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Biden's massive, historic stimulus relief bill passes

Jon Lieber, Managing Director of the United States for the Eurasia Group, shares his perspective on the historic American Relief Act:

The American Relief Act just passed. Joe Biden's big $1.9 trillion stimulus has now passed the Senate and the House of Representatives and is on its way to the president's desk to be signed into law. This is a massive, historic piece of legislation on top of already $3 trillion in stimulus that Congress has provided to respond to the novel coronavirus. Here's another almost $2 trillion, that two thirds of which will be spent in this calendar year.

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Minimum wage won't go up for now; Texas sets reopening example

Jon Lieber, Managing Director of the United States for the Eurasia Group, shares his insights on US politics in Washington, DC:

Another stimulus bill is about to pass the Senate. Why won't the minimum wage be going up?

Well, the problem with the minimum wage is it didn't have the 50 votes it needed to overcome the procedural hurdles that prevent the minimum wage when traveling with the stimulus bill. Clearly support for $15 an hour minimum wage in the House of Representatives, but there's probably somewhere between 41 and 45 votes for it in the Senate. There may be a compromise level that emerges later in the year as some Republicans have indicated, they'd be willing to support a lower-level minimum wage increase. But typically, those proposals come along with policies that Democrats find unacceptable, such as an employment verification program for any new hire in the country. Labor unions have been really, really fixated on getting a $15 an hour minimum wage. They may not be up for a compromise. So, we'll see what happens.

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Minimum wage may not go up, but expect stimulus checks in April

Jon Lieber, Managing Director of the United States for the Eurasia Group, shares his insights on US politics in Washington, DC:

Is the minimum wage going to $15 an hour?

Probably not. The House of Representatives did include it in the stimulus bill that they're going to pass as soon as next week, but when it gets over to the Senate it's likely to either be stripped out altogether because of a provision of the reconciliation process known as the Byrd Rule, or you could see some moderate Senate Democrats try to push a compromise measure which would raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to something closer to $10 or $11 an hour.

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Congress after the attempt to overthrow democracy: Democratic Senator Chris Murphy

Two-term Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut joins Ian Bremmer to talk about his harrowing experience during the Capitol riots of January 6, why he thinks an impeachment trial is still valuable even if Republican support for a conviction looks increasingly unlikely, if he believes President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package will pass both chambers, and how he thinks US-China foreign policy should change under the new administration.

Watch this extended interview from the recent episode of GZERO World: After the insurrection: will Congress find common ground?

The worst time to enter Congress: Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace

Freshman Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace of South Carolina joined Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to recount her harrowing experience on Capitol Hill during the January 6 riots and to explain why she did not support impeaching a president she strongly condemned. She'll also discuss where she thinks Democrats and Republicans in Congress can come together in 2021.This is an extended interview from the recent GZERO World episode: After the insurrection: will Congress find common ground?

Mace referenced Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's account of the January 6 riots in a tweet on February 4. In late January, she told Ian Bremmer about her own experience on Capitol Hill that day. "I started to make my way back to my office, but I was unable to get to my building because of threats at the Capitol. In fact, there was a pipe bomb that was found just steps away from the Cannon Office building at C and First Street. And looking back at it now, I walked by a pipe bomb where that was to get into my office that day."

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Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace on the chances for bipartisanship in Congress

Freshman Republican Representative Nancy Mace has only been in Congress for a few weeks, but she already has big plans. "It's my hope, because I've been such a strong voice, a new voice for the Republican party over the last few weeks, that I can use some of that capital to find ways to work together. And I think that there are small ways that we can make a big difference in this country for everybody." The South Carolina former businesswoman spoke to Ian Bremmer on GZERO World in the days leading up to a Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. This episode of GZERO World also features an interview with Senate Democrat Chris Murphy of Connecticut.

Quick Take: US stimulus, vaccine rollout, & Russian cyber espionage

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. It's Christmas week. God, we need it. Great to see you and a little quick take to kick us off this last full week of 2020, getting through on fumes this most, most challenging year. First, obviously happy to finally see a deal come through almost a trillion dollars in relief that is desperately needed in the United States. People complaining that $600 checks aren't going to do very much. And I agree, it's kind of pathetic, especially in the context of what other advanced industrial democracies have been doing for their working populations around the world, but it's better than zero, which is where we were.

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Biden's controversial Defense pick may need bipartisan support

Jon Lieber, Managing Director of the United States for the Eurasia Group, shares his insights on US politics this week:

First question. Why is Biden's nomination of Lloyd Austin for Secretary of Defense controversial?

It's controversial because Austin has not been out of the military for the required seven years that are needed, under the National Security Act of 1947, to ensure civilian control over the Department of Defense. As a result, he'll need a waiver from Congress in order to serve. This would be the second waiver that Congress has approved in the last four years with the first one coming for Trump's Secretary of Defense, General Jim Mattis. That was justified at the time because Congress was a little concerned about President Trump and really wanted somebody with a steady hand like Mattis on the till. But Biden has other options, including Michele Flournoy, who has a lot of supporters in Capitol Hill. And so, you're seeing some Democrats suggest they may not be willing to give a waiver this time. Austin may require a lot of Republican votes in order to get confirmed.

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