Vanderbilt University's Dr. William Schaffner discusses the recent rise in Covid-19 cases across the country, and Cook Political Report's Jessica Taylor discusses the primary season so far and Senate races to watch in Campaign 2022.
Members from President Biden's Infrastructure Implementation Task Force held a briefing at the White House marking six months since the signing of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill into law. Taking part: Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu, OMB Director Shalanda Young, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, EPA Administrator Michael Regan, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
During the first congressional hearing on UFO sightings in more than 50 years, Pentagon officials told lawmakers extraterrestrial life is not the cause of what the government calls "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP)." During the hearing three unclassified videos of UAPs were shown to members of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence. Scott Bray, deputy director of naval intelligence, told lawmakers after a UFO sighting is reported, an investigation usually results in one of the following categorizations: airborne clutter, natural atmospheric phenomena, U.S. government or U.S. industry developmental programs, foreign adversary systems or unexplained sightings that merit further investigation. Pentagon officials said they conduct lengthy investigations on any report due to possible national security implications.
Government Accountability Strategic Division Director James McTigue said a recent GAO report found that while audit rates for taxpayers claiming over $200 thousand has declined, "the audit rate for taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit is three times the average rate for all taxpayers." Mr. Mctigue's comments were made as he testified on tax fairness before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight. Also testifying during the hearing was IRS Chief Taxpayer Experience Officer Ken Corbin, who focused much of his testimony on customer service. Several topics were discussed including declining audit rates, IRS staffing needs, tax return processing backlogs, and IRS modernization and customer service improvements.
Pete Flores, executive assistant commissioner for the U.S. Customs & Border Protection's Office of Field Operations, said most illicit drugs enter through points of entry along the Southwest border. Mr. Flores's statement came as he testified on efforts to combat the fentanyl and opioid epidemic alongside other DHS officials before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border Security. Several topics were discussed including staffing needs, drug detection technology, and ways in which illicit drugs flow into the United States.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson fielded questions from members of the House of Commons. It was the first Prime Minister Questions of the new legislative session. Several topics were addressed including taxes and the economy, inflation and the cost of living, education concerns, crime prevention, and immigration.
Dr. Anthony Fauci and other directors at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) testified on President Biden's 2023 budget request for their respective agencies. Questions about COVID-19 dominated the hearing, including questions on research for additional vaccines, as well as lessons learned about lockdowns and travel and immigration policies amid the pandemic. Senators also inquired about research related to the opioid epidemic, Alzheimer's disease, and mental health. The witnesses testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies.
Nat'l Federation of Independent Business' Kevin Kuhlman discusses the impact inflation and labor shortages are having on small businesses and First Street Foundation's Matthew Eby discusses the increase in climate change-related wildfire risks.