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OnPolitics: SCOTUS returns to in-person arguments

OnPolitics: SCOTUS returns to in-person arguments

Avoiding a shutdown resolved one of four thorny issues facing Congress in the next few weeks. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

On Politics
Monday, October 4
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks at a weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday.
OnPolitics: There won't be a federal shutdown
Avoiding a shutdown resolved one of four thorny issues facing Congress in the next few weeks.

Thursday has been a wild day in Congress.

Congressional leaders have been jockeying all week between trying to avert a federal government shutdown and figuring out what's going on with the bipartisan infrastructure framework (BIF). Not to mention a ticking time-bomb on the debt limit. 

They at least managed to prevent the shutdown from happening! 

Hundreds of thousands of nonessential federal employees would have been furloughed beginning Friday if Congress hadn't acted.

Infighting jeopardizes BIF: Progressives and moderates within the House Democratic party are leading competing factions towards a showdown on Thursday. One side wants to delay the vote, while the other has been pushing to proceed.  

It's Amy and Mabinty, with the news out of Washington. 

The chaos in Congress  

Let's start with the good news: The House voted Thursday to join the Senate in extending funding for the federal government through Dec. 3, averting a midnight shutdown.

The bill now heads to President Joe Biden for his signature.

The House voted 254-175 to approve the bill that raced through both chambers in a few hours. The approval came quickly after Democrats dropped attempts to combine the measure with an increase in the amount the country can borrow.

The Senate had earlier voted 65-35 to approve the bill.

The not-so-good news (at least for Democrats): Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said the House should delay a Thursday vote on a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package.

"If it's pushed back two more weeks, it doesn't matter. It will pass. But it must pass in tandem" with a $3.5 trillion budget bill packed with progressive policies, said Sanders, who helped craft the budget bill.

"You think the world will collapse?" the Senate Budget Committee chairman asked. "Who decided that today was a pivotal day?"

The two wild cards on BIF: Sinema and Manchin. 

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's office said Thursday the president and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., have known her budget priorities and concerns for weeks.

Sinema, a moderate Democrat from Arizona and a crucial vote in the divided Senate, said months ago she opposed the initial $3.5 trillion proposal by Senate Democrats.

Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.V., said Thursday that $1.5 trillion is the highest price tag he would support on Biden's social spending bill.

That is much lower than the $3.5 trillion Biden proposed and what progressives want for a bill that includes priorities, such as subsidized caregiving, childcare, pre-kindergarten and community college.  

Real quick: stories you need to read

Banished from "Trump World:" Former president Donald Trump's organization says it has cut ties to former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski amid allegations of sexual misconduct by a Trump donor.

A "historic change" for care: Tracking Biden's $3.5 trillion infrastructure package, reporter Courtney Subramanian looks at how its childcare and elder care policies could change the industry.

Cruz v. campaign finance laws: The Supreme Court agreed to hear a lawsuit brought by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz challenging federal campaign finance rules that restrict a campaign's ability to raise money after an election to repay a candidate's personal loan.

Military suicides increase: Suicides among U.S. troops increased 15% in 2020 compared to the previous year. This troubling trend appears to be most common among Army members.

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How one journalist escaped from Afghanistan

When Kabul fell to the Taliban, Fatema Hosseini had only bad options. As a female journalist who'd worked for USA TODAY, she could stay and be killed or taken by the Taliban or she could run. But getting out seemed impossible.

Fearing the Taliban would ransack her home as they had her parents', she pulled a collage off her wall - photos of her and her friends eating ice cream, American song lyrics, and more. She dropped her memories into a bucket and burned them.

No one expected Kabul to fall so quickly, writes USA TODAY's world affairs correspondent Kim Hjelmgaard. But when it did, he knew he had to get Fatema out of there

Her only way out was through the Hamid Karzai International Airport.

As chaos surrounded her at the Kabul airport, there were times Fatema thought she couldn't go on. She faced gunfire, a Taliban whip, tear gas and, horrifically, a sexual assault. Finally, she made it to the Ukrainian special forces and across the gate. 

Fatema was one of thousands evacuated from Kabul. Her family lifted off from the Kabul runway minutes before the ISIS-K terrorists carried out a suicide bombing at the gate, killing at least 170 Afghans and 13 U.S. soldiers. Others weren't as successful.

Her harrowing and emotional escape from Afghanistan is a detailed account of the danger many journalists had to face and are still enduring in the country today.

While infrastructure week is playing out in Washington, Fat Bear week is happening across the country! 🐻 - Amy and Mabinty

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