Senate Democrats are taking aim at climate change, health care and other issues with a proposed $3.5 trillion package revealed Monday in Washington.
According to the Associated Press, much of the planned legislation was inspired not just by President Joe Biden, but also by Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), chair of the Senate Budget Committee.
Funding for the programs would come in part from raising taxes on the wealthy and large corporations, while sparing people with an annual income of less than $400,000. Other money would come – Democrats hope – from revenue progressing from improved economic activity.
If all 50 senators who caucus with the Democrats stick together, they could gain passage without any Republican support, as Vice President Kamala Harris can break a tie, according to The New York Times.
“It is a big, bold change – the kind of change America thirsts for,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York), the Senate majority leader.
One of key changes would be in Medicare, where the proposal would expand the program to include dental, hearing and vision benefits and – potentially – lower the age for eligibility.
Observers are calling it the biggest change in the social safety net since the Great Society legislation of the Lyndon Johnson administration.
UN issues “Code Red” on environment
According to USA Today, the report was termed a “code red for humanity” and warned that some of the effects –global warming and rising sea levels, for example – may already be irreversible.
The report placed the principal blame on carbon dioxide, much of which is produced by the burning of fossil fuels by automobiles.
Prince Andrew hit by sexual abuse lawsuit
A lawsuit claiming that British Prince Andrew sexually abused a young woman was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Monday, according to Reuters.
The woman, Virginia Giuffre, said that Andrew – who holds the title of Duke of York, and who is Queen Elizabeth’s second son – sexually assaulted and abused her when she was a teenager, two decades ago.
Another of her alleged abusers was the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.
There was no comment from Andrew or his staff, and he denied her claim of sexual abuse in a 2019 interview on the BBC.
Epstein killed himself in August 2019 before a trial on his alleged sex offenses could begin.
Categories: The Wider World