Senate will hold planned Wednesday vote on debt ceiling suspension
With Republican leader Mitch McConnell holding fast to using the filibuster to block the Democrats, senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said the Senate will go forward with Wednesday’s planned vote to suspend the debt ceiling.
Joe Biden spent yesterday in virtual meetings with the progressives of the Democratic party, talking about the $3.5tn reconciliation bill. White House press secretary Jen Psaki was upfront that the package would be “smaller than originally proposed”, with centrists Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema standing fast behind the notion that the package was too large, and that the meetings would be to determine priorities and bottom lines.
Today the meetings continue ahead of his Michigan trip:
The Facebook whistleblower hearing is underway before the Senate and our west coast tech reporter Kari Paul will be live blogging the proceedings.
Frances Haugen, a 37 former Facebook employee, came forward on Sunday to accuse the social media giant of putting profit over safety.
Stephanie Grisham, former White House press secretary for Donald Trump. admitted on CNN today that she “probably wasn’t” honest during her interviews with Fox News and lied on at least one occasion about former White House chief of staff John Kelly, a retired four-star Marine Corps general.
In 2019, Grisham had said, “I worked with John Kelly and he was totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great president.”
Grisham, who is currently on a publicity tour for her tell-all book, I’ll Take Your Questions Now, said Trump told her to say that after Kelly disparaged Trump in some way. “I don’t speak that way,” she said. “He dictated that to me, word for word.”
“At the time, I felt, I was his spokesperson,” Grisham said. “He told me to do it. I knew he was probably sitting there, watching TV, waiting for it. And so I put it out. It’s one of my biggest regrets. I apologized to general Kelly and Mrs Kelly in the book about it.”
Former vice president Mike Pence went on Fox News to say that the media’s focus on the 6 January attack on the US Capitol – in which a pro-Trump mob chanted “Hang Mike Pence” – is all to distract from Joe Biden and his attempts to pass his domestic agenda.
“I believe that our entire focus today should be on the future,” Pence said.
Biden flies to Michigan as Washington stalemate grinds on
Ahoy there, live blog readers. Happy Tuesday.
Joe Biden heads to Michigan today to talk about … yep, what else, the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the reconciliation bill (also known as the Build Back Better Act).
The $1tn infrastructure bill looking to improve roads, bridges, public transit and broadband and the $3.5tn reconciliation bill focusing on the “human infrastructure” of social services and environmental measures are the hot topics of the week, with an 18 October deadline looming on the debt limit and Republicans pointing at these two bills as proof that spending by Democrats is out of control.
Republicans have been saying since July that they will not vote to raise the debt ceiling and that the Democrats will have to do it on their own. The Republicans are once again utilizing the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to break, and have twice blocked Democrats’ efforts to raise the debt limit. It’s expected they will block their efforts come Wednesday too.
The Democrats could raise the ceiling with a majority vote of 51, but they are already trying that with the spending bill and do not want to complicate affairs. They also point out that they voted with Republicans to raise the ceiling when Republicans and the Trump administration were spending wildly themselves.
The Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, sent a letter directly to Biden yesterday, bypassing the Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, and the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, reiterating how serious he is about forcing Democrats to do this on their own.
Meanwhile, Democrats are continuing to suss out the ins and outs of reconciliation bill, with centrist senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema pushing to make the package smaller and progressives fighting to vote on it as is alongside the infrastructure bill so it has a better chance of passing.
Much more to come, of course.