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Why election reform laws are deadlocked on Capitol Hill

Get insights on the latest news in US politics from Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington:

With the For the People Act not passed in the Senate, what's the outlook on Democrats' election reform?

Well, the thing about election laws is that they're really all about power, how to get it, how to maintain it once you have it. And the Republicans and the Democrats are unlikely to agree on even the basics of what's wrong with our election system today, and they were definitely unlikely to agree on how to reform those things. So there's really no consensus on Capitol Hill on what's broken about the current election law. You've got Republicans at the state level who are pushing, rolling back some of the more generous rules that were laid out during coronavirus. You also have some that are trying to combat President Trump's allegations of widespread fraud during the 2020 election cycle. Democrats, on the other hand, are doing everything they can to make it easier to vote, to expand access to the vote. And that's part of what was in the federal legislation that Republicans voted down.

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Joe Biden’s plan to remake America

Well, after years of endless "infrastructure weeks" to nowhere, Joe Biden is now aiming for the moon.

On Wednesday, the US president unveiled a $2 trillion dollar plan that would rebuild tens of thousands of miles of dilapidated roads and rails, modernize ports and airports, boost employment and housing, expand broadband access, and accelerate the transition to a more climate-friendly economy. By the time it's all over, the total spending could rise to $4 trillion over a decade.

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Biden's first press conference reaffirms his working man approach

Get insights on the latest news in US politics from Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington:

Joe Biden gave the first press conference of his presidency today, a much-anticipated event that a lot of political reporters were pretty excited about, that didn't really move the needle on any messaging aspects of the administration.

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Senator Murphy on abolishing the filibuster, a Senate tool he has famously employed

One of the most heated debates happening on Capitol Hill right now is whether Democrats should push to eliminate the Senate filibuster in order to overcome Republican opposition to their legislative agenda. Bremmer posed this question to Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, a man who famously launched a 15-hour long filibuster of his own on gun control in 2016.

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GameStop stock rally gives policymakers opportunity for legislation

Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, offers insights on US politics:

First question. Stonks! Will the GameStop stock rally result in new regulation on Wall Street?

The answer is probably, but the interesting thing is, we have no idea what form that regulation might take. The interesting thing about this storyline around GameStop is that the run-up in prices, driven by social media chatter on Reddit, against hedge funds who had shorted the stock, opens up a whole can of worms for how you want to solve the issue, and is most likely going to be an outlet for members of Congress preexisting biases. If you want to regulate hedge funds, well, here's an excuse to do so. If you want to implement a financial transaction tax, this is your opportunity. If you're concerned about consumer protection, data privacy, this could be a hook to get into those issues as well. So, this is a headline grabbing event that's probably going to fade out of the news in a week or so, but it's going to stay relevant to policymakers for several more months, could potentially result in new legislation, or new regulation from the SEC based around investor protection and market structure. So, stay tuned. We're going to be hearing about GameStop for a long time.

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Ending the filibuster: Senator Chris Coons' changed views & a Biden administration

In a new interview with Ian Bremmer for GZERO World, Delaware Senator Chris Coons, once an ardent defender of the filibuster, explains why he's had a change of heart on the procedural policy. The filibuster prevents a simple majority from passing legislation in the Senate, and has been a tool that Coons says allowed Sen. Mitch McConnell, then Minority Leader, to "use the power of the minority to thwart the Obama Administration's agenda." Coons says, should VP Biden win the 2020 election, "I'm not willing to sit by for four years and watch an entire administration lose the opportunity to make real change."

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