Posted on Leave a comment

EXPLAINER: What’s the Senate filibuster and why change it?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Minority Republicans used a Senate filibuster to block a Democratic bill that would have launched a bipartisan probe of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. It was the first time under President Joe Biden that the GOP used the tactic to derail major legislation.

Yet the Republican victory Friday may prod Democrats closer to curbing or eliminating a legislative maneuver that’s been the bane of Senate majorities since the Founding Fathers.

Here’s a look at the filibuster and the political storm over it.

WHAT’S A FILIBUSTER?

Unlike the House, the Senate places few constraints on lawmakers’ right to speak. Senators can also use the chamber’s rules to . . .

Read More . . .

Posted on Leave a comment

Biden seeks infrastructure deal in meeting with Hill leaders

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Wednesday met with the four congressional leaders at the White House for the first time and said he wants to reach a compromise on an infrastructure plan, but expectations for a quick deal remain slim despite his history of working with Republicans.

This first formal Oval Office meeting for the group — and for Biden and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell — brought together those . . .

Read More . . .

Posted on Leave a comment

Biden: 1M sign up for health care during special enrollment

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Tuesday that 1 million Americans had signed up for health insurance under “Obamacare” during a special enrollment period for those needing coverage during the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden reopened the HealthCare.gov insurance markets in February for a special six-month sign-up opportunity.

“Health care is a right, not a privilege — and ensuring that every single American has access to the quality, affordable . . .

Read More . . .

Posted on Leave a comment

Reversing Trump, US restores transgender protections

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. will protect gay and transgender people against sex discrimination in health care, the Biden administration announced Monday, reversing a Trump-era policy that sought to narrow the scope of legal rights in sensitive situations involving medical care.

The action by the Department of Health and Human Services affirms that federal laws forbidding sex discrimination in health care also protect . . .

Read More . . .

Posted on Leave a comment

Biden Approval Buoyed by His Pandemic Response

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is plunging into the next phase of his administration with the steady approval of a majority of Americans, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The survey shows Biden is buoyed in particular by the public’s broad backing for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the fourth month of his presidency, Biden’s overall approval rating sits at 63%. When it comes to the new Democratic president’s handling of the pandemic, 71% of Americans approve, including 47% of Republicans.

The AP-NORC poll also shows an uptick in Americans’ overall optimism about the state of the country. Fifty-four percent say the country is on the right track, higher than at any . . .

Read More . . .

Posted on Leave a comment

Biden quadruples Trump refugee cap after delay backlash

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Monday formally raised the nation’s cap on refugee admissions to 62,500 this year, weeks after facing bipartisan blowback for his delay in replacing the record-low ceiling set by former President Donald Trump.

Refugee resettlement agencies have waited for Biden to quadruple the number of refugees allowed into the United States this year since Feb. 12, when a presidential proposal was submitted to Congress saying he planned to do so.

But the presidential determination went unsigned until Monday. Biden said he first needed to expand the narrow eligibility criteria put in place by Trump that had kept out most refugees. He did that last month in an emergency determination. But it also stated that Trump’s cap of up to 15,000 refugees this year “remains justified by humanitarian concerns and . . .

Read More . . .