Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has criticized Biden’s budget proposal, calling it “reckless”.
In a statement released on Friday, McDaniel said:
“Paychecks are worth less, the cost for everything is up, and Biden’s tax-and-spending spree will only worsen the economic burden on American families. Biden’s reckless budget proves how out of touch his administration is with reality.”
“No one making less than $400,000 will see a penny in federal taxes go up. Not a single penny,” Biden promised as he called for increased taxes on the rich.
“No billionaire should be paying a lower tax than somebody working as a school teacher or a firefighter,” Biden said.
“My plan is to make sure the corporations begin to pay their fair share. It used to be 35%, we cut it down to 21%,” referring to the corporate tax rate. “I think we should be paying 28%. It’s going to be a real fight in that but we should be paying more than 21%” he added.
Biden: ‘I guarantee you, I will protect social security and Medicare
Biden promised to protect social security and Medicare, to which the crowd responded with whoops and cheers.
“I won’t allow it to be gutted or eliminated as Maga Republicans threaten to do … My budget will not cut benefits and it definitely won’t sunset programs like some of my Maga Republican friends want to do,” he said.
Biden added that his budget will ensure that the “vital program keeps going strong for generations without cutting a single penny and benefits”.
Biden said his budget includes more funding for law enforcement
Biden said his budget includes funding for more training and “more support for law enforcement.”
“They need more help… We don’t expect a cop [to be] everything from a psychologist to a counselor. These departments need more investment in this kind of help and we’re going to fund proven strategies for accountable, effective community policing.”
“We’ve got to get cops back on the streets and the communities they know.”
“It’s going to lower prices for seniors,” Biden said about his budget, adding that it is “not just going to save people’s lives and save people money so they don’t have to go bankrupt. It’s going to save the government.”
He added that his budget will “invest in critical issues that matter to families…lower rental costs and make it easier to buy a home…all of which will generate economic growth and prosperity.”
Describing his budget which would slash the federal deficit by nearly $3tn in the next 10 years, Biden said his plan will help those who “hold the country together, who have been basically invisible for a long time”.
The proposal also seeks to raise taxes for corporations and the rich, as well as lower healthcare and prescription care costs, along with housing and education costs.
Biden added that his budget also seeks to “restore the child tax credit,” saying, “We can reduce child poverty, increase child opportunity.”
As Biden revealed his $6.8tn budget proposal, saying, “Show me your budget, I’ll tell you what’s your value,” the president called upon House speaker Kevin McCarthy to lay out his plan.
“I’m ready to meet with the speaker anytime,” Biden said, adding that he would like to go “line by line” with McCarthy to see which aspects of the proposals’ the two can agree on.
Biden delivers remarks on his budget proposal for fiscal year 2024
President Joe Biden is delivering remarks at a union hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania about his fiscal year 2024 budget proposal.
We have an update on the health of the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, who was taken to hospital in Washington on Wednesday night after he fell at a hotel during a private dinner.
On Thursday, the spokesperson David Popp said the Kentucky senator, 81, suffered a concussion and would remain in hospital “a few days” for observation and treatment.
“The leader is grateful to the medical professionals for their care and to his colleagues for their warm wishes,” Popp said.
McConnell is a survivor of polio. In 2019, he tripped and fell at his home, suffering a shoulder fracture. In 2020, he dismissed speculation over his health prompted by pictures of his bruised and bandaged hands and bruising around his mouth.
On the Senate floor on Thursday, the Democratic majority leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, said he had called McConnell and spoken with his staff “to extend my prayers and well wishes”.
“I joined every single one of my colleagues in wishing Leader McConnell a speedy and full recovery,” Schumer said.
The number two Republican, John Thune of South Dakota, was at the dinner on Wednesday, in support of a conservative Super Pac, the Washington Post reported. Thune told reporters McConnell delivered remarks “as usual”.
“Evidently it happened later in the evening,” he said of McConnell’s fall.
McConnell was elected to the Senate in 1984. He was majority leader from 2015 to 2021. He is the longest-serving party leader in Senate history but only the fourth-oldest member of the current chamber. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, is the oldest senator, three months senior to her fellow 89-year-old Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, is 81.
Amid concern about the advanced age of many US political leaders, proposals for age and term limits for public officials have featured in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
Nikki Haley, the 51-year-old former governor of South Carolina, says candidates older than 75 should be subject to mental competency tests.
The candidate who dominates polling, former president Donald Trump, is 76.
More lunchtime reading, in this case an important survey by a Guardian US team – Alice Herman, Carlisa N Johnson, Rachel Leingang, Kira Lerner, Sam Levine and Ed Pilkington – who have worked with our graphics desk to produce a guide to all the election-denying Republicans who remain in positions of influence in federal and state government…
Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election brought the US to the brink of a democratic crisis. Refusing to concede his loss to Joe Biden, he attempted to use every lever available to try and throw out the results of the election, pressuring state lawmakers, Congress and the courts to declare him the winner.
Those efforts didn’t succeed. But Trump nonetheless created a new poison that seeped deep in the Republican party – a belief that the results of US elections cannot be trusted. The belief quickly became Republican orthodoxy: it was embraced by Republican officeholders across the country as well as local activists who began to bombard and harass local election officials, forcing many of them to retire. The January 6 attack on the US Capitol – in which thousands stormed the building, and five people died – was the starkest reminder of the potential violent consequences of this rhetoric.
In 2022, several Republicans who embraced election denialism lost their races to be the top election official in their state. But at the same time, many Republicans who unabashedly embraced the idea and aided Trump’s efforts to overturn the election were re-elected and, in some cases, elevated to higher office.
Here’s a look at how some of those who tried to overturn the 2020 election have since been promoted into positions of power:
Ahead of Joe Biden’s speech in Philadelphia this afternoon, in which the president is due to introduce his budget proposal, here’s our columnist Robert Reich, a former US labor secretary, on the cards Republicans might play in return – and why when it comes to threats to default on the national debt, they’re bluffing.
Joe Biden is proposing to trim the federal budget deficit by close to $3tn over the next 10 years. He was an FDR-like spender in the first two years of his presidency. Has he now turned into a Calvin Coolidge skinflint?
Neither. He’s a cunning political operator.
Biden knows that he – along with his three immediate predecessors (Donald Trump, Barack Obama and George W Bush) – have spent gobs of money. In addition, Bush and Trump cut taxes on the rich and on corporations.
Not surprisingly, the national debt has soared. It’s not so much an economic problem as a political one. The huge debt is giving Republicans a big, fat target.
House Republicans are planning to stage theater-of-the-absurd pyrotechnics – refusing to raise the debt ceiling. Which means that at some point this summer, Biden’s treasury department will say that the nation is within days (or hours) of defaulting on its bills. A default would be catastrophic.
To counter this, Biden is planning his own pyrotechnics…
Ex-Trump hardliner comes out for … DeSantis
Ken Cuccinelli, once a homeland security official and immigration hawk in Donald Trump’s administration, has launched a political action committee in support of his preferred candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024: Ron DeSantis.
The Florida governor has not yet declared a run but is Trump’s only serious challenger in polling.
Launching his Never Back Down pac, Cuccinelli said: “I have been speaking to many grassroots conservative activists around the country who are very enthusiastic for Governor DeSantis to run for president in 2024.
“The energy is there, grassroots conservatives see the governor as a leader and a fighter with a winning conservative track record who will lead the Republican party to victory in 2024.
“Based on those conversations, I am most confident that we will build an unmatched grassroots political army for Governor DeSantis to help carry him to the White House.”
Trump did not immediately comment.
Here, meanwhile, is a story about some of what Cuccinelli got up to while working for Trump – presiding over hardline immigration policies including family separations at the southern border.
In particular, about what the former Maryland governor and Democratic presidential contender Martin O’Malley did when he saw Cuccinelli, a fellow graduate of Gonzaga high school, in a Washington bar one Thanksgiving evening…
It is slightly past 1pm on Capitol Hill. The first Senate hearing on the East Palestine train derailment has concluded. Here are some of the hearing highlights:
During Thursday’s hearing, South Carolina’s Republican senator Lindsey Graham asked Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw and EPA whether he would live in East Palestine which has been environmentally affected by the derailment. Shaw replied, “Yes sir, I believe that the air is safe, I believe that the water is safe, there are hundreds of tests…billions of data points…”
Shaw appeared to avoid Oregon’s Democratic senator Jeff Merkley’s question on whether his team would lobby for safety improvements rather than lobby against them. “We will continue to follow data. There are actually a number of areas in which we’ve invested in safety systems well above government regulation,” Shaw said. In response, Merkley said: “I’m sorry you can’t tell this crowd here today that would like to hear that is the case.”
Vermont Democratic senator Bernie Sanders grilled Shaw about more paid days off and better treatment for the company’s workers. “Will you make that commitment right now? To guarantee paid sick days to all of your workers? That’s not a radical demand. It really is not,” Sanders said. Shaw proceeded to deliver a non-answer, saying: “I will commit to continuing to discuss with them important quality of life issues.” Sanders replied, “With all due respect, you sound like a politician here.”
Shaw said, “We are committed to the legislative intent to make rail safer,” without specifically indicating whether he would commit to supporting the bipartisan Railway Safety Act. “We can always get better and that is my intent to continue to invest and continue to improve” in industry safety standards, he added.
The Environmental Protection Agency has “not detected any volatile organic compounds above levels of health concerns” since the derailment fire was extinguished on 8 February, the agency’s regional administrator, Debra Shore, said in her testimony on Thursday. Shore added that the EPA is currently conducting 24/7 air monitoring and a voluntary program set up by the agency has seen approximately 600 homes screened for toxic chemicals including vinyl chloride or hydrogen chloride – no detections of the chemicals have been identified.
Shaw has acknowledged the safety deficits that led to the disastrous derailment, saying, “It is clear the safety mechanisms in place were not enough.” Shaw added that the company has launched a series of initiatives to ensure industry-wide safety improvements and better training measures for its employees.
During his testimony, Ohio Republican JD Vance called on the Environmental Protection Agency to swiftly and safely remove the “toxic dirt” that has been filled with chemicals since the derailment. He said, “We need leadership. We need the EPA to get on the ground and aggressively get this stuff out of Palestine into properly licensed facilities. It’s maybe the most important and pressing thing…”
Ohio Democratic senator Sherrod Brown who testified at the hearing has issued harsh criticism against Norfolk Southern. “If Norfolk Southern had paid a little more attention to safety and a little less attention to its profits, if it cared a little more about the Ohioans along its tracks and a little less about its executives and shareholders, these accidents would not have been as bad or maybe not happened at all,” he said.
Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw said that he would live in East Palestine, Ohio, given what he has seen.
During Thursday’s hearing, South Carolina’s Republican senator Lindsey Graham asked Shaw and EPA regional administrator Debra Shore whether they would live in East Palestine which has been environmentally affected by the derailment.
“Yes sir, I believe that the air is safe, I believe that the water is safe, there are hundreds of tests…billions of data points. They all point to the same thing and I generally enjoy my conversations with the folks of East Palestine.”
Shore echoed Shaw’s comments, saying:
“We follow science and I drank the water there, I drink it every time I go to down because the scientific data says it’s safe, as does the air.”
Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw appeared to avoid Oregon’s Democratic senator Jeff Merkley’s question on whether his team would lobby for safety improvements rather than lobby against them.
“We will continue to follow data. There are actually a number of areas in which we’ve invested in safety systems well above government regulation,” Shaw said.
In response, Merkley said:
“I just really thought when you said ‘turn over a new leaf’ that…you were saying you were going to now support safety regulations. I’m sorry you can’t tell this crowd here today that would like to hear that is the case.”
Merkley went on to ask Shaw if his company – which announced $10bn in stock buybacks earlier this year – would pledge to do no more stock buybacks until a series of safety measures have been completed.
Merkley once again avoided answering the question, saying, “I will commit to continuing to invest in safety. We invest in over a billion dollars a year.”
“I am committed to having the best safety culture in the industry,” he added, to which Merkley responded:
“You’re coming here with three derailments within three months and the average in the industry is one per month for the entire industry so congratulations on maybe some good luck over a few years but at this moment, your team is the team that has the most derailments in the last three months.”
Bernie Sanders to Norfolk Southern CEO: ‘You sound like a politician here’
Vermont Democratic senator Bernie Sanders grilled Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw about more paid days off and better treatment for the company’s workers.
“Given that Norfolk Southern provided $10 billion in stock buybacks recently, can you tell the American people and your employees right now that in order to improve morale in your workforce, that you will guarantee at least seven paid sick days to the 15,000 workers you employ?” Sanders asked.
“Will you make that commitment right now? To guarantee paid sick days to all of your workers? That’s not a radical demand. It really is not,” he added.
Shaw proceeded to deliver a non-answer, saying:
“I will commit to continuing to discuss with them important quality of life issues.”
In response, Sanders said:
“With all due respect, you sound like a politician here… Paid sick days is not a radical concept in the year 2023. I’m not hearing you make that commitment to guarantee that to all of your workers… Will you make that commitment, sir?”
Shaw echoed his earlier response, saying:
“I’m committed to continuing to speak to our employees about quality of life issues that are important to them.”
Sanders proceeded to ask Shaw if he would pay for all of the healthcare needs of East Palestine residents.
“We’re going to do what’s right for the citizens,” said Shaw, adding: “Everything is on the table.”
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2023/mar/09/ohio-train-derailment-senate-hearing-biden-budget-politics-live Biden vows to protect social security and Medicare in speech outlining budget plan – live | US politics