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Biden cancels another $9 billion in student loan debt days after payments restart

(CNN) The Biden administration has approved debt relief for an additional 125,000 student loan borrowers, totaling $9 billion in forgiveness, the White House said Wednesday. The announcement comes just days after federal student loan payments restarted after a three-plus year pause. Though the Supreme Court struck down President Joe Biden’s hallmark student loan forgiveness program, which promised up to $20,000 in debt relief for low- and middle-income borrowers, the administration has continued to find other ways to provide debt relief. The cancellations announced Wednesday come through three different existing debt relief programs that have been plagued with problems in the past. The White House is conducting what it calls “fixes” to a “broken student loan system.”

question everything

Republicans Cut Off Their Own Heads

(Wall Street Journal) A band of eight Republicans succeeded in ousting Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker on Tuesday, and we trust they’re happy. They now have the chaos they wanted, though it isn’t clear what else they hope to achieve. Their clever plan seems to be to cut off their own heads. We refer to Reps. Matt Gaetz, Nancy Mace, Eli Crane, Andy Biggs, Matt Rosendale, Bob Good, Tim Burchett and Ken Buck. They united with Democrats to topple a Republican Speaker without a plan, a replacement, or even a policy goal in mind. Four percent of the Republican conference trumped the 96% who supported the Speaker.


McCarthy's Extraordinary Downfall Reflects an Ungovernable G.O.P.

(New York Times) Kevin McCarthy did two things right, but too many other things wrong. His extraordinary ouster that unsettled Washington on Tuesday and left the House in chaos was the culmination of a tumultuous nine months that began in unprecedented fashion in January with 15 roll call votes to claim his gavel and ended in unprecedented fashion with a single one to vacate the speaker’s chair.


Hakeem Jeffries Is the Big Winner in the McCarthy Trials

(The New Republic) The most powerful person currently residing in the House of Representatives is not even a member of the majority. With Kevin McCarthy removed from the speakership thanks to a small faction of his own Republican conference, Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries has hit something of a new stride. Having amassed support from Democratic members, he’s riding a fresh wave of goodwill and maintaining a firm grasp on an often fractious caucus.

Mr. Sparkle

Acting Speaker McHenry orders Nancy Pelosi to leave her Capitol hideaway office

(Politico) As one of his first acts as the acting speaker, Rep. Patrick McHenry ordered former Speaker Nancy Pelosi to vacate her Capitol hideaway office by Wednesday, according to an email sent to her office viewed by POLITICO. “Please vacate the space tomorrow, the room will be re-keyed,” wrote a top aide on the Republican-controlled House Administration Committee. Pelosi had missed the vote to boot McCarthy to stay in San Francisco to attend memorial services for the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a longtime friend of the former speaker. “Sadly, because I am in California to mourn the loss of and pay tribute to my dear friend Dianne Feinstein, I am unable to retrieve my belongings at this time,” she said


Joe Biden goes for the jugular: Attacking MAGA insanity could be the winning message for 2024

(Salon) Joe Biden gave a speech last week that went largely unnoticed in the press, and it's really too bad. It may have been the best speech he's ever given, and if people actually saw or heard it, it might set their minds at ease a little about his prospects in the next election. This is his fourth such speech, reflecting a sincere effort on his part to which we should all pay attention.


Donald Trump drops from the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans. Here's what changed.

(CBS News) Former President Donald Trump is no longer rich enough to be included in the Forbes 400, an annual ranking of America's wealthiest individuals, Forbes magazine said on Tuesday. Trump's estimated net worth of $2.6 billion is $300 million short of the baseline to make the Forbes 400 list. Tumbling from the Forbes 400 might seem like a minor problem for someone who is extremely wealthy and running a second time for the highest office in the U.S. But Forbes noted that the Forbes 400 is an "annual measurement that Trump has obsessed over for decades, relentlessly lying to reporters to try to vault himself higher on the list."


Ex-DOJ Official Explains Why Donald Trump Gag Order Is 'Like Failing Kindergarten'

(Huff Post) Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal explained how former President Donald Trump must have really tried to get hit with a gag order in his civil fraud trial. Judge Arthur Engoron slapped Trump with the order on Tuesday after the ex-president attacked Engoron’s law clerk on social media. Engoron warned Trump that he’d face “serious sanctions” if he broke the order. Gag orders are “really hard to get in a case,” Katyal told MSNBC’s Alex Wagner on Tuesday, because people “use common sense” during legal proceedings against them. “It’s kind of like failing kindergarten,” he said. “To get a gag order imposed, you got to kind of try. Trump managed to work at it and do it and succeed. But it took a lot of work on his part.”


2nd Giuliani attorney leaving his legal team in Georgia

(ABC News) A second lawyer for Rudy Giuliani is seeking to depart his legal team in Georgia, sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News, a move that would appear to leave the former mayor without any local lawyers in the state. A motion to withdraw has been submitted to the clerk, the sources said. A judge in the case has to sign off on the motion.

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