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3 Police Officers Involved In Death Of George Floyd To Stand Trial This Week 

Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao are the three former police officers who helped Derek Chauvin restrain George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020.

Chauvin was recently convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, now, the three men are set to stand trial in a federal courtroom Monday for violating Floyd’s civil rights. 

The three former officers are charged with deprivation of rights under color of law for allegedly failing to give Floyd medical aid, according to the indictment. Thao and Keung are also being charged with failing to intervene when Chauvin was using unreasonable force as he kneeled on Floyd’s neck and back for over 9 minutes, leading to his death. 

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Keung, Lane, and Thao have all pleaded not guilty to the federal charges. Chauvin admitted guilt back in December as part of a plea deal. A jury of five men and seven women have been chosen for the trial this week. 

20 months ago George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was handcuffed and pressed to the pavement lying on his stomach while former officer Chauvin applied pressure to the back of his neck and back with his knee. Floyd continuously pleaded with officers that he couldn’t breathe, calling out for his mother and gasping consistently for 9 minutes. 

The officers called for medical services but did not provide any actual aid to Floyd, who eventually fell unconscious and stopped breathing. He remained in that state while being taken to the hospital, where he later would pass away. 

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The video of Floyd’s tragic passing went viral, sparking one of the largest social justice movements around the world. Ben Crump, the Floyd family’s attorney, recently made a statement regarding the difficulty the family is facing, constantly reliving this tragic moment. 

“This trial will be another painful experience for the Floyd family, who must once more relive his grueling death in excruciating detail. On behalf of the legal team and the family, we trust and expect that an impartial jury representative of the community will be seated to do this important work.”

This federal case is separate from the state charges for Floyd’s death, which Keung, Lane, and Thao are set to endure trial for in June. The state charges include aiding and abetting, with all three officers pleading not guilty. 

All four officers were fired due to the bystander video release of Floyd’s death, and were arrested and charged days later. Chauvin pleaded guilty to federal civil rights charged for violating Floyd’s rights during the arrest. 

Chauvin is currently facing a sentence of between 20 and 25 years in prison to be served during his current 22.5 year sentence on the state murder charges. 

Two Positive Covid Tests

US Government To Begin Shipping ‘Free’ At-Home Covid Tests To Citizens 

A new federal law now states that health insurance companies in the US must pay for at-home Covid test kits. Customers will be able to be reimbursed for up to eight tests per month per individual, or receive them for free at participating pharmacies; meaning under this new law a family of five could get up to 40 free tests per month. 

Individuals with health insurance will be able to receive their free at-home tests directly from the federal government starting Wednesday January 19th by going to COVIDTests.gov to request their supply. Kits will begin shipping out within seven to 12 days. 

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“This program will ensure that Americans have at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests available in the weeks and months ahead — in addition to the number of other ways they can get tested,” the White House said on Friday

“The administration is quickly completing a contracting process for the unprecedented purchase of 1 billion at-home, rapid tests to distribute as part of this program.” 

The US Postal Service will be delivering kits throughout the continental US through First-Class Package Service, according to the government. Any shipments made to Alaska, Hawaii, and other US territories will be sent via Priority Mail. 

President Biden announced Thursday the government was “doubling the number of available free tests to 1 billion and providing 5 million PCR tests for free to schools per month.” 

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Colorado, Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut, Washington, New Jersey, Maryland, Ohio, Oregon,  and New Hampshire. Washington, DC, is making at-home tests available for pickup at area libraries while other cities, such as New York and Boston, are distributing them to local health clinics,” according to the White House. 

In another plan announced by President Biden, health insurance companies are now required to reimburse Americans for eight at-home antigen tests per person per month. If an individual is required to undergo testing due to an underlying health condition, or other factors, there will be no limit implemented on the amount of tests covered. 

For those without insurance, Biden announced that there would be “thousands of locations” where Americans can pick up free Covid-19 test kits to use at home, rather than needing to go get tested at a facility. 

Those without insurance are also able to access free testing kits at community health clinics, and other local participating sites. The Department of Health and Human Services has also provided an online search tool for Americans needing to find a community-based Covid-19 testing site.

January 6th House Committee Has ‘Firsthand’ Knowledge Of What Trump Was Doing During Capitol Riot 

The House select committee investigating the January 6th Capitol Hill insurrection has information from multiple sources regarding what former president Donald Trump was doing at the time of the riot. 

A source close to the investigation recently spoke to the media and revealed that there are “a collection of people with relevant information” when it comes to what Trump was doing throughout the insurrection. 

Keith Kellogg, former vice president Mike Pence’s national security adviser, who was also with Trump throughout the riot, was one of the individuals who gave a deposition. Kellogg refused to comment to the media regarding what he testified, as he was sworn under oath. 

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The committee also has text messages and other documents that reveal what Trump was doing during the insurrection. Some of the messages discussed came from Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows, who the House voted to refer to the Justice Department for criminal contempt of Congress after he failed to appear for a deposition. 

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson and Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney discussed how the information they gathered works to prove that Trump did nothing to stop the violence during the riot, which they view as a “dereliction of duty.” 

“We have significant testimony that leads us to believe that the White House had been told to do something. We want to verify all of it so that when we produce our report and when we have the hearings, the public will have an opportunity to see for themselves. The only thing I can say, it’s highly unusual for anyone in charge of anything to watch what’s going on and do nothing.”

Cheney discussed how the panel has “firsthand knowledge” that Trump’s daughter, and then senior adviser, Ivanka Trump asked her father to intervene during the riot. 

“We know his daughter — we have firsthand testimony that his daughter Ivanka went in at least twice to ask him to ‘please stop this violence,” Cheney said. 

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“Any man who would not do so, any man who would provoke a violent assault on the Capitol to stop the counting of electoral votes, any man who would watch television as police officers were being beaten, as his supporters were invading the Capitol of the United States, is clearly unfit for future office, clearly can never be anywhere near the Oval Office ever again,” Cheney added.

The House select committee also revealed text messages from Donald Trump Jr. to Meadows that were sent during the riot, in which Trump Jr. stated that his father needed to “condemn” the insurrection as it was occurring. 

“‘He’s got to condemn this sh*t ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough,'” Trump Jr. wrote in one message to Meadows.

“He could have simply walked a few feet to the White House briefing room. He could have gone immediately on live television and asked his supporters to stop what was happening, asked them to go home. He failed to do that, at the same time the violent assault was happening, he is watching television, and he is also calling one senator urging delay of the electoral vote,” Cheney exclaimed.

Committee members are ideally going to present more of their work and findings to the public as the year progresses and the investigation continues. Public hearings that will outline the story of what really happened on January 6th have yet to be scheduled, but will be occurring later this year.

New York Implements New Vaccine Mandates As Omicron Continues To Spread 

As the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus continues to spread throughout the US, New York is taking action after becoming the first hub of breakout cases and surges. New York City in particular has implemented their latest vaccine mandate for private businesses to go into effect this week. 

New York state broke a single-day record for new cases with nearly 50,000 new infections being reported on Christmas Eve. Governor Kathy Hochul released data and a statement regarding the new cases and vaccine mandate. 

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“As we come home from holiday gatherings, it is as important as ever to take precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 this season. The vaccine is the best tool we have to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe as we head into the new year.”

The newest mandate requires workers to have at least one vaccine dose by Monday, employees will no longer be able to opt out of vaccination requirements with weekly testing. Children between the ages of 5-11 are now required to show proof of at least one vaccination before having access to indoor dining, fitness or entertainment, and adults will be required to show proof of two vaccinations for those areas. 

“We need to take very bold action. We’re seeing restrictions starting to come back. We’re seeing shutdowns. We can not let those restrictions come back. We can not have shutdowns in New York,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working to ease staffing shortages throughout the nation’s healthcare facilities. Workers in healthcare are able to return to work after testing positive after seven days of isolation if they’re asymptomatic and test negative. 

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The agency also specified that “health care workers don’t need to quarantine “following high-risk exposures if they’ve gotten all recommended vaccinations, including a booster shot. Quarantine refers to when people who have been exposed to the virus but have not yet been diagnosed with an infection need to avoid others. These new guidelines don’t extend to the general public and only apply to the healthcare workforce.”

About 74% of all ICU beds in the nation are being used while 21% of them are occupied by Covid-19 patients. Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke on Sunday and discussed how the Omicron variant poses a big threat to the healthcare system in America. 

“Even though we’re pleased by the evidence from multiple countries that it looks like there is a lesser degree of severity, we’ve got to be careful that we don’t get complacent about that because it might still lead to a lot of hospitalizations in the United States,” he explained. 

“We’re particularly worried about those who are in that unvaccinated class, that you know, tens and tens of millions of Americans who are eligible for vaccination who have not been vaccinated, those are the vulnerable ones when you have a virus that is extraordinarily effective in getting to people and affecting them the way Omicron is.”

Around 72.7% of the US population has now received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, and 61.7% are fully vaccinated with two doses. 31.5% have already received their booster shots as well. 

January 6th Committee Reveals New Text Messages From Former Chief Of Staff Mark Meadows

The House select committee investigating the January 6th attack against the US Capitol recently released new text messages that were obtained from former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. The text messages were sent to him in the days leading up to the insurrection as well as while the Capitol was under attack. 

Committee members read the messages on the House floor this Tuesday during the debate over whether a criminal contempt of Congress against Meadows should be given to the Justice Department or not. 

One of the messages included in the readings was from a Georgia government official to Meadows while former president Donald Trump was on the phone with Georgia’s secretary of state, during which Trump was urging him to “find” votes for Trump. Other discussions relating to Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election were also included. 

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Representative Zoe Lofgren read a text message from an unnamed Georgia government official to Meadows that was sent during the same phone call. The message read: “Need to end this call, I don’t think this will be productive for much longer,” referring to the call between Trump and Georgia’s secretary of state.

Representative Adam Schiff read a text message from an unknown number that applauded the potential appointment of Jeffrey Clark to be acting attorney general while Trump was attempting to get the Justice Department to support his false claims of election fraud. 

“I heard Jeff Clark is getting put in on Monday. That’s amazing. It will make a lot of patriots happy, and I’m personally so proud that you are at the tip of the spear, and I could call you a friend,” the text to Meadows read.

“Mr. Meadows received numerous text messages, which he has produced without any privilege claim, imploring that Mr. Trump take specific action we all know his duty required. Indeed, some of those text messages, madam speaker, came from members in the chamber right now,” said Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, one of two Republicans on the select committee. 

The select committee approved its resolution holding Meadows in contempt on Monday. The panel also revealed that Meadows had voluntarily provided text messages that he received on January 6th, including those from Fox News personalities, lawmakers, and Donald Trump Jr. 

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While some republicans spoke out against the committee for pursuing contempt charges against Meadows, they responded by stating that Meadows was flouting the law by refusing to show up for testimony about material he has already turned over to them. 

The text messages used throughout the hearing emphasized the argument that there were plenty of topics that the committee could ask Meadows that would not be covered by executive privilege. 

One of these text messages from Meadows to an unspecified member of Congress inquired about whether or not former vice president Mike Pence could overturn Electoral College results; this text was sent three days before the insurrection. 

In another text message from November 4, 2020, the day after the election, a member suggested to Meadows an “aggressive strategy for Republican-led state legislatures to just send their own electors to Congress and let the Supreme Court decide who won the election.”

Another text message from a member to Meadows underscored how the “committee has not received everything from the former White House chief of staff. Please check your signal,” the January 5 message said.

The committee will be making a decision within a week when to release the names of all the individuals involved in the text messages with the former chief of staff.

US Reaches 800,000 Covid-19 Deaths Due To Delta Variant And Unvaccinated Population 

This Sunday, the United States surpassed 800,000 Covid-19 related deaths according to Reuters. The nation is currently gearing up for another surge of infections due to the approaching winter months and highly transmissible Omicron variant of the virus. 

According to Reuters, the US death toll has now exceeded the entire population of North Dakota, and as a nation we lost more individuals in 2021 from the virus than in 2020 due to the highly contagious Delta variant and amount of people still refusing to get inoculated against Covid-19. 

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Since the beginning of the year over 450,000 Americans have died after contracting Covid-19, accounting for 57% of the deaths that have occurred in the US since the start of the pandemic. 

Health experts stated that a majority of the deaths this year were among unvaccinated patients. Many advancements have been made in the way healthcare professionals can care for Covid patients, including monoclonal antibodies, however, getting vaccinated is the main way to protect yourself from this virus.

According to Reuters, it took 111 days for the US to get from 600,000 to 700,000 deaths, and the next 100,000 deaths took just 73 days. “Among the Group of Seven (G7) wealthiest nations, the United States ranks the worst in terms of per capita deaths from COVID-19 between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30,” according to the Reuters analysis.

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The United States has the highest number of reported total Covid-19 deaths in the world, followed by Brazil and India. The US accounts for 4% of the world’s population, and 14% of all reported Covid-19 deaths, and 19% of cases worldwide. The nation is also projected to surpass 50 million cases within the next month. 

Scientists are continuing to study the new Omicron variant and whether or not vaccines could provide adequate protection against it. Currently, the Delta variant remains the most dominant version of the virus in the US. 

Around 60% of the US population has now been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to data from the CDC. The new variant has also motivated many vaccinated individuals to schedule their booster appointments once they are eligible. 

“We must act together in this moment to address the impact of the current cases we are seeing, which are largely Delta, and to prepare ourselves for the possibility of more Omicron,” U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a White House briefing on Tuesday.

Americans Are Resigning From Their Jobs At Record Rates

It’s been recorded that around 4.4 million American workers have handed in their resignation during the month of September alone. Certain states are experiencing major spikes in job resignations, so much so that it’s being referred to as “The Great Resignation.” 

The increase in resignation is due to a multitude of pandemic and economic factors. Many parents are dealing with the dual demands of childcare and working full time, so many of them are opting to resign and apply for unemployment so they have enough time in the day to take care of themselves and their families. 

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Some employees are able to find better paying jobs as well, as many companies are reacting to this spike in unemployment by offering raised wages and attractive benefit packages. 

Beyond the pandemic, some states are experiencing a shortage in labor due to aging employees, low workforce participation rates, and other long-term issues that have existed long before the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“A lot of states with elevated quits are states with higher-than-average COVID cases, but a lot of it is due to labor market tightness. Idaho has an extremely aging population — a lot of the tightness in Idaho is that it’s an older workforce. They also have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, so that means it’s a very good environment if you are a worker” looking for a new job,”  said Liz Wilke, chief economist at Gusto, which provides payroll and other services to small businesses. 

New Hampshire and Indiana are seeing an increase in resignation for similar reasons. Employees are leveraging their benefits and salaries to find more lucrative jobs. Typical hourly earnings increased by 4.9% in October due to these leveraging tactics as well. 

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The top 10 states with the highest resignation rates for the month of September are Hawaii (7.1%), Montana (4.8%), Nevada (4.5%), Alaska (4.3%), Colorado (4.3%), Indiana (4.3%), Idaho (4.1%), Oregon (3.9%), Louisiana (3.8%), and New Hampshire (3.8%).

According to Oxford Economics, for every job opening created in September there were only .74 unemployed people available to take the position, marking the lowest ratio on record. Economists are still confident, however, that America’s workforce will be able to rebuild itself in 2022. 

“One reason for optimism about the labor force re-entry of prime-age workers is that nearly all workers who left the labor force during the pandemic intend to re-enter in the next 12 months, suggesting that most prime-age exiters still view their exits as temporary,” Goldman Sachs analysts noted.

“Workers have ongoing concerns about workplace safety given the ongoing pandemic. It may take some time for some people to feel comfortable returning to work,” they also noted.

Dr. Fauci Says Early Reports On Omicron Covid-19 Variant Are Encouraging 

US health officials stated this Sunday that while the omicron variant is rapidly spreading throughout the world and country, early reports suggest it may be less dangerous than the delta variant, which is continuing to impact hospitalization rates across America. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, told the media that scientists do need more information before drawing any concrete conclusions about omicron and its severity. 

South Africa, where the variant initially emerged, reported that it is becoming the dominant strain for its citizens, but also suggested that their hospitalization rates haven’t increased exponentially like they did with delta initially. 

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“Thus far, it does not look like there’s a great degree of severity to omicron, but we have really got to be careful before we make any determinations that it is less severe or it really doesn’t cause any severe illness, comparable to delta.”

Fauci also explained how the Biden administration is considering lifting travel restrictions between the US and noncitizens from several African countries. Initially, the US imposed heavy restrictions once the omicron variant first appeared. 

“Hopefully we’ll be able to lift that travel ban in a quite reasonable period of time. We all feel very badly about the hardship that has been put on not only in South Africa but the other African countries,” Fauci said.

According to reports the omicron variant has been detected in about a third of the US state’s as of this past Sunday. The Northeast, South, Great Plains, and West Coast have all reported omicron cases with Wisconsin, Missouri and Louisiana being the most recent states to confirm cases. 

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Delta continues to remain the dominant variant in the US, as it’s currently driving a surge of hospitalizations in the North, and makes up about 99% of the confirmed Covid cases. The National Guard has been sent out to help overwhelmed hospitals throughout the Northeast, and many hospitals are rescheduling non-urgent surgeries to cope with the increase in Covid patients. 

A majority of these cases are among unvaccinated individuals as well, so US officials are working hard to continue to urge people to get vaccinated, receive their booster shots, and take all the necessary precautions when out in public. 

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) epidemiologist Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove told the media this week that even if the omicron variant continues to be less dangerous than the delta variant, it’s existence alone is still a major issue. 

“Even if we have a large number of cases that are mild, some of those individuals will need hospitalizations. They will need to go into ICU and some people will die. … We don’t want to see that happen on top of an already difficult situation with delta circulating globally.”

We are now about two years into the pandemic, and during that time about 780,000 Americans have died, and deaths remain at a rate of 860 per day, proving we still have a long way to go before we can consider this pandemic even close to being beaten. With more than 86,000 infections being reported per day, experts are encouraging all Americans to remain safe during the upcoming holiday season, and keep all travel to a minimum. 

President Biden Reflects On ‘Deadlist Year On Reacord For Transgender Americans’ During Day Of Remembrance 

President Joe Biden released a statement for Transgender Day Of Remembrance, where he paid tribute to “those we lose in the deadliest year on record for transgender Americans.” 

“We also remember the countless other transgender people, disproportionately Black and brown transgender women and girls, who face brutal violence, discrimination, and harassment.” 

The White House marked the day on Friday with a vigil in the Diplomatic Room of the White House, hosted by second gentleman Doug Emhoff. 

Transgender Day of Remembrance is meant to be the final day of Transgender Awareness Week, and it takes the time to memorialize victims of anti-transgender violence all across the country. The Human Rights Campaign recently declared 2021 as the deadliest year on record for transgender and nonbinary people, with at least 45 transgender or gender-nonconforming people on record being killed in hate-filled acts of violence. 

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 “Our hearts are with all who knew and loved the 45 people who have been killed this year. The march to end this epidemic of violence continues.” White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a tweet.

Within his statement, Biden called on the Senate to pass the Equality Act, which amends the 1964 Civil Rights Act to protect people from being discriminated against based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

“The Equality Act will ensure that all people are able to live free from fear and discrimination, a right all Americans should have.” 

The Equality Act was passed in the House back in March, but has since been stalled by the Senate. “In spite of our progress strengthening civil rights for LGBTQI+ Americans, too many transgender people still live in fear and face systemic barriers to freedom and equality,” Biden wrote.

According to news reports, “the administration also released a report Saturday from the first Interagency Working Group on Safety, Opportunity, and Inclusion for Transgender and Gender Diverse Individuals, which is made up of representatives from the US Agency for International Development, the Departments of State, Justice, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Education, Homeland Security, Labor, Interior and Veterans Affairs, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the US Interagency Council on Homelessness.”

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The report also emphasized that the “violence against transgender Americans is the direct result of systemic anti-transgender stigma and hate, pervasive discrimination, disproportionate criminalization, and marginalization and exclusion of gender minorities, with violence against transgender communities heightened today due to a historic spike in legislation targeting transgender people for discriminatory and unjust treatment.”

Biden’s statement is the latest in a series of administrative motions that aim to support the LGBTQ+ community. Biden has since revered former president Trump’s ban on transgender Americans in the military, reinstated a special envoy for LGBTQ+ rights, and issued the first presidential proclamation to mark Transgender Day Of Visibility as an official day in March. 

Beyond the heightened violence that transgender Americans have faced this year, from a legislative standpoint their rights were also being consistently threatened. In fact, 2021 also marked a record year for anti-transgender legislation; 100 bills have been introduced among state legislators across 33 states all of which aimed at restricting the rights of transgender individuals. 

A majority of the bills target transgender youth, to which Bien responded:

“To ensure that our government protects the civil rights of transgender Americans, I charged my team with coordinating across the federal government to address the epidemic of violence and advance equality for transgender people,” Biden stated. 

“I continue to call on state leaders and lawmakers to combat the disturbing proliferation of discriminatory state legislation targeting transgender people, especially transgender children. Today, we remember. Tomorrow — and every day — we must continue to act.”

Democrats Expected To Pass Biden’s $1.75 Trillion Climate And Social Spending Package This Week 

House Democrats are quickly trying to pass President Biden’s $1.75 trillion social and climate spending package this week. The package would give democrats a head start at making infrastructural changes before the Thanksgiving holiday.

The package has been extensively debated all summer and fall, mainly over the contents of the package and wear specific money will be allocated to. 

Democrats currently feel like they’re on the verge of a huge milestone in the House, where the passage of this package would be seen as a huge victory for the party. House moderate holdouts have promised to support the bill when it’s brought to the floor this week. 

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This Monday, Biden will be signing the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill as well, so the administration in general is gearing up for pushback, and to get moving on the actual plans within the bills. 

Despite the possibility of new drama in the Senate, we’re confident Congress can send the package to Biden’s desk by the end of the year. I think we’ll get it passed before Christmas,” one senior Democrat, G.K. Butterfield (N.C.), former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Biden and the democratic party in general have been under fire for a recent slew of economic changes, such as general inflation, labor shortages, and a supply chain “clog” that’s preventing our retail markets from thriving. These issues in combination with the Covid-19 pandemic have led to a lot of disagreements among our leaders. 

“Democrats need to reassess their strategy. We need to have legislation that actually, forcefully delivers for working people,”  said progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). 

Moderate Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) is supportive of several key elements of the Biden package, such as “tackling climate change, extending the child tax credit and lowering prescription drug prices, but Democrats have failed to explain how the legislation will help struggling American families.”   

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“People are busy, they have jobs, they have lives, they have worries, they have kids, they have joys. If someone turns on the news and [hears] ‘We really need to make these major investments in human infrastructure,’ and they say, ‘There they go again. What the heck are those Democrats doing?’” 

“Now, if we’re saying, ‘I want to invest in the next generation of America’s children, and I want to do it by ensuring every kid goes to pre-K’ — like, that’s a different discussion, right?”  Spanberger stated. 

“I think this bill will make it over the finish line, but ultimately, this bill may not be identical to what we pass in the House when it does make it over the finish line.” 

Government officials also emphasized that the cost of not passing this bill will be much greater for lower to middle class Americans, who will be forced to deal with inflated costs for their everyday needs. 

“If we don’t act on Build Back Better … we won’t be able to cut child care costs. … We won’t be able to make preschool free for many families starting in 2022, saving many families $8,600. We won’t be able to get ahead of skyrocketing housing costs … and we won’t be able to save Americans thousands of dollars by negotiating prescription drug prices,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday. 

“So our view is this makes a strong case for moving forward with this agenda. Because what we’re really talking about is the cost to American families.”