Biden infrastructure negotiations, May jobs report, Don McGahn’s testimony: 5 things to know Friday

After Biden offers to keep Trump tax cuts, more infrastructure debate

Talks have dragged on over what began as Joe Biden’s $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan, with Republicans rejecting what they see as liberal social programs that don’t belong to an infrastructure package. Biden made a major concession Wednesday: In lieu of scrapping the previous administration’s corporate tax cuts — a no-go for the GOP — the plan will instead beef up tax enforcement for the wealthiest and ensure the largest corporations (some of which have avoided paying any taxes due to loopholes) pay at least a minimum of 15%. Biden plans to keep the conversation going Friday with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, the lead negotiator for a group of six Republicans working to seal the infrastructure deal with the White House. 

  • Where do Biden and GOP differ on infrastructure?4 charts break it down
  • ‘Big question is the scope’:Biden, GOP still at odds over ‘social infrastructure’
  • How well did you follow this week’s news?Take our quiz to test your knowledge!

The U.S. funds infrastructure differently than a lot of other countries, relying more on state and local spending. Here's why it's faring so poorly.


Jobs report to show whether worker shortages still slow hiring

With U.S. businesses scrambling to fill millions of jobs as the economy reopens faster than many had expected, Friday’s May jobs report will help show if their efforts are succeeding. The fading of the pandemic has caused many consumers to get out, see people and spend money. But it has also produced a disconnect between companies and the unemployed. Businesses are rushing to add workers immediately. Yet many of the unemployed are either seeking better jobs than they had before the pandemic, still lack affordable child care, worry about contracting COVID-19 or have decided to retire early. But even as more states lifted restraints and COVID vaccinations accelerated, that disconnect resulted in a sharp slowdown in hiring in April, when employers added far fewer jobs (266,000) than economists had forecast (995,000, according to one survey). Economists are projecting employers added 650,000 jobs in May.

  • Biden’s infrastructure plan would create many jobs:However, labor shortages may mean few workers will take them
  • Need a job? Have no experience? That’s OK! Companies are relaxing job requirements to cope with worker shortages
  • A transformed workplace: As offices reopen after COVID-19, more companies will let employees work from home or hire workers who live far away

There's a wild card in the push to return to post-pandemic life: Workers don't want to go back to their old jobs. Layoffs, unemployment benefits and stimulus checks gave many Americans the time and the financial cushion to rethink their careers. (May 18)

AP Domestic

After a long battle, House Judiciary Committee will finally question Don McGahn

The House Judiciary Committee is poised to question former White House counsel Don McGahn behind closed doors Friday, two years after House Democrats wanted his testimony as part of investigations into former President Donald Trump. The committee sought McGahn’s testimony in May 2019 because he was a key figure in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. But McGahn defied the subpoena. The committee sued to enforce its subpoena and the case has bounced around federal courts ever since. While the House panel eventually won its fight for McGahn’s testimony, the court agreement almost guarantees they won’t learn anything new as the two sides agreed that McGahn will only be questioned about information attributed to him in publicly available portions of Mueller’s report. 

  • Previous coverage:McGahn defies House subpoena and skips hearing on Russia probe
  • ‘Slow-motion constitutional car crash’: 2019 story details battle between Trump, Congress over investigations

The White House's former top lawyer, Don McGahn, defied a congressional subpoena and skipped a hearing.


Upcoming CDC report to focus on getting adolescents vaccinated

While President Joe Biden is pushing to meet his goal of having 70% of American adults at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19 by July 4, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has set her eyes on a different age group: adolescents. Walensky said a CDC report coming out Friday will prompt a redoubling of efforts to have eligible youngsters get vaccinated. She also said those who aren’t fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks and observe social distancing to protect themselves and those around them. Adolescents ages 12 to 15 should get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and they can get their other routine vaccinations along with it, a CDC advisory committee said in mid-May. “I strongly encourage parents to get their teens vaccinated, as I did mine,” Walensky said.

  • Percolating issue:Is it legal for a business to even ask for proof that you’re vaccinated? 
  • First in line, still no shot:Surprising number of hospital workers refuse vaccines
  • Sprint to COVID-19 vaccine goal:Biden administration to team up with Black barbershops

More than a year after the world went on lockdown because of COVID-19, America is slowly opening up again. But our lives will never look the same.


Disneyland’s Avengers Campus is assembled and ready to open 

Sling a web like Spider-Man and help the superhero defeat replicating spider bots attempting to take over Avengers Campus. Train to be a member of the Warriors of Wakanda, or help Dr. Strange as he tries to protect a gold ring from villains.These are just a few of the things guests of Disney California Adventure Park will be able to do when they enter Avengers Campus, which opens in Anaheim on Friday. The fantasy land offers guests the chance to not just meet their superheroes but to be superheroes. Avengers Campus was built on 70-plus years of Marvel superhero characters and stories and 23 movies and was a collaboration among many disciplines within Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative force that designs and builds Disney theme parks. 

  • Opening for everyone: Disneyland to reopen to out-of-state visitors June 15
  • ‘We’re home!’: Engagements, excitement abound as Disneyland reopens

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