Bryce Covert

Bryce Covert is editor of the Roosevelt Institute's Next New Deal blog and a contributor at The Nation and ForbesWoman.

Recent Articles

Homeless, Hungry, Hung Out to Dry

USDA/Bob Nichols
The sequester—a set of deep, across-the-board cuts to discretionary spending set to take effect if lawmakers cannot agree to a longterm budget deal—was never supposed to happen. But as the deadline for reaching an agreement ticks ever closer, Congress appears hopelessly deadlocked to avoid it. Under the original agreement, sequestration would have triggered $100 billion in cuts to both defense and non-defense discretionary spending on January 1—an 8.2 percent reduction in non-defense expenditures. The “fiscal-cliff” deal reached in December reduced that amount to $85.3 billion and pushed the deadline back to March. Under the new deal, non-defense discretionary spending would be cut by $42.7 billion each year for the next nine years. This is on top of $1.5 trillion in cuts over the next decade that have already been enacted. The phrase “discretionary spending” may not send chills down the spine, and most of the discussion about spending cuts...

Workers, Not Babysitters

There's still a long way to go to ensure domestic workers have the same protections as other workers, but progress is coming. 

Flickr/brk in bklyn
Some very welcome news may break soon for the domestic workforce: the White House appears to be close to announcing a rule change to the Federal Labor Standards Act, finally including home health aides—those who bathe, nurse, toilet, and care for the elderly and disabled in their homes—in its protections. It may sound out of another century, and it is, but home health care workers had been excluded from federal overtime and minimum wage protections through a companionship exemption. It was designed to leave out only those who provided company, but had become so widely interpreted as to encompass a vital, booming workforce. The administration has long been sitting on the decision to change the rule, but outgoing Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis recently told The Nation , “there’ll be movement on that. We’ll shortly see progress made there.” If and when this change is announced, this workforce will be formally recognized as “workers,” not...