Last Week This Morning: BIF…and BBB?
By TJ Hernandez
Bipartisan infrastructure deal passes…The bipartisan infrastructure deal passed the House on Friday night and is now headed to President Biden’s desk to be signed. It’ll provide hundreds of millions of dollars in new funding to repair roads and bridges, build out rail networks, modernize the power grid, expand broadband access, and replace lead pipes.
…but what about Build Back Better? The more impactful Build Back Better Act (also known as the reconciliation bill) will lower the cost of healthcare, childcare, and prescription drugs, create universal pre-K, and build out clean energy, among other provisions. It is still awaiting votes in the House and the Senate. Conservative Democrats and President Biden have promised progressives and the American people that Build Back Better will pass in the next few weeks — time to hold them to those promises.
Meanwhile, Republican obstruction continues. Republicans filibustered yet another voting rights bill this week, with only one Republican Senator, Lisa Murkowski, willing to start debate on the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. 24 hours later, Senator Tom Carper of Delaware became the latest Democrat to support filibuster reform. But Senator Sinema remains a key holdout.
Mask mandate ban overturned. This spring, Governor Ducey and Republican legislators tried to ban school districts from requiring masks in schools. It was a clear attempt to score points with their base – even if it meant kids getting sick. They passed the ban by adding it to an unrelated budget bill. Now, the Arizona Supreme Court has affirmed that doing so was unconstitutional, striking down the mask mandate ban along with a number of other provisions that were added to the budget at the last minute.
Ducey’s backbone melts like a Crayon on a Phoenix sidewalk in July.” Jim Small offers a searing indictment of Governor Ducey’s record on COVID-19 in this must-read op-ed.
“The Betrayal”. It’s the scariest movie trailer we’ve seen in years!
Unite for people and the planet. As negotiations continue over the Build Back Better Act, we’re coming together to create community, remember what we’re fighting for and tell our politicians that it’s time to start working for us, not big money. Join us and many partners on Wednesday at the Arizona State Capitol!
Redistricting hearings are now underway! The Independent Redistricting Commission has released the draft maps for Arizona’s new legislative and congressional districts, and hearings have started across the state. These maps are hugely important – if they’re skewed, it can be nearly impossible to elect people who will really represent us. Community groups are holding trainings to prepare people to testify at the hearings. Sign up now and help make sure our maps are fair!