Biden’s 2 trillion dollar idea

President Joe Biden has a big plan to boost U.S. jobs and infrastructure. Rep. Matt Gaetz denies allegations he had sex with a 17-year-old girl. And the State of New York legalizes recreational marijuana.

đź‘‹ It’s Laura. It’s Wednesday. Have I got some news for you!

But first, the “one who causes fear” has been discovered: That’s not an exceedingly comforting moniker for a killer dinosaur, but it’s appropriate. Meet the new kid in town: Llukalkan aliocranianus. 🦖

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Biden’s got plans

Building an infrastructure and jobs plan is a massive undertaking, but it would be the centerpiece of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda. The White House has billed a $2 trillion proposal, dubbed the American Jobs Plan, as a domestic investment not seen in the U.S. since the construction of the interstate highways in the 1950s and the Space Race a decade later. The eight-year spending plan comes with a price: The corporate tax rate and the minimum tax on U.S. corporations would both face an increase. The plan would rebuild the nation’s aging infrastructure, support electric vehicles and clean energy, and boost access to caregivers and their pay —  reshaping an American economy still struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Biden is pitching a big infrastructure plan, but Republicans already panned it as going too far.

President Joe Biden delivers a speech on infrastructure on March 31, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (Photo: Evan Vucci, AP)

Rep. Matt Gaetz claims extortion

No stranger to a political scandal, Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz is under investigation by the Justice Department over allegations that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl. The news of the allegations swiftly roiled national politics, with Gaetz denying wrongdoing and insinuating that he and his family have been under the threat of extortion from a former Justice Department official. The third-term congressman and close ally of former President Donald Trump has not been charged and said he is cooperating with the DOJ investigation. 

  • ‘Serious implications’: GOP Leader McCarthy says Matt Gaetz could lose committee assignments over allegations.

The Justice Department is reportedly investigating Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida over a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl. (Photo: Getty)

What everyone’s talking about

  • Why Gwyneth Paltrow’s SPF routineis getting the side-eye from skincare experts.
  • Megan Thee Stallion, Lizzo, Foo Fighters tapped for Bonnaroo 2021.
  • She just wanted a new Roku. She got one — but then lost $190 to scammers.
  • Did Michael Strahan really remove his teeth gap?Not even his ‘GMA’ co-hosts know.
  • First came the toilet paper shortages. Now come the price increases.
  • Major’s a little mouthy: Biden family dog involved in a second biting incident while ‘adjusting to his new surroundings.’
  • Lil Nas X’s Satan imagery angers parents.But advocates say critics are missing the point.

Bystanders testify in Chauvin trial

A witness who caught a glimpse of the early moments of George Floyd’s arrest broke down sobbing on the witness stand Wednesday afternoon in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police office Derek Chauvin. In court Wednesday: 

  • Charles McMillian, 61, who lives near Cup Foods, took off his glasses and wiped the tears from his eyes, saying “Oh my god” after seeing video of Floyd calling for his mother and saying “I can’t breathe.” 
  • Witness Christopher Belfrey, 45, told jurors he was “startled” by what he saw when he went to Cup Foods for food on May 25, 2020.
  • Cup Foods cashier Christopher Martin, 19, told jurors he took the counterfeit $20 bill from George Floyd the day he died.

Over the last three days, jurors have heard from 11 witnesses to Floyd’s death, and several became emotional when on the stand describing their attempts to intervene on his behalf. Floyd, a Black man, died in police custody on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin, who is white, pinned his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes as Floyd cried out “I can’t breathe” more than 20 times. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

In this image from video, witness Charles McMillian becomes emotional as he answers questions as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. Chauvin is charged in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd. (Photo: AP)

New York legalizes weed

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo might have 99 problems, but marijuana legalization ain’t one. By passing the Marijuana Taxation and Regulation Act, New York just became the 15th state to legalize possession of marijuana for recreational use, so effective immediately, it’s no longer a crime or violation for anyone over the age of 21 to possess up to three ounces of the drug. But the stash isn’t for sale just yet. It’s in something of a gray area until at least April 1, 2022, which is the earliest cannabis will be allowed to legally be sold in New York. 

Real quick 

  • The National Guard welcomes and promotes women.That is until they report a sexual assault. 
  • Michigan man admits to smashing teen’s face with bike lock because he was Black.
  • Florida manatee deaths are spiking this year. Pollution may be the cause.
  • Suspect arrested, charged with hate crimein horrific NYC attack on an Asian American woman.
  • Britney Spears documentary reminds Jennifer Love Hewitt of ‘gross’ interview questions she faced.
  • March 31 (that’s today): The history behind International Transgender Day of Visibility.
  • Sabra recalls some of its Classic Hummusdue to salmonella risk, FDA says.

NCAA grilled by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court’s justices on Wednesday expressed significant questions about the NCAA’s athlete-compensation limits, but they also showed concerns that a case challenging those limits could destroy college sports as they currently exist. Their comments came during oral argument in a case appealed by the NCAA and 11 major-conference co-defendants after lower courts ruled that the association’s compensation limits violate antitrust law and that there should be no nationwide limits on the education-related benefits athletes playing Division I men’s or women’s basketball or Bowl Subdivision football can receive. A ruling is expected later this spring or in early summer.

A break from the news

  • 🌯 Who couldn’t use a free burrito or $100k in Bitcoin?Chipotle’s making it rain Thursday.
  • 👩‍💻 Incredibly light, agile and portable:Small laptops are hitting above their weight class.
  • 🍿 Idris Elba talks ‘Concrete Cowboy,’ fatherly advice and ‘a new lease on life’ after COVID-19.
  • 🙌 Get your Facebook under control:New tool lets users (finally) customize News Feed settings.

This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Want this news roundup in your inbox every night? Sign up for The Short List newsletter here.

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