President Biden holds first cabinet meeting » President Joe Biden held his first official Cabinet meeting on Thursday.
His $2.3 trillion dollar infrastructure plan dominated the agenda. The president tapped five Cabinet secretaries to champion the proposal.
BIDEN: Working with my team here in the White House, these Cabinet members will represent me in dealing with Congress, engage the public in selling the plan, and help work out the details as we refine it and move forward.
The outreach team includes the secretaries of Transportation, Energy, Labor, Commerce, and Housing and Urban Development.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi welcomed the president’s legislative push.
PELOSI: President Biden is undertaking something in the tradition of thinking big, being transformational, and creating jobs for America.
But Republicans aren’t buying it. Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana said it was a stretch to call the package an infrastructure bill.
KENNEDY: As best I can tell, just being charitable, about 15 percent of this bill is addressed to infrastructure. The rest is climate subsidies and social welfare spending.
Pelosi said she hopes to hold a vote on the measure by July. President Biden says he wants to win bipartisan support for at least some of the bill. But if not, Congressional Democrats could use the budget reconciliation process to push it through without any Republican votes.
California shooter knew his victims » Police in Southern California say a man who shot and killed four people at an office complex south of Los Angeles on Wednesday knew his victims.
Orange Police Lieutenant Jennifer Amat told reporters Thursday this was not a random act of violence.
AMAT: The preliminary motive is believed to be related to a business and personal relationship which existed between the suspect and all of the victims.
The youngest victim was a 9-year-old boy. The gunman also shot and killed a man and two women. A third woman survived but was injured.
The gunman evidently planned the attack ahead of time, including ways to slow first responders who would eventually arrive at the scene.
AMAT: It appears the suspect used a bicycle-type cable lock to secure the gates from the inside, on both the north and south sides of the courtyard. Two officers engaged the suspect from outside of the gates, and an officer-involved shooting occurred.
Police identified the gunman as 44-year-old Aminadab Gonzalez. He survived but remains hospitalized. After arresting him, police recovered an automatic handgun and a backpack loaded with pepper spray, handcuffs, and ammunition.
Problems with Johnson & Johnson vaccine production » The company blamed for ruining 15 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has a history of quality control problems.
The Food and Drug Administration has repeatedly cited Emergent BioSolutions for problems with employee training, cracked vials, and mold and other contamination around one of its facilities.
Johnson & Johnson announced Wednesday that a batch of the vaccine made by Emergent at a factory in Baltimore had to be discarded. It said the finished product did not meet quality standards.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told CBS This Morning the system for catching problems worked.
FAUCI: You know, human errors do happen. And you have checks and balances. That’s the reason why the good news is that it did get picked up. As I mentioned, that’s the reason nothing from that plant has gone into anyone that we’ve administered to.
Johnson & Johnson partnered with Emergent a year ago to manufacture its vaccine. Before that, the Baltimore facility was a contract testing laboratory that did not manufacture products for distribution.
In a statement, Johnson & Johnson downplayed any potential disruption and said it still planned to deliver 100 million doses of the vaccine by the end of June, and possibly as soon as the end of May.
Basketball coach Roy Williams retires » Hall of Fame college basketball coach Roy Williams announced his retirement on Thursday.
During his 33-year career, Williams won more than 900 games and three national championships. He won those titles with the North Carolina Tar Heels, in 2005, 2009, and 2017. Before coming to North Carolina, Williams had a long and successful run at Kansas.
At the end of his team’s season, Williams reflected on what he called a “difficult year.”
WILLIAMS: It’s been a hard year to push and pull, push and pull every other day to try to get something done. But how can you be any luckier than Roy Williams is coaching basketball?
During a news conference Thursday, Williams said after two difficult seasons in a row, he no longer felt he was the right man for the job.
The Tar Heels lost to Wisconsin in the first round of this year’s NCAA Tournament. It was Williams’ only first-round loss in 30 tournaments.