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Congress Hit by 'Unprecedented' Surge in Cases

Lawmakers urged to meet virtually amid wave of COVID-19 cases

(Newser) - The Capitol physician is warning lawmakers of an "unprecedented" number of cases hitting members of Congress and their staffers. At the on-site testing center, the 7-day positivity rate is higher than 13%, compared to less than 1% before the rise of the omicron variant, Politico reports. Omicron accounts for...

Schumer on Debt Ceiling Raise: Americans 'Can Breathe Easy'

Congress passes $2.5T increase, avoiding default through at least early 2023; most of GOP opposes

(Newser) - President Biden has a new bill on his desk to sign. The legislation provides for a $2.5 trillion increase in the debt ceiling, bringing that number to $31.4 trillion and avoiding a first-ever federal default right at the Wednesday deadline warned of by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, reports...

Bob Dole to Lie in State at Capitol

Flags at federal buildings will be at half-staff until Dec. 9

(Newser) - The body of the late Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas will lie in state in the US Capitol on Thursday as congressional leaders honor the former Republican presidential candidate and World War II veteran who served in Congress for 36 years, the AP reports. The US Capitol has long been...

Ex-Trump Aide Now Working With Jan. 6 Panel

Mark Meadows, Trump's chief of staff, avoids a possible contempt charge

(Newser) - Donald Trump's former chief of staff is cooperating with a House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, putting off for now the panel's threat to hold him in contempt. But the panel “will continue to assess (Mark Meadows') degree of compliance,” said Rep. Bennie...

House Democrats Pass Biden's $2T Social Package

But changes await in the Senate

(Newser) - A marathon speech by House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy delayed but could not stop the inevitable: The House on Friday passed a nearly $2 trillion spending plan for social programs and the environment sought by President Biden, reports the AP . The vote was along party lines, save for a lone...

Marjorie Taylor Greene Hit With 3rd Mask Fine

Georgia Republican says House mandate is unnecessary

(Newser) - Marjorie Taylor Greene's opposition to masks has cost her $5,500 so far this year, reports the National Review . The tally reached that mark this week when the Georgia congresswoman was fined a third time for failing to wear a mask in the House chamber, per the Hill . Under...

A New Tax Plan Requires a Fundamental Shift
New Strategy:
Novel Tax on
the rundown

Democrats' New Strategy: Novel Tax on Billionaires

It would require the richest of the rich to pay taxes on assets even if they don't sell them

(Newser) - Democrats in Congress are still trying to figure out how to pay for President Biden's wish list, and it looks like they're settling on a plan to levy a novel penalty on the very richest of Americans. Coverage:
  • The idea: The proposal being worked out would require about

Paris Hilton Tells of Abuse in Seeking Laws on Teen Care

New legislation would grant basic rights to young people in congregate care

(Newser) - A government report in 2008 detailed the horrors of the industry that has grown up around dealing with troubled teenagers. The report listed abuse and even deaths among the young people put in the care of the boarding schools, boot camps, and other enterprises that make up the "troubled...

Biden Concedes Frustration, Saying He'll Keep Working

With bills stuck in Congress, president plans to lobby nation

(Newser) - With his domestic legislation not moving on Capitol Hill, even after his trip there Friday, President Biden insisted success is still possible, saying he'll "work like hell" to achieve it. But the president didn't try to sugarcoat the situation Saturday. "Everybody is frustrated," he said....

'We're Going to Get This Done,' Biden Says After Hill Meeting

President lobbies divided Democrats for the first time in person

(Newser) - With his domestic legislative agenda going nowhere in Congress, many Democrats had publicly urged President Biden to get more involved personally in negotiations. He did that Friday afternoon, going to Capitol Hill to meet with the divided House Democrats, the New York Times reports. As he left, he expressed confidence...

Pelosi Struggles to Bridge Chasm Within Her Party
Biden Will Try to Break
Logjam Himself

Biden Will Try to Break Logjam Himself

And Bernie Sanders is ticked at two fellow Democratic senators who remain holdouts

(Newser) - The shutdown has been averted , at least temporarily. Now the focus is solely on whether Democrats can reach a compromise on legislation crucial to President Biden's agenda. Toward that end, Biden himself will travel to Capitol Hill to meet with House Democrats later Friday afternoon, reports the Hill and...

Senate Votes to Avert Closure; Manchin Reveals Number
Shutdown Averted,
Pelosi Delays Big Vote

Shutdown Averted, Pelosi Delays Big Vote

Meanwhile, Manchin wants Biden's $3.5T plan cut to $1.5T

(Newser) - Update: President Joe Biden on Thursday night signed legislation to keep the government funded through Dec. 3, with just hours to spare before a government shutdown, the AP reports. Also Thursday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delayed a vote on the $1 trillion infrastructure bill. CNN notes Democrats may be...

Colbert Needs Top Hat, Song to Explain Congress
Colbert Uses Willy Wonka
to Explain Congress

Colbert Uses Willy Wonka to Explain Congress

He sings about 'reconciliation' in a top hat

(Newser) - Congress is nearing the end of a monumental week , one in which lawmakers are trying to avert a shutdown as they consider two huge pieces of legislation that could decide the fate of President Biden's legislative agenda. Stephen Colbert attempted to explain all this Wednesday night, in particular the...

'No Room for Error' as Shutdown Deadline Nears

Stopgap bill would fund government agencies through early December

(Newser) - The White House told federal agencies last week to prepare for a government shutdown but it now appears that a shutdown will be avoided just before the deadline of midnight Thursday. The House and Senate are expected to vote on a short-term funding patch Thursday, but CNN reports that lawmakers...

Senate GOP Thwarts Bill to Avoid Shutdown

Republicans block Democrats in first round of a critical week

(Newser) - Republicans in the Senate thwarted a Democratic attempt to suspend the debt limit and head off a government shutdown on Monday night. The vote on a procedural measure to keep the legislative alive was along party lines, CNN reports, 48-50. Approval required 60 votes. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer switched his...

Congress Has Monumental Tasks This Week

A potentially disastrous shutdown, plus the fate of Biden's domestic agenda is at stake

(Newser) - President Biden has relatively little on on his calendar this week, for good reason. The fate of his White House agenda pretty much hangs in the balance in Congress, and he might be needed to woo lawmakers, perhaps even with a trip to Capitol Hill himself, reports CNN . Three massive—...

Agencies Told to Prepare for Shutdown
White House:
Prepare for Shutdown
the rundown

White House: Prepare for Shutdown

Democrats don't have an answer to GOP threats to block lifting of debt ceiling

(Newser) - Lacking a plan to avert the crisis—publicly, at least—White House officials are telling federal agencies to prepare for a government shutdown. Both parties have said it won't come to that, but Congress remains on that course. Government funding runs out on Sept. 30, the Washington Post reports,...

Dems Break Deadlock on $3.5T Budget Blueprint

It passes after Pelosi makes promise to moderates

(Newser) - Democratic leaders have overcome a standoff between progressive and moderates and passed a $3.5 trillion budget plan. A group of moderate House Democrats had threatened to block the plan, potentially derailing a big part of President Biden's agenda, unless there was an immediate vote on the $1 trillion...

Old World Meets New in Latest DC Hangup

Infrastructure bill is stalled by disagreement over cryptocurrency

(Newser) - An old-school political issue—infrastructure—is getting bogged down by the most newfangled of topics. Cryptocurrency. It seems that the giant, bipartisan infrastructure bill is hung up because senators can't agree on how much to regulate the burgeoning field, reports the Hill . The details get convoluted, both in terms...

Emergency Money for Capitol Security Passes

Half of the $2.1B measure will go toward resettling Afghan refugees who helped US

(Newser) - With few dissents, Congress on Thursday approved spending $2.1 billion to cover Capitol security costs and the evacuation and resettlement of Afghans who helped US forces during the 20-year war. The Capitol spending will repay costs incurred because of the Jan. 6 riot, as well as provide for security...

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