Politics

Joe Biden to address inflation as Congress mulls big aid bill for Ukraine – live


Yellen: Overturning Roe would ‘set women back decades’ economically

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said ending the constitutional right to an abortion would have “very damaging” effect on the economy and women’s earning potential.

Testifying before the Senate banking committee this morning, Yellen was asked by Senator Bob Menendez, a Democrat of New Jersey, what the loss of abortion access would mean for women economically.

I believe that eliminating the right of women to make decisions about when and whether to have children would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades,” she said.

Sec. Yellen in a Senate hearing weighs in on abortion debate: “I believe that eliminating the right of women to make decisions about when and whether to have children would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades.”

— Amara Omeokwe (@TheAmaraReport) May 10, 2022

Secretary Yellen: “Roe v. Wade and access to reproductive healthcare, including abortion, helped lead to increased labor force participation. It enabled many women to finish school. That increased their earning potential. It allowed women to plan and balance” families and careers

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 10, 2022

Senator Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina,

As the White House prepares to convene a Covid-19 summit this week, former heads of state, dignitaries and Nobel laureates are urging Biden to do more to lead the world’s response to the virus and improve preparedness for a future pandemic.

According to the New York Times, the group are calling on the US to commit $5bn to combat the virus globally.

“I want America to recognize that the disease is not over anywhere until it’s over everywhere,” former British prime minister Gordon Brown told the New York Times in an interview.

“We must not sleepwalk into the next variant,” said Brown, now the now the World Health Organization’s ambassador for global health financing>

But as we explained earlier, the White House’s request for additional resources to buy more tests, vaccines and therapeutics is being held up in Congress over Republican opposition to a decision by the administration to lift a pandemic-era immigration rule.

On Monday, Biden said it a statement that he supported the decision to decouple coronavirus funding from an aid package for Ukraine, leaving the fate of the former uncertain.

“Let me be clear,” Biden said in the statement, “as vital as it is to help Ukraine combat Russian aggression, it is equally vital to help Americans combat Covid. Biden told lawmakers that a failure to approve additional funding would hurt both domestic and international efforts to beat back the pandemic.

Biden has requested $22.5bn in emergency coronavirus aid, including $5bn for the global response to the pandemic. The virtual summit on Thursday will be hosted jointly by Belize, Germany, Indonesia and Senegal.

Lawmakers on Tuesday are set to begin debating a nearly $40bn aid package, an extraordinary sum that exceeds the $33bn Biden requested of Congress.

An agreement was reached among Congressional leaders to swiftly send the aid to Biden’s desk, after Democrats untangled the package from a separate request for coronavirus funding.

“We cannot afford delay in this vital war effort,” Biden said in a statement on Monday. “. Hence, I am prepared to accept that these two measures move separately, so that the Ukrainian aid bill can get to my desk right away.” He urged Congress to send the package to him “in the next few days.”

As lawmakers discuss the aid, Ukraine Ambassador Oksana Markarova will be on the Hill to speak at the caucus lunches, according to The Hill. It comes after Biden on Monday signed a bill into law that will expedite the shipment of military aid and equipment to Ukraine and other allies in Eastern Europe.

While the agreement paves the way for additional aid to Ukraine, the fate of billions of dollars in funding for coronavirus vaccines, testing and therapeutics remains uncertain.

With the supreme court poised to end the constitutional right to an abortion, Democrats are under increasing pressure to fulfill their promises to protect reproductive choice.

On Wednesday, they will hold a vote in the Senate on legislation that would codify the landmark supreme court decision Roe v Wade into federal law. But the bill is doomed to fail amid Republican opposition.

And when it does, Democrats are not planning to hold a vote to modify or end the Senate filibuster, according to the Washington Post.

That is not particularly surprising or new.

For months, activists have been demanding Democrats amend or eliminate the filibuster, the parliamentary procedure requiring 60 votes to move forward with most legislation, to pass measures they believe are critical on voting rights, immigration and, now, abortion rights. But Democrats lack the votes to do so in the evenly divided Senate and the revelation that the supreme court intends to strike down Roe hasn’t changed the calculus.

But that hasn’t stopped some progressive Democrats from trying. According to the Post, a group of 114 House Democrats, led by Illinois congressman Sean Casten, California congresswomen Judy Chu and Barbara Lee, Missouri congresswoman Cori Bush and Colorado congresswoman Diana DeGette, sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer demanding he hold a vote to scrap the filibuster.

“When voters gave Democrats control of the House, Senate, and the White House, they did so with the expectation that we would legislate boldly and do what is necessary to advance our fight for justice and economic prosperity. Now more than ever it is the time to deliver on our promises,” the letter states. “The Senate must meet the moment, end the filibuster, and pass the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) immediately.”

Schumer almost certainly won’t hold such a vote. Two Democratic senators – Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia – publicly oppose such a move, leaving the party at least two votes shy of enacting the change.

Good morning. It’s another busy day in Washington DC, as the president and lawmakers on Capitol Hill scramble to respond to some of the most urgent issues of the day – rising inflation, the anticipated demise of Roe v Wade, the war in Ukraine and the pandemic.

From the White House, Joe Biden will deliver remarks on the administration’s efforts to combat inflation at 11.30am. He will attempt to draw a sharp contrast with what the White House is calling “Congressional Republicans’ ultra-Maga plan to raise taxes on 75 million American families and threaten to sunset programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid”.

Later in the day, the US president will hold a bilateral meeting with the Italian prime minister, Mario Draghi.

Jen Psaki, in her last week as press secretary, will brief reporters at 2.30pm ET.

Expect lots of wheeling and dealing on Capitol Hill, where Democrats and Republicans in both chambers are hoping to push through a massive aid bill for Ukraine. The swift action comes after Biden gave his blessing for decoupling the Ukraine aid from a Covid preparedness funding bill that Republicans oppose. This makes the road to passing any sort of Covid funding much more precarious.

At the same time, Democrats are preparing to hold a doomed vote on legislation that would codify the constitutional right to abortion into federal law. A vote is expected tomorrow.

And it’s another primary day. This Tuesday, it’s West Virginia and Nebraska holding elections that offer another test of former president Donald Trump’s influence within the Republican party.

Thanks for following along.





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