Midday Roundup: GOP leaders react strongly to congressman’s ‘wetback’ remark

Newsworthy | Mickey McLean

Midday Roundup: GOP leaders react strongly to congressman’s ‘wetback’ remark

U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska
Associated Press/Photo by Becky Bohrer

Republican reprimanded. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, has come under fire for using the term “wetback” to describe Hispanic migrant workers in a radio interview released yesterday. Today, Republican leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, are denouncing his choice of words. “Migrant workers come to America looking for opportunity and a way to provide a better life for their families,” Cornyn said in a statement. “They do not come to this country to hear ethnic slurs and derogatory language from elected officials. The comments used by Rep. Young do nothing to elevate our party, political discourse, or the millions who come here looking for economic opportunity.” Young said he “meant no disrespect.” Young is also under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.

The cost of compliance. The Environmental Protection Agency released a proposal this morning that would attempt to reduce the sulfur content in gasoline by more than 60 percent in 2017. But the oil industry and Republican lawmakers say it would cost $2.4 billion a year to comply with the new regulation, and thus raise gas prices. The EPA says it will barely increase what we pay at the pump and add $130 to the cost of a car in 2025.

Good news, bad news. In figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning, the unemployment rate in California dropped to 9.6 percent, with employers adding 41,200 jobs, mostly in the leisure and hospitality and governmental sectors. But all is not so golden in the Golden State, as it still has the highest unemployment rate in the country, but it no longer sits in last place alone—it now shares that distinction with Nevada and Mississippi.

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Bye, bye, Barbara? According to several reports, ABC News personality Barbara Walters will retire next year. But the 83-year-old co-host and creator of The View will not confirm the news. Walters began her national broadcast career on NBC’s Today show in 1961 and was hired away by ABC in 1976, where she has served as a news anchor and the host of primetime specials.

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