Government Shutdown Averted, House Speaker Ousted: The House of Representatives passed a bill late Saturday night that allowed for the government to be funded until November 17. The package drops Ukraine aid and increases federal disaster assistance by $16 billion.
A few days later, on Tuesday, the hard conservative wing of the Republican party voted with democrats to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy for the first time in U.S. history. The final vote was 216 to 210 in favor of his removal.
The search for a new Speaker of the House is now in progress. With Republicans still holding onto the majority in the House of Representatives, the two representatives that appear most likely to occupy the position are Jim Jordan of Ohio, and Steve Scalise of Louisiana. While many argue that Scalise appears to be the most qualified, former President Donald Trump has voiced his support for Jordan. Read more at Associated Press.
Healthcare Workers Go on Strike: Approximately 75,000 healthcare workers went on a three-day strike in California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. The purpose of the strike was to address low wages and understaffing by Kaiser Permanente. Read more at Associated Press.
FCC Issues DISH Network $150 Thousand Penalty for Space Debris: The FCC issued its first-ever fine for space debris - a $150,000 fine to DISH Network for failing to safely deorbit their EchoStar-7 satellite. The company intended to deorbit the spacecraft in May 2022, but the satellite ran out of fuel, leaving it 100 miles short of its designated disposal region. Read more at Space.com.
Biden Cancels $9 Billion in Student Debt: President Joe Biden announced the approval of $9 billion in student loan forgiveness for approximately 125,000 people. The relief will go to 53,000 borrowers who have worked in public service for a decade or more, 51,000 borrowers enrolled in income-driven repayment plans and 22,000 borrowers with disabilities. Read more at CNBC.
President Biden Paves Way for Southern Border Wall Construction to Resume: President Joe Biden has waived 26 federal laws in South Texas, which now allows for construction of roughly 20 miles of additional border wall to be built. The funding for this portion of the wall had already been allocated during the previous Trump administration.
Among the federal laws that were waived were the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act.
Biden stated that he tried to get lawmakers to redirect the money, but Congress refused, and the law requires the funding to be used as approved and for construction to be completed in 2023.
The decision was met with harsh criticism from immigration advocates, environmental advocates and Native Americans. Juan Mancias, the chair of the Carrio Tribe stated, "By developing this, they are furthering a genocide. Colonizers killed our people in the first place, and we had to bury. Then you dig them up to build." Read more at Associated Press.
Mass Shootings in US: This week, Gun Violence Archive reported a total of 14 mass shootings resulting in 49 victims injured and 12 victims dead.
Photo by Jose Luis Gonzalez via Reuters