PA Headlines: PA Nurses Protest, Pres. Biden to Visit Pittsburgh

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — AP is reporting… President Joe Biden will make his second visit of 2022 to Pennsylvania to visit Pittsburgh on Friday, the White House said, as the Democrat confronts a persistent COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation and congressional gridlock stalling some of his top priorities.  The White House said Biden will discuss “strengthening the nation’s supply chains, revitalizing American manufacturing, creating good-paying, union jobs, and building a better America.”  Biden is expected to tout last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law he signed, as Democrats from around the state play up its benefits, including $1.6 billion to improve bridges across Pennsylvania and $858 million to help rebuild the Montgomery Lock and Dam on the Ohio River south of Pittsburgh.

Last week, Biden and first lady Jill Biden packed food boxes at a Philadelphia food bank as part of a day of service for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  The fast-spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus, inflation and other challenges have pummeled Biden’s approval rating and threaten a midterm rout for his party.  The presidential battleground state of Pennsylvania is of great political importance in 2022, with the governor’s office and a U.S. Senate seat both on the ballot.  White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last week that Biden wants to spend more time traveling the country to speak directly to Americans and less time in Washington behind closed doors negotiating legislation with Congress.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — WHTM TV, ABC 27, is reporting…  Pennsylvania nurses gathered in Harrisburg to demand action on the ‘Patient Safety Act’. Throughout the pandemic, nurses have been urging lawmakers to pass the legislation. The ‘Patient Safety Act’ is designed to set staffing standards for nurses by limiting the number of patients a nurse can be assigned, depending on the level of care required. Supporters say nurses are facing a staffing crisis and delaying the passage of the Patient Safety Act will only drive more nurses away.  The Patient Safety Act reached a majority in the House. Nurses are calling for a vote from Pennsylvania House Health Committee Chair, Rep. Kathy Rapp. In a January hearing, Rapp said it would not receive a vote in the health committee.

“We need to have a hearing and we need to get this passed,” said Maureen May, president of Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals. “I’ve been a nurse for 37 years and this is what we need to bring nurses back to the bedside. We’re suffering, we’re in a crisis and we want to do the right thing and if we don’t have the staffing to do that, we’re going to keep leaving.”

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