“The Senate on Tuesday passed the Respect for Marriage Act, which would enshrine marriage equality into federal law, granting protections to same-sex and interracial couples,” the Washington Post reports. “The bill passed in a 61-36 vote. The bill includes a bipartisan amendment that clarifies protections for religious liberties, and will now return to the House for another vote before it can go to President Biden to sign into law.”
“Marjorie Taylor Greene is now the face of the Republican Party and it’s a mistake. There are some people who like what she does and that’s why she does it. But the vast majority of people — and especially people who are temperamentally Republicans but have been pushed away by Trump and others — react negatively to that kind of behavior, understandably. It’s a mistake.”
— Former national security adviser John Bolton, quoted by NBC News.
“Capping the annual growth of discretionary spending at 1 percent for the next 10 years would save more than $1 trillion. We can do this without threatening essential programs such as Medicare and Social Security or cutting defense spending at a time when we are grappling with the largest-scale land war in Europe since World War II and an emboldened China that blatantly violates our airspace and dominates global supply chains.”
— Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Ut), greeting Rep. George Santos (R-NY) before the recent State of the Union address. To clear up any doubts about what he REALLY meant later, Romney added, “He should be sitting in the back row and staying quiet instead of parading in front of the president and people coming into the room.”
“Imagine members strutting around the corridors of Congress in late 2001 with a Boeing 747 lapel pin, or wearing a spiky replica of the coronavirus when New York City’s morgues were overflowing in the spring of 2020. Explain to me how worshiping an AR-15 — when the blood stains are still being scrubbed off a dance studio in Monterey Park, Club Q in Colorado Springs, or a bus in Charlottesville — is any different, really?”
— Will Bunch, commenting on the AR-15 lapel pins being worn by many Republican members of Congress.
The overall U.S. trade deficit rose 12.2 percent last year, nearing $1 trillion as Americans purchased large volumes of foreign machinery, medicines, industrial supplies and car parts, the New York Times reports.
“The employment picture started off 2023 on a stunningly strong note, with nonfarm payrolls posting their strongest gain since July 2022,” CNBC reports. “Nonfarm payrolls increased by 517,000 for January, above the Dow Jones estimate of 187,000. The unemployment rate fell to 3.4% vs. the estimate for 3.6%.”
Just over half of American voters think Ukraine is winning the war against Russia and nearly two-thirds want to keep helping them in their fight, according to a new Fox News survey. Sixty-four percent favor the U.S. continuing to provide weapons to Ukraine and 63% support ongoing financial aid. Those numbers are up a touch compared to six months ago, when approval was 61% for weapons and 59% for money.
“A federal judge sentenced pro-Trump livestreamer Anthime ‘Baked Alaska’ Gionet on Tuesday to 60 days in prison for his actions at the Capitol on Jan. 6, calling his raucous conduct ‘shocking’ amid the chaos of the mob,” Politico reports.
“Donald Trump’s tax returns show he extended sweetheart loans to his three eldest children—Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric—saving them a small fortune while adding to the intrigue surrounding the former president’s tax maneuvers,” Forbes reports. “The younger Trumps owed their father a collective $4.55 million and paid him roughly $50,000 in annual interest from 2015 to 2020… That figure suggests the heirs paid an overall interest rate of about 1.1%.”