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On The Money: Pro-union bill draws 2020 battle lines | Companies added 291,000 jobs last month: survey | Warren touts Obama's 2010 praise for consumer bureau

Happy Wednesday and welcome back to On The Money, which you couldn’t tear in half if you tried. I’m Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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THE BIG DEAL–Pro-union bill draws 2020 battle lines: Democrats and their labor allies are gearing up for a 2020 fight against business groups over legislation to protect workers’ rights to unionize.

The Democratic-controlled House is voting Thursday on the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act). 

  • The bill is dead on arrival in the Republican Senate, but it’s seen as a critical messaging bill for Democrats and union groups looking to bring their supporters to the polls. 
  • The bill is also mobilizing business groups who have railed against the measure as a wish list for Big Labor.

What it does:

  • Make it easier for workers to certify unions
  • Change how employers classify workers
  • Prevent workers from being denied rights because of immigration status
  • Eliminate state right-to-work laws
  • And block laws that protect employees from not paying union dues, among other measures.

Why it’s so controversial: The bill is one of the most comprehensive labor packages in years. And the fight over the bill will play out over the 2020 election, with high stakes for both sides.

The Hill’s Alex Gangitano takes us inside the battle here.





US companies added 291,000 jobs last month: survey: U.S. companies added 291,000 jobs in January, according to a monthly report released Wednesday by payroll processor ADP and Moody’s Analytics.

Last month’s gain was the biggest in five years, CNBC reported. The figures also exceeded Wall Street’s projected estimate of 150,000 jobs added.

The increase was attributed to some unseasonably warm weather in much of January, survey analysts said.

“Mild winter weather provided a significant boost to the January employment gain,” Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said in a statement. “The leisure and hospitality and construction industries in particular experienced an outsized increase in jobs.”


New Warren ad touts Obama’s 2010 praise for consumer bureau: Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenButtigieg maintains slim lead after second round of Iowa results released Pressley says ‘the cruelty is the point’ for Trump in response to speech Schumer: Trump address ‘demagogic, undignified, highly partisan’ MORE (D-Mass.), a 2020 White House hopeful, released a campaign ad on Wednesday highlighting former President Obama’s praise for her work designing a polarizing consumer watchdog agency.

The 45-second digital ad features 2010 remarks from Obama touting Warren’s working-class background and successful creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

  • Portions of Obama’s remarks from a September 2010 press conference with Warren announcing the creation of the CFPB are featured in the campaign ad released Wednesday. 
  • Obama praises Warren as a “janitor’s daughter who has become one of the country’s fiercest advocates for the middle class” who helped create “a new independent agency standing up for consumers and middle-class families.”
  • “She’s done it while facing some very tough opposition,” Obama says in another clip. “Fortunately, she’s very tough.”

The takeaway: Warren’s choice to highlight the CFPB in the new ad also reflects her recent bid to pitch herself as a unifying Democratic presidential candidate while still pulling the party to the left. I explain how here.



  • More than 14 million taxpayers who met the criteria for the IRS “free file” program may have paid a fee to electronically file their federal tax returns last year, according to an estimate from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).
  • The U.S. trade deficit shrunk in 2019 for the first time in half a decade, according to data released by the Commerce Department.
  • Americans’ views of their personal finances are improving and stand at record highs, according to a new Gallup poll.



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