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Cable News and the Ways of the World

It’s human nature to want a single explanation for anything that happens. We usually look for the reason, not the reasons. Thus, when the new management at CNN fired John Harwood and Brian Stelter, both of whom have openly criticized the former president (and full-time criminal), the reason that immediately came to mind was a political one. CNN’s new owner, Warner Brothers Discovery, wants the company to be nicer to Republicans.

An article from Vox written a couple weeks ago suggested that’s one reason, but there’s probably another as well:

In [one] version of events, Stelter is the victim of John Malone, the billionaire cable magnate and the most powerful investor in Warner Brothers Discovery Inc., which now owns CNN and the rest of what used to be called Time Warner.

Malone’s politics lean quite right/libertarian…. More to the point: Current and former CNN employees believe Malone’s view of CNN is entirely colored by Fox News. “John Malone doesn’t watch CNN. John Malone only watches CNN via Fox News,” says a CNN employee. “If I watched CNN via Fox News, I would hate CNN too.”

And Stelter, who spent most of the Trump era criticizing the American right’s embrace of disinformation, was already a target of Fox News hosts like Tucker Carlson…. Then, after Stelter’s boss, Jeff Zucker, was pushed out in February, Stelter went after Malone, who had said he wished CNN was more like Fox News because Fox News had “actual journalism.”

Asked about this theory by the New York Times, Malone gave one of the most candid admissions you’ll ever see a public person make in the guise of a denial: “Mr. Malone said he wants “the ‘news’ portion of CNN to be more centrist, but I am not in control or directly involved.” Translation: Yes, this pleases me.

So in this theory, … Malone and his managers — CEO David Zaslav and Chris Licht, the executive Zaslav hired to replace Zucker — will find other CNN journalists they want off the air as well. [In fact, they already have. They fired John Harwood this past week — he called the Republican front-runner a “dishonest demagogue” on his way out the door].

Then again, maybe they’ll need to let go of a lot of people because of theory No. 2:

Warner Brothers Discovery has a heavy debt load, but Zaslav has told investors that won’t matter, in part because he’s going to find $3 billion in savings.

We’ve already seen signs of budget-cutting in the company’s entertainment properties … but there will be many more cuts to come this fall. So Stelter, who reportedly made close to $1 million a year, was an easy cut: His show … was a big deal in media circles … but not a huge draw for normals.

Under Zaslav/Licht, CNN has already made one significant cut: Killing off CNN+, its brand-new streaming service, weeks after it launched … But that may not be anything close to enough to help the parent company hit its numbers. In which case, Stelter’s departure could be the first of many, and we’ll spend less time worrying about CNN’s politics and more time worrying about its ability to provide first-class news coverage.

But there’s another theory. Someone who goes by YS on Twitter and claims to have worked at CNN for 18 years says it’s all about who watches cable news:

Each quarter, the cable operators [like Comcast and AT&T] release their subscriber base. For seven consecutive years, the cable operators have seen subscriber declines… It’s called in the TV biz, “Cord Cutters”.

97% of “Cord Cutters” are under the age of 50. The majority of what is left watching cable are … old people. As demographics for cable TV has changed … the networks remaining with any traction (ESPN, news networks, etc.) have to – HAVE TO – appeal to who is sitting on their couch watching.

In the ratings war, the scorecard is usually based on the A18-49 demographic. But not for news. All advertisers on these networks buy them for A50+. [Aiming for that demographic] MSNBC went left. Fox News went right. CNN tried to play the middle.

But between 2008 and 2016, CNN lost 60% of its 50+ audience. Fox News, saw a 70% increase in the same demographic during the same period (mostly men). Fox News gave the audience what they want, an aggrieved white man perspective…. While the rest of America is out there cutting the cord, Fox News doubled down on old people. And won. 

News networks are not here to defend democracy. There is only one goal and one goal only. Higher CPM’s [i.e. what they can charge advertisers to reach a thousand viewers. On average, advertisers pay $20 to reach 1,000 viewers, which adds up when 100 million people watch the Super Bowl]. CPM is the currency used in TV to reflect the value of the programming.

[CNN’s new boss] was given one edict. Raise CPM’s. That’s it. That’s all he has to do. And he believes [becoming more “centrist”] is how.

Whether there’s one reason or several for CNN’s management to change its programming, the basic fact is that many old people (although not all of us) watch cable TV and will accept a kind of fascism if it comes to that, and the people who call the shots for big corporations tend to be Republicans who have some doubts about democracy and no doubts at all about making money.

Student Loan Forgiveness: Bad Assumptions, Bad Arguments

I went to college when you could do it relatively cheaply. More recently, a close relative took out loans and paid them off. Yet I find myself strangely pleased that President Biden is giving many former students financial assistance. If you happen to disagree (or if you don’t), here are perceptive comments on the matter from two columnists. First, Paul Waldman of The Washington Post. Then Jamelle Bouie of The New York Times.

One can make reasonable arguments against the student loan forgiveness plan President Biden announced this week. But the outright fury of the response in some quarters, and the absurd bad faith and hypocrisy being mobilized against this plan, have been a wonder to behold. And it is revealing fundamental things about the people taxpayers think the government ought to help.

To watch the reaction, you’d think this is the first loan forgiveness program in human history. You’d also think it’s absolutely vital to determine whether every last recipient will be morally deserving of this assistance, and whether any good people anywhere might fail to qualify for it. The more you examine these arguments — not only from Republicans but also journalists and a few Democrats — the weirder they seem.

At the most basic level, loan forgiveness isn’t novel or even unusual. Our bankruptcy system allows people to discharge loans every day — yet perversely, the law makes it extraordinarily difficult to get released from student loan debt even if you’re bankrupt. Some well-known people have used the bankruptcy system to eliminate their debts [including a former president, six times].

The government, furthermore, bails out people, companies and industries all the time when it decides that doing so is worthwhile. In the Great Recession we bailed out banks, insurers and auto companies. D____ T____ handed out tens of billions of dollars to farmers hit by his pointless trade war. Pandemic relief distributed hundreds of billions of dollars in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans to businesses.

Some of those forgiven loans — remember, taxpayer money, from truck drivers and waitresses — even went to the same Republican members of Congress who now rail against forgiving student debt, as the White House eagerly pointed out. If you’re a struggling blue-collar worker, are you mad that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) had $183,000 in loans forgiven, or that Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) had $1.4 million forgiven, or that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) had $482,000 forgiven?

If not, why does student loan forgiveness make you mad?

This leads to one of the most bizarre arguments against this program: Sure, it helps some people, but what about people it doesn’t help? What about people who never went to college, or who already paid off their loans? Why should they chip in to help these other people?

That argument could be raised against almost every government program in existence. This is the nature of paying taxes and having a government: Your money goes to all kinds of things that don’t benefit you directly or that you don’t like. You pay to maintain national parks you might not visit, and to find cures for diseases you’ll never contract. You support schools even if you don’t have kids. You build roads in states you don’t live in. You support wheat farmers even if you’re on a gluten-free diet.

How many people complaining about loan forgiveness have campaigned against the mortgage interest deduction? It costs taxpayers tens of billions of dollars every year, and its recipients — homeowners who itemize their deductions — are disproportionately wealthy. Where are all the cries of “How does this help people who rent, or people who already paid off their mortgages???”

The flip side of that argument is one we’re also hearing, that some people who will get this assistance might not truly need it. Journalists are searching for supposedly undeserving recipients, no matter how small their numbers. What if there’s an engineering major who just graduated and hasn’t gotten a job yet, but next year she’ll be working at Google? My God, are we going to forgive her loans when in 10 years she could be a billionaire?

The answer to that question is, who cares? Seriously. As a taxpayer (and as someone who, yes, took out student loans and paid them off), I don’t mind if some people get relief who might do fine without it, because tens of millions of lives could be transformed by this policy. The question is how much good the program as a whole does, not whether it helps someone somewhere who doesn’t really need it. The overwhelming majority of recipients will be middle class and because it gives extra to Pell Grant recipients, people from poor families get the most help.

Finally, some people warn that the program could worsen inflation, because it will put money into the economy. The truth is that the effect on inflation will likely be minuscule, but you could raise the same objection to literally anything the government spends money on.

For instance, earlier this summer, the House passed an $839 billion military spending bill for the 2023 fiscal year — that’s one year, not over a decade. Will pumping that much money into the economy be inflationary? And if so, should we just stop funding the military?

The fact that this question probably sounds ridiculous to you is revealing: Nobody ever worries about the inflationary effect of military spending, because people make that kind of objection only to policies they don’t like.

And that’s what’s at the heart of the objections to Biden’s loan forgiveness: Most of those making them are perfectly happy to have the government help some people, just not these people. And if that’s your argument against student loan forgiveness, you haven’t shown why the program is bad; all you’ve done is reveal yourself.

Unquote. Now from Mr. Bouie’s newsletter (no link available):

The Republican response to President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program is to try to turn the issue into a culture war…. Republicans would say that they are simply speaking up for those Americans who won’t benefit from the program. But they’re working under faulty assumptions.

First, a few details on the program itself. Under the plan, Biden will direct the federal government to forgive up to $20,000 in federal student loans for recipients of Pell Grants (which are awarded to students from low-income families), and up to $10,000 in loans for other eligible borrowers. It is restricted to individuals with incomes of up to $125,000 a year and households with incomes of up to $250,000 a year.

If every single recipient earned $124,999, it would lend credence to the Republican argument that this is some kind of war on working-class and blue-collar Americans. But they don’t. In fact, the biggest beneficiaries of Biden’s policy are exactly the people Republicans claim to represent with their rhetoric. As my newsroom colleague Jim Tankersley notes, “the people eligible for debt relief are disproportionately young and Black. And they are concentrated in the middle band of Americans by income, defined as households earning between $51,000 and $82,000 a year.”

If you want to haul freight for a living, you’ll need a commercial driver’s license, which means you’ll need training, which means you’ll need school. This schooling can cost thousands of dollars, and students can pay their tuition with federal student loans. So, too, can people who need training to work as medical technicians or home care workers or physical therapists or restaurant workers, among many other trades and professions.

Millions of people with blue-collar jobs owe thousands of dollars in federal student loans, and they may not have the income needed to pay them off. Biden’s plan helps them as much or more than a graduate of a four-year college with debt on the ledger. It also helps the millions of Americans who took out loans, attended college, but for one reason or another could not complete their degrees and are in the worst of all financial worlds as a result.

Like the “welfare queen,” the lazy, profligate and irresponsible student loan borrower of Republican rhetoric is a myth. And the point of the myth, as I said earlier, is to spread cultural resentment.

The fact of the matter is the Republican Party does not have anything to offer the millions of working- and middle-class Americans who labor under the burden of student debt. For all the talk of “populism,” the party is still hostile to the social safety net, opposed to raising the minimum wage, hostile to unions and worker power and virtually every economic policy intervention that isn’t tax cuts and upward redistribution from the many to the most fortunate few.

To debate the reality of student debt relief is to make that more than clear to the public at large. Republicans, then, are trying to make this a debate over culture, to try to reduce issues of class to a question of aesthetics, with traditional blue-collar workers on one side and the image of an ungrateful and unproductive young person on the other. And they’re hoping, as always, that you won’t notice.

Unquote. 

That should be the Republican Party’s epitaph: THEY HOPED YOU WOULDN’T NOTICE.

Finally

With Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote, Senate Democrats accomplished something important today, over the solid opposition of their Republican colleagues. It’s a big deal. The Democratic majority in the House of Representatives now needs to approve the bill. It’s hard to imagine that won’t happen.

First, however, it should be noted that news people can’t resist attaching a dollar amount to a bill like this. The Guardian, for example, has this headline:

Senate passes $739bn healthcare and climate bill after months of wrangling.

You have to read the article to figure out what the $739 billion refers to. Is it what the government will spend? Over what period of time? Or is it what the government will collect in new taxes? When will that happen? It’s a really dumb way to point out that it’s a big piece of legislation.

Much more helpfully, here’s how The Washington Post began its analysis of the bill:

Major changes to the Affordable Care Act. The nation’s biggest-ever climate bill. The largest tax hike on corporations in decades. And dozens of lesser-known provisions that will affect millions of Americans.

The legislation Democrats muscled through the Senate on Sunday would represent one of the most consequential pieces of economic policy in recent U.S. history.

The article includes the Congressional Budget Office’s most recent analysis of what the bill will do in coming years.

There will be new spending and tax breaks amounting to $385 billion on green energy and the climate crisis (including rebates for electric vehicles and other technology) and $100 billion for improved healthcare.

There will be increased taxes and other revenue totaling $470 billion from a new 15% minimum tax on corporations, a tax on companies buying their own stock, and a strengthened IRS, plus $320 billion in mostly drug-related healthcare savings (including allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices).

$485 billion in spending and tax breaks and $790 billion in revenue and savings (roughly the Guardian’s number) equates to a reduction of $305 billion in the federal deficit. Lowering the federal deficit and lower prices on things like prescription drugs and green technology justified calling it the Inflation Reduction Act, although “Deficit and Inflation Reduction” would have been more accurate.

For now, a few comments. From Paul Krugman:

This was a victory for urgently needed policy. Democrats came into power with a three-part agenda: climate, infrastructure, and social programs [they delivered on infrastructure with a bit of Republican help last year].

They just delivered on the first, which was the most crucial — and no, it wasn’t far less than they sought. It accomplished most of the original objective [it’s estimated that this bill delivers about 80% of the cumulative emissions reductions over 10 years that that Biden’s original  Build Back Better plan would have].

What got lost were the extensive social programs. That’s a tragedy; we could have virtually eliminated child poverty, among other things [except Sen. Joe Manchin was opposed to doing that]. Even there, this bill expanded the enhanced subsidies that have helped bring the percentage of the uninsured to a record low.

But overall, it’s a remarkable record for a party with 50 senators and a relentlessly obstructionist opposition [and two obstructive Democrats, Manchin and Sinema].

From a Washington Post reporter:

Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii is visibly emotional and wiping away tears after final passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. “This is a planetary emergency, and this is the first time the federal government has taken action that is worthy of the moment,” he tells reporters. “Now I can look my kids in the eye.”

And just to keep in mind who Republican politicians represent, this is from Rolling Stone:

“Republicans have just gone on the record in favor of expensive insulin,” Sen. Ron Wyden said after Republicans voted to remove an insulin price cap from the Inflation Reduction Act. “After years of tough talk about taking on insulin makers, Republicans have once against wilted in the face of heat from Big Pharma.”

Democrats needed 60 votes, according to Senate math, in order to keep the private insurance cap in the Inflation Reduction Act. While seven Republicans voted to retain the cap, that was still three senators short of the 60 needed.

Around 37.3 million Americans, 11.3 percent of the population, have diabetes. … Insulin is a “catastrophic” expense for 14 percent of the seven million Americans who need it daily, according to a Yale University study. That means those 14 percent are spending at least 40 percent of their monthly income (after paying for food and housing) on insulin.

The goods news is that the bill — at least for the moment — maintained a $35 per month cap on insulin costs for people on Medicare.

Need I mention there’s an election in three months? Make sure you’re registered and vote for Democrats up and down the ballot!

A Tax Break That Will Never Die

Democrats are on the verge of passing a major bill that will attack the climate crisis, expand healthcare, slow down inflation, reduce the deficit, and even deal with tax evasion. In order to get all fifty Democratic senators to support the bill, a piece of the bill that would have raised taxes on a small number of very wealthy people was dropped. It’s a classic example of the way money corrupts American politics. From The New York Times:

Once again, carried interest carried the day.

The last-minute removal by Senate Democrats of a provision in the climate and tax legislation that would narrow what is often referred to as the “carried interest loophole” represents the latest win for the private equity and hedge fund industries. For years, those businesses have successfully lobbied to kill bills that aimed to end or limit a quirk in the tax code that allows executives to pay lower tax rates than many of their salaried employees.

In recent weeks, it appeared that the benefit could be scaled back, but a last-minute intervention by Senator Kyrsten Sinema, the Arizona Democrat, eliminated what would have been a $14 billion tax increase targeting private equity.

Lawmakers’ inability to address a tax break that Democrats and some Republicans have called unfair underscores the influence of lobbyists for the finance industry and how difficult it can be to change the tax code….

On Friday, the private equity and hedge fund industries applauded the development, describing it as a win for small business [of course they did].

“The private equity industry directly employs over 11 million Americans, fuels thousands of small businesses and delivers the strongest returns for pensions,” said Drew Maloney, the chief executive of the American Investment Council, a lobbying group. “We encourage Congress to continue to support private capital investment in every state across our country”….

Carried interest is the percentage of an investment’s gains that a private equity partner or hedge fund manager takes as compensation. At most private equity firms and hedge funds, the share of profits paid to managers is about 20 percent [so the people who manage these small investment firms take around 20% of the firm’s investment profits as their salaries, not because they invested their own money but because they expect to be paid for their labor].

Under existing law, that money is taxed at a capital-gains rate of 20 percent for top earners. That’s about half the rate of the top individual income tax bracket, which is 37 percent….

An agreement reached last week by Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, would have [made it more harder for the managers of these firms] to take advantage of the lower 20 percent tax rate.

But Ms. Sinema, who has received political donations from wealthy financiers who usually donate to Republicans and who was cool to the idea of targeting carried interest last year, objected.

In the past five years, the senator has received $2.2 million in campaign contributions from investment industry executives and political action committees, according to OpenSecrets, a nonprofit group that tracks money in politics. The industry was second only to retired individuals in giving to Ms. Sinema and just ahead of the legal profession, which gave her $1.8 million. Executives of some of those firms have made campaign contributions to Ms. Sinema, including George Roberts, Henry Kravis and Joseph Bae at KKR and Sean Klimczak and Eli Nagler at Blackstone.

For years, carried interest has been a tax policy piñata that never cracks open.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, D____  J. T____ said, “We will eliminate the carried interest deduction, well-known deduction, and other special-interest loopholes that have been so good for Wall Street investors and for people like me but unfair to American workers.”

When President Biden ran for president in 2020, his campaign said he would “eliminate special tax breaks that reward special interests and get rid of the capital gains loophole for multimillionaires.” To do that, he said, he would tax long-term capital gains at the ordinary top income tax rate, essentially wiping away the special treatment of carried interest.

A similar proposal appeared in Mr. Biden’s budget last spring, but, as Democrats tried unsuccessfully to pass their Build Back Better legislation in the summer and fall, carried interest disappeared.

Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, lamented that outcome. “This is a loophole that absolutely should be closed,” Mr. Bernstein told CNBC last September. “When you go up to Capitol Hill and you start negotiating on taxes, there are more lobbyists in this town on taxes than there are members of Congress”….

Opinions on the carried interest tax treatment vary even within the financial industry. In posts on Twitter in late July, Bill Ackman, the founder of Pershing Square Capital Management, a New York hedge fund, said that while “favorable tax treatment” for the founders of new businesses was essential, people who manage funds that own many companies should not be entitled to the same benefit.

“The carried interest loophole is a stain on the tax code,” he wrote in one post. “It does not help small businesses, pension funds, other investors in hedge funds or private equity and everyone in the industry knows it. It is an embarrassment and it should end now.”

Some analysts were skeptical all along that lawmakers would actually change the carried interest tax treatment in the final bill. While it has become a high-profile target, the change Democrats were seeking would have raised little tax revenue compared with other provisions in the legislation, known as the Inflation Reduction Act….

“The proposal that was in the bill until last night made a technical adjustment [regarding] assets that qualified for carried interest treatment,” said Jean Ross, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a liberal research group in Washington. “A better approach would tackle the issue head-on and say that compensation for services managing an investment fund should be taxed like work and subject to ordinary tax rates”….

Ms. Sinema herself has said little about why she considered it so important to preserve the carried interest tax treatment [could that possibly mean she has no good reason for doing that?]. She has said that she plans to work on legislation with Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, to address the loophole. But if the legislation is not included in the current package, which is being fast-tracked under an arcane budget process, any reform will require support from at least 10 Republicans [which everyone, including Sinema, knows will mean nothing is done, since Republican politicians don’t like rich people to be taxed].

“I think we reached agreement that there are areas where there’s been abuse,” Mr. Warner said in an interview, adding, “I’m disappointed it didn’t get in this bill, but I’m looking forward to working with Senator Sinema — and others — to see if we can address this [news flash: you can’t and you won’t address it].

Unquote.

To summarize, if you’re an accountant that works at one of these firms, you get a salary and pay income tax at the rate for regular income. If you’re a customer at one of these firms and your investment did well, the profits you get are taxed at the lower rate for capital gains. If you run the firm, you take some of the profits from your customers’ investments as your compensation, but the government taxes your compensation as if you made the investment with your own money, so you get to pay significantly less income tax. If Democrats try to fix this absurdity, Republicans and even some Democrats will stand in the way, while you claim that your compensation should be taxed at the lower rate because, well, because your customers get the lower rate and the investments you make help other businesses (while sometimes destroying others).

Which shows once again that too many politicians work for their donors, not the people they represent.

We Should Believe It When We See It

Minutes after passing a bipartisan bill to increase US production of semiconductors, Senate Democrats announced that, believe it or not, conservative “Democratic” Senator Joe Manchin has agreed to pass a Democrats-only budget reconciliation bill that addresses some of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.

One cool thing about this is that evil Republican Senator Mitch McConnell said he wouldn’t support the semiconductor bill if Democrats tried to do any good Build Back Better stuff. So it appears the Democrats waited until right after the semiconductor bill passed to announce they were doing something Build Back Better-ish (i.e. good) after all. Maybe this will work out, assuming erratic “Democratic” Senator Krysten Sinema goes along, giving Senate Democrats the 50 votes they need (with Vice President Harris breaking the tie in the 50-50 Senate):

From Crooked Media’s free, informative, daily newsletter:

Dear readers, have we ever told you how wise and handsome we’ve always found Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to be? No? Well it’s totally true, and senator, if you’re reading this, you would look especially good allowing the passage of climate legislation that will prevent our country from simultaneously burning and drowning. 

In a surprise turn of events, Manchin and Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced today that they struck a deal on a domestic-spending package that includes climate and energy programs and tax increases on the wealthy. This is a breakthrough after more than a year of negotiations that looked all but dead two weeks ago when Manchin abruptly announced he would not support any new climate spending, because he was just too concerned about inflation, you guys!!! 

Manchin has been a thorn in the side of his Democratic colleagues, the main holdout on most of the progressive social policies the Biden administration had hoped to enact. In his somewhat-opaque statement, Manchin signaled support for climate and energy programs, as well as “adopting a tax policy that protects small businesses and working-class Americans while ensuring that large corporations and the ultra-wealthy pay their fair share in taxes.” Is this the same Joe Manchin we have come to know and mostly-disdain? Could it be?  

Well yes, it still mostly is the same old Joe. The bill agreed upon was titled the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 [eyes roll out of my head] and Manchin in his statement made sure to include a jab at the much more comprehensive Build Back Better, which he can now brag to his pals across the aisle about helping to kill. His statement also focuses mostly on inflation, and not the climate emergency or the many ills that Build Back Better was trying to treat. But for once I will resist dragging Joe’s ass too hard, because this bill is much better than the extremely-narrow drug-pricing package Dems were prepared to accept when it looked like Manchin was ready to walk away entirely last month.

And now that Fossil Fuel Joe is on board, the bill is much more likely to actually become law, and the bill is actually good [although we don’t know all the details yet].  

The climate provisions in the proposed bill are the largest fiscal piece of it, to the tune of $369 billion, which is good. All aspects of the bill—the reduction in energy and health care costs, and the deficit reduction—are anti-inflationary, which is also good. The bill allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices and lowers ACA premiums, and closes a whole host of tax loopholes with increased funding to the IRS, all without any regressive, shit-eating spending cuts you’d normally expect Congress to include in a big budget bill. We’re not sure where his change of heart came from (was he visited by three ghosts when he had covid this week?) but we’re not questioning it.  

Assuming Dems can pass the bill in the House and the Senate parliamentarian allows it to be approved with 51 votes (or 50 and a tie break from VP Harris) through the budget reconciliation process, this has a serious chance of becoming law as early as August. This would be a huge win for Democrats going into midterms, who will need every single win they can get. It will give them a concrete answer to voters rightly asking, “What have you done for me lately?” 

The bill faces a number of hurdles before it can become law, but White House Joe has signed off on it in a statement, so we thank you, Senate Joe, for your begrudging cooperation at last. Kyrsten Sinema don’t even FUCKING think about it.

An initial summary of the compromise bill.

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