Biden in Cincinnati, wildfire smoke clouds NYC skies, Milwaukee celebrates: 5 things to know Wednesday

Editors
USA TODAY

Biden heads to Cincinnati for CNN town hall

President Joe Biden travels to Cincinnati on Wednesday for a live CNN town hall, which is expected to focus on issues ranging from COVID-19 to the economy, the network reported. The event comes as COVID-19 cases are rising across the nation, driven by the highly transmissible delta variant. Also, Biden has been traveling throughout the Midwest to tout his $1.2 trillion infrastructure proposal. It's the president's first visit to Cincinnati since taking office and his third trip to Ohio, a state he lost by 8 percentage points to Donald Trump in 2020. CNN anchor Don Lemon will moderate the event, which will air at 8 p.m. ET.

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Hazy skies seen across the country as wildfires rage in the West

Smoke from wildfires raging in the western United States were clouding skies as far away as New York, but the haze won't be in the forecast for the East Coast for long. A cold front will move into the Northeast from Canada Wednesday, clearing out some smoke in the process, Accuweather said. Meanwhile, in the western part of the U.S., where residents and wildlife alike have already been dealing with months of drought and extreme heat, thick smoke chokes areas near where wildfires continue to burn. The Bootleg Fire, now some 606 square miles in size, is burning 300 miles southeast of Portland in and around the Fremont-Winema National Forest. It is one of many fires burning in a dozen states, most of them in the West. Sixteen large uncontained fires burned in Oregon and Washington state alone this week. The Bootleg Fire is about 30% contained.

Staten Island Ferry commuters take in the view of lower Manhattan seen through haze, Tuesday, July 20, 2021, in New York. Smoke from wildfires across the U.S. West, including Oregon's Bootleg Fire, has wafted over large swaths of the eastern United States.

Biden's bipartisan infrastructure bill hits snag

The odds a bipartisan infrastructure bill will move forward Wednesday appear grim as GOP negotiators push to delay the Senate vote. "We can't support cloture for something we haven’t accomplished yet," said Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, the lead negotiator for Republicans. Nearly a dozen Senate Republicans, including Portman, struck a deal with President Joe Biden in June on the infrastructure plan. Since the 50 Democrats need at least 10 Republicans to support the bill to clear a parliamentary hurdle for debate, losing the support of just a few Senate GOP negotiators can stall the bill. The vote will be a key test of whether any of President Joe Biden's ambitious and expensive economic proposals will become law. The bipartisan package offers hundreds of billions of dollars for roads, bridges, railways and broadband. 

Celebrations likely to continue in Milwaukee after Bucks' title win

The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns 105-98 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals Tuesday night, delivering an excited city of Milwaukee its first championship since 1971 when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson were the star players. Two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo carried the Bucks in a career-defining effort that included scoring 50 points, and collecting 14 rebounds and five blocks. In addition to the thousands of fans inside the Fiserv Forum who got to see the long-awaited victory live, 65,000 more packed into the Deer District outside the arena, a wild party that figured to last deep into the Midwestern night and, perhaps, into the morning. "For the city, I'm sure it means everything," said Bucks star Khris Middleton, who scored 17 points in the series-clinching win. Antetokounmpo, who raised his game in the Finals and put up numbers never seen before, was voted the unanimous NBA Finals MVP. 

Who's running to unseat California’s governor?

The final list of candidates appearing on a Sept. 14 ballot to recall the election of California Gov. Gavin Newsom will be released Wednesday. Those hoping to oust the Democrat to run the most populous state in the country include Olympian and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and millionaire businessman John Cox, who lost to Newsom in the 2018 election. The push to unseat Newsom is largely rooted in frustration with school and business closures during the COVID-19 pandemic that overturned daily life for millions of Californians. "I think Republicans are going to show up because they hate Newsom, not because they are particular fans of any of the replacement candidates," said Jack Pitney, a professor of political science at Claremont McKenna College.

Contributing: The Associated Press