Need to know: The top national and international news of June 17, 2021.
1. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Obamacare
The US Supreme Court ruled to uphold the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, on Thursday despite many conservative states resisting the Act and deeming it unconstitutional. The vote was 7-2, and the court stated the states who challenged the law did not make a strong enough case that it was harming them in some way.
Both Trump-nominated Justices, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett ruled to uphold the law while Justices Samuel Alito and Niel Gorsuch opposed it.
The states who challenged the law and brought its constitutionality to the Court include 18 red states led by Texas. The states challenged the law by saying without the penalty the act’s minimum essential coverage requirement is unconstitutional and the minimum essential coverage requirement is not severable from the entire act, claiming the entire law to be invalid and repealed.
To their statements, Justice Breyer wrote “We do not reach these questions of the act’s validity, however, for Texas and the other plaintiffs in this suit lack the standing necessary to raise them.” President Biden stated the decision of the Supreme Court is “a major victory for all Americans benefiting from this groundbreaking and life-changing law.”
2. A New Cure For COVID
President Biden and his team announced on Thursday a potential new form of fighting Covid-19, the pill.
The Biden administration laid out a $3.2 billion plan to create a type of drug which can fight against Covid-19 and other possible diseases. The plan is named the Antiviral Program for Pandemics and will start working on testing and clinical trials by creating new ways to combat Covid-19.
Their goal is to become public within a year and gain FDA approval as fast as possible, so they become readily available to everyone. In a statement about this new antiviral pill, Dr. Anthony Fauci said “oral drugs that could be taken at home early in the course of the disease would be powerful tools for battling the pandemic and saving lives.”
This new pill is bringing more hope to fighting the effects of Covid and limiting the people sick and dying. While the US is improving significantly – 65% of adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the CDC – rumors of a “booster” shot a year after your vaccine doses were going around recently. A new antiviral pill will help this process and make it accessible to complete at home. Dr. Fauci continued, “Through multidisciplinary collaborations among leading scientists in academia and industry, this investment from the American Rescue Plan to create the Antiviral Program for Pandemics will help inspire medical innovation and build on the extraordinary success we have seen in developing the COVID-19 vaccines.” The increasing improvements in science, medicine, and technology promise a better future and stronger preparedness for another disaster.
3. House Votes To Repeal Iraq War Resolution
The House of Representatives just voted to repeal the 2002 Israel war powers authorization which allowed US military forces to be used in Iraq. This reversal is something many Democrats have advocated for and attempted to achieve for many years. It passed 262-161 in the House and resulted in some bipartisan support – 49 Republicans voted with the Democrats to oppose the authorization.
Senate Majority Chuck Schumer stated he would soon bring the resolution to the Senate floor for a vote, as well. The White House also voiced their support for the repeal, stating that “the United States has no ongoing military activities that rely solely on the 2002 AUMF as a domestic legal basis, and repeal of the 2002 AUMF would likely have minimal impact on current military operations.”
They continued to say that the President is looking forward to working with Congress and ensuring “that outdated authorizations for the use of military force are replaced with a narrow and specific framework appropriate to ensure that we can continue to protect Americans from terrorist threats.”
Previously, Biden called for all US military troops to be removed from Afghanistan by September 11. This along with the repeal shows the true steps the Biden administration is taking in order to limit US imposition into foreign nations and improve our relations with the Middle East.