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Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmed, But GOP Dominates SCOTUS | US Politics In :60 | GZERO Media

Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed, but GOP will dominate SCOTUS for years

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, discusses the Supreme Court confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Today's question, what does the confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson mean for the US?

She'll be the first black woman ever to serve on the highest court. What's the political significance of this? Not much. After Republicans took at 6-3 advantage on the court during the Trump administration, the conservatives now have what looks like a durable majority that will dominate the court for years to come. Brown Jackson's vote is unlikely to be decisive in many cases, which frequently split along partisan lines with the six conservative justices aligning in a block against the three liberal justices on issues like separation of powers, the scope of the federal government, and voting rights.

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The Supreme Court’s Role on Black Voting Rights | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

The Supreme Court’s role on Black voting rights

When the 1965 Voting Rights Act was passed, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Clarence Page had just finished high school. This legislation changed the lives of Black people in America because Jim Crow laws had virtually prevented Blacks from voting in the South, he said in an interview with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

But in 2013, the Supreme Court gutted the law by taking away pre-clearance for states, which had blocked states — especially the former Confederate ones — from changing their voting laws based on racial discrimination.

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Profile of US President Joe Biden leaves after speaking during a plenary session as part of the World Leaders Summit of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow on November 1, 2021.

Raphael Lafargue/ABACAPRESS.COM

Deadlocked Dems and Republicans on a roll

Democrats were dreading this week's off-year US elections even before the votes were counted. History shows that US voters tend to punish the party of first-year presidents (see the Graphic Truth here.) Results from this week's governors' races in the states of Virginia and New Jersey have made matters worse, as the two parties look ahead to national elections next November.

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Moderate Democrats Will Determine the Infrastructure Bill’s Fate | US Politics :60 | GZERO Media

Moderate Democrats will determine the infrastructure bill's fate

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

What happened with the infrastructure bill in the House this week?

The infrastructure bill, $550 billion in new spending on infrastructure, roughly doubling the amount of money that the US spends on roads, bridges, tunnels, ports, airports, water infrastructure over a five-year period was scheduled for a vote on Monday of this week. That was later delayed so that Speaker Nancy Pelosi could negotiate between progressives in her caucus and moderates, the moderates who wanted to get the bill done quickly. It was bipartisan.

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Will the US Debt Ceiling Debate Cause a Government Shutdown? | US Politics :60 | GZERO Media

Will the US debt ceiling debate cause a government shutdown?

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

Is a US government shutdown coming?

Hard to say. Republicans and Democrats generally are in agreement about the need to fund the government. And they generally agree at what level the government should be funded. And they generally agree about the need for supplemental money for Afghanistan and some natural disasters, coming out of hurricanes this season and wildfires. What they're not in agreement about is the federal debt limit, which is the cap on US borrowing that the US hit in early August and needs to be extended by some time in October. Otherwise, the US will have a first-ever default. This would be a very bad outcome with cataclysmic results for the entire world economy.

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Biden Expected To Announce Vaccine Mandate for Federal Workers | US Politics In :60 | GZERO Media

Biden expected to announce vaccine mandate for federal workers

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:

Why can't President Biden order a vaccine mandate for all Americans?

Well, the reason is it's out of his powers. The one of the fundamental challenges in the pandemic is that the federal government has actually been fairly limited in the steps they can take to stop the spread of the virus. So, that's why you've seen President Biden order masks on transit, mass transit, airplanes, and the like. But he can't order masks in workplaces because that's not within his power. That power lies within state governments. State governments and other entities, like employers, can require vaccinations before you come into their buildings, or you come back to school, or you go to work in your office. But the federal government can't do that. What Biden is doing is, allegedly, supposedly going to announce a mandate for federal workers to get vaccinated.

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Democrats Need to be United to Pass $3.5 Trillion Budget Plan | US Politics In :60 | GZERO Media

Democrats need to be united to pass $3.5 trillion budget plan

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:

What are the details of the Democrats' proposed $3.5 trillion budget blueprint?

Well, the Democrats this week in the Senate Budget Committee agreed to move forward with the plan to spend $3.5 trillion spread out over about 10 years on a huge portion of President Biden's Build Back Better Plan. This comes on top of a bipartisan agreement, at least in principle, on another $600 billion in physical infrastructure, which is roads, bridges, tunnels, repair, broadband deployment and a whole bunch of other physical infrastructure spending that Republicans and Democrats agree they want to do but aren't clear on how they want to pay for. But on the $3.5 trillion in spending, this is a lot of new social services, it's extending a number of tax subsidies that are going to low-income families and families with kids as part of the American Rescue Plan, which was the Biden stimulus bill that passed earlier in the year. It also includes money for two years of community college, universal preschool, and expands Medicare to cover things like dental benefits and other things that Medicare currently doesn't pay for.

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Why Election Reform Laws Are Deadlocked On Capitol Hill | US Politics In :60 | GZERO Media

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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