‘I can’t think of anything’: Obama told Trump that he couldn’t recall his biggest mistake, book says

trump obama inauguration
President Barack Obama, right, and President Donald Trump, left, arrive at the latter’s inauguration on January 20, 2017.

  • Trump reportedly asked Obama to reveal his biggest mistake, according to a new book.
  • In January 2017, Trump and Obama rode in a car together on the way to the presidential inauguration.
  • Obama reportedly paused and looked at Trump before saying that he couldn’t recall such a mistake.
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For years, former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump have been political adversaries, which was never more evident than during the 2016 presidential election.

Obama felt that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee that year, was supremely qualified to be commander-in-chief thanks to a career in public service as a US Senator from New York as well as her work as the top US diplomat.

However, after Clinton lost the presidential election to Trump, Obama had to start planning for what was next.

On January 20, 2017, as Trump was set to be inaugurated as the 45th US president, Obama rode in a presidential limousine with him and Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri from the White House to the Capitol.

During the ride, Trump asked Obama if he could name his biggest mistake, according to a new book by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.

The book, “Peril” – an early copy of which was obtained by Insider – details an interaction between the two men that could have ended up as a lengthy conversation but simply fell flat.

While in the car, Trump turned to Obama and asked a question: “What was your biggest mistake?” the president-elect reportedly asked his Democratic counterpart.

Woodward and Costa reported that Obama paused and looked at Trump. “I can’t think of anything,” the outgoing president said.

Trump then sought to change the subject, inquiring about the vehicle. “Is this the car you use all the time?” he asked Obama.

In “Peril,” Woodward and Costa describe how Trump came full circle from that moment with Obama.

As Joe Biden was set to assume the presidency on Inauguration Day in January 2021, Trump chose not to attend the ceremony and instead left the White House early with then-first lady Melania Trump, taking a helicopter to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland before flying to Florida on his final trip on Air Force One.

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Psaki rejects GOP calls for Gen. Mark Milley’s dismissal, saying ‘many of them were silent’ as Trump ‘fomented an insurrection’

jen psaki
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks at a press briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021.

  • The White House defended Gen. Mark Milley as he’s faces criticism from Republicans for reports of his actions during the Trump administration’s last days.
  • Biden has “has complete confidence in Chairman Milley.”
  • A new report details that Milley spoke with a Chinese official without Trump’s knowledge, and potentially overstepped his role.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday defended US Gen. Mark Milley, who’s facing criticism for potentially overstepping his role as the top military advisor to then-President Donald Trump.

“I can’t speak to the former president’s experience with him or the former president’s views of him,” Psaki told reporters during a press briefing. “But this president, this current president, who follows the Constitution, who’s not fomenting an insurrection, who follows the rule of law, has complete confidence in Chairman Milley.”

The comments come after an excerpt of a forthcoming book by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa published on Tuesday reported new details about Milley’s alleged conduct under Trump in the final months of his presidency.

Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was “certain” that Trump suffered a mental decline after his 2020 election loss and feared that he may “go rogue,” the authors wrote.

Days after the Capitol riot on January 6, Milley grew so concerned about what Trump may do that he privately called his Chinese counterpart twice to assure him that the US had no plans to strike China. The top general also spoke with senior US military officials for them to vow not to carry out orders from anyone without his involvement, according to the book.

The role of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff advises the president and defense secretary but is not part of the chain of command for operational decisions like the launching of nuclear weapons.

A spokesperson for Milley on Wednesday confirmed the general’s calls with the Chinese official and said the move was “to maintain strategic stability.”

In light of the book’s reporting, Trump, along with a growing number of congressional Republicans, have accused Milley of treason.

Milley “working to subvert the military chain of command and collude with China is exactly what we do not accept from military leaders in our country,” Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky wrote on Twitter on Tuesday evening. “He should be court martialed if true.”

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida called for Milley’s firing in a letter to the White House on Tuesday. Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas tweeted that Milley should resign.

Psaki on Wednesday slammed the GOP members attacking Milley, saying “many of them were silent” while Trump had “fomented an insurrection.”

Biden is not “looking for the guidance” from those Republicans to make decisions, Psaki added.

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Mitch McConnell warns that Republicans won’t back down from vow to force Democrats to raise debt ceiling alone: ‘Do you guys think I’m bluffing?’

Mitch McConnell Senate
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

  • McConnell appears more determined than ever to resist efforts to raise the debt ceiling with Democrats.
  • “It’s hard being in the majority. [Democrats] are the ones who will raise the debt limit,” he told Punchbowl News.
  • It threatens to deepen a perilous showdown between Democrats and Republicans that could derail the economic recovery.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appears more determined than ever to hold the Republican line from breaking on the debt ceiling.

In an interview with Punchbowl News, the Kentucky Republican fired a warning shot to Democrats as he dug in further on a view he’s publicly expressed since late July.

“It’s their obligation. They should step up. It’s hard being in the majority. They are the ones who will raise the debt limit,” he said, adding, “Do you guys think I’m bluffing?”

McConnell insisted that the US must never default on its debt payments and pointed back to his previous support of raising the ceiling to cover spending that Congressional Republicans and Democrats had struck deals on. He said that wasn’t the case this year as Democrats passed a $1.9 trillion stimulus law along party-lines. They’re also drafting another spending package aimed at shoring up the social safety net.

“So the only issue is, whose responsibility is it to do it? A Democratic president, a Democratic House, a Democratic Senate,” he told Punchbowl News.

McConnell’s warning threatens to amplify a perilous showdown between Republicans and Democrats on renewing the nation’s ability to pay off its bills, known as the debt ceiling. The Treasury Department is making emergency cash payments to keep federal operations running, buying lawmakers some extra time.

But if Congress fails to agree on renewing the debt ceiling on time, experts say that could rattle financial markets and derail the economic recovery since the US’s ability to make payments on its $28 trillion national debt would be halted.

Democrats are pressuring Republicans to raise the debt ceiling alongside them, as GOP lawmakers did three times under the Trump administration.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently ruled out including a debt ceiling increase into their social spending bill. That legislation is traveling through the reconciliation process which only requires a simple majority vote and permits Democrats to go around fierce GOP resistance to the legislation.

A recent memo from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service indicated President Donald Trump added $5.4 trillion onto the national debt since the debt ceiling was last suspended in July 2019 through the end of his administration in January 2021. The analysis has been circulating among Democratic lawmakers.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer cited the figures on Monday as he tore into Republican resistance on the issue. “Let me be clear: taking the debt hostage and playing games with the full faith and credit of the United States is reckless, irresponsible, and will harm every single American,” he said in a Senate floor speech. “It is a complete non-starter.”

The debt ceiling is the legal limit that the Treasury Department can borrow to maintain federal operations authorized by Congress. Raising the debt limit doesn’t green-light new federal spending, it only allows the US to pay off existing spending.

Democrats may add the debt ceiling provision onto an emergency spending bill the White House wants Congress to approve this month to finance relief efforts after Hurricane Ida and wildfires in the western US, in conjunction with funding to avert government shutdown at the end of September. That tactic could persuade some Republicans to support the legislation.

But 46 Senate Republicans signed a letter in August pledging to not go along with Democrats on raising the debt ceiling. It’s also unclear whether there would be enough Republican votes in the House.

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Sen. Joe Manchin doubles down on requiring parents to work for the Biden child tax credit

Joe Manchin
Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

  • Sen. Joe Manchin dug in on his proposal to require people work for the Biden child tax credit.
  • “Tax credits are based around people that have tax liabilities,” Manchin told Insider.
  • Early research indicates that it helped cut hunger among families, including those in Manchin’s state of West Virginia.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia dug in on pushing a new requirement that parents work in order to receive the child tax credit on Tuesday as Democrats struggled to get the $3.5 trillion social spending plan over the finish line.

“They know I feel very strongly about that. Tax credits are based around people that have tax liabilities,” Manchin told Insider on Th. “I’m even willing to go as long as they have a W-2 and showing they’re working, we’ve talked about that.”

It comes two days after Manchin first suggested requiring people to work and file taxes as a condition to get the advance monthly payments. He said in a CNN interview that tying the child tax credit to those with jobs would ensure federal assistance would flow to “the right people.” He maintained he supports child tax credits.

Democrats in the House and Senate, including Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, on Monday poured cold water on the idea. Opposition to the idea on Tuesday grew from other Democrats as well. The party is laboring to assemble a party-line package that can garner the support of nearly every Democratic lawmaker.

“Adding a work requirement or other stipulations to the Child Tax Credit would hurt middle-class families,” Rep. Suzan DelBene of Washington, chair of the 95-member moderate New Democrat coalition, said in a statement to Insider. “The Child Tax Credit is an important tax cut for middle-class families and in only two months is already having an incredible impact on American children.”

She added the New Democrat group was “all-in” on extending the benefit.

Meanwhile, Brown told reporters on Tuesday, “I think that raising children is work.”

The Democratic stimulus law in March turned the credit into a one-year cash benefit issued in monthly checks to the vast majority of families. Individuals who earn $75,000 or less are eligible for up to either a $250 or $300 direct payment per child depending on their age. Couples earning a combined $150,000 or less also qualify for the total check amount.

House Democrats are pushing to extend the revamped credit until 2025, and ensuring that low-income families who don’t have to file taxes can permanently get the benefit. The current child allowance does not require individuals to have a job to obtain federal assistance.

But its unclear whether Senate Democrats will extend it with the same length and structure, given early resistance from Manchin.

Early research indicates the first month of payments kept three million children out of poverty and helped feed two million kids in July. Food insecurity dropped among West Virginians families as well, per an analysis last month from the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.

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Democrats are pouring cold water on Joe Manchin’s suggested work requirement for the Biden child tax credit

Sherrod Brown Bernie Sanders
Sens. Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown at a news conference on Capitol Hill in 2014.

  • Democrats in the House and Senate started lining up against Manchin’s idea of tying the child tax credit to work requirements.
  • Among the Democrats critical of the idea were Sens. Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown, and Rep. Pramila Jayapal.
  • It underscores the details that still need to be ironed out on renewing key anti-poverty program that’s a top Biden priority.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Democrats in both the House and Senate on Monday started lining up against Sen. Joe Manchin’s suggestion that people should be required to work in order to qualify for President Joe Biden’s revamped monthly child tax credit (CTC).

Three Senate Democrats expressed opposition to the West Virginia Democrat’s concept of work requirements, including two influential committee chairs. Among them was Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who leads the Senate Banking Committee.

“Senator Brown believes that caregiving IS work, and the families receiving the CTC are working hard every day to provide for their children – some of them at multiple jobs,” a Brown spokesperson said in a statement to Insider. “These tax cuts have lifted millions of kids out of poverty. That policy should continue.”

That was echoed by a spokesperson for Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado. The person said Bennet backed the House Democratic plan that would renew the monthly payments until 2025 and lock in the ability for families with scarce or no tax obligations to access the credit after that.

“He believes punishing the poorest children in America because their family’s income is too low to qualify them for the CTC is self-defeating and incredibly compromising to them and to our nation’s future,” the spokesperson said in a statement to Insider.

They cited a body of research that shows work requirements end up kicking vulnerable people from economic security programs, depriving them of critical assistance.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont poured cold water on Manchin’s idea as well. “My own personal view is that would be counterproductive to the children who need help the most,” he told reporters.

The mounting opposition came a day after the West Virginia Democrat floated a work requirement for the program in a CNN interview. It underscores the details that remain to be ironed out among Democrats on one of their key anti-poverty initiatives as they try to mold a $3.5 trillion spending plan into law.

On Sunday, Manchin said tying the child allowance to work would ensure federal assistance would flow to “the right people,” while maintaining he supports child tax credits.

“There’s no work requirements whatsoever. There’s no education requirements whatsoever for better skill sets,” he told CNN’s Dana Bash. “Don’t you think, if we’re going to help the children, that the people should make some effort?”

A key House progressive slammed Manchin’s idea on Monday. “I… I don’t think he gets what we’re doing here,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, wrote on Twitter. “Children still need to eat – whether their parents are employed or not.”

The Democratic stimulus law in March turned the credit into a one-year cash benefit issued in monthly checks to the vast majority of families. Individuals who earn $75,000 or less are eligible for up to either a $250 or $300 direct payment per child depending on their age. Couples earning a combined $150,000 or less also qualify for the total check amount.

Early research indicates the first month of payments in July kept three million children out of poverty and helped feed two million kids.

But Democrats are laboring to produce a sprawling social spending package that can garner the support of virtually every member of their party. They’re employing the reconciliation process to bypass Republican opposition, which requires only a simple majority.

Democrats are running up against budgetary constraints and they’re clashing behind the scenes on which measures to prioritize in healthcare and education. The party’s margin of error is slim: Democrats have three votes to spare in the House and none in the Senate for the plan to become law.

Manchin, alongside Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, say they’re opposed to the $3.5 trillion price tag, making reductions to the package possible. The House Democratic version of the child tax credit expansion would cost $556 billion over a decade, or one-sixth of the package.

“I want it to be as robust as possible,” Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia told reporters. “It’s part of a comprehensive set of goals to reduce child poverty.”

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A leaked tax plan draft shows how Democrats want to raise $2.9 trillion from wealthy Americans and big corporations, rolling back Trump-era tax cuts

Richard Neal Nancy Pelosi
House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

  • House Democrats are poised to unveil a plan that rolls back key parts of the Trump tax law, per a draft of the changes obtained by Insider.
  • The tax increases would raise $2.9 trillion in new revenue from wealthy Americans and large businesses.
  • The draft outlined increases in the corporate tax rate along with a new 3% “surtax” on wealthy Americans.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

House Democrats are poised to propose hitting large firms and the wealthiest Americans with a spate of new tax increases that would raise $2.9 trillion in tax revenue to finance a sprawling social spending plan, according to a draft proposal circulating among Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee that was obtained by Insider.

America’s highest earners and biggest companies would bear the brunt of the tax hikes, which amount to a rollback of many provisions approved by President Donald Trump four years ago.

Still, many of the increases are not as aggressive as what President Joe Biden originally laid out earlier this year in his push towards a fairer tax system.

One person familiar with the tax provisions confirmed its contents but was granted anonymity because they could not speak publicly. A spokesperson for the House Ways and Means Committee did not respond to a request for comment.

One measure hewed closely to the Biden plan: A 39.6% top tax rate on Americans who individually earn over $400,000, and the same rate for married couples who earn over $450,000 jointly.

Investors, however, wouldn’t see as big of a hike as they feared: Unlike previous proposals that would nearly double the capital gains tax rate, House Democrats would lift the top capital gains rate – which taxes profits from assets like stocks and bonds – up to just 25%. It currently sits at around 20% for the highest-earning Americans.

Many of the wealthiest Americans’ incomes come from assets like capital gains – not salaries – that are taxed at lower rates than wages, according to the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Progressive Priorities.

However, the capital gains increase seems to target a wider group and spares those earning below $400,000, aligning with Biden’s tax pledge. The White House had previously said a capital gains hike would only apply to individuals making over $1 million a year.

The latest plan would also impose a 3% “surtax” on people with an adjusted gross income of over $5 million. Senator Elizabeth Warren has long pushed for a tax targeting America’s wealthiest; her Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act would place a 2% tax on households with a net worth of $50 million to $1 billion. Households with a net worth over $1 billion would see a 3% tax. However, it’s unclear how or if that “surtax” aligns with Warren and other progressives’ proposals for an outright wealth tax.

On the corporate side, Democrats are set to propose a 26.5% rate, an increase from the current 21% level that was locked in under the 2017 GOP tax law. But it’s a smaller hike than Biden proposed and would only apply to firms earning more than $5 million. Other businesses with “incomes” below $400,000 would see their rate fall to 18%. Others would see their tax rates unchanged.

The plan does include Biden’s $80 billion in funding over 10 years to strengthen IRS enforcement on America’s highest earners. Earlier this week, researchers at the Treasury Department found that the top 1% of earners evaded around $163 billion in taxes each year.

Charles Rettig, the agency’s commissioner, has said that the tax gap – taxes that are owed but not collected – could actually be over $1 trillion, well above the agency’s official estimate of $441 billion.

Biden’s funding would ramp up enforcement on the wealthiest. On the whole, the number of agents devoted to working on sophisticated tax evasion enforcement has fallen by 35% over the last decade, according to Treasury. The IRS’s budget has fallen by 20%, while audits fell by 42% from 2010 to 2017.

According to a White House fact sheet, there’s been an 80% decline in the audit rate for those making over $1 million a year from 2011 to 2018.

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Republicans vow mass disobedience and lawsuits in fight against Biden vaccine mandate

: (L-R) Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) speak with fellow House Republican members as they gather before a meeting about the American military withdrawal in Afghanistan, at the U.S. Capitol on August 30, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Tex.

  • The GOP has dialed up attacks on Biden’s vaccine mandates.
  • The president’s workplace vaccine requirements were immediately met with alarm in right-wing media.
  • Some GOP lawmakers took matters further, calling for mass disobedience and suggesting “revolt.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In a prime example of post-Trump presidency rapid response, Republican lawmakers and conservative pundits greeted President Joe Biden’s newly announced federal vaccine requirements with alarm on Thursday and Friday.

Biden rolled out a slew of measures to boost vaccination rates nationwide, requiring proof of vaccination for federal workers and anyone working at a business with at least 100 employees. If people choose to opt out, they will have to submit to weekly COVID-19 testing, a costly and cumbersome alternative to the free vaccine.

Despite strong support for vaccine mandates across the American public and Trump himself still occasionally touting the COVID-19 vaccines, the conversation on the right almost immediately turned to warnings of “tyranny,” calls for mass disobedience, lawsuits, and questions of a possible “revolt” from the unvaccinated.

Without Trump leading this particular line of messaging, GOP lawmakers and prominent media personalities echoed similar sentiments heard at school board meetings when mask mandates began to draw vocal backlash.

“Are you people trying to start a full on revolt?” Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas tweeted right after Biden’s speech on Thursday. “Honestly what the hell is wrong with Democrats? Leave people the hell alone. This is insanity.”

“I’ll repeat myself: don’t comply,” Republican Ohio Senate candidate and “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance tweeted. “If all of us ignore this garbage they won’t be able to enforce it.”

For several months, COVID-19 vaccines have been available for free to adults without requiring any proof of insurance or a preexisting medical condition. Still, Crenshaw and several other conservative figures bemoaned Biden for not doing more to convince Americans to get vaccinated.

Biden shifted from relying solely on persuasion during his Thursday remarks, saying: “Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinated. This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

“Joe Biden is threatening the unvaccinated more than he’s threatening the Taliban,” Fox News host Jesse Watters responded during his Thursday night monologue.

Similar to Fox News’ broader coverage of the pandemic – which has included the occasional on-air dustup between hosts over the legitimacy of public health measures – the issues raised are less with the efficacy of the vaccines than with the credibility of the pro-vaccine messengers.

Banners on the network read “BIDEN IS AN AUTHORITARIAN” and “BIDEN DECLARES WAR ON MILLIONS OF AMERICANS.”

And Alabama GOP Rep. Barry Moore of tweeted: “The decision to get vaccinated lies between you and your doctor – NOT the federal government. We must fight back against medical tyranny that dangerously violates Americans’ individual freedoms.”

This rhetoric also mirrors how Republican Govs. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas have spoken about banning mask mandates in schools and barring businesses from requiring proof of vaccination. The vaccines are not criticized, and instead the issue is framed as one of personal freedom against government overreach, with Dr. Anthony Fauci being the quintessential example of a public health expert these governors warn against trusting.

Biden specifically sought to counter this during his speech on Thursday.

“This is not about freedom or personal choice,” Biden said. “It’s about protecting yourself and those around you, the people you work with, the people you care about, the people you love. My job as president is to protect all Americans.”

The president has also embraced the threat of lawsuits from Republican lawmakers, with several GOP governors eyeing legal challenges to his executive order much in the way states like Texas did throughout the Obama administration.

A fundraising blast from the Republican National Committee on Friday asked for donations to help fund lawsuits against Biden’s policy, even though the donations can also be used for general campaign and ad spending.

While Trump still commands significant influence in the GOP, the immediacy of the backlash to Biden’s executive order on Thursday and the degree to which pundits and politicians had similar reactions showed that there doesn’t always need to be a Trump-like figure leading the charge when it comes to treating the pandemic as a culture war issue.

Regardless of the majority of the public that supports vaccine mandates – over 50% to 60%, depending on the venue, according to Gallup – the vocal anti-vaccine base leads the right’s response and the key figures follow, not the other way around.

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White House official doesn’t rule out requiring COVID-19 vaccines or tests for domestic flights

Jeff Zients
  • A White House official hinted vaccination or testing rules could be needed for domestic air travel.
  • “We’re not taking any measures off the table,” the COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said.
  • Zients was answering a question on whether some measures have been ruled out for domestic flights.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

COVID-19 vaccination or testing mandates could one day be needed for domestic air travel in the United States, a White House official hinted Friday.

“Overall, I think we have a very strong track record that shows we’re pulling available levers to acquire vaccinations and we’re not taking any measures off the table,” White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said during a virtual press briefing.

Zients made the remarks in response to a reporter’s question about whether COVID-19 vaccination or test requirements have been ruled out by the White House for domestic flights.

A day earlier President Joe Biden unveiled sweeping actions and measures to get millions more Americans vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The president’s new policies include mandates to require all federal employees to get vaccinated and a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested weekly for the virus.

Additionally, under Biden’s plan, fines will double for travelers who violate the TSA mask mandates covering air travel and some modes of public transportation.

“As to travel we’re taking further action, as you know, to double the fines for non-compliance of masking on airlines,” said Zients.

The new vaccination requirements, Zients said, will “help make employees, workplaces, and communities safer and help accelerate our path out of pandemic.”

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Justice Stephen Breyer says the Supreme Court’s recent Texas abortion decision was ‘very, very, very wrong’

United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.
United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

  • Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer criticized the court’s decision on a Texas abortion law.
  • Breyer called the court’s majority opinion “very, very, very, wrong.”
  • The Supreme Court allowed the Texas six-week abortion ban to take effect.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer criticized his fellow conservative justices’ recent decision to uphold a strict Texas law that bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

Breyer, the court’s most senior liberal member, called the majority opinion “very, very, very, wrong,” in an interview with NPR published on Friday.

“I’ll add one more ‘very,'” Breyer continued. “I wrote a dissent – and that’s how it works.”

The high court’s ruling came down last Thursday, a day after the Texas ban went into effect. In a 5-4 vote, Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, along with President Donald Trump’s appointees Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, argued the law should stay in place as it’s still being litigated in the lower courts.

The Texas statute, one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation, bans the procedure after the six-week mark of pregnancy, a time when many people do not yet know they are pregnant. The law makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest and invites private citizens, rather than state officials, to enforce the ban. Successful plaintiffs can earn up to $10,000 in damages, in addition to legal fees.

The court’s majority made clear that the ruling was technical and not based on the constitutionality of the law, overruling the dissenting votes cast by Breyer, along with the two other liberal members of the court, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, as well as Chief Justice John Roberts.

Breyer, in his dissenting opinion, said “a woman has a federal constitutional right to obtain an abortion during that first stage” of pregnancy, as established under the Supreme Court’s 1973 landmark abortion decision, Roe v. Wade.

Democrats have expressed outrage over the court’s move, calling the Texas law a violation of the Constitution and Roe. President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice on Thursday filed a lawsuit over the Texas statute in an attempt to block the law and protect access to abortion in the Lone Star State.

But Breyer told NPR that the court’s ruling was procedural and “so we’ll see what happens in that area when we get a substantive matter in front of us.”

The Supreme Court is due to consider the constitutionality of abortion in a major case this upcoming fall term, which could upend Roe v. Wade. The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, concerns a Mississippi law that would ban nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

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Joe Biden says ‘even Fox News’ has a strict vaccine passport policy while unveiling his new vaccination and testing mandates

joe biden
U.S. President Joe Biden.

  • Biden held up Fox News as an example of a corporation that has implemented a strict COVID-19 policy.
  • Biden will require employers with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccines or weekly testing.
  • The Fox Corporation requires employees to submit their vaccination status and stayed masked if unvaccinated.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

President Joe Biden held up Fox News as an example of a corporation that has already implemented the kind of COVID-19 vaccination and testing policy the administration is preparing to mandate nationwide.

Biden announced on Thursday that the department of labor will issue an emergency rule requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccination or weekly testing for their employees.

“Some of the biggest companies are already requiring this: United Airlines, Disney, Tyson Food, and even Fox News,” Biden said during an address from the White House on Thursday evening.

Fox’s COVID-19 policy is not quite as far-reaching as the administration’s forthcoming rule. The Fox Corporation requires all of its employees to submit their vaccination status to the company and all unvaccinated employees must wear a mask and social distance at all times while working on-site. Certain “essential” employees have to undergo regular testing.

When reached for comment, a Fox News spokesperson pointed to an August 17 memo from Fox News chief executive Suzanne Scott detailing the company’s updated policy, amid the surge in delta variant cases.

Biden also announced on Thursday that he signed executive orders requiring vaccination for all federal workers, federal contractors, and all health care workers in hospitals and other facilities that accept Medicare or Medicaid funding.

Fox News’s right-wing hosts have been quick to condemn Biden’s new vaccination policies. Immediately after Biden finished his speech on Thursday, Fox News opinion host Jesse Watters called the president “bitter” and “upset” and said he’s “taking that anger out” on unvaccinated Americans. Many Fox News hosts have condemned vaccine mandates and passports.

The occupational safety and health administration (OSHA), which is under the department of labor, is drafting the new rule, according to the White House.

Biden has previously urged corporations to mandate vaccinations for their employees following the FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in August.

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