1/ The House will vote on legislation banning military-style “assault” weapons as early as next week following mass shootings in Texas and New York by 18-year-old assailants who used semi-automatic rifles to kill 31 people, including 19 children. The action, however, will mostly be symbolic with Senate Republicans vowing to oppose virtually any new limits on firearms. Meanwhile, four people were killed, including two doctors, after a gunman opened fire inside an Oklahoma hospital. The gunman blamed one of the physicians for causing him ongoing pain following back surgery in May. Michael Louis bought the AR-15-style weapon about an hour before the attack. Biden is scheduled to give a speech at 7:30 p.m. Eastern on “the recent tragic mass shootings and the need for Congress to act to pass common sense laws.” (Associated Press / The Hill / NBC News / CNN / Washington Post / New York Times)
2/ Biden claimed that he wasn’t aware of the baby formula shortage despite company executives telling him at the White House in February that a shortage would be severe following the closure of an Abbott plant in Michigan. Biden suggested that he was not informed until April. The FDA closed the plant in February after an inspection found samples of a dangerous bacteria. (ABC News / Washington Post)
3/ The Biden administration canceled $5.8 billion in student loan debt for 560,000 borrowers who attended Corinthian Colleges, the now-defunct for-profit school network. The debt relief is the largest ever single discharge of federal student loan debt. (CNN / Politico / New York Times)
4/ The EPA will reverse a Trump-era rule and restore authority to states to oppose gas pipelines, coal terminals, and other energy projects that pollute local rivers and streams. For 50 years, states under the Clean Water Act had the authority to review and block energy and infrastructure projects that threatened to pollute or harm waterways within their borders. But in 2020, Trump issued a regulation reining in that power. (New York Times / Washington Post)
5/ The Florida Supreme Court refused to consider a challenge to a new congressional map that gives a substantial advantage to Republicans. The map, which will likely give Republicans a potential 20-8 advantage, is expected to remain in place for this year’s elections. Trump carried Florida by 3.3 percentage points in the 2020 election and was favored by a majority of voters in 20 of the 28 districts. (New York Times / Politico)
6/ Social Security is projected to be able to pay benefits until 2035 – one full year later than previously projected. The rapid economic recovery following the brief recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic means that the program’s combined reserves won’t be depleted until 2035. After that, the program will be able to pay 77% of scheduled benefits – which help support payouts for retirees, the elderly, survivors, and disabled – through tax income unless Congress steps in. About 56 million people received retirement and survivors benefits in 2021. [Editor’s note: While I’m happy that my Boomer and Gen X readers will be minimally impacted by this news, 2035 is about 15 years before I can retire. Who knows what kind of Social Security shit show awaits. And while I’d like to believe that the system and our elected representatives are capable of fixing this, I am also of the mindset that no one is coming to save us. So, if you find my work valuable, please consider becoming a supporting member so I can afford to retire, someday.] (Wall Street Journal / CNN / CNBC)
poll/ 57% of Americans say a woman should be able to get an abortion for any reason – the highest share since 1977. (Wall Street Journal)
poll/ 55% of Americans identify as “pro-choice” – up six percentage points following the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that would strike down Roe v. Wade. Pro-choice sentiment is at its highest level since 1995 when it was 56%. (Gallup)
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