Washington Week

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The Fragility of American Democracy

Airs Friday, December 17, 2021 at 8PM on WETA PBS (check local listings)

This week, the fragility of American democracy and the state of voting rights took center stage in the nation’s capital. 

On Tuesday night, the House voted to hold Mark Meadows, chief of staff to former President Trump, in contempt of Congress for failing to respond to the committee investigating the Capitol attack's subpoena. This is the first time a former House member has been held in contempt since the 1830s. The vote followed committee Vice Chair, Rep. Liz Cheney’s (R-WY) reading a series of text messages that were sent to Meadows during January 6th. The texts show how concerned Republican lawmakers, Fox News’ hosts, and even President Trump’s family members were during the insurrection. Meadows is claiming executive privilege, but his ability to do so is in question as former President Trump’s own claim to executive privilege on documents relating to January 6th continues to move through the courts.

 Also on Capitol Hill, passage of the Build Back Better Act—containing President Biden’s signature climate, tax, and social policy agenda items—looks likely to slip into 2022. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is holding out on key elements of the bill citing concerns about the scope and cost. The Senate is still in session, but as the House is out Senate Democrats have switched tack and are trying to pass voting rights legislation by the end of the year. 

 Plus, President Biden traveled to Kentucky on Wednesday to visit survivors after deadly storms hit the South and Midwest this week. And, while the delta variant continues to cause COVID-19 infections across the U.S., the nation is bracing itself for the surge in Omicron cases already being seen in the U.K. and Europe.

 The conversation continues on the Washington Week Extra, streaming live on YouTube at 8:30/7:30c.

We’ll discuss all this and more with:

 

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Contact: Jeff Bieber, JBieber@weta.org
Simon Epstein, SEpstein@weta.org