USDA’s goal is to move individuals and families from SNAP back to the workforce as the best long-term solution to poverty. Under federal law, able-bodied adults without dependents are restricted to three months of benefits within a 36-month period unless they work at least 80 hours per month or participate in certain educational or job-training activities. States, however, can request federal waivers of this time limit — either across the state or in certain local areas — if jobs are scarce or unemployment is high.
The Trump administration indicated that it wants to make it harder for states to be granted such waivers. Anti-poverty advocates warn that such changes would unfairly punish beneficiaries who are already struggling.
Top Democrats are concerned about the merger, which could potentially violate antitrust laws. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary antitrust committee, is concerned about the impact of this transaction on American consumers, and also commented that this merger was “another industry-changing merger, which would have major implications in television, film, and media.”
Klobucher has reportedly asked Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who chair the antitrust subcommittee and the Judiciary Committee, respectively, to schedule a hearing on the matter.
Representative David Cicilline (D-R.I.) called for his committee, the House Judiciary’s antitrust subcommittee, to take a closer look at the deal as well. “Disney’s proposed purchase of 21st Century Fox threatens to put control of TV, movie, and news content into the hands of a single media giant,” he said.
“If it’s approved,” he continued, “this merger could allow Disney to limit what consumers can watch and increase their cable bills. Disney will gain more than 300 channels, 22 regional sports networks, control over Hulu, and a significant portion of Roku.”
GettyImages: Chip Samodevilla
The Federal Communications Commission has voted to deregulate the broadband industry and eliminate net neutrality rules that prohibit Internet service providers from blocking and throttling Internet traffic.
The repeal of net neutrality rules came about a year ago when Donald Trump won the presidency and appointed Republican Ajit Pai to the FCC chairmanship. Pai and Republican Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr provided the three votes necessary to overturn the net neutrality rules and the related “Title II” classification of broadband providers as common carriers.
Democrats Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel provided bitter dissents in today’s 3-2 vote. Despite the partisan divide in government, polls show that majorities of both Democratic and Republican voters supported the rules, and net neutrality supporters protested outside the FCC headquarters before the vote.
Home Internet providers and mobile carriers will not be held by strict net neutrality rules. ISPs will be allowed to block or throttle Internet traffic, or offer priority to websites and online services in exchange for payment. The Federal Trade Commission could punish ISPs if they make promises and then break them, but there’s no requirement that the ISPs make the promises in the first place.
/ FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn addresses protesters outside the Federal Communication Commission building to rally against the end of net neutrality rules on December 14, 2017 in Washington, DC.