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Sen. Johnson to force 600-page COVID-19 bill to be read before vote

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Sen. Johnson to force 600-page COVID-19 bill to be read before vote

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson will force the Senate to read the more than 600-page coronavirus relief bill, delaying a vote on the stimulus package and President Biden’s first address to Congress.​

Johnson of Wisconsin said ​he will object to waiving the reading of the president’s $1.9 trillion bill, a maneuver that will require Senate clerks to read the legislation out loud – a process that could take about 10 hours. 

​That would delay debate, which the Senate had expected to begin as soon as Thursday and could draw out the procedure until this weekend. ​​

“​Since more than 90% of this ​’​COVID relief​’​ bill is not even related to COVID, I think we need a full reading of the bill​,” Johnson said on Twitter. ​”​Yes, it could take 10 hours but the American people deserve to know what’s in it.​”

The House passed the stimulus bill early Saturday morning by a 219 to 212 vote. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that Biden, who has been criticized for not holding a solo press conference since entering the White House 43 days ago, will not address a joint-session of Congress until the package is approved.

“​I would say, broadly speaking, what we’ve confirmed and talked about in the past is that when it became clear – which it probably should’ve been from the beginning – but that the American Rescue Plan would not – would take until hopefully about mid-March to get passed and signed into law, we made a decision internally that we weren’t going to have the ​p​resident propose his forward-looking agenda beyond that​,” Psaki said.​

​”​It meant parts of his Build Back Better agenda are still being determined, policy discussions still going on internally until after that bill is signed, after those checks are going out to Americans, after that vaccine money is going out – after the money is going out to schools​,” she added.

The president has tried to sweeten the pot to get senators to approve the trillion-dollar bill by limiting eligibility for the $1,400 payments, cutting off those making more than $80,000 a year.

Individuals making up to $75,000 annually would still receive the full amount but the payments would shrink for those earning between $75,000 and $80,000.

For joint filers, the ​threshold begins at $150,000 and ends at $160,000. 

A “head of household” category for parents begins a phase-out at $112,500 and ends at $120,000.

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Trump blasts Sen. Mitch McConnell at Mar-a-Lago dinner: report

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Trump blasts Sen. Mitch McConnell at Mar-a-Lago dinner: report

Former President Donald Trump called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a “son of a bitch” during a donor soiree at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday, according to a report.

Trump veered from his prepared remarks when he lashed out at the Kentucky lawmaker, Reuters reported, citing an attendee at the Republican National Committee dinner in Palm Beach, Florida.

Vice President Mike Pence was also a target of the ex-president’s ire.

Trump said he recently told Pence that he was still disappointed in him for not intervening to stop the congressional certification of President Biden’s election win — something the VP didn’t have the authority to do.

Pro-Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6 in an effort to stop the vote certification some of them caught on camera shouting that Pence should be hanged.

Speaking to hundreds of top donors Saturday, Trump didn’t rule out seeking another term in 2024, but said any talk of him possibly running should wait until after the November 2022 midterm elections.

Representatives for McConnell and Pence did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters.

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Sole survivor of South Carolina shooting by Phillip Adams dies

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Sole survivor of South Carolina shooting by Phillip Adams dies

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A sixth person has died following a shooting earlier this week at the hands of a former NFL player who also killed four members of a South Carolina family, local officials said Saturday.

Robert Shook, 38, an air conditioning technician from Cherryville, North Carolina, has died from injuries sustained in the Wednesday shooting while he was working at the home, according to York County Coroner Sabrina Gast.

Authorities say Phillip Adams killed Rock Hill physician Robert Lesslie; his wife, Barbara; two of their grandchildren, 9-year-old Adah Lesslie and 5-year-old Noah Lesslie; and another air conditioning technician, James Lewis, who had been working with Shook at the Lesslie home.

Adams later shot himself to death. His brain is now being examined for possible degenerative disease that has been shown to cause violent mood swings and other cognitive disorders in some athletes and members of the military.

Adams, 32, played in 78 NFL games over six seasons for six teams. He joined the 49ers in 2010 as a seventh-round draft pick out of South Carolina State, and though he rarely started, he went on to play for New England, Seattle, Oakland and the New York Jets before finishing his career with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015.

As a rookie, Adams suffered a severe ankle injury and never played for the 49ers again. Later, with the Raiders, he had two concussions over three games in 2012.

Whether he suffered long-lasting concussion-related injuries wasn’t immediately clear. Adams would not have been eligible for testing as part of a broad settlement between the league and former players over such injuries, because he hadn’t retired by 2014.

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UK won’t welcome Prince Harry home: Brexit leader Nigel Farage

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UK won't welcome Prince Harry home: Brexit leader Nigel Farage

At least one Brit doesn’t think Prince Harry should rush home for his beloved grandfather’s funeral.

Brexit leader Nigel Farage yanked up his welcome mat in a tweet slamming Harry and wife Meghan Markle for their terse statement on the death of Prince Philip Friday at age 99.

“For a couple that do public emotion as a career, this third person and one sentence statement shows their contempt for this great man and the monarchy,” Farage tweeted Friday.

“The British public will not welcome Harry and Meghan back, even for the funeral,” he added.

Buckingham Palace confirmed Saturday that Prince Harry, 36, will indeed make the trip home for the first time in a little more than a year to attend Prince Philip’s funeral — and that Markle won’t be with him.

The heavily pregnant Markle, 39, who is due to give birth to the couple’s daughter this summer, will stay home in California on her doctor’s advice — even though she flew to New York for a baby shower while seven months pregnant with son Archie in February 2019.

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