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[SIZE=7]Biden, Obama celebrates Affordable Care Act ruling as a “major victory”[/SIZE]

President Biden called Thursday’s decision by the Supreme Court to throw out a Republican challenge to the Affordable Care Act a “major victory for all Americans benefitting from this groundbreaking and life-changing law.”


Why it matters: The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled 7-2 to toss the lawsuit and allows former President Obama’s signature achievement to remain intact.

The ACA has been the law of the land since 2011 and covers nearly 20 million people.

What they’re saying: "After more than a decade of attacks on the Affordable Care Act through the Congress and the courts, today’s decision – the third major challenge to the law that the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected – it is time to move forward and keep building on this landmark law," Biden said in a statement.
[li]Obama also put out a statement celebrating the ruling saying it “reaffirms what we have long known to be true: the Affordable Care Act is here to stay.”[/li][li]“The principle of universal coverage has been established, and 31 million people now have access to care through the law we passed—with millions more who can no longer be denied coverage or charged more because of a preexisting condition,” Obama said. “Now we need to build on the Affordable Care Act and continue to strengthen and expand it.”[/li][/ul]
The other side: House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, and House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, in a joint statement, said “Republicans have always believed that forcing Americans to buy a government-mandated product was unconstitutional.”
[li]“While the Supreme Court ruled today that states do not have standing to challenge the mandate, the ruling doesn’t change the fact that Obamacare failed to meet its promises and is hurting hard-working American families,” the statement said. "Now, Congress must work together to improve American health care. "[/li][/ul]


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Meffi thread.

President Biden on Friday marked a new milestone in the fight against the coronavirus — 300 million coronavirus vaccine doses administered during his first 150 days in office.
“Today we will have reached the mark of 300 million shots in arms in just 150 days," Biden said in remarks at the White House Friday afternoon, crediting scientists, private companies and a “whole-of-government” response. “That an important milestone that just didn’t happen on its own or by chance."
“Together, we built an unparalleled vaccination program and managed one of the biggest and most complicated logistical challenges in American history,” he continued. “What we’re seeing is a truly American accomplishment."

A White House fact sheet distributed to reporters on Friday notes that 15 states and Washington, D.C., have met or exceeded the benchmark of 70 percent of adults with at least one vaccine dose. About half of U.S. states and D.C. have fully vaccinated more than half of their adult populations.

The poll also strikes some positive notes, finding that majorities of Americans are returning to pre-pandemic activities, like visiting family members and going out to eat, as more and more people get vaccinated.

While vaccination rates in some areas of the country remained lower than the administration desired, the U.S. is overall on a positive trajectory in the fight against the virus. Daily cases, hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 have declined considerably across the country and states have relaxed social distancing measures and mask requirements, allowing business operations and life to move closer to normal.

The White House is planning a large outdoor gathering with essential workers, military members and first responders to celebrate the Fourth of July that will mark the progress against the virus. The event is expected to attract more than 1,000 people, making it Biden’s largest gathering by far at the White House since taking office.

[SIZE=7]‘We have a deal’:
Biden declares victory on $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill[/SIZE]

President Joe Biden declared on Thursday that “we have a deal,” announcing a bipartisan agreement on a $953 billion infrastructure plan that would achieve his top legislative priority and validate his efforts to reach across the political aisle.

Biden made a surprise appearance in front of the cameras with members of a group of senators, Republicans, and Democrats after an agreement were reached at the White House. Details of the deal were scarce to start, but the pared-down plan, with $559 billion in new spending, has rare bipartisan backing and could open the door to the president’s more sweeping $4 trillion proposals later on.


“This reminds me of the days when we used to get an awful lot done up in the United States Congress,” said Biden, a former Delaware senator, putting his hand on the shoulder of a stoic-looking Republican Sen. Rob Portman.

The president said not everyone got what they wanted and that other White House priorities would be tackled separately in a congressional budget process known as reconciliation.

“We’ve struck a deal,” Biden then tweeted. “A group of senators – five Democrats and five Republicans – has come together and forged an infrastructure agreement that will create millions of American jobs.”

The deal was struck amid months of the partisan rancor that has consumed Washington, yet Biden has insisted that something could be done despite skepticism from many in his own party. Led by Republican Portman of Ohio and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, the group includes some of the more independent lawmakers in the Senate, some known for bucking their parties.

“You know there are many who say bipartisanship is dead in Washington,” said Sinema, “We can use bipartisanship to solve these challenges.”

And Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said, “It sends an important message to the world as well that America can function, can get things done.”

The senators have struggled over how to pay for the new spending but left for the White House with a sense of confidence that funding issues had been addressed. The senators from both parties stressed that the deal will create jobs for the economy, a belief that clearly transcended the partisan interests and created a framework for the deal.


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Former President Donald Trump released a statement on Saturday threatening to withhold his endorsement from any Republican who supports the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. Hours later, 18 Republican senators voted to advance the infrastructure package anyway.

It was just a procedural vote (the Senate hasn’t voted yet on passage of the bill, as of Monday afternoon). But the chain of events illustrates that at least when it comes to infrastructure, the former president’s threats don’t seem to carry the weight they once did.


This was on stark display on Fox News on Sunday morning as one of the Republican senators who voted to advance the infrastructure bill, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, went on Maria Bartiromo’s show and was castigated for not toeing the line.


“Are you betraying the Republican base?” Bartiromo asked Cramer to open the interview. He responded by arguing that the bill addresses important national priorities.

“It’s not just infrastructure — it’s roads and bridges specifically. In addition to that, there’s ports, waterways, railroads, airports, broadband, all of which are critical to the movement of goods and services around the country and around the world,” Cramer said. “We couldn’t get North Dakota soybeans to South Korea if we didn’t have ports in the Pacific Northwest. and we certainly couldn’t get pasta in New York without trucks getting the wheat from the field to the bins and then off to the mills and the factories.”

Bartiromo later pressed Cramer to specifically address Trump’s threat. Trump said on Saturday that “Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill will be used against the Republican Party in the upcoming elections in 2022 and 2024. It will be very hard for me to endorse anyone foolish enough to vote in favor of this deal.”

But Cramer, who is up for reelection in 2024, didn’t back down.

“He didn’t give one reason why it’s a bad deal, other than it’s Joe Biden’s [bill] … I think he’s wrong on this issue,” he said.

North Dakota Republican Kevin Cramer courted Donald Trump on the Senate campaign trail, but is poised to ignore the president’s threat
and vote for the infrastructure bill anyway. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

[SIZE=5]Senate Republicans decided bipartisanship was in their interest this one time[/SIZE]

While infrastructure is proving to be an area where Senate Republicans are willing to break with Trump, it’s too early to say whether this is the start of a trend.

For one, some of the 18 Republican senators who voted to close debate on the infrastructure bill may still end up ultimately voting against it. But ultimately the votes are expected to be there for the bill’s passage, meaning that in this case, Republican senators seem to have calculated that doing something for their constituents and demonstrating that the Senate isn’t totally broken is worth the tradeoff of handing Biden a major bipartisan win.

That doesn’t mean that it’ll be smooth sailing for Biden’s legislative agenda heading forward, however. McConnell, after all, said in May that “one hundred percent of my focus is standing up to this administration,” and with Republicans entrenched against any sort of voting rights legislation, it’s unclear what major policy areas if any could be ripe for a bipartisan agreement after infrastructure.


It’s also easier for Senate Republicans to inch away from Trump than it is for GOP House members. While characterizing the infrastructure bill as “one of the most significant steps to date by elected Republicans to defy Mr. Trump,” the New York Times’ Luke Broadwater and Emily Cochrane note that Republicans like Cramer who aren’t up for reelection in 2022 aren’t quite feeling the heat. But for House members, a sour statement from the former president could spell serious trouble for their political futures.

[INDENT]The vast majority of Republicans are opposed to the legislation. House Republicans are as tightly bound to Mr. Trump as ever, with many continuing to support his election lies and conspiracy theories about the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol. And with the approach of the 2022 elections, members of his party will have less and less room to maneuver away from a figure whom their base still reveres.[/INDENT]
But whether it’s an aberration or the beginning of an era in which Republicans are less scared about incurring Trump’s wrath, the fact remains that for the first time in many years, a significant number of GOP elected officials are voting in favor of a major piece of legislation that will provide their constituents with something beyond tax cuts aimed disproportionately toward the wealthy. That’s something to celebrate.

Newsom overwhelmingly (64.2 percent to 35.8 percent with 66 percent of votes counted) defeated the recall effort. While that victory was in large part because California is a very Democratic-leaning state, the strategy of California Democratic leaders helped ensure the recall was unsuccessful.


If Democrats had embraced a candidate just in case Newsom was ousted, the race would have become essentially Newsom vs. Democrat X vs. Republican Y. Perhaps the Democratic alternative would have come out first among the dozens of candidates. But having a real Democratic alternative would also have created incentives for Newsom and the other Democrats to (either directly or indirectly) compete with one another, weakening them both.
Instead, Democrats forced voters to either back Newsom or choose a Republican for governor. This approach tilted the race heavily in Newsom’s favor since California is so blue that Biden won there by 29 percentage points in 2020.
Newsom and his allies got a gift from California Republicans along the way. The state’s GOP could have coalesced around one of the more moderate Republicans on the ballot, someone who might appeal to Democrats who don’t love Newsom. That’s what happened in 2003, when voters booted then-Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, in part because the moderate Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger was running. But this time the California GOP got behind Larry Elder, a talk-show host with deeply conservative policy views. As Elder became the front-runner among the replacement candidates, support for recalling Newsom dipped.
The rise of Elder, whom Democrats cast as a California Donald Trump, was “perfect,” Demissie said. “Couldn’t have been better. He made no effort to appeal to anyone outside of his base.”
Democrats are deeply invested in the idea that voters will reward them for creating the perfect child tax credit or jobs plan. But many policies, particularly on economic issues, are complicated and dry. People might not understand that they got a tax credit or forget about it when it comes time to vote.
Mask-wearing and vaccinations, on the other hand, are easy to understand. And Newsom’s covid policies demonstrated, in a clearer way than tax credits would, the governor’s broader values, which I think is what actually drives people’s votes. Newsom was essentially arguing that he is a rational, common-sense person who cares about saving people’s lives during a deadly pandemic, while Elder is an out-of-control ideologue.
Newsom’s values are of course much more popular than Elder’s in a blue state such as California. But nationally the 2018 and 2020 elections also featured Democrats running against Trumpism and portraying themselves as the party with normal values — and they won control of the House, Senate and the presidency. Newsom’s victory suggests that running as the anti-Trumpism party still has real political value, even with Trump no longer in the White House.



Reality television star and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner a Republican, secured just 1.1% of the vote on question two, per preliminary results, getting beat out by eight different candidates — four of whom are mostly anonymous Democrats — of the 46 individuals running in the recall election. Those she trailed are Larry Elder, Kevin Paffrath, Kevin Faulconer, John Cox, Kevin Kiley, Jacqueline McGowan, Patrick Kilpatrick and Holly Baade.
When taking into consideration the fact that almost half of California voters left question two blank, Jenner received just .6% of the vote of everyone who cast ballots in the recall election


On the subject of homelessness, an issue Jenner once said could be resolved by placing homeless people in “big open fields,” Jenner had some ideas.
The aforementioned comment, which she made in late June, was spoken “a long time ago,” she said, assuring me she has since switched gears.
She recommended buying every homeless person an RV: “For a billion dollars, how many RVs could you buy everybody? You could house everyone in an RV for a billion dollars.”

Californians voted to keep Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday, with 63.9% of ballots cast in favor of his staying in office. CNN estimates 70% of votes have been counted.

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Newsom’s success in easily maintaining the governorship validates the Democratic strategy of running anti-Trump campaigns over the next 13 months, even though Trump himself is back home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. Democrats have been investing for months in tying congressional Republicans up and down the ballot to Trump, who left office with a dismal 34 percent approval rating. Their candidates for House, Senate, and governorships repeatedly warn about unleashing the perils of Trump and Trumpism if voters back GOP rivals. The California results suggest this effort could well pay off. :D:D:D