👋 Away Message: Hi there! Matt is currently out on parental leave. He'll return August 30th-ish. More details can be found here. In the meantime, Joe (the voice of the newscast/podcast) will be publishing an abridged version of WTF Just Happened Today? every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can expect 5-7 news items covering a slightly wider range of political news in about two sentences each. We'll return to our regularly scheduled WTFJHT programming when Matt returns in late August.
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1/ Biden agreed to a bipartisan infrastructure deal after meeting with a group of senators at the White House. “We have a deal,” Biden said, endorsing the roughly $1 trillion infrastructure plan by a group of 10 senators. Under the framework, the bipartisan package would include about $579 billion in new spending to overhaul the nation’s transportation, electric utilities, water, and broadband infrastructure. The Senate, meanwhile, has started to work on a budget resolution that would allow Democrats to pass a second, much larger package of spending and tax increases unilaterally. Chuck Schumer said the Senate will simultaneously move forward with both the bipartisan agreement and the reconciliation bill. Nancy Pelosi told House Democratic leaders that the House won’t take up the bipartisan agreement until the Senate approves a package through reconciliation. (Bloomberg / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / New York Times / Politico / CNN / NBC News / CNBC)
2/ The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff pushed back against suggestions from a Republican congressman that the military was becoming too “woke” for teaching critical race theory at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Gen. Mark Milley called the accusations from Rep. Michael Waltz “offensive,” saying that studying institutional racism could be useful in understanding what “caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America” during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Milley added that military university graduates should be “open-minded and be widely read,” adding: “I’ve read Mao Zedong. I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with understanding — having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend?” The exchange came at a House Armed Services Committee hearing to discuss the 2022 Defense Department budget. (New York Times / Reuters / NPR)
3/ Rudy Giuliani was temporarily barred from practicing law in New York and faces disbarment for making “demonstrably false and misleading statements” while helping Trump challenge to the 2020 election results. The New York State appellate court temporarily suspended Giuliani’s law license, saying Giuliani represented an “immediate threat” to the public and had “directly inflamed” the tensions that led to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. “The seriousness of respondent’s uncontroverted misconduct cannot be overstated,” the court said. “This country is being torn apart by continued attacks on the legitimacy of the 2020 election and of our current president, Joseph R. Biden.” (New York Times / USA Today)
4/ The Department of Homeland Security is reportedly concerned about the conspiracy theory that Trump will be reinstated as president in August. In a private briefing with the House Committee on Homeland Security, the department’s top counterterrorism official told members that it was monitoring discussion of the topic among online extremist communities and that the department was concerned the false narrative that the election was rigged would trigger violence. Trump, meanwhile, has been telling acquaintances he expects to be reinstated as president by the end of the summer. (Politico)
5/ Nancy Pelosi announced the creation of a select committee to examine the January 6 attack on the Capitol, saying “It is imperative that we establish the truth of that day, and ensure that an attack of that kind cannot happen.” Pelosi said the investigation would take “two paths”: looking at the “root causes” of the attack, and the failures in security of the Capitol. Last month, Senate Republicans blocked the creation of an independent, bipartisan commission. (CBS News / Washington Post / Politico / New York Times / The Guardian)
6/ The Biden administration extended the national moratorium on evictions to help millions of tenants unable to make rent payments during the coronavirus pandemic. The nationwide ban on evictions was scheduled to expire on June 30, but Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, extended the moratorium until July 31. The CDC said “this is intended to be the final extension of the moratorium.” (New York Times / Associated Press)
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