Knox Democrats Thu, 22 Jul 2021 01:17:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Knox Democrats 32 32 Biden says getting vaccinated “is extremely important” – The Denver Post Thu, 22 Jul 2021 00:59:03 +0000

CINCINNATI, Ohio – President Joe Biden on Wednesday expressed his acute frustration at the slowing COVID-19 vaccination rate in the United States and pleaded that it was “extremely important” for Americans to step up and get vaccinated against the virus when it reappears.

Biden, speaking at a televised town hall in Cincinnati, said the public health crisis had largely turned into a plight of the unvaccinated, as the spread of the delta variant led to an increase in infections across the country.

“We have a pandemic for those who haven’t been vaccinated – it’s that basic, that simple,” he told CNN mayor.

The president also expressed optimism that children under 12 will be approved for vaccination in the coming months. But he displayed his exasperation that so many eligible Americans are still reluctant to get the vaccine.

“If you are vaccinated you are not going to be hospitalized, you will not be in the IC unit and you are not going to die,” Biden said at the Mount St. Joseph University forum. “So it’s extremely important that… we all act like Americans who care about our fellow Americans.”

Hospitalizations and deaths in the United States affect almost all the unvaccinated. But COVID-19 cases have nearly tripled in the United States in two weeks amid a wave of vaccine misinformation that is straining hospitals, exhausting doctors and pushing clergy into the fray.

In the United States, the seven-day moving average for new daily cases has risen over the past two weeks to more than 37,000 on Tuesday, from less than 13,700 on July 6, according to data from Johns Hopkins University . Health officials blame the delta variant and slowing vaccination rates. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 56.2% of Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The president noted that the hike has become so worrisome that even his critics oppose misinformation about vaccines.

Biden made an indirect reference to prominent conservative figures at Fox News who have “had an altar call” and are now speaking more openly to their skeptical guests about the benefits of getting the shot. Sean Hannity recently told viewers, “I believe in the science of vaccination” and urged them to take the disease seriously. Steve Doocy, who co-hosts “Fox & Friends,” told viewers this week that the vaccination “will save your life.”

Biden, who visited Ohio as he tried to build support for his economic agenda, visited a union training center ahead of town hall.

The trip comes as the fate of its infrastructure proposal remains uncertain after Senate Republicans rejected a $ 1 trillion plan in a key test vote on Wednesday. A bipartisan group of 22 senators said in a joint statement after the vote that they were close to reaching a deal and called for a postponement until Monday.

Biden expressed his confidence in the outcome, saying, “It’s a good thing and I think we’ll get there.”

As lawmakers wrestle over the details of this proposal on Capitol Hill, Biden argued that his nearly $ 4 trillion package was needed to rebuild the middle class and support the economic growth the country has experienced over the years. first six months of his presidency.

First, Biden visited the IBEW / NECA Electrical Training Center located west of Cincinnati. He had the opportunity to closely observe interns doing five-year apprenticeships to learn the ins and outs of the kind of skilled, well-paying union jobs he says will be in more demand if his plan comes to fruition.

“There’s a reason union workers are the best trained,” Biden said, as he met apprentices on five-year training programs.

It was his third trip to the state – one he lost by around 8 points in 2020, but one that remains critical to the Democratic Party’s political future and a key test of whether Biden’s economic proposals have the broad appeal the White House is hoping for.

With presidential visits to cities in Ohio, Columbus, Cleveland and now Cincinnati, the White House is betting that Biden’s policies are popular with independent voters and that the electorate will reward a president and a party trying to resolve their issues. problems.

The state faces a rocky Senate election next year with the retirement of Republican Rob Portman, who helped negotiate the infrastructure plan that now faces an uncertain future in the equally divided Senate.

The president’s visit took him to the dangerously obsolete Brent Spence Bridge, a bottleneck for trucks and emergency vehicles between Ohio and Kentucky that the two former presidents unsuccessfully vowed to replace.

Biden made a passing reference to the structure, telling town hall attendees it was time to “fix that damn bridge.”

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Republicans drop Capitol Riots investigation after Pelosi rejects Jordan and Banks Thu, 22 Jul 2021 00:09:00 +0000

WASHINGTON, July 21 (Reuters) – The leading Republican in the United States House of Representatives on Wednesday withdrew his five candidates to sit on the special committee to investigate the deadly Jan.6 attack on the Capitol after the president House Democrat Nancy Pelosi rejected two.

Pelosi previously refused Reps Jim Jordan and Jim Banks, staunch supporters of former President Donald Trump, to sit on the panel investigating Trump supporters who assaulted Congress in an attempt to prevent him from certifying the election of the President. President Joe Biden.

The violence followed a fiery speech in which Trump repeated his false claims that his defeat was the result of widespread fraud and urged his supporters to “fight” the election result.

“Out of respect for the integrity of the investigation, insisting on the truth and worrying about the statements made and actions taken by these members, I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the select committee,” said Pelosi said in a statement. . “The unprecedented nature of January 6 demands this unprecedented decision.”

Pelosi created the 13-member panel after Congressional Republicans dismissed a bipartisan panel to investigate the violence, which saw hundreds of Trump supporters storm the building, assault police, smash windows and send lawmakers and then-vice president Mike Pence scrambling for safety.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a press conference with mothers assisted by child tax credit payments at the United States Capitol in Washington, United States, on July 20, 2021. REUTERS / Elizabeth Frantz

“The Republicans will not participate in their sham process and will instead continue our own fact-finding,” Minority Parliamentary Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement withdrawing his candidates.

Pelosi had previously named a Republican, Liz Cheney, to the panel. Pelosi had said she would accept McCarthy’s other three candidates – Reps Rodney Davis, Kelly Armstrong and Troy Nehls – and asked her to choose two new members.

Cheney, who was stripped of her leadership position among House Republicans for rejecting Trump’s false claims, told reporters she would remain on the committee and agreed with Pelosi’s decision.

“I am absolutely convinced that we will have a non-partisan investigation,” she told reporters.

Jordan is a staunch supporter of Trump who has been one of his main supporters in his two impeachment trials, the latter of which was accused of inciting the Capitol riot. The then Republican-controlled Senate acquitted Trump every time.

Four people died on the day of the violence, one shot dead by police and the other three of natural causes. A Capitol police officer who had been attacked by protesters died the next day. Two police officers who responded to the assault on the Capitol then committed suicide. More than a hundred police officers were injured.

Reporting by Jan Wolfe and David Morgan; Editing by Scott Malone, Susan Heavey and Aurora Ellis

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Democratic New York mayoral candidate Eric Adams wants to fight gun violence Thu, 22 Jul 2021 00:06:00 +0000

Democratic New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams told CNBC that dealing with rising gun violence in the United States means tackling the handgun crisis in the country.

“We have ignored the handgun crisis that primarily affects black, brown and poor communities,” said the Brooklyn Borough President. “We tackled the assault weapons, but we didn’t deal with the handguns. It was a big mistake. Let’s stop the flow.”

In order to stop the handgun movement, Adams told “The News with Shepard Smith” that law enforcement agencies must cooperate at the federal, state and municipal levels to share information and focus on traffickers. guns and illegal gangs.

Adams took his own advice on Monday and met with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to denounce gun violence amid increasing shootings across New York City. Lawmakers unveiled a bipartisan bill to tackle the illegal transfer of firearms across state lines.

There have been 803 shootings in New York City this year, and they are up 28.9% citywide from 2020, according to the latest NYPD data.

Adams told host Shepard Smith that if he becomes mayor on day one he will focus on the communities that have normalized lawlessness and work to improve the quality of life for residents.

“We’re going to use precision policing, focus on these gang members and really partner with our local district attorneys, so that we can stop seeing this revolving door criminal justice system, where people commit crimes with guns and they’re out the next day, it’s just unacceptable and it’s really damaging the quality of life in our city, ”Adams said.

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Harris to meet with DACA recipients after Federal Court ruling Wed, 21 Jul 2021 21:17:13 +0000

United States District Court Judge Andrew Hanen on Friday ruled that the Department of Homeland Security could no longer approve new DACA applicants, but could continue to process DACA renewals as the matter continued to shift. in court.

The move was the latest blow to the program, which granted work permits and deportation protection to more than 600,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. For months, DACA recipients, immigrant advocates and lawyers have been bracing for Hanen to speak out against the program, urging Congress to act quickly with immigration reform.

The court ruling, the senior official said, “only made the matter more important.”

Democrats plan to include immigration measures – such as a citizenship pathway for dreamers, beneficiaries of temporary protection status, and essential workers, like farm laborers – in the next bill. in spending of $ 3.5 trillion. With bipartisan talks on Capitol Hill stalled, the reconciliation package may be the only opportunity Biden has to secure a path to citizenship without GOP support. However, it is unclear whether the measures will survive Senate budgetary rules that would allow it to be part of the final package.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department plans to appeal the Texas federal judge’s ruling, and the Department of Homeland Security will release a proposed rule designed to protect DACA “in the near future,” Biden said in a statement. declaration Saturday. He added, however, that only “Congress can guarantee a permanent solution” by offering dreamers a path to citizenship.

“They are exploring all kinds of options,” the official said. “But, to be very clear, they know that the way to achieve certainty is their shared belief that Congress must create a legal path to citizenship.”

Last month, Harris met a group of immigrant women, including beneficiaries of DACA and temporary protection status and green card holders, on the occasion of the ninth anniversary of the creation of the DACA program. In May, Biden meet with a group of six DACA recipients to highlight immigration reform as one of his administration’s top priorities.

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Leading Democrats oppose Biden plan to end home arrest after pandemic Wed, 21 Jul 2021 02:25:02 +0000
  • Since March 2020, more than 28,000 people have been released from federal prison due to COVID-19.
  • Those released have been assessed as facing serious health risks if they contract the coronavirus.
  • Those released are currently due to return to prison one month after the pandemic officially ended.

Two leading Senate Democrats are urging the White House to reconsider a legal opinion that could potentially return thousands to federal prison.

The problem is a pandemic-era policy, approved by Congress, that allowed the federal government to release inmates who were considered to have particularly serious health conditions that put them at increased risk of the spread of COVID-19 behind. bars. These prisoners – 28,587 since March 2020 – have been allowed to serve the remainder of their sentences under house arrest.

On Monday, the New York Times reported that the Biden administration had concluded, like its predecessor, that the power to transfer prisoners to house arrest would expire once the federal government lifts the state of emergency declared due to the pandemic.

There are currently 7,225 federal inmates in house arrest, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

Senator Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Tuesday there was no reason to send these people back to jail.

Since their release, those who are now confined to their homes “pose no threat and are already reintegrating into society, reconnecting with their families and contributing to our economy,” he said in a statement.

Durbin urged the administration to reconsider its legal analysis or use other tools, “like compassionate release and leniency,” to ensure no one is returned to prison.

New Jersey Democrat Senator Cory Booker and leading upper house advocate for criminal justice reform, said he was “deeply troubled” by the Biden administration’s interpretation of the law.

“The advice from the Trump-era legal counsel’s office that will require incarcerated people to return to prison after the public health emergency is over serves no public health purpose,” he said in a statement , “and only works to unnecessarily incarcerate people who have successfully re-entered society.”

In April, Durbin and Booker sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland claiming that Congress never intended to lift the house arrest. They say they have not received an answer.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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]]> 0 Texas House Republican Introduces Bill Calling For Forensic Audit Of 2020 Election Wed, 21 Jul 2021 01:30:00 +0000

A Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives introduced a bill on Monday calling for a forensic election audit of the state’s largest counties.

The Texas Voter Confidence Act, introduced by GOP Representative Steve Toth, allows the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Speaker of the House – all of whom are currently Republicans – to select an independent third party to conduct the election audit. The review would focus on the votes cast in Texas’ 13 counties with a population of over 415,000.

Former President Donald Trump won Texas in the 2020 election, however, President Joe Biden won in areas such as Houston, Austin, and San Antonio – the state’s largest metropolitan areas.

“We need a forensic audit to uncover all the electoral fraud,” Toth said Monday in an article on Woodlandsonline, a community website. “Texans want to know more about allegations of voter fraud and deserve to be confident in their election … Voters want to know that their legal vote counts and counts.”

The move comes as the Democratic House delegation from Texas fled the state en masse to Washington, DC, to deny Republicans a quorum to pass voting restrictions. It also comes as GOP-led states have introduced or passed dozens of election-related bills in the wake of Trump’s repeated baseless claims that the election was stolen. In states like Arizona, where Biden won the presidential race, Republicans are also conducting an expensive and controversial ballot audit in the state’s largest county.

The act presented by Toth would take effect immediately if it received a two-thirds vote of all elected members in each chamber of the Texas Legislature. If passed but did not meet this range, it would take effect on the 91st day after the last day of the legislative session.

Representative Chris Turner, who chairs the Texas House Democratic Caucus, told the Dallas Morning News on Tuesday that the legislation appears to be based on “the lie that there is widespread voter fraud and that Donald Trump actually won the election.” Turner said the bill’s parameters appeared to include Democratic and Republican strongholds in the states as well.

“I don’t know if these people are aware, Trump actually transported Texas,” Turner said. “So I’m not sure what they’re trying to find in their audit. “

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At six months, Biden summons Cabinet but roadblocks loom Tue, 20 Jul 2021 21:31:42 +0000

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden marked six months in office Tuesday with a crowded Cabinet meeting, a rally meant to symbolize both a return to normalcy thanks to vaccines and a demonstration of the federal government doing people’s business .

But the moment has been clouded by the uncertain fate of a key Biden legislative priority, the bipartisan infrastructure plan., and a virus that has started to spread again.

Biden crammed 25 Cabinet-level officials, along with 18 other senior officials, into the ornate West Wing space to hear the president tout his administration’s actions after taking office during a unique pandemic in his country. kind.

“At the end of the day, we keep our promises,” Biden said. “We have to keep all the promises we made because I think we are in a situation where the vast majority of the public agrees with the essence of what we are trying to do.”

Cabinet members were crowded around a table for their first full meeting in the Cabinet Room, with a group of reporters huddled shoulder to shoulder at the start to chronicle the event.

The White House held a rehearsal of the meeting several weeks ago to ensure all Cabinet officials could sit around the table and be seen in photos.

“Time flies when we’re having fun,” joked White House press secretary Jen Psaki during her briefing, previewing the six-month meeting.

Biden was flanked by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Vice President Kamala Harris sat across from the table as some of the president’s most influential aides, including National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Home Policy Advisor Susan Rice, lined the walls.

The scene was very different from Biden’s first Cabinet meeting, held in March, which took place in the more spacious East Room to allow for social distancing. All participants that day, including the president, wore masks. There were none in sight on Tuesday.

The meeting did not receive exaggerated praise from the chief executive who defined the cabinet meetings of former President Donald Trump. But Biden took the opportunity to push for his two-pronged legislative plan, saying it was essential to reignite “an economic boom for some time to come.”

“The American people overwhelmingly support our plan,” the president said. “This is the part that many of our friends on the other team miss.”

While Biden is benefiting from largely positive public polls, there are clouds on the horizon.

As he summoned his cabinet, the three main aides who negotiated the bipartisan $ 1,000 billion infrastructure deal were not there, having rushed to Capitol Hill to try to salvage a deal that seemed to be on the line. point of collapsing.

Biden’s March meeting came just days after he enacted a $ 1.9 trillion COVID relief law and since then he has invested his legislative energy in the infrastructure package despite calls from some members of his own party to focus on issues such as voting rights and immigration.

And while the pandemic has receded since March, the country’s vaccination effort has stalled and a new, more contagious strain of COVID-19, the delta variant, has increased infections across the country.. It has a big impact on the unvaccinated – although the White House said Tuesday that some vaccinated staff have tested positive – and its spread has prompted several major cities to reinstate mask warrants.

The White House, so far, has not followed suit.


Lemire reported from New York. Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report.

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Harris meets King and Crown Prince of Jordan for working breakfast Tue, 20 Jul 2021 18:51:00 +0000

Vice President Kamala Harris welcomed King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein and Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah of Jordan to his residence on Tuesday for a working breakfast.

The 59-year-old King and his 27-year-old heir were greeted by Harris upon their arrival at the Naval Observatory early Tuesday for their second big Biden administration meeting of the trip.

After their breakfast, the two royals met with Secretary of State Tony Blinken.

On Monday, King Abdullah was greeted at the White House by President Biden, who was to make Iran a priority, from the return of the nuclear deal to Tehran’s funding of militias attacking US troops in Iraq and Syria.

“Many of us, leaders in our part of the world, will do the heavy lifting, which we must do on behalf of the United States, but you can always count on me, my country and many of our colleagues in the region. , ”The King of Jordan told the US Commander-in-Chief of the Oval Office.

For his part, Biden said Abdullah and Jordan had been a “loyal and decent good friend” living in a “difficult neighborhood”, referring to the Middle East.

Abdullah has challenged a number of recent US policies in the region. His relationship with President Donald Trump deteriorated in 2017, when Trump chose to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

US President Joe Biden meets with King Abdullah II of Jordan and Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, United States
President Biden met Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II in the Oval Office.

Biden said that although he opposed the move at the time, he had no plans to reverse the decision. In fact, he pledged to build on the work of his predecessor, repeatedly praising the diplomatic achievements that brought the three countries together.

In addition, the Jordanian leader has opposed the Trump administration’s Abraham Accords, the deal normalizing relations between Israel and two Gulf countries, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Abdullah has long complained that he felt the Palestinians were left off the negotiating table when the deal was struck.

A senior administration official said ahead of the meeting that the president planned to tell Abdullah privately that the agreements are not a “race stop” to reaching a peace deal that includes a Palestinian state.

For Harris, she and Abdullah had spoken before Tuesday.

Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah arrives with his father King of Jordan Abdullah II at the Vice President's official residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington on Tuesday July 20, 2021. King Abdullah meets with Vice President Kamala Harris for a working breakfast.
Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah went with his father to meet with US officials.

The vice president telephoned Abdullah in late May to discuss US efforts to support a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Harris said at the time that she informed him of “our intensive diplomatic efforts to support the path to a ceasefire in Gaza.”

Last week, a Jordanian state security court sentenced two former officials to 15 years in prison for an alleged conspiracy against the king discovered earlier this year and involving Abdullah’s half-brother.

With post wires

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Pelosi’s assistant, official White House test positive for Covid-19 after contact with Texas Democrats Tue, 20 Jul 2021 17:24:18 +0000

“The entire press office is working remotely today, with the exception of people who have not been exposed to the person or have recently tested negative,” Chief of Staff Drew Hammill said Tuesday. Pelosi’s deputy, in a statement. “Our office will continue to closely follow the guidelines of the Attending Physician’s Office. “

Psaki confirmed at Tuesday’s press conference that a fully vaccinated White House official tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday, saying the official “is currently staying off campus pending a confirmatory PCR test.” She said the White House medical unit carried out contact tracing and interviews, finding no close contact between directors, staff or White House President Joe Biden.

Psaki said this was not the first revolutionary case in the White House. There have been other cases of vaccinated employees testing positive, Psaki said, although they were not commissioned officers and therefore were not reported by the administration.

“We are committed to publishing information proactively if they are commissioned officers,” she said, adding that “we continue to honor this commitment.” Commissioned officers hold a high-level position where they work for the president, rather than working for another White House official.

When asked later in the briefing whether the person newly positive at Covid is a commissioned officer, Psaki replied no. If this was a commissioned officer, Psaki said the White House would have “proactively” released information about their positive test. As it stands, Axios reported the positive case before the White House issued a public statement on the revolutionary infection.

When asked if the administration is concerned that these groundbreaking cases may cause more hesitation among Americans, Psaki said she has not seen data indicating this trend. She also reiterated White House testing protocols and pointed out that those who come into contact with Biden more regularly are also tested more regularly.

“We know there will be breakthrough cases, but as this example shows, cases in people vaccinated are usually mild,” she said. “The White House is prepared for groundbreaking cases with regular testing. This is another reminder of the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines against serious illness or hospitalizations, and of course we wish our colleague a speedy recovery. “

These mild breakthrough infections signify a new phase in the pandemic in the United States – new cases and deaths are much lower than they were during the virus’s winter peak, but cases are on the rise. The situation is particularly bad in areas with low vaccination rates, and CDC director Rochelle Walensky has said it is “becoming an unvaccinated pandemic.”

Walensky also said on Tuesday that the Delta variant accounted for more than 83% of Covid-19 cases in the United States. The highly transmissible variant is stoking fear in some Americans, leading to a resumption of the virus as many hoped the vaccine rollout would bring a return to normality and an end to the pandemic.

In Congress, Tuesday also brought news about the contagious variant of Covid-19. Attending physician Brian Monahan said in a letter that several vaccinated congressional staff and a congressman witnessed revolutionary infections.

Amid widespread questions about whether Congress will change its masking policy, Monahan has not made any changes to the requirements. He wrote in the letter that individuals have personal discretion over mask wearing, but noted that “future developments in the local threat from the Delta coronavirus variant may require the resumption of mask wear for all. , as seen now in several counties in the United States. States. ”

The increase in the Delta variant could also cause a change in sentiment about vaccines for those who were previously hesitant to get hold of them. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), For example, received his first dose of Pfizer on Sunday after resisting because he had tested positive for antibodies.

And on Monday, Fox News host Sean Hannity told his conservative viewers he believed in the vaccine.

“Enough people have died,” said Hannity, who was openly skeptical of the severity of the virus. “We don’t need more deaths. He told viewers to consult their doctors and their research before making “a very important decision for your own safety,” a noticeable change in tone for the conservative network.

About 60% of Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, but vaccination rates have lagged as low-rate states are particularly hard hit by the pandemic. Although groundbreaking cases in people who have been vaccinated can lead to serious illness and even death, this is a much less common outcome than in unvaccinated Americans.

Psaki said the positive cases from Texas lawmakers would have no effect on meetings with the president, as no meeting was scheduled between the group and Biden.

These important positive tests come as the breakthrough cases of Covid-19 are increasingly discussed, with the Delta variant spreading and the White House striving to vaccinate as many Americans as possible against the virus.

That same week, Representative Vern Buchanan announced that he had tested positive after being fully vaccinated, showing mild symptoms. Although revolutionary infections are to be expected, since no vaccine is completely effective against the transmission of the virus, they tend to be milder than unvaccinated infections and are much less likely to cause hospitalizations.

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Why Republicans Don’t Really Need “More Time” on Infrastructure Tue, 20 Jul 2021 14:37:25 +0000

A few weeks ago, the public first heard of a video in which Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tex) spoke to his allies about his party’s legislative perspective. The Texas Republican said it was the “job” of GOP lawmakers to slow the Democratic majority’s agenda – on infrastructure, among other things – until next year’s midterm elections.

Roy added that Republicans would benefit from “another 18 months of chaos and the inability to get things done.”

The quote continued to come to mind yesterday, as Senate Republicans, having already agreed to a bipartisan framework on an immigration deal, said they did not want to move forward with a procedural vote tomorrow. On the contrary, as the Washington post reported, GOP senators want to slow things down and take more time.

With the package still evolving, the deadline greatly troubled Republicans, some of whom blasted Democrats for rushing already fragile negotiations. “Unless Senator Schumer doesn’t want that to happen, you need a little more time to get it right,” said Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.) In an interview on Fox News Sunday.

Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) added yesterday that she, too, was concerned that Democratic leaders are trying to rush the process.

For those on schedule, President Joe Biden has started bipartisan infrastructure negotiations in February. It’s also been four weeks since the White House and a bipartisan group of lawmakers shook hands and came to an agreement on how best to proceed.

With that in mind, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) has scheduled a procedural vote for tomorrow – not on the final passage of a competing bill, but to get the debate going. to the next step.

The New York Democrat explained this yesterday, saying he would use “a shell bill” as the final proposal takes shape, which will allow members to move the process forward.

He said Wednesday’s motion would allow him to move quickly to swap the official bill on which the group of five Democratic senators and five Republican senators are working as “the replacement First Amendment” on Thursday. If not done by then, “I will propose an amendment that will only include those elements of the bill that have been considered in committee with substantial bipartisan support,” he said.

Late yesterday, Senate Republicans were nonetheless insisting they were prepared to derail tomorrow’s vote. The measure will need 60 votes to move forward, and a GOP leader said there was “no chance” that 10 Republican senators would be ready to follow the Democrats’ timetable.

Around the same time, the President made brief remarks on the economy and said: “[W]We need to be united on one thing: the adoption of the Bipartite Infrastructure Framework, which we shook hands with. We shook his hand. “

The implication of Biden’s comments was that he expects Republicans to honor their commitments to the bipartisan agreement. It now seems unlikely.

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