Friday, March 7, 2014
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Meanwhile, Pingree and the Senate sponsor of the bill, Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, are pushing President Obama to institute the changes at the VA without waiting for legislation. The White House confirmed Friday that it had received the Pingree-Tester letter but offered no other comment.
Michaud pushes retailers
U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-District 2, joined nine other senior House Democrats this week in calling on major clothing retailers in the U.S. to sign onto a building safety accord after more than 1,000 garment workers died in a factor collapse in Bangladesh.
The Accord on Fire and Building Safety says that participating retailers will agree to conduct independent safety inspections at factories and help pay for necessary upgrades. Dozens of clothing retailers have signed the accord.
Michaud, who is outspoken on labor and free trade issues, joined House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland and several ranking members in signing the letter. The letter was sent to nine retailers, including The Gap, Wal-Mart, Target and Kohl's.
"Circumstances are at a tipping point in Bangladesh, much as they were in the wake of the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist fire in New York over a century ago," the letter reads. "We urge you to seize this moment, and to help ensure that workers in Bangladesh do not needlessly lose their lives to produce the clothes we wear."
C-SPAN coming to Augusta
Students at Cony High School in Augusta and visitors to the State House will get a chance to tour the C-SPAN bus this week when it swings through Maine's capital city.
The bus is stopping by Cony to recognize a local winner of the public affairs network's "StudentCam" documentary contest. Student Peter Ackerman was a third-prize winner.
The bus, which features exhibits on StudentCam and on the First Ladies of the U.S., will be at Cony High from 8:45 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday followed by a stop at the State House from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Washington Bureau Chief Kevin Miller — 317-6256