News from Around the Country

California’s state legislature decided on Monday that a single payer healthcare bill, AB 1400, would not be brought to the floor for a vote after its author Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) said it did not have enough votes to pass, much to the disgruntlement of California’s Nurses Association. The Nurses Association is a nurse union who have championed the passage of a single payer bill.

If passed, the bill would have provided state residents a universal healthcare option. The program would have cost $314 billion, however despite the hefty price tag, the state would ultimately save $71 billion annually.

The failure to pass the bill comes amidst the backdrop of a larger national movement to instate universal healthcare on a federal level.

A battle over the nomination of a new Supreme Court Justice is heating up this week, with Republicans criticizing Joe Biden’s decision to nominate a black woman to the position.

On the campaign trail, then candidate Biden pledged that he would nominate a black woman to a Supreme Court vacancy. With Justice Stephen Breyer’s announcement that he is going to retire from the court at the end of this term, the opportunity to make good on that pledge has become front and center for Biden.

Republicans argue the decision to only nominate a black woman is a game of identity politics that freezes out candidates of other races and ethnicities, essentially freezing out meritocracy. Joe Biden and Democrats argue that the nomination of a black woman to the court is vital for representation, equality, and justice.

A notable Republican defection is Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who said that nominating a black woman to the position “isn’t affirmative action” and that the court should match the demographic makeup of the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the West is ignoring crucial Russian security interests. This comes amidst revelations the Russian military has deployed blood supplies to the border with Ukraine, alongside the continued failure of diplomatic negotiations between Russia and the West to defuse the Ukrainian crisis – talks which notably exclude Ukraine from participating.