The Wider World

“Build Back” bill passes House

NANCY PELOSI is Speaker of the House (Wikipedia photo).

President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” bill with a price-tab estimated at $2.2 trillion passed the House of Representatives early Friday morning.

On a near-party line vote, the bill was approved 220-213 with one Democrat and all Republicans opposed. It now goes to the Senate where the parties are split 50-50.

Passage of the package, which aims to expand the social safety net and combat climate change, was delayed by an eight-hour speech Thursday night by Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader.

The House reconvened at 8 a.m. and the vote was finally held.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said the act “will be the pillar of health and financial security in America.” Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, called the legislation “Build Back Broke” and argued it would worsen inflation, add billions to the national debt and increase taxes on the middle class,” according to The New York Times.

The bill, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, would pay for universal free kindergarten, curb prescription drug prices, establish a requirement for four weeks of paid family leave and increase deductions for state and local taxes, according to the Associated Press, among other things, according to the Associated Press.

Rittenhouse cleared of all charges

DEMONSTRATORS supporting Kyle Rittenhouse  (Wikipedia).

Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager on trial for shooting three people – two of them fatally – at a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August 2020, was acquitted of all charges by the jury on Friday.

According to United Press International, Rittenhouse had faced charges of first degree reckless homicide, first degree intentional homicide and attempted first degree intentional homicide.

Rittenhouse, who had brought an AR-15-style assault rifle to the protest, said he was acting in self-defense. The prosecution argued that he had created the situation that led to the incident by bringing the weapon to the scene.

Sports: Bruins vs. Trojans. Do you care?

The annual UCLA-USC football clash is scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Coliseum.  This used to be the game that not only excited football fans all across Southern California, but which was also the contest that often determined who would be the Pac-8 or 10 or 12 champions.

This year, the Bruins are 6-4 and in third place in the Pac-12 South. The Trojans are 4-5 and in fourth.  The fellas from Westwood are favored by three.

Weather: Cool one day, hot the next

Mother Nature will give us all some whiplash – weather-wise – in the next two days in the West Orange County area. The forecast for Saturday is 68 (56 overnight) under mostly cloudy skies. But on Sunday, the thermometer is expected to jump to 86 (57) with sun all day.  In coastal Huntington Beach, the forecast is a high of 66 on Saturday, rising to 86 on Sunday.

Stocks: Dow down for third day

WALL STREET was bullish on Friday (Shutterstock).

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday declined for the third consecutive day. It dropped 268.97 points (0.75 percent) to 35,601.98.

Also posting a retreat was the S&P 500, which fell 6.58 points (0.14 percent) to 4,697.96. Nasdaq showed an increase of 63.73 points (0.40 percent) to 16,057.44.

Concern about the resurgence of COVID-19 in Europe is said to be a source of fear on Wall Street, according to some analysts.

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