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Collins takes aim at Ron Johnson for holding up funding package  on September 14, 2023 at 5:20 pm Business News | The Hill

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Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) took aim at Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) on Thursday for slowing down passage of the chamber’s first batch of government funding bills. 

Collins, top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, said Johnson was holding up consideration of the amendments from both sides for a funding package leaders hope to pass in the coming days.

“The senator from Wisconsin has repeatedly said, and I agree with him, that we should not end up with an omnibus bill, a 4,000-page bill at the end of the year with little consideration, largely drafted by a small group of people,” Collins said on the floor on Thursday.

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“So, why is the senator from Wisconsin objecting to proceeding to three appropriations bills that were reported unanimously, unanimously, each one of them by the Senate Appropriations Committee, after a great deal of work?” she said. “Furthermore, the senator is objecting to Republican amendments being offered to this package.”

The Hill has reached out to Johnson’s office for comment.

Senators say the conservative was holding up consideration of the funding package because he wanted the three bills included to be considered separately.

The Senate is moving what’s called a minibus, combining the  Agriculture-FDA, Military Construction-VA and Transportation-HUD funding measures.

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Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) also offered support to Johnson.

“There are only seven to 10 of us that are truly fiscal conservatives here that don’t want to keep borrowing money from future generations and Ron is one of them,” he said.

“So, we’ve all got that same goal in mind,” Braun said.

Other Republicans also say they prefer the minibus package be split up, with Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) arguing “it’s not a full robust amendment process.”

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But Collins and other GOP negotiators say they don’t see much of a difference, while noting the three bills under consideration passed out of committee with unanimous support from both sides. 

“I think that ignores the reality that each of the 12 bills was reported separately independently,” Collins told reporters after her floor remarks. “And in the case of the first three, we’re bringing to the floor unanimously by the Senate Appropriations Committee.”

“The fact is, we’ll take plenty of time on the three bills, and we’re going to have a robust amendment process. So what difference does it make?” she asked. “We don’t have time to take each bill individually to the floor or we’re going to end up with either an omnibus, a government shutdown or a year long continuing resolution, which would fund programs that shouldn’t be funded anymore and prevent new programs from starting up.”

​Senate, Business, News Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) took aim at Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) on Thursday for slowing down passage of the chamber’s first batch of government funding bills.  Collins, top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, said Johnson was holding up consideration of the amendments from both sides for a funding package leaders hope to pass in…  

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Business

Remote Work’s Surprising Impact

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In a startling shift reshaping the American work landscape, new data reveals an unprecedented surge in long-distance commutes. The rise of remote work and skyrocketing housing costs have catapulted the average commute distance from 10 miles in 2019 to a staggering 27 miles by the end of 2023, forcing many to drive far beyond city limits for work.

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The most alarming trend is the explosion of “super commutes” – journeys of 75 miles or more. According to a groundbreaking study from Stanford University, these extreme commutes have skyrocketed by nearly a third since the pandemic began. This seismic shift is transforming the way Americans balance work and life, with far-reaching consequences for urban planning, real estate, and the environment.

Nicholas Bloom, an economist who co-authored the study, explains: “It’s a trade-off. Do you cram into a small apartment close to work or deal with a longer commute for more space?”

The flexibility of remote and hybrid work arrangements has unleashed a mass exodus from city centers. As a share of all commutes, 18.5 percent are now 40 miles or longer, up from 15.8 percent before the pandemic. Workers, no longer tethered to daily office visits, are fleeing to more affordable or desirable areas, even if it means enduring marathon commutes a few times a week.

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The trend is particularly pronounced among top earners. In a shocking revelation, workers earning over $200,000 now live an average of 42 miles from their workplace – more than triple the 12-mile average in 2018. This dramatic shift underscores the growing divide between high-income workers who can afford longer commutes and those constrained by proximity to their workplaces.

The commute crisis is reshaping communities across America

  • In Washington D.C. and New York City, super-commutes have seen the most dramatic increases, driven by astronomical living costs.
  • Young hybrid workers are increasingly willing to add over 20 minutes to their commute, with the percentage jumping from 7% to 15% between 2021 and 2023.
  •  In Atlanta, known for its heavy traffic, there’s been a 9.7% decrease in the distance employees drove compared to 2019, with a significant reduction in the 10-50 mile range.

While some workers embrace the flexibility of longer commutes, experts warn of hidden costs. Extended travel times can lead to increased stress, reduced productivity, and significant impacts on personal lives. The environmental implications of this mass migration are also raising red flags among climate scientists.

As America grapples with this new reality, questions arise about the sustainability of such commuting patterns and their long-term impact on the workforce, urban planning, and the environment. With no signs of this trend slowing down, the future of work in America may be spending more time on the road than ever before.

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6 Essential Productivity Hacks for Entrepreneurs

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Are you tired of feeling like your business is stuck in neutral? Well, buckle up, because we are about to share six secrets to help you shift into high gear and leave the competition in the dust.

1. Set Goals That Don’t Suck
Ditch those vague, lofty goals and get specific. What do you want to achieve? How are you going to do it? Write it down, make it happen.
  • Actionable Step: Write a goal that’s so specific, it’s almost boring. Then, create a task list that’s so detailed, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.
2. Prioritize Like a Boss
Use the Eisenhower Matrix to sort tasks into urgent vs. important. Focus on the stuff that’ll make a real impact, and delegate or eliminate the rest.
  • Actionable Step: Use a task management tool like Trello or Asana to prioritize tasks. Then, focus on the high-priority ones first, and delegate the rest to your team (or your cat, if that’s who you’re working with).
3. Leverage Tech to Your Advantage
Ditch the paper and pen, and get with the times. Use project management tools, accounting software, and marketing automation platforms to streamline processes and boost efficiency.
  • Actionable Step: Explore tools like Trello, Asana, or ClickUp. Integrate them with your accounting software (like QuickBooks) and marketing automation platforms (like Mailchimp). Then, sit back and watch your productivity soar.

4. Delegate Like a Pro
Don’t be a control freak (unless that’s your thing, in which case, carry on). Delegate tasks to your team, or outsource them to freelancers or agencies.
  • Actionable Step: Identify tasks that can be delegated or outsourced. Then, assign them to your team, or hire a freelancer/agency to do them for you. Voila! More free time for you.
5. Optimize Processes, Eliminate Waste
Analyze your processes, eliminate the waste, and implement efficient systems for tasks like customer service, inventory management, and marketing.
  • Actionable Step: Identify inefficient processes. Optimize them, and implement new systems to enhance productivity. Then, sit back and watch your business thrive.
6. Prioritize Self-Care (Because You’re Not a Robot)
Don’t neglect your physical and mental well-being. Schedule time for exercise, meditation, and self-care to maintain peak performance.
  • Actionable Step: Schedule a daily self-care session. Use it for exercise, meditation, or reading. Then, wonder how you ever managed without it.
So, there you have it – six strategies to help you boost productivity and efficiency in your small business. We hope you find this helpful!

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Business

Saudi Arabia Says ‘Thank You, Next’ to the US Dollar

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Saudi Arabia is reportedly considering abandoning the US dollar for oil trade settlements, a move that could shake the foundations of the global financial system. For decades, the petrodollar system has propped up the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency, with Saudi Arabia insisting on dollar payments for its vast oil exports.

However, recent comments from Saudi officials hint at exploring alternatives to the dollar amid growing tensions with the US over various geopolitical issues and the rise of economic powerhouses like China.

Implications of a Petrodollar Shift

If Saudi Arabia abandons the petrodollar, the implications could be significant:

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1. Dollar Dominance Eroded: The dollar’s reserve currency status could weaken, potentially leading to a decline in its value.
2. Global Financial Instability: A sudden shift could trigger volatility in global markets as investors adjust portfolios.
3. Geopolitical Realignment: The move could signal Saudi alignment with China and challenge US economic hegemony.

Challenges and Uncertainties

While the prospect is significant, challenges remain:

1. Finding a suitable alternative currency with the dollar’s liquidity and stability.
2. Potential economic disruption for Saudi Arabia and trading partners.
3. Political backlash and strained relations with the US and allies.

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As the world watches, it remains uncertain whether Saudi Arabia’s comments signal a negotiating tactic or a profound shift in the global financial order.

 

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