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Pelosi Vows To Pass Infrastructure Bill

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Pelosi vows to pass infrastructure, eyes smaller social bill

Washington — With President Joe Biden’s broad domestic agenda at risk of collapse, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday vowed that Democrats will pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill this week and push ahead on the bigger $3.5 trillion social safety net and climate change bill while acknowledging the total amount will drop.

Pelosi had originally pledged to House moderates a vote on the infrastructure legislation by Monday, but she now says that timeline will likely fall to later in the week due to Democratic divisions, giving space for negotiations so both bills could be approved. She is pushing to advance both this week, though that is not at all certain.

The $1 trillion infrastructure plan passed the Senate last month.

“Let me just say that we’re going to pass the bill this week,” said Pelosi, D-Calif. “I’m never bringing a bill to the floor that doesn’t have the votes. You cannot choose the date. You have to go when you have the votes in a reasonable time, and we will.”

When asked Sunday if Pelosi had the votes to pass the $1 trillion infrastructure bill on Monday, Biden told reporters at the White House, “It’s going to take the better part of this week.”

Still, in a delicate balancing act aimed at achieving the near Democratic unanimity needed to push the sprawling package through, Pelosi made clear that Biden’s proposed $3.5 trillion for social spending and climate initiatives will need to be trimmed.

Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have said they won’t support a bill of that size. Manchin has previously proposed spending of $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion, an amount that progressives have called unacceptable for a bill they originally envisioned at $6 trillion.

Asked Sunday if she agrees the final number on the so-called reconciliation bill will be “somewhat smaller” than $3.5 trillion, Pelosi responded: “That seems self-evident.”

“We’ll see how the number comes down and what we need,” she added. “Again, the Senate and the House, those who are not in full agreement with the president, right, let’s see what our values — let’s not talk about numbers and dollars. Let’s talk about values.”

“I think even those who want a smaller number, support the vision of the president, and this is really transformative.”

Her comments Sunday reflected the enormous stakes for the coming week, one that could define the Biden presidency and shape the political contours of next year’s midterm elections.

Pelosi told fellow Democrats over the weekend that they “must” pass the social and environment package in the coming days, along with a separate infrastructure bill and a third measure preventing a government shutdown on Friday. Her letter to colleagues underscored the sense of urgency.

“The next few days will be a time of intensity,” she wrote.

Democrats have few votes to spare in the House and no votes to spare in the 50-50 Senate if there is no Republican support to enact Biden’s massive “Build Back Better” agenda. Republicans are lockstep against the larger measure.

Biden, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., have led a behind-the-scenes hunt for compromises to resolve internal divisions and, they hope, allow approval of the mammoth bill soon.

The House Budget Committee on Saturday advanced a $3.5 trillion, 10-year bill strengthening social safety net and climate programs, though one Democrat voted “no,” illustrating the challenges party leaders face. The bill, which is certain to be revised before House voting, would be paid for with taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., who led a group of House moderates in pushing a quick vote by Monday on the infrastructure bill, said Sunday he wouldn’t be bothered by a slight delay. He was optimistic both pieces of legislation could be resolved this week.

“If the vote — the way these things work, if you start debating it and it rolls over to Tuesday, … I think we’re all reasonable people,” Gottheimer said. “There’s too much on the line here for our country.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., who heads the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said members of her group won’t be willing to support the infrastructure plan until there is “ironclad” agreement in the House and Senate on the reconciliation bill. She didn’t rule out additional cuts to the $3.5 trillion proposal to reach agreement.

“If somebody wants to take something out, we need to hear what that is,” she said.

Pelosi didn’t commit when asked about a vote this week on the social spending and climate bill, which Democrats intend to pass with a simple majority without GOP support. She suggested that House-Senate agreement could be reached this week, depending on rulings from the Senate parliamentarian on what provisions could be included.

“We are ready on our side,” Pelosi said. “We just have to see how quickly the parliamentarian can operate.”

The overall bill embodies the crux of Biden’s top domestic goals, with billions for rebuilding infrastructure, tackling climate change and expanding or introducing a range of services, from free prekindergarten to dental, vision and hearing aid care for seniors.

But there are broad disputes on paying for the legislation as well as over which initiatives should be reshaped, among them expanded Medicare, tax breaks for children and health care, a push toward cleaner energy and higher levies on the rich and corporations.

Republicans say the proposal is unneeded, unaffordable amid accumulated federal debt exceeding $28 trillion and reflects Democrats’ drive to insert government into people’s lives. Its tax boosts will cost jobs and include credits for buying electric vehicles, purchases often made by people with comfortable incomes, they said.

Pelosi spoke on ABC’s “This Week,” Gottheimer was on CNN’s “State of the Union,” and Jayapal appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

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BREAKING: Justice Tanko Muhammad Resigns As CJN

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BREAKING: Justice Tanko Muhammad Resigns As CJN

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, has resigned, Channels Television learned on Monday.

Sources told Channels Television that Justice Muhammad resigned on Sunday night, citing ill-health as the reason for his decision.

Information also has it that arrangements are ongoing to swear in the next most senior justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

According to reports, a formal announcement will be made shortly.

Until his resignation, reports had it that Justice Muhammad was seriously ill.

Last week, 14 justices of the Supreme Court had written him a letter to lament the decrepit state of affairs in the apex court.

In the leaked letter, the Justices accused the CJN of refusing to address the issues despite drawing his attention to them.

They complained of a lack of residential accommodation and vehicles at the court.

The justices further accused the CJN of gallivanting with his “spouse, children and personal staff,” while not allowing them to travel with an assistant on foreign trips.

The justices decried the lack of legal research assistants, despite the magnitude of cases being adjudicated.

On erratic electricity supply, the justices said they have been confined to work between the “hours of 8 a.m and 4 p.m daily, for lack of diesel,” after they were notified of the development by the Supreme Court’s Chief Registrar, Hajo Bello.

Meanwhile, Justice Tanko Muhammed did not attend the opening of the training for Judges on Alternative Dispute Resolution organized by the National Judicial Institute, amidst reports of resignation.

Although no Supreme Court Justice is present at the event.

Training of Judges by the Institute is usually declared open by the CJN or any of his representatives. however, the Administrator of the Institute, Justice Garba has opened the session.

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2023: I’m Still Searching For My Running Mate – Tinubu

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2023: I’m Still Searching For My Running Mate – Tinubu

Ahead of the 2023 general election, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, on Sunday said he is still searching for his running mate.

He stated this in Abuja while delivering his keynote address at the 60th birthday celebration of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila. The ex-Lagos Governor also heaped praises on the Speaker for his contributions to his political ambition of becoming Nigeria’s President and democracy, while extolling the virtues of his Deputy, Hon Idris Wase, for being a dependable ally.

“I could see a Deputy (Wase) sitting down there too, you are very good symbols of unity, dependability, and honesty, thank you. Thank you for both of you, you’ve not rocked the boat. I will need to learn from both of you, how you made the pair work because I’m still searching for my running mate,” Tinubu said.

“What you did during my primary (APC presidential election) is a story for another day. I’ve spent more time, too many times and people might be bored, they might be envious too, they might be jealous. I won a landslide, I thank you.

“Femi, with your determination, and reach, you are a contributor to our democratic growth, thank you. It is about charting a path to success, you’ve done a good job and I say thank you, thank you.”

Also speaking, President Muhammadu Buhari described Gbajabiamila as a team player and a skillful parliamentarian.

A file photo of APC preisdential candidate, Bola Tinubu.

Buhari, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, said the Speaker is one who looks beyond differences for the benefit of all.

“For him what matters is not so much the party differences but what unites Nigerians and that is why he is a passionate advocate for a peaceful democracy and unity of Nigeria. And no amount of parliamentary maneuvers or differences between parties would deviate him from this,” he said.

“He introduced the term legislative diplomacy. When there were issues between Nigerian and Ghanaian traders, he went to Accra and met with his colleagues and tried to resolve the issue.

“Mr President is very proud of the fact that he did not need to interfere in how the National Assembly runs because he had trust in the capacity in the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives and therefore he feels that with capable hands in both chambers of the NASS there is no need to interfere.

“It is also a fact that under the Speaker and leader of the Senate, there is no automatic opposition and antagonism to the executive. The role of the legislature is not to be antagonistic as a matter of routine, but to be partners for good governance for the people of Nigeria. They are working together to make Nigeria better.”

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Those Doubting Tinubu’s Credentials Should Go To Court – Farouk Aliyu

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Those Doubting Tinubu’s Credentials Should Go To Court – Farouk Aliyu

Farouk Aliyu has told those doubting the credentials of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, to seek redress in court

The former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives made the comment on Sunday amid claims that Tinubu falsified his academic qualifications.

“We have gone through this a very long time ago. Asiwaju Tinubu was governor in Lagos, a two-time governor. These issues have come up. What haven’t they said about Tinubu? What hasn’t he proved to the people? And look, that is the beauty of democracy,” he said during an interview on Channels Television Sunday Politics. 

“If anybody feels strongly that our candidate has no qualification to be president, he is entitled to go to court and challenge that.”

Search For Running Mate

In this file photo, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Honourable Farouk Adamu Aliyu, speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Newsnight on May 10, 2021.

Aliyu, who also spoke about the search for a running mate to the former Lagos State governor, said the decision lies with Tinubu. He stated that the APC is still consulting and reiterated that competence, not religion, will be the major determinant.

“So, if our party comes out with a Muslim candidate, so be it. We are going to make sure we win the election,” he maintained.

“And if in the wisdom of our candidate, he brings a Christian candidate, we are also going to make sure we win the election because, as I said before, it is not about the religion or where you come from. It is about competence.”

His remarks came hours after Tinubu said he is still in search of a running mate ahead of the general elections.

He spoke on Sunday during his keynote address at a book launch to mark the 60th birthday of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

“I could see a Deputy (Wase) sitting down there too, you are very good symbols of unity, dependability, and honesty, thank you. Thank you for both of you, you’ve not rocked the boat. I will need to learn from both of you, how you made the pair work because I’m still searching for my running mate,” Tinubu said at the event held in Abuja.

“What you did during my primary (APC presidential election) is a story for another day. I’ve spent more time, too many times and people might be bored, they might be envious too, they might be jealous. I won a landslide, I thank you.

“Femi, with your determination, and reach, you are a contributor to our democratic growth, thank you. It is about charting a path to success, you’ve done a good job and I say thank you, thank you.”

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