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  • SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico— Legislation that would increase Puerto Rico's sales tax from 7 percent to 11.5 percent squeaked by late Thursday with the minimum amount of votes needed in the U.S. territory's House of Representatives. If the Senate approves the latest bill, the sales tax increase would take effect July 1 and the new 4 percent tax would begin Oct. 1.

  • Washington, May 21- President Barack Obama on Thursday moved closer to winning the power to speed trade deals through the U.S. Congress when the Senate advanced legislation important to his Asian trade push. The TPP is part of Obama's so-called pivot to Asia, a strategy to counter China's rising economic and diplomatic clout in Asia. They were joined by 49 of 54...

  • May 21- Bank of New York Mellon Corp will pay $180 million to settle a foreign exchange-related putative class action lawsuit, the bank said in a regulatory filing on Thursday. BNY Mellon said the settlement will release the bank from all foreign exchange-related securities law claims brought against it or its affiliates in the suit. Federal and New York state...

  • Honolulu mayor vetoes expanded sit-lie ban Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 5:31 PM ET

    HONOLULU— Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has vetoed a bill that would have expanded the city's ban on sitting and lying down on sidewalks. Caldwell has been a champion of the city's sit-lie bans, which began in Waikiki after complaints from the tourism industry and local residents and expanded to include Chinatown and other commercial areas.

  • LANSING, Mich.— A business group on Thursday initiated legislation to repeal Michigan's 50- year-old prevailing wage law, a maneuver that would help conservatives bypass Gov. If the group's petition is approved and it collects roughly 252,000 valid voter signatures, the bill would go to the Legislature. Chris Fisher, president of the Associated Builders and...

  • Connecticut casino bill now faces uncertain path Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 4:00 PM ET

    HARTFORD, Conn.— Legislation creating a two-step process for possibly opening a new tribal casino in Connecticut faces a vote in the state House of Representatives, but the level of support in that chamber remains unclear. House Speaker Brendan Sharkey said Thursday that the majority Democrats, who control the House, have not taken any preliminary vote counts...

  • WASHINGTON— Republican senators advanced legislation Thursday that would ease rules on smaller banks and other requirements of the landmark law reining in Wall Street and the financial industry after the 2008 crisis. But it received no support from Democrats, making its chances of Senate passage slim. Now tables have been turned by last November's...

  • Washington, May 21- President Barack Obama on Thursday moved closer to winning the power to speed trade deals through the U.S. Congress when the Senate advanced legislation important to his Asian trade push. The TPP is part of Obama's so-called pivot to Asia, a strategy to counter China's rising economic and diplomatic clout in Asia. Thirteen of 44 Democrats...

  • SALT LAKE CITY— Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes accepted a $5,000 campaign donation from a contact lens seller based in the state after his office began defending a new law that critics say was written at the company's behest. On May 1, Reyes' campaign deposited a $5,000 check from 1-800 Contacts, which by that time had joined the lawsuit in favor of the law.

  • WASHINGTON, May 21- Two U.S. Louisiana Senator David Vitter withdrew a proposed amendment to the financial regulatory bill that aimed to end "too big to fail" by requiring certain mega banks to face new 10 percent capital levels. Pennsylvania's Pat Toomey withdrew another proposed change that would have repealed a major provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street...

  • WASHINGTON, May 21- The Senate Banking Committee passed a bill on Thursday that proposes changes to the Federal Reserve and seeks regulatory relief for small to medium-sized banks, though with no Democrats on board, the legislation faces slim chances of success. With a majority on the committee, Republicans cleared the Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of...

  • *Senate vote xx to xx shows solid/weak support base. Washington, May 21- President Barack Obama's signature Asian trade push cleared another hurdle in the U.S. Senate on Thursday after a knife-edge vote moved the White House closer to gaining the power to speed trade deals through Congress. Thirteen of 44 Democrats supported the legislation through the second...

  • Obama's fast-track bill passes another key hurdle Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 11:31 AM ET
    Barack Obama

    Legislation key to sealing a trade pact cleared a key hurdle, boosting hopes for a deal that's central to Obama's strategic shift toward Asia.

  • U.S. fast-track trade bill clears key hurdle in Senate Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 10:58 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, May 21- Legislation key to sealing a Pacific trade pact passed another important test in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, boosting hopes for a deal that is central to President Barack Obama's strategic shift toward Asia.

  • Obama's trade bill narrowly clears a key Senate hurdle Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 3:29 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— In a triumph for President Barack Obama, sweeping legislation to strengthen the administration's hand in global trade talks advanced toward Senate passage Thursday after a showdown vote that remained in doubt until the final moment. We're going to continue and finish up the bill this week, "Majority leader Mitch McConnell, R- Ky., and Obama's most...

  • With the Senate expected to vote as soon as Friday, Burr predicted the House bill would fail to break the 60- vote threshold needed to end debate, and he envisioned the same fate for a two-month extension of current law proposed by Senate leaders. As a compromise, he predicted, the leadership would propose that the Senate vote Friday to extend current law between 5...

  • House passes bill to make research tax break permanent Wednesday, 20 May 2015 | 7:19 PM ET

    The tax credit is part of a package of more than 50 temporary tax breaks that routinely expires every year or two, only to be renewed by Congress. The House passed the bill by a vote of 274-145. It now goes to the Senate. The White House threatened to veto the bill because it would add $182 billion to the budget deficit over the next decade.

  • UPDATE 1-U.S. judge rules RadioShack IP auction was fair Wednesday, 20 May 2015 | 4:13 PM ET

    May 20- A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Wednesday cleared the way for RadioShack Corp to sell its brand name and customer data to a Standard General affiliate for about $26 million, rejecting a competing bidder's claim that the auction process was unfair. Those matters were the last major hurdles to the bankrupt electronics chain's plan to sell its intellectual...

  • Missouri lawmakers pass multiple tax code changes Wednesday, 20 May 2015 | 3:57 PM ET

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.— The Missouri Legislature's tumultuous final week prevented action on some omnibus tax legislation. Several smaller measures received final approval or were sent to the governor, though, before action in the Senate ground to a halt after a vote on a contentious right-to-work bill. Requires the Department of Revenue to notify sellers of...

  • Economic incentives on Arkansas governor's session agenda Wednesday, 20 May 2015 | 3:14 PM ET

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark.— A special legislative session focusing on economic development incentives also will include an effort to move up Arkansas' primary, a reorganization of some agencies and a change in the state's driving while intoxicated law, Gov. The Republican governor detailed the items that will be on the agenda for next week's session, which he called to...