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Some Democrats have begun saying out loud what others are saying privately — that Joe Biden’s political standing is so weak less than a year into his presidency that he may not be able to win reelection in 2024 if he were to run again. Such anxiety-fueled parlor games are common among Washington’s political class. But this one has spread to the states and constituencies that'll play a central role in the next presidential election. Speculation has intensified about the short list of would-be successors should Biden not seek reelection. The list is led by Vice President Kamala Harris, but includes other 2020 presidential candidates such as Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.

AP

A sharply divided House has approved the Democrats’ sweeping social and environment bill, a big victory for President Joe Biden. Republicans solidly opposed the measure, but Democrats prevailed after the party's progressives and moderates ended months of disputes over its size and scope. The legislation now moves to the Senate, where moderates like West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin are poised to curtail the bill further. The measure would bolster child care assistance, create free preschool, curb seniors’ prescription drug costs and combat climate change. Passage came after new cost estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the legislation would cause federal deficits to grow by $160 billion over the coming decade. 

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A bipartisan bill introduced in the Wisconsin Legislature would lighten penalties for marijuana possession in many parts of the state and increase fines in a few of the state’s largest communities. Under the plan sponsored by Republican Rep. Shae Sortwell and Democratic Sen. Sylvia Ortiz-Velez, the state penalty for possessing up to 14 grams of marijuana would be reduced to a $100 civil forfeiture. Current state law makes first-time marijuana possession a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. Local governments are currently allowed to establish their own penalties for possessing small amounts of cannabis. The new proposal would require communities to enforce fines between $100 and $250, along with up to 40 hours of community service. 

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Steve Bannon, a longtime ally to former President Donald Trump, has been indicted on two counts of contempt of Congress after he defied a congressional subpoena from the House committee investigating the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The Justice Department said Friday that Bannon was indicted on one count for refusing to appear for a deposition and the other for refusing to provide documents in response to the committee’s subpoena. It wasn’t immediately clear when he would be due in court.

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Congress has created a new requirement for automakers: Find a high-tech way to keep drunken people from driving cars. It’s one of the mandates along with a burst of new spending aimed at improving auto safety in the $1 trillion infrastructure package that President Joe Biden is expected to sign soon. Under the legislation, monitoring systems to stop intoxicated drivers would roll out in all new vehicles as early as 2026, after the Transportation Department assesses the best form of technology to install in millions of vehicles.

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Republicans are increasingly optimistic about flipping governor’s offices in key battleground states next year. The GOP is buoyed by President Joe Biden’s sagging approval ratings, Democratic infighting in Congress and better-than-expected results in elections in Virginia and New Jersey. Democrats were already battling historical precedent dictating that the party that captures the White House struggles in subsequent elections and a 27-23 GOP advantage in occupying governor’s offices nationwide. Democrats insist the national political landscape could shift before November 2022, and see some of their own pickup opportunities in top races.

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan’s legislature descended into a rowdy brawl after opposition lawmakers interrupted an important policy address and rushed the podium. The melee started as the chamber’s head was opening his annual address on the government’s performance. A few lawmakers were shoved to the ground and others poured out bottles of water onto