US Domestic News Roundup: 'No SALT no deal': Democrats vow to block Build Back Better bill without tax break; Magnitude 6.2 earthquake strikes Unalaska, Alaska and more
The federal government has tens of millions of tests on hand and started sending them on Thursday, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients told reporters at a briefing, adding the administration would release more data next week. U.S. Supreme Court to weigh limits on its own Oklahoma tribal ruling The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to consider limiting the scope of its own 2020 ruling that greatly expanded Native American tribal authority in Oklahoma in a case involving a man convicted of child neglect.
Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
Several U.S. House members from President Joe Biden's Democratic Party are threatening to block a renewed push for his Build Back Better spending bill if it does not include the expansion of a federal deduction for taxes paid to states and local entities. Expanding the deduction, known as SALT for State and Local Taxes, has been a demand of lawmakers in higher-tax states such as California, New Jersey and New York, especially in suburbs where Democrats seek to retain control in Nov. 8 elections.
Magnitude 6.2 earthquake strikes Unalaska, Alaska
A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck south of Unalaska in Alaska, a major fishing port with 4,700 full-time residents, on Friday, the Alaska Earthquake Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks said. The quake struck at 8:17 p.m. (0517 GMT on Saturday), the center said.
The U.S. Justice Department on Friday announced it has charged a Texas man with making violent threats against Georgia election and government officials. The indictment marked the first case brought by a federal task force formed in response to a wave of intimidation that has engulfed election administrators since the 2020 presidential vote. The matter is one of "dozens" of such cases under federal investigation, said Kenneth A. Polite Jr., the assistant attorney general for the department's criminal division.
Ex-Giuliani associate Fruman sentenced to one year in prison in campaign finance case
Igor Fruman, who helped Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani collect damaging information about Joe Biden before he was elected president, was sentenced on Friday to one year in prison for violating campaign finance law. In handing down the sentence of 12 months and one day, U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken said Fruman's solicitation of money from a Russian businessman to donate to U.S. political campaigns was serious because it "undermines democracy," but that the Belarus-born businessman was unlikely to commit a similar offense again.
The U.S. Postal Service has begun shipping free at-home rapid COVID-19 tests after millions of orders were placed through a new federal website launched this week, the White House said on Friday as the rise in Omicron-related cases shifted nationwide. The federal government has tens of millions of tests on hand and started sending them on Thursday, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients told reporters at a briefing, adding the administration would release more data next week.
U.S. Supreme Court to weigh limits on its own Oklahoma tribal ruling
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to consider limiting the scope of its own 2020 ruling that greatly expanded Native American tribal authority in Oklahoma in a case involving a man convicted of child neglect. The justices took up the state's appeal in a case involving a man named Victor Castro-Huerta, a non-Native American whose crime was committed against a Native American child on the Cherokee Nation reservation. A state court threw out his conviction, saying the Supreme Court's 2020 ruling deprived Oklahoma authorities of jurisdiction in Castro-Huerta's case.
U.S. judge blocks Biden federal employee COVID-19 vaccine mandate
A federal judge in Texas ruled on Friday that President Joe Biden could not require federal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and blocked the government from disciplining employees who failed to comply. Biden issued an order requiring about 3.5 million workers to get vaccinated by Nov. 22 barring a religious or medical accommodation - or else face discipline or firing.
'Our city against the killers,' New York mayor says after policeman killed
One New York City police officer was killed and another was fighting for his life after the pair were shot Friday while responding to a domestic violence call, authorities said. Neither of the officers have been identified by police. Authorities said that the policeman who died was a 22-year-old rookie officer.
Anti-abortion activists march in Washington, hoping it's the last time under Roe v. Wade
Tens of thousands of anti-abortion advocates gathered in Washington on Friday for the annual "March for Life," their mood boosted by the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court could soon upend the Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. Despite freezing temperatures, the activists -- many attending with their school and church groups from around the country -- assembled on the National Mall carrying signs that read "I am the post-Roe generation" and "The future is anti-abortion."
Biden nominates Democrat Lindenbaum for Federal Election Commission
President Joe Biden intends to nominate election law attorney Dara Lindenbaum to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the regulatory agency tasked with enforcing U.S. campaign finance law, the White House said on Friday. Lindenbaum, a Democrat, is a lawyer in Washington, D.C., where she has counseled clients on complying with state and federal campaign finance laws and represented them before the FEC.
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