U.S. and World Headlines
House Passes $78 Billion Tax Bill In Bipartisan Vote
The House passed a $78 billion tax bill on Wednesday that boosts the child tax credit and reinstates business deductions that were rescinded during the Trump administration, sending the bipartisan, bicameral legislation to the Senate for consideration.
The chamber cleared the measure, dubbed the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act, in an overwhelmingly bipartisan 357-70 vote.
Passage of the legislation — which was crafted by House Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith (R-Mo.) and Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) — marks a rare show of bipartisanship in this Congress, which has been defined by bitter partisan clashes and labeled as highly unproductive.Read More
Gender Gap Expands Between Biden And Trump, New Poll Shows
The gender gap is growing between supporters of President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll of registered voters.
And that’s good news for the Democratic incumbent: Biden holds a slight lead over Trump in Wednesday’s 2024 presidential election poll, 50 percent to 44 percent. The same matchup was “too close to call” just a month ago.Read More
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg Apologizes To Parents Of Victims Of Online Exploitation In Heated Senate Hearing
Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Meta, apologized to families who said their children were harmed by social media use during a heated hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
The apology came as Zuckerberg, whose firm owns social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, answered questions at a U.S. Senate Judiciary hearing on the impact of social media on children. The hearing looked at child sexual exploitation online, and also included CEOs from Discord, Snap, X and TikTok, and featured a video of children speaking about their experiences with online bullying, abuse and more.
Committee chair Dick Durbin bashed the platforms for failing to protect children, and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told Zuckerberg that he had "blood on his hands" from a "product that's killing people."Read More
Walmart Opening 150 New Stores
Walmart will open over 150 stores in the U.S. over the next five years while remodeling 650 existing ones across 47 states and Puerto Rico — "creating tens of thousands of jobs," the retailer announced Wednesday.
The first two stores will open in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, and Atlanta, Georgia, this spring and the remodeling projects will occur over the next 12 months, Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner wrote in a blog post Wednesday.
"We're also finalizing construction plans on 12 new projects we intend to start this year, along with converting one of our smaller locations to a Walmart Supercenter."
Walmart, the world's largest company by revenue, last opened a new store in November 2021.Read More
Fed Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged, Delaying Anticipated Rate Cuts
The Federal Reserve left rates unchanged on Wednesday, delaying highly anticipated rate cuts that the central bank expects to make sometime this year.
The fed funds rate remains between 5.25% and 5.5%
"The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2 percent over the longer run," the Fed said in a statement. "The Committee judges that the risks to achieving its employment and inflation goals are moving into better balance."Read More
Wisconsin Republicans Seek To Curtail Governor’s Veto Power
Wisconsin Republicans proposed a constitutional amendment Wednesday that would curtail the governor’s veto powers by prohibiting a veto to increase any tax or fee.
The move comes after Democratic Gov. Tony Evers used his partial veto in July to increase school funding for public schools for the next 400 years. Republicans proposed a similar amendment in 2019 after Evers used his partial veto to increase school funding by $65 million, but it did not get a vote in the Legislature.Read More
Absentee Ballot Rules Challenge Is A Step Closer To The Wisconsin Supreme Court
Democrats are appealing a judge’s dismissal of their lawsuit as they once again seek to allow Wisconsin voters to return absentee ballots in drop boxes, bringing the challenge one step closer to the liberal-controlled state Supreme Court.
Absentee ballot drop boxes were barred in Wisconsin in 2022 following criticism by former President Donald Trump.
Attorneys for the national Democratic firm the Elias Law Group filed notice Jan. 30 that it was appealing a circuit judge’s ruling the previous week dismissing its claims challenging the constitutionality of several voting rules in the battleground state.Read More
Two Individuals Charged With Production Of Child Sexual Abuse Material
A federal grand jury returned an indictment against registered sex offender Daniel L. Anderson (age 54) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Chasity S. Evans (age 37) of Ripley, Tennessee (formerly of Milwaukee). The indictment charges Anderson and Evans with production of child sexual abuse material (CSAM), in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2251(a) and 2251(e). The indictment also charges Anderson with Commission of a Felony Sex Offense by an Individual Required to Register as a Sex Offender, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2260A.
According to the indictment, Anderson and Evans aided and abetted the repeated production of CSAM of a minor child between February 2023 and June 2023. The child is alleged to have been between the ages of 11 and 12 years old during the production of the CSAM. The indictment further alleges that Evans sent the CSAM to Anderson via cell phone, in exchange for small sums of money via Cash App.Read More
DOJ Urges Justices To Reject Dean Phillips Bid For Wisconsin’s Presidential Ballot
State officials are urging the Wisconsin Supreme Court to reject Democratic presidential candidate Dean Phillips' lawsuit after he was left off the primary ballot, saying he waited too long to seek legal action.
Phillips, who launched a longshot bid against President Joe Biden, filed a complaint directly to the court earlier this week after a bipartisan committee unanimously decided on Jan. 2 Biden would be the lone Democratic presidential candidate on the April 2 primary ballot.Read More
Packers Hire Boston College's Jeff Hafley As Defensive Coordinator
The Green Bay Packers have named Jeff Hafley as defensive coordinator.
Head Coach Matt LaFleur made the announcement Wednesday.“We are excited to welcome Jeff, his wife, Gina, and their daughters, Hope and Leah, to the Packers and the Green Bay community," added LaFleur.
"Jeff has had success at every stop of his coaching career with an impressive track record of developing players at every level. We look forward to him leading our defense”Read More