Day 128: "No excuse."
1/ Senate Republicans are expected to use the filibuster to block the establishment of a bipartisan, independent commission to study the Jan. 6 pro-Trump riot at the Capitol, which led to the deaths of five people and about 140 police officers injured. In the House, 35 Republicans backed the bill last week. Fewer than 10 Senate Republicans are expected to support the bill, likely making it the first successful use of a filibuster during the Biden administration. Sen. Joe Manchin, meanwhile, said “there is no excuse for any Republican to vote against” legislation to create a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. But when asked if he would vote to eliminate the filibuster to allow the commission bill to pass with 51 votes, Manchin replied that while it was “frustrating” to see Republicans opposed to the bill, he is “not willing to destroy our government.” (CNN / Associated Press / Washington Post / Politico / CBS News / ABC News / NBC News)
2/ A federal judge warned that Trump’s “steady drumbeat” of false claims that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him could inspire his supporters to take up arms, as they did during the Capitol insurrection. Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote: “The steady drumbeat that inspired defendant to take up arms has not faded away; six months later, the canard that the election was stolen is being repeated daily on major news outlets and from the corridors of power in state and federal government, not to mention in the near-daily fulminations of the former President.” Separately, Trump and Rudy Giuliani asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to incite the Capitol violence. At a pre-riot rally near the Capitol, Trump called on his followers to march to the Capitol and told them: “If you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.” Giuliani, during the same rally, called for “trial by combat.” (CNN / CNBC)
3/ Senate Republicans offered a $928 billion infrastructure proposal to counter Biden’s American Jobs Plan, which was initially valued at $2.3 trillion. The $928 billion plan is an increase from the GOP’s original, five-year $568 billion proposal. It would not raise taxes, but instead be funded through repurposing unused Covid-19 relief money, an idea that Democrats are opposed to. The $928 billion plan falls short, however, of the White House’s latest $1.7 trillion compromise proposal. Senate Republicans have also made the definition of infrastructure a sticking point in negotiations. (Politico / Washington Post / NPR / CNN / ABC News / CNBC / Wall Street Journal / NBC News)
4/ Biden will propose a $6 trillion budget for the 2022 fiscal year – the highest sustained federal spending since World War II – with annual deficits of more than $1.3 trillion over the next decade. The budget contains no new major policies, but instead reflects the policies that Biden has already introduced, including the $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan, the $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, and $1.5 trillion in proposed discretionary spending. The White House budget projects that the U.S. economy will grow by about 5% in 2021 and 4.3% in 2022, before leveling off at around 2% for the rest of the decade, after inflation. Biden’s budget also assumes that his proposed capital gains tax rate increase took effect in April, meaning that it’s too late for very-high-income households to realize gains at the lower tax rates if Congress approves the change and retroactive effective date. (New York Times / Washington Post / Bloomberg / CNN)
5/ The Senate voted 68-30 to advance the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, a bill to address China’s growing economic and geopolitical influence with a $250 billion investment in American technology, science, and research. After the Senate voted on 18 amendments – 14 of them from GOP senators – the vote was further delayed as Republicans threatened to filibuster the bill unless they got more votes on GOP amendments. The bill still faces additional debate before a final vote is held on passage. (Axios / Politico / Bloomberg / CNN / Reuters)
6/ Biden urged Congress to pass stricter gun control measures after eight people were killed during a mass shooting at a Northern California rail yard. “Enough,” Biden said in a statement. “Once again, I urge Congress to take immediate action and heed the call of the American people, including the vast majority of gun owners, to help end this epidemic of gun violence in America.” (NBC News / CNN / Los Angeles Times)
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