American Legislative Exchange Council
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a 501(c)(3) American organization, composed of politically conservative state legislators. According to its website, ALEC “works to advance the fundamental principles of free-market enterprise, limited government, and federalism at the state level through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector and the general public.”
ALEC provides a forum for state legislators and private sector members to collaborate on model bills—draft legislation that members can customize for communities and introduce for debate in their own state legislatures. Approximately 200 such bills become law each year. ALEC has produced model bills on issues such as reducing corporate regulation and taxation, tightening voter identification rules, and promoting gun rights. ALEC also serves as a networking tool among state legislators, allowing them to research conservative policies implemented in other states.
Since 2011, ALEC’s political activities has received considerable scrutiny by both the media and liberal groups. The New York Times reported that special interests have “effectively turn[ed] ALEC’s lawmaker members into stealth lobbyists, providing them with talking points, signaling how they should vote and collaborating on bills affecting hundreds of issues like school vouchers and tobacco taxes.” Bloomberg Businessweek stated, “Part of ALEC’s mission is to present industry-backed legislation as grass-roots work.” The Guardian described ALEC as “a dating agency for Republican state legislators and big corporations, bringing them together to frame rightwing legislative agendas in the form of ‘model bills’.” Several liberal groups, including Common Cause, have challenged its tax-exempt status.
So, Congress ‘sub-contracts’ legislating?
Aren’t our elected representatives competent?
By JONATHAN ALLEN and CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN
Whatever deal Senate leaders come up with to solve the fiscal crisis had better work, because President Barack Obama has no Plan B if it doesn’t.
The Treasury is set to hit its credit limit Thursday.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/no-plan-b-as-deadline-approaches-government-shutdown-debt-ceiling-98378.html#ixzz2hslGp9Dv
One of the country’s three major credit rating agencies signaled Tuesday that it could downgrade the U.S. rating, citing the impasse in Washington over raising the debt ceiling.
Fitch Ratings put the U.S. government‘s AAA credit rating on “rating watch negative,” which means there’s a higher probability of a rating change, and that it could be negative.
“Although Fitch continues to believe that the debt ceiling will be raised soon, the political brinkmanship and reduced financing flexibility could increase the risk of a U.S. default,” the rating agency wrote in a statement.
S&P 500 futures fell 9.6 points while Dow Jones industrial average futures sank 60 points and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 7.5 points after the announcement Tuesday.
The three main credit rating agencies have all warned, in varying degrees, that the United States’ rating could be cut if it hit the Oct. 17 deadline when Washington is expected to run out of cash to pay its bills.
By Catherine Boyle, CNBC.com
FRANCK ROBICHON / EPA
Janet Yellen’s nomination to the post of Federal Reserve Board Chairman elevates her to the highest echelons of economic power, and may make her the most powerful woman on the planet.
THE HUFFINGTON POST
By Sam Stein
WASHINGTON — Three senior Obama administration officials have made it abundantly clear that the president has no interest in budging from his position on the government shutdown or the looming debt ceiling fight.
The officials met with a handful of columnists and reporters on Thursday morning on condition that they not be named or quoted. They said President Barack Obama feels as strongly about this issue as he has about anything else during his time in office, including passing health care reform.
The meeting came the day after congressional leaders and the president met in the White House in hopes of finding a path forward on the dual budget fights. That meeting ended without an agreement. And the fact that both sides continued a media blitz the morning after suggests that a resolution remains far off.