After Waiting For 167 Days, Lynch Confirmed as Attorney General
April 24, 2015
After Waiting For 167 Days, Lynch Confirmed as Attorney General; Durable Goods Orders Jumped 4.0% in March; Chinese Government Report States That The Government Must Invest $320 Billion A Year Over The Next Five Years To Meet Its Targets Of Reducing Pollution.
- Loretta Lynch was confirmed by a Senate vote of 56-43 to serve as the 83rd Attorney General of the United States after waiting 167 days from her nomination to the office by President Obama.Ten Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), supported the confirmation of Lynch as the first African American woman to be selected to head the Justice Department. Lynch previously served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York where she handled high-profile cases involving terrorism, police brutality, and public corruption. Senate Republicans used Lynch’s confirmation as a proxy war to fight President Obama’s executive action on immigration and, more recently, to restrict the use of public funds in abortion procedures. Following bipartisan compromise earlier this week to pass controversial human trafficking legislation, Sen. McConnell announced that he would allow the vote for Lynch’s confirmation. [Politico]
- The House Ways and Means Committee voted 25-13 to approve the fast track trade legislation known as the trade promotion authority to ease the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership that the Obama administration is currently negotiating with Japan and 10 other nations. The President faces strong opposition toward the bill from within his own party, however, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) have both expressed discontent over the legislation’s lack of protections for organized labor. Only three Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee voted to approve the measure for further debate. Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) introduced similar, competing legislation, embraced by his Democratic colleagues that would do more to protect the American auto industry and prevent currency manipulation. The Senate Finance Committee yesterday passed a similar version of the House fast track bill. [WSJ]
Economic Indicators & News
- Durable goods orders jumped 4.0% in March, as strong demand for autos, commercial jets, and military hardware boosted recent manufacturing activity in the United States. Excluding transportation, orders fell 0.2% as demand for nondefense capital goods fell 0.5% last month following a 2.2% drop in February, as private industry has been hesitant to invest in new equipment. Year-over-year, durable goods orders are up 0.7%, though they are 1.9% lower with transportation excluded. [Census]
- China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection released a report on Wednesday stating that the government must invest $320 billion a year over the next five years to meet its targets for reducing pollution. The report estimated that Beijing’s current budget covers only 15% of the required investment. Proposed projects to reduce carbon emissions include the construction of dozens of nuclear power and hydroelectric plans and the building of new “energy efficient” skyscrapers in major cities. [FT]