A View from The Hill

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Photo by Alejandro Barba on Unsplash.

As always, Washington has been hectic. Here’s what you need to know in a snapshot.

This past week, Steve Bannon, former advisor to President Donald Trump, was held in contempt by the House of Representatives. Bannon had refused to appear in Congress after being subpoenaed by the commission investigating the insurrection on the United States Capital in January of last year. It is now up to the office of the U.S. Attorney  in the District of Columbia to go forward with any prosecution.

Bannon’s behavior is disappointing to say the least. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, Bannon’s behavior is sophomoric and unacceptable. No one is above the law in this country. It is time that some people realize this truth and act in the wellbeing of the American people. If he had nothing to hide, why is he desperately trying to avoid giving testimony?

This past week, former President Trump announced the creation of his own social media platform. TRUTH social is expected to be released in a beta version this November and in full in 2022. Trump has hinted towards the creation of his own social media platform going back to March of 2021. The platform claims to foster an environment where nothing will be censored – allegedly complete free speech. However, the terms and service agreement of the platform bans negative comments about the site and its leadership.

The impact of Trump’s social media platform will not be known for some time. It will be interesting to see how it competes against social media giants like Twitter and Facebook. I believe that Trump’s social media platform will garner a large following from his conservative base. For years, Republicans have claimed that conservative voices have been silenced by the mainstream media. It is easy to forget that Trump had 74 million people vote for him in 2020. Trump’s base is as strong as ever and it is a safe bet to assume that they will support the former President on his new social media platform. 

It appears that the Democrats are close to deciding on acceptable language for President Biden’s Social Safety Net Bill. On Sunday, Oct. 24, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that she expected Democrats to have an agreement on the plan within the week. The bill is the centerpiece of the Biden Administration’s domestic policy. The 10-year plan would bring sweeping change across the country. It includes universal pre-kindergarten, an extension of the child tax credit for at least one year, childcare and home care and $150-200 billion for housing. The original price tag was $3.5 trillion, but after debate within the Democratic party, the likely final number will be $1.9 trillion. 

If Biden can have this bill passed, it would be a legacy moment for his presidency. His first ten months have been lackluster. His approval rating is averaging at 43%. A struggling economy along with a disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan has fueled doubt in him. From a political perspective, Biden and the Democrats need a win. Midterms are coming and there will be a drastic transition of legislative power if something does not happen. The importance of this bill to Biden and the Democrats grows every day that the economy continues to struggle. 

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