemployment
rate edged down to 3.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Job gains occurred in professional and business services, manufacturing, health care,
and mining.

Household Survey Data

In April, the unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent, following 6 months at 4.1
percent. The number of unemployed persons, at 6.3 million, also edged down over the
month. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult women decreased to
3.5 percent in April. The jobless rates for adult men (3.7 percent), teenagers
(12.9 percent), Whites (3.6 percent), Blacks (6.6 percent), Asians (2.8 percent),
and Hispanics (4.8 percent) showed little or no change over the month. (See
tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary
jobs declined by 188,000 in April to 3.0 million. (See table A-11.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little
changed at 1.3 million in April and accounted for 20.0 percent of the unemployed.
Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 340,000. (See
table A-12.)

Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, and the employment-
population ratio, at 60.3 percent, changed little in April. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred
to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 5.0 million in
April. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were
working part time because their hours had been reduced or because they were unable
to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)

In April, 1.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down
by 172,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These
individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and
had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as
unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the
survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 408,000 discouraged workers in April,
little changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.)
Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they
believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.0 million persons 
marginally attached to the labor force in April had not searched for work for
reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 164,000 in April, compared with an
average monthly gain of 191,000 over the prior 12 months. In April, job gains
occurred in professional and business services, manufacturing, health care, and
mining. (See table B-1.)

In April, employment in professional and business services increased by 54,000. Over
the past 12 months, the industry has added 518,000 jobs.

Employment in manufacturing increased by 24,000 in April. Most of the gain was in
the durable goods component, with machinery adding 8,000 jobs and employment in
fabricated metal products continuing to trend up (+4,000). Manufacturing employment
has risen by 245,000 over the year, with about three-fourths of the growth in durable
goods industries.

Health care added 24,000 jobs in April and 305,000 jobs over the year. In April,
employment rose in ambulatory health care services (+17,000) and hospitals (+8,000).

In April, employment in mining increased by 8,000, with most of the gain occurring
in support activities for mining (+7,000). Since a recent low in October 2016,
employment in mining has risen by 86,000.

Employment changed little over the month in other major industries, including
construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing,
information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at
34.5 hours in April. In manufacturing, the workweek increased by 0.2 hour to 41.1
hours, while overtime edged up by 0.1 hour to 3.7 hours. The average workweek for
production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by
0.1 hour to 33.8 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls
rose by 4 cents to $26.84. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by
67 cents, or 2.6 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and
nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 cents to $22.51 in April. (See tables B-3
and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised down from
+326,000 to +324,000, and the change for March was revised up from +103,000 to
+135,000. With these revisions, employment gains in February and March combined were
30,000 more than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional
reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published
estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job
gains have averaged 208,000 over the last 3 months.

_____________
The Employment Situation for May is scheduled to be released on Friday, June 1, 2018,
at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).


The PDF version of the news release

News release charts

Supplemental Files Table of Contents

Table of Contents

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
[Numbers in thousands]
Category Apr.
2017
Feb.
2018
Mar.
2018
Apr.
2018
Change from:
Mar.
2018-
Apr.
2018

Employment status

Civilian noninstitutional population

254,588 256,934 257,097 257,272 175

Civilian labor force

160,181 161,921 161,763 161,527 -236

Participation rate

62.9 63.0 62.9 62.8 -0.1

Employed

153,161 155,215 155,178 155,181 3

Employment-population ratio

60.2 60.4 60.4 60.3 -0.1

Unemployed

7,021 6,706 6,585 6,346 -239

Unemployment rate

4.4 4.1 4.1 3.9 -0.2

Not in labor force

94,407 95,012 95,335 95,745 410

Unemployment rates

Total, 16 years and over

4.4 4.1 4.1 3.9 -0.2

Adult men (20 years and over)

3.9 3.7 3.7 3.7 0.0

Adult women (20 years and over)

4.1 3.8 3.7 3.5 -0.2

Teenagers (16 to 19 years)

14.7 14.4 13.5 12.9 -0.6

White

3.9 3.7 3.6 3.6 0.0

Black or African American

7.9 6.9 6.9 6.6 -0.3

Asian

3.2 2.9 3.1 2.8 -0.3

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

5.2 4.9 5.1 4.8 -0.3

Total, 25 years and over

3.6 3.4 3.4 3.3 -0.1

Less than a high school diploma

6.5 5.7 5.5 5.9 0.4

High school graduates, no college

4.6 4.4 4.3 4.3 0.0

Some college or associate degree

3.7 3.5 3.6 3.5 -0.1

Bachelor’s degree and higher

2.4 2.3 2.2 2.1 -0.1

Reason for unemployment

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

3,538 3,279 3,146 2,958 -188

Job leavers

785 780 864 815 -49

Reentrants

2,044 1,948 1,967 2,009 42

New entrants

707 704 625 623 -2

Duration of unemployment

Less than 5 weeks

2,300 2,508 2,287 2,115 -172

5 to 14 weeks

2,140 1,906 2,009 2,017 8

15 to 26 weeks

1,087 934 880 1,036 156

27 weeks and over

1,633 1,397 1,322 1,293 -29

Employed persons at work part time

Part time for economic reasons

5,309 5,160 5,019 4,985 -34

Slack work or business conditions

3,183 3,302 3,005 2,994 -11

Could only find part-time work

1,787 1,541 1,625 1,586 -39

Part time for noneconomic reasons

20,406 21,061 21,399 21,258 -141

Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

Marginally attached to the labor force

1,534 1,602 1,454 1,362

Discouraged workers

455 373 450 408

– Over-the-month changes are not displayed for not seasonally adjusted data.
NOTE: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown in this table will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

 

Employment Situation Summary Table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted

ESTABLISHMENT DATA
Summary table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
Category Apr.
2017
Feb.
2018
Mar.
2018(P)
Apr.
2018(P)

EMPLOYMENT BY SELECTED INDUSTRY
(Over-the-month change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

175 324 135 164

Total private

174 321 135 168

Goods-producing

16 107 20 49

Mining and logging

11 9 8 8

Construction

-5 67 -10 17

Manufacturing

10 31 22 24

Durable goods(1)

4 26 21 18

Motor vehicles and parts

-0.2 4.4 0.5 -0.9

Nondurable goods

6 5 1 6

Private service-providing

158 214 115 119

Wholesale trade

5.6 3.4 10.3 -9.8

Retail trade

-4.2 46.0 6.2 1.8

Transportation and warehousing

3.0 17.8 15.7 0.4

Utilities

-0.6 1.4 -0.3 1.0

Information

-11 -1 6 7

Financial activities

13 29 4 2

Professional and business services(1)

50 61 39 54

Temporary help services

5.5 22.2 -2.1 10.3

Education and health services(1)

46 32 24 31

Health care and social assistance

44.0 43.8 32.0 29.3

Leisure and hospitality

49 18 8 18

Other services

7 7 2 14

Government

1 3 0 -4

(3-month average change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

149 225 212 208

Total private

149 228 215 208

WOMEN AND PRODUCTION AND NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES
AS A PERCENT OF ALL EMPLOYEES(2)

Total nonfarm women employees

49.5 49.6 49.6 49.6

Total private women employees

48.1 48.2 48.2 48.2

Total private production and nonsupervisory employees

82.4 82.4 82.4 82.4

HOURS AND EARNINGS
ALL EMPLOYEES

Total private

Average weekly hours

34.4 34.5 34.5 34.5

Average hourly earnings

$26.17 $26.74 $26.80 $26.84

Average weekly earnings

$900.25 $922.53 $924.60 $925.98

Index of aggregate weekly hours (2007=100)(3)

106.9 108.9 109.1 109.2

Over-the-month percent change

0.4 0.6 0.2 0.1

Index of aggregate weekly payrolls (2007=100)(4)

133.8 139.3 139.7 140.1

Over-the-month percent change

0.7 0.7 0.3 0.3

DIFFUSION INDEX
(Over 1-month span)(5)

Total private (258 industries)

60.5 70.2 64.1 57.6

Manufacturing (76 industries)

54.6 72.4 64.5 53.9

Footnotes
(1) Includes other industries, not shown separately.
(2) Data relate to production employees in mining and logging and manufacturing, construction employees in construction, and nonsupervisory employees in the service-providing industries.
(3) The indexes of aggregate weekly hours are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate hours by the corresponding annual average aggregate hours.
(4) The indexes of aggregate weekly payrolls are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate weekly payrolls by the corresponding annual average aggregate weekly payrolls.
(5) Figures are the percent of industries with employment increasing plus one-half of the industries with unchanged employment, where 50 percent indicates an equal balance between industries with increasing and decreasing employment.
(P) Preliminary

NOTE: Data have been revised to reflect March 2017 benchmark levels and updated seasonal adjustment factors.

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By Adam Shaw | Fox News

President Trump signed a proclamation Wednesday night to send the National Guard to the southern border immediately, a senior White House official told Fox News, in response to what the administration described as an “unacceptable” flow of drugs, criminal activity and illegal immigrants.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said at the White House press briefing that the signing would be done in conjunction with governors and that the administration hoped the deployment would begin “immediately.”

“Despite a number of steps this administration has taken…we continue to see unacceptable levels of illegal drugs, dangerous gang activity transnational criminal organizations and illegal immigration flow across our border,” she said.

“The president has directed that the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security work together with our governors to deploy our National Guard to our southwest border  to assist the border patrol,” she said. “The president will be signing a proclamation to that effect today.”

Details about what the National Guard would do and how many would be deployed and for how long were not immediately disclosed.

Under the George W. Bush administration, deploying the National Guard to the border cost $415 million dollars.

Nielsen pointed to what she described as increasing fraud and exploited loopholes among arrivals on the southern border, saying traffickers have been advertising that if migrants have children with them, then they are more likely to be released into the U.S. She also said that almost 50 percent of arriving aliens are from Central America.

“Traffickers and smugglers know that these individuals cannot under U.S. law be easily removed in an expeditious way back to their country of origin and so they exploit the loophole,” she said, adding that the ability to game the system acts as a magnet for more migrants.

She said that the administration has drafted legislation and will ask Congress to provide legal authority and resources to address the problem.

“We will not allow illegal immigration levels to become the norm,” she said. “More than 1,000 people a day, 300,000 a year violating our sovereignty as a nation will never be acceptable to this president.”

Trump had tweeted earlier Wednesday that he would “be taking strong action today” on the Mexico border, a day after he said that he wants to send the military to secure it until a wall is built.

Trump pledges to send U.S. military to the southern border until wall is built. Border Angels director Enrique Morones and Fox News contributor Monica Crowley debate on 'The Ingraham Angle.'

Arguing that the U.S. border laws “are very weak” compared to Mexico and Canada, he accused Democrats of wanting immigrants “to pour into our country unchecked.”

Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush had deployed the National Guard to the border in response to security issues.

The Associated Press reported that the White House was considering a model similar to a Bush-era operation, where in 2006 6,000 National Guard troops were sent to assist the border patrol with non-law enforcement duties while additional border agents were hired and trained.

Trump’s recent focus on illegal immigration appeared to have been partly motivated by a caravan of more than 1,000 Central American migrants heading toward the U.S. border.

Trump had threatened to end the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and to cut foreign aid to countries such as Honduras, from where many of the migrants originate, if the caravan was not stopped.

Trump said Tuesday that he believes the caravan is being broken up after he had a conversation with Mexican officials.

Nielsen said on Tuesday that she had been advised by Mexican officials that “the caravan is dissipating” and that several hundred migrants had been repatriated.

“We will not accept the lawlessness of these types of efforts and those who choose to violate our laws, and those who conspire to assist others to violate our laws, will face criminal prosecution,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “The Department of Justice fully supports the efforts of the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security announced today to secure our border. I will soon be announcing additional Department of Justice initiatives to restore legality to the southern border.”

Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Serafin Gomez, Jennifer Griffin, Jake Gibson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/04/04/trump-to-sign-proclamation-sending-national-guard-to-border-immediately.html

 

 

A ‘people without borders’ is a people without democracy

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1025, January 31, 2018, Story 1: Part 2–President Trump State of The Union Address — Getting Better All The Time — United States of America — USA — USA — USA — Grand Slam Home Run — Videos

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Story 1: Part 2–President Trump State of The Union Address — Getting Better All The Time — United States of America — USA — USA — USA — Grand Slam Home Run — Videos

See the source image

Trump’s 2018 State of the Union in four minutes

Part 1 of President Trump’s 2018 State of the Union Address

Part 2 of President Trump’s 2018 State of the Union Address

Part 3 of President Trump’s 2018 State of the Union Address

Part 4 of President Trump’s 2018 State of the Union Address

President Trump 2018 State of the Union Address (C-SPAN)

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Ben Shapiro: The analysis of President Trump’s State of the Union address (audio from 01-31-2018)

The Left’s Rage and Trump’s Peril

The Democratic base is even worse-tempered than the president. But Mueller could still harpoon him.

President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address in the chamber of the House of Representatives, Jan. 30, 2018.
President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address in the chamber of the House of Representatives, Jan. 30, 2018. PHOTO: WIN MCNAMEE/ZUMA PRESS

The State of the Union speech was good—spirited, pointed, with a credible warmth for the heroes in the balcony, who were well chosen. They were beautiful human beings, and their stories were rousing—the cop and his wife who adopted the baby, the hardy North Korean defector who triumphantly waved his crutches, the mourning, dignified parents of the girls killed by MS-13. My beloved Cajun Navy.

The thing about the heroes in the balcony is it reminds you not of who the president is but of who we are. “With people like that we can’t miss.” I had that thought when Ronald Reagan gave tribute in 1985 to a young woman who as a child desperately fled Saigon as it fell. She and her family were among the boat people, spotted and saved by a U.S. ship. Reagan called her to stand, and Jean Nguyen stood—proudly, in the gleaming uniform of a West Point cadet. She would graduate within the year.

The recognition of heroes in the balcony is called a cliché. It certainly is. An inspiring and truthful one, and long may it live.

The Democrats in the chamber were slumped, glowery. They had chosen to act out unbroken disdain so as to please the rising left of their party, which was watching and would review their faces. Some of them were poorly lit and seemed not resolute but Draculaic. The women of the party mostly dressed in black, because nothing says moral seriousness like coordinating your outfits.

Here it should be said of the rising left of the Democratic Party that they are numerous, committed, and have all the energy—it’s true. But they operate at a disadvantage they cannot see, and it is that they are loveless. The social justice warriors, the advancers of identity politics and gender politics, the young who’ve just discovered socialism—they run on rage.

But rage is a poor fuel in politics. It produces a heavy, sulfurous exhaust and pollutes the air. It’s also gets few miles per gallon. It has many powers but not the power to persuade, and if anything does them in it will be that. Their temperament is no better than Mr. Trump’s . It’s worse. But yes, they are intimidating the Democratic establishment, which robs itself of its dignity trying to please them. It won’t succeed.

As for the president’s base, I am coming to a somewhat different way of thinking about it. It’s true they are a minority, true that his approval ratings are not good, are in fact historically low for a president with a good economy at the end of a first year. But Mr. Trump has just more than a solid third of the nation. They are a spirited, confident core. What other political figure in this fractured, splintered country has a reliable third of the electorate? And it’s probably somewhat more than a third, because Trump supporters know they are not and will never be respected, and just as in 2016 you have to factor in the idea of shy Trump voters.

What they are not sufficiently concerned about is that Mr. Trump has not expanded his popularity. He has kept his core but failed to reach out consistently and successfully to others. He has not created coalitions.

His position is more precarious than his people see.

He has too much relished the role of divider. When you’re running for office you are every day dividing those who support you from those who don’t, and hoping your group is bigger. But when you win you reach out to your enemies with humility, with patience—with love!—and try to drag ’em in to sup in your tent. You don’t do this because you’re a hypocrite but because you’re an adult looking to win. Or a constructive idealist. That happens sometimes.

His supporters don’t know what he doesn’t know: He must grow or die.

They are happily watching The Trump Show as he sticks it to people they hate. They don’t know Shark Week is coming.

In November he may lose the House. That’s what the generic ballot says is coming, that’s what was suggested by last year’s GOP defeats in Virginia and Alabama.

I know what Republicans are thinking. They are going to run on an economy that is expanding thanks to tax reform and deregulation. They are going to run on bigger paychecks and unexpected bonuses. They’ll run on the appointment of conservative judges to balance out Barack Obama’s liberal judges at a time when the courts have taken a more powerful role in American culture. They’ll run on We Will Stop Illegal Immigration and Give a Break to the Children of Illegal Immigrants.

The Democrats, on the other hand, are running on Trump is unpopular and so is his party, he is a fascist, and any limit on immigration is like any limit on abortion, tyrannical on its face.

Republicans are thinking nobody’s noticing but they’re in a pretty good place. I suspect they are right.

Except.

Special counsel Robert Mueller will likely, before November, report his findings to the Justice Department, and you have to assume he is going to find something because special prosecutors exist to find something. When Mr. Mueller staffed up he hired Ahabs, and Ahabs exist to get the whale. You have to assume Mr. Trump will be harpooned, and the question is whether it’s a flesh wound or goes deeper. If it goes deep the Democrats may well win the House, in which case he will be impeached.

Trump supporters don’t view this with appropriate alarm. They comfort themselves with the idea that he is playing three-dimensional chess and his opponents are too stupid to see it. That’s not true—he is more ad hoc and chaotic than they think. They should help him by trying to improve his standing, which means telling him what doesn’t work.

He thinks he rouses and amuses his supporters with feuds and wars, tweets and grievances. In reality, as Trump supporters know, it’s something they put up with. For everyone else it’s alienating, evidence of instability.

He calls out fake news and wars with the press while at the same time betraying a complete and befuddled yearning for their approval. Mr. Trump is a little like Nixon in this—embittered and vengeful at not getting the admiration of those he says he doesn’t respect.

These things don’t speak of tactical or strategic brilliance.

His supporters argue the media is against him, and this is true and should be acknowledged. But they were totally opposed to Reagan, too. They more or less admit his greatness now, or at least concede his towering adequacy, in part because Trump-shock has left them reconsidering the bogeymen of the past, in part because they like all dead Republicans.

But Reagan didn’t need the press to feel like a big man or be a success, and Mr. Trump looks unmanned to be so destabilized by their antipathy.

The president’s supporters should be frank with him about his flaws. They’re so used to defending him, they forget to help him. They should give him the compliment of candor.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-lefts-rage-and-trumps-peril-1517530358

 

Read the full text of President Trump’s first State of the Union address

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and my fellow Americans:

Less than 1 year has passed since I first stood at this podium, in this majestic chamber, to speak on behalf of the American People — and to address their concerns, their hopes, and their dreams.  That night, our new Administration had already taken swift action.  A new tide of optimism was already sweeping across our land.

Each day since, we have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission — to make America great again for all Americans.

Over the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved extraordinary success.  We have faced challenges we expected, and others we could never have imagined.  We have shared in the heights of victory and the pains of hardship.  We endured floods and fires and storms.  But through it all, we have seen the beauty of America’s soul, and the steel in America’s spine.

Each test has forged new American heroes to remind us who we are, and show us what we can be.

We saw the volunteers of the “Cajun Navy,” racing to the rescue with their fishing boats to save people in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane.

We saw strangers shielding strangers from a hail of gunfire on the Las Vegas strip.

We heard tales of Americans like Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashlee Leppert, who is here tonight in the gallery with Melania.  Ashlee was aboard one of the first helicopters on the scene in Houston during Hurricane Harvey.  Through 18 hours of wind and rain, Ashlee braved live power lines and deep water, to help save more than 40 lives.  Thank you, Ashlee.

We heard about Americans like firefighter David Dahlberg.  He is here with us too.  David faced down walls of flame to rescue almost 60 children trapped at a California summer camp threatened by wildfires.

To everyone still recovering in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, California, and everywhere else — we are with you, we love you, and we will pull through together.

Some trials over the past year touched this chamber very personally.  With us tonight is one of the toughest people ever to serve in this House — a guy who took a bullet, almost died, and was back to work three and a half months later:  the legend from Louisiana, Congressman Steve Scalise.

We are incredibly grateful for the heroic efforts of the Capitol Police Officers, the Alexandria Police, and the doctors, nurses, and paramedics who saved his life, and the lives of many others in this room.

In the aftermath of that terrible shooting, we came together, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as representatives of the people.  But it is not enough to come together only in times of tragedy.  Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve.

Over the last year, the world has seen what we always knew:  that no people on Earth are so fearless, or daring, or determined as Americans.  If there is a mountain, we climb it.  If there is a frontier, we cross it.  If there is a challenge, we tame it.  If there is an opportunity, we seize it.

So let us begin tonight by recognizing that the state of our Union is strong because our people are strong.

And together, we are building a safe, strong, and proud America.

Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone.  After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.

Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low.  African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.

Small business confidence is at an all-time high.  The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value.  That is great news for Americans’ 401k, retirement, pension, and college savings accounts.

And just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history.

Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses.

To lower tax rates for hardworking Americans, we nearly doubled the standard deduction for everyone.  Now, the first $24,000 earned by a married couple is completely tax-free.  We also doubled the child tax credit.

A typical family of four making $75,000 will see their tax bill reduced by $2,000 — slashing their tax bill in half.

This April will be the last time you ever file under the old broken system — and millions of Americans will have more take-home pay starting next month.

We eliminated an especially cruel tax that fell mostly on Americans making less than $50,000 a year — forcing them to pay tremendous penalties simply because they could not afford government-ordered health plans.  We repealed the core of disastrous Obamacare — the individual mandate is now gone.

We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete and win against anyone in the world.  These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000.

Small businesses have also received a massive tax cut, and can now deduct 20 percent of their business income.

Here tonight are Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger of Staub Manufacturing — a small business in Ohio.  They have just finished the best year in their 20-year history.  Because of tax reform, they are handing out raises, hiring an additional 14 people, and expanding into the building next door.

One of Staub’s employees, Corey Adams, is also with us tonight.  Corey is an all-American worker.  He supported himself through high school, lost his job during the 2008 recession, and was later hired by Staub, where he trained to become a welder.  Like many hardworking Americans, Corey plans to invest his tax‑cut raise into his new home and his two daughters’ education.  Please join me in congratulating Corey.

Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands of dollars per worker.  Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers.

This is our new American moment.  There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream.

So to every citizen watching at home tonight — no matter where you have been, or where you come from, this is your time.  If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything.

Tonight, I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, and what kind of Nation we are going to be.  All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family.

We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny, and the same great American flag.

Together, we are rediscovering the American way.

In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life.  Our motto is “in God we trust.”

And we celebrate our police, our military, and our amazing veterans as heroes who deserve our total and unwavering support.

Here tonight is Preston Sharp, a 12-year-old boy from Redding, California, who noticed that veterans’ graves were not marked with flags on Veterans Day.  He decided to change that, and started a movement that has now placed 40,000 flags at the graves of our great heroes.  Preston:  a job well done.

Young patriots like Preston teach all of us about our civic duty as Americans.  Preston’s reverence for those who have served our Nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem.

Americans love their country.  And they deserve a Government that shows them the same love and loyalty in return.

For the last year we have sought to restore the bonds of trust between our citizens and their Government.

Working with the Senate, we are appointing judges who will interpret the Constitution as written, including a great new Supreme Court Justice, and more circuit court judges than any new administration in the history of our country.

We are defending our Second Amendment, and have taken historic actions to protect religious liberty.

And we are serving our brave veterans, including giving our veterans choice in their healthcare decisions.  Last year, the Congress passed, and I signed, the landmark VA Accountability Act.  Since its passage, my Administration has already removed more than 1,500 VA employees who failed to give our veterans the care they deserve — and we are hiring talented people who love our vets as much as we do.

I will not stop until our veterans are properly taken care of, which has been my promise to them from the very beginning of this great journey.

All Americans deserve accountability and respect — and that is what we are giving them.  So tonight, I call on the Congress to empower every Cabinet Secretary with the authority to reward good workers — and to remove Federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.

In our drive to make Washington accountable, we have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in history.

We have ended the war on American Energy — and we have ended the war on clean coal.  We are now an exporter of energy to the world.

In Detroit, I halted Government mandates that crippled America’s autoworkers — so we can get the Motor City revving its engines once again.

Many car companies are now building and expanding plants in the United States — something we have not seen for decades.  Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan; Toyota and Mazda are opening up a plant in Alabama.  Soon, plants will be opening up all over the country.  This is all news Americans are unaccustomed to hearing — for many years, companies and jobs were only leaving us.  But now they are coming back.

Exciting progress is happening every day.

To speed access to breakthrough cures and affordable generic drugs, last year the FDA approved more new and generic drugs and medical devices than ever before in our history.

We also believe that patients with terminal conditions should have access to experimental treatments that could potentially save their lives.

People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure — I want to give them a chance right here at home.  It is time for the Congress to give these wonderful Americans the “right to try.”

One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs.  In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States.  That is why I have directed my Administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities.  Prices will come down.

America has also finally turned the page on decades of unfair trade deals that sacrificed our prosperity and shipped away our companies, our jobs, and our Nation’s wealth.

The era of economic surrender is over.

From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair and to be reciprocal.

We will work to fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones.

And we will protect American workers and American intellectual property, through strong enforcement of our trade rules.

As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

America is a nation of builders.  We built the Empire State Building in just 1 year — is it not a disgrace that it can now take 10 years just to get a permit approved for a simple road?

I am asking both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve.

Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need.

Every Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment — to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.

Any bill must also streamline the permitting and approval process — getting it down to no more than two years, and perhaps even one.

Together, we can reclaim our building heritage.  We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land.  And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit.

We want every American to know the dignity of a hard day’s work.  We want every child to be safe in their home at night.  And we want every citizen to be proud of this land that we love.

We can lift our citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity.

As tax cuts create new jobs, let us invest in workforce development and job training.  Let us open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential.  And let us support working families by supporting paid family leave.

As America regains its strength, this opportunity must be extended to all citizens.  That is why this year we will embark on reforming our prisons to help former inmates who have served their time get a second chance.

Struggling communities, especially immigrant communities, will also be helped by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families.

For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities.  They have allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans.  Most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives.

Here tonight are two fathers and two mothers:  Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado, and Robert Mickens.  Their two teenage daughters — Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens — were close friends on Long Island.  But in September 2016, on the eve of Nisa’s 16th Birthday, neither of them came home.  These two precious girls were brutally murdered while walking together in their hometown.  Six members of the savage gang MS-13 have been charged with Kayla and Nisa’s murders.  Many of these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied alien minors ‑- and wound up in Kayla and Nisa’s high school.

Evelyn, Elizabeth, Freddy, and Robert:  Tonight, everyone in this chamber is praying for you.  Everyone in America is grieving for you.  And 320 million hearts are breaking for you.  We cannot imagine the depth of your sorrow, but we can make sure that other families never have to endure this pain.

Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminals, to break into our country.  We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws, and support our ICE and Border Patrol Agents, so that this cannot ever happen again.

The United States is a compassionate nation.  We are proud that we do more than any other country to help the needy, the struggling, and the underprivileged all over the world.  But as President of the United States, my highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, and my constant concern is for America’s children, America’s struggling workers, and America’s forgotten communities.  I want our youth to grow up to achieve great things.  I want our poor to have their chance to rise.

So tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties — Democrats and Republicans — to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed.  My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans — to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream.  Because Americans are dreamers too.

Here tonight is one leader in the effort to defend our country:  Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Celestino Martinez — he goes by CJ. CJ served 15 years in the Air Force before becoming an ICE agent and spending the last 15 years fighting gang violence and getting dangerous criminals off our streets.  At one point, MS-13 leaders ordered CJ’s murder.  But he did not cave to threats or fear.  Last May, he commanded an operation to track down gang members on Long Island.  His team has arrested nearly 400, including more than 220 from MS-13.

 CJ:  Great work.  Now let us get the Congress to send you some reinforcements.

Over the next few weeks, the House and Senate will be voting on an immigration reform package.

In recent months, my Administration has met extensively with both Democrats and Republicans to craft a bipartisan approach to immigration reform.  Based on these discussions, we presented the Congress with a detailed proposal that should be supported by both parties as a fair compromise — one where nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs.

Here are the four pillars of our plan:

The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age — that covers almost three times more people than the previous administration.  Under our plan, those who meet education and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able to become full citizens of the United States.

The second pillar fully secures the border.  That means building a wall on the Southern border, and it means hiring more heroes like CJ to keep our communities safe.  Crucially, our plan closes the terrible loopholes exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country — and it finally ends the dangerous practice of “catch and release.”

The third pillar ends the visa lottery — a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of our people.  It is time to begin moving towards a merit-based immigration system — one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country.

The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration.  Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives.  Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children.  This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security, and our future.

In recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration.  In the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can no longer afford.

It is time to reform these outdated immigration rules, and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century.

These four pillars represent a down-the-middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern, and lawful immigration system.

For over 30 years, Washington has tried and failed to solve this problem.  This Congress can be the one that finally makes it happen.

Most importantly, these four pillars will produce legislation that fulfills my ironclad pledge to only sign a bill that puts America first.  So let us come together, set politics aside, and finally get the job done.

These reforms will also support our response to the terrible crisis of opioid and drug addiction.

In 2016, we lost 64,000 Americans to drug overdoses:  174 deaths per day.  Seven per hour.  We must get much tougher on drug dealers and pushers if we are going to succeed in stopping this scourge.

My Administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need.  The struggle will be long and difficult — but, as Americans always do, we will prevail.

As we have seen tonight, the most difficult challenges bring out the best in America.

We see a vivid expression of this truth in the story of the Holets family of New Mexico.  Ryan Holets is 27 years old, and an officer with the Albuquerque Police Department.  He is here tonight with his wife Rebecca.  Last year, Ryan was on duty when he saw a pregnant, homeless woman preparing to inject heroin.  When Ryan told her she was going to harm her unborn child, she began to weep.  She told him she did not know where to turn, but badly wanted a safe home for her baby.

In that moment, Ryan said he felt God speak to him:  “You will do it — because you can.”  He took out a picture of his wife and their four kids.  Then, he went home to tell his wife Rebecca.  In an instant, she agreed to adopt.  The Holets named their new daughter Hope.

Ryan and Rebecca: You embody the goodness of our Nation.  Thank you, and congratulations.

As we rebuild America’s strength and confidence at home, we are also restoring our strength and standing abroad.

Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values.  In confronting these dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defense.

For this reason, I am asking the Congress to end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military.

As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression.  Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons.  Unfortunately, we are not there yet.

Last year, I also pledged that we would work with our allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the Earth.  One year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria.  But there is much more work to be done.  We will continue our fight until ISIS is defeated.

Army Staff Sergeant Justin Peck is here tonight.  Near Raqqa last November, Justin and his comrade, Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy, were on a mission to clear buildings that ISIS had rigged with explosives so that civilians could return to the city.

Clearing the second floor of a vital hospital, Kenton Stacy was severely wounded by an explosion.  Immediately, Justin bounded into the booby-trapped building and found Kenton in bad shape.  He applied pressure to the wound and inserted a tube to reopen an airway.  He then performed CPR for 20 straight minutes during the ground transport and maintained artificial respiration through 2 hours of emergency surgery.

Kenton Stacy would have died if not for Justin’s selfless love for a fellow warrior.  Tonight, Kenton is recovering in Texas.  Raqqa is liberated.  And Justin is wearing his new Bronze Star, with a “V” for “Valor.”  Staff Sergeant Peck:  All of America salutes you.

Terrorists who do things like place bombs in civilian hospitals are evil.  When possible, we annihilate them.  When necessary, we must be able to detain and question them.  But we must be clear:  Terrorists are not merely criminals.  They are unlawful enemy combatants.  And when captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they are.

In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield — including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi.

So today, I am keeping another promise.  I just signed an order directing Secretary Mattis to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay.

I am also asking the Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and al-Qa’ida, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists — wherever we chase them down.

Our warriors in Afghanistan also have new rules of engagement.  Along with their heroic Afghan partners, our military is no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies our plans.

Last month, I also took an action endorsed unanimously by the Senate just months before:  I recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Shortly afterwards, dozens of countries voted in the United Nations General Assembly against America’s sovereign right to make this recognition.  American taxpayers generously send those same countries billions of dollars in aid every year.

That is why, tonight, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to America’s friends.

As we strengthen friendships around the world, we are also restoring clarity about our adversaries.

When the people of Iran rose up against the crimes of their corrupt dictatorship, I did not stay silent.  America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom.

I am asking the Congress to address the fundamental flaws in the terrible Iran nuclear deal.

My Administration has also imposed tough sanctions on the communist and socialist dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela.

But no regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea.

North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland.

We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from happening.

Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation.  I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this dangerous position.

We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and our allies.

Otto Warmbier was a hardworking student at the University of Virginia. On his way to study abroad in Asia, Otto joined a tour to North Korea. At its conclusion, this wonderful young man was arrested and charged with crimes against the state. After a shameful trial, the dictatorship sentenced Otto to 15 years of hard labor, before returning him to America last June — horribly injured and on the verge of death. He passed away just days after his return.

Otto’s Parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, are with us tonight — along with Otto’s brother and sister, Austin and Greta.  You are powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world, and your strength inspires us all. Tonight, we pledge to honor Otto’s memory with American resolve.

Finally, we are joined by one more witness to the ominous nature of this regime.  His name is Mr. Ji Seong-ho.

In 1996, Seong-ho was a starving boy in North Korea.  One day, he tried to steal coal from a railroad car to barter for a few scraps of food.  In the process, he passed out on the train tracks, exhausted from hunger.  He woke up as a train ran over his limbs.  He then endured multiple amputations without anything to dull the pain.  His brother and sister gave what little food they had to help him recover and ate dirt themselves — permanently stunting their own growth.  Later, he was tortured by North Korean authorities after returning from a brief visit to China.  His tormentors wanted to know if he had met any Christians.  He had — and he resolved to be free.

Seong-ho traveled thousands of miles on crutches across China and Southeast Asia to freedom.  Most of his family followed.  His father was caught trying to escape, and was tortured to death.

Today he lives in Seoul, where he rescues other defectors, and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears the most ‑- the truth.

Today he has a new leg, but Seong-ho, I understand you still keep those crutches as a reminder of how far you have come.  Your great sacrifice is an inspiration to us all.

Seong-ho’s story is a testament to the yearning of every human soul to live in freedom.

It was that same yearning for freedom that nearly 250 years ago gave birth to a special place called America.  It was a small cluster of colonies caught between a great ocean and a vast wilderness.  But it was home to an incredible people with a revolutionary idea:  that they could rule themselves.  That they could chart their own destiny.  And that, together, they could light up the world.

That is what our country has always been about.  That is what Americans have always stood for, always strived for, and always done.

Atop the dome of this Capitol stands the Statue of Freedom.  She stands tall and dignified among the monuments to our ancestors who fought and lived and died to protect her.

Monuments to Washington and Jefferson — to Lincoln and King.

Memorials to the heroes of Yorktown and Saratoga — to young Americans who shed their blood on the shores of Normandy, and the fields beyond.  And others, who went down in the waters of the Pacific and the skies over Asia.

And freedom stands tall over one more monument:  this one.  This Capitol.  This living monument to the American people.

A people whose heroes live not only in the past, but all around us — defending hope, pride, and the American way.

They work in every trade.  They sacrifice to raise a family.  They care for our children at home.  They defend our flag abroad.  They are strong moms and brave kids.  They are firefighters, police officers, border agents, medics, and Marines.

But above all else, they are Americans.  And this Capitol, this city, and this Nation, belong to them.

Our task is to respect them, to listen to them, to serve them, to protect them, and to always be worthy of them.

Americans fill the world with art and music.  They push the bounds of science and discovery.  And they forever remind us of what we should never forget:  The people dreamed this country. The people built this country.  And it is the people who are making America great again.

As long as we are proud of who we are, and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve.

As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail.

Our families will thrive.

Our people will prosper.

And our Nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free.

Thank you, and God bless America.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/01/30/state-union-read-excerpts-president-trumps-address/1080784001/

 

Trump’s Immigration Plan Receives a Chilly Reception

Republicans are banking on passing legislation on the issue to help them coast into November—and they’ll need Democratic votes to make it happen.

On Tuesday evening, in a State of the Union address billed as “optimistic, heartfelt, and bipartisan,” President Donald Trump revealed just how fractured Congress is on the issue that swept him into the White House: immigration.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been scrambling to piece together legislation that would address the fate of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, alongside other reforms dear to Trump’s heart, including curtailing chain migration and ending the visa lottery system. Last week, the White House unveiled its “four pillars” of immigration reform: a path to citizenship for 1.8 million “Dreamers” and those undocumented immigrants who would otherwise qualify for the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program; a $25 billion trust for a wall along the Mexican border; ending the visa lottery in favor of a merit-based immigration system; and limiting family reunification to sponsorships for spouses and minor children only. The plan caused a stir among hardline conservatives in the House and plenty of Democrats in both chambers. But a senior House Republican aide told me at the time, “When the bill is being ripped by the Freedom Caucus and liberals, yet it includes things both camps like, I think you’ve found the sweet spot to begin negotiating.”

Those hopes were dashed on Tuesday.

Perhaps the most dramatic moment of Trump’s speech came when he pledged to “protect the nuclear family” by ending chain migration. “In recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by … chain migration,” he said. Democrats erupted in a cacophony of boos and hisses; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was forced to stand up from her chair to quiet them. “It showed there will be no DACA deal,” a senior Senate Republican aide texted me. (The staffers who spoke for this story made their comments on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.) Indeed, if the White House suggested tonight that ending chain migration was a nonnegotiable component of immigration reform, Democrats made clear that it’s not a price they’re willing to pay—even for a path to citizenship for the “Dreamers.” As if to underscore this point, when Trump summed up his proposal as a “down-the-middle compromise,” Democrats cackled.

“He could have taken a more strategic tone on immigration,” another senior Senate GOP aide lamented. “When he talks about the dangers of chain migration and open borders, even if there’s truth to what he’s saying, he plays into Democrats’ hands by making it easier for them to paint him as a fear-mongering nativist.”

Moreover, as Trump boasted that his plan would ferry “almost three times more” Dreamers into citizenship than in any other administration, House conservatives such as Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows and his predecessor, Jim Jordan, sitting side-by-side, looked sullen. In the last few days, Freedom Caucus members haven’t been shy about panning the president for revoking his “no amnesty” pledge from the campaign trail: ”If you ask voters in states like Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania that swung to Donald Trump if this amnesty plan keeps his promises,” Virginia’s Dave Brat said in a statement, “they will tell you it does not.”

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/01/trump-bets-on-immigration-in-the-state-of-the-union/551936/

 

The radical idea buried in Trump’s State of the Union

He declared a new front on his war on government. But it’s not clear how he can win it.

The lines weren’t widely noted. But in a few places, sudden alarm bells went off: “Trump looks to expand VA’s firing authority government-wide,” ran a headline in FCW, a publication on government technology. The New Yorker dangled the prospect that Trump might be hinting at firing members of the FBI. Slate bit down harder: “Donald Trump Just Asked Congress to End the Rule of Law,” blared a headline.

His plan might not be that extreme, but Trump’s words did lay down a marker that could have repercussions throughout the government—maybe even declaring a new front in what former aide Steve Bannon called “the deconstruction of the administrative state.”

“This was a quick drive-by in the speech, but it has enormous implications that are only beginning to play themselves out,” said Don Kettl, a professor at the University of Maryland who has written extensively on government management.

This new shot on the bureaucracy builds on Trump’s previous attacks on the so-called administrative state, from criticizing individual federal workers to efforts to reshape agencies altogether. He instituted a government-wide hiring freeze on his third day in office; in March, he directed federal agencies to draw up reorganization plans. He’s also installed small-government crusaders in critical White House positions who are quietly—critics say secretly—drawing up plans to reorganize the federal bureaucracy.

It’s all part of Trump’s broader promise to run the government like a business, streamlining agencies and squeezing out efficiencies that save taxpayer money. But one of the biggest obstacles to such an overhaul is the vast federal workforce of 2 million employees—workers who are, by and large, difficult to fire. While political appointees set the direction of individual agencies, these civil servants do the actual nuts-and-bolts tasks of governing, from running statistical surveys to writing regulations.

To Democrats and others worried about Trump’s agenda, government employees have come to represent a bulwark against radical change—career civil servants who can’t simply be bumped out in favor of loyalists. But to critics of the bureaucracy, those employees represent a massive impediment to change, a “deep state” that defies democracy by resisting the president’s agenda. Trump adviser Newt Gingrich, on the eve of Trump’s inauguration, talked of waging a “straight-out war” against the federal bureaucracy, in part by making it easier to fire federal workers.

So far, that war hasn’t really happened: Trump’s hiring freeze slowed the influx of new workers, but he hasn’t made any appreciable effort to sweep out existing civil servants. Still, the State of the Union represent perhaps the clearest sign yet that the White House intends to focus on civil service reform in the months and years ahead—especially since his budget last year made deep cuts to federal agencies, necessitating significant reductions in the federal workforce.

How would it happen? One clue may lie in Trump’s invocation of a little-known law that made it easier for the VA to fire workers. Triggered by the scandals at VA hospitals in 2014, the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, signed last June, lowered the standard of evidence necessary for the agency to fire workers, and reduced the time for them to appeal dismissals. And the VA does appear to be firing more workers: According to data provided to POLITICO by a spokesperson at the Department of Veterans Affairs, the agency removed 1,737 people in the roughly six months after the law’s passage, compared with 2,001 workers in the entire year 2016.

J. David Cox, head of the American Federation of Government Employees, sharply criticized the law in an interview, saying the vast majority of those removed were lower-level workers, not the managers or senior executives most at fault for the scandal. “They are firing housekeeping aides,” he said.

Administrative experts, who have been tracking the law as something of an experiment, said the results aren’t clear, especially since the law was enacted less than a year ago. They are less focused on the number of workers removed than on the quality of service provided by VA hospitals—the ultimate goal of the reforms. “Is it easier to get an appointment?” said Kettl. “Is the quality of health care better?”

Trump hasn’t said whether he wants to extend the VA law more broadly, and it’s unclear just how he plans to tackle federal personnel laws overall. The most extreme interpretation of his comment is that he wants to abolish civil service protections altogether, a radical idea. “He wants to move from a democracy to an autocracy, without any question, where every federal employee is like-minded and votes one way,” Cox said. In the Slate piece, author Yascha Mounk, a democracy scholar, wrote that “Trump called on Congress to give him unprecedented and unquestionably antidemocratic powers.”

Many experts were skeptical that Trump really would propose abolishing civil service protections, which were first created in 1883 to prevent incoming administrations from creating a political test for the federal workforce. But Trump’s relationship with the federal workforce has been confrontational, to say the least. He has often railed against the so-called deep state, and recently publicly attacked Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director who resigned this week after the president accused him of bias over his wife’s political affiliations. Before Trump, presidents rarely, if ever, attacked federal employees by name; his treatment of McCabe was seen by some as another sign that the president wants to clear out federal workers in favor of political loyalists.

So what does Trump really want to do? Blowing up civil-service protections, or enforcing a loyalty test, are likely to be nonstarters. “In my conversations with the folks in the administration, that’s never been on the table,” said Bill Valdez, president of the Senior Executives Association. “The barriers to throwing out the civil service system are so huge.”

The House of Representatives has passed a couple of bills to make it easier for agencies to fire federal workers and reduce their appeal time, in line with the VA legislation. At the beginning of the 115th Congress, congressional Republicans also reinstated the so-called Holman Rule, which allows any legislator to add a provision to a spending bill that reduces an individual federal worker’s pay to $1. So far, the rule hasn’t been successfully used, and it doesn’t directly give any new powers to the White House.

Despite minimal traction in Congress, the White House is moving ahead with its plans. One preview of the administration’s approach could come on Feb. 12, when the White House releases its 2019 budget. It is expected to include the reorganization plans requested from agencies last year, although the extent of what will be included is unclear. Even lawmakers in Congress have had trouble learning about the agencies’ reform plans.

“The Administration is taking a targeted approach to federal workforce reform to better prepare for the future—and we plan to highlight that in the fiscal 2019 budget,” Hogan Gidley, deputy White House press secretary, said in a statement to POLITICO. “As the president indicated in the State of the Union, this would include streamlining processes for hiring and rewarding the best talent, and removing the poor performers.”

In a sense, the administration’s attempt to overhaul the government is similar to its effort to reform the regulatory system: Both are bureaucratic tasks that get relatively little attention but have huge implications for the country, and the administration is addressing them largely out of public view. On regulation, the White House has effectively shut down the pipeline of new rules and begun changing the structures of the regulatory system.

But experts said it won’t be so easy to remake the civil service system, which is guided by federal statutes that give the administration much less flexibility. “What they’ve done on the regulatory front was exercising the authority they could use unilaterally,” said Dan Blair, the former acting head of the Office of Personnel Management during the Bush administration. “When it comes to changing the civil service laws, you’ll have to have Congress involved.” That means compromising with Democrats who have expressed little interest in much of Trump’s agenda.

Trump is also lacking a key player: He doesn’t have a Senate-confirmed director of the OPM, the White House agency that oversees the federal workforce. His first nominee withdrew from consideration in August, and his replacement, whom Trump nominated in September, has yet to receive a committee vote in the Senate, leaving a crucial position unfilled.

If he perseveres, Trump will join a long line of presidents to attempt to update the government’s personnel rules, which date back more than 60 years and haven’t been overhauled since 1978. Previous attempts by both the Bush and Obama administrations failed to accomplish meaningful change, and as a result, the federal workforce continues to get older and agencies continue to struggle to bring in new workers.

Blair, who supports the idea of personnel reform, suggested that the Trump administration should focus less on the rules around firing and more on the hiring rules, where there could be more common ground. Previous administrations have tried to alter those rules to recruit younger workers, but those efforts have largely failed; the federal workforce has gotten older and older over the past few decades, a 2017 POLITICO investigation found. Blair argued that better hiring rules would lead to fewer problematic employees and less of a need to reform the rules around firing. “If you bring in quality, maybe that will negate the need for discipline in the future,” he said, adding, “It’s time that we update our laws and make it reflect 2020 rather than 1949.”

https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2018/02/01/trump-civil-service-reform-state-of-the-union-000635

 

State of the Union

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The State of the Union Address is an annual message[1] presented by the President of the United States to a joint session of the United States Congress, except in the first year of a new president’s term. The address has been usually held on a Tuesday.[2] The message includes a budget message and an economic report of the nation, and also allows the President to outline their legislative agenda (for which the cooperation of Congress is needed) and national priorities.[3]

The address fulfills rules in Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, requiring the President to periodically “give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”[1]During most of the country’s first century, the President primarily only submitted a written report to Congress. After 1913, Woodrow Wilson, the 28th U.S. President, began the regular practice of delivering the address to Congress in person as a way to rally support for his agenda.[1] With the advent of radio and television, the address is now broadcast live across the country on many networks,[4] and thus is also used by the President as a platform to speak directly to the American people.[1][citation needed]

Background

The practice arises from a duty given to the president in the Constitution of the United States:

He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.

— Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution

Although the language of this Section of the Constitution is not specific, by tradition, the President makes this report annually in late January or early February. Between 1934 and 2013 the date has been as early as January 3,[5] and as late as February 12.[6]

While not required to deliver a speech, every president since Woodrow Wilson, with the notable exception of Herbert Hoover,[7] has made at least one State of the Union report as a speech delivered before a joint session of Congress. Before that time, most presidents delivered the State of the Union as a written report.[5]

Since Franklin Roosevelt, the State of the Union is given typically each January before a joint session of the United States Congress and is held in the House of Representatives chamber of the United States Capitol. Newly inaugurated presidents generally deliver an address to Congress in February of the first year of their term, but this speech is not officially considered to be a “State of the Union”.[5]

What began as a communication between president and Congress has become a communication between the president and the people of the United States. Since the advent of radio, and then television, the speech has been broadcast live on most networks, preempting scheduled programming. To reach the largest audience, the speech, once given during the day, is now typically given in the evening, after 9pm ET (UTC-5).

History

George Washington‘s handwritten notes for the first State of the Union Address, January 8, 1790. Full 7 pages.

George Washington delivered the first regular annual message before a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1790, in New York City, then the provisional U.S. capital. In 1801, Thomas Jefferson discontinued the practice of delivering the address in person, regarding it as too monarchical (similar to the Speech from the Throne). Instead, the address was written and then sent to Congress to be read by a clerk until 1913 when Woodrow Wilson re-established the practice despite some initial controversy. However, there have been exceptions to this rule. Presidents during the latter half of the 20th century[who?] have sent written State of the Union addresses. The last President to do this was Jimmy Carter in 1981, after his defeat by Ronald Reagan and days before his term ended.[8]

For many years, the speech was referred to as “the President’s Annual Message to Congress”.[9] The actual term “State of the Union” first emerged in 1934 when Franklin D. Roosevelt used the phrase, becoming its generally accepted name since 1947.[9]

Prior to 1934, the annual message was delivered at the end of the calendar year, in December. The ratification of the 20th Amendment on January 23, 1933 changed the opening of Congress from early March to early January, affecting the delivery of the annual message. Since 1934, the message or address has been delivered to Congress in January or February.

The Twentieth Amendment also established January 20 as the beginning of the presidential term. In years when a new president is inaugurated, the outgoing president may deliver a final State of the Union message, but none has done so since Jimmy Carter sent a written message in 1981. In 1953 and 1961, Congress received both a written State of the Union message from the outgoing president and a separate State of the Union speech by the incoming president. Since 1989, in recognition that the responsibility of reporting the State of the Union formally belongs to the president who held office during the past year, newly inaugurated Presidents have not officially called their first speech before Congress a “State of the Union” message.

In 1936, President Roosevelt set a precedent when he delivered the address at night. Only once before—when Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to order the U.S. into World War I—had a sitting president addressed Congress at night.[10]

The text of the first page of Ronald Reagan‘s first State of the Union Address, given January 26, 1982

Warren Harding‘s 1922 speech was the first to be broadcast on radio, albeit to a limited audience,[11] while Calvin Coolidge‘s 1923 speech was the first to be broadcast across the nation.[2] Harry S. Truman‘s 1947 address was the first to be broadcast on television. Lyndon B. Johnson‘s address in 1965 was the first delivered in the evening.[11] Three years later, in 1968, television networks in the United States, for the first time, imposed no time limit for their coverage of a State of the Union address. Delivered by Lyndon B. Johnson, this address was followed by extensive televised commentary by, among others, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Milton Friedman.[12] Ronald Reagan‘s 1986 State of the Union Address is the only one to have been postponed. He had planned to deliver it on January 28, 1986 but postponed it for a week after learning of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and instead addressed the nation on the day’s events.[13][14] Bill Clinton’s 1997 address was the first broadcast available live on the World Wide Web.[15]

Delivery of the speech

A formal invitation is made by the Speaker of the House to the President several weeks before each State of the Union Address.[16][17]

Invitations

Every member of Congress can bring one guest to the State of the Union address. The President may invite up to 24 guests with the First Lady in her box. The Speaker of the House may invite up to 24 guests in the Speaker’s box. Seating for Congress on the main floor is by a first-in, first-served basis with no reservations. The Cabinet, Supreme Court justices, members of the Diplomatic Corps, and Joint Chiefs have reserved seating.

Protocol of entry into House chamber

By approximately 8:30 pm on the night of the address, the members of the House have gathered in their seats for the joint session.[18] Then, the Deputy Sergeant at Arms addresses the Speaker and loudly announces the Vice President and members of the Senate, who enter and take the seats assigned for them.[18]

The Speaker, and then the Vice President, specify the members of the House and Senate, respectively, who will escort the President into the House chamber.[18] The Deputy Sergeant at Arms addresses the Speaker again and loudly announces, in order, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, the Chief Justice of the United States and the Associate Justices, and the Cabinet, each of whom enters and takes their seats when called.[18] The justices take the seats nearest to the Speaker’s rostrum and adjacent to the sections reserved for the Cabinet and the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.[19]

The Sergeants at Arms of the House (left) and Senate (right) wait at the doorway to the House chamber before President Barack Obama enters to deliver the 2011 State of the Union Address.

Just after 9 pm, as the President reaches the door to the chamber,[20] the House Sergeant at Arms stands just inside the doors, faces the Speaker, and waits until the President is ready to enter the chamber.[19] When the President is ready, the Sergeant at Arms always announces his entrance, loudly stating the phrase: “Mister Speaker, the President of the United States!”[20]

As applause and cheering begins, the President slowly walks toward the Speaker’s rostrum, followed by members of his Congressional escort committee.[20] The President’s approach is slowed by pausing to shake hands, hug, kiss, and autograph copies of his speech for Members of Congress.[19] After he takes his place at the House Clerk‘s desk,[20] he hands two manila envelopes, previously placed on the desk and containing copies of the speech, to the Speaker and Vice President.

After continuing applause from the attendees has diminished, the Speaker introduces the President to the Representatives and Senators, stating: “Members of Congress, I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the President of the United States.”[19][20] This leads to a further round of applause and, eventually, the beginning of the address by the President.[20]

At close of the ceremony, attendees leave on their own accord. The Sergeants at Arms guides the President out of the Chamber. Some politicians stay to shake hands with and congratulate the President on his way out.

Designated survivor and other logistics

Customarily, one cabinet member (the designated survivor) does not attend the speech, in order to provide continuity in the line of succession in the event that a catastrophe disables the President, the Vice President, and other succeeding officers gathered in the House chamber. Additionally, since the September 11 attacks in 2001, a few members of Congress have been asked to relocate to undisclosed locations for the duration of the speech to form a rump Congress in the event of a disaster.[21] Since 2003, each chamber of Congress has formally named a separate designated survivor.[22][23]

President George W. Bush with Senate President (U.S. Vice President) Dick Cheney and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the 2007 State of the Union address. 2007 marked the first time that a woman had occupied the Speaker of the House chair. (audio only)

Both the Speaker and the Vice President sit at the Speaker’s desk, behind the President for the duration of the speech. If either is unavailable, the next highest-ranking member of the respective house substitutes. Once the chamber settles down from the President’s arrival, the Speaker officially presents the President to the joint session of Congress. The President then delivers the speech from the podium at the front of the House Chamber.

In the State of the Union the President traditionally outlines the administration’s accomplishments over the previous year, as well as the agenda for the coming year, often in upbeat and optimistic terms.[24] Since the 1982 address, it has also become common for the President to honor special guests sitting in the gallery, such as American citizens or visiting heads of state. During that 1982 address, President Ronald Reagan acknowledged Lenny Skutnik for his act of heroism following the crash of Air Florida Flight 90.[25] Since then, the term “Lenny Skutniks” has been used to refer to individuals invited to sit in the gallery, and then cited by the President, during the State of the Union.[26][27]

State of the Union speeches usually last a little over an hour, partly because of the large amounts of applause that occur from the audience throughout. The applause is often political in tone, with many portions of the speech being applauded only by members of the President’s own party. As non-political officeholders, members of the Supreme Court or the Joint Chiefs of Staff rarely applaud in order to retain the appearance of political impartiality. In recent years, the presiding officers of the House and the Senate, the Speaker and the Vice President, respectively, have departed from the neutrality expected of presiding officers of deliberative bodies, as they, too, stand and applaud in response to the remarks of the President with which they agree.

For the 2011 address, Senator Mark Udall of Colorado proposed a break in tradition wherein all members of Congress sit together regardless of party, as well as the avoiding of standing;[28] this was in response to the 2011 Tucson Shooting in which Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot and wounded in an assassination attempt. This practice was also repeated during the 2012 address and every address after.[29]

Opposition response

Since 1966,[30] the speech has been followed on television by a response or rebuttal by a member of the major political party opposing the President’s party. The response is typically broadcast from a studio with no audience. In 1970, the Democratic Party put together a TV program with their speech to reply to President Nixon, as well as a televised response to Nixon’s written speech in 1973.[31] The same was done by Democrats for President Reagan’s speeches in 1982 and 1985. The response is not always produced in a studio; in 1997, the Republicans for the first time delivered the response in front of high school students.[32] In 2004, the Democratic Party‘s response was also delivered in Spanish for the first time, by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.[33] In 2011, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann also gave a televised response for the Tea Party Express, a first for a political movement.[34]

Significance

Although much of the pomp and ceremony behind the State of the Union address is governed by tradition rather than law, in modern times, the event is seen as one of the most important in the US political calendar. It is one of the few instances when all three branches of the US government are assembled under one roof: members of both houses of Congress constituting the legislature, the President’s Cabinet constituting the executive, and the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court constituting the judiciary. In addition, the military is represented by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, while foreign governments are represented by the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps. The address has also been used as an opportunity to honor the achievements of some ordinary Americans, who are typically invited by the President to sit with the First Lady.[27]

Local versions

Certain states have a similar annual address given by the governor. For most of them, it is called the State of the State address. In Iowa, it is called the Condition of the State Address; in Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, the speech is called the State of the Commonwealth address. The mayor of Washington, D.C. gives a State of the District address. American Samoa has a State of the Territory address given by the governor. Puerto Rico has a State Address given by the governor.

Some cities or counties also have an annual State of the City Address given by the mayor, county commissioner or board chair, including Sonoma County, CaliforniaOrlando, FloridaCincinnati, Ohio; New Haven, ConnecticutParma, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Seattle, Washington; Birmingham, Alabama; Boston, Massachusetts; Los Angeles, California; Buffalo, New YorkRochester, New YorkSan Antonio, Texas; McAllen, Texas; and San Diego, California. The Mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County in Nashville, Tennessee gives a speech similar called the State of Metro Address. Some university presidents give a State of the University address at the beginning of every academic term.[35][36] Private companies usually have a “State of the Corporation” or “State of the Company” address given by the respective CEO.[37]

The State of the Union model has also been adopted by the European Union,[38] and in France since the presidency of Emmanuel Macron.

Historic speeches

File:Second Bill of Rights Speech.ogv

Roosevelt’s Second Bill of Rights (excerpt)

  • President James Monroe first stated the Monroe Doctrine during his seventh annual State of the Union Address to Congress on December 2, 1823. It became a defining moment in the foreign policy of the United States and one of its longest-standing tenets, and would be invoked by many U.S. statesmen and several U.S. presidents, including Theodore RooseveltJohn F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan.
  • The Four Freedoms were goals first articulated by Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 6, 1941. In an address known as the Four Freedoms speech, he proposed four fundamental freedoms that people “everywhere in the world” ought to enjoy: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worshipfreedom from want, and freedom from fear.
  • During his State of the Union Address on January 11, 1944, FDR proposed the Second Bill of Rights. Roosevelt’s argument was that the “political rights” guaranteed by the constitution and the Bill of Rights had “proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness“.
  • During his State of the Union address on January 8, 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson introduced legislation that would come to be known as the “War on Poverty“. This legislation was proposed by Johnson in response to a national poverty rate of around nineteen percent. The speech led the United States Congress to pass the Economic Opportunity Act, which established the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) to administer the local application of federal funds targeted against poverty.
  • During his State of the Union address on January 15, 1975, Gerald R. Ford very bluntly stated that “the state of the Union is not good: Millions of Americans are out of work… We depend on others for essential energy. Some people question their Government’s ability to make hard decisions and stick with them; they expect Washington politics as usual.” and how he didn’t “expect much, if any, applause. The American people want action, and it will take both the Congress and the President to give them what they want. Progress and solutions can be achieved, and they will be achieved.”
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George W. Bush delivers the 2002 State of the Union

  • In his 2002 State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush identified North Korea, Iran, and Iraq as representing significant threats to the United States. He said, “States like these and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world”. In this speech, he would outline the objectives for the War on Terror.

TV ratings

Television ratings for recent State of the Union Addresses were:[39] [40] [41]

Date President Viewers,millions Households,millions Rating Networks
1/30/2018 Donald Trump 45.551 32.168 26.9 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESTRELLA, TELEMUNDO, UNIVISION, CNN, FOX BUSINESS, FOXNC, MSNBC, PBS
2/28/2017dagger Donald Trump 47.741 33.857 28.7 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, UNIVISION, PBS, CNN, FOX BUSINESS, FOXNC, MSNBC, NBC UNIVERSO
1/12/2016 Barack Obama 31.334 23.040 19.6 ABC, AL JAZEERA AMERICA, AZTECA, CBS, CNN, FOX, FOX BUSINESS, FOXNC, GALAVISION, MSNBC, NBC, NBC UNIVERSO, UNIVISION**
1/20/2015 Barack Obama 31.710 23.137 19.9 ABC, AL JAZEERA AMERICA, AZTECA, CBS, CNN, FOX, FOX BUSINESS, FOXNC, GALAVISION, MSNBC, MUNDOFOX, NBC, UNIVISION**
1/28/2014 Barack Obama 33.299 23.949 20.7 CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, AZTECA, FOX BUSINESS, FOXNC, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, AL JAZEERA AMERICA, GALAVISION, MUN2, UNIVISION**
2/12/2013 Barack Obama 33.497 24.767 21.8 FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, AZTECA, UNIVISION, MFX, CNBC, CNN, FOX BUSINESS, FOXNC, MSNBC, CURRENT, CENTRIC, GALAVISION
1/24/2012 Barack Obama 37.752 27.569 24.0 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, TELEMUNDO, TF, UNIVISION, CNBC, CNN, FOX BUSINESS, FOXNC, GALAVISION, MSNBC, MUN2
1/25/2011 Barack Obama 42.789 30.871 26.6 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, TELEMUNDO, UNIVISION, CNN, CENTRIC, CNBC, FOXNC, MSNBC
1/27/2010 Barack Obama 48.009 34.182 29.8 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, TELEMUNDO, UNIVISION, CNN, BET, CNBC, FOXNC, MSNBC
2/24/2009dagger Barack Obama 52.373 37.185 32.5 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNBC, CNN, FOXNC, MSNBC, TELEMUNDO, UNIVISION
1/28/2008 George W. Bush 37.515 27.702 24.7 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, FOXNC, MSNBC, TELEMUNDO**, UNIVISION
1/24/2007 George W. Bush 45.486 32.968 29.6 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, FOXNC, MSNBC, TELEMUNDO, UNIVISION
2/01/2006 George W. Bush 43.179 30.528 31.2 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, FOXNC, MSNBC, TELEMUNDO, AZTECA AMERICA, TELFUTURA
2/02/2005 George W. Bush 39.432 28.359 35.3 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, FOXNC, MSNBC, TELEMUNDO, TELEFUTURA
1/20/2004 George W. Bush 43.411 30.286 28.0 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, CNBC, FOXNC, MSNBC
1/28/2003 George W. Bush 62.061 41.447 38.8 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, CNBC, FOXNC, MSNBC
1/29/2002 George W. Bush 51.773 35.547 33.6 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, CNBC, FOXNC, MSNBC
2/27/2001dagger George W. Bush 39.793 28.201 27.6 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, FOXNC, MSNBC
1/27/2000 Bill Clinton 31.478 22.536 22.4 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, FOXNC, MSNBC
1/19/1999 Bill Clinton 43.500 30.700 31.0 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, FOXNC, MSNBC
1/27/1998 Bill Clinton 53.077 36.513 37.2 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, FOXNC, MSNBC, CNBC
2/04/1997 Bill Clinton 41.100 27.600 28.4 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN
1/23/1996 Bill Clinton 40.900 28.400 29.6 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN
1/24/1995 Bill Clinton 42.200 28.100 29.5 ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN
1/25/1994 Bill Clinton 45.800 31.000 32.9 ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN
2/17/1993dagger Bill Clinton 66.900 41.200 44.3 ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN
Notes
dagger The 1993, 2001, 2009 and 2017 addresses were not, officially, State of the Union addresses, but rather addresses to a joint session Congress because in those years the presidents were in office for only a few weeks at the time the speech was given.[2][41]

**Tape delayed[41]

See also

References

  1. Jump up to:a b c d “State of the Union Address | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives”history.house.gov. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  2. Jump up to:a b c Diaz, Daniella (February 28, 2017). “Why Trump’s Tuesday speech isn’t a State of the Union address”CNN. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
  3. Jump up^ “Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government”United States Government Printing Office. Archived from the original on February 25, 2009.
  4. Jump up^ “31.7 Million Viewers Tune In To Watch Pres. Obama’s State of the Union Address”The Nielsen Company (Press release). January 21, 2015. On Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, President Barack Obama delivered his annual State of the Union address. The address was carried live from 9:00 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. on 13 networks and tape-delayed on Univision.
  5. Jump up to:a b c The President’s State of the Union Address: Tradition, Function, and Policy Implications (PDF). Congressional Research Service. January 24, 2014. p. 2.
  6. Jump up^ Jackson, David (January 11, 2013). “Obama State of the Union set for Feb. 12”USA Today.
  7. Jump up^ “State of the Union Addresses and Messages: research notes by Gerhard Peters”The American Presidency Project (APP). Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  8. Jump up^ Peters, Gerhard. “State of the Union Messages”. The American Presidency Project. Retrieved September 25, 2006.
  9. Jump up to:a b Kolakowski, Michael & Neale, Thomas H. (March 7, 2006). “The President’s State of the Union Message: Frequently Asked Questions” (PDF). Congressional Research Service Report for Congress. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
  10. Jump up^ “President to Appear Before Congress: Message to be Delivered Friday night”. Fairbanks Daily News-MinerAssociated Press. January 2, 1936. p. A1.
  11. Jump up to:a b Robert Yoon, CNN Political Research Director (February 12, 2013). “State of the Union firsts”CNN. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  12. Jump up^ Kurlansky, Mark (2004). 1968: The Year That Rocked the World. New York: Ballantine. p. 44. ISBN 0-9659111-4-4.
  13. Jump up^ “Address to the nation on the Challenger disaster”. Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Retrieved July 4, 2006.
  14. Jump up^ Weinraub, Bernard (January 29, 1986). “The Shuttle Explosion: Reagan Postpones State of the Union Speech”The New York Times. p. A9.
  15. Jump up^ Office of the Clerk. Joint Meetings, Joint Sessions, and InaugurationsHouse History. United States House of Representatives. Archived from the original on January 18, 2011.
  16. Jump up^ “Speaker Boehner Extends President Obama Formal Invitation to Deliver State of the Union Address”Speaker Boehner’s Press Office (Press release). January 11, 2011.
  17. Jump up^ “State of the Union 2015”Speaker Boehner’s Press Office(Press release). December 19, 2014.
  18. Jump up to:a b c d “Joint Session of Congress Pursuant to House Concurrent Resolution 228 to Receive a Message from the President” (PDF). Congressional Record: H414. January 27, 2010.
  19. Jump up to:a b c d “President Delivers State of the Union Address”(Transcript). CNN. January 28, 2008.
  20. Jump up to:a b c d e f “Joint Session of Congress Pursuant to House Concurrent Resolution 228 to Receive a Message from the President” (PDF). Congressional Record: H415. January 27, 2010.
  21. Jump up^ Roberts, Roxanne (September 20, 2016). “The truth behind the ‘designated survivor,’ the president of the post-apocalypse”Washington Post. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  22. Jump up^ Schultheis, Emily (February 28, 2017). “Joint session 2017: The history of the “designated survivor””. CBS News. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  23. Jump up^ Oritz, Erik (January 30, 2018). “Designated survivors recount nights as doomsday presidents”. NBC News. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  24. Jump up^ Widmer, Ted (January 31, 2006). “The State of the Union Is Unreal”The New York Times. Retrieved January 22, 2007.
  25. Jump up^ O’Keefe, Ed (January 24, 2012). “Three decades of ‘Skutniks’ began with a federal employee”Washington Post. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  26. Jump up^ Wiggin, Addison (January 25, 2011). “Small Business Owners Should Be Obama’s Lenny Skutnik”Forbes. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
  27. Jump up to:a b Clines, Francis X. (August 24, 1996). “Bonding as New Political Theater: Bring On the Babies and Cue the Yellow Dog”The New York Times. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
  28. Jump up^ Epstein, Jennifer (January 13, 2011). “Mark Udall wants parties together at State of the Union”Politico.
  29. Jump up^ Hennessey, Kathleen (January 21, 2012). “Rival parties to mix it up – nicely – at State of the Union”Los Angeles Times.
  30. Jump up^ Office of the Clerk. “Opposition Responses to State of the Union Messages (1966–Present)”. United States House of Representatives. Retrieved January 23, 2007.
  31. Jump up^ Frum, David (2000). How We Got Here: The ’70s. New York: Basic Books. p. 47. ISBN 0-465-04195-7.
  32. Jump up^ Sincere, Richard E., Jr. (February 1997). “O.J., J.C., and Bill: Reflections on the State of the Union”Metro Herald. Archived from the original on July 31, 2002. Retrieved January 23, 2007Watts told his audience—about 100 high school students from the CloseUp Foundation watched in person, while a smaller number watched on television at home—that he is ‘old enough to remember the Jim Crow’ laws that affected him and his family while he grew up in a black neighborhood in small-town Oklahoma.
  33. Jump up^ York, Byron (January 21, 2004). “The Democratic Response You Didn’t See”National Review. Retrieved January 23, 2007And then there was the Spanish-language response—the first ever—delivered by New Mexico governor, and former Clinton energy secretary, Bill Richardson.
  34. Jump up^ “Michele Bachmann offers Tea Party response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address”The Washington Post. January 26, 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  35. Jump up^ “UNH State of the University 2015”The University of New Hampshire (Press release). February 17, 2015.
  36. Jump up^ “State of the University 2015”Santa Clara University (Press release). February 19, 2015.
  37. Jump up^ Goldman, Jeremy (January 20, 2015). “Why Your Company Deserves a ‘State of the Union’ Address”Inc.
  38. Jump up^ “EU has survived economic crisis, Barroso says in first State of Union address”EUobserver.com. September 7, 2010.
  39. Jump up^ “2018 State of The Union Address TV Ratings”Nielsen. 2018-01-31. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
  40. Jump up^ “2017 State of The Union Address TV Ratings”Nielsen. 2017-02-28. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  41. Jump up to:a b c “2016 State of The Union Address TV Ratings”Nielsen. 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2018-01-11.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_the_Union

Grand slam (baseball)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Roger Connor, circa 1887.

In baseball, a grand slam is a home run hit with all three bases occupied by baserunners (“bases loaded”), thereby scoring four runs—the most possible in one play. According to The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, the term originated in the card game of contract bridge,[better source needed] in which a grand slam involves taking all the possible tricks. The word slam, by itself, usually is connected with a loud sound, particularly of a door being closed with excess force; thus, slamming the door on one’s opponent(s), in addition to the bat slamming the ball into a home run.

Notable highlights

Roger Connor is believed to have been the first major league player to hit a grand slam, on September 10, 1881, for the Troy Trojans. Although Charlie Gould hit one for the Boston Red Stockings (now the Atlanta Braves) in the National Association (NA) on September 5, 1871,[1] the NA is not recognized by MLB as a major league.

In 1987 Don Mattingly set the record for most grand slams in a single season with six.

Alex Rodriguez has 25 career grand slams, the most by any player in Major League Baseball history, passing Lou Gehrig‘s 23 on September 20, 2013. Don Mattingly set the one-season record with six grand slams in 1987 – remarkably, the only grand slams of his major league career. Travis Hafner tied Mattingly’s Major League record in 2006, while in 2009Albert Pujols tied the one-season National League record of five grand slams set by Ernie Banks in 1955.[2]

Several grand slams, the first being Connor’s in 1881, consisted of a player hitting a walk-off grand slam for a one-run victory; some baseball observers call this an “ultimate grand slam”.[3] Steve Pearce was the most recent to do so in an 11-10 victory by the Toronto Blue Jays over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on July 30, 2017. Roberto Clemente is the only player to have hit a walk-off inside-the-park grand slam in a one-run victory;[citation needed] the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Chicago Cubs 9–8 on July 25, 1956 at Forbes Field, a park known for its spacious outfield.

On April 10, 1980 – on Opening Day, the Milwaukee Brewers‘ Sixto Lezcano hit a walk-off Grand Slam, reportedly the first such feat on an Opening Day. (Lezcano also has the distinction of hitting a Grand Slam the previous year, also on Opening Day.)

During the 2005 major league season, grand slams accounted for 132 of the 5017 home runs hit (2.6%). On June 13–14, 2006, the Minnesota Twins hit grand slams in consecutive games against the Boston Red Sox, including a walk-off grand slam by Jason Kubel in the 12th inning on June 13.

In 2006, the Chicago White Sox hit grand slams in three consecutive games against the Houston Astros (June 23–25). Scott Podsednik hit the only grand slam of his career in the series opener. Joe Crede followed up with a slam of his own on Saturday, and Tadahito Iguchi hit a game tying grand slam in the bottom of the ninth with two outs in the series finale. (This followed a three run blast by Iguchi in the bottom of the eighth.) The White Sox became the first team to accomplish this since the Detroit Tigers in 1993. On the other hand, the 2007 Kansas City Royals surrendered grand slams in three straight games; two against the Baltimore Orioles (April 13–14) and one against the Tigers (April 16).

Also in 2006, Travis Hafner of the Cleveland Indians set a major league record by hitting five grand slams prior to the All-Star break, on his way to tying Mattingly for one season (his sixth was on August 13.) On July 16, Carlos Beltrán and Cliff Floyd of the New York Metshit grand slams during an 11-run sixth inning against the Chicago Cubs, marking the eighth time two grand slams were hit in a team’s at-bat (the fourth time in National League history).

Four players hit a grand slam in their first Major League at-bat: Bill Duggleby (1898), Jeremy Hermida (2005), Kevin Kouzmanoff (2006), and Daniel Nava (2011). Kouzmanoff, Nava, and Duggleby hit theirs on the first pitch; Hermida’s grand slam was in a pinch-hit at bat.

Fernando Tatís (pictured with the Mets) is the only player to hit two grand slams in the same inning, with the Cardinals, in 1999.

Tony Cloninger is the only pitcher to hit two grand slams in one game, for the Atlanta Braves in a 1966 contest against the San Francisco Giants.

Félix Hernández of the Seattle Mariners became the first American League pitcher since the designated hitter rule went into effect in 1973 to hit a grand slam when he did so on June 23, 2008, off New York Mets ace Johan Santanain an interleague game.[4]

The only major leaguer to hit two grand slams in one inning is Fernando Tatís of the St. Louis Cardinals, on April 23, 1999 at Dodger Stadium, with both grand slams coming off Los Angeles’ Chan Ho Park in the third inning. Tatis was only the second National League player to hit two grand slams in one game, joining Cloninger. Park was only the second pitcher in major league history to give up two grand slams in one inning; Bill Phillips of the Pittsburgh Pirates did it on August 16, 1890, one to Tom Burns and one to Malachi Kittridge, but Park was the first to give up both to the same batter. Tatis had never hit a grand slam before in his career. Bill Mueller is the only player to hit grand slams from both sides of the plate in the same game, when he hit 2 on July 29, 2003 for the Boston Red Sox vs. the Texas RangersRobin Ventura is the only player to hit a grand slam in both games of a doubleheader, when he did so on May 20, 1999 for the New York Mets against the Milwaukee Brewers.

In Japan’s professional league, the feat of multiple grand slams in a single inning by a team has been accomplished three times; most recently on April 1, 2007 by José Fernández and Takeshi Yamasaki of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. The Daiei Hawks accomplished the feat in 1999.[5]

On August 25, 2011, the New York Yankees, hosting the Oakland A’s, became the first team in MLB history to hit three grand slams in one game. Robinson CanóRussell Martin and Curtis Granderson took pitchers Rich HardenFautino de los Santos, and Bruce Billings deep, with each grand slam being hit in a different inning. Coming back from a 7−1 deficit, the second grand slam gave the Yankees their first lead of the game; they went on to win 22–9.[6][7][8]

On July 13, 2014, Buster Posey and batterymate Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants hit grand slams against the Arizona Diamondbacks. It marked the first time in Major League Baseball history that batterymates hit grand slams in the same game.[9]

On June 3, 2017, a record-breaking seven grand slams were hit by teams in the MLB: one for the Los Angeles Dodgers, one for the Milwaukee Brewers, one for the Atlanta Braves, one for the Colorado Rockies, one for the Chicago Cubs, one for the Seattle Mariners, and most notably, by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, as Albert Pujols hit his 600th career home run.

Notable calls

“Get out the rye bread and mustard, Grandma, it is grand salami time!”- used by longtime Seattle Mariners lead commentator Dave Niehaus from the 1995 season until his death in November 2010.[10] Currently used by Niehaus’ longtime partner Rick Rizzs.

However, archives have surfaced showing Milwaukee Brewers longtime announcer Bob Uecker using the term “Grand Salami” back in 1982, when the offense-tending team were dubbed “Harvey’s Wallbangers” (a reference to manager Harvey Kuenn, and a takeoff of the cocktail Harvey Wallbanger).

World Series

Year Game Batter Site Pitcher Inning Score after HR Final score Series standing Notes
1920 Game 5, October 10 Elmer SmithCleveland League Park Burleigh GrimesBrooklyn 1st 4–0 8–1, W 3–2 CLE The first slam in Series history, hit with none out in the 1st, is overshadowed when, in the 5th inning, Bill Wambsganss turns the only unassisted triple play ever in the Series.
1936 Game 2, October 2 Tony LazzeriNew York (AL) Polo Grounds Dick CoffmanNew York (NL) 3rd 9–1 18–4, W 1–1 With President Roosevelt in attendance, Lazzeri hits a 2–2 pitch with one out to give the Yankees a sizable lead.
1951 Game 5, October 9 Gil McDougaldNew York (AL) Polo Grounds Larry JansenNew York (NL) 3rd 5–1 13–1, W 3–2 NYY McDougald puts the Yankees up with 2 out in the 3rd. McDougald became the first rookie to get a postseason grand slam.
1953 Game 5, October 4 Mickey MantleNew York Ebbets Field Russ MeyerBrooklyn 3rd 6–1 11–7, W 3–2 NYY After a two-out error by Gil Hodges, a hit batter and a walk, Mantle hits reliever Meyer’s first pitch out of the park.
1956 Game 2, October 5 Yogi BerraNew York Ebbets Field Don NewcombeBrooklyn 2nd 6–0 13–8, L 2–0 BKN Berra’s blast with 2 out is not enough to hold off the Dodgers in what becomes, at 3 hours 26 minutes, the longest 9-inning game in Series history until 1993.
1956 Game 7, October 10 Moose SkowronNew York Ebbets Field Roger CraigBrooklyn 7th 9–0 9–0, W 4–3 NYY The Yankees score all their runs on 4 HRs to seal the Series, with Skowron’s wallop on the first pitch with none out ending the scoring.
1960 Game 3, October 8 Bobby RichardsonNew York Yankee Stadium Clem LabinePittsburgh 1st 6–0 10–0, W 2–1 NYY Richardson’s HR with 1 out in the 1st starts him toward a Series-record 6 RBI.
1962 Game 4, October 8 Chuck HillerSan Francisco Yankee Stadium Marshall BridgesNew York 7th 6–2 7–3, W 2–2 With 2 out, Hiller hits the first grand slam by a National Leaguer in the Series.
1964 Game 4, October 11 Ken BoyerSt. Louis Yankee Stadium Al DowningNew York 6th 4–3 4–3, W 2–2 With men on 1st and 2nd, Bobby Richardson’s error with 1 out while seeking a double play opens the gate for Boyer to hit his pivotal blast.
1964 Game 6, October 14 Joe PepitoneNew York Sportsman’s Park Gordie RichardsonSt. Louis 8th 8–1 8–3, W 3–3 With 2 out, Pepitone hits one onto the roof of the right field pavilion to help force Game 7.
1968 Game 6, October 9 Jim NorthrupDetroit Busch Stadium Larry JasterSt. Louis 3rd 8–0 13–1, W 3–3 Northrup’s HR with none out is the highlight of a 10-run inning which puts the Tigers ahead 12–0.
1970 Game 3, October 13 Dave McNallyBaltimore Memorial Stadium Wayne GrangerCincinnati 6th 8–1 9–3, W 3–0 Besides his 2-out HR, McNally also pitches a complete game to put Baltimore within one win of the title.
1987 Game 1, October 17 Dan GladdenMinnesota Metrodome Bob ForschSt. Louis 4th 7–1 10–1, W 1–0 MIN Gladden’s HR with none out caps a 7-run inning which ends the Cardinals’ 25-inning shutout streak.
1987 Game 6, October 24 Kent HrbekMinnesota Metrodome Ken DayleySt. Louis 6th 10–5 11–5, W 3–3 With 2 out, Hrbek hits reliever Dayley’s first pitch out of the park.
1988 Game 1, October 15 José CansecoOakland Dodger Stadium Tim BelcherLos Angeles 2nd 4–2 5–4, L 1–0 LAD With 2 out, Canseco hits his first major league grand slam on a 1–0 pitch; but Kirk Gibson‘s walk-off home run wins it for the Dodgers.
1992 Game 5, October 22 Lonnie SmithAtlanta SkyDome Jack MorrisToronto 5th 7–2 7–2, W 3–2 TOR With 2 out, Smith’s HR helps keep the Braves alive in the Series.
1998 Game 1, October 17 Tino MartinezNew York Yankee Stadium Mark LangstonSan Diego 7th 9–5 9–6, W 1–0 NYY Martinez’ 2-out HR follows Chuck Knoblauch‘s 3-run game-tying shot earlier in the inning.
2005 Game 2, October 23 Paul KonerkoChicago U.S. Cellular Field Chad QuallsHouston 7th 6–4 7–6, W 2–0 CHW Konerko’s 2-out shot to left on reliever Qualls’ first pitch gives the White Sox a 6–4 lead, but Scott Podsednik later wins it with a walk-off home run, after Houston tied it at 6 with two outs in the top of the 9th.
2016 Game 6, November 1 Addison RussellChicago Progressive Field Dan OteroCleveland 3rd 7–0 9–3, W 3–3 With the grand slam Russell tied the MLB record of 6 RBI in a World Series game, as well the most on a team facing elimination from the World Series. This is the first MLB grand slam to happen in November.[11]

Other major league postseason grand slams[edit]

Series Game Batter Site Pitcher Inning Score after HR Final score Series standing Notes
1970 ALCS Game 1, October 3 Mike CuellarBaltimore Metropolitan Stadium Jim PerryMinnesota 4th 7–2 10–6, W 1–0 BAL In the first grand slam in the history of the LCS, Cuellar, who batted only .089 in the regular season, pulls the ball down the right field line with one out; clearly foul when passing first base, the 29 mph wind carries it fair. Cuellar himself does not last through the fifth inning.
1977 NLCS Game 1, October 4 Ron CeyLos Angeles Dodger Stadium Steve CarltonPhiladelphia 7th 5–5 7–5, L 1–0 PHI With two out, Cey fouls off three full-count pitches before tying the game, but three singles and a balk in the 9th give the Phillies the win.
1977 NLCS Game 2, October 5 Dusty BakerLos Angeles Dodger Stadium Jim LonborgPhiladelphia 4th 5–1 7–1, W 1–1 After Steve Garvey is walked intentionally with one out, Baker gives the Dodgers their second grand slam in as many nights.
1982 ALCS Game 4, October 9 Don BaylorCalifornia Milwaukee County Stadium Moose HaasMilwaukee 8th 5–7 9–5, L 2–2 After Haas takes a no-hitter into the 6th in a game delayed twice by rain, Baylor brings the Angels within two runs with one out in the 8th.
1989 NLCS Game 1, October 4 Will ClarkSan Francisco Wrigley Field Greg MadduxChicago 4th 8–3 11–3, W 1–0 SF With two out, Clark hits the first pitch for his second HR of the game; he also singles, doubles and walks, picking up an NLCS-record 6 RBI.
1992 NLCS Game 2, October 7 Ron GantAtlanta Fulton County Stadium Bob WalkPittsburgh 5th 8–0 13–5, W 2–0 ATL With two out, Gant hits his first career grand slam to double the Braves’ lead.
1995 NLDS Game 3, October 6 Mark LewisCincinnati Riverfront Stadium Mark GuthrieLos Angeles 6th 7–1 10–1, W 3–0 CIN After Guthrie enters the game with none out, Lewis hits the first pinch-hit grand slam in postseason history, propelling the Reds to their eighth straight playoff victory and their eighth NLCS.
1995 ALDS Game 4, October 7 Edgar MartínezSeattle Kingdome John WettelandNew York 8th 10–6 11–8, W 2–2 After hitting a 3-run HR in the 3rd to cut NY’s lead to two runs, Martinez hits another to center field to take the lead for good, finishing with a postseason-record 7 RBI. A walk, bunt single and hit batter had loaded the bases with none out.
1996 ALDS Game 1, October 1 Bobby BonillaBaltimore Camden Yards Paul ShueyCleveland 6th 9–3 10–4, W 1–0 BAL After two walks, a single, a sacrifice fly and a hit batter, Shuey enters the game and is greeted by Bonilla’s blast with two out.
1996 ALDS Game 3, October 4 Albert BelleCleveland Jacobs Field Armando BenítezBaltimore 7th 8–4 9–4, W 2–1 BAL After Orioles starter Mike Mussina is controversially pulled after six innings, Jesse Orosco walks the bases loaded and is replaced; Belle crushes an 0–2 pitch with none out to keep the Indians alive in the series. It would be Belle’s final hit as an Indian.
1996 NLCS Game 2, October 10 Gary GaettiSt. Louis Fulton County Stadium Greg MadduxAtlanta 7th 8–3 8–3, W 1–1 In an inning featuring two walks, an error and a wild pitch, Gaetti wallops the first pitch with two out. Maddux surrenders his second grand slam in 34.2 NLCS innings after allowing only one in 2365.2 regular season innings.
1997 NLDS Game 3, October 3 Devon WhiteFlorida 3Com Park Wilson ÁlvarezSan Francisco 6th 4–1 6–2, W 3–0 FLA With two out, Florida gets a pair of singles and a walk before White hits Alvarez’ 113th pitch to left field. The Marlins advance to their first NLCS, in their fifth year of play.
1997 ALDS Game 3, October 4 Paul O’NeillNew York Jacobs Field Chad OgeaCleveland 4th 6–1 6–1, W 2–1 NYY After starter Charles Nagy walks the bases loaded, O’Neill greets Ogea with a blast to center field with two out as rain begins to fall.
1998 NLDS Game 1, September 30 Ryan KleskoAtlanta Turner Field Matt KarchnerChicago 7th 7–0 7–1, W 1–0 ATL Klesko’s homer with two out, following three walks, secures the win for the Braves.
1998 NLDS Game 3, October 3 Eddie PérezAtlanta Wrigley Field Rod BeckChicago 8th 6–0 6–2, W 3–0 ATL After Andruw Jones is walked intentionally, Pérez hits a homer with one out to wrap up the series for the Braves, sending the Cubs to their sixth straight playoff loss.
1998 NLCS Game 4, October 11 Andrés GalarragaAtlanta Qualcomm Stadium Dan MiceliSan Diego 7th 8–3 8–3, W 3–1 SD After Miceli enters the game, Galarraga caps a 6-run inning with a 459-foot blast to left-center with two out, helping to force a Game 5.
1998 ALCS Game 6, October 13 Jim ThomeCleveland Yankee Stadium David ConeNew York 5th 5–6 9–5, L 4–2 NYY Thome’s shot into the third deck with one out pulls the Indians within a run, but it isn’t enough for the defending AL champions as the Yankees advance to the World Series.
1999 NLDS Game 1, October 5 Edgardo AlfonzoNew York Bank One Ballpark Bobby ChouinardArizona 9th 8–4 8–4, W 1–0 NYM Alfonzo hits his second HR of the game inside the left field foul pole with two out, after Robin Ventura was forced out at the plate one play earlier.
1999 ALDS Game 2, October 7 Jim ThomeCleveland Jacobs Field John WasdinBoston 4th 11–1 11–1, W 2–0 CLE After a 6-run 3rd inning highlighted by Harold Baines‘ 3-run HR, Thome makes it a blowout, ending a 5-run inning with a two-out shot and becoming the first player to hit two postseason grand slams.
1999 ALDS Game 5, October 11 Troy O’LearyBoston Jacobs Field Charles NagyCleveland 3rd 7–5 12–8, W 3–2 BOS O’Leary homers with one out to give Boston the lead, and later hits a 3-run HR in the 7th to break an 8–8 tie and send the Red Sox to the ALCS; both homers come after intentional walks to Nomar Garciaparra.
1999 ALCS Game 4, October 17 Ricky LedéeNew York Fenway Park Rod BeckBoston 9th 9–2 9–2, W 3–1 NYY Ledee hits a pinch-hit HR with one out to wrap up a 6-run inning and the victory. Ledee became the second rookie to hit a postseason grand slam.
1999 NLCS Game 5, October 17 Robin VenturaNew York Shea Stadium Kevin McGlinchyAtlanta 15th 4–3 4–3, W 3–2 ATL The Mets tie the score at 3–3 with a bases-loaded walk with one out, bringing up Ventura, who with 13 career grand slams is tied for the lead among active players with Harold Baines and Mark McGwire. He comes through with the first walk-off grand slam – and the first grand slam in extra innings – in postseason history, clearing the right-center field wall, but is officially credited with only a 1-run single after being mobbed by teammates upon passing first base.
2003 NLCS Game 4, October 11 Aramis RamírezChicago Pro Player Stadium Dontrelle WillisFlorida 1st 4–0 8–3, W 3–1 CHC After Willis walks the bases loaded with one out, Ramírez gets the Cubs off to an early lead by hitting a 2–2 pitch into the left field seats. This was the first time in Cubs history, that a player hit a grand slam in the postseason
2004 ALDS Game 3, October 8 Vladimir GuerreroAnaheim Fenway Park Mike TimlinBoston 7th 6–6 8–6, L 3–0 BOS Guerrero ties the score with a two-out HR to right on a 0–1 pitch, but the Red Sox score two in the 10th to advance to the ALCS.
2004 ALCS Game 7, October 20 Johnny DamonBoston Yankee Stadium Javier VázquezNew York 2nd 6–0 10–3, W 4–3 BOS Damon homers to right on reliever Vázquez’ first pitch with one out, staking Boston to an early lead; he homers again in the 4th for an 8–1 lead as the Red Sox complete their comeback after being down 3 games to 0.
2005 NLDS Game 1, October 4 Reggie SandersSt. Louis Busch Stadium Jake PeavySan Diego 5th 8–0 8–5, W 1–0 STL With one out, Sanders homers on a 3–0 fastball from Peavy, who was unknowingly pitching with a fractured rib.
2005 NLDS Game 4, October 9 Adam LaRocheAtlanta Minute Maid Park Brandon BackeHouston 3rd 4–0 7–6, L 3–1 HOU LaRoche, battling stomach flu, homers with two out, after two walks and a hit batter, to give the Braves an early lead, but the Astros tie the game 6–6 in the 9th and win in 18 innings to advance to the NLCS.
2005 NLDS Game 4, October 9 Lance BerkmanHouston Minute Maid Park Kyle FarnsworthAtlanta 8th 5–6 7–6, W 3–1 HOU With one out, Berkman hits an opposite-field homer to left on a 2–1 pitch to bring the Astros within a run; it is the first time that two grand slams are hit in the same postseason game. After tying the game in the 9th, the Astros win the series on Chris Burke‘s walk-off homer in the 18th, making it the second longest game in postseason history.
2007 NLDS Game 2, October 4 Kaz MatsuiColorado Rockies Citizens Bank Park Kyle LohsePhiladelphia Phillies 4th 6–3 10–5, W 2–0 COL Matsui’s slam gives the Rockies a 6–3 lead on the way to winning the game 10–5 and giving Colorado a 2–0 series lead.
2007 ALCS Game 6, October 20 J. D. DrewBoston Red Sox Fenway Park Fausto CarmonaCleveland Indians 1st 4–0 12–2 W 3–3 Drew gave the Red Sox an early lead in the must-win game as the Red Sox tied the series.
2008 NLDS Game 1, October 1 James LoneyLos Angeles Dodgers Wrigley Field Ryan DempsterChicago Cubs 5th 4–2 7–2, W 1–0 LAD After Dempster walked the bases loaded, Loney hits it to center to give the Dodgers a 4–2 lead.
2008 NLDS Game 2, October 2 Shane VictorinoPhiladelphia Phillies Citizens Bank Park CC SabathiaMilwaukee Brewers 2nd 5–1 5–2, W 2–0 PHI Victorino’s slam, the first in Phillies postseason history, broke a 1–1 tie after pitcher Brett Myers drew a two-out walk in a nine-pitch at-bat.
2011 ALDS Game 1, October 1 Robinson CanóNew York Yankees Yankee Stadium Al AlburquerqueDetroit Tigers 6th 8–1 9–3, W 1–0 NYY Gardner singled, Jeter stole second, Granderson walked. After a pitching change, Robinson Canó hit a 375-foot blast to give the Yankees an 8–1 lead over the Tigers. Cano hit six RBIs this game, barely missing another homer in the previous inning. He tied the Yankees post-season single game record. This was the first home run hit off of Alburquerque this season.
2011 NLDS Game 3, October 4 Paul GoldschmidtArizona Diamondbacks Chase Field Shaun MarcumMilwaukee Brewers 5th 7–1 8–1, W 2–1 MIL Back-to-back singles to Josh Collmenter and Willie Bloomquist. Two outs later, with first base open, Marcum intentionally walked Miguel Montero, who had two RBIs to that point in the game, to get to Goldschmidt. Marcum jumped ahead of Goldschmidt, 1–2, before leaving a fastball out over the plate. Goldschmidt drove the ball the opposite way and over the wall in right to give Arizona a 7–1 lead. Goldschmidt became the third rookie to hit a postseason grand slam.
2011 NLDS Game 4, October 5 Ryan RobertsArizona Diamondbacks Chase Field Randy WolfMilwaukee Brewers 1st 4–1 10–6, W 2–2 Bloomquist singled out in centerfield. Aaron Hill fouled out to first base. Justin Upton walked, while Montero singled out in the right field. Goldschmidt, who hit a grand slam a day earlier, struck out looking. Wolf jumped behind of Roberts, 2–1, before leaving a 79 mph changeup out over the plate. Roberts drove the ball to opposite and over the wall in left to give Arizona a 4–1 lead. Moments later, Chris Young hit a home run out to centerfield.
2011 ALCS Game 2, October 10 Nelson CruzTexas Rangers Rangers Ballpark in Arlington Ryan PerryDetroit Tigers 11th 7–3 7–3, W 2–0 TEX In the 11th, after Perry came in to replace Valverde, Michael Young singles on a sharp ground ball to left fielder Ryan Raburn. Adrián Beltré singles on a line drive to center fielder Austin Jackson. Michael Young to 2nd.Coaching visit to mound. Mike Napoli singles on a fly ball to center fielder Austin Jackson, loading the bases. Nelson Cruz hits a grand slam (3) to left field. Young, Beltre, and Napoli score on the home run. First official (see Grand Slam Single) walk-off grand slam in post season history. “[12]
2012 NLDS Game 5, October 11 Buster PoseySan Francisco Giants Great American Ball Park Mat LatosCincinnati Reds 5th 6–0 6–4, W 3–2 SF After the Giants scored two runs in the inning, the bases were loaded for Posey. He hit a home run off the upper deck, giving the Giants a 6–0 lead they did not relinquish. The runs proved to be critical, as the Reds rallied to make the game close, but the Giants held on to win 6–4. The win completed the Giants’ comeback from being down 2 games to 0 in the series, the first time that happened in NL Divisional play. The Giants won all three on the road, as the series became the second five-game series to not have a single win by a home team (after the 2010 ALDS between the Rangers and Rays).
2013 ALCS Game 2, October 13 David OrtizBoston Red Sox Fenway Park Joaquín BenoitDetroit Tigers 8th 5–5 6–5, W 1–1 With the Red Sox trailing 5−1 in the bottom of the eighth, David Ortiz came up with the bases loaded and two out. Ortiz lined Benoit’s first pitch into the right field bullpen sending outfielder Torii Hunter flying over the wall, tying the game at 5. The Red Sox would go on to win the game 6−5 in the bottom of the ninth on a walk off single by Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
2013 ALCS Game 6, October 19 Shane VictorinoBoston Red Sox Fenway Park José VerasDetroit Tigers 7th 5–2 5–2, W 4–2 BOS In the bottom of the seventh inning, with the Tigers ahead 2−1 and Victorino down in the count 0–2 on well placed curve balls, he sent the third pitch (also a curve ball, but up in the zone) over the Green Monster. Victorino ended a 2 for 23 slump with this blast becoming only the second player ever, alongside Jim Thome, to have hit two post-season grand slams.
2014 NLWCG n/aOctober 1 Brandon CrawfordSan Francisco Giants PNC Park Edinson VólquezPittsburgh Pirates 4th 4–0 8-0, W n/a After singles by Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence and a walk to Brandon Belt, Crawford unloaded the bases with a 362-foot grand slam to right field, opening the game’s scoring. His grand slam was the first to be hit by a shortstop in postseason history.
2016 NLCS Game 1, October 15 Miguel MonteroChicago Cubs Wrigley Field Joe BlantonLos Angeles Dodgers 8th 7–3 8-4, W 1-0 CHC After the Dodgers tied it in the top of the eighth, Montero’s pinch hit grand slam breaks the tie.
2017 ALDS Game 2, October 6 Francisco LindorCleveland Indians Progressive Field Chad GreenNew York Yankees 6th 7–8 9-8, W 2-0 CLE With two outs in the 6th, Lonnie Chisenhall was grazed by a 2-strike pitch that appeared to have possibly struck the knob of his bat before landing in the catcher’s mitt for an inning-ending foul-tip strikeout. The Yankees chose not to challenge the umpire’s call that Chisenhall was hit by the pitch to load the bases. Lindor then blasted a towering fly ball high off the right field foul pole to cut the Yankees’ 5-run lead down to 1. The Indians later finished their comeback with a walk-off single by Yan Gomes in the 13th inning.
2017 NLDS Game 4, October 11 Michael A. TaylorWashington Nationals Wrigley Field Wade DavisChicago Cubs 8th 5–0 5-0, W 2-2 After inheriting Daniel Murphy on first base from Jon LesterCarl Edwards Jr. issued back-to-back 2-out walks to Anthony Rendon and Matt Wieters to load the bases. Davis was then brought in to face Taylor with the hope of holding the Nationals’ lead at 1-0. Taylor hit a 1-1 fastball from Davis into the chain link net at the top of the right center field wall to clear the bases and expand the lead to 5-0.
2017 NLCS Game 5, October 19 Kiké HernándezLos Angeles Dodgers Wrigley Field Hector RondonChicago Cubs 3rd 7-0 11-1, W 4-1 LAD Hernández’s grand slam on a fly ball to right field was the second of his three home runs on the night, which made Hernández the 10th player ever to hit 3 homers in a postseason game. In this close-out game, Hernández drove in 7 runs to tie the Major League record for RBI in a postseason game and help send the Dodgers to the World Series for the first time since 1988.

All-star game

Year Batter Date and Site Pitcher Inning Score after HR Final score Notes
1983 Fred LynnAL(California) July 6, Comiskey Park Atlee HammakerNL (San Francisco) 3rd 9–1 13–3, W In the 50th anniversary game, Lynn hits the first grand slam in All-Star history to right field on a 2–2 pitch with two out, capping a 7-run inning and virtually ensuring the AL’s first victory since 1971 and second since 1962. Just before the pitch, NBC put on-screen a graphic indicating that there had never been a grand slam hit in All-Star history.

Career grand slam leaders

Alex Rodriguez currently holds the record for most career grand slams with 25.

With 23 grand slams, Lou Gehrig held the all-time record until 2013.[13]

Players in bold are currently active (as of September 22, 2017).[14]

Alex Rodriguez 25
Lou Gehrig 23
Manny Ramírez 21
Eddie Murray 19
Willie McCovey 18 [1]
Robin Ventura 18
Carlos Lee 17
Jimmie Foxx 17
Ted Williams 17
Hank Aaron 16
Dave Kingman 16
Babe Ruth 16
*Ryan Howard 15
Ken Griffey, Jr. 15
Richie Sexson 15
Jason Giambi 14
Gil Hodges 14
Mark McGwire 14
Mike Piazza 14

1 – National League record

Single-season grand slam leaders

[citation needed]

Travis Hafner matched Mattingly’s single-season record in 2006.

Don Mattingly 6   1987 (a)
Travis Hafner 6   2006 (a)
Ernie Banks 5   1955 (n)
Jim Gentile 5   1961 (a)
Jim Northrup 5   1968 (a)
Albert Pujols 5   2009 (n)
Richie Sexson 5   2006 (a)
Albert Belle 4   1997 (a)
Ray Boone 4   1953 (a)
Robinson Canó 4   2011 (a)
Vince DiMaggio 4   1945 (n)
Lou Gehrig 4   1934 (a)
Scooter Gennett 4   2017 (n)
Jason Giambi 4   2000 (a)
Sid Gordon 4   1950 (n)
Tommy Henrich 4   1948 (a)
Ralph Kiner 4   1949 (n)
Edgar Martínez 4   2000 (a)
Phil Nevin 4   2001 (n)
Mike Piazza 4   1998 (n)
Alexei Ramírez 4   2008 (a)
Al Rosen 4   1951 (a)
Babe Ruth 4   1919 (a)
Wildfire Schulte 4   1911 (n)
Rudy York 4   1938 (a)

a – American League
n – National League

See also

References

  • Ryczek, William J. (1992). Blackguards and Red Stockings; A History of Baseball’s National Association 1871–1875. Wallingford, Connecticut: Colebrook Press. ISBN 0-9673718-0-5
  • Orem, Preston D. (1961). Baseball (1845–1881) From the Newspaper Accounts. Altadena, California: Self-published.

Notes

  1. Jump up^ Charlton, James. “The Chronology – 1871”. BaseballLibrary.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-17. Retrieved 2007-10-29.
  2. Jump up^ http://www.baseball-almanac.com/recbooks/rb_grsl.shtml
  3. Jump up^ “Ultimate Grand Slams”. SI.com. 2002-05-18. Retrieved 2002-07-30.
  4. Jump up^ Stone, Larry (June 24, 2008). “Notebook – Grand slam by Felix Hernandez is one for the books”The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on September 6, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-30.
  5. Jump up^ “Hawks pound Shimizu, Marines”. Retrieved 2007-04-02.[dead link]
  6. Jump up^ Caldwell, Dave (August 25, 2011). “On a Long and Wet Day, the Yankees Win in Grand Style”The New York Times. and Mouat, Mike (August 25, 2011). “Yankees slam Athletics in grand fashion”. Reuters.
  7. Jump up^ Slusser, Susan (August 25, 2011). “Yankees hit 3 grand slams to beat A’s 22-9”San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
  8. Jump up^ Parker, Rob (August 25, 2011). “It was a grand ole day at the ballpark”ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
  9. Jump up^ Pavlovic, Alex. “Giants’ battery of Bumgarner, Posey provide charge heading to All-Star break”. San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  10. Jump up^ “Audio: Relive Some Of Dave Niehaus’ Best Calls”. SBNation.com. 2010-11-11. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  11. Jump up^ http://m.mlb.com/gameday/cubs-vs-indians/2016/11/01/487636#game=487636,game_state=live,game.tab=
  12. Jump up^ Full Nelson: Cruz belts walk-off slam in 11th” by T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com. Accessed Oct 10, 2011.
  13. Jump up^ “Lou Gehrig Grand Slams”Baseball Almanac. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  14. Jump up^ http://www.baseball-almanac.com/hitting/higs1.shtml

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_slam_(baseball)

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1013, December 13, 2017, Story 1: Special Counsel To Be Appointed To Investigate Hillary Clinton’s Compromise of National Security and Obama Administration’s Cover-up And Conspiracy To Use of Intelligence Community Including FBI and National Security Agency To Spy on Trump Campaign — Department of Justice Inspector General’s Report Will Blow The Lid Off  The Conspiracy To Obstruct Justice By Obama’s DOJ and FBI To Clear Hillary Clinton and FBI informant’s Congressional Testimony On Russian Rosatom Bribery, Extortion and Kickbacks — The Political Scandal of The Century — American People Have Lost Confidence and Trust in Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation — Videos — Story 2: Republican House and Senate Agree on Tax Bill — Rush To Pass Bill Before Congressional Christmas Break — Videos — Story 3: Federal Reserve As Expected Raises Federal Funds Target Rate Range By .25% to Between 1.25% and 1.5% — Expect Three Hikes in 2018 or Four Hikes If Economy Booming — Videos — We wish you a Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year — Videos

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Story 1: Special Counsel To Be Appointed To Investigate Hillary Clinton’s Compromise of National Security and Obama Administration’s Cover-up And Conspiracy To Use of Intelligence Community Including FBI and National Security Agency To Spy on Trump Campaign — Department of Justice Inspector General’s Report Will Blow The Lid Off  The Conspiracy To Obstruct Justice By Obama’s DOJ and FBI To Clear Hillary Clinton and FBI informant’s Congressional Testimony On Russian Rosatom Bribery, Extortion and Kickbacks — The Political Scandal of The Century — American People Have Lost Confidence and Trust in Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation — Videos

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The Latest on a Biased Bureau

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Fusion GPS admits DOJ official’s wife Nellie Ohr hired to probe Trump

A co-founder of the opposition research firm Fusion GPS acknowledged in a new court document that his company hired the wife of a senior Justice Department official to help investigate then-candidate Donald Trump last year.

The confirmation from Glenn Simpson came in a signed declaration filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., and provided a fuller picture of the nature of Nellie Ohr’s work – after Fox News first reported on her connection to Fusion GPS.

Her husband, Bruce Ohr, was demoted at the DOJ last week for concealing his meetings with the same company, which commissioned the anti-Trump “dossier” containing salacious allegations about the now-president. Together, the Fusion connections for Mr. and Mrs. Ohr have raised Republican concerns about objectivity at the Justice Department, and even spurred a call from Trump’s outside counsel for a separate special prosecutor.

Simpson’s statement shows Mrs. Ohr was indeed involved in the Trump research. He said bank records reflect Fusion GPS contracted with her “to help our company with its research and analysis of Mr. Trump.”

WIFE OF DEMOTED DOJ OFFICIAL WORKED FOR TRUMP DOSSIER FIRM

Further, Simpson said he disclosed to the House intelligence committee that he met personally with Bruce Ohr, “at his request, after the November 2016 election to discuss our findings regarding Russia and the election.”

Fox News first reported last week that Bruce Ohr had been demoted at the DOJ amid an ongoing investigation into his contacts with Fusion GPS. Evidence collected by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., indicates that Ohr met during the 2016 campaign with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the “dossier.” Additionally, as acknowledged in the court filing, he met with Simpson after the election.

bruceohr

DOJ official Bruce Ohr was demoted amid questions over his contacts with Fusion GPS figures.  (AP)

Fusion GPS has attracted scrutiny because Republican lawmakers have spent the better part of this year investigating whether the dossier, which was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, served as the basis for the Justice Department and the FBI to obtain FISA surveillance last year on a Trump campaign adviser named Carter Page.

On Tuesday, Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow called for the appointment of a separate special prosecutor to look into potential conflicts of interest involving Justice Department and FBI officials.

A group of House Republicans for months has called for the appointment of a second special counsel to probe certain Obama and Clinton-related controversies, something Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reviewing.

When asked Tuesday about the Sekulow call, Sessions noted he’s already ordered that review following the prior call from members of Congress.

“I’ve put a senior attorney, with the resources he may need, to review cases in our office and make a recommendation to me … if things aren’t being pursued that need to be pursued, if cases may need more resources to complete in a proper manner, and to recommend to me if the standards for a special counsel are met,” he said, calling that the “appropriate” course.

Fox News’ James Rosen and John Roberts contributed to this report. 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/13/fusion-gps-admits-doj-officials-wife-nellie-ohr-hired-to-probe-trump.html

A special counsel needs to investigate the FBI and Justice Department. Now.

 December 4

The Post reported that a former top FBI official, Peter Strzok, who had been assigned to and then removed from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, had “exchanged politically charged texts disparaging [President] Trump and supporting Democrat Hillary Clinton” and that Strzok was “also a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server.”

This is a blockbuster revelation, carrying the possibility of shattering public confidence in a number of long-held assumptions about the criminal-justice system generally and the FBI and the Justice Department specifically. The Justice Department should appoint a special counsel to investigate Strzok’s actions as soon as possible.

The Strzok report comes on the heels of the widely derided Justice Department investigation into IRS discrimination against conservative groups, including the disposition of allegations against IRS senior official Lois Lerner, and after the wildly erratic behavior of then-FBI Director James B. Comey during 2016. It also follows the vote to hold then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress — the first ever against a sitting member of the Cabinet — with 17 Democrats voting in support. Mix into this battering of the Justice Department’s and FBI’s reputations the still-murky charges and counter-charges of abuse of “unmasking” powers during the waning days of the Obama era.

As a result, a large swath of responsible center-right observers are demanding a full review of the investigation and prosecution powers wielded by the Obama-era Justice Department and FBI. Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy wrote in National Review on Saturday that President Trump should call for a second independent counsel to investigate abuse of the counterintelligence authorities under President Barack Obama, abuses he suggests were undertaken to protect the controversial Iran deal on nuclear weapons.

This is an excellent idea. The new special counsel could also review Strzok’s texts and, more crucially, his conduct throughout 2015 and 2016. Strzok may be completely innocent of everything except an offhand joke that the straight-laced Mueller deemed necessary to punish in a display of a “Caesar’s wife” sort of purity of purpose. But if his texts to FBI lawyer Lisa Page reveal a partisan animus toward Trump or admiration for Clinton, then the bureau and the department have a huge problem on their hands and not just with Strzok and Page.

When FBI Special Agent Robert Hanssen was revealed to have committed espionage against the United States, it didn’t mean that even one other member of the bureau was guilty of Hanssen’s sins, but it did require a painstaking review of all of Hanssen’s activities and inputs, as all of them had to be reconsidered in light of his treasonous behavior.

If Strzok’s texts reveal deep animus toward Trump or an operational effort to tilt one or more investigations, then all of his actions have to be reviewed to assure the public’s confidence in the bureau. That one or two agents or officials of the bureau are discovered to have been acting from improper motives would be bad enough. To try and sweep those activities under the rug would be worse. Against the backdrop of other recent controversies, it would be disastrous.

Step one is a quick publication of the questionable texts. All of them. The public has a right to know what the predicate for Mueller’s extraordinary action was. The public also deserves a detailed account of Strzok’s (and Page’s) duties and authorities during the years in question. If an NBA official was discovered to have purposefully thrown even one game, every game in which he had carried a whistle would be under the microscope. That’s how it works.

Unless there’s a coverup.

Nevertheless, just as Hanssen was “one bad apple” who didn’t spoil the bunch, so even an out-of-bounds Strzok doesn’t necessarily mean anything about the FBI beyond him. To get to the truth, and restore confidence in federal law enforcement, a special counsel should conduct an inquiry, bring any necessary charges and make a report — someone without ties to the president or his opponents.

They do exist, such men and women. Former federal judges make excellent candidates. But we need one appointed right now.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-special-counsel-needs-to-investigate-the-fbi-and-justice-department-now/2017/12/04/5ca1234c-d916-11e7-b1a8-62589434a581_story.html?utm_term=.3035631daa63

Meet the Inspector General

Photo of Michael E. Horowitz

Michael E. Horowitz was confirmed as Inspector General for the Department of Justice (DOJ) by the U.S. Senate on March 29, 2012, and sworn in as the fourth confirmed Inspector General on April 16, 2012. Since 2015, he has simultaneously served as the Chair of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE).

As Inspector General, Mr. Horowitz oversees a nationwide workforce of more than 450 special agents, auditors, inspectors, attorneys, and support staff whose mission is to detect and deter waste, fraud, abuse, and misconduct in DOJ programs and personnel, and to promote economy and efficiency in Department operations.

Prior to serving as Inspector General, Mr. Horowitz worked as a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham, & Taft LLP, where he focused his practice on white collar defense, internal investigations, and regulatory compliance. He also was a board member of the Ethics Resource Center and the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics. From 2003 to 2009, Mr. Horowitz served as a Presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed Commissioner on the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

Mr. Horowitz previously worked for DOJ in the Criminal Division at Main Justice from 1999 to 2002, first as Deputy Assistant Attorney General and then as Chief of Staff. Prior to joining the Criminal Division, he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1991 to 1999. From 1997 to 1999, Mr. Horowitz was the Chief of the Public Corruption Unit, and from 1995 to 1997, he was a Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division. In 1995, he was awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for his work on a complex police corruption investigation.

Before joining the DOJ, Mr. Horowitz was an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton and clerked for Judge John G. Davies of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Mr. Horowitz earned his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School and his Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from Brandeis University.

https://oig.justice.gov/about/meet-ig.htm

 

Peter P. Strzok II[1] (born c. 1970[2]) (English pronunciation: /stɹʌk/like “struck”[3][4]) is a United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Agent currently assigned to its Human Resources Branch.

Until July 2017, Strzok served as the Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division and the top FBI agent working for Robert Mueller in the 2017 Special Counsel investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[5][6][7][8][9][10]He also served as the section chief of the Counterespionage Section during the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server.[4]

Education and personal life

Strzok attended high school in Minnesota.[11] He earned a bachelors degree from Georgetown University in 1991 and returned to earn a master’s degree there in 2013.[12]

He is married to Melissa Hodgman, an associate director at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.[13][14][15] His father worked for many years as an employee of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and after 1980 worked in villages of several West African countries.[16]

Career

Strzok served as a captain[citation needed] in the United States Army before joining the FBI in the 1990’s as an intelligence research specialist.[9][17]

Clinton email server investigation

By July 2015, Strzok was serving as the section chief of the Counterespionage Section[4] and a led a team of a dozen investigators to examine Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.[18] After the investigation was closed, Strzok changed draft language being prepared for then-FBI Director James Comey, which had described Clinton’s actions as “grossly negligent“, which may be a criminal offense, to “extremely careless”. The draft was reviewed and corrected by several people and its creation was a team process.[4] Strzok and his team also helped review newly discovered Clinton emails days before Election Day.[18]

Russia election interference investigation

By July 2016, Strzok had been promoted to Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division and oversaw espionage investigations involving Russia and China.[6][9] According to The New York Times, he was “considered one of the most experienced and trusted FBI counterintelligence investigators”.[17] He was also “considered to be one of the Bureau’s top experts on Russia” according to CNN.[4] He signed the document opening the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[4][19] Strzok then led that investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election, including the Russian role in the 2016 Democratic National Committee email leak and the Donald Trump–Russia dossier.[20][3][18] He also oversaw the bureau’s interviews with then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Flynn later pled guilty to lying to the FBI.[21]

Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation

Strzok was the top FBI agent working for Robert Mueller‘s special counsel investigation of foreign electoral intervention by Russia in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, initiated by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in May 2017 after the firing of FBI Director James Comey by President Trump.[22][23] Earlier, in January 2017, the DOJ’s Inspector General (IG), Michael E. Horowitz, had begun an inquiry to review how the FBI handled investigations related to the election.[17][24] In late July 2017, the IG’s inquiry discovered text messages transmitted between Strzok and Lisa Page, a trial attorney on Mueller’s team. The text messages were sent between August 2015 and December 2016[25][26] and were anti-Donald Trump in nature.[27][28] They also contained personal information concerning to the Justice Department (DOJ), allegedly about an extramarital affair.[5] Mueller removed Strzok from his team the week after a search warrant was executed at the home of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.[29][30] Strzok was reassigned to the FBI’s Human Resources Branch and Page returned to working for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe shortly thereafter.[31][32] Fox News reported that a source close to the IG’s ongoing inquiry said it will include examining Strzok’s participation in other politically sensitive matters, and that it should be complete “very early next year.”[33] The IG announced it will issue a report in March or April of 2018 at the latest.[17] At the request of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the DOJ agreed to allow Strzok to be interviewed and turned over 375 partially redacted text messages between Strzok and Page to the House Judiciary Committee.[25][26][34]

According to Strzok’s colleagues and a former Trump administration official, Strzok had not previously shown any overt political bias.[2][27] An associate of his says the political parts of the text messages were especially related to Trump’s criticism of the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton emails.[2] Some GOP U.S. representatives cited the anti-Trump messages as evidence of Strzok’s bias. However, in his private correspondence with Page, Strzok had also made disparaging remarks about Eric Holder, Attorney General in the Obama administration, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (a Democrat), and Bernie Sanders, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.[35][36] According to FBI guidelines, agents are allowed to have and express political opinions as individuals. Former FBI and DOJ officials told The Hill that it was possible for agents like Strzok to hold political opinions and still conduct an impartial investigation.[37] Several agents said that Mueller removed Strzok in order to protect the integrity of the special counsel’s Russia investigation. Since there was no proof that Strzok did anything wrong, he was not punished following his reassignment.[38][39] Defenders of Strzok and Page in the FBI said that no professional misconduct between them occurred.[27]

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Strzok

 

2017 Special Counsel investigation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 2017 Special Counsel investigation is an ongoing investigation in the United States led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel under supervision of the United States Department of Justice. Mueller is exploring any links or coordination between Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential campaign and the Russian government as part of the election interference that Russia conducted against the U.S. in 2016.

Mueller’s investigation subsumed several existing FBI investigations including those involving former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. In August 2017, Mueller’s investigation reportedly expanded to include several lobbying firms, including the Podesta Group. Mueller has assembled a team of attorneys to conduct the investigation into links between Trump associates and Russian officials along with related matters.

On October 30, 2017, Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates surrendered to the FBI on charges brought by the special counsel unrelated to the Trump campaign. On the same day, Mueller’s team revealed that former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty on October 5 to making false statements to FBI agents about contacts he had with agents of the Russian government while working for the Trump campaign in 2016, and was cooperating with investigators. On December 1, 2017, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI, and confirmed that he is cooperating with Mueller’s investigation.[1]


Appointments


Policy positions





Business and personal


Donald Trump's signature

Seal of the President of the United States.svg

 

Origin and powers

On May 17, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller, a former Director of the FBI, to serve as special counsel for the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). In this capacity, Mueller oversees the investigation into “any links and/or coordination between Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation”.[2] As special counsel, Mueller has the power to issue subpoenas,[3] hire staff members, request funding, and prosecute federal crimes in connection with the election interference.[4]

The appointment followed a series of events that included President Donald Trump‘s firing of FBI director James Comey and Comey’s allegation that Trump asked him to drop the FBI investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.[5]

Rosenstein, in his role as Acting Attorney General due to the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has authority over the use of DOJ resources by Mueller and the investigation. In an interview with the Associated Press, Rosenstein said he would recuse himself from supervision of Mueller if he himself were to become a subject in the investigation due to his role in the dismissal of Comey.[6] If Rosenstein were to recuse himself, his duties in this matter would be assumed by the Justice Department’s third-in-command, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand.[7]

Grand juries

On August 3, 2017, Mueller impaneled a grand jury in Washington, DC, as part of his investigation. The grand jury has the power to subpoena documents, require witnesses to testify under oath, and indict suspects on criminal charges if enough evidence is found.

The Washington grand jury is separate from an earlier Virginia grand jury investigating Michael Flynn; the Flynn case has been absorbed into Mueller’s overall investigation.[8]

Grand jury testimony

The grand jury has issued subpoenas to those involved in the Trump campaign–Russian meeting held on June 9, 2016, at Trump Tower, which was also the location of Trump’s presidential campaign headquarters.[9]

  • Russian-born lobbyist and former Soviet Army officer, Rinat Akhmetshin, testified under oath for several hours on August 11, 2017, as a participant in the Donald Trump Jr meeting.[10][11]
  • Jason Maloni, spokesman for Paul Manafort, testified under oath for two and one-half hours.[12] Maloni was employed by Manafort following the five months he served as Chairman of Trump’s campaign for president in 2016, to answer questions about Manafort’s involvement in Trump’s campaign.

The grand jury subpoenaed witness testimony from the executives of six public relations firms, who worked with Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on lobbying efforts in Ukraine.[13]

Legal teams

Mueller and investigation team

Special Counsel Robert Mueller

Upon his appointment as the Special Counsel, Mueller resigned his position at the Washington office of law firm WilmerHale, along with two colleagues, Aaron Zebley and James L. Quarles III.[14][15] On May 23, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts announced they had declared Mueller ethically able to function as special counsel.[16]

Politico proposed that the “ideal team” would likely have six to eight prosecutors, along with administrative assistants and experts in areas such as money laundering or interpreting tax returns.[17] By August 1, 2017, Mueller, who has an active role in managing the inquiry,[18] hired 16 lawyers,[19] and had a total staff of over three dozen, including investigators and other non-attorneys.[20]

Members of the team include:[17][21][22][23][24][25][26]

Mueller has also added unidentified agents of the IRS Criminal Investigations Division to his team. “This unit—known as CI—is one of the federal government’s most tight-knit, specialized, and secretive investigative entities. Its 2,500 agents focus exclusively on financial crime, including tax evasion and money laundering. A former colleague of Mueller’s said he always liked working with IRS’ special agents, especially when he was a U.S. Attorney.”[41]

In December 2017, Weissmann and Strzok were accused of an anti-Trump bias because of an email directed to Sally Yates praising her refusal to defend Executive Order 13769 in court, and a similarly-worded text message. [42][43] House Conservatives have since ramped up accusations that the investigation is manned by personnel with an “anti-Trump” bias who “let Clinton off easy last year”.[44]

Trump’s defense team

Members of the team include or have included:[45]

Topics of investigations

Russian election interference

The primary responsibility of the special counsel is “to investigate Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election”. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded “with high confidence” that the Russian government interfered in the election by hacking into the computer servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the personal Gmail account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and forwarded their contents to WikiLeaks,[50][51][52] as well as by disseminating fake news promoted on social media[53] and by penetrating, or trying to penetrate, the election systems and databases of multiple U.S. states.[54] In July 2016, the FBI began looking into these issues, as well as the question of whether members of the Trump campaign might have coordinated or cooperated with Russia’s activities.[55] Those investigations became part of the special counsel’s portfolio.[56]

Russia’s influence on US voters through social media is a primary focus of the Mueller investigation.[57] The special counsel has used a search warrant to obtain detailed information about Russian ad purchases on Facebook. According to a former federal prosecutor, the warrant means that a judge was convinced that foreigners had illegally contributed to influencing a US election via Facebook ads.[58]

Mueller is investigating ties between the Trump campaign, and Republican activist Peter W. Smith. Smith stated that he tried to obtain Clinton’s emails from Russian hackers, and that he was acting on behalf of Michael Flynn and other Trump campaign members. Trump campaign officials have denied that Smith was working with them.[59]

Links between Trump associates and Russian officials

As early as spring 2015, US intelligence agencies started overhearing conversations in which Russian government officials, some within the Kremlin, discussed associates of Trump, then a presidential candidate.[60][61] In one such conversation, Russian officials said they had cultivated a strong relationship with Michael Flynn and believed they could use him to influence Trump and his team.[62]

Multiple Trump associates, including Flynn, Manafort, and other members of the Trump campaign had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials during 2016.[63] In particular, Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak met with several Trump campaign members and administration nominees. Flynn was forced to resign as National Security Advisor on February 13, 2017, after it was revealed that on December 29, 2016, the day that Obama announced sanctions against Russia, Flynn had discussed the sanctions with Russian ambassador Kislyak. Flynn had earlier acknowledged speaking to Kislyak but denied discussing the sanctions.[64][65] Also in December 2016, Flynn and presidential advisor Jared Kushner met with Kislyak hoping to set up a direct, secure line of communication with Russian officials that American intelligence agencies would be unaware of.[66][67] Jared Kushner also met with Sergei Gorkov, the head of the Russian state-owned bank Vnesheconombank (VEB).[68] Flynn and Kushner failed to report these meetings on their security clearance forms.[69][68]

FBI agents, working with the special counsel, raided Manafort’s home in July 2017. The no-notice, no-knock raid used a federal search warrant, authorizing agents to look for tax documents and foreign banking records. A wide range of documents and other items were seized. Before the raid, Manafort had voluntarily provided some documents to congressional investigators, including the notes he took during the Veselnitskaya meeting.[70][71]

The Trump team issued multiple denials of any contacts between Trump associates and Russia, but many of those denials turned out to be false.[72][73]

On December 4, 2017, prosecutors filed that Paul Manafort worked on an op-ed with a Russian intelligence official while out on bail, in a court filing requesting that the judge revoke Manafort’s bond agreement.[74]

Alleged collusion between Trump campaign and Russian agents

Mueller is looking into the meeting on June 9, 2016, in Trump Tower in New York City between three senior members of Trump’s presidential campaign  – Kushner, Manafort, and Donald Trump Jr. – and at least five other people, including Russian lawyer Natalia VeselnitskayaRinat Akhmetshin, a lobbyist and former Soviet army officer who met senior Trump campaign aides, Ike Kaveladze, British publicist Rob Goldstone and translator Anatoli Samochornov.[75][76] It has been confirmed that Goldstone had suggested the meeting to Trump Jr., and it was arranged in a series of emails later made public. Trump Jr. initially told the press that the meeting was held to discuss adoptions of Russian children by Americans. He added that he agreed to the meeting with the understanding that he would receive information damaging to Hillary Clinton.[77] Goldstone had stated in his email that the Russian government was involved as part of its support for the Trump campaign.[78] Mueller’s team is investigating the emails and the meeting,[75] and whether President Trump later tried to hide the meeting’s purpose.[79]

On July 18, 2017, Kaveladze’s attorney said that Mueller’s investigators were seeking information about the Russian meeting in June 2016 from his client,[80] and on July 21, Mueller asked the White House to preserve all documents related to the Russian meeting.[81] It has been reported that Manafort had made notes during the Russian meeting.[70]

By August 3, 2017, Mueller had impaneled a grand jury in the District of Columbia that issued subpoenas concerning the meeting.[82] The Financial Times reported on August 31 that Akhmetshin had given sworn testimony to Mueller’s grand jury.[83]

In fall 2017, Mueller’s team interviewed former Government Communications Headquarters IT specialist Matt Tait, who had been approached by Republican political operative Peter Smith to verify the authenticity of allegedly hacked emails from the Hillary Clinton’s private email server.[84]

Obstruction of justice

Early in Trump’s presidency, senior White House officials reportedly asked intelligence officials if they could intervene with the FBI to stop the investigation into former National Security Advisor Flynn.[85] In March, Trump reportedly discussed the FBI’s Russia investigation with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and asked if they could intervene with Comey to limit or stop it.[86] When he was asked at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about the report, Coats said he would not discuss conversations he had with the president but “I have never felt pressured to intervene in the Russia investigation in any way.”[87]

In February 2017, it was reported that White House officials had asked the FBI to issue a statement that there had been no contact between Trump associates and Russian intelligence sources during the 2016 campaign. The FBI did not make the requested statement, and observers noted that the request violated established procedures about contact between the White House and the FBI regarding pending investigations.[88] After Comey revealed in March that the FBI was investigating the possibility of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Trump phoned Coats and Director of National Security Admiral Michael S. Rogers and asked them to publicly state there was no evidence of collusion between his campaign and the Russians.[85][89][90] Both Coats and Rogers believed that the request was inappropriate, though not illegal, and did not make the requested statement. The two exchanged notes about the incident, and Rogers made a contemporary memo to document the request.[89][90]

In May 2017, a February memo by Comey was made public about an Oval Office conversation with Trump on February 14, 2017, in which Trump is described as attempting to persuade Comey to drop the FBI investigation into Flynn.[91][92] The memo notes that Trump said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” Comey made no commitments to Trump on the subject.[93] In testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, Comey gave a detailed report on the February 14 conversation, including Trump’s suggestion that he should “let go” the Flynn investigation. Comey said he “took it as a direction… I took it as, this is what he wants me to do.” He added that it was “a very disturbing thing, very concerning”, and that he discussed the incident with other FBI leaders.[94] Comey created similar memos about every phone call and meeting he had with the president.[95]

The FBI launched an investigation of Trump for obstruction of justice a few days after the May 9 firing of Comey.[96] The special prosecutor’s office took over the obstruction of justice investigation and has reportedly interviewed Director of National Intelligence Coats, Director of the National Security Agency Rogers, and Deputy Director of the NSA Richard Ledgett.[96][97][98] ABC News reported in June that the special counsel was gathering preliminary information about possible obstruction of justice, but a full-scale investigation had not been launched.[99] On June 16, Trump tweeted: “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt.”[100] However, Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow said Trump’s tweet was referring to the June 14 Washington Post report that he was under investigation for obstruction of justice,[96] and that Trump has not actually been notified of any investigation.[101][102]

Financial investigations

The special counsel investigation has expanded to include Trump’s and his associates’ financial ties to Russia. The FBI is reviewing the financial records of Trump himself, The Trump Organization, Trump’s family members, and his campaign staff, including Trump’s real estate activities, which had been under federal scrutiny before the campaign. According to CNN, financial crimes may be easier for investigators to prove than any crimes stemming directly from collusion with Russia.[20] Campaign staff whose finances are under investigation include Manafort, Flynn, Carter Page, and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.[103]

Transactions under investigation include Russian purchases of Trump apartments, a SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, transactions with the Bank of Cyprus, real estate financing organized by Kushner, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev.[104] The special counsel team has contacted Deutsche Bank, which is the main banking institution doing business with The Trump Organization.[105]

Mueller took over an existing money laundering investigation into former Trump campaign chairman Manafort. On October 30, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Manafort and his associate Rick Gates on charges including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, being an unregistered agent of foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and false statements.[106] Manafort’s financial activities are also being investigated by the Senate and House intelligence committees, the New York Attorney General, and the Manhattan District Attorney.[107]

The special counsel will be able to access Trump’s tax returns, which has “especially disturbed” Trump according to the Washington Post. Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, as presidential candidates normally do, has been politically controversial since his presidential campaign.[108]

Flynn activities

Michael Flynn statement of offense

As part of the investigation, Special Counsel Mueller assumed control of a Virginia-based grand jury criminal probe into the relationship between Flynn and Turkish businessman Kamil Ekim Alptekin.[109] Flynn Intel Group, an intelligence consultancy, was paid $530,000 by Alptekin’s company Inovo BV to produce a documentary and conduct research on Fethullah Gülen, an exiled Turkish cleric who lives in the United States.[109] The special prosecutor is investigating whether the money came from the Turkish government, and whether Flynn kicked funds back to a middleman to conceal the payment’s original source. Investigators are also looking at Flynn’s finances more generally, including possible payments from Russian companies and from the Japanese government. White House documents relating to Flynn have been requested as evidence.[110] The lead person within Mueller’s team for this investigation is Brandon Van Grack.[111]

Flynn’s son, Michael G. Flynn, is also a subject of the special counsel investigation. Michael G. Flynn worked closely with his father’s lobbying company, the Flynn Intel Group, and accompanied his father on his 2015 visit to Moscow.[112] On November 5, 2017, NBC News reported that Mueller had enough evidence for charges against Flynn and his son.[113]

Flynn’s defense team stopped sharing information with Trump’s team of lawyers in late November 2017.[114] This was interpreted as a sign that Flynn was cooperating and negotiating a plea bargain with the special counsel team.[114][115][116] On December 1, 2017, Flynn appeared in federal court to plead guilty to a single felony count of “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI and to confirm his intention to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation.[117] As part of Flynn’s plea bargain, his son Michael G. Flynn is not expected to be charged.[118][119]

Investigation of Podesta Group lobbying

In August 2017, Mueller’s team reportedly issued grand jury subpoenas to officials in six firms, including lobbying firm Podesta Group, with regard to activities on behalf of a public-relations campaign for a pro-Russian Ukrainian organization called European Centre for a Modern UkraineTony Podesta, brother of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, is head of the Podesta Group. John Podesta is not employed by the company. According to the reports, Mueller is investigating whether the firms violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Paul Manafort headed the public relations effort, which took place from 2012 to 2014. [120][121][122][123]

Charges

As of December 2, 2017, the Special Counsel has initiated criminal proceedings against four individuals.

Accused Date charged Charge(s) Case status Ind.
George Papadopoulos October 3, 2017 1 count: false statements. Pleaded guilty on October 5, 2017.[124] [125]
Rick Gates October 27, 2017 8 counts: conspiracy against the United Statesconspiracy to launder moneyfailure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts (×3), unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and false statements. Pleaded not guilty on October 30, 2017.[126] [127]
Paul Manafort October 27, 2017 9 counts: conspiracy against the United Statesconspiracy to launder moneyfailure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts (×4), unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and false statements. Pleaded not guilty on October 30, 2017.[126] [127]
Michael Flynn November 30, 2017 1 count: false statements. Pleaded guilty on December 1, 2017.[128] [129]

George Papadopoulos

On October 30, 2017, it was revealed that George Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty earlier in the month to making a false statement to FBI investigators.[130] The guilty plea was part of a plea bargain in which he agreed to cooperate with the government and “provide information regarding any and all matters as to which the Government deems relevant.”[131]

Paul Manafort and Rick Gates

On October 30, 2017, Paul Manafort surrendered to the FBI after being indicted on multiple charges. Rick Gates was also indicted and surrendered to the FBI.[132] The pair have been indicted on one count of conspiracy against the United States, one count of conspiracy to launder money, one count of being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, one count of making false and misleading FARA statements, and one count of making false statements. Manafort was charged with four counts of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts while Gates was charged with three.[127] The charges arise from their consulting work for a pro-Russian government in Ukraine and are unrelated to the Trump campaign.[133] Both were placed under house arrest. On December 4, 2017, prosecutors asked the judge to revoke Manafort’s bond agreement, charging that Manafort violated the terms of his bail by working on a op-ed piece with Konstantin Kilimnik,[134] an associate with ties to Russian intelligence.[135]

Michael Flynn

On December 1, 2017, it was reported that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn agreed to a plea bargain with Mueller, pleading guilty to “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI, and agreeing to cooperate with Mueller’s probe.[136]

Reactions

Mueller’s appointment to oversee the investigation immediately garnered widespread support from Democrats and even some from Republicans in Congress.[137][138] Senator Charles Schumer (DNY) said, “Former Director Mueller is exactly the right kind of individual for this job. I now have significantly greater confidence that the investigation will follow the facts wherever they lead.” Senator Dianne Feinstein (D–CA) stated, “Bob was a fine U.S. attorney, a great FBI director and there’s no better person who could be asked to perform this function.” She added, “He is respected, he is talented and he has the knowledge and ability to do the right thing.” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (RUT) tweeted that “Mueller is a great selection. Impeccable credentials. Should be widely accepted.”[137] Much Republican support in Congress was lukewarm: Rep. Peter T. King (RNY) said “It’s fine. I just don’t think there is any need for it.”[139]

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara wrote of the team that “Bob Mueller is recruiting the smartest and most seasoned professionals who have a long track record of independence and excellence”.[22] Former special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, who had investigated Bill Clinton during the Clinton Administration, said that the team was “a great, great team of complete professionals”.[19]

Later some conservatives, including political commentators Laura IngrahamAnn Coulter and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (who had initially praised Mueller for “integrity and honesty”), stated that Mueller should be dismissed and the investigation closed.[140][141][142] Christopher Ruddy, the founder of the Right-leaning Newsmax, and a friend of Trump, stated that the president has considered firing Mueller.[143]

On June 23, 2017, Trump stated that members of Mueller’s team were “all Hillary Clinton supporters, some of them worked for Hillary Clinton.” PolitiFact rated Trump’s claim “Mostly False”, noting that only three had made campaign contributions to Hillary Clinton and one had defended the Clinton Foundation in court. One member of the team had made contributions to Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz and Republican Senator George Allen.[144][25] In an interview with The New York Times published on July 19, 2017, Trump stated that he would have not appointed Sessions as Attorney General had he known that he was going to recuse himself from the investigation. Furthermore, Trump confirmed that he would view it as a violation if the special counsel investigated his and his family’s finances, unrelated to Russia.[145]

On June 25, 2017, it was reported that a pro-Trump group had launched an ad called “Witch Hunt,” featuring conservative Tomi Lahren, which attacked Mueller and the investigation.[146]

On July 21, 2017, the Washington Post reported that Trump asked his advisors about his power to pardon those under investigation. Trump and his legal team discussed the possibility of Trump pardoning aides, family members, and himself. No president has ever pardoned himself, so there is no case law on whether it would be legal. Trump attorneys also reportedly created a list of Mueller’s potential conflicts of interest. Trump lawyer John Dowd said the story was “nonsense”.[108]

On August 3, 2017, at a campaign-style rally in West Virginia, Trump continued to deny any Russian involvement in his campaign or win: “The Russia story is a total fabrication. It’s just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of American politics, that’s all it is.” This occurred on the same day as the announcement that another grand jury had been impaneled.[147]

On August 12, 2017, the New York Times published an interview of Republican Senator Richard Burr, the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in which he said he was hopeful that the investigation would be complete by the end of the year.[148]

On August 24, 2017, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida) added a rider to the proposed fiscal 2018 spending bill package that would block funding from being used “for the investigation under that order of matters occurring before June 2015” (the month Trump announced he was running for president) immediately and terminated funding for the Special Counsel investigation 180 days after passage of the bill.[149] Rep. DeSantis said that the DOJ order of May 17, 2017, “didn’t identify a crime to be investigated and practically invites a fishing expedition.”[150]

Shortly after the indictments against Manafort and Gates were unsealed, Florida Representative Matt Gaetz introduced a congressional resolution demanding Robert Mueller’s recusal as Special Counsel due to conflicts of interest. This resolution was cosponsered by Congressman Andy Biggs from Arizona and Congressman Louie Gohmert from Texas.[151][152] In the resolution Gaetz called for a Special Counsel investigation into the handling of the Hillary Clinton email controversy by James Comey, undue interference of Attorney General Loretta Lynch in that investigation, and the acquisition of Uranium One by the Russian state corporation Rosatom during Mueller’s time as FBI director.[153][154] Gaetz stated that he did not trust him to lead the investigation because of Mueller’s alleged involvement in approval of the Uranium One deal and Mueller’s close relationship with the dismissed FBI director James Comey, a probable person of interest in the proposed investigation.[154] On November 8, 2017, Arizona Congressman Trent Franks cosponsered the resolution.[155]

Polling

A May 2017 Politico/Morning Consult poll showed that 81% of U.S. voters supported the special prosecutor’s investigation.[156] A June 2017 Associated PressNORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll asked U.S. adults whether the special counsel’s investigation could be fair and impartial: 26% were “extremely confident” or “very confident”; 36% were “moderately confident” and 36% were “not very confident” or “not at all confident.”[157] The poll indicated that 68% of Americans were at least “moderately concerned” about inappropriate connections between the Trump campaign and the Russians.[158]

A poll published in November 2017 by ABC News and The Washington Post found that 58% of Americans approved of Mueller’s handling of his investigation, while 28% disapproved. It also indicated that half of Americans believed that President Trump was not co-operating with the investigation.[159] A Quinnipiac poll published on November 15, 2017 suggested that 60% of Americans believed that Mueller’s investigation was proceeding fairly, with 27% believing that it was not. The poll also found that 47% of respondents said that President Trump ought to be impeached if he were to dismiss Mueller.[160]

A December poll by Associated PressNORC indicated that four out of ten American believed Trump to have committed a crime in connection to Russia, with an additional 3 out of 10 beyond that believing that he had acted unethically. It found that 62% of Democrats and 5% of Republicans believe that Trump acted illegally. It found that 68% of Americans believed that Trump was obstructing the investigation. 57% of respondents said that they were “extremely confident” or “moderately confident” that Mueller’s investigation is fair.[161]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Special_Counsel_investigation

18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information

(a)

Whoever, for the purpose of obtaining information respecting the national defense with intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation, goes upon, enters, flies over, or otherwise obtains information concerning any vessel, aircraft, work of defense, navy yard, naval station, submarine base, fueling station, fort, battery, torpedo station, dockyard, canal, railroad, arsenal, camp, factory, mine, telegraph, telephone, wireless, or signal station, building, office, research laboratory or station or other place connected with the national defense owned or constructed, or in progress of construction by the United States or under the control of the United States, or of any of its officers, departments, or agencies, or within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, or any place in which any vessel, aircraft, arms, munitions, or other materials or instruments for use in time of war are being made, prepared, repaired, stored, or are the subject of research or development, under any contract or agreement with the United States, or any department or agency thereof, or with any person on behalf of the United States, or otherwise on behalf of the United States, or any prohibited place so designated by the President by proclamation in time of war or in case of national emergency in which anything for the use of the Army, Navy, or Air Force is being prepared or constructed or stored, information as to which prohibited place the President has determined would be prejudicial to the national defense; or

(b)

Whoever, for the purpose aforesaid, and with like intent or reason to believe, copies, takes, makes, or obtains, or attempts to copy, take, make, or obtain, any sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, document, writing, or note of anything connected with the national defense; or

(c)

Whoever, for the purpose aforesaid, receives or obtains or agrees or attempts to receive or obtain from any person, or from any source whatever, any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note, of anything connected with the national defense, knowing or having reason to believe, at the time he receives or obtains, or agrees or attempts to receive or obtain it, that it has been or will be obtained, taken, made, or disposed of by any person contrary to the provisions of this chapter; or

(d)

Whoever, lawfully having possession of, access to, control over, or being entrusted with any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it on demand to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or

(e)

Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or

(f)

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

(g)

If two or more persons conspire to violate any of the foregoing provisions of this section, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be subject to the punishment provided for the offense which is the object of such conspiracy.

(h)

(1)

Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall forfeit to the United States, irrespective of any provision of State law, any property constituting, or derived from, any proceeds the person obtained, directly or indirectly, from any foreign government, or any faction or party or military or naval force within a foreign country, whether recognized or unrecognized by the United States, as the result of such violation. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “State” includes a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.

(2)

The court, in imposing sentence on a defendant for a conviction of a violation of this section, shall order that the defendant forfeit to the United States all property described in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(3)The provisions of subsections (b), (c), and (e) through (p) of section 413 of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 (21 U.S.C. 853(b), (c), and (e)–(p)) shall apply to—

(A)

property subject to forfeiture under this subsection;

(B)

any seizure or disposition of such property; and

(C)

any administrative or judicial proceeding in relation to such property,
if not inconsistent with this subsection.

(4)

Notwithstanding section 524(c) of title 28, there shall be deposited in the Crime Victims Fund in the Treasury all amounts from the forfeiture of property under this subsection remaining after the payment of expenses for forfeiture and sale authorized by law.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 736; Sept. 23, 1950, ch. 1024, title I, § 18, 64 Stat. 1003Pub. L. 99–399, title XIII, § 1306(a), Aug. 27, 1986100 Stat. 898Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994108 Stat. 2147Pub. L. 103–359, title VIII, § 804(b)(1), Oct. 14, 1994108 Stat. 3440Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, § 607(b), Oct. 11, 1996110 Stat. 3511.)

 

LII has no control over and does not endorse any external Internet site that contains links to or references LII.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/793

Story 2: Republican House and Senate Agree on Tax Bill — Rush To Pass Bill Before Congressional Christmas Break — Videos —

Congress releases final version of Republican tax bill

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Tax reform bill will get to Trump before Christmas: Sen. Grassley

Republicans agree on a final tax bill

Remarks by President Trump at Lunch with Bicameral Tax Conferees. December 13, 2017

White House Official: House And Senate GOP Reach Deal On Taxes | MSNBC

Full text: Republicans unveil their final tax bill

Republicans are expected to vote on this bill as soon as Tuesday.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The final draft of the Republican tax bill has dropped.

After a week of backdoor negotiations to hash out the differences between the House and Senate tax proposals, Republicans have released their final vision for the American tax code: a bill that permanently gives corporations a massive tax break, temporarily cuts individual rates — primarily benefiting the wealthiest Americans — increases the standard deduction, and the repeals the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which is estimated to leave 13 million fewer insured over the next 10 years.

The bill cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, 1 percent less than the Senate and House proposals; and lowers the top individual income tax rate to 37 percent, which is less than the 38.5 percent in the Senate bill and the 39.6 percent in the House bill and current law. It will allow pass-through businesses, like LLCs and partnerships, to deduct 20 percent from their taxes in addition to having the lower top individual rate. The bill also caps the mortgage interest deduction at $750,000 and the state and local property and income deduction at $10,000, particularly disadvantaging Americans who live in high-tax states.

All in all, the bill is a far cry from the simplified tax code that Republicans have long been promising, but it is a substantial reshaping of the nation’s tax base. Republicans are adamant that cutting corporate taxes will in turn increase investments and wages in the United States and lead to unprecedented economic growth — despite analyses that indicate otherwise.

It’s a gamble they are willing to make. This bill has not yet received an official score from the Congressional Budget Office or the Joint Committee on Taxation, which measures legislation’s cost and impact.

Republicans are expected to vote on this bill as soon as Tuesday.

Here’s the bill in its entirety:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/12/15/16781062/read-republican-final-tax-bill

GOP releases its final tax plan — here’s what’s in it

  • Republicans release their final tax plan, which strikes compromises on many provisions that differed in separate versions passed by the House and Senate.
  • The House plans to vote on the bill on Tuesday.
Jacob Pramuk | John W. Schoen

Representative Brady: Wanted to drive tax relief for everyone

Representative Brady: Wanted to drive tax relief for everyone  

Republicans on Friday released their final proposal to overhaul the American tax system, which would chop taxes for corporations, trim rates for individuals and tweak tax deductions.

The House and Senate GOP hope to pass the sweeping measure by the middle of next week, hitting a year-end target. The House will vote on the plan on Tuesday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a statement.

Republicans argue that cuts contained in the bill will spark business investment, hiring and wage growth. Democrats call the plan a giveaway to corporations at the expense of the middle class, expressing concerns about the $1 trillion or more it is projected to add to federal budget deficits over a decade.

With two skeptical Republican senators falling in line Friday, the GOP appears set to have the support to push the bill through next week on a party line vote.

Here are some of the provisions the bill contains, according to a Republican summary:

  • The proposal would maintain seven individual income tax brackets at slightly different rates: 10 percent, 12 percent, 22 percent, 24 percent, 32 percent, 35 percent and 37 percent. The top rate would fall from the current 39.6 percent. The House originally proposed collapsing the system to four brackets, saying it would simplify the filing process. (Click here to see which bracket would apply to you.) The changes would phase out after 2025.
  • The bill would scrap the personal exemption but increase the standard deduction to slightly less than double its current level. It would go to $12,000 for an individual or $24,000 for a family.
  • It would drop the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from the current 35 percent. The change would take effect next year.
  • The plan would set a 20 percent business income deduction for the first $315,000 in income earned by pass-through businesses.
  • The bill would scrap Obamacare’s provision that requires most Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty, beginning in 2019. Doing so is projected to lead to 13 million fewer people with insurance and raise average Obamacare premiums, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
  • The plan would eliminate the corporate alternative minimum tax, which the Senate added back to its plan at the last second to raise money. House leaders and corporate groups said the tax would stifle research and development. It would also increase the exemption from the individual AMT.
  • The estate tax, or so-called death tax, would remain but the exemption from it would be doubled.
  • The child tax credit would double to $2,000 per child from $1,000. It would be refundable up to $1,400 and start to phase out at $400,000 in income. The tweak would end after 2025.
  • The plan would limit state and local tax deductions. It would allow the deduction of up to $10,000 in state and local sales, income or property taxes.
  • It will not change the mortgage interest deduction for existing homeowners. For new homes, taxpayers can deduct interest on up to $750,000 in mortgage debt, down from $1 million currently.
  • Tax breaks for charitable contributions and retirement savings plans would remain.
  • The bill would not include the controversial first in first out stock sales change, which sparked backlash in the investing community.

A “very preliminary” projection by the Joint Committee on Taxation, the congressional scorekeeper, estimated that the bill would lead to budget deficits increasing by $1.46 trillion over a decade. That falls just shy of the maximum $1.5 trillion it could add to the deficit under rules set by the Senate earlier this year.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who opposed the Senate version of the plan because he had concerns about a nearly identical effect on budget deficits, is supporting the final legislation.

Republicans cheered the bill’s completion following its release.

“We’re in the final stretch—and we’re ready to get this done for the American people by Christmas,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement.

In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said President Donald Trump “is on the precipice” of fulfilling a campaign promise and passing a plan that she said would boost wages and economic growth.

“The president applauds the House and Senate conferees on coming to an agreement on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and looks forward to fulfilling the promise he made to the American people to give them a tax cut by the end of the year,” she said.

Democrats, meanwhile, warned of repercussions for the middle class.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the plan counterproductive.

“Under this bill the working class, middle class and upper middle class get skewered while the rich and wealthy corporations make out like bandits. It is just the opposite of what America needs, and Republicans will rue the day they pass this,” he said in a statement.

In a statement, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., deemed the plan a “moral obscenity” and a “con job.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/15/gop-releases-its-final-tax-plan–heres-whats-in-it.html

Key details revealed in Republican tax deal

  •  The deal would lower the top tax rate to 37%, a push by House Republicans
  • The deal also drops the corporate tax rate to 21%

(CNN)House and Senate Republicans have struck a tentative deal on a tax bill Wednesday, a major step in ensuring the GOP majority is on its way to deliver an overhaul of the US tax system by the holidays.

According to two GOP aides, Republicans struck a deal in principle that will meld together the House and Senate tax deals and put the parties on a path to vote as soon as next week. Aides say there are still smaller issues to work out, but Senate Republicans will discuss remaining issues at their conference-wide lunch Wednesday and see how their rank-and-file members react.
Lawmakers have been working for more than a week to find a way to combine two very different tax bills.
Here’s what Republican negotiators as of Wednesday evening had in the plan:
  • The corporate rate would be reduced to 21%, from 35%. That is an additional point added from the 20% originally proposed in the House and Senate versions. It would take effect in 2018.
  • The top individual tax rate would be set at 37%, down from the 39.6% proposed in the House and 38.5% in the Senate.
  • The State and Local Tax deduction will be expanded, beyond just property taxes, to include income tax. It would be capped at $10,000.
  • The corporate alternative minimum tax, included at the last minute in the Senate version, would be fully repealed.
  • The individual alternative minimum tax would remain, but the threshold would be tweaked to exclude any individual under $500,000 or family below $1 million.
  • The mortgage interest deduction threshold — dropped to $500,000 in the House and left untouched in the Senate — would be set at $750,000.
  • The rate for pass-through income — business entities like s-corporations and partnerships that pay taxes through the individual side — would be determined by a 20% deduction, 3% lower than the Senate version.
  • The estate tax exemption would be doubled, but the tax would not be repealed entirely, as it was in the House proposal.
  • The Obamacare individual mandate to have health insurance would be repealed.
  • A House provision that proposed taxing graduate school tuition is not included in the final deal.
These deductions will remain untouched (they were all repealed in the House bill, left alone in the Senate bill). Of note, repeal of these deductions were some of the most controversial elements of the House plan. None will be repealed in the final version.
  • Medical expense deduction
  • Tax-free graduate school tuition waivers
  • Private activity bonds
  • Student loan interest deduction
  • Teacher spending deduction
The news of a deal came just hours after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on Republicans to hold off on a tax bill until newly-elected Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, a Democrat, was seated in January.

President Trump said at the White House on Wednesday, “We want to give you, the American people, a giant tax cut for Christmas.” CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The day after suffering a political blow in the Alabama special Senate election, congressional Republicans sped forward with the most sweeping tax rewrite in decades, announcing an agreement on a final bill that would cut taxes for businesses and individuals and signal the party’s first major legislative achievement since assuming political control this year.

Party leaders in the House and Senate agreed in principle to bridge the yawning gaps between their competing versions of the $1.5 trillion tax bill, keeping Republicans on track for final votes next week with the aim of delivering a bill to President Trump’s desk by Christmas. The House and Senate versions of the tax bill started from the same core principles — sharply cutting taxes on businesses, while reducing rates and eliminating some breaks for individuals — but diverged on several crucial details.

In the end, more of the Senate bill appeared to be included in the final version, though lawmakers continued to make significant changes from the legislation that passed either the House or the Senate.

The changes included a slightly higher corporate tax rate of 21 percent, rather than the 20 percent in the legislation that passed both chambers, and a lower top individual tax rate of 37 percent for the wealthiest Americans, who currently pay 39.6 percent. But the bill will still scale back some popular tax breaks, including the state and local tax deduction and the deductibility of mortgage interest.

In a break from the House bill, the agreement would allow taxpayers to continue to deduct high out-of-pocket medical expenses, and it would retain a provision allowing graduate students who receive tuition waivers to avoid paying taxes on that benefit. Also included in the consensus bill is the Senate’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act requirement that most Americans have health insurance or pay a penalty and a provision that opens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to energy exploration.

Still unclear is the overall cost of the revised legislation, which cannot exceed the $1.5 trillion bucket that lawmakers have allowed if they want to pass the bill without Democratic support. Several of the provisions added by the Senate to help pay for the overall bill were either reversed or scaled back in the consensus version, and some tax breaks eliminated by the House were added back in.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/13/us/politics/tax-bill-republicans-deal.html

House, Senate reach tax bill agreement

Original source for this article can be found on RT by clicking here
Dec. 13 (UPI) — Republicans in the House and Senate on Wednesday reached an agreement, in principle, on a consensus tax bill, keeping the party on track for final votes next week and a push to President Donald Trump‘s desk by Christmas.Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the Republican whip, said he is confident the deal will be approved. Details of the agreement were not immediately available.Democrats, who have been locked out of the process, criticized the rush to pass the bill next week and called on Republican leaders to wait for the newly elected Democratic senator from Alabama, Doug Jones, to be sworn in. He defeated Roy Moore on Tuesday in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.Senate Republicans had a meeting Wednesday to go over the details before briefing House Republicans and making a formal announcement.Last-minute changes to the bill include lowering the top individual tax rate to 37 percent and setting the corporate tax rate at 21 percent, a source who was briefed on the package told a The Hill.Also, as a compromise between the Senate and House versions of the bill, mortgage interest deduction will be capped at $750,000 and as a relief to people living in high-tax areas. The bill allows state and local property or income tax deductions of up to $10,000.

If passed, the legislation repeals an essential piece of the Affordable Care Act that requires people to purchase health insurance.

https://newsline.com/house-senate-reach-tax-bill-agreement/

President Trump said at the White House on Wednesday, “We want to give you, the American people, a giant tax cut for Christmas.” CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The day after suffering a political blow in the Alabama special Senate election, congressional Republicans sped forward with the most sweeping tax rewrite in decades, announcing an agreement on a final bill that would cut taxes for businesses and individuals and signal the party’s first major legislative achievement since assuming political control this year.

Party leaders in the House and Senate agreed in principle to bridge the yawning gaps between their competing versions of the $1.5 trillion tax bill, keeping Republicans on track for final votes next week with the aim of delivering a bill to President Trump’s desk by Christmas. The House and Senate versions of the tax bill started from the same core principles — sharply cutting taxes on businesses, while reducing rates and eliminating some breaks for individuals — but diverged on several crucial details.

In the end, more of the Senate bill appeared to be included in the final version, though lawmakers continued to make significant changes from the legislation that passed either the House or the Senate.

The changes included a slightly higher corporate tax rate of 21 percent, rather than the 20 percent in the legislation that passed both chambers, and a lower top individual tax rate of 37 percent for the wealthiest Americans, who currently pay 39.6 percent. But the bill will still scale back some popular tax breaks, including the state and local tax deduction and the deductibility of mortgage interest.

In a break from the House bill, the agreement would allow taxpayers to continue to deduct high out-of-pocket medical expenses, and it would retain a provision allowing graduate students who receive tuition waivers to avoid paying taxes on that benefit. Also included in the consensus bill is the Senate’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act requirement that most Americans have health insurance or pay a penalty and a provision that opens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to energy exploration.

Continue reading the main story

Still unclear is the overall cost of the revised legislation, which cannot exceed the $1.5 trillion bucket that lawmakers have allowed if they want to pass the bill without Democratic support. Several of the provisions added by the Senate to help pay for the overall bill were either reversed or scaled back in the consensus version, and some tax breaks eliminated by the House were added back in.

Photo

President Trump had lunch with Republicans on the House-Senate conference committee, including Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, right, and Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, left, who chairs the Ways and Means Committee. CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

The announcement that Republicans had overcome their differences to get to a consensus bill added more momentum to the sprint to the finish line. Republicans dismissed requests by Democrats to delay a vote until the new senator from Alabama, Doug Jones, is sworn in.

“I see no need to wait for Doug Jones to become a senator,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine. “We vote all the time in lame-duck sessions with retired and defeated members casting votes.”

Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the majority whip, told reporters that he was confident the final bill would be approved next week. The leaders of the tax-writing committees in the House and the Senate, Representative Kevin Brady of Texas and Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, each proclaimed a bill “close” to completion.

In a compromise between the bills, the deal would cap the popular deduction for interest on mortgage debt at $750,000 for newly purchased homes, a higher cap than the $500,000 limit in the House-passed bill but lower than the $1 million limit that currently exists and remains in the Senate-passed bill.

The agreement would cut the corporate tax rate to 21 percent, which is lower than the current 35 percent rate but higher than the 20 percent that Mr. Trump had, until recently, said was nonnegotiable. The corporate rate would take effect in 2018, rather than 2019, as the Senate bill originally called for, according to a senior Republican congressional aide.

The bill also allows individuals to somewhat choose how to use their state and local tax deduction, giving them the ability to write off up to $10,000 in property taxes, income or sales taxes paid or a combination of property and sales or property and income taxes. That move is intended to alleviate the concerns of House Republicans, particularly those from California, over the bill’s treatment of the state and local tax deduction.

Lawmakers also yielded to concerns by business groups about the Senate’s last-minute inclusion of the corporate alternative minimum tax, which was added as a way to pay for the bill but faced stiff blowback from companies that said it would restrict their ability to use the research and development tax credit.

Photo

Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the finance committee, tweeted on Wednesday morning that Republican leaders should delay the tax process until Doug Jones, the newly elected Democratic Senator from Alabama, takes his seat. CreditPete Marovich for The New York Times

In an effort to assuage concerns that wealthy individuals would face a potential tax increase, the top individual income tax rate will drop to 37 percent, down from the current rate of 39.6 percent in the Senate bill and the 38.5 percent in the House bill. And the lower rate will apply to more people, allowing those with income levels below the $1 million cutoff outlined in both the House and Senate bills to claim the marginal rate.

The consensus bill will preserve the individual alternative minimum tax, which the House bill had eliminated and the Senate bill retained in a watered-down form. But it will apply to even fewer taxpayers than the Senate bill would have, the congressional aide said. The alternative tax, which was put in place to ensure high-income earners did not exploit loopholes to avoid paying taxes, would kick in for individuals earning at least $500,000 and for couples earning at least $1 million.

The agreement may allow some high-earning business owners to claim an even larger tax break than the Senate bill would have. Negotiators agreed to keep the Senate’s approach to provide a tax deduction for so-called pass-through companies, whose owners pay taxes on profits through the individual code. That deduction is likely to be lower than the 23 percent deduction in the Senate-passed bill.

But, the aide said, the consensus bill will include a House provision that would allow some pass-through owners with few employees — but large amounts of investment in their businesses — to bypass a limit on how much income qualifies for the preferential deduction.

The consensus bill would also largely retain the Senate approach to taxing multinational companies, by levying what is effectively a minimum tax on both American-based and foreign-based companies that operate in the United States.

Mr. Trump praised House and Senate negotiators in a lunch meeting at the White House. “We’re very close to getting it done; we’re very close to voting,” Mr. Trump said of the tax bill.

It is not clear whether all Republican senators will roundly endorse the deal, which includes provisions that Ms. Collins and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida had raised concerns about this week. Ms. Collins has said she does not favor a lower individual rate, and Mr. Rubio has pushed for a more generous child tax credit.

GRAPHIC

How the Final Tax Bill Will Affect Families, Homeowners, Businesses and More

Republicans have resolved the differences between the two versions of their tax bill.

 OPEN GRAPHIC

Still, none of those concerned senators indicated on Wednesday that they were opposed to the bill taking shape under the agreement in principle, an encouraging sign for Republican leaders.

The Senate bill narrowly passed 51 to 49, with Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, voting against the legislation, and other lawmakers, like Ms. Collins, getting on board only once certain changes, including expanding the medical expense deduction, were made. Mr. Corker said on Wednesday that “nothing has alleviated the concerns” that caused him to oppose the bill, which were rooted in a desire not to add further to the national debt.

The agreement was completed on Wednesday morning, hours before the first and only scheduled public meeting of the congressional conference committee formed to work out the differences between the House- and Senate-passed versions of the bill.

“Let’s understand what’s happening today is a sham,” said Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Finance Committee. “Nobody ought to mistake this conference for real debate.”

Mr. Trump delivered what was called a closing argument for the tax bill from the White House on Wednesday afternoon, flanked by five families who each took the microphone to extol the benefits of the tax bill on their households and communities.

“As a candidate, I promised we would pass a massive tax cut for the everyday working American families who are the backbone and the heartbeat of our country,” Mr. Trump said. “Now we are just days away from keeping that promise. We want to give you, the American people, a giant tax cut for Christmas.”

Mr. Trump added that if the bill were to be signed in that time frame, Americans would begin seeing tax cuts reflected in their paychecks by February, citing the Internal Revenue Service. “The cynical voices that opposed tax cuts grow smaller and weaker, and the American people grow stronger,” he said.

Correction: December 14, 2017 
Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to one provision of the tax proposal. The agreement would retain a provision allowing graduate students who receive tuition waivers to avoid paying taxes on that benefit. It does not apply to tuition stipends.

 

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Fed Raises Rates, Sticks to Forecast for 2018 Increases

Policy makers pencil in three quarter-point rate raises for next year, as they had in September

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen arrives for her press conference Wednesday. The central bank’s rate-setting committee voted 7-2 to raise the benchmark federal-funds rate to a range between 1.25% and 1.5%.
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen arrives for her press conference Wednesday. The central bank’s rate-setting committee voted 7-2 to raise the benchmark federal-funds rate to a range between 1.25% and 1.5%. PHOTO: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

WASHINGTON—The Federal Reserve showed continued optimism about the U.S. economy in voting Wednesday to raise short-term interest rates for the third time this year, and signaling it would stay on a similar path next year amid a leadership transition.

Officials nudged their economic-growth estimates higher for the next few years on expectations that congressional Republicans will pass tax cuts. But the Fed policy makers’ new projections suggest the boost wouldn’t be so large that they would have to speed up the pace of rate increases to guard against too much inflation.

“At the moment the U.S. economy is performing well,” Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said at a press conference after the central bank’s two-day policy meeting ended Wednesday.

“The growth that we’re seeing, it’s not based on, for example, an unsustainable buildup of debt,” she added. “The global economy is doing well. We’re in a synchronized expansion. This is the first time in many years we’ve seen this.”

The Fed said it would increase its benchmark federal-funds rate Thursday by a quarter percentage point to a range between 1.25% and 1.5%, the fifth such increase in the past two years. Officials penciled in three quarter-point rate increases for next year, as they had in September, and two such increases each in 2019 and 2020.

The big question heading into their two-day meeting was how much Fed officials expected to lift rates in coming years. The prospect of new fiscal stimulus in the form of tax cuts, combined with solid hiring and lofty asset values, could argue for picking up the pace to prevent the economy from overheating. But low inflation and modest wage growth could support the case for sticking with a gradual approach.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans joined Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari on Wednesday in casting two dissenting votes, against seven in favor or raising rates. Both have cited weak inflation as a reason to hold off.

Fed officials projected the economy would grow 2.5% next year, up from the 2.1% they predicted in September. They also expect the unemployment rate will fall to 3.9% by the end of next year, down from their earlier forecast of 4.1%.

Officials didn’t project more interest-rate increases or higher inflation because price pressures have been surprisingly muted this year. They still project inflation to rise to their 2% target by 2019, the same as they expected in September.

“It could take a longer period of a very strong labor market in order to achieve the inflation objective,” Ms. Yellen said Wednesday.

Economists said the latest projections and Ms. Yellen’s comments Wednesday show officials believe growth won’t generate as much inflation as previously thought. “If inflation does actually pick up, it implies that they move more rapidly” to raise rates, said Lewis Alexander, chief U.S. economist at Nomura Securities.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, above, and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, below, dissented to the Fed’s decision to raise short-term interest rates.
Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, above, and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, below, dissented to the Fed’s decision to raise short-term interest rates. PHOTO: ARND WIEGMANN/REUTERS
Fed Raises Rates, Sticks to Forecast for 2018 Increases
PHOTO: MARK KAUZLARICH/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Fed officials slashed their benchmark federal-funds rate to near zero during the financial crisis and held it there for seven years before raising it by a quarter percentage point in December 2015, the start of a gradual series of small increases. In October, the Fed also started shrinking its $4.5 trillion portfolio of bonds and other assets, most of which were purchased as part of extraordinary postcrisis measures to support the economy.

Since officials last met in early November, Congress has moved rapidly on legislation that would cut business and individual taxes by around $1.4 trillion over the next decade. Before this week, many Fed officials refrained from building into their forecasts much prospect of fiscal stimulus because it wasn’t clear what Congress would pass.

House and Senate Republicans are reconciling different versions of tax bills that have passed their respective chambers with the goal of putting a unified plan before President Donald Trump to sign by Christmas. The White House has said the plan can boost growth to levels that make up for revenue shortfalls.

An analysis from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation found the tax bill wouldn’t pay for itself with more economic growth and instead would result in about $1 trillion in additional budget deficits over a decade.

Fed officials’ projections show they don’t see the tax cut raising the economy’s long-run growth rate, which they left unchanged at 1.8%.

“It’s fair to say that the Fed doesn’t see the tax package as a game changer in terms of growth—just some modest upside, concentrated mostly in 2018,” said Roberto Perli, an analyst at research firm Cornerstone Macro LP.

While officials have now largely incorporated the effects of tax changes into their growth forecasts, Ms. Yellen said, “importantly, you really don’t at the end of the day see very much change in the federal-funds rate path.”

Ms. Yellen added that she remained concerned higher budget deficits could leave fiscal policy makers with less scope to respond aggressively to an economic downturn in the future. Budget deficits are projected to grow as the baby boom ages, even before the added effect of tax cuts. “Taking what is already a significant problem and making it worse, it is a concern to me,” she said.

While Ms. Yellen will preside over one more Fed meeting early next year, Wednesday featured her last scheduled press conference before her term ends Feb. 3. While she is likely to hand her successor an economy in far better shape than when she took over four years ago, the Fed faces several balancing acts.

On one hand, inflation has run below its annual 2% target most of this year, reaching just 1.6% in October by the central bank’s preferred gauge. On the other hand, with the economy so strong and more stimulus on the way, they don’t want to hold rates too low for too long and cause price pressures to surge out of control or fuel asset bubbles and other financial imbalances.

Now that the Fed has successfully moved interest rates away from zero and initiated the steady wind down of the portfolio, “the battle is over the terminal fed-funds rate, and how quickly you get to it,” said Vincent Reinhart, chief economist of Standish Mellon and former director of the Fed’s monetary policy division. Fed officials’ new projections show they see that longer-run level at around 2.75%, implying the Fed is already about half way there.

Mr. Trump’s nominee to succeed Ms. Yellen as central bank chief, Fed governor Jerome Powell, has indicated he could offer a lighter touch on financial regulation but has shown few signs of diverging from Ms. Yellen on monetary policy.

Ms. Yellen has said she would resign her seat on the Fed’s seven-member board once Mr. Powell is confirmed and sworn in, making her the third governor to leave within a year and giving Mr. Trump another opportunity to reshape the Fed.

Fed officials also are wrestling with the fact that the economy isn’t responding to its rate moves as it did in the past, making it harder to discern the right policy path.

Fed increases in short-term rates used to tighten credit more broadly, causing bond yields to rise and boosting other borrowing costs, such as for mortgages, credit cards and business loans. This year, instead, financial conditions have eased, with stock prices rising to new highs and long-term bond yields remaining low, due in part to easy-money policies from central banks in Europe and Japan.

Banks have held rates on savings deposits at historically low levels. The average interest rate paid by the biggest U.S. banks on interest-bearing deposits rose to 0.40% in the third quarter, up from 0.34% in the second quarter, according to Autonomous Research.

Low interest rates have been a pleasant surprise for Joe Williams, 33, who is looking to trade up to a larger home to make room for a growing family. Mr. Williams, who works in retail operations, and his wife are preapproved for a 30-year mortgage that carries a 3.75% interest rate for the first seven years. That is higher than the 3.125% rate he locked in on his Minneapolis home two years ago.

If rates looked likely to rise faster, “that would motivate us to get a little bit more aggressive” in buying the move-up home, he said.

Write to Nick Timiraos at nick.timiraos@wsj.com

Appeared in the December 14, 2017, print edition as ‘Fed Hikes Rates as Economy Picks Up.’

https://www.wsj.com/articles/fed-raises-interest-rates-sees-continued-path-of-increases-in-2018-1513191780

Federal funds rate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the United States, the federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions (banks and credit unions) lend reserve balances to other depository institutions overnight, on an uncollateralized basis. Reserve balances are amounts held at the Federal Reserve to maintain depository institutions’ reserve requirements. Institutions with surplus balances in their accounts lend those balances to institutions in need of larger balances. The federal funds rate is an important benchmark in financial markets.[1][2]

The interest rate that the borrowing bank pays to the lending bank to borrow the funds is negotiated between the two banks, and the weighted average of this rate across all such transactions is the federal funds effective rate.

The federal funds target rate is determined by a meeting of the members of the Federal Open Market Committee which normally occurs eight times a year about seven weeks apart. The committee may also hold additional meetings and implement target rate changes outside of its normal schedule.

The Federal Reserve uses open market operations to influence the supply of money in the U.S. economy[3] to make the federal funds effective rate follow the federal funds target rate.

Mechanism

Financial Institutions are obligated by law to maintain certain levels of reserves, either as reserves with the Fed or as vault cash. The level of these reserves is determined by the outstanding assets and liabilities of each depository institution, as well as by the Fed itself, but is typically 10%[4] of the total value of the bank’s demand accounts (depending on bank size). In the range of $9.3 million to $43.9 million, for transaction deposits (checking accountsNOWs, and other deposits that can be used to make payments) the reserve requirement in 2007-2008 was 3 percent of the end-of-the-day daily average amount held over a two-week period. Transaction deposits over $43.9 million held at the same depository institution carried a 10 percent reserve requirement.

For example, assume a particular U.S. depository institution, in the normal course of business, issues a loan. This dispenses money and decreases the ratio of bank reserves to money loaned. If its reserve ratio drops below the legally required minimum, it must add to its reserves to remain compliant with Federal Reserve regulations. The bank can borrow the requisite funds from another bank that has a surplus in its account with the Fed. The interest rate that the borrowing bank pays to the lending bank to borrow the funds is negotiated between the two banks, and the weighted average of this rate across all such transactions is the federal funds effective rate.

The federal funds target rate is set by the governors of the Federal Reserve, which they enforce by open market operations and adjustments in the interest rate on reserves.[5] The target rate is almost always what is meant by the media referring to the Federal Reserve “changing interest rates.” The actual federal funds rate generally lies within a range of that target rate, as the Federal Reserve cannot set an exact value through open market operations.

Another way banks can borrow funds to keep up their required reserves is by taking a loan from the Federal Reserve itself at the discount window. These loans are subject to audit by the Fed, and the discount rate is usually higher than the federal funds rate. Confusion between these two kinds of loans often leads to confusion between the federal funds rate and the discount rate. Another difference is that while the Fed cannot set an exact federal funds rate, it does set the specific discount rate.

The federal funds rate target is decided by the governors at Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings. The FOMC members will either increase, decrease, or leave the rate unchanged depending on the meeting’s agenda and the economic conditions of the U.S. It is possible to infer the market expectations of the FOMC decisions at future meetings from the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Fed Funds futures contracts, and these probabilities are widely reported in the financial media.

Applications

Interbank borrowing is essentially a way for banks to quickly raise money. For example, a bank may want to finance a major industrial effort but may not have the time to wait for deposits or interest (on loan payments) to come in. In such cases the bank will quickly raise this amount from other banks at an interest rate equal to or higher than the Federal funds rate.

Raising the federal funds rate will dissuade banks from taking out such inter-bank loans, which in turn will make cash that much harder to procure. Conversely, dropping the interest rates will encourage banks to borrow money and therefore invest more freely.[6] This interest rate is used as a regulatory tool to control how freely the U.S. economy operates.

By setting a higher discount rate the Federal Bank discourages banks from requisitioning funds from the Federal Bank, yet positions itself as a lender of last resort.

Comparison with LIBOR

Though the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and the federal funds rate are concerned with the same action, i.e. interbank loans, they are distinct from one another, as follows:

  • The target federal funds rate is a target interest rate that is set by the FOMC for implementing U.S. monetary policies.
  • The (effective) federal funds rate is achieved through open market operations at the Domestic Trading Desk at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York which deals primarily in domestic securities (U.S. Treasury and federal agencies’ securities).[7]
  • LIBOR is based on a questionnaire where a selection of banks guess the rates at which they could borrow money from other banks.
  • LIBOR may or may not be used to derive business terms. It is not fixed beforehand and is not meant to have macroeconomic ramifications.[8]

Predictions by the market

Considering the wide impact a change in the federal funds rate can have on the value of the dollar and the amount of lending going to new economic activity, the Federal Reserve is closely watched by the market. The prices of Option contracts on fed funds futures (traded on the Chicago Board of Trade) can be used to infer the market’s expectations of future Fed policy changes. Based on CME Group 30-Day Fed Fund futures prices, which have long been used to express the market’s views on the likelihood of changes in U.S. monetary policy, the CME Group FedWatch tool allows market participants to view the probability of an upcoming Fed Rate hike. One set of such implied probabilities is published by the Cleveland Fed.

Historical rates

As of 14 June 2017 the target range for the Federal Funds Rate is 1.00-1.25%.[9] This represents the fourth increase in the target rate since tightening began in December 2015.

The last full cycle of rate increases occurred between June 2004 and June 2006 as rates steadily rose from 1.00% to 5.25%. The target rate remained at 5.25% for over a year, until the Federal Reserve began lowering rates in September 2007. The last cycle of easing monetary policy through the rate was conducted from September 2007 to December 2008 as the target rate fell from 5.25% to a range of 0.00-0.25%. Between December 2008 and December 2015 the target rate remained at 0.00-0.25%, the lowest rate in the Federal Reserve’s history, as a reaction to the Financial crisis of 2007–2008 and its aftermath. According to Jack A. Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank, one reason for this unprecedented move of having a range, rather than a specific rate, was because a rate of 0% could have had problematic implications for money market funds, whose fees could then outpace yields.[10]

Federal funds rate history and recessions.jpg

Explanation of federal funds rate decisions

When the Federal Open Market Committee wishes to reduce interest rates they will increase the supply of money by buying government securities. When additional supply is added and everything else remains constant, price normally falls. The price here is the interest rate (cost of money) and specifically refers to the Federal Funds Rate. Conversely, when the Committee wishes to increase the Fed Funds Rate, they will instruct the Desk Manager to sell government securities, thereby taking the money they earn on the proceeds of those sales out of circulation and reducing the money supply. When supply is taken away and everything else remains constant, price (or in this case interest rates) will normally rise.[11]

The Federal Reserve has responded to a potential slow-down by lowering the target federal funds rate during recessions and other periods of lower growth. In fact, the Committee’s lowering has recently predated recessions,[12] in order to stimulate the economy and cushion the fall. Reducing the Fed Funds Rate makes money cheaper, allowing an influx of credit into the economy through all types of loans.

The charts linked below show the relation between S&P 500 and interest rates.

  • July 13, 1990 — Sept 4, 1992: 8.00%–3.00% (Includes 1990–1991 recession)[13][14]
  • Feb 1, 1995 — Nov 17, 1998: 6.00–4.75 [15][16][17]
  • May 16, 2000 — June 25, 2003: 6.50–1.00 (Includes 2001 recession)[18][19][20]
  • June 29, 2006 — (Oct. 29 2008): 5.25–1.00[21]
  • Dec 16, 2008 — 0.0–0.25[22]
  • Dec 16, 2015 — 0.25-0.50[23]
  • Dec 14, 2016 — 0.50-0.75[24]
  • Mar 15, 2017 — 0.75-1.00[25]
  • Jun 14, 2017 — 1.00-1.25[26]
  • Dec 13, 2017 — 1.25-1.50[27]

Bill Gross of PIMCO suggested that in the prior 15 years ending in 2007, in each instance where the fed funds rate was higher than the nominal GDP growth rate, assets such as stocks and/or housing fell.[28]

International effects

A low federal funds rate makes investments in developing countries such as China or Mexico more attractive. A high federal funds rate makes investments in other countries less attractive. The long period of a very low federal funds rate from 2009 forward resulted in an increase in investment in developing countries. As the United States began to return to a higher rate in 2013 investments in the United States became more attractive and the rate of investment in developing countries began to fall. The rate also affects the value of currency, a higher rate increasing the value of the U.S. dollar and decreasing the value of currencies such as the Mexican peso.[29]

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ “Fedpoints: Federal Funds”Federal Reserve Bank of New York. August 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  2. Jump up^ “The Implementation of Monetary Policy”.