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The White House on Friday announced that President Joe Biden would award Olympic gymnast Simone Biles the Medal of Freedom.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor for a person’s contributions to  society.

Biles, a three-time Olympian for the United States, has won a total of 32 Olympic medals throughout her career.

During the 2021 Olympics in Tokoyo, Biles shocked the world by withdrawing from competitions, citing the need to focus on her mental health.

After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition. We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.

— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) July 28, 2021

Biles immediately became a darling of the American left who repeatedly shamed critics of her decision to quit the competition and instead hailed her as a hero.

Biles also made headlines after testifying in Congress about the sexual abuse she experienced at the hands of USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, criticizing the mismanaged FBI investigation of his horrific record of abusing female gymnasts.

“We suffered and continue to suffer because no one at FBI, [USA Gymnastics] or the [United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee] did what was necessary to protect us,” Biles said. “We have been failed, and we deserve answers.”

Biles later said she should not have competed in Tokyo, citing the mental toll the Nassar investigation and trial had on her.

“I should have quit way before Tokyo when Larry Nassar was in the media for two years. It was too much,” she said in an interview. “But I was not going to let him take something I’ve worked for since I was six years old.”

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Watch live: Biden to sign Inflation Reduction Act into law, setting 15% minimum corporate tax rate

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After more than a year of debate over costs, taxes, tax credits and regulations, President Joe Biden is finally signing his sweeping tax, health and climate bill into law — albeit a significantly reduced version of the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better plan he was pushing for last year.

Considered a major win for Democrats, the newly renamed Inflation Reduction Act includes a $369 billion investment in climate and energy policies, $64 billion to extend a policy under the Affordable Care Act to reduce health insurance costs, and a 15% corporate minimum tax aimed at companies that earn more than $1 billion a year.

Read more: Biden's corporate tax hike in the Inflation Reduction Act won't hurt most U.S. companies, Wall Street analysts say

The $437 billion spending package is expected to raise $737 billion in revenue over the next decade, the biggest share coming from reductions in drug prices for Medicare recipients and tax hikes on corporations. Roughly $124 billion is expected to come from increased IRS enforcement, meaning tougher and more frequent audits for the wealthy. It's projected to reduce the deficit by more than $300 billion over a decade.

To get a deal done, Biden had to give up some of his favorite pieces of his original Build Back Better bill, including universal child care and tax cuts for the middle class. Conservative Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia was also a late Democratic holdout until he and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., struck a deal moving the bill forward earlier this month.

Freshman Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., held up passage in the evenly divided Senate at the last minute over a provision that would have closed the so-called carried interest loophole that allows private equity managers and hedge fund executives to pay significantly lower tax rates than most taxpayers.

The bill narrowly passed the U.S. Senate 51-50 on Aug. 7 with no Republican votes. Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tiebreaking vote, giving Democrats a win.

The U.S. House passed the bill Friday by a 220-207 margin.


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