Raw Senate debate on voting bill unlikely to end filibuster
Despite his late push, Biden has been unable to persuade two holdout Democrats, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, to change Senate rules so the party can overpower a Republican filibuster that is blocking the voting bill. In piercing speeches, the debate is carrying echoes of an earlier era when the Senate filibuster was deployed by opponents of civil rights legislation. Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois asked Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell if he would pause for a question, but the Republican leader left the chamber refusing to respond. Once reluctant himself to change Senate rules, Biden has stepped up his pressure on senators to do just that. The political group Emily’s List said it won’t endorse Sinema if she cannot support a path forward for the voting bill.wftv.com
Mental health clinics angle for a spot in Biden budget bill
Community behavioral health clinics offer 24/7 services to catch people falling into crisis and pull them back. The program's official name is “Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics,” or CCBHCs in government-speak. “We are finally putting in place quality, comprehensive services for mental health and addiction that will be funded the same as physical health services,” said Stabenow. The lives of people with serious mental health problems and addiction lurch from crisis to crisis and don't align with doctors' office hours. “And it’s those social factors that often impact people with mental health problems.”BestSelf client Ron Sibley suffers from chronic serious mental illness.wftv.com
Biden goes in for cherries on campaign-style Michigan trip
They skipped the festival, however, in favor of a cherry farm in nearby Antrim County, where Biden pitched his immigration plans when chatting with two couples from Guatemala who were picking fruit. But the president was out for direct contact with voters and refrained from delivering remarks about his policy proposals. Whitmer told reporters she spoke to Biden about infrastructure, although not about any projects for Michigan specifically. That’s also why I got the president rocky road fudge from Mackinac Island for his trip here," she said. Biden then picked a cherry out of one of their baskets and ate it.wftv.com
Cherries and infrastructure on Biden's plate in Michigan
Biden President Joe Biden is greeted by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in Traverse City, which is hosting the National Cherry Festiva l, an event that attracted Presidents Herbert Hoover and Gerald Ford in the past. Biden’s trip to Michigan is part of a broader campaign by the administration to drum up public support for the infrastructure package and other polices geared toward families and education. The president has said the key to getting his $973 billion deal passed involves taking the case straight to voters. While Republicans and Democrats might squabble in Washington, Biden’s theory is that lawmakers of both parties want to deliver for their constituents.wftv.com
Biden's $1.9T rescue signed, and now things get tougher
Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON – Tough as it was for Democrats, passing President Joe Biden’s sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue package into law was the easy part. Biden’s signing of the American Rescue Plan on Thursday marks a milestone for his administration and for Democrats who have command of the House, Senate and White House for the first time in a decade. If Senate Republicans start blocking the legislation, Democrats are prepared to force them into long days and nights of dramatic floor filibusters, like the movie version in “Mr. The filibuster gives the minority enormous ability to halt action, and Senate Democrats used it plenty of times when they were out of power. Still, Biden's infrastructure package may be one bill that could win over Republican support.
Biden's $1.9T rescue signed, agenda now a slog in Congress
Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON – Tough as it was for Democrats, passing President Joe Biden’s sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue package into law was the easy part. If Senate Republicans start blocking the legislation, Democrats are prepared to force them into long days and nights of dramatic floor filibusters, like the movie version in “Mr. The filibuster gives the minority enormous ability to halt action, and Senate Democrats used it plenty of times when they were out of power. Still, Biden's infrastructure package may be one bill that could win over Republican support. Doubting bipartisanship will emerge, there is growing support among Democratic senators to do away with the filibuster if Republicans use it to block Biden's bills.
'We can do big things,' Schumer says as Senate approves aid
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., leaves the chamber just after the Senate narrowly approved a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Saturday, March 6, 2021. Senate passage sets up final congressional approval by the House next week so lawmakers can send it to President Joe Biden for his signature. Ad“Lessons learned: If we have unity, we can do big things,” Schumer told The Associated Press in an interview after the vote. The outcome “gives us optimism about doing more big things in the future — because it worked,” he said. He and Schumer spoke often as the Senate leader steered the pandemic aid to approval.
Senate passes Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill after "vote-a-rama"
Washington — The Senate approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package Saturday, over 24 hours after opening debate on the bill. The final vote was 50-49, with all Democrats voting in favor of the bill and all Republicans voting against it. Senate Democrats reached a deal to limit the eligibility for who receives direct checks earlier this week. On Friday evening, Senate Democrats reached a deal accepted by Manchin, after he had an extended meeting with Schumer. The Senate version of the bill differs from the House bill in several ways, including the amendments that passed on Friday and Saturday.cbsnews.com
Manchin, key Senate swing vote, boosts West Virginia's hopes
Scott Applewhite, File)CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia has long proclaimed itself “Almost Heaven,” a nod to a song and soaring mountaintop vistas. But Manchin, who grew up in the mountain town of Farmington, has emerged as a key swing vote in a divided Senate. Not since Robert Byrd’s death in 2010 has a senator from West Virginia wielded this much influence. With his centrist instincts in such a red state, Manchin has occasionally been the subject of rumors he'll switch parties. “We're hoping Senator Manchin remembers that he represents some of the poorest people in this country,” Kerner said.
Biden, Yellen say GOP virus aid too small, Democrats push on
From left, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Vice President Kamala Harris, Biden, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen joined the Democratic senators for a private virtual meeting, both declaring the Republicans' $618 billion offer was too small. “President Biden spoke about the need for Congress to respond boldly and quickly,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said after the lunch meeting. The president made it clear that he won’t delay aid in hopes of winning GOP support. Biden proposes $170 billion for schools, compared to $20 billion in the Republican plan.
Democrats to 'act big' on $1.9T aid; GOP wants plan split
In this Jan. 27, 2021, photo, President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. Democrats in the House and Senate are operating as though they know they are borrowed time. Schumer said he drew from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's advice to “act big” to weather the COVID-19 economic crisis. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, a former White House budget director under George W. Bush, wants a deeper accounting of what funds remain from the $900 billion coronavirus aid package from December. “The risks of going too small dramatically outweigh the risks of going too big,” said Gene Sperling, a former director of the White House National Economic Council, who signed the letter.
Key departures signal agriculture shakeup for Capitol Hill
MINNEAPOLIS – The reelection defeat of U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson in Minnesota and some key retirements mean a shakeup is coming for the industry on Capitol Hill, with power likely to shift from the Midwest to the South and the coasts. Both the House and Senate agriculture committees will get new chairs, and there will be a new top Republican on the House panel. Fischbach plans to seek a seat on the Agriculture Committee, but she'll have to draw heavily on her legislative skills to have much of an influence as a freshman in the minority party. Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan is the only one of the top four agriculture committee leaders returning in 2021. Neither Roberts nor Rep. Michael Conaway of Texas, the ranking Republican in the House committee, sought reelection.
Low-key Democrat tries to hang onto Senate seat in Michigan
Peters was the only non-incumbent Democrat to win a Senate election in 2014, when he prevailed easily despite the GOP’s successes nationally and in Michigan. All largely back both Biden and Peters, but a bigger percentage remain undecided in the Senate race, according to some polls. He said he ranks as one of the most bipartisan Senate Democrats and, despite being a freshman in the minority, has written and passed more of his bills than any other senator. Before winning promotion to the Senate, Peters was a congressman, lottery commissioner and state senator and served in the Navy Reserve. Stu Sandler, a consultant for James' campaign, said support for Peters is “soft all around.
House easily passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown
The final agreement gives the administration continued immediate authority to dole out Agriculture Department subsidies in the run-up to Election Day. This is cash flow to mom and pop businesses all over rural America," said Texas Rep. Michael Conaway, top Republican on the House Agriculture Committee. Trump announced a new $13 billion allotment of bailout funding at a political rally in Wisconsin last week. But the financial fix had been passed before, and other Democrats, including endangered House incumbents in states like Iowa and Minnesota, pressed for it. In the past, both Democrats and Republicans have sought to use government funding deadlines and must-past temporary funding bills as leverage to try to win concessions elsewhere on Washington's agenda.
At town hall, Joe Biden blasts President Trump’s ‘criminal’ virus response
Audience members watch from their cars as Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, seen on a monitor, speaks during a CNN town hall in Moosic, Pa., Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. Biden faced a half-dozen questions about the coronavirus and a potential vaccine in the town hall from moderator Anderson Cooper and audience members. The town hall was the first time that Biden had faced live, unscripted questions from voters since winning the nomination. Trump signaled he'd been watching the town hall before he took the stage for a rally in Misonee, Wisconsin, on Thursday night. “They’ve got cars ... it’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.”Trump's ABC town hall was held inside a half-empty auditorium, with attendees socially distanced and wearing masks.
US Sen. Stabenow urges USDA to extend food program waivers
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will not continue to provide food program waivers that have ensured students are fed while schools are closed during the coronavirus pandemic unless Congress acts, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan warned Tuesday. Some children get their only meals at school. Should Congress choose to go in this direction, USDA stands ready to provide technical assistance.The USDA did not return a request for further comment Tuesday. She said she hoped it was not coming from the Trump administrations push to put students back in schools for in-person instruction. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
Negotiators report progress in coronavirus relief talks
But perhaps one half of Senate Republicans, mostly conservatives and those not facing difficult races this fall, are likely to oppose any deal. Prior talks had yielded little progress and Saturday's cautious optimism was a break from gloomy private assessments among GOP negotiators. Whatever unemployment aid negotiators agree on will be made retroactive but antiquated state systems are likely to take weeks to restore the benefits. The food stamp increases, many economists say, provide an immediate injection of demand into the economy in addition to combating growing poverty. Food aid was the first item Pelosi mentioned in a letter to fellow Democrats apprising them of the progress.
GOP tucks $8 billion for military weaponry in virus bill
The Republican measure includes billions for F-35 fighters, Apache helicopters and infantry carriers sought by Washingtons powerful defense lobby. The $8 billion weapons procurement package is part of a $29.4 billion defense portion of the GOP's $1 trillion coronavirus response measure, a White House-backed package released Monday. Providing that money now would help build headroom into the annual defense funding bill that Congress plans to write later this year. The weapons bazaar galled Democrats whose votes will be required to pass the bill amid widespread divisions inside the Senate GOP conference on the measure. It instead delivered informal requests to the powerful lawmakers like Shelby who sit atop the defense funding panel, aides say.
Congress weighs choice: 'Go big' on virus aid or hit 'pause'
Lawmakers are wrestling over whether to go big as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants for the next relief bill or hit pause as McConnell insists. As questions mount over Washington's proper role, it's testing President Donald Trump and Congress. Republican priorities are to wean Americans off unemployment benefits to nudge people back to work and provide liability protections for businesses that reopen. We need to work smart here.The political and economic debate stretches beyond the halls of Congress as wary Americans await Washington's next move. The poll found that about 9 in 10 Americans favored the federal government providing funding to small businesses and hospitals.
GOP rising star John James faces trouble at top of ticket
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)Michigan Senate candidate John James has been called a rising star of the Republican Party so many times its become a cliche. He has caught the attention of big donors and received the enthusiastic, all-caps praise of President Donald Trump on Twitter. He checks all the boxes, so to speak, from a candidate perspective, said former Michigan Republican Party chairman Saul Anuzis. Although Trump narrowly won Michigan four years ago, the mood seems to be turning away from the president and the GOP. In a Fox News poll last month, 44% of Michigan voters had a favorable opinion of Trump, with 52% unfavorable.
Michigan governor reopens factories from May 11, as U.S. jobless ranks grow
Were not out of the woods yet, but this is an important step forward, the governor, a first-term Democrat, said in a statement. The White House itself again became a focal point of the pandemic as a member of the U.S. military who worked there as a, personal valet to President Trump, was found to be infected. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence both have since tested negative, a White House spokesman said. The 17-page document prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was rejected because it gave overly prescriptive guidance, a member of White House coronavirus task force said on Thursday, confirming a report by the Associated Press. The White House official, who declined to be identified, said the task force had asked for revisions to the document, but could not say whether it will ever be issued.feeds.reuters.com
Michigan to reopen construction industry in state on May 7
DETROIT (Reuters) - Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said on Wednesday she will allow the states construction industry to return to work on May 7 as the Midwestern state works to reopen its economy amid the coronavirus outbreak. Ohio on Monday outlined its reopening plan, which included reopening the construction and manufacturing sectors on May 4. She has emphasized a phased approach to reopening the state, addressing regions and businesses that are less affected or better protected. Michigan, which Trump narrowly won in 2016, is considered a crucial swing state in the November presidential election and the states COVID-19 infections rank among the highest in the country. As of Wednesday, Michigan had more than 40,000 COVID-19 cases and 3,670 deaths, and Whitmer said the rate of infection has slowed.feeds.reuters.com
Michigan to reopen construction industry in state on May 7: spokesman
REUTERS/Jeff KowalskyDETROIT (Reuters) - Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer will allow the states construction industry to return to work on May 7 as the Midwestern state battles the coronavirus outbreak, a spokesman said on Wednesday. No one should be surprised that the governor would open a lower-risk field like she has said at previous press conferences, Whitmer spokesman Zack Pohl said in a statement. She has emphasized a phased approach to reopening the state, addressing regions and businesses that are less affected or better protected. Michigan is part of a coalition of Midwestern states that agreed to coordinate the reopening of their economies. Ohio on Monday outlined its reopening plan, which included reopening the construction and manufacturing sectors on May 4.feeds.reuters.com
Trump administration rule would cut 3 million people from food stamps
CHICAGO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration on Tuesday proposed a rule to tighten food stamp eligibility that would cut about 3.1 million people from the program, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials said. If enacted, the rule would save the federal government about $2.5 billion a year by removing 3.1 million people from SNAP, according to the USDA. SNAP provides free food to some 40 million Americans, or about 12% of the total U.S. population. Current rules allow people to access SNAP benefits worth thousands of dollars for two years without going through robust eligibility reviews, he told reporters on the call. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in December estimated the rule could save the federal government $8.1 billion from 2019 to 2028, lower than the USDAs estimate.feeds.reuters.com