Greene removed from House committees. Senate takes 1st step to pass $1.9T COVID aid without GOP. Biden ends US support for Saudi war in Yemen. Nazi secretary charged for 10,000 murders.
Greene removed from House committees
Members of the House of Representatives have voted to remove extremist GOP lawmaker Marjorie Taylor Greene from two committee positions. In a preceding vote, the GOP had voted not to punish Greene in any way for her violent rhetoric prior to her taking office. Over a few years, both before and during her run for office, Greene had posted content and comments that advocated executions and violence against prominent Democratic lawmakers.
Following emotional testimony, all House Democrats and 11 Republicans voted to strip Greene of her committee seats. One of the most stirring testimonies came from House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Hoyer presented a graphic posted by Greene on her Facebook page last year. The image reads “The Squad’s Worst Nightmare” and shows Greene sporting an AR-15, with superimposed images of progressive lawmakers Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib.
Senate approves budget bill to pass $1.9T COVID aid without GOP
The Senate voted along party lines yesterday to support a budget reconciliation bill as a first step towards passing a new COVID-19 stimulus package. The reconciliation process will allow the Democrats to pass the eventual package with a simple majority. Without this procedure, it is doubtful they would get the 10 votes needed from GOP Senators to break a filibuster on such a bill.
Vice President Kamala Harris cast her first tie-breaking vote in support of the budget bill. The budget bill will now go to the House for approval. The drafting of the final $1.9 trillion package will likely begin shortly thereafter.
Biden ends US support for Saudi war in Yemen
Late last month, the White House announced that they would “pause” weapon sales to Saudi Arabia. This was a sharp reversal of Trump-era policy, in which weapon sales to the kingdom reached unprecedented levels. Now, President Biden has announced that the US will no longer support the war that Saudi Arabia has waged on its impoverished neighbor Yemen for the past 6 years.
The war began as an attempt to suppress an Iran-backed Houthi rebellion against the Saudi-backed Yemeni government. It has since become an entrenched battle against various intractable factions. Meanwhile, the country’s already poverty-stricken population has become largely dependent on foreign aid for bare survival. This has created one of the world’s worst-ever humanitarian crises.
Although the US will no longer be supporting the offensive war, Biden committed to continuing to support Saudi Arabia’s defense capabilities. Saudi Arabia welcomed these remarks, despite the end to US support for the war in Yemen. But Trump had already sold them 10s of $billions in arms, so they probably won’t be running out of those any time soon.
Germany charges Nazi secretary with complicity in 10,000 murders
Germany has charged an unnamed woman who worked as a secretary at a Nazi concentration camp with aiding and abetting the murders of 10,000 people. Specifically, the woman is accused of “having assisted those responsible at the camp in the systematic killing of Jewish prisoners, Polish partisans and Soviet Russian prisoners of war in her function as a stenographer and secretary to the camp commander”.
The woman was a minor at the time, and so will be tried as a juvenile. This echoes the case of former SS guard Bruno Dey, who was convicted last year at the age of 93. Dey received a two-year suspended sentence, and was also tried as a minor.
As it happens both Dey and the unnamed woman worked at the Stutthof camp near present-day Gdansk, Poland. In total, about 65,000 prisoners perished in the camp throughout its operation.