Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

The DC: Should the U.S. Invest in Energy Infrastructure for Allies, and... Should Congress Pay Its Interns and Staffers a ‘Living Wage’?

by Countable | Updated on 12.6.18

Welcome to Thursday, energy and salary consultants.

The European Energy Security and Diversification Act of 2018 would authorize up to $1 billion in financing to catalyze U.S. public and private sector investment in strategically important energy projects in eligible countries from fiscal years 2019 through 2023.

It’d also authorize the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to spend $5 million per year on project feasibility studies, reverse trade missions, pilot projects, and technical workshops to support projects in early development.

Finally, it would encourage the State Department to ramp up its political and diplomatic support to eligible countries. Read more about it here, and let us know if you think the U.S. should invest in natural gas and electrical infrastructure for NATO allies.

On the Radar

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Tuesday that it was recalling 12 million pounds of beef after nearly 250 people in 26 states contracted salmonella. This latest move is an expansion of a previous, more limited recall from October 4. The USDA has labeled this a Class I recall, which means there's a reasonable chance that consuming the beef will result in “serious, adverse health consequences or death.” Click here for more on the growing frequency and severity of food contamination, and let us know if you think it's time to revisit food safety regulations.

Under the Radar

  • Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez promised yesterday to pay her interns “at least” $15 per hour, and criticized other members of Congress for employing unpaid interns and not paying staffers a “living wage.” A 2017 report from non-profit group Pay Our Interns found that in the House, just 8 percent of Republicans and 3.6 percent of Democrats pay their interns. In the Senate, 51 percent of Republicans and 31 percent of Democrats do. Click here to let us know if you think Congress should pay its interns and staffers a "living wage."

Your Gov at a Glance 👀

The White House: President Trump in D.C.

  • At 11:30am, the president will receive his intelligence briefing.
  • At 12:30pm, the president will have lunch with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
  • At 4:00pm and 8:00pm, the president will deliver remarks at Hannukah receptions.

The House of Representatives: In

  • The House is expected to pass an extension of government funding through December 21st by voice vote.
  • No other business is expected.

The Senate: In

  • Confirmation vote on the nomination of Bernard McNamee to be a Member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
  • Confirmation vote on the nomination of Laura Kraninger to be Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • The Senate is expected to pass an extension of government funding through December 21st by voice vote.

What You're Saying

Here are some of your answers to Should the U.S. Invest in Natural Gas & Electrical Infrastructure For NATO Allies?

(Follow Michael S's comment here.)

(Follow Robert S's comment here.)

But wait, there's more!

And, in the End…

Is banning the shark fin trade a good idea?

Marine life activists have long sought to end shark finning, the practice of cutting the fins off of a shark and discarding its body at sea, where it generally drowns, bleeds to death, or is eaten alive by other fish.

The practice itself has been illegal in the U.S. since 2000, but the trade in shark fins remains legal.

While virtually all stakeholders with an interest in fisheries conservation agree that shark finning is cruel and wasteful, they debate whether or not banning the shark fin trade would ultimately help or hurt shark populations on the whole. Learn more about the issue here, and let us know whether you think a shark fin trade ban would help or hurt shark populations.

Happy Put On Your Own Shoes Day and Microwave Oven Day. May we reflect on the overlooked value of modern conveniences.

—Sara E. Murphy

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(34)
  • Jakson
    12/06/2018
    ···

    If we begin to pay interns which I think is an appropriate and just policy. I think to avoid raising taxes further we should pay interns from the large sums of cash we pay our reps and officials. Socrates says the best people for political office should do it out of a desire to rule themselves before imbeciles. If you offer large salaries to officials yourE just attracting money hungry people, not the serious policy thinkers.

    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
  • Inge
    12/06/2018
    ···

    Yes, absolutely. Interns and aides should be paid a living wage. Unpaid internships close the door to all but the wealthy. It furthers inequality and gives more opportunities to the wealthy.

    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
  • Melvin
    12/06/2018
    ···

    Let’s take a minute to think about investing in an allies infrastructure. I thought about it and here’s my opinion, those idiots in DC, the ones that past a tax break for the wealthiest companies and persons in America are wondering if they should help other countries. Stop them from thinking, we need infrastructure and better schools for our children with pay raises for the most qualified teachers to improve our country. There’s really no way that the dumb party in power with the guy 45 at the helm, were not aware of the allies problem. They knew we have needs but cut the taxes so there goes the neighborhood. Fiery, as I can be about the tax break for those didn’t need a cut from 35%-21%. That’s why GM cut jobs. And now they the same idiots want to blame GM for leaving even though the tax break was a loop hole for any company to move.

    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
  • Lionman
    12/06/2018
    ···

    Honestly, shouldn’t congressfolk be ashamed if they aren’t paying a living wage?

    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
  • Robert
    12/06/2018
    ···

    Absolutely interns should be paid $15.00 per hour at least. If they do work that benefits the us government they should be paid

    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
  • Heather
    12/06/2018
    ···

    Congress interns and staffers should be paid a livable wage. Actually, EVERYONE SHOUKD BE PAID A LIVABLE WAGE. The minimum wage needs to be changed federally, not state by state. The minimum wage should be a livable wage. No one making minimum wage should be below the poverty line or working more than one job to make ends meet.

    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
  • David
    last Friday
    ···

    Really, you politicians want to transfer more of our hard earned money out of the United States? How about ending foreign aid to all but the most openly thankful and openly supportive of the United States and its citizens? Many of our so called allies are just with us for our military protection and to give them money, then they bash us and work against us. As for paying interns: Is there a nepotism factor at play? Wealthy political and crony elites getting special treatment for their children, furthering the entrenchment of a class of people controlling our lives?

    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
  • CBBCHUSIE
    12/06/2018
    ···

    Yes on the interim pay

    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
  • Lynn
    12/06/2018
    ···

    No, and no.

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • Thomas
    12/06/2018
    ···

    Lets strengthen our own energy infrastructure first and then go abroad. Flint Michigan still has dirty water!

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • John
    last Friday
    ···

    The world is now an international market for goods, services AND Labor. Workers in Mexico work for $2 or less an hour on cars to keep car prices down. Union workers in the US make 10x or more than that amount. There is no way cars made in the US can compete with those made in Mexico. More evidence that a living wage is nice but not feasible...cruise lines don’t flag their ships in the US because if they have to follow US labor laws they can’t make any money. Royal Caribbean does have one US flagged ship that hasn’t made a dime since it started. Proof positive that in a free market a “living wage” will put businesses OUT OF BUSINESS. That’s reality and all ignorant snowflakes simply need to accept it.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • JDMA
    12/06/2018
    ···

    I don’t think we should mandate it. Internships are for experience and not money. I am open to a funded internship where there is dedicated housing and food vouchers for the interns. If your representatives want to pay their interns more it should come out of their budgets and not be supplemented by tax payers. I am already paying for my representatives to be fiscally responsible and I think they should make difficult decisions when evaluating staffing. Just keep in mind we are paying our representatives to work for us, not for them to ask us for more money (taxes) and pay others (interns) to do their job. Logically, you cannot pay everyone the same. Some people contribute more than others. Throwing more money at the problem isn’t the solution. Retain the staffers who contribute the most, cut the ones who are ineffective, and use their salaries to reward the retained staffers with better pay. Then let those staffers hire an allotted amount of interns who can help them accomplish the mission set for by the representatives. That is what we should do. I bet a lot of people will cry about the fact that not everyone is an equally contributor and deserves equal pay regardless of what they contribute.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Linda
    12/06/2018
    ···

    How about investing in our own energy infrastructure with the emphasis on renewables not coal or oil?

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Mike
    12/06/2018
    ···

    Seriously on providing money for infrastructure I countries who have their financial houses in order so we can go deeper in debt and not do pressing things at home. 22 Trillion in debt and talks of cutting social programs here. Where is this money coming from. How are we still the richest nation on earth?

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Sharon
    12/06/2018
    ···

    I don’t think congressional interns should get preferential treatment just because they work for Congress. There are fields that require YEARS of unpaid internships that are forbidden to be on-the-job training before licensing and working in the field. I would support this only if all internships - whatever they are labeled - had a guarantee of a living wage.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Todd
    12/06/2018
    ···

    Interns should get paid from their employer not the taxpayer. Spend money on OUR infrastructure first.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Merry
    last Friday
    ···

    Congress should creative figure out how to pay interns just like they creatively figure out how to rape us of our money all the time!!! Figure it out, with Trillion dollar budgets they approved they better find a way.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Chad
    12/06/2018
    ···

    No. Interns should not be paid. Gov needs to be limited to the smallest amount of jobs possible. Find out what that is, and figure out how to do your job within those limits. You knew what you were getting into when you took the job. You don’t need help or a break. You’re a servant to the people.

    Like
    Follow
    Share
  • One4All4One
    12/06/2018
    ···

    Seems simple. Of course staffers and interns should be paid a living wage. Once (if) we fix our own infrastructure problems we can look at helping allies, but right now we need to fix these problems at home.

    Like
    Follow
    Share
  • Tom
    12/06/2018
    ···

    Hell no. They need to take care of their own country. We take care of ourselves first.

    Like
    Follow
    Share