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Republicans Put Pressure on Biden To Bring Home Former Marine Imprisoned By Russia



House Republicans are putting stress

House Republicans are putting rising pressure on the Biden administration to have a former Marine rescued. Trevor Reed, the former marine, has spent more than a year in Russian prison following what officials call a “show trial.”

A Resolution Wednesday has been introduced that called for the immediate release if Trevor Reed, a Texas native. Russia has sentenced the former marine 9 years for assault of a police officer in 2019, a crime that Reed and his legal team claim he did not commit. Moscow has destroyed video evidence of the night, according to Reed’s spokesman. The U.S. ambassador’s office depicted Reed’s sentencing as a show trial.

The parents of Reed, told The Washington Free Beacon that Biden Admin needs to take immediate action to bring their son home. The Reeds say Trevor has been poorly treared, and often was forbidden to take calls from his family. It was said Russian authorities did not feed him or offer water for days at a time, and delayed medical exams.

“He’s had some medical issues, the embassy has had to fight to get him any kind of treatment. If you need a Motrin it will take you a week for them to get it,” his father said. “It has been a very difficult year and a half.”

Jonathon Franks, the Reed ffamily’s spokesperson, the support of Reed’s case has come from Pfluger, McCaul, and Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas). Cornyn released a corresponding Senate bill last week pressuring the Biden administration to act. McCaul and Pfluger’s bill received bipartisan support from 25 lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.).

Pfluger has directly challenged Russian president Vladimir Putin to release the former Marine, saying that Reed has been being used as a political pawn.

“Trevor Reed is an Eagle Scout, a Texan, and most importantly a U.S. Marine veteran, who the Russian government is clearly using as a political pawn,” Pfluger said. “The trumped-up charges against him were so ludicrous that laughter even erupted in the courtroom. I will not stand for my constituent being held in a Russian jail for crimes he did not commit. I call on President Putin to release Trevor and reunite him with his family.”

So far, the Biden admin has only made public statements asking for Reed’s release. The administration has prioritized engaging with Russia on extending a nuclear arms agreement

“When you’re dealing with governments, you never are going to know what their priorities or strategies are at the time,” Joey Reed said. “We’d like to see the Russians make a goodwill gesture…. The issue is that there are so many issues between the two countries, you’d think this can be a part of some larger issue.”

McCaul referenced the Reed family’s struggles in his own demands to the Biden administration and Moscow.

“Trevor’s wrongful imprisonment in Russia has gone on far too long. I have met with Trevor’s family and know that he is a great American and former Marine who served his country proudly,” McCaul said. “I strongly urge the Biden administration to use all the tools available to bring Trevor home to his family as soon as possible.”

Other families of detained Americans are asking for more attention from the Biden admin, and the general public.

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Assault on The Second Amendment



Biden stands behind House gun background check bills that would stiffen restrictions

The Biden administration stated Monday that they “look forward” to working with Congress to fortify the federal gun background check system and to implement “commonsense” steps to reduce gun violence, persuading for support of the House to pass two measures that would “close existing loopholes” in the system.

“Gun violence is a public health crisis,” the Office of Management and Budget had stated on Monday.

OMB claims that the federal gun background check system “is a proven tool to reduce gun violence and save lives.”

Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., and 131 joint sponsors this month brought in H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, which would warrant a background check for every firearm sale.

The legislation would use the present-day background check process in the U.S. to “ensure individuals prohibited from gun possession are not able to obtain firearms.”

And Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., and 91 cosponsors brought in the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, which would further fortify background check procedures before a federal firearms licensee may transfer a firearm to a person who is not a licensee.

The White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who last month called gun control a “priority” for the Biden administration.

Psaki claims gun control is “a priority to him on a personal level.”

The National Rifle Association recently pledged to resist any pressure from Biden: “It will be up to these millions of law-abiding gun owners, and millions of NRA members, to make their voices heard in opposition to any infringement upon their constitutional rights.”

Biden said, “Today, I am calling on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.”

“We owe it to all those we’ve lost and to all those left behind to grieve to make a change,” Biden said. “The time to act is now.”

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Manchin promises to block Biden infrastructure bill



Manchin said he won’t pass Biden’s next legislative proposal using reconciliation if Republicans aren’t included

Senator Joe Manchin, a democrat, has pledged to block Biden’s infrastructure bill if it does not gain any support from any Republicans.

In an interview with Axios that aired Sunday, Manchin said he’ll insure GOP lawmakers have more of a voice on Biden’s next package. The previous package they did notwas the nearly $2 trillion coronavirus relief package that Democrats are passing via budget reconciliation, which requires only a simple majority.

“I’m not going to do it through reconciliation,” Manchin, D-W.Va., said. “I am not going to get on a bill that cuts them out completely before we start.”

Manchin, one of the most powerful members of the 50-50 Senate, said he believed that it would be possible to get 10 Republicans to support an infrastructure bill and reach the 60-vote threshold needed to avoid a filibuster: “I sure do.”

President Biden is said to be laying the foundation down for another major economic relief package, with senior Democratic officials proposing as much as $3 trillion in new spending on a jobs and infrastructure bill that would become the foundation of Biden’s “Build Back Better” program, according to The Washington Post, citing three people familiar with the matter.

It’s uncertain what the measure would entail, but on the campaign trail, Biden emphasized the need for new infrastructure investments and measures to combat climate change, as well as ways to restore the manufacturing industry and revamp housing, education and health care.

The White House has refused to comment on what the next big legislative priority is.

The infrastructure proposal is sure to get a lot of criticism from Republicans, and possibly some moderate Democrats, who are worried about the excessive level of government spending.

The legislation would be in addition to the $1.9 trillion relief plan that congressional Democrats are set to pass by mid-March, as well as the nearly $4 trillion in stimulus measures under former President Donald Trump.

The nation’s deficit totaled a record $3.1 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year, and the national debt is on course to hit $28 trillion.

Manchin said the infrastructure bill can be big, as long as it’s paid for with tax increases, including raising the corporate tax rate to 25% from 21% “at least” and repealing portions of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that disproportionately benefit wealthy Americans.

He said he would start by demanding that the package be 100% paid for. Otherwise, he said, the nation’s soaring debt could trigger “a tremendous deep recession that could lead into a depression if we’re not careful.”

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YouTube to possibly reinstate Trump



once ‘risk of violence has decreased’

On Thursday, Youtube’s chief executive officer announced that the company plans to reinstate former President Donald Trump’s channel once an “elevated risk of violence” associated with him has ended.

The video-sharing platform, which is owned by Google, first issued a temporary suspension of the then-president’s account on Jan. 12, following the riot at the U.S. Capitol. Since then, his suspension has become permanent.

Now the YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki is suggesting that Trump will be permitted to return to the platform once she and other company leaders asses that the risk level has decreased.

“We will lift the suspension of the Donald Trump channel when we determine the risk of violence has decreased,” she stated at an event that was hosted by the Atlantic Council, according to Politico.

YouTube will reportedly rely on a mix of indicators to determine the level of violence, including statements by government officials, law enforcement preparedness, and the presence of violent rhetoric on its own platform.

Wojcicki claims the recent warning from Capitol Police about a potential militia attack on the Capitol on March 4th, which caused the House to adjourn Wednesday, constituted what she called an “elevated risk of violence.”

“We will turn the account back on, but when we see reduced law enforcement in capitals in the U.S. and fewer [threat] warnings,” she said. “Those would be signals to us [that it is] safe to turn the channel back on.”

The statement from YouTube may appear to indicate the company is going to end its censorship of Trump, supporters shouldn’t get their hopes up just yet.

On Thursday, the day Wojcicki made the statement, YouTube deleted videos of Trump’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference from its platform and even suspended one popular channel, Right Side Broadcasting Network, that chose to post it.

These actions don’t exactly indicate that YouTube will be allowing Trump back on the platform. It could also mean they are planning to string the suspension along, and they have set up framework to do so.

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