Deep Dive (Nov. 19): DeSantis Signs Anti-Mandate Bills in Brandon, Florida

The House passed President Joe Biden’s $1.85 trillion spending bill Friday morning after Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy’s 8-and-a-half-hour speech pushed the vote to Friday morning. House Republicans stayed for the entirety of McCarthy’s speech and gave him a standing ovation at the end. His long speech beat out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s previous record. In 2018, she spoke for 8 hours 7 minutes. The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says Biden’s spending bill could potentially cost nearly $5 trillion if temporary provisions are made permanent.

Bank of America is reportedly launching a pilot program to separate vaccinated employees from those who are unvaccinated. It comes after a circuit court in New Orleans reaffirmed its decision to block it, and OSHA suspended it. Several Republican states, businesses, and individuals have sued Biden over it. This comes as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a package of bills that aim to counter federal vaccine mandates, in a town called Brandon. He said, “I want to thank Brandon Honda for hosting … And we are proud to be able to make a stand for freedom in Brandon, Florida.”

And a little holiday cheer arrived at the Capitol Rotunda Friday. A massive 84-foot-tall Christmas tree made its way from California to the Capitol. The fir has a name: Sugar Bear. Also present was St. Nicholas, helping to get the tree into position. Now it’s been placed in the Capitol’s west lawn and is ready to shine.

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