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Bipartisanship ends this week with stimulus vote

Bipartisanship - at least over President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan — appears over, with House Democrats ready to approve the measure this week through a party-line vote.

Between the lines: The GOP, which is already whipping against the bill, plans to cast it as a progressive wishlist and argue Democrats are bulldozing Republicans despite Biden's pledge to work with them.


  • "Instead of stimulus, I call it for what it is — the Biden bailout bill," Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), ranking member of the House Budget Committee, tells Axios. "It's an abusive process and a lot of reckless spending."

But, but, but: Republicans are ignoring their own history as well as public opinion, given the rescue package has widespread bipartisan support nationwide.

  • In 2017, the GOP used the same budget reconciliation process in trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act and pass President Trump's tax cut with simple majority votes. The health care repeal failed when Sen. John McCain gave it his famous thumbs-down; the $1.9 trillion tax cut passed with just 51 votes.
  • Biden is seizing on this — making his case directly to the American people and reminding voters of his years working with Republicans in the Senate.
  • One reminder came Saturday, when Biden visited his old friend Bob Dole. The former Senate Republican leader recently announced he has Stage 4 lung cancer.

Details: Democrats are forging ahead so they can offset the scheduled expiration of unemployment benefits in mid-March. The 591-page legislation includes:

  • Stimulus checks of up to $1,400 per person for Americans making up to $75,000 a year.
  • Increased weekly enhanced unemployment insurance to $400 a week and an extension of those benefits through August.
  • $130 billion for K-12 schools and roughly $40 billion for higher education.
  • $350 billion for state and local governments.
  • Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

What's next: The House is expected to advance the legislation out of its Budget Committee tomorrow, setting it up for a floor vote by Friday or Saturday.

  • The bill faces a tougher fight in the Senate, where Democrats can't afford to lose one party vote, given the chamber's 50-50 split.
  • Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia have already said they are against the bill's minimum-wage provision.

Go deeper: Read the bill.

1 dead, 2 injured after pickup truck hits Pride spectators in Florida

A driver in a pickup truck hit spectators at a Pride festival in Wilton Manors, Florida, killing at least one person and wounding two others Saturday, according to Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, per the SunSentinel.

The big picture: The incident at the Wilton Manors Stonewall Parade and Festival was one of two involving a pickup truck hitting a crowd on Saturday, with several cyclists left critically wounded in Arizona.

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In photos: Communities across nation celebrate Juneteenth

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The big picture: The date, June 19, memorializes when some of the last enslaved people in Texas learned about their freedom under the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865.

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Separate and unequal paths to business

When a bank turned down George Johnson for a business loan, he got creative. He returned and told the bank he needed $250 to take his wife on a vacation — and was approved. Then he invested the cash in his business, which became the first Black enterprise to trade on the American Stock Exchange.

Why it matters: The highways to success in the U.S. market economy — in entrepreneurship, corporate leadership and wealth creation — are often punctuated with roadblocks and winding detours for people of color.

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Ride-hailing service The Drivers Cooperative recently debuted in New York City, claiming that its lack of VC funding would result in better driver pay and lower passenger costs.

Why it matters: TDC’s approach is a direct rebuke to the venture capital-fueled gig economy model.

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Conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi elected Iran's president

Hardliner Ebrahim Raisi easily won Friday's presidential election in Iran, recording 62% of the vote with more than 90% of ballots counted.

Why it matters: Currently the head of Iran's judiciary, Raisi is a close confidant of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and has the support of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). His victory solidifies him as a leading candidate to succeed Khamenei, though Friday's low turnout speaks to the disillusionment of many Iranian voters.

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Juneteenth and the country enslaved labor built on the backs of Black Americans

Juneteenth, a once-obscure commemoration of emancipation of enslaved people in Texas, has transformed into an annual reminder about how slavery robbed Black Americans of generational wealth.

Why it matters: That lack of generational wealth still denies Black families the economic security that many white families take for granted.

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