Senate Approves Funding Bill to Avert Government Shutdown
“Senate lawmakers voted Thursday night to approve a bill that funds the government through Feb. 18, avoiding a government shutdown with roughly 24 hours to spare despite a partisan clash regarding President Biden’s federal vaccine mandate,” Fox Business reports. “The Senate voted 69-28 in favor of the continuing resolution, which approves government funding at the prior year’s levels until a new bipartisan agreement is reached. The resolution includes $7 billion in new funding to support Afghan refugees. The bill now proceeds to Biden’s desk for final approval.”
Jeffrey Epstein Visited Clinton White House at Least 17 Times
“Jeffrey Epstein’s access to the Clinton White House has been laid bare by visitor logs exclusively obtained by The Daily Mail, which reveal the pedophile visited at least 17 times during the former president’s first few years in office,” the U.K. newspaper reports. “Epstein, who died in 2019, visited Bill Clinton at the Executive Mansion over the course of three years with the first invitation coming just a month after his inauguration in January 1993,” The Mail continues. “The logs show the late financier showed up on 14 separate days, even making two visits in a single day on three different occasions. Epstein was invited by some of Clinton’s most senior advisers and aides, including one who later served as Treasury Secretary, according to records.”
Andrew Cuomo Now Under Federal Sexual Harassment Probe
“The feds are following state and legislative authorities in probing the sexual harassment claims against former Gov. Andrew Cuomo that forced him from office,” The New York Post reports. “The stunning revelation of a separate Department of Justice investigation is contained in a legal services contract released by the state Comptroller’s Office on Thursday in response to a Freedom of Information Law request filed by The Post,” the paper writes. “The contract, which was signed in October, references previously revealed Department of Justice investigations into the Cuomo administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, its cover-up of nursing home deaths and Cuomo’s $5.1 [million] coronavirus memoir.”
Manchin to Vote to Squash Biden’s Corporate Vaccine Mandate for Larger Businesses
“Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WVA) said on Thursday night that he is supporting a GOP effort to nix President Biden’s vaccine mandate for larger businesses, which is expected to get a vote in the Senate next week,” The Hill reports. “Let me be clear, I do not support any government vaccine mandate on private businesses. That’s why I have cosponsored and will strongly support a bill to overturn the federal government vaccine mandate for private businesses,” Manchin said in a statement. “I have long said we should incentivize, not penalize, private employers whose responsibility it is to protect their employees from COVID-19,” the senator asserted.
Nevada to Charge Unvaccinated State Workers Insurance Surcharge
“Nevada will be the first state to charge state workers enrolled in public employee health insurance plans a surcharge if they aren’t vaccinated,” the Associated Press reports. “The state Public Employees’ Benefit Program Board voted on Thursday to charge unvaccinated workers up to $55 per month to offset the costs of testing those who haven’t gotten shots,” AP relates. “This pandemic has been shouldered on the burden of everyone. And now this particular burden — the testing — should be shouldered on the burden of those who refuse to (be vaccinated),” DuAne Young, Nevada Democrat Gov. Steve Sisolak’s policy director, said.
Germany Imposes Harsh New Lockdown For Unvaccinated
“The German government and the leaders of the country’s 16 states on Thursday imposed a lockdown on people who are not vaccinated against coronavirus,” Politico Europe reports. “’Today we talked about an act of national solidarity,’ said outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel, adding that restrictions — including some lighter ones on the vaccinated — are required due to Germany’s bad epidemiological situation. Referring to recently stabilizing infection rates, Merkel said the wave had slowed, but ‘at too high a level’ to be complacent,” the news site writes. “Merkel also said that the government would look into how long people can be considered ‘fully vaccinated’ given immunity wanes over time, ‘as it is also discussed on the EU level.’”
China Clears Way For Boeing 737 MAX to Return to Air
“China’s aviation authority on Thursday issued an airworthiness directive on the Boeing 737 MAX that will help pave the way for the model’s return to service in China after more than 2-1/2 years, leading to a surge in the planemaker’s shares,” Reuters reports. “The directive instructs airline operators on the revisions required before the MAX returns to service, although it does not specify when China will lift a ban on the MAX in its airspace,” the wire service details. “The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), which was the first regulator globally to ground the MAX in March 2019 after two deadly crashes, said it had completed a review of the design changes proposed by Boeing.”