BPC Blog

Large defense contractors indicate that reductions in labor force of as much as 20% have been implemented over the past three years

Lockheed Martin’s announcement yesterday that it will eliminate 4,000 employees and close several facilities highlights our long-held contention that the sequester’s impact would prove to be a slowly increasing wave through the economy. Lockheed joins most of the other major defense contractors that have been slowly reducing head counts for the past year. These newly announced layoffs bring to 30,000 the number of employees that Lockheed, the largest defense contractor in America, has laid off over the past five years.

For more than a year, there has been a growing gulf between Iran’s actual and latent nuclear capability

A week after intense negotiations in Geneva between the United States, its international partners, and Iran failed to arrive at an interim deal, the International Atomic Energy Agency released the findings of its latest inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities. The report shows that most measures of Iran’s nuclear program and most of its nuclear activities remain largely unchanged: it continues to produce 3.5 percent and 20 percent enriched uranium at roughly the same pace using roughly the same number of centrifuges as for the past year; and its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium has remained stable, as it continues to convert most of what it produces into reactor fuel, as it has been for the year and a half.

The award was established in 1995 to honor Alvin M. Weinberg and to provide international recognition for contributions to the understanding of the social implications of nuclear technology. 

BPC believes a phase-out of the renewables production tax credit must accompany a phase-out of all energy-specific tax expenditures

Senate Energy Committee Leadership spoke on the renewables production tax credit (PTC) after today’s hearing, as reported by POLITICO Pro’s Darius Dixon. Chairman Ron Wyden highlighted the inequity that would result if only the PTC were eliminated without considering broader tax reform. And Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski noted that we need a “glidepath out” – or a gradual phaseout – because “what does a one-year extension do [for] anybody?”

Anticipated legislation from Rep. Waters will elaborate upon Democratic principles articulated earlier this year

The forum’s guest of honor, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA-43), drew attention to her forthcoming bill on housing finance reform and told moderator Ron Brownstein of National Journal that it will be ready soon. She acknowledged the August regional housing forum we held in Dallas, Texas with her counterpart Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX-5) and added that she shares his vision of getting the House and Senate bills to conference. The anticipated legislation from ranking member Waters will elaborate upon the Democratic principles articulated earlier this year, calling for an explicit government guarantee and equal access to the secondary market for lenders of all sizes all in an effort to ensure the 30 year fixed rate mortgage remains an accessible product. 

Senator Mikulski recalls the pragmatic leadership of former Senator Nancy Kassebaum

Few senators have left such a mark on the Senate as Nancy Kassebaum. She was a dedicated and determined public servant who always put people above politics. In the decade we served together, I saw her advocate every day for her home state of Kansas — whether it was in the committees or on the Senate floor.

The report reviewed key actions and decisions that the CFPB has undertaken since it was first created

BPC’s Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative’s recent report on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) figured prominently in this Tuesday’s hearing where CFPB Director Richard Cordray testified to the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. The report, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Measuring the Progress of a New Agency, included over 30 recommendations on how to improve the operations of the CFPB, many of which were mentioned by the Senators

The women of the U.S. Senate persevere in their tradition of interacting past the work day, setting an example for a divided Washington

“The Women Who Saved the Country” is one recent headline that has emerged following the government shutdown debacle that nearly tore apart the nation. The entire affair yielded one group of winners: the women of the U.S. Senate. Despite the extreme partisanship that plagued both chambers of Congress, a small, bipartisan coalition led by Senator Susan Collins came together to determine the best course of action for the nation. And they succeeded.

Pamela Hughes Patenaude, director of the BPC Housing Commission, was recently named as a Woman of Influence in HousingWire Magazine. This esteemed group of women was chosen because of their contributions to the U.S. housing economy.

While technology breakthroughs are critical for a clean energy future, less glamorous incremental improvements are similarly important

Last week, BPC’s Margot Anderson participated in a panel discussion on the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation’s latest report, “Challenging the Clean Energy Deployment Consensus.” Provocative in tone, the report argues that a transition to a low-carbon energy system requires the development of new energy technologies that are much less expensive than the existing suite of clean energy technologies. The report concludes with several recommendations, including a recommendation to increase public investment in energy R&D to $15 billion annually—a target proposed by BPC’s American Energy Innovation Council in 2010 and referenced in Secretary of Energy Moniz’s Senate confirmation testimony earlier in 2013.

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