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Democrats add four weeks paid family leave to Biden spending plan after campaign from Meghan Markle


Hours after Democratic former Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s defeat in the Virginia governor’s race, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her intention to revive paid family and medical leave Wednesday as part of President Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ plan.

The idea, which picks up a provision dropped out of a ‘framework’ the White House released Friday, brings back a key benefit favored by progressives – but which West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin is digging in against.

It revives an ongoing internal party clash as some leading Democrats are demanding urgent action on the president’s agenda amid multiple signs about a GOP comeback.   

‘Because I have been informed by a Senator of opposition to a few of the priorities contained in our bill and because we must have legislation agreed to by the House and the Senate in the final version of the Build Back Better Act that we will send to the President’s desk, we must strive to find common ground in the legislation,’ Pelosi wrote in a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter to fellow House Democrats.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that Democrats will include paid family and medical leave in their latest Build Back Better legislation coming up at the House Rules Committee

But she also wrote that she had asked Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Richard Neal ‘for Paid Family and Medical Leave to be included’ in legislation heading to the House Rules Committee. 

‘Today is another momentous day in our historic effort to make the future better for the American people, For The Children, to Build Back Better With Women, to save the planet,’ she said, pointing to the COP climate summit still underway in Glasgow. 

Pelosi was picking up an issue pushed by multiple Democrats including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in the Senate – as well as Meghan Markle, who has kept up her push on the issue.

On Sunday, withe the proposal on the rocks, the Duchess of Sussex, gave $25 Starbucks gift cards to employees of a nonprofit pushing the paid leave issue. The U.S. remains one of only seven countries in the world that don’t provide paid leave. 

Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle wrote congressional leaders calling for paid leave – and recently bought Starbucks gift cards for members of an advocacy group

Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle wrote congressional leaders calling for paid leave – and recently bought Starbucks gift cards for members of an advocacy group

President Joe Biden included paid leave in his Build Back Better plan, but has yet to find a way to get his proposals through Congress

President Joe Biden included paid leave in his Build Back Better plan, but has yet to find a way to get his proposals through Congress

She pushed for lawmakers to act on the issue in a letter to Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer last month. 

‘Over the past 20 months, the pandemic has exposed long-existing fault lines in our communities. At an alarming rate, millions of women dropped out of the workforce, staying home with their kids as schools and daycares were closed, and looking after loved ones full-time. The working mom or parent is facing the conflict of being present or being paid. The sacrifice of either comes at a great cost,’ she wrote.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin registered his immediate opposition to the move in the Capitol.  ‘I’m all for paid leave, I’m just not for unpaid leave,’ he said, stressing his concerns about creating a new benefit he said would balloon the debt.

Shell-shocked Democrats thrown back by Republican Glenn Youngkin’s win in the Virginia governor’s race called Wednesday for immediate action on President Biden’s budget to give them something tangible to run on in 2022. 

Youngkin’s win over Democrat McAuliffe, who conceded Wednesday morning, coincided with months of internal bickering over Biden’s Build Back Better package – which stood at $1.75 trillion and was still in ‘framework’ form as of Wednesday.

Seasoned Democrats and outside groups are warning the party to put an end to the nasty display of sausage-making or face an ominous off-year election poorly armed. 

‘The Build Back Better bill as crafted in the Senate and House is going to meet the needs of working families, reduce their costs and combat inflation in a positive way,’ Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a Biden ally, told MSNBC.

‘I’d urge them to step forward and vote for it, because then we’d have something real to run on.’

House Majority Whip James C. Clyburn to Punchbowl, a Biden ally who serves as the chief vote counter in the House, told Punchbowl: ‘Well, it just reinforces the fact that we need to get these things done,’ when asked about Tuesday’s results.  

Markle, pictured above with Prince Harry and her first born Archie, made a rare political statement on Wednesday

Markle, pictured above with Prince Harry and her first born Archie, made a rare political statement on Wednesday 

California Democratic Rep. Scott Peters, who knocked off a GOP incumbent in 2012 in a San Diego seat that trended Democratic, told Politico after watching Youngkin’s big win: ‘We have to show we can govern.’

‘The picture has been of Democrats sparring amongst ourselves,’ he added. ‘That’s probably not the best face to put out. I hope that there’s more of working toward agreement, like we had today, than openly sparring with each other,’ he said, in reference to a breakthrough on prescription drug costs.

The analysis came as the House GOP campaign arm announced it was expanding its target list of Democrats they will invest in defeating next year. 

Matt Bennett, executive director of centrist group Third Way, pointed to the governing Democratic Party’s inability to act on the big ticket items in a statement.

‘On stasis, the inability of Democrats – so far, at least – to deliver on the promises Joe Biden made last year is an unforced error,’ he wrote. ‘The months of in-fighting and sausage-making must come to an end. We must pass these two historic bills and then explain what they will do to create jobs, cut taxes, and help working families afford the essentials. As our latest public opinion research shows [see below], voters don’t know what’s in the bills, and what they think they know, they mostly don’t like.’

His analysis got a ‘like’ from Biden’s Twitter-engaged chief of staff, Ron Klain.   

It was a call to action that was also endorsed by party centrist Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey – although centrist demands over repealing a cap on a state and local tax deduction that helps homeowners in high-wealth states like his were among myriad sticking points that have kept legislation bottled up.  

He pointed to the New Jersey governor’s race, where incumbent Phil Murphy was holding a tiny lead in a state Biden won by 16 percentage points.

‘In the end, first of all, Gov. Murphy will win re-election and my takeaway overall in this election is that people want action, they want results,’ he told MSNBC. ‘Frankly it starts right now.’ 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing to finalize deals this week. But in a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter to lawmakers, she indicated he wants to revive one of the key priorities of progressive lawmakers – even though it slammed into problems in the Senate. 

‘Because I have been informed by a Senator of opposition to a few of the priorities contained in our bill and because we must have legislation agreed to by the House and the Senate in the final version of the Build Back Better Act that we will send to the President’s desk, we must strive to find common ground in the legislation,’ she wrote.

But she also wrote that she had asked Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Richard Neal ‘for Paid Family and Medical Leave to be included’ in legislation heading to the House Rules Committee. 

McAuliffe, too, had called for Congress to act on key legislation in the final weeks of his race, although it is unclear if a deal would have made a difference in a race where Youngkin pulled ahead by stressing hot-button school and social issues, and McAuliffe tried to tie him to Donald Trump. 

What was not clear Wednesday morning was how Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was interpreting the results. As of Tuesday, he was still holding out on key elements of the budget package, with concerns about new tax proposals that raise revenue, immigration provisions, and other matters. 

If he interprets McAuliffe’s loss as a call to hold firm, it could frustrate party leaders’ goal of immediately ramming legislation through the House and getting deals completed by Thanksgiving.   

‘Currently going through the seven stages of grief!’ Liberal hosts get roasted online for their election night ‘meltdown’ following Republican Youngkin’s victory 

Social media has roasted liberal news hosts for their ‘meltdown’ as the results came in showing Republican Glenn Youngkin was going to be victorious in Virginia.

Youngkin, 54, last night pulled off a stunning upset to beat Democrat Terry McAuliffe, leading by 2.1 points with 99 percent of the vote counted. He is the state’s first red Governor since 2009.  

Hosts on MSNBC and CNN were unable to contain their shock at McAuliffe’s defeat, with Jake Tapper looking at a map of the election results and saying flatly: ‘Oh my God.’

Commentator Joy Reid joined Rachel Maddow on MSNBC and launched an astonishing tirade against ‘dangerous’ Republicans, warning that voting for Youngkin – ‘a soft white racist’ – was a gateway to more ‘hardcore racism.’

Over on CNN, Van Jones said that Youngkin was to Trump what the Delta variant was to Covid-19, saying it’s the ‘same disease, but spreads a lot faster and can get a lot more places.’

Their shock and disappointment at the result gave conservative commentators on Twitter endless joy, with radio host Buck Sexton comparing it to the ‘seven stages of grief.’

‘MSNBC is currently going through the seven stages of grief on an endless loop in real time,’ Sexton tweeted. ‘It’s great, highly recommend.’  

Commentator Joy Reid (pictured) was joining Rachel Maddow on MSNBC and launched an astonishing tirade against 'dangerous' Republicans, warning that voting for Youngkin - 'a soft white nationalist' - was a gateway to more 'hardcore nationalism.'

Commentator Joy Reid (pictured) was joining Rachel Maddow on MSNBC and launched an astonishing tirade against ‘dangerous’ Republicans, warning that voting for Youngkin – ‘a soft white nationalist’ – was a gateway to more ‘hardcore nationalism.’

Over on CNN, Van Jones said that Youngkin was to Trump what the Delta variant was to Covid-19, saying it's the 'same disease, but spreads a lot faster and can get a lot more places'

Over on CNN, Van Jones said that Youngkin was to Trump what the Delta variant was to Covid-19, saying it’s the ‘same disease, but spreads a lot faster and can get a lot more places’

‘If you want to give yourself a treat, turn on MSNBC,’ Ann Coulter tweeted as results began to favor Republicans in key races. 

National Review critic Kyle Smith said: ‘Every conservative I know is watching MSNBC.’  

Meghan McCain added, ‘MSNBC is on nothing short of an emotional journey to Narnia tonight.’ 

Other commentators shared their favourite GIFs of Donald Trump, the former President pointing at a reporter saying, ‘Wrong,’ or footage of him creasing up with laughter.

One user, named USA Live Free or Die, tweeted a series of laughing emojis with the caption: ‘Melting down.’ 

Jones, a former Obama administration official, told CNN colleagues: ‘The stakes are high. When this election is over in Virginia, we will know… have we seen the emergence of the Delta variant of Trumpism? 

‘In other words, Youngkin, same disease, but spreads a lot faster and can get a lot more places.’ 

He later took to Twitter to clarify his incendiary remark.

‘My point is that playing on racial fears by demagoguing [critical race theory] furthers dangerous aspects of Trumpism, just in friendlier form,’ he wrote. ‘Did not mean to imply that human beings are diseases.’ 

Reid on MSNBC similarly attacked Youngkin for his stance against critical race theory being taught in schools, claiming that it revealed a thinly veiled racism.





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