President Joe Biden signed Colorado Democratic Rep. Joe Neguse’s bipartisan bill that’s aimed to expand access to counseling and mental health services for Colorado’s military families.

President Joe Biden signed Colorado Democratic Rep. Joe Neguse’s bipartisan bill that’s aimed to expand access to counseling and mental health services for Colorado’s military families.

Biden signed the bill into law last week as it was enacted as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.

“Today, through the enactment of the Mental Health for Military Families Act, we are doing our part to care for our nation’s service members and their spouses and children,” said Neguse. “These individuals sacrifice so much to defend our country, and by expanding access to critical mental health services we are making sure they have the support they need.”

The act is set to allow the Secretary of Defense to waive out-of-pocket expenses on TRICARE — the military’s health insurance provider — for their first three outpatient mental health visits per year, which will lower costs and help with treatment for military families, according to the press release.

The proposal was reportedly championed by U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff of Georgia.

“Our bipartisan bill, which is now law, will expand free access to counseling and mental health services for servicemembers and their families who make great sacrifices for our nation, endure great stress in so doing, and deserve nothing less than the care they need — when they need it,” said Ossoff.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American Judih Weinstein, who was believed to have been kidnapped by Hamas, was killed by the Palestinian Islamist group on Oct. 7 when it attacked Israel, President Joe Biden said on Thursday, adding he was “devastated” by the news.

Her husband, Gad Haggai, was also killed on the same day, Biden had said last week.

Weinstein, 70, and Haggai, 73, were taking an early morning walk in Kibbutz Nir Oz on the morning of Oct. 7 when Hamas militants burst across the border into Israel, killing about 1,200 people and kidnapping 240 others.

Weinstein and her husband had been thought to be among the hostages still in captivity in Gaza. But six days ago, the kibbutz announced that Haggai was killed on Oct. 7 and his body was taken to Gaza.

Jill and I are devastated to learn that American Judy Weinstein is also believed to have been killed by Hamas on October 7. This tragic development cuts deep, coming on the heels of last week’s news that Judy’s beloved husband, Gad Haggai, is believed to have been killed by Hamas. We are holding Judy and Gad’s four children, seven grandchildren, and other loved ones close to our hearts. I will never forget what their daughter, and the family members of other Americans held hostage in Gaza, have shared with me. They have been living through hell for weeks. No family should have to endure such an ordeal. And I reaffirm the pledge we have made to all the families of those still held hostage: we will not stop working to bring them home.

President Joe Biden had a simple response to a question that Nikki Haley seemed to have trouble answering.

++++

At a Wednesday town hall event in Berlin, New Hampshire, a voter asked the Republican presidential candidate to state the cause of the American Civil War. In a reply that went viral, Haley said the war was about the role of government and “the freedoms of what people could and couldn’t do.”

“It was about slavery,” Biden offered in a post on X, formerly Twitter, sharing a clip of Haley’s exchange.

Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, was widely criticized for failing to mention slavery in her response. The questioner at the town hall said: “In the year 2023, it’s astonishing to me that you answer that question without mentioning the word ‘slavery.’”

“What do you want me to say about slavery?” Haley countered. “Next question.”

South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union. In its 1860 declaration stating its reasons for doing so, the state’s government cited “increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery.”

By Thursday morning, Haley seemed interested in pivoting a little from her original answer.

“Of course the Civil War was about slavery. We know that,” she said in a radio interview with The Pulse of NH.“That’s the easy part of it. What I was saying was, what does it mean to us today? What it means to us today is about freedom. That’s what that was all about.”

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is facing bipartisan criticism after she failed to mention slavery as the cause of the Civil War during a town hall in New Hampshire. Photo: Sophie Park for The Wall Street Journal

According to “Morning Joe,” 2024 presidential hopeful Nikki Haley’s now-viral failure to say slavery caused the Civil War signals to a larger race problem within the Republican Party.

“There’s almost no other answer she could give in this Republican primary that wouldn’t take some votes away from her as she’s moving forward,” journalist and panelist on the MSNBC series Eugene Daniels said.

During a New Hampshire campaign stop this week, the former South Carolina governor was asked to state what she believed caused the Civil War. In the days since, her answer has stirred controversy.

Haley argued, “I think the cause of the Civil War was basically how government was going to run the freedoms and what people could and couldn’t do.”

In her answer, Haley never once mentioned slavery as a cause of the war, and when she was called out by the person who asked the question, she responded, “What do you want me to say about slavery?”

“Morning Joe” cohost Willie Geist said that Haley flipping the question back to the audience “is what stuck with most people as they watch that commentary.”

“Perhaps also about the state of the Republican party,” Geist continued. “As you watch the gears turning there, what she should and should not say, in order to keep her support.”

Daniels agreed. “If you watch the crowd, as things were going downhill, you could start to see people get a little squeamish as she was answering those questions,” he said.

“Obviously, it was about slavery,” Daniels added. “If it was about state rights, it was the state’s ability to hold slaves. If it was about freedoms and what the government could tell you what to do, it was whether or not the government could tell you whether or not you can own, beat, rape and kill people because they were your property.”

++++

“That is clear to everyone who has eyes and has read history books,” Daniels said.

Daniels argued that Haley “is showing the fact that in the Republican Party right now, there is not a lot of room for folks who would say something like that, who would be honest about slavery as the cause and the main cause of the Civil War,” particularly in light of the widespread culture wars on topics like critical race theory.

“This shouldn’t have been hard — slavery is the answer here,” cohost Jonathan Lemire chimed in. “But to Eugene’s point, it is reflective of where the Republican base is right now. You can’t tell a simple truth for fear of losing voters in what has become such a radicalized Republican Party.”

Watch the full “Morning Joe” segment in the video above.

The post ‘Morning Joe’ Says Nikki Haley’s Failure to Blame Civil War on Slavery Is a GOP Problem: ‘No Other Answer She Could Give’ | Video appeared first on TheWrap.