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Senate Democrats reach agreement on jobless benefits, and a relief bill is on the way.



Senate Democrats reach agreement on jobless benefits, and a relief bill is on the way.


Senate leaders and moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin reached an agreement on emergency unemployment insurance, breaking a deadlock that had stymied the party’s flagship $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill.

Late Friday, the West Virginia senator and a Democratic aide announced an agreement that appeared to pave the way for the Senate to begin a tense, marathon series of votes and, finally, approval of the sweeping legislation.

The overall bill, which is President Joe Biden’s top legislative goal, aims to combat the deadly pandemic while also reviving the country’s ailing economy. Many Americans will receive direct grants of up to $1,400, as well as funds for COVID-19 vaccination and research, state and local government assistance, school and airline industry assistance, and health insurance subsidies.

The Senate then had to vote on a slew of amendments that would possibly last all night, most of which were Republican bills that were almost guaranteed to fail but were intended to compel Democrats to cast politically uncomfortable votes.

More importantly, the jobless compensation deal indicated that passage of the bill in the Senate was only a matter of time. That would return it to the House, where it was supposed to receive final congressional approval and be whisked off to Biden for signature.

Biden supports the agreement on unemployment benefits, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

The day’s long filibuster highlighted the difficulties that party leaders will face over the next two years — as well as conflicts between progressives and centrists — as they continue to push their agenda through Congress with their slender majorities.

Manchin is the most democratic Democrat in the Senate and a kingmaker in the 50-50 Senate. However, if the party wants to win Manchin’s vote, it can’t go too far to the middle without jeopardizing progressive support in the House, where they only have a 10-vote advantage.

A top Democratic priority is to assist unemployed Americans. But it’s also a point of contention between progressives who want to help jobless voters cope with the downturn and Manchin and other moderates who want to cut some of the bill’s costs.

Biden cited Friday’s employment study, which showed that employers hired 379,000 people, an unusually high number. That’s only a drop in the bucket compared to the 10 million jobs lost since the pandemic began a year ago.

“These gains would slow if there isn’t a rescue plan,” Biden said. “We can’t afford to take two steps forward and one step back. We must defeat the virus, provide critical relief, and foster a broad-based recovery.”

Republicans have used the unemployment impasse to accuse Biden of refusing to work with them to find a solution.

Senator Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said of Biden, “You should pick up the phone and stop this right now.”

However, a survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed that 70% of Americans, including a significant 44 percent of Republicans, favor Biden’s handling of the pandemic.

Last weekend, the House passed a relief bill that provided $400 weekly jobless compensation, in addition to daily state payments, until August. Manchin hoped to cut expenses by claiming that the current level of pay would deter workers from going to work, a claim that most Democrats and many economists disagree with.

As the day began, Democrats said that they had reached an agreement between party conservatives and progressives to extend emergency jobless benefits worth $300 a week until early October.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., introduced the bill, which contained tax cuts for certain unemployment benefits. Without it, many Americans who have been laid off will face unpredictable tax bills.

However, by midday, lawmakers said Manchin was willing to support a more conservative Republican version. Hours of talks ensued between White House aides, top Senate Democrats, and Manchin as the party attempted to rescue its unemployment assistance package.

The agreement revealed Friday night would include $300 a week, with the final check due on Sept. 6, which would provide the bonus tax break.

Senators voted 58-42 to eliminate a top progressive priority, a gradual rise in the existing $7.25 hourly minimum wage to $15 over five years, before the unemployment insurance drama began.

Eight Democrats voted against it, implying that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and other progressives vowing to press on in the coming months would face a tough fight.

As Senate work came to a halt amid the unemployment compensation talks, the vote began shortly after 11 a.m. EST and was not officially givenled to a close until nearly 12 hours later.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, chastised Democrats, calling their daylong attempt to reach an agreement on the unemployment amendment a “spectacle.”

“What this demonstrates is that there are advantages of bipartisanship when dealing with a major issue,” McConnell said.

Republicans slammed the overall relief package as a liberal spending binge that ignores the fact that rising vaccination rates and signs of a resurgent economy indicate the twin crises are easing.

McConnell said, “Democrats inherited a tide that was already turning.”

Democrats disagree, citing employment losses and the fact that many people are now unable to afford food and pay their rent.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said, “If you just look at a big number, you think, ‘Oh, everything’s getting a little better.” “It isn’t for the majority of Americans. It isn’t.”

The gridlock over unemployment compensation on Friday wasn’t the first time the relief program had been delayed. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., required clerks to read aloud the entire 628-page relief bill on Thursday, an exhaustive process that took aides 10 hours and 44 minutes and finished shortly after 2 a.m. EST.

Democrats made a slew of other late amendments to the bill in an attempt to shore up support. They ranged from additional funding for food services and federal health-care subsidies for employees who lose their jobs to grants for rural health care and language ensuring minimum funding for smaller states.

In yet another late-night deal that appeased progressives, Biden and Senate Democrats decided on Wednesday to exclude certain higher-income earners from the direct payments to individuals.

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CU Buffs women fall in overtime at Oregon State



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CORVALLIS, Ore. — One team made timely shots and one team didn’t.

That was the difference Monday, as the Colorado women’s basketball team fell at Oregon State, 69-66 in overtime at Gill Coliseum.

“That’s probably a super accurate statement because the boards were pretty even and we did some really good things defensively and such but yeah, they made shots when they needed to and we did not,” CU head coach JR Payne said after a disappointing defeat in the first Pac-12 road game of the season.

The 22nd-ranked Buffaloes (13-2, 2-2 Pac-12) lost their second in a row after a 13-0 start to the season, despite 18 points from Quay Miller and a double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds) from Mya Hollingshed.

Oregon State (8-4, 1-1) got a 3-pointer from Talia von Oelhoffen with 18 seconds to play in overtime to snap the 66-66 tie. CU had no timeouts remaining and raced down the court to try to tie the game, but Jaylyn Sherrod’s 3-point attempt was off the mark.

The Buffs, who led 61-56 with less than three minutes left in regulation, went 1 for 13 from the floor in the final eight minutes, including 0 for 7 in overtime.

“It was real disappointing,” said Frida Formann, who had 13 points for the Buffs. “We definitely felt like we shouldn’t be in an overtime situation and a last shot situation. We just need to be tougher and more composed and have better IQ in those moments, but we’re going to learn from it.”

CU out-rebounded Oregon State, the Pac-12’s No. 1 rebounding team, 38-36, but OSU snagged the final three boards. One of those came with about 20 seconds to play in overtime. After von Oelhoffen missed a jumper, Jelena Mitrovic got the rebound and kicked it out to Ellie Mack, who quickly flipped the ball to von Oelhoffen, who then drained the game-winning 3.

“If you force Talia to miss a shot and then you give up an O-board and give her another chance, she’s not gonna miss twice,” Payne said. “We actually did a pretty good job on the defensive glass against them because they’re very good on the glass, but those last one or two were crucial.”

CU was looking to rebound from a 60-52 loss to No. 2 Stanford on Friday and jumped to a 12-7 lead early. OSU led after each of the first three quarters, however.

Although neither team ever led by more than five, CU had to battle all afternoon to keep pace.

Formann had nine of her 13 points in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer that sparked a 7-0 run to give the Buffs a 61-56 lead.

OSU responded with back-to-back 3-pointers, however. Formann hit a layup and then drained 1 of 2 free throws with 12.4 seconds to go in regulation to give the Buffs a 64-62 lead, but Mack sent the game to overtime by hitting a jumper with 7.7 seconds to go.

After the game, the Buffs headed to Boulder after the short trip, but look to regroup before heading out to Arizona State on Friday.

“It’s the next-game mindset,” Payne said. “Just be the ultimate learning group and be able to take the good and the bad from every single game and be able to take what happened and didn’t happen and you just use it to get better moving forward.”


CU remained at No. 22 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll released on Monday. This is the first time since December of 2016 that CU has been ranked in consecutive weeks. … Tayanna Jones had one of her best games in her two seasons at CU, scoring 10 points, pulling down six rebounds and recording three steals. … Oregon State blocked 12 CU shots. It’s the second time in the past four games CU has had 12 shots blocked. Prior to that, it had not happened in nearly six years.

Fast break

What went right: The Buffs out-rebounded the Pac-12’s top rebounding team, 38-36, and played solid defense much of the day.

What went wrong: The offense struggled when the Buffs needed it most. The Buffs made 44% of their shots in the first 37 minutes, but went 1-for-13 (7.7%) in the last eight minutes.

Star of the game: Tayanna Jones. She didn’t lead the Buffs in scoring or rebounding, but was exceptional off the bench with 10 points, six rebounds and three steals. She also had the Buffs’ only blocked shot.

What’s next: The Buffs visit Arizona State on Friday at 5 p.m. MT.

Oregon State 69, No. 22 Colorado 66 (OT)

COLORADO (13-2, 2-2 Pac-12)

Sherrod 2-9 0-0 4, Formann 5-14 1-2 13, Finau 0-4 0-0 0, Hollingshed 5-14 2-2 13, Tuitele 1-2 2-2 5, Jones 5-7 0-0 10, Sadler 0-1 1-2 1, Miller 6-13 5-6 18, Wetta 0-1 2-2 2. Totals 24-65 13-16 66.

OREGON STATE (8-4, 1-1 Pac-12)

Corosdale 3-8 2-2 9, Kampschroeder 1-2 0-0 3, von Oelhoffen 6-13 1-1 17, Adams 2-6 1-3 5, Brown 1-2 4-4 6, Mannen 0-0 0-0 0, Marotte 3-7 0-0 6, Mitrovic 2-4 0-2 5, Mack 6-6 0-0 16, Codding 1-7 0-0 2. Totals 25-55 8-12 69.

Colorado                     13        12        19        20        2          –           66

Oregon State               14        13        20        17        5          –           69

3-point goals – Colorado 5-18 (Formann 2-7, Miller 1-5, Hollingshed 1-3, Tuitele 1-1, Sherrod 0-2), OSU 11-27 (von Oelhoffen 4-8, Mack 4-4, Corosdale 1-4, Kampschroeder 1-2, Mitrovic 1-2, Codding 0-4, Marotte 0-2, Brown 0-1). Rebounds – Colorado 38 (Hollingshed 11), OSU 36 (Mack 7). Assists – Colorado 8 (Wetta 4), OSU 16 (Adams 6). Steals – Colorado 11 (Jones, Miller 3), OSU 10 (Corosdale 3). Turnovers – Colorado 11, OSU 18. Total fouls – Colorado 14, OSU 15. Fouled out – None. A – 3,854.

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Last dance for Evan Battey in CU Buffs-USC hoops rivalry at hand



Last dance for Evan Battey in CU Buffs-USC hoops rivalry at hand

It was four years ago last week when the rivalry changed for good.

The night of Jan. 10, 2018, was a memorable one, if not a victorious one, for the Colorado men’s basketball team in Los Angeles. Coming off wins at home against ranked teams from Arizona State and Arizona, the bolstered confidence of a young Buffaloes team was derailed by a 70-58 loss at USC.

Four days previous, CU head coach Tad Boyle offered his “hell yes!” exclamation following the win against Arizona when asked if there was extra satisfaction in defeating one of the teams embroiled in the then-new FBI recruiting corruption probe.

USC, of course, was one of those teams, too. And with the Trojans holding that 12-point lead, head coach Andy Enfield took a timeout in the waning seconds to lead a courtside celebration with his team. The Trojans then tried to run a set play on their final possession.

USC completed a regular season sweep of the Buffs that year, but CU has enjoyed payback ever since. Fifth-year senior and Los Angeles native Evan Battey was redshirting as a true freshman that season, and was just weeks removed from the stroke that threatened to end his basketball career. As an active player, he has never lost to the Trojans in three seasons covering seven games. That run will be put to the test when the Buffs open a homestand ripe with opportunity against the Trojans on Thursday (5:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks).

“Any time you go and play against a hometown team like USC, right down the street from me, it’s a great opportunity to just compete,” Battey said. “I’m definitely going to miss playing them. I’m sorry I didn’t get to play them at the Galen Center this year. It’s coming to an end…all the rivalries I had coming in to my college career are coming to an end.”

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Rep. Stauber launches reelection campaign



Rep. Stauber launches reelection campaign

U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Minn, launched his reelection campaign Monday.

In a video posted to YouTube titled “Enough is Enough,” the congressman from Hermantown attacked Democrats for a litany of issues, including their response to the pandemic, border security and economic policies. He vowed to maintain gun rights and oppose abortion rights, among other issues.

“Together, let’s return our country to what made her great. Together, let’s rise up and stand strong,” Stauber said. “Our country depends on it, our future depends on it and our children depend on it.”

The former Duluth police officer and St. Louis County commissioner was first elected to represent the 8th Congressional District in 2018, flipping it from Democratic to Republican control. He was reelected in 2020 by a 19-point margin.

Stauber filed his statement of candidacy for 2022 in July. He has raised $1 million for the 2022 campaign with almost $740,000 cash on hand, the Federal Election Commission reported in the most recent figures available.

So far, only one challenger has entered the race against Stauber.

In November, Theresa Lastovich, of Chisholm, filed her statement of candidacy. She officially kicked off her campaign earlier this month.

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