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President Joe Biden and lawmakers are laying the groundwork for a long-sought boost to U.S. roads, bridges and other infrastructure. Remember Infrastructure Week? That never happened in the Trump administration. But Biden is already looking beyond the massive COVID relief bill, toward a massive infrastructure initiative. During the presidential campaign, Biden pledged to deploy $2 trillion on infrastructure and clean energy investments. That's even more expensive than the COVID relief plan. And the White House has not ruled out an even higher price tag. The package could be aimed at boosting health care and manufacturing as well.

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Every House Republican voted early Saturday against a popular $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package that would send $1,400 checks to most Americans and hundreds of billions more to help open schools, revive struggling businesses and strengthen state and local governments. Senate Republicans are expected to oppose a similar measure in the coming weeks. As the nation struggles to recover from the worst health and financial crises in generations, strategists in both parties agree that it’s risky for Republicans to assume their political playbook, which benefited the party politically after the 2008 financial crisis, will lead to the same ballot-box success. Polling suggests that an overwhelming majority of voters supports the Democrats’ pandemic relief plan. 

Janet Yellen thought her public service days were behind her after former President Donald Trump declined to offer her a second term as chair of the Federal Reserve in 2018. Instead, she's back for an encore at age 74 as President Joe Biden's treasury secretary. Yellen is part of Biden's inner sanctum as he pushes for a giant coronavirus relief plan, a package that could determine how quickly the U.S. economy heals. The House passed the package Saturday, sending it to the Senate. Yellen's credentials are enough to give pause to Republican lawmakers and other economists who argue the package is so big it could overwhelm the economy.

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Janet Yellen thought her public service days were behind her after former President Donald Trump declined to offer her a second term as chair of the Federal Reserve in 2018. Instead, she's back for an encore at age 74 as President Joe Biden's treasury secretary. Yellen is part of Biden's inner sanctum as he pushes for a giant coronavirus relief plan, a package that could determine how quickly the U.S. economy heals. The House passed the package Saturday, sending it to the Senate. Yellen's credentials are enough to give pause to Republican lawmakers and other economists who argue the package is so big it could overwhelm the economy.

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The House has approved a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill in a win for President Joe Biden. But even as Democrats savor that major step, party leaders are trying to assure progressives that they’ll revive their derailed drive to boost the minimum wage. The bill, which passed early Saturday on a near party-line vote, flushes cash to individuals, businesses and states battered by COVID-19. Now it goes to the Senate. Democrats there seem bent on resuscitating their minimum wage push, and other fights could erupt, too. Democrats say the still-faltering economy and rampaging virus demand action, but Republicans call the legislation bloated and partisan.

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The House passed a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package early Saturday that includes $1,400 checks for most Americans and billions of dollars for schools, state and local governments and businesses. Republicans say the spending is vastly more than what is needed for the pandemic. But Democrats and President Joe Biden say a robust aid package is necessary to prevent a long and painful economic recovery. Their goal is to have COVID-19 relief approved by mid-March, when extra unemployment assistance and other pandemic aid expires.

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Stocks ended a bumpy day mostly lower on Wall Street. Technology stocks recovered slightly following several days of heavy selling, but the Nasdaq still posted its biggest weekly loss since October. On Friday the S&P 500 gave back 0.5%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.5%. Treasury yields fell after shooting sharply higher over the last few weeks, something that has unsettled financial markets generally. Investors continued to watch Washington, where Congress is expected to vote on President Joe Biden’s stimulus package. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.42% from 1.51% a day earlier. 

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Another casualty of the coronavirus pandemic could be the centuries-old tradition of the New England town meeting. The basis of the town meeting is to bring everyone together in the same room, frequently a town hall or school gymnasium, where voters will hash out local issues until a decision is made. Some worry changes developed to make local decisions during the pandemic could become permanent and people will no longer have to gather in gymnasiums and town halls to decide issues as varied as the purchase of local road equipment to multimillion-dollar municipal budgets to pressing social issues.  Others say moving to pre-printed ballots allows more people to participate.

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Rising expectations for the economy and inflation have caused U.S. Treasury yields to spurt higher, with the jump unsettling stock markets. These yields are the baseline off which investors try to figure out the value of everything from Apple stock to junk bonds, and their rapid rise is forcing a reassessment about how much to pay for them and every other investment. Investors pay particular attention to the 10-year Treasury note, which climbed above 1.50% this week after starting the year around 0.90%. That helped send the Nasdaq composite to its worst week since October.

The Seattle Kraken are trying to help revive a college hockey program more than 1,000 miles from their home rink. The team announced it has raised $150,000 from team and individual investors as part of a challenge gift in an effort to save the program at Alaska Anchorage. Plans to eliminate the hockey program at Alaska Anchorage were announced in 2020 as part of state budget cuts. Supporters of the program have raised more than $1.8 million of the estimated $3 million needed to cover two years of operating expenses for the hockey program while providing time to establish long-term financial plans.