Deep Dive (Sept. 8): Blinken: Taliban Not Permitting Flights to Leave

Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the Taliban isn’t allowing flights with Americans on board to leave Afghanistan. Blinken went on to say the United States will push the Taliban to allow them to depart: “The bottom line is this, those flights need to be able to depart. And we will work every day to make sure they can do that.” This comes as the former Afghan president issued a public apology for leaving the country. As for the current leaders, four of the Taliban appointees were formerly detained in Guantanamo Bay. President Barack Obama released them in 2014 in exchange for former U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

The House sets its debate on the $2.5 trillion domestic investment plan. But moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) only supports a fraction of that, which could hamper President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. Manchin said he would only support $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion of Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending package. But Biden’s hopeful they can work something out. This comes as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejects Manchin’s call to hit pause on reconciliation.

Biden is set to announce a six-pronged approach to combating COVID-19. That includes new announcements on mandates and testing. White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters the plan will span the “public and private sectors to help continue to get the pandemic under control.” She did not elaborate on the details.

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