News February 25

Senator Sanders

Tax Havens Sen. Bernie Sanders recently introduced legislation that would eliminate companies’ ability to defer taxes indefinitely. What would happen if that were to pass is companies would actually pay taxes on the money they earned when they earn it and not be able to defer it into the future, Matt Drange of the Center for Investigative Reporting said in an interview for the American Public Media radio program Marketplace.   AUDIO 

Global Warming Sens. Sanders and Barbara Boxer introduced legislation that would place a fee on coal, oil and natural gas at the first point of sale and then rebate a substantial part of the revenue to the public as monthly "dividends," Mark Reynolds, executive director of Citizens Climate Lobby, wrote in an op-ed for the Daily Camera in Boulder, Colo. LINK

Treasury Secretary The Senate Finance Committee scheduled a vote for Tuesday on Jacob Lew’s nomination to succeed Timothy Geithner as Treasury secretary. So far, only two senators announced their opposition to the nomination. Sen. Sanders fears Lew is too closely associated with Wall Street. Sen. Jeff Sessions accuses Lew of misleading the Senate in his presentation of Obama’s budget. LINK

World

Cuba President Raúl Castro of Cuba announced Sunday that the five-year term he has just begun will be his last, giving the Castro era an official expiration date of 2018. LINK

National

Budget Battle Already looking past the current budget impasse, congressional leaders are quietly considering a deal to avert a government shutdown next month. Attention is beginning to shift from Friday, when broad cuts known as the sequester kick in, to the next budget deadline at the end of March when Congress must pass a so-called continuing resolution to keep funding government operations. LINK

Vermont

Sequester in Vermont The White House on Sunday detailed how deep spending cuts set to begin this week would affect programs in every state. Vermont would lose about $15 million in grants to the state and local governments in addition to cutbacks that could affect 6,000 federal employees in the state, vtdigger.org reported. Vermont schools would lose $1.1 million. Another $1 million would be cut from clean water and air projects. About 1,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by $2.9 million, The Associated Press reported. LINK, LINK

Guns Poll The Castleton Polling Institute said more than 84 percent of Vermonters it surveyed favor reporting of mental health information to the National Instant Background Check System, vtdigger.org reported. Majorities also favored a ban on the sale of high capacity ammunition magazines (66 percent); a ban on the sale of assault weapons (61 percent); a ban on assault weapon ownership (54 percent); and support for closing the gun show “loophole,” which critics say allow the illegal trafficking of guns (75 percent). LINK