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How Biden's budget battle begins, and more you want to know about the week in politics

How Biden's budget battle begins, and more you want to know about the week in politics

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Biden unveiled a $6 trillion budget for next year that's piled high with new safety net programs for the poor and middle class, but his generosity depends on taxing corporations and the wealthy to keep the nation's spiking debt from spiraling totally out of control.

Biden is spending the Memorial Day weekend in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden started the Memorial Day weekend by visiting a rock climbing gym in northern Virginia as the state lifted all COVID-19 distancing and capacity restrictions at private businesses and much of the nation pushes toward a greater sense of normalcy. The president later paid tribute to the armed forces with an address at a Virginia Air Force base.

Senate Republicans this week blocked creation of a bipartisan panel to study the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol in a show of party loyalty to former President Donald Trump, aiming to shift the political focus away from the violent insurrection by his GOP supporters.

Minority Republicans used a filibuster, for the first time under Biden, to derail the bill. Below, the AP takes a closer look at the time-honored tactic.

Also this past week:

--A sweeping Senate bill aimed at making the United States more competitive with China and shoring up domestic computer chip manufacturing with $50 billion in emergency funds was abruptly shelved Friday after a handful of Republican senators orchestrated a last-minute attempt to halt it.

--The U.S. government blocked imports of seafood from the fleet of a Chinese company that authorities say forced crew members to work in slave-like conditions that led to the deaths of at least three Indonesian fishermen last year.

--Lawyers say lawsuits filed by protesters who were forcefully removed from a park near the White House before a photo op by Trump should be dismissed because the new administration is not likely to repeat the events of last June.

The discovery of a fresh cyberespionage campaign targeting U.S. and foreign government agencies and linked to the same Russian hackers blamed for the SolarWinds intrusion adds a new point of tension to the upcoming summit between Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

--Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is talking with the head of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and taking questions from students. His public comments are being parsed as some liberals encourage the 82-year-old justice to retire while Democrats retain narrow control of the Senate.

--Republicans across the country are passing legislation to limit how issues of race are taught in public schools, prompting concerns from teachers and racial justice advocates that the government will try to censor critical lessons about slavery and race relations.

--As he heads into his 2022 reelection campaign, Florida’s Ron DeSantis has emerged from the political uncertainty of the pandemic as arguably the country’s most prominent Republican governor and is seen as an early White House front-runner in 2024, if the former president doesn’t run again.

--The drama surrounding a retirement in the position that oversees elections in one of Iowa’s most populous counties has voting experts concerned about what it could signal about the future. Is the dust-up a short-lived local spat or an early warning that these quiet but critical local roles across the country will turn as partisan as any race for governor or Congress?

--Black women are stepping up as statewide candidates for the Senate and governor as Democrats look to expand their top-tier ranks across the South.

--Emerging from two years of relative silence, former House Speaker Paul Ryan joined the fight against Donald Trump on Thursday, urging fellow conservatives to reject the former president's divisive politics and those Republican leaders who emulate him.


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