Philadelphia Election Officials Reverse Course on Decision to Count Undated Ballots
Following a week of tense exchanges with the Republican-controlled state General Assembly and Wolf administration, election officials in Philadelphia have decided not to count undated mail-in ballots from the May Primary Election. The dust up revolved around the city’s original decision to count undated mail-in ballots, despite state law clearly stipulating ballots must be signed and dated in order to be counted. Republicans in the state House sent a letter threatening to impeach the commissioners if they continued down the path of counting the undated ballots. Adding to the pressure to reverse course was a letter from the Pennsylvania Department of State advising counties not to count the ballots in question. You can read more about the situation here.
Federal Infrastructure Proposal Hits Speedbump
Approximately $750 billion stands in the way of U.S. Senate Republicans and the Biden administration finding agreement on a federal infrastructure plan. As negotiations continue in the hopes of finding a compromise, House and Senate Democrats are currently strategizing on possible back-up scenarios that could circumvent the need for Republican votes. Among the key areas of disagreement are a final spend number, how broad the definition of ‘infrastructure’ should be and how the plan should be funded. Republicans have said they might be able to come up from their current $250 billion counterproposal, but doubt they’ll be able to support the president’s $1 trillion plan and are also adamantly against the administration’s call to roll back the 2017 federal tax cuts to pay for it. A more detailed analysis can be found in this Politico article.
CDC Updates Masking Guidance for Children
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new masking guidance as it relates to children. Similar to the guidance for adults, those who have been fully vaccinated will not be required to wear masks indoors or outdoors. Children who are not vaccinated should still wear masks when indoors and in large outdoor gatherings. This updated guidance comes on the heels of the authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12 and above.