President Joe Biden hopes to convince Democrats to back his economic and environmental proposals before he leaves for Europe. The White House announced his spending bill framework Thursday morning. In a move to meet with progressives, Biden has slashed the bill’s price tag in half. It’s been cut from $3.5 trillion to $1.75 trillion. The framework includes nearly $2 trillion in tax hikes—including a tax on stock buybacks, set to garner $125 billion, a so-called billionaire’s tax, and new ways for the IRS to crack down on tax dodgers, among other means.
Biden’s COVID-19 adviser Jeff Zients says the administration is planning to finalize its vaccine mandate for companies in the near future. He claims employees will comply, fending off a worsening supply chain crunch. Many businesses have already implemented the rule. But in recent weeks, a number of business leaders—ranging from the trucking industry, air cargo, manufacturing, to retail—sent warnings to the Biden administration about the mandate. They argued that the rule would exasperate supply chain bottlenecks and could trigger chaos. Zients instead pointed to high vaccination rates at some companies that mandated the shots.
The Biden administration is taking unprecedented action to re-settle more than 55,000 Afghan refugees. Now U.S. veterans with ties to their former allies can sponsor the Afghan refugees and bring them to their cities. Currently, a refugee agency usually must have a local office or a network of community groups that can act as a support system. The new initiative is meant to open more locations for refugees to go. This comes as airlines donate tickets to help Afghan evacuees reach their final destinations.
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