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Republicans will oppose raising the federal debt limit if Democrats pursue their $3.5 trillion, 10-year plan to strengthen social and environment programs, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday.

The Kentucky Republican’s threat was the most explicit he has been about his desire to force Democrats to either take the politically unpopular step of unilaterally renewing the government’s borrowing authority or pare back President Joe Biden’s domestic policy agenda.


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California’s largest wildfire exploded again after burning for nearly three weeks in remote mountains and officials warned Tuesday that hot, dry weather would increase the risk of new fires across much of the state.

Firefighters saved homes Monday in the small northern California community of Greenville near the Plumas National Forest as strong winds stoked the Dixie Fire, which grew to over 395 square miles across Plumas and Butte counties.


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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new eviction moratorium that would last until October 3, as the Biden administration sought to quell intensifying criticism from progressives that it was allowing vulnerable renters to lose their homes during a pandemic.

The ban announced Tuesday could help keep millions in their homes as the coronavirus’ delta variant has spread and states have been slow to release federal rental aid. It would temporarily halt evictions in counties with “substantial and high levels” of virus transmissions and would cover areas where 90% of the U.S. population lives.


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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced mounting pressure Tuesday to resign, including from President Joe Biden and other onetime Democratic allies, after an investigation found he sexually harassed nearly a dozen women and worked to retaliate against one of his accusers.

“I think he should resign,” Biden told reporters Tuesday, echoing the sentiments of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and New York’s U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, all Democrats.


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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday downplayed a spike in COVID-19 cases that’s shattered state hospitalization records and strongly reiterated his vow not to impose a mask mandate or any business restrictions.

With the much more contagious delta variant now spreading exponentially, Florida hit 11,515 hospitalized patients Tuesday, breaking last year’s record for the third straight day and up from just 1,000 in mid-June.


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For President Joe Biden and the senators laboring over a nearly $1 trillion infrastructure package, there’s just one question left: Can enough Republicans get to yes?

Seventeen GOP senators joined all Democrats in voting this week to start the debate, launching what will be a dayslong process to consider the bill. The 67-32 vote was a surprisingly strong bipartisan showing, a rarity these days in the narrowly split Congress.


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Japan expanded a coronavirus state of emergency to four more areas in addition to Tokyo on Friday following record spikes in infections as the capital hosts the Olympics.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared an emergency in Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba, near Tokyo, as well as in the western city of Osaka, effective Monday until Aug. 31. Emergency measures already in place in Tokyo and the southern island of Okinawa will be extended until the end of August, after the Olympics and well into the Paralympics which start Aug. 24.


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Congress has overwhelmingly passed emergency legislation that would bolster security at the Capitol, repay outstanding debts from the violent Jan. 6 insurrection and increase the number of visas for allies who worked alongside Americans in the Afghanistan war.

The $2.1 billion bill now goes to President Joe Biden for his signature. The Senate approved the legislation early Thursday afternoon, 98-0, and the House passed it immediately afterward, 416-11.


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Hospital admissions of coronavirus patients continue to soar in Florida with at least two areas in the state surpassing the previous peaks of last summer’s surge, prompting calls by local officials for the governor to declare an emergency.

A large hospital system in Jacksonville said its hospitals were at maximum capacity, its emergency centers also at a critical point as the state grappled with the new and more infectious delta variant of the COVID-19 virus.


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Conservative lawmakers made a push Thursday to boot Republican Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger out of the House GOP because the two defied party leaders and joined the chamber’s special committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack by supporters of then-President Donald Trump.

The effort by the hard-right House Freedom Caucus faces uncertain prospects. House Republican leaders have exhibited little interest in acting quickly against the two mavericks, which could fuel a fight that would distract from the party’s preferred focus on issues such as inflation, crime and immigration.