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‘Get off our damn asses’: Stimulus debacle exposes broken Washington

‘Get off our damn asses’: Stimulus debacle exposes broken Washington

Congressional leaders are barely talking. Renegade centrists are trying to cut a deal that Republicans don’t like. And the president is predominantly focused on overturning an election that he lost. It’s the latest evidence Washington is broken: at the peak of the worst public health crisis in a century, the White House and Congress are struggling to deliver another round of relief. And time in the lame duck is quickly running out. “Everybody kind of assumes that we’ll get back…

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FTC suffering a cash crunch as it prepares to battle Facebook

FTC suffering a cash crunch as it prepares to battle Facebook

The agency that just launched a landmark antitrust suit to break up Facebook is so strapped for cash that its leaders have discussed shrinking their staff and warned against taking on more cases. In a series of emails to all Federal Trade Commission staff, obtained by POLITICO, Executive Director David Robbins said the agency would face a period of “belt tightening” to cut costs — and that filing fewer cases and trimming litigation expenses must be on the table. “[W]e…

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‘We cannot go home without it’: Negotiators inch toward deal on $1.4 trillion spending measure

‘We cannot go home without it’: Negotiators inch toward deal on $1.4 trillion spending measure

Long-standing issues over funding for the Department of Homeland Security and President Donald Trump’s border wall remain sticking points to finalizing the $1.4 trillion omnibus spending deal. House and Senate appropriators, who remain confident they can avert a government shutdown, have also struggled to compromise on criminal justice and police reform language, amid a broader congressional failure to respond to the summer’s protests over police brutality and systemic racial injustice. The Senate is set to pass the brief stopgap bill…

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Shutdown a possibility as Rand holds up defense bill

Shutdown a possibility as Rand holds up defense bill

Rand Paul is at it again. And his moves could force another brief government shutdown. The Kentucky Republican is objecting to swift passage of the annual defense policy bill, forcing senators to remain in Washington for an extra day as he filibusters the $740 billion legislation. But the government needs to be funded past Friday — and the short one-week spending bill can’t be passed before then without agreement from all 100 senators to vote. The Senate adjourned on Thursday…

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‘Seditious abuse of the judicial process’: States reject Texas effort to overturn Biden’s election

‘Seditious abuse of the judicial process’: States reject Texas effort to overturn Biden’s election

Officials from four presidential swing states forcefully criticized an effort by Texas and President Donald Trump to enlist the Supreme Court to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election, with Pennsylvania calling the last-ditch legal effort “seditious” and built on an “absurd” foundation. “The Court should not abide this seditious abuse of the judicial process, and should send a clear and unmistakable signal that such abuse must never be replicated,” Pennsylvania said in a 43-page brief signed by Attorney…

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Stimulus talks sputter

Stimulus talks sputter

Democratic leaders are rejecting GOP offers on coronavirus relief, pointing to ongoing bipartisan talks as the best way forward. But behind the scenes, the Senate Republican majority is increasingly skeptical of those efforts. After a flurry of momentum over the last week, the stimulus talks are back to where they’ve been for months: nowhere. Congressional leaders have retreated to their corners, blaming each other for inaction as the economy stumbles and the U.S. nears 300,000 dead from the virus. Time…

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States, feds file antitrust suits demanding breakup of Facebook

States, feds file antitrust suits demanding breakup of Facebook

Federal antitrust authorities and dozens of states launched a double-barreled legal assault on Facebook on Wednesday, in lawsuits that seek to break up the Silicon Valley giant and address years of complaints about its worldwide social networking empire. Both suits ask a judge to make Facebook spin off its messaging service WhatsApp and photo-sharing app Instagram — two of the world’s most popular mobile apps, which it acquired in deals that passed muster with federal regulators less than a decade…

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How Facebook grew into trouble

How Facebook grew into trouble

Started in 2004 as a project to connect Harvard students, Facebook now has 2.74 billion active users worldwide and owns three of the 10 most popular mobile apps — Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Messenger. And, state and federal regulators allege, it has grown into a corporate threat that uses its power to scoop up rivals and strangle competition. Here’s how the social network has evolved: Feb. 4, 2004 June 2004 July 29, 2004 October 2005 Sept. 26, 2006 Jan. 10,…

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For Facebook, the breakup threat gets real

For Facebook, the breakup threat gets real

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confided to his employees in a townhall last year that the surging calls to break up the company represented an “existential” threat to the social network. On Wednesday, that hypothetical threat became real when the federal government and more than 40 states sued Facebook for a litany of antitrust complaints — and specifically asked the courts to make it sell off crown jewels Instagram and WhatsApp. Here are four big takeaways from the suits: ‘Break up…

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House passes 1-week stopgap spending bill

House passes 1-week stopgap spending bill

The House passed a one-week stopgap spending bill on Wednesday in a 343-67 vote, shifting the government funding deadline from Friday at midnight to Dec. 18. The bill passed under suspension of the rules, meaning it required two thirds of the lower chamber’s approval. The measure now heads to the Senate, which is expected to take it up on Thursday. How we got here: Lawmakers have funded the government by a continuing resolution since September, with the annual appropriations process…

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