Economy

Closeup photo of a man refueling a vehicle. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Big oil supports bills to make sales of 15% ethanol blends year-round

BY: - December 5, 2022

LINCOLN — The U.S. Senate, with volatile gasoline prices top of mind, is inching toward a bipartisan solution to a years-long push for year-round sales of ethanol blends of 15% or more. Bills to codify the change have shared support from agricultural organizations and biofuels boosters, including the congressional delegations from ag states like Nebraska, […]

President Joe Biden signs bipartisan legislation to avert a freight rail workers strike with (L-R) Director of Made in America Celeste Drake, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on Dec. 02, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Biden signs bill that staves off railroad workers strike

BY: - December 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Friday signed into law a resolution intended to avert a freight rail strike, based on an agreement reached between some rail unions and freight rail companies. Several unions did not agree with the deal passed by Congress because it lacked paid sick leave, but Democrats have said the alternative […]

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (left) and Democratic Sen. Pat Leahy of Vermont at the U.S. Capitol head to lunch with Senate Democrats prior to a vote on an agreement to avert a looming rail strike on Dec. 1, 2022. (Ariana Figueroa/States Newsroom)

U.S. Senate averts freight rail strike, but bid to include worker sick leave fails

BY: - December 1, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to codify an agreement the White House brokered between rail unions and freight companies in order to avoid a catastrophic rail strike, but fell short of enough votes to include paid sick leave for workers. The Senate backed the rail deal on an 80-15 vote and rejected […]

U.S. House votes to avert calamitous rail strike, but Senate prospects murky

BY: - November 30, 2022

The U.S. House moved Wednesday to avoid an economically disastrous nationwide rail strike, voting to codify an agreement that members of some unions had already rejected and separately add paid sick leave that workers had demanded. The two-track approach allows Democrats to avert a strike that could cost the U.S. economy up to $2 billion […]

Members of a U.S. Senate panel voiced concerns Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, about higher grocery prices if a proposed merger between the Kroger and Albertsons supermarket chains is completed. This photo of a Los Angeles-area Albertsons was taken Oct. 16, 2022. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Albertsons-Kroger mega-deal raises questions from lawmakers about higher food prices

BY: - November 29, 2022

WASHINGTON —  Members of a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee panel raised concerns during a Tuesday hearing that a proposed merger between two of the largest U.S. supermarket chains could mean a monopoly on groceries and lead to higher food prices for Americans. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat who chairs the Subcommittee on Competition […]

The U.S. House of Representatives will take up a legislation this week that attempts to avert a strike by railroad workers. About 30 percent of the nation’s freight moves by rail. The Association of American Railroads estimates a nationwide shutdown could cause $2 billion a day in economic losses. This photo shows freight railcars in front of cranes at the Port of Long Beach, California, on Nov. 22, 2022. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

U.S. House to intervene in rail workers strike, heeding Biden call

BY: - November 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday said the House will take up legislation to ratify an agreement between rail workers and operators in order to avert a nationwide rail strike. “This week, the House will take up a bill adopting the Tentative Agreement — with no poison pills or changes to the […]

Two Midwest communities find a cure for medical debt: pandemic stimulus funds

BY: - November 23, 2022

Local governments in Ohio and Illinois are using American Rescue Plan Act money to relieve residents struggling with medical debt by partnering with an organization that buys debt and wipes the slate clean for debtors.  It’s a strategy advocates say could be duplicated across the country to help erase a multibillion-dollar problem. On Nov. 9, […]

A carpenter stands atop of a building frame.

4 takeaways on housing ahead of inflation report

BY: - November 9, 2022

Housing costs, including rental prices, are on the path to stabilizing but evidence of this won’t show up in inflation measures anytime soon, economists say. The latest Consumer Price Index numbers, which are used to measure inflation, come out on Thursday morning. But the survey used to measure shelter, a large component of inflation, lags […]

COMMENTARY
Federal ReserveBank Board Chairman Jerome Powell contemplates a response to questions on Nov. 2, 2022. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Fed inflation fight raises risks of both recession and financial crisis

BY: - November 7, 2022

There is wide agreement among economists and market observers that the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes will cause economic growth to grind to a halt, leading to a recession. Less talked about is the risk of a financial crisis as the U.S. central bank simultaneously tries to shrink its massive balance sheet. As expected, […]

Federal Reserve Bank Board Chairman Jerome Powell announced Wednesday that the bank is raising interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point, the sixth increase this year and the fourth time in a row at rates this high. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Fed raises interest rates again, signals more coming despite pressure to slow the pace

BY: - November 2, 2022

The Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday that in its continuing efforts to tamp down inflation, it would raise interest rates yet again by another three-quarters of a point to a target range of 3.75 to 4%. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said during a press conference following the announcement that the “historically fast pace” of […]