Debt ceiling: Biden meets Congressional leaders at White House today.
Texas GOP lawmaker, who said drag shows were dangerous for kids, resigns after allegations he had sex with intern, 19.
Israeli airstrikes in Gaza kill three Jihadist leaders and 10 civilians, including four kids.
Debt ceiling: Biden meets Congressional leaders at White House today
Today, President Biden is meeting with Republican and Democrat leaders in Congress to begin talks on a debt ceiling deal. In attendance will be Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jefferies (D-NY).
There’s little chance a firm deal with come out of today’s meeting, but the stakes for these negotiations could not be higher. Last week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the US could run out of cash to pay its bills as early as June 1. If by that time Congress has not passed a bill raising the US debt ceiling, the US will default on its debts for the first time. The White House Council of Economic Advisers predicts the US would lose about 8.3 million jobs in the event of a protracted default. Even taking negotiations to the June 1 deadline could cost 200,000 jobs while a brief default could cost 500,000.
Republicans in the House and Senate are insisting they will only allow the US to pay its bills if Biden and the Democrats agree to roll back budget items already passed last year. Democrats and economists have accused Republicans of holding the good faith and credit of the US hostage.
Republicans recently issued a list of budget demands, which some have called a ransom letter. They include proposals that would actually add to the deficit, such as doing away with plans to boost IRS enforcement for wealthy tax cheats. Their efforts to hold the debt ceiling hostage have already increased the cost of US borrowing by 5%, adding billions to the debt.
Texas GOP lawmaker, 45, who said drag shows were dangerous for kids, resigns after sex with intern, 19
Texas state lawmaker Bryan Slaton, 45, has stepped down over accusations he supplied alcohol to an intern below the legal age to consume alcohol and then had sex with her. Slaton, a Republican from Dallas, had previously supported an “anti-grooming” bill to ban children from attending drag performances, saying such legislation was necessary to protect children from “perverted adults”.
According to the complaint, Slaton invited three interns to his apartment and supplied them with alcohol. One 19-year-old intern, who some have described as “naive”, stayed the night at his home despite warnings from the other two, who left. The complaint alleges that Slaton had sex with the 19-year-old while she was intoxicated.
The next morning, Slaton drove the intern home, making a stop on the way so she could purchase emergency contraception. Slaton had previously proposed a bill penalizing the use of emergency contraception, also known as Plan B. The lawmaker also purportedly threatened the intern to keep her quiet about the encounter.
After urging from other Texas Republicans, Slaton has resigned. In a statement, the state Republican Party said, “The misconduct described … should never be tolerated and is proper grounds for expulsion. These actions have betrayed the trust that the people of … Slaton’s district put in him as an elected official, and he has rightly resigned.”
Israeli airstrikes in Gaza kill three jihadists and 10 civilians, including four children
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government in Israel continues to escalate hostilities against Palestinian enclaves. Last week after a Palestinian activist died in Israeli custody, parts of Gaza and the West Bank saw massive protests. Israel’s military responded to these protests with artillery shelling to get the crowds to disperse. Gaza militants then fired several rockets into Israel, one of which killed a foreign national. Israel then carried out airstrikes in Gaza, killing a middle-aged father of 11 children.
In the pre-dawn hours today, Israel launched more than 40 warplanes to carry out more airstrikes in Gaza. The planes bombarded the crowded enclave, which is home to more than 2 million people, for nearly two hours. These airstrikes were targeting Palestinian jihadists, but also killed and injured many innocent civilians. Three jihadists were killed along with at least 10 civilians, their wives and children. More then 40 others were injured.
Meanwhile in the West Bank, Red Crescent workers said they treated about 145 people in Nablus injured in a pre-dawn raid by Israeli soldiers.
In anticipation of retaliatory strikes, Israeli officials warned Israeli citizens living within 20 miles outside the Gaza Strip to remain near bomb shelters.