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    A group of 16 Republican governors issued a letter to President BidenJoe BidenMadame Tussauds unveils new Biden and Harris figures US raises concerns about Russian troop movements to Belarus Putin tests a model for invading Ukraine, outwitting Biden's diplomats MORE on Wednesday asking that state governments be given control over the implementation of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. In their letter, the GOP governors, led by Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R), agreed that the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act should proceed without "unnecessary bureaucracy and delay." "Therefore, we ask that your Office of Management and Budget (OMB), along with the respective federal agencies charged with implementation, draft regulations and guidance that defer to the states and confer maximum regulatory flexibility," they said. "Your administration should not attempt to push a social agenda through hard infrastructure investments and instead should consider economically sound principles that align with state priorities," they added. The $1.2 trillion bipartisan bill, significantly pared down from its original draft, was passed in the House in November after months of infighting among Democrats. The bill, which received support from 13 House Republicans...
    ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday announced a proposed $2.7 billion infrastructure and bonding bill. The governor is asking for $120 million for bridge repairs, $260 million for infrastructure at state colleges and universities, $450 million for affordable housing, and $940 million for climate change projects. These projects will require support from both Republicans and Democrats in the upcoming legislative session. READ MORE: Minnesota Rep. Pete Stauber Announces Congressional Reelection BidOn Tuesday, Walz toured part of the University Institute of Child Development that is currently under construction, saying this is just the kind of overhaul of existing state infrastructure that he wants to spread $2.7 billion for across the state. The normally complicated bonding process — which would for the governor’s plan involve borrowing $2 billion for capitol projects across the state — is complicated by uncertainties surrounding an expected $7 billion from the federal infrastructure bill, but one that would require matching funds from the state. That’s something the state can do with its $7.7 billion surplus. READ MORE: 7 Senators, Including Klobuchar, Travel To UkraineThe...
    White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu briefed reporters Tuesday on the implementation of the infrastructure legislation President Joe Biden signed into law last year, declaring it "Infrastructure Week" at the White House yet again. "Except the difference is we're actually going to build stuff," Landrieu added, a clear reference to past administrations that failed to pass bipartisan infrastructure legislation. Under former President Donald Trump, multiple attempts to pass an infrastructure bill were promoted as "Infrastructure Week." But no bill ever received bipartisan support. The former New Orleans mayor outlined how in the 60 days after Biden signed the bill into law, the Cabinet and infrastructure task force convened six times — a seventh meeting is scheduled for Thursday — to plot out exactly how that $1.2 trillion should be spent over the next decade. He added that his office had contacted all 50 governors in the country to discuss upgrades to roads, bridges, and airports, noting additional announcements in the coming weeks. "This infrastructure work, in general, is not a one-time economic stimulus. It is not a race to see how many...
    Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told lawmakers the Senate would forgo a planned recess and remain in session next week to debate and vote on two partisan election bills and a major rule change to modify the long-standing filibuster. The party’s legislative agenda, however, is on hiatus. None of the measures the New York Democrat plans to bring up next week has a chance of passing, thanks to internal divisions. The exercise is merely poised to add to the pileup of stalled legislation that has left party lawmakers with little to show as voters become more frustrated with a Democratic-controlled government. Democrats pivoted to voting legislation this month after ditching plans to consider President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan, a $1.75 trillion social welfare and green energy bill. The voting legislation will suffer the same fate as Build Back Better, blocked by centrists who, in this instance, won't support a change in filibuster rules to circumvent Republican opponents. Their voting legislation doomed to fail, Democrats pivoted once again on Friday, this time turning to...
    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Some of the funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will begin to flow into the Philadelphia region next week. It will go to repair the region’s roads, bridges, and mass transit. “They definitely need to be restored and repaired,” Philadelphia resident Meg Lile said. “It keeps the flavor of the city as beautiful as it is.” READ MORE: Civil Rights Activists Using MLK Day As Opportunity To Set Up Voter Outreach Locations In PhiladelphiaThe “they” Lile is referring to are Philadelphia’s bridges, but some of that beauty is becoming harder to notice. “Repair them,” Lile said. “We need them, and we need them safe.” Eighty of Philadelphia’s bridges, including the MLK Bridge crossing the Schuylkill River, have been deemed unsafe. The underside of the MLK Bridge has been closed to vehicular traffic since the start of the pandemic and officials say if it’s not repaired soon, it will have to close to bikers and runners as well. “Philadelphia has a great deal of pride in being an old city with deep heritage and great...
    President BidenJoe BidenGallego on Jan. 6 rioters: 'F--- them' Psaki: Why is GOP afraid of presidential debates? Biden calls on employers to mandate vaccines despite Supreme Court ruling MORE on Friday sought to highlight the progress implementing the $1.2 trillion infrastructure law he signed 60 days ago, even as other elements of his legislative agenda have stalled recently. In remarks from the White House, Biden described a government-wide effort over the past two months to get funds flowing to help repair bridges and highways as well as expand access to broadband. “There’s a lot of talk about disappointments and things we haven’t gotten done — we're going to get a lot of them done, I might add — but this is something we did get done and it’s of enormous consequence to the country,” Biden said. Biden highlighted the bipartisan nature of the bill and said it would spur job creation, make communities safer and help lower costs for Americans over time. “This is what a better America is going to look like,” Biden said. Biden announced a new bridge investment...
    President Joe Biden admitted his agenda has gotten stuck as he gave an update Friday on the bipartisan infrastructure law.  'There's a lot of talk about disappointments and things we haven't gotten done,' he noted. 'We're gonna get a lot of them done, I might add,' the president added.  He then reiterated that he was elected to 'unite' the country, after taking heat from Republicans who called his Tuesday speech about voting rights in Georgia too divisive.  President Joe Biden admitted his agenda has gotten stuck as he gave an update Friday on the bipartisan infrastructure law. 'There's a lot of talk about disappointments and things we haven't gotten done,' he said. 'We're gonna get a lot of them done, I might add'  Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (left), who's overseeing the implementation of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, introduced President Joe Biden (right) at an event on the White House's campus Friday  'I ran for president to unite the country,' he said. 'This bipartisan infrastructure law I signed a few months ago unites us around things we all depend on.'  'Whether...
    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — CBS3 is following how money from the new infrastructure act is being spent rebuilding the Philadelphia region. The transportation secretary is in Philadelphia Friday as the White House announces funding to rebuild bridges in Pennsylvania. Over the next five years, Pennsylvania will get $1.65 billion from the federal government to repair bridges. One of the bridges that is in desperate need of repairs is the MLK Bridge. It’s been closed to vehicular traffic since the pandemic and deemed unsafe. READ MORE: Body Camera Video Shows Intense Water Rescue In Hopewell TownshipThe U.S. Department of Transportation reports Pennsylvania has the second-highest number of bridges in any state that are deemed unsafe, with over 3,000 have been identified as unsafe. Eighty of those bridges are in Philadelphia and under a new funding formula that comes along with the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. The federal government is paying for 100% of the construction cost. READ MORE: Philadelphia Extends Deadline For Mandatory Vaccination Of City Employees, ContractorsPreviously, it was a combination of funds from federal, state, and local governments. Here’s...
    The Biden administration on Friday is launching a new multi-billion-dollar bridge investment program funded by the $1.2 trillion infrastructure law that will provide funds to repair bridges across the country. The program, which will be administered by the Transportation Department’s Federal Highway Administration, will provide $26.5 billion to states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico and $825 million to tribes over the next five years to repair existing bridges and build new ones. In total, $5.3 billion will be allocated to states and $165 million to tribes for the current fiscal year, according to the Transportation Department. The launch of the new program is among several steps President BidenJoe BidenGallego on Jan. 6 rioters: 'F--- them' Psaki: Why is GOP afraid of presidential debates? Biden calls on employers to mandate vaccines despite Supreme Court ruling MORE will highlight Friday when he discusses what the administration has done to implement the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the 60 days since he signed it into law in mid-November. The White House released a fact sheet that also points to the Federal Aviation Administration’s announcement...
    Rep. Don Bacon is shrugging off former President Donald Trump’s attempt to oust him over his support for President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill, declaring in an interview with the Washington Examiner: “I am not a ‘yes’ man.” The Nebraska Republican does not consider himself a Trump foe. Bacon rarely, if ever, criticizes the former president: He twice opposed impeaching him, including in the aftermath of the ransacking of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and supported his agenda on the House floor more than 89% of the time. But the congressman defied Trump on the $1 trillion infrastructure law, prompting the former president to encourage Republicans to challenge him in Nebraska’s May primary. Asked to comment on Trump’s terse, one-sentence statement — “Anyone want to run for Congress against Don Bacon in Nebraska?” — Bacon did not blink. “I’m not really paying a lot of attention to it,” he said Tuesday afternoon in a telephone interview from the competitive 2nd Congressional District, anchored in Omaha, that he has represented since 2017. Bacon, 58, said voting for the infrastructure bill,...
    Former President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpCheney cites testimony that Ivanka asked Trump to 'please stop this violence' on Jan. 6 McCarthy says Democrats using Jan. 6 as 'partisan political weapon' Biden, Harris to speak on anniversary of Capitol insurrection MORE singled out Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) on Monday, asking whether any Republican wanted to challenge the three-term incumbent for his Omaha-area House seat next year. “Anyone want to run for Congress against Don Bacon in Nebraska?” Trump said in a brief statement issued through his leadership PAC, Save America.  The comment came a month after Trump called for Bacon and 12 other Republican lawmakers to face primary challenges after they voted in favor of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package championed by President BidenJoe BidenBiden tells Zelensky US, allies will 'respond decisively' if Russia invades Biden, Harris to speak on anniversary of Capitol insurrection Biden's court picks face fierce GOP opposition MORE.  So far, no Republican has jumped into the race to challenge Bacon in 2022. He has drawn two Democratic challengers, state Sen. Tony Vargas and mental health therapist Alisha Shelton. ...
              by Ellie Gardey   For three months, as the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Rep. Pramila Jayapal was firm in her threat: “We will agree to the bipartisan [infrastructure] bill if, and only if, we also pass the reconciliation bill first.” She was the driving force and the public face behind progressives’ mission to use the infrastructure bill as a cudgel to force Sen. Joe Manchin, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, and other centrist Democrats into passing Build Back Better. She repeatedly appeared on “The Rachel Maddow Show” to give attention to her strongarm tactics. Time and time again in August, September, and October, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was forced to back down from votes on infrastructure because of Jayapal. When a reporter told Jayapal that some people believed she was “bluffing,” Jayapal, who has nearly 100 members in her caucus, said, “Try us.” But they tried her enough, and Jayapal blinked. On November 1, she announced that she and her caucus would vote for the infrastructure bill even though Sen. Joe Manchin had not given his assurance that he would vote for the...
    Former Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said Thursday on MSNBC’s “The Beat” that President Joe Biden was delivering even though he inherited a “mess” from former President Donald Trump. When asked how Biden should combat falling poll numbers, Boxer said, “I think the answer is pretty straightforward with Joe Biden, just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and deliver for the American people.” She continued, “I think the American people are fair. And if they look back to see what this president inherited — let’s just take a second to look at it, a country bitterly divided, who is handed a mess, a pandemic raging, an economy collapsing, our Capitol attacked — this is Joe Biden’s inheritance, if you will, when he took over the presidency.” She added, “Now, we are moving forward at a rapid pace. And we haven’t even rolled out the infrastructure bill yet. Putting aside Build Back Better, this infrastructure bill is fantastic. I wrote a lot of them in my past history in the Senate. This is better than any I ever put together.”...
                 Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation that will help expand access to broadband internet throughout the state. House Bill 2071, sponsored by a trio of lawmakers in the House of Representatives, will establish the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority, an agency that will help award grants to underserved areas throughout the state. “The COVID-19 pandemic proved once and for all that access to high-speed internet is not a luxury but a necessity,” said Representative Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint). “Successful expansion of broadband comes down to coordination and funding, and this new law addresses both. It is what we need to get across the finish line of providing broadband to all who need it.” Specifically, the legislation will aid in managing a minimum of $100 million in federal aid Pennsylvania will receive for the broadband rollout. The funds stem from recently passed infrastructure legislation from the federal government. “I’m confident this law is going to be a game-changer for our farmers, business owners, teachers, students, doctors, patients and all of us who have been hampered by slow or no internet service,”...
    DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Davenport’s 81-year-old Centennial Bridge across the Mississippi River creaks under the weight of tens of thousands of cars and trucks every day. Rust shows through its chipped silver paint, exposing the steel that needs replacing. This city’s aging landmark is among more than 1,000 structurally deficient bridges in the area. The tally gives Iowa’s 2nd congressional district the dubious distinction of having the second-most troubled bridges in the country. So, it struck some Iowans as strange when the district’s Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks voted against a bill that would pour more than $100 million in federal money to repair and replace bridges into southwest Iowa. Miller-Meeks objected to majority Democrats’ handling of the bill, never mentioning its contents, a common refrain from the minority that overwhelmingly opposed it. If anyone in Iowa was surprised that the Republican would oppose money for a glaring local priority, few in Washington were. Strategists and onetime party leaders note it’s become so common for lawmakers to prioritize their party’s line over district needs that it’s hardly mentioned. ...
    WARM SPRINGS, Ore. (AP) — Erland Suppah Jr. doesn’t trust what comes out of his faucet. Each week, Suppah and his girlfriend haul a half-dozen large jugs of water from a distribution center run by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs to their apartment for everything from drinking to cooking to brushing their teeth for their family of five. It’s the only way they feel safe after countless boil-water notices and weekslong shutoffs on a reservation struggling with bursting pipes, failing pressure valves and a geriatric water treatment plant. “About the only thing this water is good for is cleaning my floor and flushing down the toilet,” Suppah said of the tap water in the community 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of Portland. “That’s it.” In other, more remote tribal communities across the country, running water and indoor plumbing have never been a reality. Now, there’s a glimmer of hope in the form of a massive infrastructure bill signed last month that White House officials say represents the largest single infusion of money into Indian Country. It includes $3.5 billion...
    Rep. David McKinleyDavid Bennett McKinleyMcBath to run in neighboring district after GOP redrew lines Trump backs one GOP lawmaker over another in West Virginia primary Lawmakers who bucked their parties on the T infrastructure bill MORE (R-W.Va.) slammed his primary opponent and fellow West Virginia Rep. Alex MooneyAlexander (Alex) Xavier MooneyMcBath to run in neighboring district after GOP redrew lines Trump backs one GOP lawmaker over another in West Virginia primary Ethics watchdog finds 'substantial' evidence Rep. Malinowski failed to disclose stocks MORE (R-Va.) for supporting President BidenJoe BidenFederal class action lawsuit filed over treatment of Haitian migrants Staffer who had contact with Biden tests positive for COVID-19 Overnight Defense & National Security — New rules try to tackle extremism in the ranks MORE's bipartisan infrastructure package in an ad released on Tuesday.  "It was a bill no conservative would support but David McKinley did," the ad's narrator says in the ad, which was featured in Punchbowl News. "Biden's trillion-dollar spending bill was dead until McKinley resurrected it."  The ad refers to McKinley as a "RINO," an acronym for "Republican...
    With the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act last month, Minnesota and the nation have a chance to set new priorities for transportation infrastructure investments. More than ever before, the act allows us to evaluate whether projects open paths to opportunity, improve safety or address pre-existing inequities. To embrace this opportunity will require the expansion of work already underway in Minnesota. It will require leaders to elevate metrics in our decision-making processes that address long-term goals such as improving health outcomes or slowing climate change by reducing emissions. We don’t need to wonder about how to shift our evaluation of potential projects. We possess a wealth of options already, many of them drawn from research and pilot efforts conducted in Minnesota. We have the expertise — in our communities, universities, public agencies and the private sector — to put them into practice. We must evaluate projects based on potential health impacts. Existing tools such as health impact assessments enable agencies to better weigh the costs and benefits of proposed projects. Further, ongoing engagement efforts such as the Equity...
    Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal blamed the White House for the death of Democrats’ social spending and tax bill after West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin essentially killed the legislation by saying Sunday that he would not vote for it. “I want to start this conversation with a clear-eyed look at how we got to where we are,” Jayapal, a Washington House Democrat, said in a press call on Monday. “It started almost eight months ago when the White House decided to split the president's Build Back Better agenda into two bills, leaving the majority of the agenda, even beginning negotiations, until the early fall.” She then took aim at the Senate for passing a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill “without any commitment” on the larger spending bill, the other half of what President Joe Biden called his Build Back Better agenda. That left progressives to put pressure on leadership, and for months, Jayapal led the left flank of the party in holding up passage of the infrastructure bill in the House unless there was...
    Far-left Democrats and centrist Republicans in the House who bucked their party leadership on an infrastructure bill vote had similar reactions to West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s announcement that he would not support Democrats’ sweeping Build Back Better social spending, climate, and tax bill: Told you so. For the members of the so-called “Squad” who voted against a separate infrastructure bill in November, Manchin’s effective killing of the bill, which cannot pass without his vote, represented exactly what they warned would happen if the House passed the infrastructure bill without firm commitment from Manchin or a Senate vote on Build Back Better. “We have been saying for weeks that this would happen,” Missouri Democratic Rep. Cori Bush said on MSNBC Sunday. “What we had was a bit of leverage, which was having the coupling of the two bills — the BIF, the infrastructure package, as well as the Build Back Better Act … And what did the caucus do? We tossed it.” On the Republican side, the validation took a celebratory tone. Some of the 13 House...
    As Vice President Kamala Harris touted a plan to replace millions of lead pipes Thursday morning, Democratic Party leaders were turning away from the bill that would bring those plans to fruition. Harris spoke at the offices of AFL-CIO, the largest federation of unions in the United States, about the decadeslong struggle to eliminate lead pipes in homes, schools, and places of business across the country. "Over the years, I have traveled around the country and I have met many parents to talk about this very issue, so many parents — parents who are worried that every time they turned on the faucet to get their child a glass of water, that they may be filling that glass with poison," Harris said at the office building near the White House. Plans to replace lead pipes, which can cause damage to the brain and kidneys if the chemical seeps into the water, are a big part of the Biden administration's goals. But it's a goal that still needs more funding. BIDEN AND DEMOCRATS GRAPPLE WITH BIG SPENDING...
    This past week, Democrats shelved the so-called “Build Back Better” bill until next year, after it failed to gain the support of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). Because the Senate is split 50-50 between the parties, Manchin’s vote is crucial. Given that every Republican plans to oppose the multi-trillion dollar bill, which will evade the 60-vote filibuster rule through “reconciliation,” every Democrat’s support is needed to match the GOP and allow Vice President Kamala Harris to cast the tie-breaking vote. The bill was not originally Biden’s own. At first, it was a $3.5 trillion plan drafted by socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who heads the Senate Budget Committee. It was a vehicle for  the utopian social programs and “Green New Deal” initiatives that Sanders and the “progressive” left had dreamed of implementing, but which were left out of Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill. Biden only adopted it later, lending it his 2020 slogan, making it the centerpiece of his political agenda. It was all that Biden had left of his agenda, after several of his campaign promises faltered or failed. He promised...
                 The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives approved the National Defense Authorization Act, sending the bill to President Joe Biden. If signed by Biden, Tennessee’s national defense infrastructure is likely to receive additional funding and equipment for its operations. The bill includes a pay raise for all military service members and enhances military health care. Arnold Air Force Base in Tullahoma will be designated as a hypersonic facility, allowing the base to expand its research operations. Funding will also be provided for Ground Based Strategic Deterrent research programs. “The passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will bolster our nation’s defenses to ensure we are able to confront adversaries like Communist China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia. The defense bill is a major victory for Tennessee servicemembers along with their families, and the many Tennessee-based scientists and engineers who support our national security mission at home and abroad,” said Senator Marsha Blackburn. “I fought to secure major wins for our state that will directly benefit our military and research communities across Tennessee, including in Clarksville, Tullahoma, Oak...
    By: KDKA-TV News Staff PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pennsylvania’s airports are receiving millions in funding from the recently passed infrastructure bill. READ MORE: Today Is The Day! Be A Hero In Healing By Donating To The Free Care FundPittsburgh International Airport is getting $11,031,263, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Senator Bob Casey also announced that other airports in our area will receive funds, including: READ MORE: Kennywood Announces Plans For The Park's 125th YearAllegheny County (AGC) – $763,000 Altoona-Blair County (AOO) – $295,000 Beaver County (BVI) – $295,000 Bedford County (HMZ) – $159,000 Pittsburgh/Butler Regional (BTP) – $295,000 Airports will use the funds to improve upon internal infrastructure ranging from runways to terminal projects. MORE NEWS: Seneca Valley School District Says Rumor Of Threat On Social Media "Non-Credible"This is also just the first round of grants, with more funds expected to be sent over the course of a few years.
    (CNN)UN scientists were unequivocal in a landmark report published this summer: Human-caused climate change is intensifying extreme weather events. No region is spared from extreme weather, but America's coasts are overwhelmingly at risk to flooding caused by rising seas, stronger hurricanes and torrential rain. As the climate crisis accelerates, extreme flooding threatens more critical infrastructure in the United States. A recent analysis found 25% of all critical infrastructure in the US -- things like hospitals, police stations and power plants -- is at risk of being rendered inoperable due to flooding. But the threat is not distributed evenly, nor is it being approached everywhere with the urgency scientists implore. Using new flood risk data from First Street Foundation, a nonprofit research group, CNN ranked the top 10 congressional districts where critical infrastructure is most at-risk to flooding. Six out of 10 of the House lawmakers that represent those districts voted against the bipartisan infrastructure law, which contains around $50 billion to help make particularly vulnerable communities more resilient to climate disasters like extreme flooding. Those same six lawmakers also voted...
    Not long after Beth Ford became CEO of the Land O’Lakes cooperative in 2018, she toured agriculture co-ops and farms across rural America. By early 2019, she was alarmed that many small towns and rural residents lacked high-speed internet service, which she feared would leave them behind in the 21st century economy. She recognized the technology deficit would greatly reduce access to education and health care and harm job creation. Ford became hell-bent on securing broadband funding at the federal level. Less than three years later, on Nov. 15, she was on the White House lawn to witness President Biden’s signing of a bipartisan infrastructure bill, which included $65 billion for broadband. “I couldn’t be happier, “ Ford said, as she ticked off the names of several Land O’Lakes leaders who helped her build a national coalition that was unrelenting in pressing for broadband funding. Article continues after advertisement She recalls telling her core team: “Look what you did. We know this is so important to all of us, and look at how you drove change.” In an interview with...
    President Biden’s new hard infrastructure bill—passed with a level of bipartisan support in both houses of Congress that’s almost unheard of these days for a spending package—is quite a major accomplishment. (What, you thought I was going to make a joke involving Biden’s prior use of an off-color exuberance?) One important measure of its success is the degree to which it increases racial equity. An area of concern is that the law leaves a great deal of discretion on setting spending priorities to the states. Biden has emphasized the importance of advancing racial equity in the infrastructure bill and throughout his presidency—starting on Day One. However, the question remains whether some states might be, ahem, less than fully invested in that issue. Throughout our history, racial inequities have far too often been exacerbated by various infrastructure projects—and not just in the South. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the point person for the infrastructure bill, sat for a long interview with Chief White House Correspondent and Washington Bureau Chief for The Grio April Ryan to explain how the commitment to...
    NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images President Joe Biden on Wednesday touted in Missouri the bipartisan infrastructure bill he signed into law last month – all while mocking a running joke heard on a weekly basis over the past few years. “I don’t think I can take one more phrase, it’s going to be ‘Infrastructure Week,’” said Biden in a speech at the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, with buses in the background. “But guess what? It’s gonna be infrastructure decade now, man.” “Guess what? It’s gonna be infrastructure decade now, man.” — President Biden pic.twitter.com/TZovmrMErt — The Recount (@therecount) December 8, 2021 Toward the end of his speech, Biden lamented America losing on infrastructure compared to the rest of the world, but said that would now come to an end. “Most of you who were over 40 remember us always having the number one infrastructure in the world, the most best education, etc. We rank now number eight in the world in terms of investment in research and development. Fourteenth in infrastructure,” he said. “The United States of America!...
    President Joe Biden flew to Kansas City to highlight the bipartisan credentials of the new $1.2 trillion infrastructure law – lavishing praise on Republicans and vowing to create an 'infrastructure decade.' 'Guess what, it's going to be an infrastructure decade,' he said, mocking former President Donald Trump's repeat 'infrastructure weeks' - which often coincided with a scandal.  'No more talking, action,' the president added.  He began his speech at a transit depot by honoring the late son of Russell Kansas, Bob Dole, a Republican who spent 37 years in the Senate – a year longer than Biden. He praised Dole's 'both physical and moral courage' and called him 'among the greatest of the great generation,' calling the former Senate leader, who died Tuesday, a 'cherished friend to me and my wife, Jill.'  Dole was just one of the Republicans Biden tipped his hat to. Throughout the day, he made a point of name-checking Republicans, touting a bipartisan accomplishment as he tries to push another measure through the Senate on a party-line vote.  He greeted the state's GOP governor, Mike Parson,...
    President Joe Biden attended mass in Georgetown on Wednesday morning for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a holy day of obligation for Catholics, ahead of his trip to Kansas City to promote his infrastructure law.  Biden arrived at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown shortly after 8 am, waving to a large group of children and adults outside. There is a school attached to the church. He stayed nearly an hour for the service.  The president, a devout Catholic, rarely misses a religious holiday. When he was in Rome for All Saints Day, he attended private mass at the Embassy, where he was staying. Later Wednesday, Biden will head to Kansas City, Mo., to promote his infrastructure victory. He'll visit the Kansas City Area Transport Authority where he'll tout the city's program for free bus and street car service.  President Joe Biden waves to school kids as he arrives at Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown Biden is attending mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception The president, a devout Catholic, regularly attends Mass in Washington or near his home in Wilmington,...
    Democratic lawmakers may have passed Biden's trillion-dollar infrastructure package but the spending bill still hangs in the balance. Like the infrastructure bill, the spending bill has also faced challenges due to Sen. Joe Manchin's (D-W.Va.) attempt to block or significantly alter the legislation. Now, according to Politico, many Democratic lawmakers are considering forcing the centrist lawmaker's hand. Although Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) spoke out on Monday to express his intent on passing the legislation before the Christmas holiday, Manchin, per Politico, "said in an interview on Monday that it’s up to party leaders when the vote occurs." "We heard that it had to pass as soon as we came back from the August break and then we had to do it before the president went over[seas],” Manchin said. “I've heard all these timetables.” READ: A writer who predicted Trump's first coup attempt warns of an obscure legal doctrine he may exploit next time With the latest proposed holiday deadline looming, even centrist Democratic lawmaker Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) has privately signaled she will support passing...
    In this article VMC PAVE NUE Construction workers build the “Signature Bridge,” replacing and improving a busy highway intersection at I-95 and I-395 on April 13, 2021 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle | Getty ImagesWall Street economists believe some version of President Joe Biden's nearly $2 trillion Build Back Better plan will become law. And they also think the measure, which includes hundreds of billions of dollars in funds to fight climate change, will be another big deal for the infrastructure industry on the heels of a separate, $1 trillion public works law the president signed earlier this fall. Economists at Goldman Sachs, Evercore ISI, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan have all written in recent weeks that they believe it's a matter of time until the Senate passes Biden's Build Back Better legislation. That could mean a business boom for some of the country's biggest construction and materials companies, they say. "Nothing in DC is 100% sure, but I think the odds are very high, I'd say 80-90% that we get some sort of BBB," Mike Feroli, chief U.S. economist...
    On Friday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Jose Díaz-Balart Reports,” Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA) stated that the November jobs report “is phenomenal news for all of us,” and that “all of our communities are just going to get back to work and the economy is going to continue to grow.” Host Jose-Diaz Balart asked, “I want to start by getting your reaction to the November jobs report. It showed a big drop in unemployment among the African American community, big drop in unemployment among our community, the Latino community. 210,000 jobs were created. What’s your response?” Ruiz responded, “My response is that this is phenomenal news for all of us, for all of America, regardless of our ethnicity. Because all of our communities are just going to get back to work and the economy is going to continue to grow. And this is prior to the amazing and historic bipartisan infrastructure bill that was signed by the president not too long ago, where we’re going to have even more construction jobs, about 1.5 million per year for the next two years, just...
    The largest parts of Minnesota’s $6.8 billion share of the $1.2 trillion federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are headed to roads, bridges and public transportation. But the biggest slice after that will help address an issue that affects cities and towns throughout Minnesota: clean water. The state expects to get $680 million over the next five years to make infrastructure upgrades that improve wastewater discharge and drinking water. In total, the Environmental Protection Agency will allocate $7.4 billion to states, tribes and U.S. territories for 2022.  State officials and advocates say the money won’t solve longstanding problems with treatment plants and clean water distribution, issues the state has thrown hundreds of millions of dollars at in recent years to help fix. It also won’t accomplish a stated goal of President Joe Biden: remove all lead service lines, which connect water mains to people’s homes. But the cash is still significant, and will help Minnesota make health and safety upgrades like replacing many service lines and cleaning up water contaminated with PFAS, known as “forever chemicals” because they don’t break...
    (CNN)President Joe Biden expressed optimism for the future of the country during the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony yesterday in Washington, telling the American people that "we have so much ahead of us." Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)1. CoronavirusNew, stricter Covid-19 testing requirements for all travelers coming to the US are set to take effect Monday. The new rules will require travelers coming to the US to test negative one day before departure instead of up to three days before entering the country. The shift in policy -- which Biden announced yesterday alongside a slate of new steps to combat Covid-19 this winter -- underscores the potential threat posed by the newly discovered Omicron variant. Separately, several GOP-led states are expanding unemployment benefits to unvaccinated residents who lose their jobs due to vaccine mandates. ​​And in Europe, Germany announced a nationwide lockdown for the unvaccinated yesterday as its leaders backed...
    Twitter wasn’t kind to TV scientist Bill Nye after he appeared in a TikTok video with President Biden. Nye, who is famous for being the "Science Guy" in a children's educational program back in the 1990s, appeared in a TikTok video to promote the trillion-dollar infrastructure bill voted on by Congress along with other Democrat legislative proposals. During the approximately 82-second video, he’s joined by President Biden who is referred to as "Amtrak Joe." "Infrastructure is cool!" Nye declared. BIDEN’S EDICTS ‘DEFANGED’ AS PRESIDENT ‘MAXED OUT HIS COVID CREDIT CARD’: ‘THE FIVE’ Bill Nye speaks onstage at the 2019 Global Citizen Festival at Central Park in New York, U.S., September 28, 2019. Picture taken September 28, 2019. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz (Reuters) The video was promoted by Biden administration officials, like Christian Tom, the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Digital Strategy. However, critics described the video as as "demented" and cringe-inducing. President of the The Lafayette Company Ellen Carmichael tweeted, "If they’re just letting any guy with a mechanical engineering degree weigh in on the infrastructure debate, my...
    President Joe Biden's Tuesday speech featured a number of familiar lines on infrastructure that Democrats hope will lobby support for the president's social safety net spending bill and give the party a boost heading into the 2022 midterm elections. Biden traveled to Dakota County Technical College in Rosemont, Minnesota, and his remarks bore several similarities to addresses delivered in Maryland, New Hampshire, and Michigan following the passage of his $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. BIDEN HAMMERS HOME LOCAL IMPACT OF INFRASTRUCTURE DEAL DURING NEW HAMPSHIRE VISIT The president opened by extending thoughts and prayers to the victims of a school shooting that occurred earlier in the day in Michigan. He then claimed that his dual spending bills would not have been possible without the help of Minnesota's congressional delegation, especially Sen. Amy Klobuchar, whom Biden called "a leader on many issues." "Her colleagues looked at her on everything from lowering the cost of prescription drugs to how to get broadband for the whole country," he continued. "Sen. Klobuchar and I have been friends for a while. She knows how...
    President BidenJoe BidenDearborn office of Rep. Debbie Dingell vandalized Pfizer to apply for COVID-19 booster approval for 16- and 17-year-olds: report Coronavirus variant raises fresh concerns for economy MORE on Tuesday traveled to Minnesota for the latest stop in his cross-country bid to sell the benefits of a bipartisan infrastructure law and rally support for a more ambitious social spending plan working its way through Congress. "Over the next several weeks I’m going to be traveling all over the country, and so will Vice President Harris and my Cabinet and folks throughout our administration to show how these investments are going to change your lives, change lives for the better," Biden said after touring Dakota County Technical College. Biden toured the local trade school and delivered remarks in Rosemount, Minn., located in the state's 2nd Congressional District. Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.) represents the area and is expected to face a tough re-election bid next November. The president pointed to multiple infrastructure projects in Minnesota that could use funding, including a local train crossing that has become a traffic bottleneck. He spoke about investments...
              more   RICHMOND, Virginia – Congressmen Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) and Donald McEachin (D-VA-04) touted the recently-passed $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, highlighting funds for Virginia’s infrastructure and the benefits the measure will bring to Virginia workers. “Getting this legislation to President Biden’s desk and signed into law was one of my top priorities this year in Congress, because I know it’s a win for Virginia,” Spanberger said. “With the stroke of a pen we are finally addressing the needs of our roads, our bridges across the Commonwealth, the need for the expansion of broadband connectivity. We’re building out our electric vehicle network and boosting our efforts to build our resiliency against climate change. We’re making smart and long overdue investments in our electrical grid, our water infrastructure, our ports, and our rail systems. These investments will mean faster commute times, lower energy bills, safer drinking water, and faster trips throughout Virginia.” During the press conference, Democrats Spanberger and McEachin stood under a train trestle and were flanked by members of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA)....
    For roughly the first six months of his administration, President Joe Biden enjoyed favorable approval numbers well above 50%. The slide began in July when COVID-19 infection rates, driven by the delta variant surge, started rising significantly nationwide. Then, in August, Biden’s disastrous handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal intensified his popularity plunge. The White House seems to be oblivious to the problem – at least publicly – and points to the two infrastructure bills (the $1.2 trillion “hard” infrastructure bill that Biden signed into law on November 15, and the $1.75 trillion+ bill currently pending before Congress) as the vehicles that, when passed, will reverse his poor polling. This is wishful thinking because, since July, a clear pattern has now emerged, and this pattern explains why Biden’s overall approval rate today stands at just 43%. The president and his administration keep saying things that Americans can see with their own eyes aren’t factually true. Biden promised us a normal July 4 holiday. Then COVID-19 cases exploded. Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared the Afghanistan withdrawal a “success.” It...
    Chinnapong | iStock Editorial | Getty Images Cryptocurrency investors may face higher taxes as the infrastructure bill cracks down on future IRS reporting, financial experts say. The $1.2 trillion deal calls for mandatory yearly tax reporting from digital currency brokers starting in January 2023 to help pay for President Joe Biden's domestic spending agenda.  The measure may bring in nearly $28 billion over a decade, according to an estimate from the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. While House lawmakers want to narrow the scope of which "brokers" must follow the rule, experts still expect a costly surprise for crypto investors who haven't been tracking activity. More from Personal Finance:4 year-end moves to slash your cryptocurrency tax billBuild Back Better Act would close tax loophole for crypto investorsWhat first bitcoin futures ETF means for cryptocurrency industry "A lot of these people probably have no idea what's coming," said enrolled agent Adam Markowitz, vice president at Howard L Markowitz PA, CPA in Leesburg, Florida. The IRS requires investors to disclose yearly cryptocurrency activity by checking a box on their tax returns. But many filers don't know which transactions to report. While buying...
    Buried deep within the massive infrastructure legislation recently signed by President Joe Biden is a little-noticed “safety” measure that will take effect in five years. Marketed to Congress as a benign tool to help prevent drunk driving, the measure will mandate that automobile manufacturers build into every car what amounts to a “vehicle kill switch.” As has become standard for legislative mandates passed by Congress, this measure is disturbingly short on details. What we do know is that the “safety” device must “passively monitor the performance of a driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether that driver may be impaired.” Everything about this mandatory measure should set off red flares. First, use of the word “passively” suggests the system will always be on and constantly monitoring the vehicle. Secondly, the system must connect to the vehicle’s operational controls, so as to disable the vehicle either before driving or during, when impairment is detected. Thirdly, it will be an “open” system, or at least one with a backdoor, meaning authorized (or unauthorized) third-parties can remotely access the system’s data...
    (CNN)The US Chamber of Commerce last year endorsed 23 vulnerable freshman House Democrats -- the most in at least a decade -- and enraged House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and other top Republicans who accused their long-time big business allies of heresy. A year later, the Chamber is now lobbying hard against the nearly $2 trillion centerpiece of President Joe Biden's agenda, the Build Back Better bill, which those Democrats who are still in Congress backed when it passed the House this month along party lines. Now it'll be extremely difficult for those same Democrats to earn the powerful business lobby's coveted endorsement in the 2022 midterms. "Earlier this year the Chamber was clear: reconciliation was a deal breaker," said Ashlee Rich Stephenson, the group's senior political strategist, referring to the sweeping bill. "You have to earn the endorsement every cycle. ... Just because maybe you were supported once doesn't mean you will be next time." As the Republican coalition frayed over Biden's sweeping infrastructure law, which the Chamber backed, and remains divided over former President Donald Trump's role in...
    Cal Fire troops battle the Dixie Fire in Plumas County, California, July 2021.Noah Berger/AP Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.This story was originally published by High Country News and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Zack Bashoor was 19 years old when he joined the US Forest Service in northwestern Montana to fight wildfires. At the time, Bashoor saw firefighting as his career, but after three summers of running chainsaws, digging trenches around blazes and covering structures in protective wrap, he left to become a resource forester at a lumber mill. Many of his peers left firefighting, too, citing the industry’s toxic workforce culture and low compensation for a physically demanding job with a risk of injury or occasionally, death. “There’s this conundrum where a lot of brilliant young people come in and they eventually end up leaving,” Bashoor said. “They find something better to do that isn’t as dangerous and pays a little more money. There were very limited paths to permanent employment.”  But that...
              more   After its major cities raked in more than six billion dollars from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan for COVID-19 relief, Ohio will once again be flush with federal cash. The state is expected to receive more than$10 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which is meant to be spent on rebuilding roads, bridges and other public structures, according to reports. Specifically, Ohio is supposed to spend $9.7 billion on roads and bridges, followed by $1.2 billion on public transportation. Nearly $1.5 billion will be spent on “water infrastructure,” which includes removing lead water pipes statewide. It will also reportedly spend in the hundreds of millions of dollars on both broadband internet, a network of chargers for electric vehicles, and nearly a quarter of a billion dollars on airport infrastructure. Other projects that clock in at less than one hundred million dollars include wildfire protection, cybersecurity protection. But some cities are still sitting on piles of cash from the COVID-19 bailout. As The Ohio Star reported, Columbus still has not spent most of its $187 million...
    Former 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton suggested Tuesday night that Americans don't quite grasp the 'extraordinary accomplishments' of President Joe Biden. Clinton pointed out that Biden was able to get both the COVID relief bill and the bipartisan infrastructure deal to his desk, with the Build Back Better bill already passed thorugh the House.  'You know, democracy is messy. You know, a lot of people got, oh I think, kind of frustrated looking at the messy process of legislation,' Clinton told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. 'And they didn't really appreciate that, within a year, the Biden administration has passed two major pieces of legislation through the House and the Senate.'    Former 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton suggested Tuesday night that Americans don't quite grasp the 'extraordinary accomplishments' of President Joe Biden during an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow  Hillary Clinton pointed out how President Joe Biden, seen speaking in Washington Tuesday before leaving for Thanksgiving break, got two large pieces of legislation across his desk, with a probable third on the way  'By any measure those are extraordinary accomplishments and they...
    Joe Biden came to the White House at a pivotal moment in American history. We had become a country dividing into two nations, one highly educated and affluent and the other left behind. The economic gaps further inflamed cultural and social gaps, creating an atmosphere of intense polarization, cultural hostility, alienation, bitterness and resentment. As president, Biden had mostly economic levers to try to bridge this cold civil war. He championed three gigantic pieces of legislation to create a more equal, more just and more united society: the COVID stimulus bill, the infrastructure bill and what became Build Back Better, to invest in human infrastructure. All of these bills were written to funnel money to the parts of the country that were less educated, less affluent, left behind. Adam Hersh, a visiting economist at the Economic Policy Institute, projects that more than 80% of the new jobs created by the infrastructure plan will not require a college degree. These gigantic proposals were bold endeavors. Some thought them too bold. Economist Larry Summers thought the stimulus package, for example, was too...
    President Joe Biden's doctor may be concerned about his stiff gait, but some Democrats are worried about his proverbial sprint to the end of the year as he wraps up his first 12 months in the White House. Biden's first year in office has unfolded in a way that likely diverges from how the president envisioned it would when he delivered his inauguration address last January thanks to the persistent pandemic and deadly withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. But while many people begin winding down before New Year's Eve, the final four weeks of 2021 could solidify voter perception of the Biden administration. BLUE-COLLAR BIDEN CRITICIZED FOR 'TONE-DEAF' NANTUCKET THANKSGIVING VISIT Biden may count down to 2022 with a string of legislative accomplishments, according to political commentator Larry Jacobs. Congress has some big-ticket items on its agenda in December, including Biden's $2 trillion partisan social welfare and climate spending bill, which passed the House this month. Lawmakers also face a looming government shutdown on Dec. 3 and potential debt ceiling crisis after Dec. 15. At the same time,...
    SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) — The Bay Area will receive $4.5 billion over the next five years from the recently passed federal infrastructure funding package, a group of Bay Area members of Congress said Tuesday. The funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which President Joe Biden signed last week, will support repairs and renovations for the region’s roads and bridges, aging water systems, public transit networks and access to broadband internet, among other things. READ MORE: 'I Wish I Hadn't Done That': Theranos CEO Testifies About Fake Pfizer ValidationHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto; Barbara Lee, D-Oakland; Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo/San Francisco; and Mark DeSaulnier, D-Walnut Creek, as well as local union leaders in San Francisco to discuss how the $1.2 trillion funding package will benefit both the region and the country at large. “Every two minutes in America, a water main breaks,” Eshoo said. “The total amount of treated water wasted every day in our country is about 6 billion gallons, or 9,000 swimming pools. Here in the Bay Area, commuters pre-pandemic spent 103...