Here are the main events that occurred in Politics this week:
1. President Joe Biden Announces Deployment of 3,000 US Troops To Europe As Tensions Between Ukraine & Russia Increase
President Biden has approved the deployment of roughly 3,000 additional American troops to Europe “in the coming days“, NBC News and The Wall Street Journal confirmed on February 2. It is “the first major movement of US forces in Russia’s military standoff with Ukraine,” intended to shore up the defense of European allies, the Journal writes. According to a senior administration official, 2,000 soldiers from the US will join troops already in Poland and Germany, while 1,000 troops in Europe will move to join US troops currently in Romania, as reported by NBC News. The deployment was confirmed by Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby, who assured the moves are not permanent and that forces are not going to fight in Ukraine; rather, they are going to bolster NATO allies.
2. US Economic Growth Surged In 2021, Reaching Highest Level Since 1984
The US economy grew 5.7 percent last year, the biggest increase since 1984, according to a January 27 Commerce Department report. That said, however, the growth “wasn’t a straight line,” notes Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “The economy remains tethered to the pandemic.” For example, though gross domestic product expanded at a whopping 6.9 percent annual rate in the final three months of 2021, it “recently lost momentum” explains The Wall Street Journal, “with business activity undermined by pandemic-induced shortages of supplies and workers.” Still, as a whole, “2021 marked the strongest economic rebound in decades.”
3. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer Announces Retirement After 27 Years On The Court
Justice Stephen Breyer will step down from the Supreme Court at the end of the current term, according to people familiar with his thinking. President Joe Biden and Breyer are scheduled to appear together at the White House on January 26 as the Supreme Court justice is set to announce his retirement, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to NBC News. Justice Breyer is one of the three remaining liberal justices, and his decision to retire after more than 27 years on the court allows Biden to appoint a successor who could serve for decades and, in the short term, maintain the current 6-3 split between conservative and liberal justices.