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State And National Government Shift Focus to Economic Recovery




California Governor Gavin Newsom delivers the State of the State address at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, on March 9, 2021.
California Governor Gavin Newsom delivers the State of the State address at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, on March 9, 2021.
PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

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California Gov. Newsom sought to rally a state worn down after a year of coronavirus lockdowns, record wildfires and unfathomable sickness and death, urging the nearly 40 million residents to “dream of brighter days ahead” while acknowledging his own mistakes that have put his political future on the line.

Newsom made no new major policy announcements. Instead, he focused mostly on actions he believes have positioned the state for a robust recovery and the blunt calls from him to be recalled.

Congress sped toward final approval Wednesday of a landmark $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, as President Joe Biden and Democrats neared a major triumph for the party’s priorities and showcased the unity they’ll need to forge future victories.

For Biden and Democrats, the bill is essentially a canvas on which they've painted their core beliefs - that government programs can be a benefit, not a bane, to millions of people and that spending huge sums on such efforts can be a cure, not a curse. The measure so closely tracks Democrats' priorities that several rank it with the top achievements of their careers, and despite their slender congressional majorities there was never real suspense over its fate.

With files from the Associated Press

Guests:

Libby Denkmann, senior politics reporter for KPCC; she tweets @libdenk

Kelsey Snell, Congressional correspondent for NPR; she tweets @kelsey_snell