U.S. and World Headlines
Biden Launches Battle On Capitol Hill With Call For Medicare Tax Hike
President Biden fired the opening shots of the battle over spending and taxes that will consume Capitol Hill this year when he proposed on Tuesday a 5 percent Medicare surtax on people who earn more than $400,000 a year.
The White House is hailing the proposal, which is part of Biden’s budget plan, as something that will extend Medicare’s solvency by 25 years, but Republicans are slamming it as a “massive” tax hike and key Democrats are ducking for cover, declining to say whether they will back it.
The proposal reopens the fierce political battle that wracked Capitol Hill more than a decade ago when Democrats included a 0.9 percent Medicare tax on earnings and a 3.8 percent tax on investment income for wealthier individuals in the Affordable Care Act.Read More
White House Backs Bipartisan Bill That Could Be Used To Ban TikTok
A bipartisan group of senators introduced a sweeping bill Tuesday that would allow the federal government to regulate and even ban foreign-produced technology, including TikTok.
The bill, the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology Act, or RESTRICT Act, would give the secretary of commerce broad power to regulate tech produced by six countries that have adversarial relationships with the U.S.: China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela.
The White House endorsed the RESTRICT Act on Tuesday, calling it “a systematic framework for addressing technology-based threats to the security and safety of Americans.”Read More
Florida Republicans Seek Ban On Abortions After 6 Weeks Of Pregnancy
Florida’s Republican-led legislature on Tuesday filed bills that would ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy but offer exemptions for victims of rape and incest if they can provide official proof of the crime.
Lawmakers in the House and Senate filed similar legislation to make abortions illegal two weeks after a pregnant person’s first missed period, tightening the 15-week ban they approved last year. The measure also seeks to prevent government entities and educational institutions from using public money to financially help people to travel outside the state for an abortion.Read More
Biden Is Back In Hot Water With Dem Lawmakers
First it was crime, now immigration: For the second time in as many weeks President Biden has inflamed fellow Democrats, who are questioning his tactics and strategy.
In his first two years in office, Biden was remarkably united with congressional Democrats, which helped him pass four major pieces of legislation.
- Now cracks in the coalition are emerging as vulnerable Democrats chart their paths to re-election — and the White House focuses on crime and immigration, sensitive issues that Republicans can’t wait to run on.
The administration now is considering whether to revive detentions of migrant families who enter the U.S. illegally.
- That has enraged some Democratic lawmakers, who on Tuesday called on Biden not to resume the detentions that many had blasted as inhumane when then-President Trump imposed them.
Charles Barkley Rips Kendrick Perkins For Suggesting Racial Bias Plays Role In MVP Voting
Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley ripped into Kendrick Perkins’ suggestion that race plays a role in NBA MVP voting when it comes to Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic.
Barkley talked about Perkins’ remarks on Denver’s Altitude Sports Radio with Vic Lombardi, Marc Moser and Brett Kane. The former Phoenix Suns star said he didn’t believe Jokic was worried about what pundits were saying about him on ESPN’s "First Take" to begin with.
Perkins suggested there was a racial bias since three players since 1990 have won an MVP despite being outside the top 10 in points per game: Jokic in his first MVP campaign in 2020-21, Dirk Nowitzki (2006-07) and Steve Nash (2004-05, 2005-06). All three are White.Read More
Republican Lawmakers Ready To Block Student Vaccine Mandates For Meningitis, Chickenpox
Wisconsin Republicans are preparing to again block a new policy from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers that requires students to get vaccinated twice against meningitis and tightening student chickenpox vaccination mandates.
The Legislature’s GOP-controlled rules committee held a public hearing on the policy on March 7. A committee vote to block the policy could soon follow, perhaps within days.
The committee’s co-chair, Republican Sen. Steve Nass, called the new provisions “arbitrary and capricious” in an message to constituents. The rules committee blocked the policy in the last legislative session as well.Read More
Joint Finance Committee Members Schedule Public Hearings On State Budget
The co-chairs of the state's budget-writing committee, the Joint Finance Committee, have scheduled four public hearings on the state budget.
The hearings will be held across the state. Each hearing will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. Anyone who wants to testify will be asked to fill out a form to be added to the queue.Read More
Gov. Evers Says Change Is Coming For State Shared Revenue System
Gov. Tony Evers said Tuesday there "will be a change" in the state's shared revenue funding for local communities, making a forceful commitment to an issue that's been central to his administration.
"There’s no question about it," Evers said Tuesday at a luncheon hosted by Wispolitics in downtown Madison.
In previous budgets, shared revenue funding has been a sticking point between the Democratic governor and Republicans who control the state Legislature. This session — the first of Evers’ second term in office — has seen more common ground emerge between the parties. Evers has proposed dedicating 20 percent of the state's sales tax revenue for shared revenue, and while Republicans have not endorsed a specific number, they've said there's a need to boost local government funding.Read More
Illinois Man Sentenced To 5 Years For Trafficking Methamphetamine
Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Martell Mitchum, 36, Chicago, Illinois was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 5 years in federal prison for possessing over 50 grams of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. The prison term will be followed by 4 years of supervised release. Mitchum pleaded guilty to this charge on November 22, 2022.
On June 30, 2020, a Wisconsin State Patrol trooper located a vehicle that had crashed in a construction zone on Interstate 39/90 in Madison, Wisconsin. Mitchum was identified as the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle. A trooper searched the vehicle after smelling marijuana coming from Mitchum and from inside the vehicle. The trooper found a loaded Glock 43X handgun, a bag of methamphetamine, and multiple baggies of marijuana in a safe on the front passenger seat; a loaded magazine on the steering column; body armor on the front passenger floorboard; and additional bags of methamphetamine and marijuana, digital scales, and three cases of 9mm ammunition were located elsewhere in the car. In total, 106 grams of methamphetamine and almost 5 pounds of marijuana were seized. Subsequent laboratory testing determined that Mitchum had marijuana in his system at the time of his arrest.Read More
Menasha Man Indicted For Distribution Of Child Pornography
United States Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that on March 7, 2023, a federal grand jury returned a two count indictment alleging that Colton H. Nelson (age: 24) of Menasha, Wisconsin, distributed child pornography in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252A(a)(2)(A).
According to documents filed with the court, Nelson used file sharing software to distribute digital videos and images of child pornography to undercover law enforcement. A subsequent search of Nelson’s residence revealed thousands of images and videos containing child pornography located on electronic devices in his possession. Nelson faces a mandatory 5 years’ imprisonment and up to 20 years’ imprisonment if convicted of either distribution charge. Nelson may also be fined up to $250,000 on each count.
This case was investigated by the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel R. Humble.Read More