“I think we are going to get a lot done.”
President Joe Biden said that Wednesday after meeting with Senate Democrats, hopeful that his $3.5 trillion proposal for infrastructure, expansions of health care and more could pass a closely divided Congress.
Democrats have a slim majority in the House of Representatives and although the Senate has 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats, Vice President Kamala Harris can break a tie. Without the support of any members of the GOP in the Senate, Democrats may need to be unanimous in support of the President’s plans for them to pass.
According to the Associated Press, Democrats hope that by enacting legislation that benefits lower and middle class families – the costs paid for by higher taxes on the wealthy – will produce economic and political advantages.
Republicans are not impressed. “Count me in for real infrastructure,” said Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-South Carolina). “Count me out for a tax and spend plan from Hell.”
Vaccinations a dividing point on COVID-19
Although the coronavirus pandemic is at a low ebb compared to its peaks in January and February, recent upturns in the number of new confirmed cases is becoming a cause for concern among public health officials.
According to The New York Times, the increase in the number of new cases – figured on a 14-day average – is at 109 percent, while deaths are up 17 percent. The Delta variant of the virus is of concern, but areas reporting spikes tend to be those where many people are unconvinced about the need for inoculation against COVID-19.
“I don’t expect that we will get close to the kind of mayhem we saw earlier,” virologist Kristen Andersen told The Times. “There are going to be clusters, and they’re going to be in states where you have low vaccination rates.”
To increase the number of inoculated Americans, the possibility of having health workers to go door-to-door – like census takers – has been raised, although there’s been some pushback on the grounds that might be governmental overreach.
Report: FBI bungled case against gymnastics doctor
A report from the FBI inspector general released on Wednesday criticized the agency’s conduct of sexual abuse allegations against Larry Nassar who formerly served as team doctor for the USA Gymnastics team.
According to USA Today, among the accusations was that an FBI official involved in the investigation was seeking a job with the U.S Olympic Committee, with which the U.S. gymnastics program is affiliated.
Nassar was convicted on three counts of criminal sexual assault in 2018, stemming from his actions with underage female gymnasts. He was sentenced to 40 to 125 years in prison.
Categories: The Wider World