With $1.5T omnibus passed, millions of families still hope for return of monthly child tax credit – National & International News – FRI 11Mar2022

Impoverished parents still hope for return of expanded child tax credit.

 

 

Millions of families hope for return of expanded child tax credit. Former prosecutors: increasing likelihood Trump faces Jan. 6 charges. Putin recruits “foreign volunteers” to fight in Ukraine.

 

 

NATIONAL NEWS

With $1.5T omnibus passed, millions of families hope for return of expanded child tax credit

From July to December of last year, the American Rescue plan increased the child tax credit (CTC) and delivered monthly payments to parents. It also expanded eligibility to families who normally don’t qualify for the CTC because they don’t make enough money. The monthly payments were a godsend for many struggling families. But in January, the month after the payments ended, the families of 3.7 million children who had temporarily lived above the poverty line fell right back into poverty again

The now-defunct Build Back Better bill would have made the increased benefit, broader eligibility and monthly payments permanent. If the increased total yearly benefits of $3600 per child 5 and younger and $3000 per child 6-17 had remained the same, the plan would have cost about $100 billion per year until 2025. But it likely would have also increased productivity since more mothers could have afforded to pay for childcare and enter or re-enter the workforce.

During his State of the Union address, President Biden called on Congress to revive the expanded CTC as a standalone bill. So far, there’s been no serious movement on that.

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Former prosecutors say likelihood of Trump facing criminal charges increasing

Several former federal prosecutors say it is becoming more likely that former President Trump will face criminal charges in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The prosecutors were asked to comment on a recent court filing by the House Jan. 6 committee. In the filing, the committee challenged former Trump lawyer John Eastman’s refusal to turn over documents Eastman says are subject to attorney-client privilege. The committee filed a 61-page dossier detailing a “criminal conspiracy” between Trump and Eastman, which would void the protections of attorney-client privilege. 

After reviewing the dossier, former federal prosecutor Paul Pelletier said the Department of Justice could bring charges based on the evidence. “Given the gravity of the revelations”, Pelletier said, “the [DOJ] should consider a strike force or even a special counsel to coalesce sufficient resources to focus on these criminal attacks that strike at the heart of our democracy”.

The other prosecutors who reviewed the case seem to largely concur with this view. But however strong the evidence, it’s not certain by any means that the DOJ will charge Trump. Even if they did, the likelihood that such a case would be in court before the midterms is low. Bringing criminal charges against Trump would be a chaotic, time-consuming and divisive undertaking.

Trump’s suit against his rape accuser thrown out

In a separate case, Trump has lost his bid to sue a woman who has accused him of rape. Author E. Jean Carroll alleges that Trump raped her in the changing room of a Manhattan department store in the mid-90s. While Trump was still in office, Carroll sued Trump for defamation after he made disparaging comments about her and accused her of lying. Trump then attempted to countersue. But today, the judge in the case ruled that Trump’s countersuit was “in bad faith” and part of a delaying tactic.

In January, Carroll’s attorney said they would be seeking a DNA sample from Trump to test against a stain on a dress resulting from the assault.

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Putin wants to recruit “foreign volunteers” to fight in Ukraine

Today, Vladimir Putin held a televised security council meeting with his defense minister Sergei Shoigu. During this meeting, Shoigu informed Putin that there were 16,000 “Middle Eastern volunteers” who wished to fight with Russian forces in Ukraine. It wasn’t clear where exactly the volunteers would be coming from, but the US has speculated that they could be Syrian. Putin asked Shoigu to make the necessary arrangements to bring them into the fight. Curiously, 16,000 just happens to be the exact number of “foreign legion” fighters Ukrainian President Zelensky claims to have recruited.

Fighting expands to western Ukraine

In a likely effort to head off incoming weapons and other Western aid to Ukraine, Russian forces have expanded their bombing campaign to the west. Previously, this part of Ukraine had been relatively quiet. Today, the cities of Lviv, Lutsk and Ivano-Frankivsk saw heavy shelling. This expansion also brings Russian forces and artillery dangerously close to borders Ukraine shares with Poland, a NATO country.

This is worrisome as there is an increased presence of NATO troops currently at the border. The Poles are also clearly spoiling for a fight, having twice proposed convoluted schemes to pass Soviet jets on to Ukraine. The White House and Pentagon rejected both these plans as “not tenable” since it would essentially mean involving NATO in the conflict and starting World War III.

 

 

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