Page 28 - Soundwave Magazine
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 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE:
ON CAPITOL HILL (CONT’D)
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For the most part, the customarily garrulous senators complied, notwith- standing the occasional passed note. After more than 12 hours of bitter debate, the Senate approved rules governing Donald Trump’s impeach- ment trial on a party-line vote. The trial began the next afternoon and would’ve probably been over by the time Mr. Trump delivered his state-of-the-union address on February 4th. The outcome was not in doubt. To remove Mr. Trump from office, 20 Republican senators would have to cross party lines, which was not about to happen. But the trial still revealed much about Mr. Trump’s hold on his party.
The two sides gave previews of their arguments and tactics during the debate over rules. Adam Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee and was one of seven House managers acting as prosecutors, argued that Mr. Trump had abused his power by subverting American foreign policy for his personal political benefit, had obstructed Congress by ordering his
subordinates not to cooperate with its investigation, and that these comprise “the most serious [misconduct] ever charged against a president”. He also argued that the trial rules proposed by Mitch McConnell, the Senate major- ity leader, would make “a mockery of a [fair] trial”, because they threatened to block Democrats from introducing witnesses and evidence.
The president’s lawyers, by contrast, focused on process. Jay Sekulow, Mr. Trump’s lead outside counsel, argued that Mr. Trump was “denied the right to cross-examine witnesses” during the House inquiry, which is untrue. Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, asserted that Republicans were denied access to a secure room where Mr. Schiff held a hearing, which is also untrue. He accused Mr. Schiff of having “manufactured a false version” of Mr. Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s president, when in fact Mr. Schiff introduced it as a paraphrase.
Alan Dershowitz, a law professor who volubly defends Mr. Trump, argued that impeachment requires an actual crime or “criminal-like behavior”— a view that is at odds with main- stream opinion and American history. (Richard Nixon was nearly impeached for abuse of power, which is not a crime, and Andrew Johnson was impeached for, among other things, “declaring with a loud voice, certain intemperate, inflammatory and scandalous harangues.” The debate between the two sides grew so heated that after 12 hours in session, the perennially decorous Mr. Roberts moved to admonish them to “avoid...using language that is not conducive to civil discourse.”
An hour later Mr. McConnell’s rules passed. Each side got 24 hours to make its case, spread over three days. The Senate would be in session six
days a week, excluding Sundays, until the trial ended. After the initial presentations, the Senate got 16 hours to ask questions, submitted in writing for Mr. Roberts to read aloud, followed by four hours of argument and deliberation. The Senate then debated whether to call for more witnesses and evidence. That failed in a partisan vote, also.
That last rule rankled Democrats. Since the House impeached Mr. Trump, John Bolton, a former national security adviser, had said he would honor a subpoena for testimony. Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian- born Republican donor indicted for campaign-finance violations, said that Messrs. Trump and Bolton, as well as Vice-President Mike Pence and William Barr, the attorney general were all in the loop.
New Overtime Rule Jan. 1 tradition- ally is the time to start making good on those New Year’s resolutions, and, unfortunately, it’s also a time for new regulations. Small business owners need to be aware of the changes to federal overtime rule that took effect at the start of 2020.
Here are the main points you need to know: the minimum salary for the overtime exemption will rise from $23,660 annually to $35,568 annually. That means you’ll have to pay time-and-a-half for executive, administrative, or professional employees who make less than $35,568 for any work done beyond 40 hours per week.
The Department of Labor estimates that the change affects 1.3 million employees, raising the cost of compensation for the affected businesses. The cost would have been a lot higher had NFIB not stepped in with a lawsuit that blocked the Obama administration from raising
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