The Wider World

$1 trillion bill is now on track

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN’s infrastructure plan would benefit roads, bridges, transit systems and more. Above, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco (Flickr/This Guy).

A final deal on a $1 trillion infrastructure package has been reached, according to President Joe Biden.

The Associated Press reports that Biden, in a statement, said “This deal signals to the world that our democracy can function. We will once again transform America and propel us into the future.”

The agreement is a bipartisan combination of all Senate Democrats and some Republican senators. “We now have an agreement on the major issues,” said Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, the lead GOP negotiator. At least 10 Republicans must agree to overcome an expected filibuster attempt.

The bill, which would provide money for rail, roads, transit, bridges, ports and other projects, may be followed by another $3.5 trillion package proposed by Biden that would cover child care, tax reform and health care.

A test vote passed the Senate this evening by a margin of 67-32, with 17 Republicans in support.

Masks continue to make comeback

MASKS are being asked or required in some settings again (Shutterstock).

The resurgence of the coronavirus continues to bring with it a return to the wearing of face coverings, both on a mandatory and voluntary basis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that people who have been vaccinated go back to wearing masks when indoors in areas of the U.S. where infection rates are high.

According to The New York Times, all five boroughs of New York City fall into that category. A requirement for indoors mask-wearing went into effect in Los Angeles County last week.

Also expected in an announcement by Biden that all federal civilian employees be vaccinated or be required to undergo regular testing, social distancing, masking requirements and curbs on travel.

 Tokyo Olympic medal update

In the race for Olympic medals (and metal), two nations continued in the lead. As of 4 p.m. today, the United States has the most medals, with 31, followed by China (27), Japan and the Russian Olympic Committee with 22 each.

But in the struggle for gold, Japan leads with 13, followed by China with 12 and the U.S. with 11.

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