Employers will no longer face prosecution if they do not fire workers whose Social Security numbers do not match entries in a government database. The Department of Homeland Security this week repealed the "no match" rule, which gave employers just three months to clarify discrepancies with Social Security numbers. In 2007, a district judge issued a nationwide injunction against the rule, which was challenged by business groups, immigrants' rights groups and labor unions.
Some Republican lawmakers believe that "Buy American" provisions in the stimulus package have delayed infrastructure projects, and they are urging President Barack Obama to remove the requirements. Meanwhile, some observers are concerned that other countries could retaliate against the U.S. by passing their own laws requiring domestic purchases.
A tax on Wall Street financial transactions has the potential to fund government spending, unemployment benefits and employment tax credits, according to the Economic Policy Institute. The liberal think tank's proposal would include $40 billion for public infrastructure, which would consist mainly of school construction. The tax would amount to up to .25% of a transaction's value and could raise up to $150 billion per year.
The market for commercial real estate is facing a severe downturn that could ripple through the global economy, industry experts say. They note that many commercial properties need to roll their loans over but are struggling to refinance. Meanwhile, the value of many nonresidential properties has declined significantly.
The Department of Homeland Security this week said it will again postpone implementing a new rule that requires federal contractors to verify the legal status of employees. The rule is now scheduled to take effect Sept. 8. The department did not provide an explanation for its fourth decision to delay the E-verify program. Some lawmakers criticized the decision.