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    zimmytws | iStock | Getty Images As the November elections midterm elections approach, leaders on both sides of the aisle are trading barbs on one key program that affects millions of Americans — Social Security. Over the weekend, President Joe Biden called out certain lawmakers on Twitter, including Republican Senators Rick Scott of Florida and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, for their plans for the program. Scott "wants to require Congress to vote on the future of Social Security every 5 years," Biden tweeted. Meanwhile, Johnson "wants Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block every year," the president said in a separate tweet. More from Personal Finance:Settled medical debt is getting wiped from credit reportsSocial Security isn't bankrupt: What to know about future benefits70% of retirees would tell younger selves to start saving earlier "If Congress isn't forced to fix it, Social Security will go broke in 2035. You're damn right that I have a plan to make sure that doesn't happen," Scott tweeted in response. Meanwhile, Johnson's team rejected the president's claims that he is trying to weaken the...
    Joe Biden's student loan relief plan could trigger up to $1,100 in state-level taxes in at least 13 states because the $10,000-$20,000 in forgiveness could count toward an individual's income when filing their taxes. Some of the states with the largest poverty levels, including Arkansas, West Virginia and Mississippi are among the states where individuals and couples could see increased tax burdens due to the student loan forgiveness. The Tax Foundation think tank notes that 13 states currently would consider this relief income, but the states that might impose taxes on this student loan relief could shrink if legislative or administrative alterations are made. Additionally, several conservative state's Attorney Generals are considering launching legal challenges against the administration's forgiveness plan. 'We're actively looking into legal options to halt the Biden Administration's abuse of power and assault on working-class Americans,' Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt told Fox News. The estimate in additional taxes from the relief ranges from $307 in Pennsylvania on the low end to $1,100 in Hawaii on the high end, according to the nonprofit think tank analysis. An...
    Federal COVID funding is beginning to run out in the U.S. As the once-extensive government investment in vaccines, therapies and testing vanishes, epidemiologists are bracing for a major shakeup in—some would say “collapse of”—critical efforts to contain the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Vaccine initiatives could suffer the biggest blow. With the impending end of government funding, Americans would have to start paying for their own COVID shots—a disincentive that could further suppress the country’s middling vaccination uptake, currently plateaued at 67 percent “fully” vaccinated, usually with two doses of a messenger-RNA vaccine. Another likely victim is COVAX, the international vaccine consortium that buys jabs for poorer countries. COVAX has been struggling even before the coming squeeze on U.S. funding. Now an existing shortfall in doses is set to get a lot worse. Finally, an erosion of federal funding could delay or even kill off efforts to develop new, universal coronavirus vaccines that could work against current and future variants. Experts have pinned their hopes on universal jabs to help the population get ahead of a constantly-evolving virus. Without that new vaccine, we’ll...
    (CNN)If the US House soon passes the Senate's landmark climate change and health care bill, it will help validate the Democrats' monopoly on political power in Washington and hand Joe Biden a notable presidential legacy ahead of November's midterm elections. The measure finally squeezed through the Senate after an exhausting and dramatic round-the-clock marathon that stretched into Sunday afternoon -- a major breakthrough following months of Democratic infighting that gouged deep divides in the party.The Inflation Reduction Act may not live up to its name and cut the cost of living. It dashed some big dreams of progressives who wanted it to do more. And its final passage may come too late to save Democrats in the midterms. But it's still an enormous win for the party that seemed impossible just weeks ago. Whats in the Manchin-Schumer deal on climate, health care and taxesIn a goal Democrats have been chasing for decades, the legislation will for the first time give Medicare the power to negotiate the cost of a limited basket of prescription drugs, thereby bringing down costs. In extending...
    First Lady Jill Biden defended her husband and his administration's performance in an interview published on Tuesday, saying she wished voters could see just how hard he was working on the problems facing the nation. President Joe Biden's personal standing has been battered by crisis after crisis, from the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan to inflation and high gas prices.  This week it fell to 38 percent, according to Gallup, marking a new low. Jill Biden leapt to his defense, saying he was in power during a 'tough time in history' before reeling off his achievements. 'Sometimes it feels like we're pushing this boulder up the hill, but progress is being made,' she said in an interview with Real Simple magazine. 'Joe's been in office for, what, 18 months now? And everybody has access to vaccines.  'We got the schools reopened — thank God we all got off Zoom — we got health care, we got money for broadband so underserved kids can have internet.  'I don't want to sound like a political ad, but we have done so much. Gas...
    (CNN)Sometimes polling trends meet your expectations. For example, you might expect a president's approval rating to be low when we're dealing with high inflation and negative growth in real disposable income per capita.Sometimes, however, trends in public opinion are surprising. Even as President Joe Biden's approval rating languishes south of 40%, Democrats aren't just holding their own on the generic congressional ballot. They're actually improving their position as Biden's standing, if anything, gets worse. It's with this odd phenomenon that we start our look at the political week that was. Biden's unpopular, but so are Republicans Republicans now hold an average advantage of less than a point on the generic congressional ballot, which usually asks respondents some form of the following question: "If the elections for Congress were held today, would you vote for the Democratic or Republican party?"Read MoreRepublicans were ahead on this metric by 3 to 4 points in May. Our CNN/SSRS poll published a little less than two weeks ago was one of several recent surveys that have reflected this tightening. Republicans were ahead by an average...
    (CNN)When word filtered out that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was planning to visit potentially Taiwan as part of a congressional swing through Asia next month, it quickly turned into one of those wrenching foreign policy choices with major risks in both courses of action. Pelosi came under intense pressure, with politicians -- both Democrats and Republicans -- as well as policy strategists, alternatively warning of the risks of either going forward with the trip or canceling it. Frida GhitisBut is there a way out -- a path that would untangle this damned-either-way knot?The controversy burst into the open last week after President Joe Biden all but confirmed Pelosi's trip was under consideration when he answered a reporter's question, saying "The military thinks it's not a good idea right now."China, which considers democratic Taiwan a renegade province and likely aims to retake it at some time in the future, reacted with menacing statements. Beijing's foreign ministry spokesman warned, "Should the U.S. insist on making the visit, China will act strongly to resolutely respond to it and take countermeasures," adding, "We mean...
    Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has become one of the nation's most famous politicians for his practice of scuttling the best-laid plans of President Joe Biden and Democratic leadership, but the same party leaders now cursing him may ultimately benefit from his hesitance. Manchin has disrupted plans to eliminate or curtail the filibuster or pass the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act and most recently declined to back new spending to reach environmental goals. Each of those stances has left progressives apoplectic, but they may learn to appreciate Manchin's resistance in time. THE BIDEN AGENDA KEEPS RUNNING INTO JOE MANCHIN “It seems odd that Sen. Manchin would choose as his legacy to be the one man who single-handedly doomed humanity," said Center for American Progress founder and Chairman John Podesta. "But we can’t throw in the towel on the planet. Now, it’s more important than ever that President Joe Biden use all his authority to fiercely fight for the future.” Such language may reflect the feelings of progressives but not of most voters who are facing...
    JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia—The origin of the fist bump between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and U.S. President Joe Biden is murkier than the estimated 11 trillion gallons of oil oozing beneath this desert kingdom. The ramifications of the collision are more mudded than the particulars of a Central Intelligence Agency report that reckons the country’s future king was responsible for the 2018 murder and mutilation of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul. “The fist bump is a very natural gesture between the crown prince and President Biden,” Saudi Ministry of Media adviser Faheem al-Hamid says of the globally televised move some kinesics believe began as a pre-game greeting to avoid blood between dart players clutching a handful of sharpened arrows. The kingdom’s own 2018 Classified Darts Invitational Tournament, a small part of MBS’s ballyhooed endeavour to bring fun, games and holidaymakers to the place, was staged shortly after Khashoggi’s assassination. As Saudi Tourism Authority CEO Fahd Hamidaddin sells it, “Saudi Arabia is the largest investing destination in the tourism sector.” Yet reports indicate the darts competition resulted in...
    (CNN)A Supreme Court ruling Thursday could shape what we see going forward along the US-Mexico border.In a 5-4 ruling, justices found that immigration law gives the Biden administration discretion to end the "Remain in Mexico" policy, which forced some migrants to wait in Mexico while their immigration cases were pending.The case will now head back to the lower court for additional proceedings, but the Supreme Court's ruling puts Biden one step closer to ending the program.Here are some key questions about the policy and what could happen next.What impact will the Supreme Court decision have?Read MoreA hold on Biden's bid to end the program remains in place, but Thursday's ruling suggested that lower court order should be lifted shortly.That would allow the Biden administration to roll back the "Remain in Mexico" program, something officials first tried to do in 2021 before a federal court decision blocked their efforts months later. That means thousands of migrants who are currently waiting in Mexico as part of the program could be paroled into the United States to proceed with their immigration cases here....
    It’s just not that hard for the greatest country in the world to get meaningful gun control passed. Not the weak-kneed legislation President Biden just signed but real gun control that might actually save lives. Maybe even yours. If Biden and Congress really felt as strongly as two-thirds of Americans do, here’s what they could do. Biden announces a series of weekly 10-minute TV shows, and he shames the major networks into carrying them at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. on different nights of the week. If the networks refuse to be shamed, then the Democrats could buy the time. (Don’t tell me they can’t afford it.) The cable news networks would carry it for free, except perhaps Fox. The Democrats would have to spend some money getting the president of the United States on that network once a week. (You got something better to spend your money on?) Every show would be different. Every week Biden would explain the specifics of real gun control. Some weeks he would feature someone from one of the countries that have done so...
    SINCE taking office, President Joe Biden has weighed the idea of broadly canceling some level of student debt. With inflation at historic highs, however, the White House may balk at offering relief to millions of Americans. 1Student borrowers will not be required to make payments until September at the earliest Biden has reportedly considered wiping out $10,000 in debt for all borrowers, which would free 11.8million people from debt and forgive more than $320billion in loans, according to the Federal Reserve. Proponents argue that easing the debt burden for tens of millions of Americans would help boost the overall economy. Critics, on the other hand, say that another massive federal spending package could further devalue the dollar with inflation still high. "The economic impact of any proposal would be across the course of years or a couple of decades," White House economic adviser Brian Deese told said in May.  READ MORE ON STUDENT LOANSCASHING IN Households can get refunds on student loan repayments - act now if you need cashSTUDENT AID List of companies that will...
    MSNBC’s Katy Tur didn’t hide her shock and exasperation at the news out of Israel today. Tur brought in NBC News foreign correspondent Raf Sanchez to help her make sense of the fact that Israel would be going to its 5th election in 3 years and began by saying, “Raf, Raf, Raf, Raf, How could this possibly be? How could this possibly be? They have had so many elections over the last few years.” “That is the question a lot of Israeli voters are asking themselves. Here we go again, the fifth election in three years. This has basically been one long rolling political crisis. And Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister of Israel, who has been in power for 12 years, has a real spring in his step,” Sanchez responded. “He’s been on TV here in Israel, he’s looking bullish. This is a real chance for him potentially to return to power when these new elections happen in October,” he continued, adding: What’s so extraordinary about that is this is a man who is on trial for criminal corruption...
    How the White House's Biden foreign policy cleanups could make a bigger mess
    Tucker Carlson reminded Joe Biden that he once voted against Roe v. Wade as he slammed whoever was behind the leak of the draft SCOTUS judgment to overturn it. Fox News host Tucker Carlson called out the President for previously voting to allow individual states to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. 'Joe Biden has always supported legal abortion, but nine years after the Roe decision was handed down, he was still willing to admit it was indefensible as a legal decision,' Carlson said.  Scroll Down For Video:  Fox News host Tucker Carlson called out the President for previously voting to allow individual states overturn Roe v. Wade In 1982, the then 39-year-old senator supported a constitutional amendment to the ruling, citing his Roman Catholic religion for his support President Joe Biden vowed the White House would be 'ready' whenever the Supreme Court did deliver an opinion on Roe v. Wade Fox News Privacy Policy 'Pregnant women, Biden explained in 1982 as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, should not have "the...
    President Joe Biden returns to the White House from a day trip to Minneapolis on May 1, 2022.Stefani Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images President Joe Biden recently said that he'd be making his decision around student loan forgiveness within weeks. That means borrowers uncertain of the future of their debt, who've been hearing about the possibility of debt cancellation even before the 2020 presidential primary, will likely soon finally get an answer. But what will that be? That's the big question. More from Personal Finance:Here's how to buy new work clothes on a budgetThese are the best and worst U.S. places to dieBe sure to manage this risk as you near retirement White House aides are currently deliberating on the shape that broad cancellation should take, according to a recent report. Some of the ideas being floated include limiting the relief to those earning less than either $125,000 or $150,000. Here is a look at the possible impact of some of the leading proposals.Limiting forgiveness to certain earnersSome people are pushing student debt forgiveness to be targeted at those...
    The Biden administration is preparing to offload a million barrels per day of crude oil from U.S. reserves over the next six months, setting up federal coffers to grow by tens of billions of dollars. But the government could have been in a position to earn billions more if the Trump administration had been successful at refilling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in 2020, when oil was selling for a period at or below $20 per barrel. HOW BIDEN'S RECORD STRATEGIC PETROLEUM RESERVE SALE WILL WORK President Joe Biden signed a memorandum Thursday declaring that the oil market suffers from a severe supply interruption, authorizing the Department of Energy to draw down and sell Strategic Petroleum Reserve oil to supplement the market. The White House announced the drawdown rate would be 1 million barrels per day on average for a six-month period — or about 180 million barrels. After COVID-19 lockdowns began in the spring of 2020 and the oil market crashed, the Trump administration sought funding from Congress to stock up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as...
    VIDEO1:5701:57I don't think anyone call tell where gas prices end up after release, says President BidenPower Lunch Filling up at the pump comes with a hefty dose of sticker shock. Russia's invasion of Ukraine and global supply concerns have sent gas prices to record highs — hitting $6 in some parts of the country. To combat the spike in energy costs, the White House said it will release 1 million barrels of oil per day from the nation's strategic reserves "to serve as bridge until the end of the year when domestic production ramps up."We could see the national average price of gasoline fall back under $4 a gallon in the few weeks ahead.Patrick De Haanhead of petroleum analysis at GasBuddyThe increased supply should help push prices down since more than 50% of the cost of gasoline is based on the price of oil, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Expect prices at the pump to fall "maybe a penny every day or two," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. "We could see the national...
    (CNN)Just nine unscripted words put an already jittery world on edge again.President Joe Biden's suggestion in Poland on Saturday that Vladimir Putin's onslaught on Ukraine should disqualify him from power triggered an international political storm.Back in Washington Sunday evening, Biden told reporters that he was not calling for regime change in Russia -- echoing a message spelled out multiple times by his subordinates even before he had returned to the US. Bidens off-the-cuff remark on Putin sends shock waves on dramatic final day of tripBut the global reverberations from the remarks leave the administration facing grave questions. Some are strategic and could impact the future course of the war and so-far elusive hopes for a ceasefire. Others are political and relate to Biden's standing at home, amid a torrent of Republican criticism, and internationally, as he seeks to keep the Western coalition together.They include: Read MoreDid the President's comment dangerously escalate already high tensions in the worst confrontation between the West and Russia in decades? Has Biden shaken international confidence in his so-far strong leadership in bringing the...
    Greg Gutfeld cited the 2004 sci-fi film The Butterfly Effect to explain how a laptop formerly owned by Hunter Biden will lead to worldwide starvation on Friday. In Brussels, President Joe Biden warned of global shortages of food a day before, citing sanctions on Russia and the war in Ukraine. “We did talk about food shortages,” the president said. “And it’s going to be real. The price of these sanctions is not just imposed upon Russia, it’s imposed upon an awful lot of countries as well, including European countries and our country as well.” On The Five, Gutfeld explained – using chaos theory’s butterfly effect – that if global starvation happens, it will have originated with Hunter Biden leaving a laptop at a computer repair shop in Delaware in 2019, as the New York Post reported. The Post’s reporting, some of which was recently verified by the New York Times, was censored on social media when it was first published. Per Gutfeld, acts of censorship in October and November of 2020 led to a Biden victory over former President Donald Trump....
    "Remember what happened in Canada a few weeks ago when they were going after the bank accounts of the truckers?" Dave asked. "Think how dangerous it would be if we have a digital dollar, and then you protest the government and all the government has to do is [have] some government bureaucrat lackey [act] and, 'adios amigo,' your money is gone." Watch the video clip below or find full episodes of "The Rubin Report" here. Can't watch? Download the podcast here. Want more from Dave Rubin?To enjoy more honest conversations, free speech, and big ideas with Dave Rubin, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.
    First lady Jill Biden could be dispatched to Eastern Europe as Ukraine's humanitarian crisis worsens amid Russian President Vladimir Putin's escalated bombardment of civilian centers. The East Wing and National Security Council are reportedly in talks regarding a trip to the region as they organize a phone call between Biden and her Polish counterpart, Agata Kornhauser-Duda. But although the first lady, one of the few popular, nonpolarizing figures in President Joe Biden's administration, would draw much-needed attention to the 2 million-plus refugees fleeing Ukraine, she risks upstaging her husband and Vice President Kamala Harris when they can least afford it. TWO YEARS AFTER WHO PANDEMIC DECLARATION, BIDEN STILL LAGS PUBLIC ON COVID Jill Biden taking "center stage" could be "problematic" for her husband considering his leadership during the Russia-Ukraine war has finally stabilized his free-falling approval ratings before the 2022 midterm elections, according to presidential historian David Pietrusza. The optics would "only further fuel discussions of her husband's suspected limitations," Pietrusza told the Washington Examiner. "Prior to Eleanor Roosevelt, first ladies were seen but not heard. But while Eleanor famously...
    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday defended the Biden administration amid an onslaught of Republican accusations that the president's policies led to record-high energy prices.  United States gas prices reached a record-high nationwide average of $4.25 per gallon on Wednesday, rising eight cents the day after President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russian energy imports.  Global oil and gas prices have skyrocketed since Vladimir Putin gave Moscow's forces the order to invade Ukraine on February 24.   During remarks at the White House on Tuesday, Biden commiserated with US drivers as he announced his Russian energy blockade. He admitted prices would rise further and vowed 'to do everything I can to minimize Putin’s price hike here at home.' But Republican lawmakers claim it's the president's clean energy policies that are to blame for cutting US fossil fuel production. 'Yes, oil is an international market, but the main reason Americans are paying so much is bad domestic policies. These aren’t Putin’s price hikes. They’re President Biden’s,' House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a press conference on Wednesday.' Psaki...
    43 million Americans will be back on the hook for student loan payments in less than two months unless President Joe Biden takes action. Last week, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain hinted that President Joe Biden may soon take action on the nation's $1.7 trillion in student loan debt. Biden has several options at his disposal to aid the nation's 43 million student loan borrowers, experts told the American Independent Foundation. "The president is going to look at what we should do on student debt before the pause expires, or he'll extend the pause," Klain said on the podcast Pod Save America last Thursday. "Right now, people aren't having to pay on their loans, and so I think dealing with the executive branch question, what we should do about that, what his powers are, how much we should do on that, that's something we're going to deal with later on," Klain added. The freeze on student loan payments, which has been in place since March 2020, expires on May 1. There's been a growing chorus from progressives calling...
    (CNN)President Joe Biden is confronting an international crisis of an enormous magnitude. While Biden played a proactive role in trying to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from invading Ukraine, it wasn't enough to stop the largest conventional military attack in Europe since World War II. Russia's full-scale attack on Ukraine -- which comes at a moment when Biden is already struggling domestically with rising inflation, a turbulent stock market and low approval ratings -- poses an immense challenge, both in terms of policy and politics. For Biden, the short-term options are limited. The President, working with US allies to put an economic squeeze on Putin and his inner circle, announced additional sanctions during a press conference on Thursday. "Putin chose this war, and now he and his country will bear the consequences," the President said. Biden also emphasized his commitment to NATO and its principle of collective defense, saying the US will "defend every inch of NATO territory with the full force of American power." But Biden's hands are somewhat tied, given that the President has repeatedly stated he does...
    Former prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks and journalist Carl Bernstein are among the Watergate-era figures who have commented that President Richard Nixon’s corruption during the 1970s pales in comparison to the actions of former President Donald Trump. Indeed, Nixon never lost a presidential election only to falsely claim that he didn’t and do everything imaginable to overturn the election results. The aftermath of the 2020 election raises very real concerns that in the future, rogue Republicans will simply refuse to honor presidential election results that they don’t like — and an article by Business Insider’s Grace Panetta addresses the possibility of a rogue GOP governor trying to overturn the Electoral College outcome in 2024 should Trump run for president again and lose that state to a Democrat. After the 2020 election, two GOP governors in states that Joe Biden won — Georgia’s Brian Kemp and Arizona’s Doug Ducey — infuriated Trump when they certified the presidential election results in their states and maintained that there was no reason to believe that Biden didn’t win them fairly. Panetta’s article examines the possibility of...
    It remains to be seen who President Joe Biden will nominate for the U.S. Supreme Court seat presently held by the retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, but he has said that the nominee will be an African-American woman — and the top contender, according to many reports, is believed to be 51-year-old D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Whoever the nominee is, journalist Kali Holloway warns in a scathing op-ed published by the Daily Beast on January 28, she can expect to be bombarded with both racism and misogyny by Republicans. “For nearly 180 years,” Holloway writes, “every American president made an unspoken pledge to only nominate White men to the U.S. Supreme Court. Race and gender went unmentioned, because they were foregone conclusions…. Now, a lot of those White men are hopping mad, firing off racist responses the minute President Joe Biden reaffirmed his campaign promise to nominate the first Black woman to the Supreme Court, without even waiting to find out what Black woman they’re attacking.” One of the Republicans who has been sounding off about Biden...
    (CNN)The political fight over pandemic policy is playing out in America's suburbs, where some of the same voters -- namely suburban women -- who propelled Democrats to big wins in the 2018 and 2020 elections are now breaking ranks ahead of this year's midterms.One window into the brewing fight is in northeastern Ohio. A mother in Shaker Heights, who recently participated in a White House call on Covid-19 policy, was eager to give Democrats the benefit of the doubt and help them win elections. But in Cleveland, another mother who recently wrote an attention-grabbing essay on losing faith in the party offered a glimpse at the peril Democrats could face in November. "If you would've told me two years ago that I would be alienated from the Democratic Party, I wouldn't have believed it," Angie Schmitt, a Cleveland writer with two young children, said in an interview. "I hated (Donald) Trump and what the administration was doing," she said. "But I just don't think people realized what a big deal closing school for a year was."Top Democrats, including President Joe...
    Weeks ahead of the largest mass government mailing operation since the AIDS epidemic, some testing authorities, epidemiologists and public health experts are expressing concern that the beleaguered U.S. Postal Service may struggle to successfully deliver half a billion working tests to Americans who order them. “Putting it in the hands of the postal service is a risk,” said Lawrence Gostin, director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown Law Center, who bluntly told The Daily Beast that the mail carrier is “just ill equipped” to deal with sensitive pharmaceutical tests on a mass scale. “This is not like we’re sending Christmas cards and it doesn’t matter if it gets damaged or is late or what the temperature is,” Gostin said. “These are essential medical technologies.” By the end of January, the U.S. Postal Service is expected to begin shipment of the first wave of one billion at-home COVID tests—doubled from an initial 500 million announced last month—to every American household that requests one from an as-yet-unbuilt government website. The Biden administration, which faced criticism for...
    As the Biden administration's employer vaccine mandate hangs in the balance before the Supreme Court, there could be an upside for the White House should the regulation be overturned. Rules go into effect this week, requiring employees at large businesses to either get vaccinated or mask and test weekly. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandate has been challenged in court, and justices appear divided over its legality. WHITE HOUSE 'CONFIDENT IN OUR LEGAL AUTHORITY' AS SUPREME COURT DEBATES VACCINE MANDATES But with significant pushback to the rules from both employers and some employees, overturning it could lead to increased stability in the workplace, where many businesses still struggle to fill openings. Research by Isabel Soto, director of labor market policy at the conservative American Action Forum, estimated that 10 million workers at large firms are likely to resist vaccine mandates. If significant numbers decide to seek employment elsewhere, it would further constrain an already underpowered labor force. "The mandate has the potential to be very disruptive to the labor market," said American Action Forum...
    As August ended, American troops completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan almost 20 years after they first arrived. On the formal date of withdrawal, however, President Biden insisted that “over-the-horizon capabilities” (airpower and Special Operations forces, for example) would remain available for use anytime. “[W]e can strike terrorists and targets without American boots on the ground, very few if needed,” he explained, dispensing immediately with any notion of a true peace. But beyond expectations of continued violence in Afghanistan, there was an even greater obstacle to officially ending the war there: the fact that it was part of a never-ending, far larger conflict originally called the Global War on Terror (in caps), then the plain-old lower-cased war on terror, and finally — as public opinion here soured on it — America’s “forever wars.” As we face the future, it’s time to finally focus on ending, formally and in every other way, that disastrous larger war. It’s time to acknowledge in the most concrete ways imaginable that the post-9/11 war on terror, of which the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan was the...
    (CNN)President Joe Biden wants half the vehicles sold in the US to be electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids by 2030. But to reach that goal, not only do Americans need to start buying more electric vehicles, they need more charging stations to plug them into. EVs and plug-in hybrids accounted for just 2% of US vehicle production in 2020, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Part of the reason EVs have been slow to take off -- in addition to being expensive -- is the lack of charging infrastructure: there are currently only around 45,000 publicly available EV chargers in the US. Biden to release oil reserves to combat high gas pricesThe Biden administration's goal is to increase that number to 500,000, and it plans to do that, in part, using $7.5 billion in funding from the bipartisan infrastructure package the President signed last week. Though it's only half of what the White House initially proposed for EV charging, experts told CNN it will get the administration most of the way to its goal. A White House official also told...
    President Joe Biden launched a publicity tour touting his newly passed $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, but political operatives in both parties question whether it will move the needle for Democrats in the midterm elections. Though Biden has not yet signed the bill into law, the White House is sending him to multiple cities across the country to deliver remarks on how the administration's investments will improve those particular communities, with the first coming last week in Baltimore. BIDEN POURING BILLIONS INTO SUPPLY CHAIN UPGRADES TO PORTS AND WATERWAYS Biden opened by discussing rampant inflation, which he called "one of the most pressing economic concerns in the American people." "Too many people remain unsettled about the economy and we all know why. They see higher prices," he stated. "Everything from a gallon of gas to a loaf of bread costs more, and it's worrisome even though wages are going up." "This bill is going to reduce the cost of goods to consumer businesses and get people back to work helping us build an economy from the bottom up...
    Roughly a week before then-Vice President Mike Pence certified Joe Biden's 2020 victory, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows sent him a detailed plan written by one of Donald Trump's lawyers for how he could overturn the election results, journalist Jonathan Karl reports in his new book. In an excerpt from the ABC correspondent's forthcoming book Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show, he details how on New Years Eve last year, the president's chief of staff tried to pressure Pence into unprecedented political waters. Meadows allegedly emailed Pence's top aide a memo written by Jenna Ellis, who along with Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell was waging an all-out legal war against a handful of states that narrowly went to Biden that November. The memo proposed that on January 6, Pence would object to the certification of ballots from six states where Trump baselessly alleged there was fraud, according to the excerpt released by ABC News. Ellis reportedly wrote that Pence would then give those six states until January 15 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time to send back...
    Removing the $80 billion would leave a $400 billion question mark over how Build Back Better would be paid for Democrats are reportedly close to dropping a provision from President Joe Biden's $1.75 trillion Build Back Better bill that would allocate $80 billion toward strengthening Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax enforcement.  White House and Treasury Department calculations estimate the investment would bring in $400 billion over 10 years as part of Biden's promise that his sweeping social and environmental agenda would be 'fully paid for.'  Moderate Democrats in the House and Senate have said they won't vote for the progressive-backed bill until they know where the money for it will come from. That could be a problem for Biden, since Congressional Budget Office guidelines wouldn't allow for a concrete estimate on how much money the IRS funding would bring in. When calculating projected cost of a bill CBO analysts are not able to officially count money that's being spent as also bringing revenue in, though an unofficial estimate from the office only had the proposal netting about $200 billion over a...
    Facing increasing political pressure over the rising cost of fuels, the Biden administration is still considering shutting down a key pipeline in Michigan — a move that has drawn further scrutiny of its energy policies. The White House this week defended its decision earlier this year to conduct an environmental review on a pipeline, known as Line 5, that runs through Michigan and into Canada. Although the administration began the review in June, the decision has received renewed attention in light of skyrocketing gas prices and the administration’s ineffective attempts to mitigate them. Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered Enbridge, the Canadian company that operates Line 5, to shut down the pipeline by May 12, which came and went without action from Enbridge. BIDEN ADMINISTRATION WADES INTO MICHIGAN OIL PIPELINE FIGHT WITH ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW  Enbridge is continuing to fight the order in court, and the case has focused on whether the state or the federal government has the authority to shut down the pipeline in a battle that also has implications for the U.S.-Canada relationship. Canadian leaders have pushed...
    Washington (CNN)There's no quick fix for the current pandemic-induced supply chain crisis, but the bipartisan infrastructure bill currently held up in Congress would help prepare the complicated system to handle the next disruption.The legislation calls for major federal investments in each step of the US freight network: Inland waterways and rail used for transporting goods and produce, highways and bridges traveled heavily by truck drivers as well as the nation's seaside ports, the biggest of which is currently facing a record backlog of shipping containers sitting on scores of ships waiting off the coast.Heres whats in the bipartisan infrastructure billAltogether, the bill would provide up to $78 billion over five years to address the interconnected system that moves freight across the country, according to the Coalition for America's Gateways and Trade Corridors that advocates for the nation's freight infrastructure. The new investment would provide a 40% increase to two key federal freight infrastructure programs as well as additional money for new programs.Chronic underfundingRead More"The money is very much needed for a backlog of projects across the country," said Elaine Nessle,...
                      by Andrew Spiegel  President Joe Biden craves a cure for cancer. In a speech to Congress this spring, he vowed to “end cancer as we know it.” And as vice president, he helped start the Cancer Moonshot initiative. Yet by giving his backing to a global waiver of intellectual property (IP) rights for COVID-19 vaccines, President Biden may have endangered millions of Americans living with cancer. The Biden administration has said that it would join a World Trade Organization move to suspend IP safeguards for the vaccines. Its intentions are no doubt sincere, founded in the belief that a waiver will help rid the world of COVID-19. Yet the setting aside of IP protections has consequences that the administration seems to have overlooked. If adopted, the waiver won’t galvanize the supply of vaccines bound for the developing world – certainly not in the immediate term. What it will do is threaten scientific innovation that could lead to cures for cancer and other diseases. I’ll explain why. Technically, the waiver supported...
    by Michael Oppenheimer, Princeton University President Joe Biden has a goal for all U.S. electricity to come from zero-carbon sources by 2035. To get there, he's counting on Congress to approve an ambitious package of incentives and penalties designed to encourage utilities to clean up their power sources. That plan, part of the Democrats' proposed budget package, may be in trouble. Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat who has close ties to the coal, oil and gas industries and concerns about the speed of Biden's planned emissions cuts, will oversee that part of the budget as chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Manchin has emphasized using “all energy sources" as “cleanly as possible" and described the idea of eliminating fossil fuels as “very, very disturbing." He reportedly wants to lessen the proposed incentives and penalties for utilities, known as the Clean Electricity Payment Program, and reward companies for burning natural gas. We asked Michael Oppenheimer, director of the Center for Policy Research on Energy and Environment at Princeton University, about the potential impact and alternatives the...
    President Biden on Saturday again defended the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, arguing that the vast majority of Americans wanted to get out -- and asking "How else could you get out?" Biden was speaking to reporters in Shanksville, Pa., on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and was asked about whether the withdrawal of the U.S. forces at the end of August marks a new phase for the country. HOW KABUL BECAME AN EVACUATION BOTTLENECK AND A PRIME TERROR TARGET: THE LAST 96 "If you had told anybody that we were going to spend $300 million a day for 20 years to try to unite the country after we got [Usama] bin Laden, after al Qaeda was wiped out there," he said. "Can al Qaeda come back? Yeh but guess what? It's already back in other places." "What's the strategy? Every place where al Qaeda is, we're going to invade and have troops there? Come on," he said. Biden has been heavily criticized for his handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and has seen a sharp drop in poll numbers....
    President Joe Biden announced his unprecedented COVID vaccine order on Thursday, and within moments it brought an onslaught of legal threats and accusations of executive overreach. As part of the White House's aggressive new approach to fighting the pandemic, the president directed the Labor Department's regulatory agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to mandate all businesses with at least 100 employees either require all of them to be vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID testing. The agency has the authority to issue an 'emergency temporary standard' (ETS) if it can prove workers are exposed to a grave danger and the rule is deemed necessary to address it.  They are expected to issue it 'in the coming weeks,' the White House said.  More than 80 million workers will be affected.  A Congressional report updated in July notes how rarely emergency standards are used. The last OSHA ETS was struck down in 1983, when a federal court said the agency failed to support its claim that asbestos exposure in the workplace needed to be further reduced due to a significant...
    The United States saw the deadliest day for American troops in 10 years Thursday, after at least 13 service members were killed and 18 others injured in a suicide bomb attack outside the Abbey Gate at Kabul airport.  Dozens of Afghan citizens were also killed after thousands flooded to the Hamid Karzai International Airport in an attempt to flee the Taliban-ridden country, less than two weeks after the collapse of Afghanistan. AFGHANISTAN EXPLOSIONS: 13 US SERVICE MEMBERS KILLED IN KABUL AIRPORT BLAST, MORE WOUNDED, OFFICIALS SAY "I bear responsibility for fundamentally all that’s happened," President Biden told reporters Thursday. "You know as well as I do that the former president made a deal with the Taliban that he would get all American forces out of Afghanistan by May 1," he said. "In return, he was given the commitment that the Taliban would continue to attack others, but would not attack any American forces." Biden’s acceptance of the Trump-Taliban deal reached by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is the basis for the calamity that has unfolded in Afghanistan, argued Kori...
    Fox News Pentagon correspondent Lucas Tomlinson pressed Pentagon press secretary John Kirby on the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, and how the Biden administration was caught off guard. During a Saturday morning Pentagon briefing, Tomlinson asked Kirby, “Two days before Kabul fell, you said from that podium, quote, ‘the city is not right now in any imminent threat environment. How could you get that so wrong?'” In response, Kirby claimed that at the time there was no threat of Kabul falling to the Taliban. “In the moment that I said it, Lucas, it was true. And I understand, I’ve seen the reactions out there on social media to what I said. In the moment that I said it, based on what we knew at the time, it was a true statement and yes, two days later things dramatically changed. I readily admit that. Things moved very, very quickly, Lucas, and as you heard the chairman up here just a few days ago say that, you know, that there wasn’t any indication that, you know, that they had received that things...
    During a portion of an interview with ABC News on Wednesday, President Joe Biden said that he doesn’t think the exit from Afghanistan could have been handled any better and “the idea that somehow, there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happens.” ABC host George Stephanopoulos asked, “So, you don’t think this could have been handled — this exit could have been handled better in any way, no mistakes?” Biden responded, “No. I don’t think it could have been handled in a way that — we’re going to go back in hindsight and look — but the idea that somehow, there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happens. I don’t know how that happened.” Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
    President Biden on Wednesday declined an opportunity to say he would have done anything in Afghanistan differently, insisting he doesn't know how the U.S. could withdraw from Afghanistan without "chaos ensuing." The president made the comments in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, the first time he's taken questions from a journalist since the Taliban took over Afghanistan.  "So you don't think this could have been handled -- this exit could have been handled better in any way, no mistakes?" Stephanopoulos asked Biden in a clip of the interview posted Wednesday. "No, I don't think it could have been handled in a way that, we're gonna go back in hindsight and look — but the idea that somehow, there's a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don't know how that happens," the president responded. "I don't know how that happened." Stephanopoulos asked if that was "always priced into the decision." "Yes," the president responded, adding, "Now exactly what happened, I've not priced in."  The president has defended his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan and the timing, even...
    CNN’s Poppy Harlow took aim at the Biden administration in a Monday interview with former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI). “How does the Biden administration miscalculate this intelligence so gravely?” Harlow asked Rogers in the morning interview. “How can you be so, so far off?” Rogers, who led the House Intelligence Committee from 2011-15, recited some of the atrocities the Taliban had perpetrated since reassuming power in Afghanistan over the weekend, and said it was “shocking” for Biden administration officials to claim they were unaware innocent people would be “slaughtered” after American troops left the country. “I mean, to say that they were surprised by events is a little bit shocking, because the intelligence for months has said that this thing is deteriorating quickly,” Rogers replied. “It was a combination of messages that were being sent to the Taliban. In negotiations, they started talking about, ‘Would you live our embassies alone?’ The Taliban said ‘Well, that’s a clue.’ When our last warrior-commander, Scott Miller, packed up and flew out about a month ago, that sent another very strong message. So...
    A NEW infrastructure bill by President Joe Biden is moving through Congress and could soon be signed into law. The bill is worth $1.2trillion. We explain what you need to know about it and whether it could change how cryptocurrency is taxed. 1We explain what you need to know about the infrastructure bill and how it could affect cryptocurrency investorsCredit: Alamy What is the infrastructure bill? The infrastructure bill, known as HR 3684, allocates $550billion in funding to improve America's infrastructure. The package breakdown allocates $110billion for roads and bridges, $39billion for public transit systems, and $66billion for railroads. An additional $55billion would be included in the bill for water and wastewater infrastructure. It'll also make funds available for electric vehicle charging stations and airports. 5 risks of crypto investmentsBELOW we round up five risks of investing in cryptocurrencies. Consumer protection: Some investments advertising high returns based on cryptoassets may not be subject to regulation beyond anti-money laundering requirements.  Price volatility: Significant price volatility in cryptoassets, combined with the inherent difficulties of valuing cryptoassets reliably, places consumers at...
    The White House is betting bipartisanship will help President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats hold on to power after next year's midterm elections and the coming 2024 cycle following their $1.2 trillion brick-and-mortar infrastructure deal with Senate Republicans. But the problem for Democrats is while bipartisanship may boost candidates in general elections, it hamstrings them in primary contests, particularly if they are competing in gerrymandered districts. BIDEN INCHES TOWARD VACCINE MANDATE FOR FEDERAL WORKERS Bipartisanship polls well with survey respondents, yet in the end, voters care more about how they benefit from the final package than how it became law, according to Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray. "You may get a gold star for passing a bipartisan bill, but only the results get figured into your GPA when election time rolls around," he told the Washington Examiner. The White House begs to differ. After all, Biden beat former President Donald Trump last year by campaigning on a promise to return calm, civility, and bipartisanship to Washington, D.C. And aides are accustomed to being doubted by...
    Joe Biden has sent a clear message to businesses: Make it easier for workers to quit — or the government will do it for you. The president's July 9 executive order takes aim at an increasingly common and oft-criticized feature of the labor market: noncompete agreements. Under these restrictive agreements, which cover an estimated one-fifth to one-half of private-sector workers, employees give up future work in their industry as a condition of keeping their current job.  Now, Mr. Biden has directed the Federal Trade Commission to "curtail the unfair use" of such agreements and any others "that may unfairly limit worker mobility."  Those few words take aim at "one of the most powerful tools that employers have to restrict their employees and what they do after employment ends," according to attorneys for Fisher Phillips, an employer-side law firm. "This is a potential game changer for employers nationwide," they said on a recent podcast. The coronavirus pandemic has drawn fresh criticism for these agreements. "In the context of the pandemic, which caused millions of people to be laid off,...
    Washington (CNN)President Joe Biden wants to raise money for his ambitious economic agenda by ramping up enforcement at the Internal Revenue Service -- a way for the federal government to spend more money without raising taxes or adding to the deficit, making it a win-win in the eyes of lawmakers. The latest infrastructure proposal agreed to by the White House and a bipartisan group of senators suggests that an additional $100 billion could be collected by the IRS over the next 10 years by simply beefing up enforcement and making sure the government is collecting what taxpayers actually owe -- also known as closing the "tax gap."Biden also suggested earlier in the year that if he could boost the IRS's budget by $80 billion to pay for enforcement, he could increase revenue for the government by $700 billion over 10 years -- money he'd use to fund his American Families Plan, which would invest in child care, pre-K and colleges. But it's unclear exactly how much could be raised and how much it would cost to increase enforcement. Here's how...