Want to catch up with the news quickly? Here are the top stories from Friday, October 6, 2023.
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1. Congress in chaos after McCarthy's historic ousting
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy made history this week – though likely not in the way he wants. The House of Representatives voted Tuesday to oust McCarthy from his position as Speaker of the House after conservative Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz filed a motion to remove him.
It is the first time a House Speaker has ever been removed in a vote. The current acting speaker is Patrick T. McHenry, a Republican from North Carolina, who can only recess the House, adjourn the chamber, and recognize speaker nominations.
2. Some tentative agreements reached in Kaiser Permanente strike
More than 75,000 Kaiser Permanente workers walked out Wednesday, launching a strike against the nation's largest health care nonprofit. The strike is only scheduled to last three days, until October 7.
The striking workers include vocational nurses, emergency department technicians, radiology technicians, X-ray technicians, respiratory therapists, medical assistants, pharmacists, and hundreds of other positions.
The unions are demanding better pay and benefits, and that the organization addresses staffing shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The unions said Thursday that they were able to reach some tentative agreements in bargaining.
3. Biden under fire for constructing new border barriers
The Biden administration is waiving 26 federal laws to build additional border barriers in the Rio Grande Valley, including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act.
The wall construction will be paid for using funds already appropriated specifically for physical border barriers, which the administration was under a deadline to use.
As a presidential candidate, Biden vowed that there will “not be another foot” of border wall constructed on his watch. His change in tune comes as Border Patrol apprehended more than 200,000 migrants crossing the US-Mexico border last month.