Connect with us

News

Biden announces bipartisan infrastructure agreement

Published

on


WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday announced a deal on a bipartisan infrastructure package but warned he would not sign it unless it was passed “in tandem” with a separate budget reconciliation bill that invested in social infrastructure and other Democratic priorities.

“For me, investment in our physical and human infrastructure are inextricably intertwined,” Biden said during a speech at the White House.

“Both need to get done,” he continued. “I’m not just signing the bipartisan bill and forgetting about the rest I proposed.”

Biden said he would work with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to make sure that both the bipartisan deal and the reconciliation bill moved through Congress quickly.

The White House said the bipartisan agreement includes $579 billion in new spending for physical infrastructure that will be used for transit and rail networks, roads and bridges, and other investments.

The proposal will be funded in part by more tax enforcement and redirecting emergency relief funds including unused unemployment benefits, the White House said.

It provides $312 billion for transportation projects, $109 billion on roads and bridges and $66 billion on passenger and freight rail, according to a White House document confirmed by two congressional aides.

“Neither side got everything they wanted in this deal. That’s what it means to compromise and it reflects something important: it reflects consensus,” Biden said.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, called it “a good compromise that’s going to help the American people.”

“I’m pleased to see we were able to come together on a core infrastructure package,” he said, adding that it will be done “without new taxes.”

The deal could still face several obstacles in Congress.

Democratic leaders have insisted that a bipartisan deal not come at the expense of a larger package of Biden’s other proposals, including investments in child care, paid leave and climate action.

The president, who stood by the senators after they met to announce that “we have a deal,” said he’d seek to “attract all the Democrats” to support that package separately.

“I don’t think either one can pass without the other probably,” said Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.

Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday that the House would not consider a vote on any bipartisan infrastructure bill until the Senate passes a separate budget reconciliation bill, which would require the votes of all 50 Democratic members of the chamber.

Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the No. 3 Democrat in the chamber, backed Pelosi’s approach.”I think that’s the best strategy,” she told NBC News.

Moments before the deal was announced, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said the bipartisan group’s framework did not yet have enough support to pass.

“There’s closer to 20 votes than 60 votes for the bipartisan proposal today,” Murphy said.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., expressed openness to reconciliation on Thursday, saying the two-track approach was “the only strategy we have.”

“Reconciliation is inevitable,” he told reporters.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., one of the leaders of the group, said in an interview she is “delighted” about reaching a deal and plans to talk to her colleagues to build support for it.

She indicated she was open to a dual-track approach on the bipartisan deal and reconciliation.

“I will work with anyone to get things done. I’ve already spoken with the president and Leader Schumer about their thoughts on a two-phase process. And like always, I am open to finding a path forward,” Sinema told NBC News.

McConnell attacked Biden on Thursday for saying he wants a reconciliation bill alongside the deal.

“It almost makes your head spin. An expression of bipartisanship, and then an ultimatum on behalf of your left-wing base,” McConnell said. “That’s not the way to show you’re serious about getting a bipartisan outcome.”

The White House added that the deal would build a system of electric vehicle charging stations; invest in electric school and transit buses; replace the nation’s lead pipes; ensure all Americans have access to reliable high-speed internet and protect infrastructure against cyberattacks.

Many progressive lawmakers have expressed openness to backing an infrastructure agreement with Republicans effort as long as it is liked to advancement of a Democrats-only multi-trillion dollar bill.

And for moderate Republicans, it is a rare opportunity to find common ground with the White House.

“We’ve agreed on the price tag, the scope and how to pay for it,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.



Source

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SUPPORT THE TIMES CLOCK




Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

US Navy officer ‘bribed by cash and prostitutes’

Published

on


A ship in the US Navy 7th fleet, from which dozens of officers were bribed

A US Navy Commander has pleaded guilty to receiving $250,000 in cash and prostitution services from a foreign defence contractor in exchange for state secrets.

Information Commander Stephen Shedd provided to the firm helped it defraud the navy of $35m (£26.1m).

The plea is the latest in the ‘Fat Leonard’ case, considered one of the worst corruption scandals faced by the navy.

Dozens of officials have been ensnared.

Shedd is one of nine members of the Japan-based 7th US fleet indicted by a federal grand jury in March 2017 for their role in the scandal, and the third officer to plead guilty.

According to the Justice Department, Shedd and the other officers received “sex parties with prostitutes and luxurious dinner and travel” in exchange for military secrets and “substantial influence” for the Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) company, a Singapore-based firm founded by a Malaysian national, Leonard Glenn Francis.

The scandal became widely known as the “Fat Leonard” scheme due to Francis’s then-corpulent figure. He was arrested in California after being lured there by US officials in 2013. He has since pleaded guilty to bribery and conspiracy charges and has remained in prison or home detention.

According to prosecutors, information Shedd and others provided helped GDMA to win and maintain contracts and overbill the Navy by $35m for services such as providing tugboats, security and waste removal to ships at port.

As part of a plea deal, Shedd admitted that he and the other defendants gave Francis schedules of naval movements and other information, and lobbied on behalf of GDMA to other naval officials.

The defendant knew these efforts would result in the service paying GDMA’s claims, the Justice Department said.

A total of 34 naval officials, defence contractors and GDMA employees, including Francis, have been charged with crimes related to the scheme. Of these, 28 have pleaded guilty, including two other 7th fleet officers.

Shedd is scheduled to be sentenced on 21 July in a California federal court, while the trial of the remaining six 7th fleet officers is due to begin on 28 February.

“Fat Leonard” himself is expected to testify in the February trial of the officers.



Source

Continue Reading

News

Jimmy Kimmel Hits Donald Trump Jr. With The 2024 Campaign Ad Of His Nightmares

Published

on


Reuters

Porn star Stormy Daniels testifies ex-lawyer Michael Avenatti ‘lied to me’

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Adult film actress Stormy Daniels told jurors at her former lawyer Michael Avenatti’s criminal fraud trial on Thursday that he “stole from me and lied to me” by diverting proceeds from a book she wrote. Testifying as a prosecution witness, Daniels said in Manhattan federal court that Avenatti – whom she had retained to help her escape a non-disclosure agreement with then-U.S. President Donald Trump – told her he would “never take a penny” from the 2018 memoir, titled “Full Disclosure.” But Avenatti embezzled nearly $300,000 of proceeds intended for Daniels, prosecutors have said, in part by forging her signature on instructions to the publisher about where to send the funds.



Source

Continue Reading

News

Fox News’ Tomi Lahren told officers at a policing conference that prominent police killings could have been avoided if people ‘would just comply’

Published

on


Tomi Lahren in Pasadena, California.Colin Young-Wolff/Invision/AP

  • Tomi Lahren was among several who spoke at a police training conference in Atlantic City in October.

  • Lahren described Black Lives Matter as “thugs, felons, and criminals” and as a “terrorist organization.”

  • She went on to say police shootings could be avoided if people “would just comply with police.”

Fox News personality Tomi Lahren told police officers that significant numbers of police brutality cases could have been avoided “if people would just comply with police, would follow orders, and not resist arrest.”

The Washington Post reported that Lahren, a political commentator for the Fox Nation shows “Final Thoughts” and “No Interruption,” made the comments in October at the Street Cop Training Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

More than 1,000 police officers from departments across New Jersey and other states attended the conference, The Post reported. During her speech, Lahren described Black Lives Matter as “thugs, felons, and criminals” and a “terrorist organization.”

“If I’m wrong, please point it out,” Lahren said, according to a sound clip of her remarks shared by The Post. “But all these major headline incidents that we’ve had in this country involving law enforcement in the last, at least, five years could have all been prevented if people would just comply with police, would follow orders, and not resist arrest.”

The audience can be heard applauding and cheering in the clip.

Her comments were consistent with previous statements she has made on her shows and social media.

The Post’s investigation found Lahren’s sentiments were typical of those made in commercial police training settings, even as calls for reform grow. The outlet spoke with 18 trainers and experts in addition to watching or attending conferences in New Jersey and Idaho, many of whom balked at police reform.

Several blamed the media for overplaying the public’s desire for reform and dismissed reformers as a small cohort, The Post found. The outlet also said many portrayed violence as an inherent part of policing.

“The curriculum is that you are a good person and reveling in violence and being an expert in violence is not morally wrong,” Michael Sierra-Arévalo, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin who attended the Street Cop Conference, told The Post. “In fact, it’s your moral duty because you’re a paladin. You are this kind of warrior.”

Calls for police reform grew during the racial justice protests in the summer of 2020 after the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

Congress engaged in bipartisan talks about a potential police reform bill last summer, but they fell apart without reaching a deal.

Sources told NBC News that President Joe Biden plans to sign executive orders on police reform as early as this month.

Read the original article on Business Insider



Source

Continue Reading

News

Family who died in freezing cold by US-Canada border identified

Published

on


Police used snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles to navigate the deep snow

Canadian authorities believe the deaths of four Indian nationals found steps away from the Canada-US border are connected to a human smuggling scheme.

Jagdish Patel, 39, Vaishailben Patel, 37, and their children Vihangi, 11, and Dharkmik, 3, died from exposure due to the frigid cold near Manitoba, Canada.

Temperatures dropped to -35C (-31F) on the night the Patel family attempted to cross into the US on foot.

The family was found in a field north of the border on 19 January.

Their identities were announced by Canada’s High Commission of India and later confirmed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, RCMP superintendent Rob Hill said the Patel family first arrived in Canada on 12 January, on a flight from Toronto. From there, they made their way west to Manitoba, before travelling to Emerson – a border town – on or around 18 January. Their bodies were found the next night.

No vehicle was found near the Canada-US border in Emerson, suggesting that someone drove the Patel family to a drop-off point before they began their journey on foot.

“This is an extended period of time for a family who is unfamiliar with Canada to be travelling across the country”, Mr Hill said. It is believed that someone may have facilitated the family’s travel.

The RCMP would not comment on whether the Patels’ case was connected to a group of seven other Indian nationals also found by border agents on the evening of 19 January. Steve Shand, a 47-year-old Florida resident, has been charged with human smuggling after authorities found him driving a 15-person van along the border, on the same night the Patels were found. Mr Shand had two Indian nationals as passengers in his car, and cases of food and water in his boot.

The deaths of the Patel family have rocked the Indian community in Manitoba.

“There’s a common sense of feeling guilty, like something has gone wrong,” Ramandeep Grewal, president of the India Association of Manitoba, told the BBC.

Questions remain as to why the Patel family set out on foot in the dark, in Canada’s punishing winter weather.

Mr Grewal said he heard rumours the family walked for 11 hours. “You don’t expose yourself to that degree of cold for minutes, let alone hours,” he said.

Such questions have consumed Indian communities in Winnipeg, said Hemant Shah, an Indian ex-pat, who organised a virtual prayer for the Patel family this week.

“There are lots of Patel families here, lots of Indo-Canadians,” he said. “Everybody’s talking, making their own theories.”

While perilous border crossings have become typical to the United States’ southern border, this type of journey is less common from the north.

“I’ve never seen this in Canada,” Mr Shah said. “This is unheard of.”

The RCMP has launched an “extensive” investigation into how the Patels made their way to Canada, co-ordinating with the US and India. It is so far unknown if the Patels had family in Canada or the US.

A special team led by a senior Indian consular officer was dispatched to Manitoba to help Canadian authorities with the investigation. The Consulate General of India in Toronto has been in touch with relatives to provide support.

Last week, a US Homeland Security official said they were also investigating the Patel case, alongside a “larger human smuggling operation of which [Steve] Shand is suspected of playing a part”.

There had been three other recent incidents of human smuggling in December and January in the same location where Mr Shand was apprehended, according to court documents.

The India Association’s Mr Grewal said he hopes other families contemplating a similar journey may now reconsider.

“If there’s anybody else who’s in the same boat, who’s trying to cross… Don’t go, don’t listen to people who are telling you they can help.”



Source

Continue Reading

News

Gallup's Mohamed Younis- Foreign Policy Interventionism A 'Low Desire' For Americans

Published

on



Gallup's Mohamed Younis- Foreign Policy Interventionism A 'Low Desire' For Americans



Source

Continue Reading

News

Palestinian children play in the snow-covered West Bank city of Ramallah

Published

on



Palestinian children play in the snow-covered West Bank city of Ramallah



Source

Continue Reading

News

U.S. Capitol Riot Made 1 Chilling Thing ‘Impossible To Deny’

Published

on


University of California professor Barbara Walter, an expert on civil conflicts, said the U.S. Capitol riot had “made it impossible to deny and ignore that there really was this cancer growing” of anti-democratic sentiment in America.

Walter, after CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan showed her footage of Donald Trump supporters repeating the former president’s 2020 election lies and claiming democracy in the United States was dead, said her response to such rhetoric only 10 years ago “would have been shock and disbelief.”

“I would have thought, ‘Well she’s an outlier and she’s not representative of anything larger than a fringe movement maybe,’” Walter said. “But of course, that’s not the case anymore.”

Experts on civil wars had been talking about the warning signs in the U.S. “but nobody wanted to believe it,” she said.

“Citizens do believe what they are hearing and if they hear it long enough and consistently enough and if that’s all they hear, they absolutely don’t think it’s a lie, they think it’s the truth,” she continued, referencing falsehoods spouted by Trump, right-wing politicians and conservative media, before slamming cynical leaders for “feeding them lies consistently.”

“They’re priming their supporters to believe that democracy isn’t worth defending because they don’t want democracy anymore,” she added.

Watch the video here:

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

Related…



Source

Continue Reading

Trending