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Good morning, it’s Monday, Oct. 25, 2021. 2015. Could this be the week when Congress finally passes an infrastructure bill? “I think we’re pretty much there now,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN on Sunday. “We’re almost there. It’s just the language of it.” The “language of it” is important, yes. To put it another way, how much will this legislation cost U.S. taxpayers over the next 10 years? How much of that cost will be offset by the benefits provided by this spending? Which projects are still in the legislation, and what has been stripped out? Inquiring minds want to know.

While we’re asking such questions, here’s a bigger one: Why are Republican lawmakers content to sit on the sidelines making moderate-to-liberal members of Congress duke it with progressives while not lifting a hand of support? Please don’t cite the “Hastert Rule.” (Or, as one astute political commentator has written, any clunky congressional custom named after a serial child molester should be reevaluated, if not simply scrapped altogether.)

In other news, Facebook is encountering new criticism based on a whistleblower’s leaking of internal documents; Dr. Anthony Fauci reports that coronavirus vaccines will soon be available for children ages 5 to 11; and Game 1 of the 2021 World Series -- pitting the Atlanta Braves against the Houston Astros -- is set for Tuesday evening.

With that, I’d direct you to our front page, which aggregates, as it does each day, an array of columns and stories spanning the political spectrum. We also offer a complement of original material from RCP’s reporters and contributors, including the following:

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GOP Bets Swing Voters Will Downplay the Insurrection Too. Columnist A.B. Stoddard outlines the risks Republicans are taking as most members align with Donald Trump in trying to stonewall the committee investigating Jan. 6.  

RCP Takeaway. A.B. joins Tom Bevan, Andy Walworth and me in discussing Joe Biden’s strategy for passing Democrats’ agenda, Kyrsten Sinema’s fight against raising taxes, and whether Terry McAuliffe is headed toward defeat in Virginia. 

The Colin Powell I Knew. Lou Cannon’s appreciation focuses on the former general and secretary of state’s relationship with journalists -- which was unusual and exemplary.  

Democrats Should Use Tax Code to Promote Positive Change. Former Rep. Buddy Darden urges protections for small businesses and sectors of the economy still suffering from the pandemic. 

At Election Time, Virginia Is for Liars. Columnist Frank Miele spotlights an appearance on “Morning Joe” by Terry McAuliffe where both the guest and the hosts took liberties with the facts. 

Scrapping Section 230 Is Not the Way to Reform Big Tech. At RealClearPolicy, Michael Cheah and Joe Freeman argue that the liability protection for online services has enabled the Internet to become a place of limitless possibility. 

$10K Bank-Snooping Threshold Would Intrude on Millions. At RealClearMarkets, Andrew Wilford warns that the proposal to catch tax cheaters would subject tips, gifts from family, or proceeds from the sale of assets (such as a car) to IRS scrutiny.  

Ignorance of “Political Islam” Doomed Western Policy in Afghanistan. Julian Spencer-Churchill explains why at RealClearDefense. 

Why Energy Prices Cannot Remain This High. A RealClearEnergy, Lars Schernikaun cites economic forces he believes will reverse the upward swing as winter nears. 

Does Traditional Marriage Have a Future? At RealClearHistory, John Rodden advises social scientists to keep an eye on Ireland, where long-standing traditions are being reshaped. 

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Carl M. Cannon 
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics
@CarlCannon (Twitter)

Carl M. Cannon is the Washington bureau chief for RealClearPolitics. Reach him on Twitter @CarlCannon.

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