4.5m Americans quit their jobs in November as openings near record highs – live – The Guardian
Some more on Build Back Better:
It was moderate senator Joe Manchin that famously threw a wrench in the Democrats’ plans to pass the ambitious $1.7tn social spending bill, saying he could not abide by the legislation’s child tax credit, among other things.
Now it appears that since the start of the new session, no one has reached out to Manchin to discuss the matter further.
The Albany county district attorney has released a statement saying that prosecutors are dropping the forcible touching case against the former governor.
Cuomo was forced to resign from his position as governor in August amid findings that he sexually harassed 11 women.
The criminal complaint did not name the woman who accused Cuomo of forcible touching, but she has identified herself as Brittany Commisso, one of Cuomo’s executive assistants. She said Cuomo slid his hand up her blouse and grabbed her breast when they were alone in an office at the governor’s mansion in Albany in late 2020, according to the Associated Press.
Commisso “had no control over the filing or prosecution of criminal charges. She had no authority or voice in those decisions,” her lawyer, Brian Premo, said in a statement.
“The only thing she has any power over is her resolution to continue to speak the truth and seek justice in an appropriate civil action, which she will do in due course,” he added.
Cuomo has denied groping Commisso.
Yesterday, an attorney for former New York governor Andrew Cuomo said that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office had closed the investigation into Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes during the Covid-19 pandemic and decided to file no charges. Cuomo’s Covid-19 taskforce had altered a report that omitted 9,250 of the total nursing home patients killed by the coronavirus.
at 11.53am EST
We have a small update on the Build Back Better Act, and the Democrats’ next move.
It appears Democratic whip Dick Durbin is telling reporters that any action on Build Back Better will have to wait until the vote to change filibuster rules – which senate majority leader Chuck Schumer ambitiously said would happen before or on 17 January, Martin Luther King Jr Day.
Nearly a year after Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol, only about four in 10 Republicans believe the 6 January riot that injured more than 100 law enforcement personnel was very or extremely violent.
The insurrection shocked the world as dramatic footage showed a mob invading Congress in a last-ditch effort to stop certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
A new poll – conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in early December – finds that nearly two-thirds of Americans and the vast majority of Democrats say the siege was very or extremely violent.
But Republicans largely disagree, with 32% saying the insurrection was only somewhat violent and another 29% claiming it was not very or not at all violent.
Meanwhile, 57% of Americans say Donald Trump bears significant responsibility for the riot. But only 22% of Republicans believe the same and 60% claim “he had little to no responsibility”.
Here’s some further reading on 6 January, from Hugo Lowell:
Report: A record 4.5 million workers quit or changed jobs in November
The Washington Post is reporting that a record 4.5 million workers quit or changed jobs in November – a continuation of the trend of high turnover in the labor market that has been prevalent in the nearly two years since the onset of the pandemic.
In October, the Department of Labor reported that 4.2 million had quit or changed jobs, and in September, 4.4 million – the previous record.
The most significant increases in resignations or job changes took place among sectors heavily impacted by the pandemic – where workers must have person-to-person contact, putting them most at risk for infection. These include restaurant and bar workers, health-care workers, and transportation, warehousing and utilities workers.
These are also industries that are now complaining about a labor shortage.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job openings and labor turnover survey, the ones who quit or changed jobs in November make up just 3% of the workforce. With the country adding more than 500,000 jobs a month through the first 11 months of the year. there are currently about 10.6 million job openings.
The extremist Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene “might be a Democrat – or just an idiot” – according to a fellow hardline conservative.
Dan Crenshaw, a Texas congressman and former Navy Seal, threw the barb back at the Georgia congresswoman in a spat over his support for using the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) to operate Covid testing sites.
The US is experiencing a crippling surge of Covid cases thanks to the infectious Omicron variant, with more than 1m recorded on Monday and lack of access to testing hampering state and federal responses.
Greene has consistently spread Covid conspiracy theories. On Sunday, she was permanently suspended from Twitter, for spreading misinformation.
The only politician ever to beat Barack Obama will retire from Congress at the end of the year.
Bobby Rush, a Democratic representative from Illinois, faced Obama in a House primary in 2000 – and beat him by more than 30 points. Obama went on to win a US Senate seat in 2004 and become the first Black president in 2009.
Rush said Obama, then 38, “was blinded by his ambition” and moved too soon, against the wrong target. Obama said he had his “rear end handed to me”.
Rush, 75 and first elected to Congress in 1992, is an ordained minister and social activist who co-founded the Illinois Black Panther Party and was described by Politico on Monday as “a legend in Chicago politics”.
In a video obtained by the Associated Press, he said: “I have been reassigned. Actually, I’m not retiring, I’m returning home. I’m returning to my church. I’m returning to my family. I have grandchildren. I’m returning to my passion.
“I will be in public life. I will be working hand in hand with someone who will replace me.”
Rush’s district is solidly Democratic but political rune-readers still found worrying signs for the national party.
Rush is the 24th Democrat to announce that they will not run in 2022. Only 11 Republicans have said the same.
Rob Portman, the Republicansenator from Ohio, has tested positive for coronavirus.
“In preparation for returning to Washington DC, I took an at-home Covid test last night and it was positive,” Portman said.
“I am asymptomatic and feel fine. I have been in contact with the attending physician and my personal doctor. I am following their medical advice and following CDC guidelines and isolating for the recommended five days. I will work remotely from home this week, but will not be able to be in Washington, DC for votes.”
Capitol Hill, like the rest of the country, is the midst of an unprecedented surge in Covid-19 infections. Dr Brian Monahan, the attending physician at the US Capitol, advised lawmakers and staff in a letter yesterday to wear medical-grade masks rather than cloth ones, and adopt “a maximal telework posture” to reduce in-person meetings and in-office activities.
at 10.06am EST
It looks like Washington is still feeling the after-effects of yesterday’s massive snowstorm that knocked out power to hundreds of thousands on the eastern seaboard, snarled traffic and delayed Air Force One and took Joe Biden’s helicopter out of commission.
Tim Kaine, the Democratic senator from Virginia and former running mate of Hillary Clinton, tweeted that he had been stuck in traffic from Virginia to Washington for at least 19 hours.
If you’ll recall from yesterday’s live blog, Congress is also experiencing an unprecedented uptick in infections, with the attending physician at the US Capitol reporting that the seven-day positivity rate at a congressional test site surging to 13% from just 1% in late November.
A limited sample as of 15 December found that 61% of those cases were of the Omicron variant and 38% of the Delta variant.
Yet there’s no stopping politics, especially after Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer threw down the deadline of 17 January, Martin Luther King Jr Day, to hold a vote to change filibuster rules in order to push ahead with voter rights protections.
Senate Democrats are holding a virtual meeting today to chat not just voting rights and filibuster reform – but the future of Build Back Better, Politico reports.
With the filibuster and Build Back Better, we can expect a lot of side-eyeing of moderates Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.