Congress averts shutdown after party leaders resolve GOP standoff over vaccine mandate

By Clare Foran, Manu Raju, Ted Barrett and Ali Zaslav, Congress¬†averted a government shutdown¬†Thursday evening when both chambers voted to pass a stopgap bill to extend funding through mid-February after party leaders brokered a deal to overcome GOP brinkmanship over vaccine mandates. The final tally in the Senate was 69-28. Passage of the stopgap bill ahead of a Friday at midnight deadline ended a standoff that had threatened to trigger a shutdown when a small number of Republican senators who object to¬†President Joe Biden’s vaccine requirements¬†had held out the possibility of holding up a quick vote on the funding bill.

City Councilman Andre Dickens will become Atlanta’s next mayor

By Rachel Janfaza, City Councilman Andre Dickens will become Atlanta’s next mayor, CNN projects, defeating City Council President Felicia Moore in a runoff election to determine who will hold the city’s top post. Dickens and Moore had advanced to the runoff after no candidate in¬†a wide field¬†received a majority of the vote earlier this month. The sitting mayor, Democrat Keisha Lance Bottoms, had announced in May she would not seek reelection. Leading up to Tuesday, polls suggested the contest was close with a large swath of the electorate still undecided. Dickens, a former businessman and nonprofit leader, has served on

Supreme Court hears oral arguments on Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks and the future of Roe v. Wade

By Ariane de Vogue, The conservative-leaning¬†Supreme Court¬†will take up the most important abortion case in 30 years Wednesday as the justices consider Mississippi’s request to overturn Roe v. Wade and uphold a state law that bars the procedure 15 weeks after conception. The dispute represents the culmination of a decades-long effort on the part of critics of the landmark opinion that legalized abortion nationwide to return the issue to the states, a move that would almost immediately eviscerate abortion rights in large swaths of the South and the Midwest. The very fact that the current court, with its solid six-member

House could vote on stopgap funding bill to avert shutdown Wednesday

By Clare Foran and Kristin Wilson, The House of Representatives could vote as soon as Wednesday to approve a stopgap measure to prevent a government shutdown at the end of the week when funding runs out Friday at midnight. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, told reporters on Tuesday that he plans to bring a stopgap funding bill, known as a continuing resolution, to the House floor for a vote as soon as Wednesday. “I expect to bring to the floor a continuing resolution as early as tomorrow to keep the government funded,” Hoyer said during his weekly

Biden says new Omicron variant is ’cause for concern, not a cause for panic’

By Kaitlan Collins and Kate Sullivan, President Joe Biden on Monday said the¬†new Omicron coronavirus variant¬†is “a cause for concern, not a cause¬†for panic,” as federal health officials brace for the first cases of the new variant to be detected in the US. “Sooner or later we’re going to see cases of this new variant here in the United States. We’ll have to face this new threat just as we face those who have come before it,” Biden said, speaking from the White House. The President noted scientists and officials are learning more every day about the new variant. He

From vaccine mandates to abortion to insurrection probes, key court fights could shape Biden’s legacy

By Tierney Sneed Coming off the Thanksgiving holiday, the Biden administration enters a legal crucible as several high-profile lawsuits that carry significant consequences for President Joe Biden’s legacy get key hearings in court. Cases concerning the January 6 investigation, abortion and Covid-19 vaccine mandates may have little in common in terms of subject matter. But together, they show how a conservative judiciary could hamstring Biden initiatives and create major messes for which the Biden administration will have few tools for cleaning up. Already, the Supreme Court has stifled Biden moves on¬†immigration¬†and¬†coronavirus evictions policy.¬†But even before major cases reach the Supreme

Supreme Court will hear dispute over GOP legislators’ defense of North Carolina voter ID law

By Ariane de Vogue and Tierney Sneed, The¬†Supreme Court¬†said Wednesday¬†that it will hear¬†a case brought by Republican legislators in North Carolina who are seeking to defend the state’s strict voter ID law because they think the Democratic state attorney general is not adequately representing their interests. North Carolina Senate Bill 824 requires a photo ID to vote. It was immediately challenged by the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, which argues that the law disproportionately impacts African American and Latino voters. The dispute raises questions about who can act as an agent of the state to defend a law

Young progressives warn that Democrats could have a youth voter problem in 2022

By Rachel Janfaza, With less than one year until the 2022 midterm elections, young voters — who turned out in high numbers for President Joe Biden in 2020 — warn that if the Biden administration and congressional Democrats don’t act now on issues important to young progressives, they could risk alienating the demographic. Citing college affordability, climate and immigration policy — the fate of which hangs in the balance amid negotiations over Democrats’ social safety net bill, known as the Build Back Better Act — young progressives are pleading for further investments while the Democratic Party currently holds a majority

Trailblazing Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson to retire from Congress after serving nearly 30 years

By Daniella Diaz, Democratic Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas announced her retirement Saturday afternoon after serving nearly 30 years in Congress, according to a statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi said in a statement Saturday that Johnson is “a dedicated and highly effective leader on behalf of Dallas area families and the entire nation for her thirty years in the Congress and nearly 50 years in public service.” Johnson was the first Black woman elected to state public office from Dallas, according to Pelosi, as well as the first African American and woman to be the chair of

Schumer says Democrats will negotiate with Manchin and Sinema on Build Back Better plan and wants bill done by Christmas

By Liam Reilly and Devan Cole, CNN Senate Democrats will try to negotiate with moderate Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to address their disagreements on the size and scope of¬†President Joe Biden’s economic package¬†as it heads to the chamber, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday. “The House did a very strong bill. Everyone knows that Manchin and Sinema have their concerns, but we’re going to try to negotiate with them and get a very strong, bold bill out of the Senate which will then go back to the House and pass,” Schumer, a New York Democrat, said during

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