Beltway Insider: Biden, GOP Led House Reach Budget, New Variant, Tina Turner, Memorial Day

President Biden and the House Majority Leader Republican Kevin McCarthy barely avoided a government default as each side has announced a deal had been made "in principle" which will prevent the shutdown of the United States government.

The President's job approval rating, according to the website, for the period ending May 28, 2023 decreased by 0.9% to 41.5% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness increased by 2.1% to 54.8% of those polled who disapprove of his effectiveness. A slight 3% of the population polled have no opinion. Ratings are calculated weekly.

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Biden, McCarthy Avoid Default

With days to spare, the teams of both President Biden and GOP House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), were able to ink a deal in principle that will avoid a full government shutdown.

With the House of Representatives controlled by the Republicans, negotiating a new budget provided the perfect platform to demand steep cuts in social service programs which the democrats continue to champion ensuring the most vulnerable citizens receive appropriate benefits.

As Biden has been able to pushback against the GOP's determined effort to restrict social service spending such as food stamps, WIC and other programs, some compromise was needed and "McCarthy gets a deal that curtails federal spending, and increases some work requirements on federal aid programs, such as food stamps. . . The specifics of the bill remained unclear, although lawmakers in both parties started to confirm key details Saturday night," The Washington Post reported.

The budget approach was a traditional approach between Republicans, who in true Reaganomics fashion was to reduce social service programs and increase defense spending and democrats, who want to ensure the system doesn't turn its back on those are entitled to assistance.

The Federal Budget isn't only social service and defense programs. It involves each of the heralded actions, laws signed by the Biden Administration. Essentially, defaulting on our government's debt could reverse the historic economic gains that have been achieved since the president took office like job creation, the low unemployment rate, and robust consumer spending all of which power a solid, reliable growth economy supported by paychecks from the strong job market and healthy household balance sheets.

The deal will need to be brought before a full house and senate before it is sent to the president. "The Senate would need to pass the bill without any changes to the House measure. Otherwise, it would have to go back to the House for another vote. If, there were to be a 50-50 tie in the Senate, Vice President Kamala Harris can cast the vote to win 51-50 passage," Reuters reported. 

There is a strong possibility that the democratic majority Senate will see the bill as the GOP holding the nation hostage and reject the bill or elements of it, which will cause the parties to negotiate a bridge bill until both parties are able to negotiate a more balanced solution. 

Should this deal collapse, a full government shutdown will affect millions of Americans who depend on government assistance, including social security, and all social service programs. 

Global Concern Over New Covid Variant

A new Omicron variant has been elevating concern around the world, with "China is bracing for a new wave of Covid infections that could see as many as 65 million cases per week by the time the surge peaks at the end of June," reported

The Omicron XBB.1.16 variant have been reported from 33 countries, and although the fast-spreading virus has been well publicized throughout the world, the expectation of heightened covid protocols are slim, even in China where the variant is expected to infect more than 65million cases weekly.

Respiratory infections and deaths, in the more than 3000 globally confirmed cases, The World Health Organization has stated hospitalizations have increased slightly, although symptoms are not expected to increase in severity. The WHO does expect this variant to spread globally.

As the medical predictions are being released, the news of a new variant, especially in China is being met with a laissez-faire attitude, as the government has lifted its zero-tolerance policy and even with the warnings of the new variant have not instituted early covid protocols.

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Coronavirus Totals

Mandates have been altered or lifted in most urban areas with limited exceptions, and the population is encouraged to maintain personal protective practices. Masks are optional and tolerated. Vaccines and boosters are still considered the most effective agents against contracting the Coronavirus.

For the week ending May 28, 2023, the total of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide reached 766,895,075 people, with a 7-day increase of 454,279 with a total worldwide death toll of 6,935,889 deaths. (Data from The World Health Organization).

COVID U.S. Totals

Infections rates in the United States are also on the rise. For the 7-day period ending May 28, 2023, the total confirmed cases rose to 103,436,829. The coronavirus has claimed 1,129,838 total deaths. (Data from The World Health Organization).

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Tina Turner, Icon, Survivor, Dies

Tina Turner, who really needs no introduction, and whose legacy goes beyond the accomplishments which she will be most remembered for, has died this week. She was 83.

Many will remember her for her dynamic performances, which she continued for five decades, retiring from touring, in 2009, six months before her 70th birthday, and selling wowing the sold-out crowds in mega stadiums around the world.

Others remember her as a survivor of domestic abuse, a standard bearer for women everywhere who, like her, confronted savage abuse from a partner and decided after over a decade decided this was it. And as she explains, leaving the relationship, in which she was physically beaten and tortured left her deeply in debt, as she was sued for leaving the tour, and incurred shocking resistance to her decision to flee the abuse.

Tina, born Annie Mae Bullock March 26, 1939, grew up in Nutbush, Tennessee, a town so small it didn't even appear on the map, and by the time she met Ike, and became the lead singer for Ike Turner's band, she knew she wanted two things, to be up on the stage and to leave Nutbush.

Tina made Ike Turner; it was never the other way around. Without her, he would have never been noticed, never had a record deal, never made the big time, she was the star, and he knew, which, of course, is why he worked so hard to keep her down, keep her believing that she needed him, destroying her spirit, making her dependent.

Her biography speaks on the abuse, even as much as she escaped on July 1, 1976, "while the pair were on tour, staying at the Statler Hilton in Dallas. Ike had beaten her "the entire way from the airport to the hotel," Tina recalled to PEOPLE. "By the time we got to the hotel, the left side of my face was swollen like a monster's."

Even while the world, millions of fans across multiple generations see her as someone who had it all especially in this "it's all about fame world" she admitted in the film, "Tina," "It wasn't a good life."

For many this is seen as the antithesis of reality, she had money, fame, "the life," why, how could it not be a good life? Suffering through domestic violence, physical, psychological, emotional, and financial abuse, she was chattel, nothing more.

As the years passed, she chose to tell the story, regaining her control even over the dark places. She lived long enough to have an incredible third act, eclipsing the first two, and finally finding peace or so it appeared.

Writing an obituary, especially on an icon, someone who not only influenced my musical tastes, but provided countless hours of sing-alongs when FM radio was the only station available, is challenging, causing one to compartmentalize the flood of memories that each song can bring.

Turner renounced her American citizenship and moved to Switzerland in 1995. She became a practicing Buddhist, met a man, German-born record producer husband Erwin Bach, who treated her as she deserved with love, respect, and kindness. After 27 years together they married.

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She suffered from medical issues, including a stroke in 2013, intestinal cancer in 2016, kidney failure which led to dialysis, and finally a kidney transplant in 2017. Bach volunteered to donate his kidney.

Her list of accolades and awards is more surprising, not only because of what she had overcome to achieve them but also because fans around the world were flocking to see her perform. Turner has won eight Grammys from 25 nominations.

She has also received three Grammy Hall of Fame Awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, giving her a total of 12 Grammys. She is even listed in the Guinness Book of World Records, holding the record for an astonishing nine years, for the largest paying audience, at 180,000, for a solo performer in Rio de Janeiro. She came out of retirement to unveil Tina - The Tina Turner Musical in 2017.

Tina Turner, the "Queen of Rock and Roll" was brave, a force of nature, determined, inspiring, and above all a survivor.

A private funeral is planned.

Memorial Day

The traditional start of the summer has arrived. For many Memorial Day is filled with parades and parties, outdoor barbecues, gatherings of friends, families, pool parties, trips to the beach, and picnics. It is also a time of remembrances; Memorial Day is when we pause and honor and mourn the U.S. military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States.

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