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Biden calls for America to tackle 'systemic racism' in 4th of July message

Joe Biden weighs potential running mates

Conventional wisdom among people who study gender and politics says former Vice President Joe Biden will likely pick a woman of color as his running mate; Jacqui Heinrich reports.

Joe Biden's Fourth of July message focused on America's long history of racial injustice — from slavery to George Floyd's death — as he called for Americans to strive to achieve the country's founding ideal of equality.

Biden said America's history is no "fairy tale" as the country has never lived up to the words of the Declaration of Independence that  "all men are created equal."

But the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee released a hopeful video that the country can turn the tide after "more than 200 years of systemic racism."

"We have a chance now to give the marginalized, the demonized, the isolated [and] the oppressed a full share of the American Dream," Biden said in a new campaign video. "We have the chance to rip the roots of systemic racism out of this country."

Biden's acknowledgment of America's flawed history and the "racism that has torn us apart" comes a day after President Trump delivered a defiant Mount Rushmore speech where he stood up to the "cancel culture" of racial justice activists and those who are trying to wipe out American history, tear down statues and defame heroes.

The president asserted that recent attacks on the nation's monuments were symptoms of a "left-wing cultural revolution" that was threatening to "overthrow the American Revolution."

While Trump has staked his Independence Day campaign message on a strong defense of American monuments — even deploying a special federal unit for the July 4 weekend to protect statues from potential vandalism — Biden has concentrated on reckoning with America's imperfections.

"We're all created equal. We've never lived up to it — but we've never stopped trying," Biden tweeted. "This Independence Day, let's not just celebrate those words, let's commit to finally fulfill them."

TRUMP GIVES OPTIMISTIC INDEPENDENCE DAY MESSAGE, SAYS US IS ‘COMING BACK’ AFTER ‘TERRIBLE PLAGUE FROM CHINA

Biden has drawn distinctions between taking down monuments of Confederate leaders who fought to defend slavery and past presidents who own enslaved people, including Thomas Jefferson.

"The idea of comparing whether or not George Washington owned slaves or Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, and somebody who was in rebellion committing treason trying to take down a union to keep slavery, I think there’s a distinction there,” Biden said earlier this week.

Former President Obama retweeted Biden's July 4th video message and urged everyone to support his former vice president.

"Our founding promise has never been guaranteed," Obama tweeted "Each generation has been called to bring us a little closer to our highest ideals—and history’s calling on us right now. So let’s all do whatever we can to help [Biden]."

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Trump's homage to Independence Day will continue at the White House tonight with a "Salute to America" event before the fireworks on the National Mall.

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World News

Rep. Dusty Johnson on need to preserve US history: Dems forget how lucky they are to be in America

Rep. Dusty Johnson on the effort and need to preserve American history

South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson tells ‘Fox & Friends Weekend’ Dems forget about America’s greatness, how lucky they are to be here

Democrats and activists are so obsessed with America's "imperfections," they seem to forget how lucky they are to be here, Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-SD, said Saturday.

Johnson, appearing on "Fox & Friends Weekend," said the racial justice activists tearing down statues and defacing monuments, many of them honoring confederate leaders, have no desire to put the nation's imperfect history in context.

TRUMP, IN FIERY MOUNT RUSHMORE ADDRESS, DECRIES RISE OF 'FAR-LEFT FASCISM,' CALLS ON AMERICANS TO RISE UP

"They want to erase it. They want to remove it," he said.

Last week, Johnson introduced the Mount Rushmore Protection Act. The bill would prohibit the use of federal funds to alter or destroy the enormous monument in any way.

"When you look at those four great presidents on Mount Rushmore, they did as much as a person can — as anybody can — to build toward a more perfect union," he said. "Now is the time we should be rallying around those values: freedom, independence, liberty, equality. But, there are people who want to tear them down..

"My bill would make it clear that not one American nickel would go toward changing the name of Mount Rushmore or blasting off or altering those faces."

Fireworks light the sky at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Friday, July 3, 2020, near Keystone, S.D., after President Donald Trump spoke. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

All eyes were on Mount Rushmore Friday evening for President Trump's early Independence Day celebration. Standing before the monument, the president vowed it "will never be desecrated."

"These heroes will never be defaced. Their legacy will never, ever be destroyed. Their achievements will never be forgotten. And Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and to our freedom," Trump said to cheers.

But the monument has drawn the ire of Native Americans for decades.

Once sacred Lakota tribal territory, the site was occupied by a group of Native American protesters in the 1970s. In 1980, the Supreme Court upheld a ruling that more than $100 million should be given in compensation to eight tribes.

Hours before the president arrived Friday, protesters — mostly Native Americans protesting the federal government's seizure of part of the Black Hills  – blocked a road leading to the monument.

Johnson said he believes Trump's comments tied in "incredibly well" with his bill, and decried those who "want to focus on the flaws" of the presidents chiseled into the mountainside.

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"I mean, I love this country. It’s the greatest country in the history of humankind. And I think there is an incredibly powerful story there to tell to our young people about the aspirations of this country," the congressman said. "Not about the flaws of Abraham Lincoln, but about the steps he took to become the great emancipator."

"Yes, by all means, let’s not ignore the flaws. But I’m concerned that some of my friends on the other side get so enamored talking about the imperfections of America they forget how unbelievably lucky we all are to be living in this country in this century," Johnson said.

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Markets

Fiat, PSA stick to merger deal after dividend cut report

Fox Business Flash top headlines for July 2

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MILAN - Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and PSA said on Friday they were sticking to the merger plan signed last year after a newspaper said the carmakers were looking at spinning off assets to cut a planned 5.5 billion euro ($6.2 billion) cash payout to FCA shareholders.

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A spokesman for FCA (FCHA.MI) dismissed the report on possible changes to the dividend in Italian business daily Il Sole 24 Ore, while PSA (PEUP.PA) said it remained “lucid in the face of the regular speculations to which this merger project is subject”. It added it was implementing the binding agreement signed by the two companies in December.

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“The structure and terms of the merger are agreed and remain unchanged,” the FCA (FCAU.N) spokesman said.

Italian-American group FCA and France’s PSA plan to finalise their merger by the first quarter of next year.

Il Sole said FCA could conserve cash by handing shareholders assets in place of the special dividend, which has drawn criticism in Italy after the company agreed a 6.3 billion euro state-backed loan to help it through the coronavirus crisis.

Il Sole said talks were at a very early stage and no decision had been taken, adding the aim was to keep the 5.5 billion euro value of the special dividend but to turn it from cash to assets.

In this file photo, a vehicle moves past a sign outside Fiat Chrysler Automobiles world headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File) (AP)

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Accepting the state-backed loan may not legally bar FCA from paying the dividend, as it is not due until 2021 and would be paid by Dutch parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV. However, Italian politicians have questioned the appropriateness of such a large cash payout during the crisis.

Options being considered include spinning off the Sevel van business, a 50-50 joint venture between the two groups, which could be valued at between 2.5 and 3 billion euros, or FCA’s Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands, Il Sole said.

An auto dealership selling the Jeep Grand Cherokee and other Chrysler vehicles is seen in Los Angeles, California. (REUTERS/Phil McCarten/File Photo)

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Spinning off Sevel could help address European Union concerns about competition in the van segment, but Il Sole said the option looked complicated as it would require PSA to transfer its 50% stake in the unit to FCA.

Another option is scrapping a planned spin-off of PSA’s controlling stake in parts maker Faurecia, Il Sole said.

A source close to the matter said PSA could instead sell its Faurecia (EPED.PA) stake before the merger and keep the cash proceeds in the merged company.

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World News

Apple AirPods Pro down to just £205 at Laptops Direct – saving £44

EARBUDS are here to stay, and Apple’s AirPods are the most easily recognisable.

The Airpods Pro are a more expensive option, but they’re currently cheaper at Laptops Direct.

The retailer had the earbuds down to £219 last month, but the new price is even cheaper.

Of course it’s not unusual for tech to lower in price the longer it’s available, but the Airpods Pro are creeping closer to £200.

  • Apple Airpods Pro, £205 (save £44) at Laptops Direct – buy here

They’re the best option of the two Apple models if budget allows, and the new price is a sizeable discount.

Still priced at £249 on the official Apple Store, that means you can get them for £44 less.

Laptops Direct’s £205 is the cheapest price we can see for the Pros anywhere, and almost the cheapest they’ve ever been.

Previously the lowest was £204.50 on Amazon – according to price tracking website Camelcamelcamel – so Laptops Direct’s price is just 50p more expensive.

It’s the cheapest around right now though, as the Airpods Pro are now £209 on Amazon.

Even better, Laptops Direct offers free shipping to most of the UK: so the price could be £205, delivered.

If you’re not sure whether to opt for the Pro model over the cheaper Airpods, there are some key differences.

Both come with the ubiquitous wireless charging case, but Airpods Pros have three key benefits.

Firstly, they are sweat and water-resistant, so offer a better option for gym-goers.

The Pros also include active noise-cancelling (ACN) for isolating music or calls from background noise.

And lastly, they also include varied sizes of silicone ear tips for improved comfort options.

That may not be news if you’re already in the market for a pair, but hopefully the new lower price is – and can help you save even more.

  • Apple Airpods Pro, £205 (save £44) at Laptops Direct – buy here

All prices in this article were correct at the time of writing, but may have since changed. Always do your own research before making any purchase.

A genius iPhone trick lets you move multiple apps at once – so you can tidy your screen in seconds.

Spotify Duo gets you TWO memberships for £12.99 – saving you £7 a month.

If you're loking for product round-ups and recommendations, head over to Sun Selects Tech.

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World News

Zuckerberg to meet with civil rights leaders Tuesday: Report

Ad boycott is bullying Facebook into censoring political speech: Republican strategist

Republican strategist Ford O’Connell says the Facebook ad boycott is part of a larger effort aimed at stopping President Trump from winning the 2020 election and that he hopes Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder stands up for the team and doesn’t change its name.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg will meet next Tuesday with the civil rights groups leading the “Stop Hate for Profit” advertising boycott, according to a report from Bloomberg.

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The boycott, which involves hundreds of companies at this point, started Wednesday. The campaign wants Facebook to change its policies surrounding hate speech and language that incites violence.

Facebook did make a change last week, saying that they would start flagging some political content that violates their policies, but “Stop Hate for Profit” said in an update Monday that the changes are insufficient.

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The Facebook executives will meet with leaders of the Anti-Defamation League, Color of Change, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Bloomberg reports.

But a Facebook spokesperson told FOX Business Wednesday that the company won’t capitulate to the boycott’s demands.

“We take these matters very seriously and respect the feedback from our partners. We’re making real progress keeping hate speech off our platform, and we don't benefit from this kind of content,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to FOX Business Wednesday. “But as we've said, we make policy changes based on principles, not revenue pressures."

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Zuckerberg has touted free expression and criticized censorship in the past, sparking backlash inside and outside his company.

“I tend to think that if someone goes out there and threatens you to do something, that actually kind of puts you in a box where in some ways it’s even harder to do what they want because now it looks like you’re capitulating, and that sets up bad long-term incentives for others to do that [to you] as well,” Zuckerberg said in a video town hall last week, according to a transcript of the meeting obtained by The Information.

Facebook's executives may not need to worry about the boycott eating into the company's profits for now. Facebook says it has seven million active advertisers, which netted them $70 billion in advertising revenue last year. Huge advertisers like Starbucks and Pepsi have joined the boycott, but there are less than 1,000 total companies taking part as of Thursday.

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Economy

IRS urges Americans to activate prepaid stimulus cards

Next round of stimulus could come as late as September: Gasparino

FOX Business’ Charlie Gasparino says Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has confirmed the FOX Business report that the next stimulus could be delayed to give more targeted relief.

The IRS is looking to make sure people who were supposed to receive their economic impact payments on prepaid debit cards have them in their possession.

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The tax agency is starting to send out reminders to people to activate their cards, according to the National Consumer Law Center.

About 4 million people, who did not have direct deposit information on file with the IRS, were expected to receive their economic impact payments on prepaid debit cards.

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The memo might be an indicator to some that they either never received the card, or may have tossed it.

There were concerns that people may mistake the plain envelopes for junk mail and accidentally throw out their prepaid cars.

Another sign you may have missed your card in the mail is if you receive a letter from the IRS, signed by President Trump, which details how much money you should have received.

These letters were expected to be sent two weeks after the economic impact payments.

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One way you might want to address the issue is by calling the number at the bottom of the IRS letter, 800-919-9835. The agency has recalled some staff who will be available to take phone calls.

Further, if you believe you threw the card away or misplaced it, you can also follow directions specifically for the prepaid cards, which will allow you to block unauthorized transactions as well.

The government provides information for people whose card is lost or stolen, which directs them to log in at EIPCard.com to block unauthorized transactions and call 1-800-240-8100 to report it.

Meanwhile, President Trump told FOX Business on Wednesday that he supports issuing more direct payments to people, which could potentially be valued at more than $1,200.

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Economy

3 reasons to pay student loans in coronavirus forbearance

US adults carry an average student debt of $24K

42 percent say they regret taking out a student loan; Fox Biz Flash: 6/24.

Since March, federal student loans have been put into forbearance through to Sept. 30 under the CARES Act, which has paused interest for borrowers who have been actively making payments. For individuals who have the funds to pay down debt can choose to save or spend their money elsewhere, however, there are some incentives for targeting student loans.

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WHAT THE CARES ACT MEANS FOR YOUR STUDENT LOANS — EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

Here are three ways borrowers benefit from paying their student loans during the coronavirus-related forbearance period, according to a money expert.

Paying Reduces the Principal

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“Right now, student loans are at zero percent interest. That means every dollar you pay towards you loan goes to principal, shortening the life of the loan and the total amount repaid,” said Amy Lins, a senior director of learning and development at Money Management International.

STUDENT LOAN DEFERMENT VS. FORBEARANCE: WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?

To pay student loans as soon as possible, pay more than that standard payment, she said.

“Stimulus money, tax refunds or extra money in your budget: put it all towards paying down or paying off your loans,” Lins said.

HOW STATES ARE HELPING PRIVATE STUDENT LOAN BORROWERS DURING CORONAVIRUS

Not Paying Can Change Spending Habits

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“If you skip your payment when you don’t have a financial need to do so, the temptation is to spend that money on non-essential items,” Lins explained. “Don’t spend your student loan payments on consumables that will be long gone while your student debt remains. Don’t get used to that ‘extra’ cash. It’s not extra. [You can] put it towards paying down your loans.”

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Adjusting Payments Can Help

(iStock)

“If you’ve had a reduced household income or increased expenses, don’t wait for October. Go to studentaid.gov now and review your different payment options, including income-driven repayment,” Lins shared as an alternative. “Estimate your new payment amount, apply for a new plan and start paying that amount immediately.”

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“This will help you gauge whether your budget is livable with your new payment,” she added. “You can see if you need to make more budget adjustments before the forbearance expires and you are required to start making payments.”

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Economy

How to clear your credit card bill fast

Here’s what to do if you went on an online shopping spree during COVID-19. (iStock)

When the coronavirus crisis forced millions of Americans to hunker down at home this spring amid shelter-at-home and stay-in-place orders, online shopping surged.

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If you shopped a lot online while in quarantine, you may be struggling to pay off your credit card bills, especially if you were furloughed, laid off, or had your work hours reduced. (In fact, roughly 47 million people have filed for unemployment during the pandemic).

The good news is there are several ways you can pay off your credit card debt. Here are some smart tactics you can use to attack your credit card bills.

1. Open a 0% balance transfer card

The average credit card interest rate is 19.02 percent for new card offers and 15.10 percent for existing accounts, according to a recent credit card report. If you’re carrying high-interest credit card debt, transferring the debt to a zero percent balance transfer card may be a wise move.

Most balance transfer cards offer a zero percent interest rate for a year or longer, which can give you some much-needed breathing room to pay off your credit card bills without accruing any interest.

You can shop and compare balance transfer cards through Credible.

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2. Take out a personal loan

If you can find a personal loan that has a lower interest rate than your credit card’s rate, jump on it. Paying off a loan with a lower rate will enable you to pay off more of your debt principal each month and wipe out the debt faster than if you kept it on a high-interest credit card.

Use a tool like Credible to find a lender that offers the best terms for your financial situation.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PERSONAL LOANS

3. Pay off your bills using the debt snowball or avalanche method

Two of the most popular debt payoff strategies are the snowball method and the avalanche method. The snowball method entails paying off credit card debt in order from the card with the smallest balance to the card with the largest balance. The “snowball” name comes from the idea that, much like a snowball rolling downhill, wiping out your smaller balances first will enable you to gain the momentum that you need to pay off all of your credit card debts.

DEBT SNOWBALL VS. DEBT AVALANCHE: WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?

The snowball method’s counterpart is the debt avalanche method, which involves paying off the card with the highest interest rate first. This approach saves you more money in interest than you’d save with the snowball method.

To select the right payoff method for you, it’s important to consider how you approach debt. If you’re the kind of person who needs encouragement, the debt snowball method may be the right solution; but, if you’re already self-motivated to eliminate your credit card debt, the avalanche method may be a better strategy.

4. Pay in small installments

Many banks are helping customers navigate financial hardship from COVID-19 by allowing customers to pay off their bills through smaller installments or bi-weekly payments, in order to make their debt more manageable. Depending on your situation, you may qualify for credit card forbearance, a method of debt management that allows you to skip or reduce your payments for a set period of time.

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Check with your credit card company to see what relief package you qualify for.

Clampdown on your spending

U.S. e-commerce sales jumped 49 percent in April alone, according to Adobe’s Digital Economy Index. Online grocery shopping purchases saw a 110 percent spike in daily online sales that month, Adobe found. Consumers also shelled out on timely apparel: pajama e-commerce sales increased more than 143 percent.

In turn, large online retailers are making a killing. For example, Amazon reported a 26 percent increase in first-quarter revenue, with sales soaring to $75.5 billion, up from $59.7 billion the same quarter a year ago.

The bad news: Many consumers racked up credit card debt. According to a recent survey, 28 million U.S. adults have added to their credit card debt as a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Millennials have been hit the hardest — 34 percent said they went more deeply into debt because of the pandemic, compared to 23 percent of Gen Xers and 15 percent of Baby Boomers.

The last thing you want to do when you’re taking steps to pay off credit card debt is to add to your debt. So, make sure you rein in your discretionary spending, especially online, in the coming months.

One way to curb online shopping is by unsubscribing to emails from online retailers with daily deals, to avoid being tempted to purchase products that you don’t need. You can also install a web extension like StayFocusd, which allows you to set a limit of much time you spend on a particular website.

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Markets

Job growth expected to continue in June

US private sector added 2.37M jobs in June

FOX Business’ Cheryl Casone breaks down the June ADP report, which comes in below expectations at 2.37 million.

The biggest economic report of the month is expected to show the job market continues to climb back from the depths of the coronavirus pandemic.

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The June employment report will be released Thursday morning, a day early because U.S. markets will be closed Friday for the Independence Day holiday.

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Another 3 million people are expected to be added to payrolls, an increase from May’s gain of 2.509 million, which was the highest on record. That report was a surprise as expectations were for a loss of 8 million jobs.

The unemployment rate likely fell a full percentage point to 12.3 percent.

In a precursor to the government's report, private employers added 2.37 million jobs in June, according to the ADP National Employment Report released Wednesday.

US PRIVATE SECTOR ADDED 2.37M JOBS IN JUNE

The rise was attributed to states allowing businesses shuttered by the coronavirus outbreak to reopen and start rehiring.

The number was slightly below the 3 million forecast by Refinitiv economists. Hiring was concentrated in the leisure and hospitality industry, the sector hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic lockdown.

The Labor Department will also report weekly jobless claims.The estimate is for 1.355 million people to have filed for unemployment benefits, which would be the 13th straight week of declines.

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Since the coronavirus lockdowns were initiated back in mid-March 47.25 million people have filed jobless claims.Thursday's report could bring that total to just over 48.61 million, or around 30 percent of the U.S. workforce.

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Economy

House approves $1.5T plan to fix crumbling infrastructure

Fox Business Flash top headlines for July 1

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WASHINGTON — The Democratic-controlled House approved a $1.5 trillion plan Wednesday to rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into projects to fix roads and bridges, upgrade transit systems, expand interstate railways and dredge harbors, ports and channels.

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The bill also authorizes more than $100 billion to expand internet access for rural and low-income communities and $25 billion to modernize the U.S. Postal Service’s infrastructure and operations, including a fleet of electric vehicles.

In this file photo, vehicles pass a highway construction site on Interstate 80 in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

TRUMP SIGNS ORDER SCALING BACK ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS ON INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS

Lawmakers approved the Moving Forward Act by a 233-188 vote, mostly along party lines. It now goes to the Republican-controlled Senate, where a much narrower bill approved by a key committee has languished for nearly a year. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has not attempted to schedule a floor debate and none appears forthcoming.

The idea of “Infrastructure Week” in the Trump era has become a long-running inside joke in Washington because there was little action to show for it. Still, Wednesday's vote represented at least a faint signal of momentum for the kind of program that has traditionally held bipartisan appeal.

Democrats hailed the House bill, which goes far beyond transportation to fund schools, health care facilities, public utilities and affordable housing.

Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and a sponsor of the legislation, called it a “transformational investment in American infrastructure that will create millions of jobs.”

In this Jan. 29, 2020, file photo, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., right, shows a note to Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/ Jacquelyn Martin, File)

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Republicans ridiculed the bill for what they called a Green New Deal-style focus on climate.

"Instead of seeking bipartisan solutions, this bill adds $1.5 trillion to the nation’s debt and disguises a heavy-handed and unworkable Green New Deal regime of new requirements as an ‘infrastructure bill,’” said Missouri Rep. Sam Graves, the top Republican on the transportation panel.

Graves blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats for turning what has traditionally been a bipartisan issue in Congress — infrastructure — into what he called “a partisan wish list.”

Republicans scored a rare procedural victory, winning approval of an amendment to block money from the bill going to Chinese state-owned enterprises or companies responsible for building internment camps for the nation's Uighur minority.

The White House promised a veto if the measure reaches the president's desk. In a statement this week, the White House said the bill “is heavily biased against rural America,'' is based on debt financing and ”fails to tackle the issue of unnecessary permitting delays" that have long impeded infrastructure projects.

In this June 23, 2020, file photo President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before departing on Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

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President Donald Trump has frequently declared his support for infrastructure projects and pledged during the 2016 campaign to spend at least $1 trillion to improve infrastructure. Since taking office, Trump has repeatedly called for enactment of an infrastructure package — but those efforts have failed to result in legislation.

Hopes were dashed last year when Trump said he wouldn’t deal with Democrats if they continued to investigate him. The House later impeached him.

Trump said after signing a $2 trillion coronavirus relief package that low interest rates made it a good time to borrow money to pay for an infrastructure bill. No formal proposal has emerged, although the White House has suggested the next virus response bill could include an infrastructure component.

The centerpiece of the House legislation is a nearly $500 billion, 5-year surface transportation plan for roads, bridges and railways. The White House said in its veto threat that the proposal is “heavily skewed toward programs that would disproportionately benefit America’s urban areas." The bill would divert money from the Highway Trust Fund to transit and rail projects that “have seen declining market shares in recent years,” the White House statement said.

A CSX freight train crosses the Potomac River in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia in this file photo. (REUTERS/Gary Cameron)

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Democrats countered that the bill would rebuild the nation’s transportation infrastructure, not only by fixing crumbling roads and bridges, but also by investing in public transit and the national rail network, boosting low- and zero-emission vehicles and cutting carbon pollution that contributes to climate change.

The bill also authorizes $130 billion in school infrastructure targeted at high-poverty schools with facilities that endanger the health and safety of students and educators, Democrats said. The schools portion alone could create more than 2 million jobs, they said.

The bill would spend more than $100 billion to create or preserve at least 1.8 million affordable homes. “These investments will help reduce housing inequality, create jobs and stimulate the broader economy,'' Democrats said in a "fact sheet" promoting the bill.

The measure also would upgrade child care facilities and protect access to safe drinking water by investing $25 billion in a state revolving fund that ensures communities have clean drinking water and remove dangerous contaminants from local water systems.

Three Republicans voted in favor of the bill: Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Reps. Jeff Van Drew and Chris Smith, both of New Jersey. Two Democrats opposed it: Reps. Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Ben McAdams of Utah.

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