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Joe and Jill Biden will visit troops in North Carolina ahead of Thanksgiving


President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will kick off Thanksgiving week with a visit to Fort Bragg in North Carolina on Monday.

The first couple will participate in a Thanksgiving meal with service members and military families as part of the Joining Forces initiative, which is one of Jill Biden’s signature issues, the White House announced. 

It’s traditional for presidents to incorporate some event with the military on Thanksgiving. 

President Donald Trump did calls with service members stationed overseas and made an unannounced visit to troops serving in Afghanistan in 2019. 

Barack Obama also incorporated service members into his holiday plans. In 2016, he and his family helped serve a Thanksgiving meal to residents of a retirement home for military veterans in Washington, D.C.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will kick off Thanksgiving week with a visit to Fort Bragg in North Carolina on Monday

The Bidens will spend Thanksgiving on Nantucket, where they have gone for decades; above Vice President-elect Joe Biden, Jill Biden and his family and friends walk down Old Colony Street in Hyannis Mass., in November 2008 to board a mid-day ferry to Nantucket for the Thanksgiving holiday

The Bidens will spend Thanksgiving on Nantucket, where they have gone for decades; above Vice President-elect Joe Biden, Jill Biden and his family and friends walk down Old Colony Street in Hyannis Mass., in November 2008 to board a mid-day ferry to Nantucket for the Thanksgiving holiday

Joe and Jill Biden posted a Thanksgiving message with their daughter Ashley last year

Joe and Jill Biden posted a Thanksgiving message with their daughter Ashley last year

In 2009, then Vice President Joe Biden and second lady Jill Biden hosted Fisher House service members and family at the US Naval Observatory for a Thanksgiving meal

In 2009, then Vice President Joe Biden and second lady Jill Biden hosted Fisher House service members and family at the US Naval Observatory for a Thanksgiving meal

Jill Biden visited North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune in September after the death of 13 service members during a suicide bombing in Afghanistan. She revived her and Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces Initiative after she became first lady. 

Fort Bragg is one of the largest military bases in the world, with 53,700 troops and 14,000 civilians. It is home to the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division.

Biden will spend Thanksgiving on Nantucket, the Boston Globe reported. The Bidens have spent the Thanksgiving holiday on the posh island for years – nearly every year since 1975, including when he was vice president. 

He does not own a home there and has stayed in different rental properties. But he was often seen participating in local events – such as the Turkey Trot and the cold water plunge.

It’s unclear if he will have as much freedom to do so as president, which requires a large group of Secret Service agents, staff and press following his public moves. 

Last year, Biden and Jill celebrated Thanksgiving at their home in Rehoboth Beach, Del., because of the COVID pandemic, when medical experts were advising against large crowds. Only their daughter Ashley and her husband joined them.

It’s unclear when the president will depart for Nantucket. This Friday Biden will participate in the traditional pardoning of the turkey. He turns 79 on Saturday. 

Part of the uncertainty about his travel comes from the status of his Build Back Better bill – his $1.85 trillion budget package of social programs. 

The House is expected to start debate on it on Wednesday.

And Speaker Nancy Pelosi is using an age-old pressure tactic as she tries to amass the votes to to pass the measure – saying lawmakers won’t be flying home for the Thanksgiving holiday until they vote on it.

Biden could be needed to meet with reluctant Democrats to get them over the finish line – a role he played in passing the infrastructure bill. 

But there is uncertainty about the status of Biden's Build Back Better bill - his $1.85 trillion budget package of social programs - and if it will need his help to pass; Speaker Nancy Pelosi (above) said lawmakers can't go home for Thanksgiving until it's passed

But there is uncertainty about the status of Biden’s Build Back Better bill – his $1.85 trillion budget package of social programs – and if it will need his help to pass; Speaker Nancy Pelosi (above) said lawmakers can’t go home for Thanksgiving until it’s passed

Many presidents incorporate the military into Thanksgiving - in 2019 then President Donald Trump visited US troops at Bagram Air Field during a surprise visit to Afghanistan

Many presidents incorporate the military into Thanksgiving – in 2019 then President Donald Trump visited US troops at Bagram Air Field during a surprise visit to Afghanistan

In 2016, then President Barack Obama and wife Michelle served Thanksgiving dinner to residents at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington D.C.

In 2016, then President Barack Obama and wife Michelle served Thanksgiving dinner to residents at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington D.C. 

Pelosi’s efforts to bring the BBB bill up for a vote have been repeatedly stalled – although she finally won House passage of Biden’s $1.1 trillion infrastructure package before a different break, a week-long Veterans’ Day recess.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told colleagues the Build Back Better plan is set to come up on Wednesday, with a vote possible Thursday, Friday or Saturday. 

Pelosi told fellow Democrats the House won’t go home until the bill is passed, CNN reported. 

Adding uncertainty to the situation is the Congressional Budget Office, which still must provide scores for portions of the bill.

The White House is going after the CBO, attacking the nonpartisan agency for its analysis that President Biden’s $1.85 trillion spending package of social programs won’t be fully paid for. 

The CBO is likely to find that the cost of the overall package will not be fully paid for with new tax revenue over the coming decade, The New York Times reported. 

To pay for the plan, the Biden administration is depending on having a strengthened Internal Revenue Service crack down on tax evaders, which the White House says will raise hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue.

The director of the nonpartisan CBO said on Monday that increasing the power of the IRS to go after tax evaders will yield far less than what the White House was counting on to help pay for its bill – about $120 billion over a decade versus the $400 billion the administration estimated.

A formal tally is expected to be released on Friday.

Senior administration officials are advising lawmakers to disregard the CBO assessment, saying the budget agency doesn’t have experience ‘analyzing revenue amounts from cracking down on wealthy tax cheats.’

‘There has been wide agreements on the part of everyone involved – moderates liberals, etc. – that CBO does not have experience analyzing revenue amounts gained from cracking down on wealthy tax cheats, who are taking advantage of every honest taxpayer,’ deputy White House press secretary Andrew Bates said duing a briefing with reporters on Tuesday. 

‘There’s a huge body of work,’ Bates said, ‘from economic experts — including Republican former Treasury secretaries, IRS commissioners who have served under presidents of both parties, as well as Larry Summers, with whom we have sometimes had important differences — affirming that, if anything, our estimates lowball how much revenue can be brought in by cracking down on rich tax cheats.’ 

The legislation is expected to undergo several changes in the Senate, where moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have expressed concern about its price tag.

At a speech in New Hampshire on Tuesday, where Biden was celebrating his infrastructure victory, the president expressed confidence his Build Back Better plan would be approved.  

‘I’m confident that the House is going to pass this bill and when it passes it will go to the Senate. I think we’ll get it passed within a week as fully paid for. It’ll reduce the deficit over the long term, as I said, and again, no one making less than 400 grand on a single penny more in federal taxes,’ he said. 

Lawmakers rely on the CBO ‘score,’ as its known, to determine how much a bill will cost tax payers. Manchin, in particular, has voiced concerns the package could add to the national debt and spike inflation. 

Democrats cannot lose a single vote in the 50-50 Senate. 

Bates expressed confidence the plan would get them.

‘This is something that has been known for months and everyone is on the same page,’ he said of the CBO score.





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