I’ll start with this little clip:
I’ll start with this little clip:
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota warned Sunday that conservative Democrats’ ongoing effort to impose additional restrictions on eligibility for the new round of $1,400 direct payments risks shedding progressive support for a final coronavirus relief package—votes that the party, clinging to narrow majorities in the House and Senate, can’t afford to lose.
“Cutting the income cap will poison this bill,” tweeted Omar (D-Minn.), the whip for the nearly 100-member Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC). “It already lacks Republicans support and will lose progressive support. Democrats with a slim majority in the Congress can’t pass this bill without progressives and must resist suggestions that will ultimately tank this relief bill.”
“Cutting the income cap will poison this bill. It already lacks Republicans support and will lose progressive support.”
—Rep. Ilhan OmarOmar was referring to ongoing talks among Senate Democrats over whether to lower the annual income cutoff for the new round of relief checks with the stated goal of ensuring the payments are more closely “targeted” to those in need. According to the Washington Post, top Democrats are currently weighing a plan under which only individuals earning $50,000 a year or less, heads of household earning $75,000 or less, and married couples earning a combined $100,000 or less would be eligible for full $1,400 payments.
A growing chorus of progressive lawmakers is strongly pushing back against that proposed eligibility framework, which could leave millions of struggling middle-class people with smaller checks or no payments at all.
“There are some Dems who want to lower the income eligibility for direct payments from $75,000 to $50,000 for individuals, and $150,000 to $100,000 for couples. In other words, working-class people who got checks from Trump would not get them from Biden. Brilliant!” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)—who along with Omar and others has been pushing for recurring relief payments for nearly a year—tweeted sardonically on Saturday night.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), a CPC member, echoed the Vermont senator. “It would be outrageous if we ran on giving more relief and ended up doing the opposite,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “It’s sad that this is even an argument in the Dem party. Covid relief is disaster relief, and it’s urgent.”
To pass a coronavirus relief package through the reconciliation process without Republican support, the Senate Democratic caucus cannot afford a single defection. House Democrats, meanwhile, hold just a 10-seat majority, meaning that even a relatively small exodus of CPC members could imperil the coronavirus relief package—a state of affairs that potentially gives the chamber’s progressive contingent significant leverage over the ongoing negotiations.
NBC News reported late last week that the eligibility framework remains a “live ball,” with conservative and progressive members of the Democratic caucus publicly and privately battling over who should receive the new round of payments. President Joe Biden has said he is open to lowering the income cutoff for the checks, and discussed the possibility of narrowing eligibility with Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) at the White House last week.
Progressive activists and commentators have argued that in addition to being morally unjustifiable amid such a far-reaching economic collapse, limiting eligibility for the $1,400 payments would be politically “suicidal” and represent yet another retreat from the original campaign-trail promise of $2,000 relief checks that helped Democrats take control of the Senate.
“Let’s be really, really clear. Doing this will cost Democrats control of the Congress in 2022 and the White House in 2024,” Robert Cruickshank, campaign director at advocacy group Demand Progress, said last week. “There is nobody out there in America aside from a few wonks who want to limit these checks. It is a colossally bad idea.”
More news, tweets, videos in the comments section.
I heard somewhere there’s a final football game this season. Oh yeah. The Super Bowl.
— Stephanie (@stephanieck72) February 7, 2021
As the game doesn’t come on until 6:30 ET, there’s other news this Sunday.
It cannot be overstated how powerful it will be if Amazon workers in Alabama vote to form a union. They are taking on powerful anti-union forces in a strong anti-union state, but their victory will benefit every worker in America. I’m proud to stand with them. https://t.co/3JtUeAzJOY
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 7, 2021
More news, videos, tweets, etc in the comments.
The Senate approved a budget bill early Friday that paves the way for passage of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, with Vice President Harris casting the tiebreaking vote on the measure that will be key to enacting Biden’s first major legislative initiative.
Passage of the budget bill by a 51-to-50 vote came just after 5:30 a.m. Friday, after an all-night Senate session during which senators plowed through dozens of amendments in a chaotic process known as a “vote-a-rama.” Democrats cheered on progress to address the pandemic, while Republicans complained of partisanship and excessive spending.
The House, which approved its own budget bill on Wednesday, is expected to act on on the Senate’s version within a day.
With the budget resolution nearly complete, Congress can turn in earnest to writing Biden’s expansive pandemic relief proposal into law — and push it through the Senate, without Republican votes if necessary, under the special rules unlocked by the budget legislation. That process will take weeks, with Democrats eyeing mid-March as the deadline for final passage of the relief legislation because that is when enhanced unemployment benefits will expire if Congress doesn’t act first.
“With the passage of this resolution we have the opportunity not only to address the pandemic, to address the economic collapse, to address the reality that millions of kids have seen their education disrupted,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). “We have the opportunity to give hope to the American people and restore faith in our government to fight for them.”
Despite Biden’s campaign promises of unity and bipartisanship, now that Democrats control both chambers of Congress and the White House they appeared ready to leave Republicans behind. Republican senators accused Democrats of hypocrisy and argued that, after already devoting $4 trillion to fighting the pandemic, including $900 billion in December, there was no need to spend another $2 trillion on what they termed a wish-list of liberal priorities.
“This is not the time for trillions more dollars to make perpetual lockdowns and economic decline a little more palatable,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “Notwithstanding the actual needs, notwithstanding all the talk about bipartisan unity, Democrats in Congress are plowing ahead. They’re using this phony budget to set the table to ram through their $1.9 trillion rough draft.”
The House passed the budget legislation on Wednesday, with all Republicans opposed.
The agenda of the budget resolution passed today is not the agenda of wealthy campaign contributors. It is not the agenda of the billionaire class. It is the agenda of the working people of America and with its passage we are closer to restoring their faith in our government.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 5, 2021
More news, videos, etc in the comments section. TGIF!
Team Biden is rolling out a broad plan regarding COVID:
The “National Strategy for the Covid-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness,” previewed in a 21-page summary on Wednesday evening by Mr. Biden’s advisers, outlines the kind of muscular and highly coordinated federal response that Democrats have long demanded and President Donald J. Trump refused. Instead, Mr. Trump insisted that state governments take the lead.
Biden's use of the Defense Production Act today is for vaccine supplies but seemingly not vaccines or vaccine ingredients. Some of that was already done under Trump but it means no real bump in actual vaccine production, unless another vaccine is approved.
— David Dayen (@ddayen) January 21, 2021
Important to have vessels but no more production of the vaccine?
Now we really are back to brunch. Check out the Senate Calendar here. Days marked with a Square around them are days the senators are not in session.
More news, tweets, videos in the comments. Sure Happy It’s Thursday!
I’m starting a new thread as a symbol of moving forward.
Bernie is America’s grandpa. He is so proud of everyone right now. pic.twitter.com/4Uw1aVNBQn
— melissa “cancel student debt” byrne (@mcbyrne) January 20, 2021
— Jane O'Meara Sanders (@janeosanders) January 20, 2021
and we welcome new senators:
Warnock, Padilla, and Ossoff pic.twitter.com/AzEixt3ZM3
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 20, 2021
More news,tweets, videos, etc in the comments.
(image courtesy via TOP)
Vast numbers of Americans have, at the most intimate level, suffered far more than I during these bastard-years: people who have been separated from parents or siblings or children or spouses or lovers by ICE agents and by capricious executive orders designed to lock down this country against immigrants. Individuals who have had online—and, more recently, in-person—goons unleashed against them by the president. Civil servants whose careers have been destroyed for speaking truth to power. Workers whose rights have been trampled. Members of the LGBTQ+ community who have had their legal protections undermined. Victims of hurricanes and forest fires who have seen federal emergency assistance turned into a political football. Pandemic victims ignored by a president who seemed to think he could make Covid-19 vanish simply by refusing to speak to the nation with urgency, compassion, or scientific understanding about this horrific disease.
These last years have been a collective stress test. How do we cope with unyielding irrationality and unrelenting cruelty doled out from on high? How do we navigate a landscape poisoned by Twitter trolls and mobs? How do we deal with the streams of undiluted venom, death threats, and other nonsense the Trumpists have showered on those with whom they disagree politically? How do we provide context for such a vertiginous slide from rationality and toward cultism?
At noon on January 20, Trump will become a private citizen again. Perhaps the viciousness of his presidency will fade and the sense of omnipresent chaos will dissipate. Perhaps, in the months and years ahead, America’s shredded moral fabric will be repaired. Perhaps social media really will continue to mute Trump, leaving him no choice but to crawl back under the rock from which he emerged. Perhaps the systems Trump tried so hard to break really will have the last laugh, outlasting a president and his inner circle who expressed nothing but contempt for the idea of rational, knowledge-based leadership.
Perhaps… but don’t expect any grace or decency or humility from Trump. In retirement, the ex-president will likely be at least as obnoxious as he has been in office. He will continue to love the sound of his own voice and will likely continue to rile up his mob. It will take a long time for us to heal from Trump’s dismal presidency. But his ignominious departure from Washington, following his drubbing at the hands of voters and the collapse of his attempt to orchestrate a judicial and then a mob-fomented coup, is at least a start.
Trump has already left town.
Update: After trying for 3 decades, Joe Biden is #46. For our democracy, “Rise”.
More news, tweets, videos, etc in the comments. We’ll see you there!
We’ll start with Stephen Colbert’s interview with Bernie Sanders last night on The Late Show. There are 2-3 segments, in which Bernie got about 20 minutes altogether. Among the topics: the experience of the riot in the Capitol building, Biden’s America Rescue being introduced, and how to reach Trumpers.
Here’s the first one. Bernie’s introduced at the 2:30 mark.
Second segment, in which at the 7:00 mark, they discuss America Resue:
And the last one:
More tweets, news, videos in the comments. TGIF – we’ll have a happy hour later if there is interest.