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Friday News: Trump’s Legal Problems Get Worse; Guns – Not “Heated Political Rhetoric” – Are the Problem

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by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, June 16.

  • Beyer: “Donald Trump is Looking to the Past on Cuba”

    June 16, 2017 (Washington, DC) – Rep. Don Beyer, a member of the bipartisan Cuba Working Group in the House of Representatives, today condemned the Trump Administration’s decision to impose renewed restrictions on travel and trade with Cuba.

    “Donald Trump is looking to the past on Cuba,” said Rep. Don Beyer. “President Trump’s Cuba policy, which he contrived for political purposes in a back room with a few Members of Congress from Florida, is a rollback of the long overdue opening initiated by President Obama. President Trump is taking counterproductive steps to return us to the failed policies this country employed for over five decades. Like the blockade, the Trump Cuba policy will not achieve any meaningful progress for human rights in Cuba, and will hurt the Cuban people, impose needless restrictions on Americans, and harm American businesses.”

    Rep. Beyer previously traveled with President Barack Obama during his historic visit to Havana following his restoration of relations with the Cuban government in 2016.

  • Beyer Statement on Trump Administration’s Decision To End DAPA Program

    June 16, 2017 (Washington, DC) – Rep. Don Beyer issued the following statement today in response to the Trump Administration’s rescission of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program:

    “Last night, following the tragic events in Alexandria, members of both parties gathered at the Congressional Baseball Game to put partisanship aside with a celebration of friendship and unity. Before the game had even finished, the Trump Administration shattered this spirit of good feelings by announcing the rescission of the DAPA program.

    Northern Virginia families already saw the distressing impact of Trump’s divisive policies when ICE officials detained Liliana Cruz Mendez, mother to two American citizens. It is of some comfort that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, initiated 5 years ago, remains in place, but the need for Congress to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform with a pathway to citizenship has never been more urgent.”

  • From the Virginia House Democratic Caucus:

    Two days ago, a few amazing things happened in Virginia primaries:

    1) Republicans came within a razor thin margin of nominating a white supremacist for Governor.
    2) Democrats nominated the most women candidates for House of Delegates… ever.
    3) We will have Democratic nominees in 88 of 100 seats, another record.
    4) The Republicans are only managing to challenge in 72 seats. Sad!
    5) Democrats are united and excited, Republicans are broken and discouraged.

    But in the midst of all the history that was made Tuesday night, one of our most critical districts, the open seat of retiring Del. Mark Dudenhefer (R), is going into a recount. Right now only 12 votes separate the two wonderful Democrats who put themselves forward and under Virginia law, it could be weeks before we have an official nominee. On the Republican side, their nominee was named months ago and is a former staffer of the Koch Brothers, you already know what that means.

    HD-02 is a must win district this November, that’s why we’re establishing a fund to make sure our eventual nominee has the support they need. Please consider making a contribution today to make sure Democrats don’t miss out on this open seat: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/17vahd02

  • Governor McAuliffe Announces Commonwealth’s Unemployment Rate Continues at 3.8%

    ~ Virginia’s unemployment rate continues to rank second-lowest among major U.S. states ~

    RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady in May at 3.8 percent for the third consecutive month, and is down 0.2 percentage points compared to a year ago. The March, April, and May rates of 3.8 percent are the lowest rates since the May 2008 rate of 3.8 percent. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues below the national rate, which was down 0.1 percentage point in May to 4.3 percent.

    “I’m pleased to see the continued growth of Virginia’s labor force, demonstrating that more jobs are available in the Commonwealth and more Virginians are entering the workforce,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Today’s announcement is a testament to the work we’re doing to build the new Virginia economy and create new opportunities for families in every corner of the Commonwealth. We are making progress but we must continue to work together to attract new jobs and investment to Virginia and strengthen the foundation we have laid for long-term economic growth.”

    Virginia has the second lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among the Southeast states. In addition, Virginia continues to have the second lowest unemployment rate among major U.S. states.

    Additionally, since the beginning of the McAuliffe administration, average hourly earnings in Virginia have increase by a total of 9%, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

    Virginia’s labor force expanded for the 14th consecutive month to 4,306,169, setting a record high for the Commonwealth, and household employment expanded for the 29th consecutive month to 4,144,295, also a record high. The labor force increased by 4,758 in May, as household employment rose by 4,562 and the number of unemployed increased by 196.

    “Today’s announcement underscores that our collaborative efforts to build a new Virginia economy are working,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “With recent actions and announcements, such as the Governor signing a bill into law that institutes numerous economic development reform and enhancement measures and Virginia rising to number six in the nation for state-level economic development competitiveness, the Commonwealth continues to highlight its dynamic pro-business climate, one primed for more investment and job creation opportunities.”

    Virginia’s nonfarm payroll employment is 44,400 jobs higher when compared to May of 2016. Virginia’s over-the-year employment growth was 1.1 percent and has been positive for 38 consecutive months. Nationally, total nonfarm employment grew 1.6 percent in May compared to a year ago.

    In May, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 42,900 jobs, while the public sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 1,500 jobs. Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, eight of the eleven major industry divisions experienced employment gains.

    For a greater statistical breakdown visit the Virginia Employment Commission’s website at http://www.vec.virginia.gov

  • U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, released the below statement following the Trump Administration’s rollback of U.S.-Cuba policy:

    “This decision by the Trump Administration to reverse progress in U.S.-Cuba relations sends the wrong message to the world about American leadership. We must never stop pressing the Cuban government on democracy and human rights, but further restricting economic and cultural engagement between our two nations betrays the spirit of cooperation that will ultimately help empower the Cuban people to choose their own destiny.”

  • Quizzical

    Re Tangier Island, maybe I need to make a visit before it is gone. Whether it is called climate change, sea level rise, or erosion, the people on Tangier Island have a problem. Norfolk, unfortunately, has the same problem, as do other coastal areas. We’ve been negligently slow in responding the climate change warnings so some sea level rise is already inevitable. Thus we are looking at some combination of coastal infrastructure construction, like sea walls, raised roads, pumping stations on the one hand, and retreat from the coast in other areas – because funds are limited. Tangier Island obviously can’t compete with Norfolk for resiliency funds. However, if there are ship channels or ports near Tangier Island that need to be dredged anyway, then could the dredging barges dump their loads at Tangier Island? I recall that approach was used to protect some islands in Louisiana.