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Biden says 'big chunks' of his spending bill could still succeed, including climate plan

President Joe Biden said Wednesday the climate and child care provisions in his domestic spending agenda could still become law this year, even as the larger plan has stalled in the Senate over other items that Biden conceded may not pass — such as an expanded child tax credit.... Read more»

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Police: Sinema intentionally went into bathroom to dodge activists filming her at ASU

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema intentionally went into the bathroom at ASU on Oct. 3 to avoid meeting with a group of activists because she believed that recording someone inside a bathroom is a crime - now, one of the protestors could face deportation.... Read more»

Nursing homes bleed staff as Amazon lures low-wage workers with prime packages

The nursing home industry has long employed high school graduates to feed, bathe, toilet and tend to dependent and disabled seniors - but facilities that sit near Amazon’s colossal distribution centers are outgunned in the bidding war for employees.... Read more»

Comic:

Claytoonz: The cliché that stole Build Back Better

I’m just having some fun here with my colleagues because I saw at least four Grinch/Manchin cartoons today before noon. OK, I’m exaggerating. It may have been 1 p.m.... Read more»

Guest opinion

I came here legally when I was 2. Immigration backlogs are keeping me from the American dream

About five million people are stuck in a decades-long line to become permanent residents, and more than 100,000 of their children, known as “Documented Dreamers,” are estimated to lose their status here over the next two decades.... Read more»

Comic:

Claytoonz: The poverty of Joe Manchin

Joe Manchin voted against Trump’s tax cuts for the rich but he’s now defending them. I bet West Virginia has more poverty babies than trust-fund babies.... Read more»

Biden’s big social spending bill caught in snags in the Senate

President Joe Biden’s giant social and climate spending bill on Thursday night appeared stalled in the U.S. Senate for some time to come, a deep frustration for congressional Democrats who aimed to pass the ambitious package by the Christmas recess. ... Read more»

First phase ending for child tax credit, a 'game changer' for Arizona families

Arizona families may have seen the last – for now – payment under an expanded child tax credit program, passed earlier this year as part of the pandemic-relief American Rescue Plan, that advocates say has been a “game changer” for low-income families in the state. ... Read more»

Guest opinion

Build Back Better Act will spell relief from heat and drought

It is crystal clear that Congress needs to take action to address climate change, and that we have no time to waste. ... Read more»

Rural midwives fill gap as hospitals cut childbirth services

As hospitals across the country are struggling to stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic, some have had to cut or suspend obstetric services - but at least 8 states, including Arizona, have passed laws expanding coverage for midwifery and doula services.... Read more»

Neither side thrilled with immigration reforms in Build Back Better bill

Buried in the $1.9 trillion Build Back Better Plan is $100 billion for immigration reform, money that critics say has no business being in the bill and that migration advocates say does not go nearly far enough. ... Read more»

Billions in tree funds could help cities prep for climate change

The Build Back Better plan being debated in Congress would provide $2.5 billion to improve and maintain urban tree canopy - unshaded areas suffer from a heat island effect and trees help filter air pollution and absorb stormwater runoff - with focus on underserved communities.... Read more»

Price jumps prompt pocketbook policies in states

Wages are high, jobs are plentiful and more than a third of states cut taxes in the past year as their revenues soared - yet the highest inflation spike in three decades has many policymakers digging for ways to ease the strain on families’ pocketbooks.... Read more»

Democrats risk losses in 2022 if they give up on paid leave, advocates say

The Democrats’ “Build Back Better” bill that passed the U.S. House did include four weeks of paid leave -but that provision is at risk of deletion in the Senate due to Sen. Joe Manchin- and a failure to take action could have significant political consequences for Democrats in 2022.... Read more»

With federal COVID sick leave gone, workers feel pressure to show up at work

Paid sick leave is an essential tool in the effort to prevent COVID-19 infection and keep workplaces safe, yet federal laws that offered COVID-related paid sick leave have expired, and many sick workers must wrestle with difficult questions when deciding whether to stay home.... Read more»

Immigration protections in Biden’s social policy bill face a new test in the Senate

Nearly 100 House Democrats are pushing the Senate to expand immigration protections in President Joe Biden’s massive social spending and climate bill, and advocates say that it may be a last opportunity for years to advance any reform. ... Read more»

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