Lawmakers Set to Propose Record $847B for Defense, $45B Over Biden’s Request

The United States’s already colossal and record-breaking defense budget is about to get even bigger, with congressional negotiators slated to propose a staggering $847 billion for defense for 2023, new reporting finds — a $45 billion increase over President Joe Biden’s already massive defense budget request. Four people familiar with negotiations told Politico that House and Senate lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have come to a “compromise” on the budget, which could balloon as high as $858 billion when programs outside of the congressional armed services committees are included. $847 billion is equal to the Senate Armed Services…

“Every Worker Deserves Paid Sick Leave”: Progressives Rally Behind Rail Workers

As the House prepares to vote Wednesday morning to force the adoption of a rail contract and avert a rail strike, a growing number of progressives in Congress are calling for the inclusion of a key sick leave demand for which unions and workers have pleaded for months. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) appears to be leading the charge for the provision in Congress, telling reporters it is “outrageous” that the agreement, negotiated with the White House in September, lacks union members’ paid sick leave request. He is planning to demand a Senate vote on a provision to provide workers with…

Democrats Will Push Electoral College Reform in Final Weeks of House Control

In the final weeks of Congress’s last session before Republicans take control of the House, Democratic lawmakers are planning to push a number of bills forward — including legislation that aims to prevent attempted usurpations of future presidential elections in wake of Donald Trump’s attempt to overthrow the 2020 presidential election after he lost to President Joe Biden. According to Politico, Democrats seem eager to pass an update to the Electoral Count Act, which would modify ambiguities in current election law that Trump attempted to exploit to overturn the 2020 presidential election outcome. In order to pass such legislation, however,…

Biden’s Student Debt Relief Program Is Now in the Hands of the Supreme Court

More than 40 million lower-income people burdened with student loans are still waiting for clarity about how much they will owe and when their next payments will be due, as the Supreme Court decides if it will rule on whether to allow President Joe Biden’s student debt relief program to proceed. The loan forgiveness program, which Biden announced in August, is under attack from six Republican-controlled states, which sued Biden, his secretary of education and the Department of Education on September 29 in an attempt to block the program. A federal district judge ruled against the GOP-led states, but the…

Tenants Demand Emergency Measures From White House as Rents Skyrocket

President Joe Biden spent much of 2022 facing Republican attacks over inflation and anxiety among Democrats who worried that working-class voters would turn against them in the midterms over the economy. For months, candidates and pundits waxed poetic about the rising price of everything from a gallon of gas or milk to a platter of crudité. But activists meeting with Biden administration officials and top Democrats in Congress this week say a massive budget item for millions of households did not get enough attention ahead of Election Day: Rent. Historic rent increases over the past two years are a core…

“Political Game Changer:” Biden Calls for Tax on Big Oil’s Excess Profits

President Joe Biden called for a windfall tax on energy companies in a speech on Monday, a move that would deliver a major win to the climate and progressive advocates who have been calling for a tax on excess profits made amid high inflationary rates. In his response to major oil companies posting record-breaking profits, Biden cited wartime policies to stop corporations from war profiteering and said that oil companies must take steps to lower gas prices or face a tax on their profits. “If they passed the rest [of the profits] onto the consumers, the price of gas would…

Wall Street Shrugs Off Biden and Reaffirms Commitment to Saudi Monarchy

This month, President Biden has openly threatened to reconsider the close ties between the United States and Saudi Arabia, but the financial industry appears certain he’s not ready to put his money — or theirs — where his mouth is. Wall Street leaders are visiting Saudi Arabia this week for an investment conference sponsored by the Saudi government, just two weeks after the White House said it would be reexamining the long-standing U.S.-Saudi alliance. Top bankers to attend the gathering in Riyadh included JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon and Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman. The trio,…

AOC, Pressley Slam Biden for Using Title 42 to Expel Venezuelan Asylum Seekers

Democrats and progressives are condemning the Biden administration for its continued use of Title 42, a cruel anti-immigration pandemic policy that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is now using to expel Venezuelan asylum seekers arriving at the southern U.S. border. In a letter with 24 signatories, spearheaded by Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-New York) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey), lawmakers criticized DHS’s announcement, saying that the continued use of Title 42 is “morally wrong, discriminatory, and unlawful.” Expressing their “profound disappointment” with the DHS decision, the lawmakers said that “Title 42 violates our nation’s domestic and international legal obligations…

7 in 10 Voters Support White House Move to Consider Decriminalizing Marijuana

New polling finds strong support among voters for President Joe Biden’s federal moves on marijuana last week, including his decision to pardon those with certain marijuana convictions and his statement that he will consider decriminalizing the drug on the federal level. A poll conducted by Morning Consult/Politico after Biden’s announcement on Thursday found that nearly 7 in 10 voters — 69 percent — support Biden’s move to ask his administration to consider federal decriminalization of marijuana, with only 18 percent saying they oppose the move and 43 percent saying they “strongly” approve. The poll also found that voters support Biden’s…

Biden Officials Propose Reclassifying Uber, Lyft Gig Workers as Employees

On Tuesday, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced the proposal of a rule that could pave the way for millions of workers in the gig economy to be classified as employees in a significant win for labor advocates who have been fighting for better standards for gig workers for years. The new rule will allow millions of people working for companies like Uber and Lyft — along with those working in construction, janitorial services, home care, and more — to be classified as employees if they are “economically dependent” on their work for the company. While it isn’t a binding…

US Is Overcome With Debt and Death. Let’s Fight Inequality to Stop This Crisis.

When the Biden administration announced its debt relief plan in late August, the timing was fitting. According to the Hebrew calendar, this last year, which ended on September 25, was the Shemitah year, a year where debts are forgiven. In the Bible, canceling debt is just one among a set of jubilee laws, which includes freeing the enslaved, feeding the poor, paying fair wages, and conserving and protecting overworked land. As a biblical scholar and pastor, I am often struck by the moral logic that undergirds these laws. Indeed, many ancient societies understood jubilee to be not only a compassionate…

Biden’s Action on Weed Convictions Is a First Step — Let’s Push for Much More

President Biden’s announcement yesterday on marijuana was exactly the bold leadership we needed from this administration — ahead of the critical midterm elections in one month — and a step in the right direction for what must come next if he is to attempt to right the many wrongs of the 1994 crime bill, which he had championed as a senator, and which imposed automatic life sentences for people upon their third offense if they already had two prior felony convictions on their records. Biden’s executive order on marijuana did three key things: 1) Unconditionally pardoned people with federal convictions…

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