House Approves Debt Ceiling Increase, Temporarily Delaying Nationwide Default

The House on Tuesday voted to lift the debt ceiling by $480 billion, temporarily averting widespread economic calamity after weeks of partisan gridlock and sending the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk.

The House briefly interrupted its weeklong recess to pass a rule governing debate for three separate bills to which the ceiling raise was attached. It passed on a party-line vote given Republicans continuing opposition to lifting the ceiling.

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GOP Senators Put the National Institutes of Health on Notice for ‘Complete Disregard for Congressional Oversight’ Surrounding Risky Virus Research in China

Ron Johnson

The National Institutes of Health’s refusal to cooperate with congressional oversight on risky gain of function virus research in China is unacceptable, a group of seven Republican lawmakers wrote in a letter Thursday obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The lawmakers, led by Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, railed against the agency’s director, Francis Collins, for blowing off their previous May 20 letter demanding answers to 17 questions related to gain of function research, noting that the NIH’s response to that request was nearly identical to the response provided to Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who had asked a completely different set of questions about its funding of the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Your refusal to provide detailed responses that fully address each oversight request is unacceptable,” the GOP lawmakers wrote to Collins on Thursday. “NIH’s lack of response to the May 20 letter shows a complete disregard for congressional oversight and transparency.”

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Senators Propose $1 Billion to Aid DHS in Addressing Future Migrant Surges

Members of Galveston County S.W.A.T. work with with Customs and Border Protection Agents during Maritime Tactical Operations Group vessel boarding training in the Houston Ship Channel, Aug. 23, 2016.

Senators introduced legislation that would require federal agencies tasked with managing migration at the border to make strategic plans and allow access to $1 billion in contingency funding, lawmakers announced Friday.

Republican Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Democratic Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly introduced the Border Response Resilience Act that would establish a $1 billion “Irregular Migration Border Response Fund” for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide food, clothing, blankets, and transportation for unaccompanied migrant minors and family members without having to transfer funding allocated to border security, according to the lawmakers. The act would require federal officials to make plans and “conduct exercises to improve the federal response to increased migration at the border.”

“DHS has been unprepared for unlawful migrant surges at our southern border in 2014, 2019, and again during the current crisis. This is unacceptable. DHS and other federal agencies must be able to respond immediately to the need for shelter for migrants as well as additional personnel to handle surging numbers of unlawful migrants at our border,” Portman said in a statement.

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