Plus, student loan programs get the axe in Trump’s budget proposal, a T-Mobile and Sprint merger, and more.
The first-in-nation primary kicks off today
As the New Hampshire primary takes place today, Sen. Bernie Sanders—who hails from neighboring Vermont and won the primary in 2016—remains the one to beat. Former mayor Pete Buttigieg, however, has made it clear he believes he could win, while former Vice President Joe Biden said his “path to victory” will be on Super Tuesday in a few weeks. Another candidate on the ballot, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, is focused on scooping New Hampshire’s 10 percent undecided candidates. Doing so could put him on a wave in South Carolina, where the candidates are wooing their first substantial African-American voting population. The last polls in New Hampshire close at 8 p.m. EST.
Trump seeks to axe student loan programs
The Trump administration lived up to its anti-borrower reputation, introducing a budget on Monday that would cut student loan spending by $170 billion and end popular loan programs. In direct danger are the loan forgiveness program, which cancels federal student loans for not-for-profit and government employees after a decade of on-time payments; government subsidized loans; and several repayment options. The good news is that the budget is unlikely to be approved in its entirety by Congress.
Verdict would clear the way for T-Mobile, Sprint merger
Sources told the New York Times that the long, contentious lawsuit filed by a group of state attorneys general to stop what they call a monopoly between the two telecom giants is coming to a close today, with the judge expected to rule in favor of the corporations. The verdict would combine the nation’s third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers into one entity with more than 100 million customers. Opponents argue that the merge would reduce competition, leading to higher cellphone bills and a financial burden on lower-income customers.T-Mobile and Sprint had already gotten approval from the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission by agreeing to unload a percentage of their businesses to Dish Network, which is also looking to become a wireless provider.
Trump: Coronavirus to go “away in April, with the heat“
Offering no scientific evidence at all to back up the claim, President Donald Trump said during a meeting of U.S. governors Monday that the coronavirus threat will neutralize on its own as warmer spring temperatures arrive. This is in marked contrast to the self-described germophobe’s response to the Ebola outbreak during President Barack Obama’s tenure, when Trump sent 50 tweets denouncing the administration’s actions as inadequate and dangerous. “Relying on the fact that it’s going to warm up in April as reassurance that the virus will be controlled by then I think is arguable,” said Dr. James M. Hughes, an Emory University professor emeritus of medicine. On Tuesday, the CDC confirmed a 13th coronavirus case in the U.S.