The Morning Dispatch: Biden Heads to Europe

Happy Friday! Poor Kim Jong-un: The North Korean dictator works hard to lose 45 pounds and everyone just assumes he has to be using a body double.

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • The White House released an updated $1.85 trillion framework of President Biden’s social safety net and environmental bill on Thursday, with the the president making a morning trip to the Capitol and reportedly telling Democratic lawmakers the fate of his presidency and the party’s congressional majorities “will be determined by what happens in the next week.” The House once again delayed a scheduled vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, however, as progressives threatened to block it without further assurances that the larger bill will also pass.

  • The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday that U.S. real gross domestic product grew at a 2 percent annual rate in the third quarter, down from 6.7 percent in Q2. Economists attributed the slowdown to the summer Delta variant surge and supply-chain bottlenecks. 

  • Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen confirmed the presence of U.S. military personnel on the island for training purposes in an interview with CNN this week, adding that she believes the United States would come to Taiwan’s defense if China attempted to invade. “I do have faith given the long-term relationship that we have with the U.S. and also the support of the people of the U.S. as well as the Congress,” she said. “[The] threat from China is increasing every day.”

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