10 Things in Politics: Bernieworld plots its political future

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10 THINGS IN POLITICS YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

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Here's what we're talking about:

With Phil Rosen.


Sen. Bernie Sanders with his presidential campaign staff.

1. BERNIE'S LASTING INFLUENCE: Sen. Bernie Sanders' former campaign aides don't expect another presidential run. But they do expect the movement they helped create to remain a major force in American politics. Insider checked in on what some former top staffers are up to now. They have spread out across the US to back insurgent progressive candidates, organize behind social causes, and even run for office themselves.

Here's a look at the list of people we're tracking:

  • Faiz Shakir, campaign manager: Sanders' top aide on the 2020 presidential campaign remains the senator's chief political advisor. Shakir also works for Sanders through the senator's political committee, Friends of Bernie Sanders, and he's the founder and editor of the left-leaning media outlet More Perfect Union.
  • Analilia Mejia, political director: She's serving in the Biden administration's Labor Department as a deputy director of the Women's Bureau, which promotes the welfare of wage-earning women.
  • Chuck Rocha, senior advisor to the campaign: Rocha launched the pro-Biden Latino super PAC Nuestro PAC after Sanders dropped out of the race. Now he's using it to focus on turning out Latinos in congressional and Senate elections to address what he called "a real effing problem with the Latino vote down-ballot."
  • Nikki Dones,​​ Jane Sanders' chief of staff: Dones went on to cofound Frontline Catalysts, a nonprofit in Oakland, California, that seeks to empower young people to organize for climate justice.

Check out our entire list of 44 staffers who worked on Sanders' 2020 campaign.


2. Democrats appear ready to punt on the debt ceiling: Senate Democrats are planning to accept an offer from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to temporarily raise the debt ceiling, delaying the threat of a catastrophic default until December, Politico reports. McConnell's offer is based on his continued belief that Democrats will ultimately have to address the debt ceiling on their own. He's just allowing them more time to move through such legislation. Democrats continue to reject that suggestion. The underlining debate doesn't appear to have changed, so it remains to be seen whether the delay will lead to a breakthrough.


3. Federal judge temporarily blocks Texas' abortion law: US District Judge Robert Pitman wrote in his 113-page opinion that "this Court will not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right." Texas has already appealed his decision. More on the ruling.


4. Sanders unleashes on Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema: The Vermont independent is ready to fight for the $3.5 trillion infrastructure package — and, in a fiery 15-minute press conference, he lashed out at the moderates holding back the spending plan. Sanders directed most of his ire toward Manchin, who he said was doing something "inexcusable" by being vague about the climate policies he supported. More on how Democrats are continuing to squabble over the signature piece of Biden's economic plan.

  • Key quote: "Two people do not have the right to sabotage what 48 want, what the president of the United States wants. That, to me, is wrong," Sanders told reporters.
  • Manchin responded later: He said Sanders wanted an "entitlement society."

Trump

5. Senators found new details about how much Trump pushed the big lie: Donald Trump faced an internal revolt during the final days of his presidency, culminating in the White House counsel Pat Cipollone and top leaders at the Justice Department all threatening to resign if the president installed a loyalist as attorney general who would then push more investigations into unfounded allegations of voter fraud, The New York Times reports. Trump relented after a three-hour meeting, but the episode is just one of numerous incidents senators detailed in an interim report on how Trump tried to pressure the Justice Department after the election. More on what senators uncovered about Trump's efforts to cling onto the White House.


6. Los Angeles advances strictest vaccine requirements in the US: The city council moved forward with a vaccine requirement at gyms, cafés, movie theaters, nail and hair salons, and other businesses. Mayor Eric Garcetti is expected to sign the requirements into law, and they would then take effect November 4. Here's how Los Angeles' vaccine mandate is even stricter than New York's.


7. Rep. Adam Schiff said Robert Mueller's state before Congress was "heartbreaking": Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, sent Mueller a personal note urging the special counsel to testify before lawmakers about his Russia investigation, CNN reports. Mueller's hearing was expected to be a historic day. "Had I known how much he had changed, I would not have pursued his testimony with such vigor," Schiff wrote in a forthcoming book of Mueller's testimony, in which the former FBI director appeared confused at times. More from Schiff's book, including the time Trump told Schiff he "does a good job" on TV.


malaria vaccine ghana

8. WHO approves first malaria vaccine: This "changes the course of public-health history," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters of the announcement. The drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline has worked on the shot for more than 30 years. According to clinical data, per The Times, the vaccine was effective against severe malaria, though its efficacy dropped considerably after four years. More the history behind the shot, which also is the first vaccine that targets parasites in humans.


9. Biden's Education Department just wiped out $1.74 billion of student debt: The Education Department announced major changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to bring thousands of borrowers closer to debt relief. The department said this waiver alone would bring 550,000 borrowers closer to student-debt relief automatically, including 22,000 borrowers who will be immediately eligible for relief without any action on their part. More on the changes.


10. Cotton prices are surging. That means your clothes may get more expensive: The commodity that contributes to 75% of the world's clothing has hit its highest price since 2011. This is a bad sign for shoppers, retailers, and those up and down the supply chain. Unfortunately, the spiking price of cotton comes just in time for the holiday season.


Today's trivia question: This month marks the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. Before Walt Disney settled on Florida, which Midwestern city did he consider for the location of his second American theme park? Email your answer and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.

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