President Joe Biden is advocating for a three-month halt on collecting the 18-cents-a-gallon federal gas tax, lending his support to a plan that U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and others first proposed in February. “By suspending the 18-cent federal gas tax for the next 90 days, we can bring down the price of gas and give families just a little bit of relief,” the president said. Any suspension of the gas tax, which also adds 24 cents per gallon to diesel prices, must be approved by Congress. While Republicans have criticized Biden for not doing more to respond to record-high fuel prices, it is unclear whether there are enough votes in either chamber to support a gas tax holiday. In addition to cutting the gas tax temporarily, Biden is also encouraging states and local governments to suspend their gas taxes, oil companies to maximize output at refineries, and fuel providers to adjust prices at the pump as the cost of oil comes down. Georgia stopped collecting its state gas tax in March, saving motorists roughly 29 cents per gallon at the pump.
Gov. Brian Kemp announced earlier this month that the tax holiday will remain in place until at least mid-July. Democrat Stacey Abrams has pushed him to extend the holiday through the end of the year.
President Joe Biden signed the most sweeping gun violence bill in decades, a bipartisan compromise that seemed unimaginable until a recent series of mass shootings, including the massacre of 19 students and two teachers at a Texas elementary school. “Time is of the essence. Lives will be saved,” he said in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Citing the families of shooting victims, the president said, “Their message to us was, ‘Do something.’ How many times did we hear that? ‘Just do something. For God’s sake, just do something.’ Today we did.” The legislation will toughen background checks for the youngest gun buyers, keep firearms from more domestic violence offenders and help states put in place red flag laws that make it easier for authorities to take weapons from people adjudged to be dangerous. Biden said the compromise hammered out by a bipartisan group of senators from both parties “doesn’t do everything I want” but “it does include actions I’ve long called for that are going to save lives.
As part of its efforts to ease supply shortages caused by the closure of the largest U.S. manufacturing plant, the Biden administration announced Wednesday that it is providing logistical support to import the equivalent of about 16 million 8-ounce baby formula bottles from Mexico starting this weekend. Trucks contracted by the Department of Health and Human Services will drive about 1 million pounds of Gerber Good Start Gentle infant formula from a Nestle plant to U.S. retailers, the White House said, nearly doubling the amount imported to the U.S. to date.
Gov. Brian Kemp will deliver testimony to Fulton County prosecutors investigating Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 elections. Unlike the witnesses who have appeared at the Fulton courthouse to answer questions in front of a special grand jury, Kemp will instead deliver a “sworn recorded statement,” according to a letter from the Fulton County District Attorney’s office.
Federal investigators have stepped up their investigation into a phony slate of GOP electors in Georgia designed to help Donald Trump’s failed The Justice Department has sought records from Brad Carver, seen here in 2016 campaigning in Atlanta, who is an attorney and Republican activist among the 16 fake 2020 electors, according to several people with knowledge of the investigation. The 16 Republicans who filled out the fake slate are a cross-section of influential leaders. They include Georgia GOP Chair David Shafer and state Sen. Burt Jones, a Trump-backed candidate who won the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor.
Georgia Republican voters rebuffed Donald Trump for the second time in a month Tuesday by rejecting his picks for a pair of open U.S. House seats, another blow to the former president after his attempt to unseat Gov. Brian Kemp and other incumbents collapsed. Vernon Jones, a former Democrat who tried to transform himself into a far-right Republican, was beaten by Mike Collins in the runoff for the rural 10th District despite boasting Trump’s endorsement. Jake Evans fell to Dr. Rich McCormick in
the 6th District despite a late push by Trump that described the Georgia attorney as a “MAGA warrior” who would fight for his priorities in Washington. The defeats added to Trump’s recent failures to influence Georgia GOP elections. Kemp demolished former U.S. Sen. David Perdue in the May primary despite Trump’s efforts to bolster his campaign — support that included an in-person rally, fundraisers, and a slate of TV ads. And Trump’s attempts to unseat Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Insurance Commissioner John King, and Attorney General Chris Carr were rejected by Republican voters who gave each of the incumbents convincing victories.
A California jury on Tuesday found that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles in 1975. The decision in the civil case is the latest defeat in a long legal saga for the 84-year-old comedian, who was once one of America’s most beloved entertainers but has faced dozens of assault allegations over the past two decades. Cosby was freed from prison nearly a year ago, after his 2018 sexual assault conviction was thrown out, overturning the results of a high-profile #MeToo-era case. Cosby’s spokesperson said Tuesday he plans to appeal.
Justin Ross Harris has had his hot-car death conviction overturned. Georgia’s Supreme Court ruled he didn’t get a fair trial. Harris was convicted in 2016 of intentionally leaving his son Cooper in a hot car to die. Testimony on extramarital relationships should not have been allowed, justices say.
Former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed may owe the city nearly $83,000 for expenses paid on his behalf by city officials after he left office, according to Atlanta’s inspector general. In a 14-page report released Friday, Atlanta IG Shannon Manigault said city tax dollars were used to pay more than $24,000 for COBRA health insurance after Reed left office; $40,000 as “reimbursement” to the city for a trip to South Africa Reed and his staff took in 2017, and an $18,500 donation made to Howard University. The council never authorized the COBRA payment and was misled about the nature of the payments for the trip reimbursement and the Howard donation, according to the IG report.
An airport terminal for the rich and famous is coming to Hartsfield-Jackson for A-list passengers. A private luxury airport terminal operator known for catering to Hollywood stars like Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union is coming to Hartsfield-Jackson International to target commercial airline passengers willing to pay thousands for exclusive entry and exit from the world’s busiest airport. The company, called PS and formerly known as The Private Suite, has operated a private terminal at Los Angeles International Airport since 2017 that is known for catering to celebrities and other well-heeled customers. Thanks to Georgia’s white-hot film industry, Hartsfield-Jackson is a frequent gateway for celebrities. Georgia is one of the top destinations for TV and movie production in the world outside Hollywood.
A bloodhound named Trumpet won the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show last week. Trumpet beat a French bulldog, a German shepherd, a Maltese, an English setter, a Samoyed, and a Lakeland terrier to take the trophy. The competition drew more than 3,000 purebred dogs. The goal is
to crown the dog that most represents the ideal for its breed. Westminster is often described as the Super Bowl of U.S. dog shows.
Over 400,000 patio umbrellas sold at Costco have been recalled due to a malfunction that can cause them to burst into flames. The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued the recall announcement this week after six reported incidents of product malfunction. One incident sent one person to a hospital with a smoke inhalation issue. “The firm has received six reports of the lithium-ion batteries overheating,” the commission wrote. “This includes three reports of solar panels catching fire while charging via the AC adapter indoors and two reports of umbrellas catching fire when the solar panel puck overheated and caught fire while attached to the umbrella and one smoke inhalation injury.” The CPSC urged owners of the umbrellas to stop using them immediately.
Have a wonderful week….