A busy passenger train carrying 490 people has derailed in a tunnel in eastern Taiwan, killing at least 50 and injuring dozens more, authorities said.
California politicians are at it again, convinced that their agendas should override the Constitutional rights of the people," said Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican, in a statement, announcing the filing of an amicus brief. "Attempts to undermine the Second Amendment or any of our civil rights and liberties should be met with deep skepticism and vigorous opposition."
CALIFORNIA'S LIBERAL NINTH CIRCUIT TO TACKLE GUN RIGHTS, MULL REINSTATING HIGH-CAPACITY MAGAZINE BAN
California passed a ban on magazines of 10 bullets or more in 2016. A ruling by a federal judge that it was unconstitutional was upheld by a three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit last year. In February, the court agreed to have an 11-judge panel rehear the case.
"Large-capacity magazines have been used in many horrific mass shootings around the country, including right here in California," said then-California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a Democrat, in February. "That’s why today’s decision by the Ninth Circuit to rehear this case is critical; it is the next step in the defense of our state’s commonsense gun laws."
The 22 states have filed an amicus brief in support of the pro-gun rights side, arguing that it violates Americans’ Second Amendment right to bear arms. They say it bans the possession of arms even for self-defense, since the magazines that are banned are integral to some of the most popular firearms.
BIDEN CALLS ON SENATE TO PASS GUN CONTROL MEASURES 'IMMEDIATELY' AFTER BOULDER SHOOTING
"California is trying to turn otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals simply for owning the magazines that come standard to many of the most popular firearms in our country," Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a statement. "As radical leftist lawmakers in California and beyond persist in their attempts to legislatively overrule our constitutional rights, I will continue to stand strong in defense of our right to keep and bear arms."
The 22 states with Republican state attorney generals signed onto the amicus brief include Alaska, Georgia, Indiana, Montana, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas and West Virginia. Oral arguments are scheduled to begin on the case in June.
The analysis, based on the 25-page summary of the president's proposal for the "American Jobs Plan," indicates less than $750 billion of the spending fits even a broad definition of infrastructure.
The White House is casting a very wide net about what constitutes infrastructure — for example, the American Jobs Plan references "care infrastructure" when talking about $25 billion to upgrade child care facilities and a $400 billion expenditure on care for the elderly and disabled. That's quite different from repairing potholes and rebuilding bridges.
Senate Republicans, meanwhile, in emphasizing that Biden's plan largely does not address infrastructure, are often using a very restrictive definition of the word.
President Joe Biden speaks about the economy in the State Dinning Room of the White House, Feb. 5, 2021, in Washington.
President Joe Biden speaks about the economy in the State Dinning Room of the White House, Feb. 5, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
REPUBLICAN SENATORS LINE UP AGAINST BIDEN'S MASSIVE $2T SPENDING BILL: 'FAR CRY' FROM INFRASTRUCTURE
"This plan is not about rebuilding America’s backbone. Less than 6% of this massive proposal goes to roads and bridges," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said. "It would spend more money just on electric cars than on America’s roads, bridges, ports, airports, and waterways combined."
Indeed, the White House summary of the American Jobs Plan says it will spend "$115 billion to modernize the bridges, highways, roads, and main streets that are in most critical need of repair" out of more than $2 trillion in the plan. That is slightly under 6%.
But what counts and does not count as infrastructure can be tricky to define, according to Cato Institute Director of Tax Policy Studies Chris Edwards.
Fast Facts: Biden $2T spending plan
$400 billion for home-based care for elderly and disabled
$35 billion for climate change-related R&D
$50 billion for "research infrastructure" at the National Science Foundation
$50 billion for new Commerce Department office "dedicated to monitoring domestic industrial capacity"
$213 billion for home sustainability and public housing
"The first thing to know is there is no hard definition of infrastructure. Economists have no hard definition of infrastructure," Edwards said in an interview with Fox News.
Fox News' analysis of the Biden plan, as outlined in its 25-page fact sheet, broadly counted investments going toward physical repair or building of facilities and systems used by the general public that help the economy. This includes, for example, replacing lead pipes, expanding broadband access and modernizing public schools, in addition to money going to things traditionally associated with the word infrastructure like roads, bridges and ports.
Other items that counted to reach a total of just under $750 billion included $50 billion to preserve infrastructure resilience, $80 billion for Amtrak and $20 billion for road safety.
Elements of the Biden plan Fox News excluded from this analysis included $174 billion being spent on electric vehicles; $400 billion on home-based care for the elderly and disabled; $25 billion on child care facilities; and $50 billion on "research infrastructure" at the National Science Foundation.
Fox News also excluded $213 billion in Biden's plan that's directed at home sustainability and public housing; at least $35 billion aimed at R&D related to climate change; $50 billion to create a new office at the Department of Commerce to "dedicated to monitoring domestic industrial capacity and funding investments to support production of critical goods;" $30 billion to prepare for future pandemics; $45 billion for the federal government to buy clean energy goods; $14 billion "to bring together industry, academia, and government to advance technologies and capabilities critical to future competitiveness;" and several other provisions.
PSAKI SAYS WHITE HOUSE WILL WORK WITH GOP ON INFRASTRUCTURE BILL AS DEMS PREP TO JAM THROUGH ON PARTISAN VOTE
President Biden speaks about his $2 trillion infrastructure plan during an event to tout the plan at Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, March 31, 2021.
President Biden speaks about his $2 trillion infrastructure plan during an event to tout the plan at Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, March 31, 2021. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)
One part of Biden's plan that does not cost any money is the PRO Act, which would essentially override right-to-work laws in states across the country, allowing unions to extract dues from workers who do not want to be members.
Biden's American Jobs Plan, at this point, is simply a 25-page document of suggestions. Legislators have not even begun drafting it. That means dollar totals and specific allocations could change.
But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in a comment Wednesday himself noted that the Biden plan includes much more than infrastructure.
MCCONNELL SLAMS BIDEN'S 'TROJAN HORSE' INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN, SAYS IT'S 'MORE BORROWED MONEY'
"Addressing infrastructure, climate and environmental justice together, and creating millions of good paying jobs, is just the right combination to meet head on the challenges that America now faces," Schumer said. "This will not only make clean energy and clean transportation affordable, it will create millions of new jobs with good wages, which always occurs when we invest in infrastructure and manufacturing as we will be doing here."
Cato's Edwards, meanwhile, says his biggest gripe with the Biden plan is that the money being spent, no matter how it is defined, is largely going into the pockets of big corporations.
"It's hugely ironic because the leading Democrats have bashed corporate welfare and corporate subsidies for years, and they always claim that Republicans do corporate subsidies," Edwards told Fox News. "But in fact, Biden would subsidize corporations hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars with this plan."
"Manufacturing, $300 billion. Electric vehicles, $170 billion. Broadband, $100 billion. Electric power grid, $100 billion. This is completely unneeded and it's also very dangerous because we don't want the federal government manipulating what broadband companies do, what electric power companies do," Edwards said.
He added: "One of the interesting political things in coming weeks and months will be will the Democrat left, like Sanders and Warren, kind of come to the realization that, 'Hey, this is massive corporate subsidies here, which we're supposed to be against.'"
BIDEN'S $2.25T SPENDING PLAN SPARKS CRITICISM FROM PROGRESSIVES AND GOP LAWMAKERS
Edwards also said that the corporate tax hikes used to fuel the $2 trillion-plus spending plan would be counterproductive to its goals, hurting the massive private companies like "AT&T and Verizon and other companies that do broadband and invest-- you know infrastructure investment."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell walks to speak on the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Jan. 25, 2021.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell walks to speak on the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
"Biden would be taking with one hand in taxes what he's giving on the other end, subsidies, which makes no sense," Edwards said.
Biden and the White House, of course, would dispute Edwards' points.
"It's time to build our economy from the bottom-up and the middle-out, not the top-down," Biden said in remarks unveiling the plan in Pittsburgh Wednesday. "And this time when we rebuild the middle class, we're going to bring everybody along regardless of your
Fox News also excluded $213 billion in Biden's plan that's directed at home sustainability and public housing; at least $35 billion aimed at R&D related to climate change; $50 billion to create a new office a
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