Reports: Biden’s legislation is on the brink of House vote
The House plans to vote on President Joe Biden’s now-$1.85 trillion bill of social services and climate change programs, called the “Build Back Better Act,” as well as the slimmer $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package Friday according to multiple reports. The move comes after the House scrapped votes late Thursday as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi worked furiously into the night at the Capitol to shore up votes. Her strategy now seems focused on passing the most robust bill possible in her chamber and then leaving the Senate to adjust or strip out the portions its members won’t agree to. Half the size of Biden’s initial $3.5 trillion package, the now sprawling 2,135-page bill has won over most of the progressive Democratic lawmakers, even though it is smaller than they wanted. But the chamber’s more centrist and fiscally conservative Democrats continued to mount objections. Still, despite the differences, the Democrats in the House are anxious to finish up this week, eager to deliver on the president’s agenda.
Prefer to listen? Check out the 5 Things podcast:
Military, political leaders to remember Colin Powell at funeral
The funeral for former Secretary of State Colin Powell will be held at noon ET Friday at Washington National Cathedral. Powell died Oct. 18 of complications from COVID-19. Born in New York City to Jamaican immigrants, he served four U.S. presidents and rose to become the first African American and the youngest chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s highest-ranking military officer. He became the first Black secretary of state in 2001 when he joined the administration of President George W. Bush. “Numerous military and Congressional leaders are expected to be in attendance” at the funeral, which is not open to the public, according to a news release from the cathedral.
Jurors to be sworn in for Ahmaud Arbery murder trial
After a two-week selection process, jurors in the murder trial of the three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia will be sworn in on Friday. The final panel of 12 jurors and four alternates includes just one person of color, a Black man. Prosecutors had asked Judge Timothy Walmsley to reinstate eight Black potential jurors, arguing that defense lawyers struck them from the final jury because of their race. While Walmsley agreed that there “appears to be intentional discrimination,” he declined to make changes, saying he was limited in his ability to take action because defense attorneys were able to give nonracial reasons for their decisions to exclude the potential Black jurors.
October jobs report likely to show a pickup in hiring
After two disappointing months of hiring, a key question hanging over U.S. jobs report for October being released Friday will be whether companies found more success this time in filling millions of open positions. Economists have forecast that employers added 400,000 jobs last month, according to data provider FactSet via The Associated Press. That would be a stronger showing than the September report which saw the economy add 194,000 jobs. However, it would be below the vigorous increases of about 1 million jobs each in June and July. The unemployment rate is expected to fall from 4.8% to 4.7%. Some companies say they still can’t find enough workers to fill jobs. But most economists say they’re hopeful that with COVID-19 vaccinations helping to suppress the wave of the delta variant, more people will seek and find jobs because they’re no longer sick or caring for someone who is or because they no longer fear becoming infected.
Atlanta celebrates World Series win with parade
The Atlanta Braves will give a nod to past and present with a two-part parade Friday celebrating their first World Series title in 26 years. The Braves beat the Houston Astros 7-0 in Game 6 Tuesday night to wrap up the championship. The procession will start in the heart of downtown Atlanta, not far from their former homes at Turner Field and the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. The team will be feted for about 2 miles along the city’s most famous thoroughfare, Peachtree Street, before being escorted to its current home in suburban Cobb County to resume the parade for another mile. The celebration will conclude with a free concert featuring Atlanta rappers Ludacris and Big Boi at Truist Park.
Contributing: The Associated Press