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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*
*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.
The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Senate readies to debate infrastructure bill | Releases bill text during rare Sunday session | Photo of the massive, printed bill | Schumer hopes for two big votes before August recess | U.S. surpasses 35M COVID-19 cases | Vaccine hesitant face guilt after family members struggle with virus | Pelosi throws eviction ban back to Biden | NFL player watches sister advance to Olympic finals
After the slog of a rare weekend Senate session, senators finally unveiled the text of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. https://bit.ly/2VjZV0t
What happens now: The Senate is expected to start debating the bill today. Negotiators of the bill are hoping to pass it by the end of the week, though any opposition could slow that timeline.
It *could* pass by the end of the week: “Senators are hoping to move the bill relatively quickly and pass it by the end of the week. That would require cooperation from all 100 senators, who could drag it out further just by using the Senate rulebook.”
Why conservatives aren’t wild about the timing: “Conservatives immediately bristled over that timeline, arguing for the Senate to take a slower pace and allow members, who were largely on the sidelines during the negotiations, to read the bill. While senators had been getting pieces of the text, the final bill wasn’t publicly available until Sunday night.”
Tidbit about the spending: $550 bill of the $1.2 trillion bill is new spending.
The full breakdown from The Hill’s Jordain Carney, who has been covering this all weekend: https://bit.ly/2WQvCzr
HERE’S THE FULL TEXT OF THE BILL, IF YOU’RE INTO THAT KINDA THING:
It’s only equivalent to reading ‘War and Peace’ twice. https://bit.ly/3foHRtb
CUE THE EAGER SALESPERSON — ‘BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!’:
“[Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats' do-or-die moment Biden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Progressives push for fossil subsidy repeal in spending bill MORE (D-N.Y.)] has vowed that he will hold two votes before he lets senators leave for their break: One on passing the bipartisan deal and a second on a budget resolution that greenlights Democrats passing a $3.5 trillion spending package on their own.” https://bit.ly/3A2encx
All 2,702 pages.
It’s Monday — welcome to August! I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to firstname.lastname@example.org — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.
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NEWS THIS MORNING
Simone is back, baby!!!:
Via ESPN’s D’Arcy Maine, “After previously withdrawing from the all-around competition and three event finals, Simone Biles will be competing in Tuesday's balance beam final at the Olympic Games.” https://es.pn/3BZZYiO
USA Gymnastics tweeted early this morning: “We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow - Suni Lee AND Simone Biles!! Can’t wait to watch you both!” https://bit.ly/3zWpcga
I’m sure you all know the story by now, but just in case — back story: “Biles said she has been experiencing the ‘twisties’ since the team finals last week. She withdrew from the competition following vault, the first event, and has not competed since. The team had said she would be evaluated every day and that it would be making decisions accordingly about her competition status.”
Yikes, this is not how this should work:
Via The Hill’s John Kruzel, “There is growing concern that election workers will leave their posts in droves following a 2020 presidential contest that saw an unprecedented rise in violent threats against administrators.” https://bit.ly/3lmZcXl
How so: “Election workers had their homes broken into. Their private information was maliciously posted online. Some fled with their families into hiding. Others faced down armed crowds outside their workplaces and homes. And nearly nine months after Election Day, the threats persist.”
Yikes: “Nearly 1 in 6 local election workers received threats of violence, and almost 1 in 3 said they feel unsafe because of their job, according to an April survey by the Brennan Center for Justice.”
The full story: https://bit.ly/3lmZcXl
LATEST WITH THE CORONAVIRUS
News this morning — not a record we want to keep breaking:
The United States has surpassed 35 million COVID-19 cases. https://bit.ly/37bZvvX
Great..: “The country is now averaging about 70,000 cases per day and recorded over 100,000 on Friday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
Via The New York Times’s Jack Healy writes about people who rejected the vaccine and are facing regret over their decision as their loved ones are nearing death. https://nyti.ms/3C3035z
“As Mindy Greene spent another day in the Covid intensive care unit, listening to the whirring machines that now breathed for her 42-year-old husband, Russ, she opened her phone and tapped out a message.
‘We did not get the vaccine,’ she wrote on Facebook. ‘I read all kinds of things about the vaccine and it scared me. So I made the decision and prayed about it and got the impression that we would be ok.’ They were not.”
“Her husband, the father to their four children, was now hovering between life and death, tentacles of tubes spilling from his body. ‘If I had the information I have today, we would have gotten vaccinated,’ Ms. Greene wrote.”
The full story: https://nyti.ms/3C3035z
ON THE TOP OF THE NEW YORK TIMES WEBSITE:
‘Where a Vast Global Vaccination Program Went Wrong’: https://nyti.ms/2WCZwqw
Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 35,007,081
U.S. death toll: 613,230
Breakdown of the numbers: https://cnn.it/2UAgW3y
Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 346 million shots have been given.
Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 662,529 doses
For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million.
Breakdown of the numbers: https://bloom.bg/3iVTPLH
WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING IN CONGRESS
*Cue television anchor voice* — ‘Back to you, Joe!’:
Via Politico’s Katy O’Donnell, “Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs Democrats steamroll toward showdown on House floor Panic begins to creep into Democratic talks on Biden agenda MORE and her leadership team on Sunday urged President Joe Biden to immediately renew and extend the eviction moratorium until Oct. 18 after House Democrats failed to marshal the votes to prevent its lapse this weekend.” https://politi.co/3ihcLpe
Why this is important: “The statement from House leadership marked the latest escalation of tensions between congressional Democrats and the Biden administration over the fate of the eviction moratorium, which ended Saturday after being first implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September.”
OTHER ACTION ITEMS:
Government funding: “The Senate will start its work on the 12 fiscal 2022 government funding bills this week, after the House passed bills before leaving for their summer break.” Yes, but: Don’t expect any of these bills to pass before the August recess.
War authorizations: “The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will move forward with its plan this week to take up a repeal of the 1991 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force, which are both related to Iraq.”
Details for each: https://bit.ly/3A2encx
Wow, now this is a relatable tweet:
The Senate is in. The House is out. President BidenJoe BidenTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe House passes sweeping defense policy bill MORE and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C.
10 a.m. EDT: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief.
1:15 p.m. EDT: President Biden and Vice President Harris receive a briefing from the White House COVID Response Team.
6:45 p.m. EDT: President Biden delivers remarks at a virtual fundraising reception for the Democratic National Committee.
WHAT TO WATCH:
1 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBiden administration defends handling of Haitians amid uproar Sean Spicer, Russ Vought sue Biden over Naval Board removal 'Quad' summit is a chance to clarify our Indo-Pacific agenda MORE holds a press briefing. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3C8H1dO
3 p.m. EDT: The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care — Presented by Indivior — CDC panel approves boosters for some, but not based on jobs Fauci: 'Worst time' for a government shutdown is in middle of pandemic The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Government shutdown fears increase as leaders dig in MORE for a discussion on the administration’s efforts to create new COVID treatments. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3fohp2R
4 p.m. EDT: The White House COVID Response Team holds a press briefing. Livestream: https://bit.ly/2WN2Qzy
IN LIGHTER NEWS:
Today is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!
And because you made it this far, here’s a dog who is pretty annoyed by its cat sibling: https://bit.ly/2VhxfFN