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    The most expensive item over the first half-decade of President Joe Biden’s climate and social spending legislation is a tax cut for the wealthy. The Democratic Build Back Better Act, which passed the House on Friday morning, raises the current $10,000 cap on federal tax deductions for state and local taxes to $80,000, a move that leads to a significant tax cut for high earners in states with high taxes. The provision dwarfs many of the other priorities in the legislation and was included under pressure from a vocal contingent of Democrats from high-tax blue states. The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said that increasing the SALT cap to $80,000 through 2025 would end up costing the federal government $275 billion in revenue — an amount that is $5 billion more than the next costliest provision in the Build Back Better Act. COST OF DEMOCRATIC SPENDING BILL WOULD DOUBLE IF TEMPORARY PROVISIONS EXTENDED, BUDGET WATCHDOG SAYS The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated Friday that the SALT cap change in the bill that...
    U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a news conference following the passage of the Build Back Better Act, in the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, November 19, 2021.Al Drago | Reuters The House of Representatives passed legislation Friday that would curb how wealthy Americans use retirement plans. The new rules are part of a broad restructuring of the tax code tied to the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act, which would represent the largest expansion of the social safety net in decades and the largest effort in U.S. history to fight climate change. House Democrats passed the bill along party lines, 220-213. It now heads to the Senate. More from Personal Finance:Billionaires like Peter Thiel may be spared big IRA tax bill in latest Build Back Better plan52% of workers feel they're behind on retirement savingsRetirees are 'unretiring' — and that's good for the labor market Wealthy individuals with more than $10 million in retirement savings would have to draw down their accounts each year, in a new type of required minimum distribution, or RMD. Lawmakers would...
    (CNN)A Philadelphia law banning traffic stops for minor violations is set to go into effect early next year after the city's mayor gave final approval Wednesday.The law, which passed Philadelphia's city council last month by a 14-2 vote and has the support of the city's police department, designates seven low-level violations for which traffic stops are prohibited, including bumper issues, minor obstructions, broken lights and a license plate that is not visible or clearly displayed. "This legislation establishes Philadelphia as the 1st large U.S. city to ban minor traffic stops with the goal of healing police-community relations," Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement, noting he'd signed an executive order implementing the city's "driving equality" bills.The low-level violations are still illegal, according to the law, but fines or citations will be issued by mail. Police will still be empowered to pull over drivers for so-called "primary violations" of traffic laws that endanger public safety. The law is set to go into effect in 120 days.One year after the police killing of a Philadelphia man, the city agrees to equip...
    When President Joe Biden released a comprehensive outline of his centerpiece social spending bill on Thursday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had a simple message for House Democrats. Don’t talk about what’s not in the bill, Pelosi said: Talk about what is in it. There is, of course, a lot. The bill Biden outlined contains $1.75 trillion in investments that establish universal pre-kindergarten, vastly expand childcare, continue direct payments to most U.S. families, extend Medicaid coverage to millions of people, and direct some $550 billion toward fighting climate change—among many, many other provisions. If enacted, the so-called Build Back Better Act would be comparable to the New Deal, an achievement and a fulfillment of decades of campaign promises. By any reasonable standard, Democrats would hardly need to be encouraged to talk about what is in the bill. But what prompted Pelosi’s nudge is that most Democrats had hoped and worked for months to secure a bill twice the size of the one they’re getting. And when they convened to hear from Biden on Thursday, lawmakers had all just reviewed a...
                        The legislation that emerged in Saturday’s early morning hours from the three days of the 112th Tennessee General Assembly’s Third Extraordinary Session provided a number of safeguards against COVID-19 mandates, but some legislators say concessions to accommodate big business and funding from the federal government also resulted in unequal protection for some Tennesseans against COVID mandates. Once the House and Senate had passed versions of the COVID protection omnibus bill through their respective committees by Friday morning and were scheduled to take up the measures during floor sessions later that day, reports emerged that Ford – which hasn’t even set up shop in the state – expressed concern to legislators that the legislation would prohibit companies from requiring masks. Just the week prior, Ford was given during the Second Extraordinary Session of the 112th General Assembly $884 million in taxpayer funds for an electric truck building plant on the 4,100-acre Memphis Regional Megasite. Subsequent to receiving Ford’s input, legislators removed from the final version of the legislation the...
    President Joe Biden has signed legislation temporarily raising the government's borrowing limit to $28.9 trillion, pushing off the deadline for debt default only until December. Without the increase in the debt ceiling, the U.S. Treasury had estimated it would run out of money to pay the nation's bills on Oct. 18. The $480 billion increase in the borrowing limit signed by Biden is expected to be exhausted by December 3. The House swiftly passed the $480 billion increase in the country´s borrowing ceiling on Tuesday, after the Senate approved it on a party-line vote so Biden could sign it into law this week.  The approval came after a protracted standoff with Senate Republicans, who derailed initial Democratic efforts with filibusters, delays that require 60 votes to halt. The vote was 219-206, with only Democrats voting in the affirmative.  Ultimately, a handful of Senate Republicans agreed to join Democrats and voted to end GOP delays and move to a final vote on the legislation, but Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said Republicans will offer no support for another increase in December. The...
    In an apparent rebuke at President Trump, House Democrats brought forth  legislation on Tuesday aimed at curbing presidential powers and bolstering checks on the presidency.  In a package dubbed the Protecting our Democracy Act, nine Democrats put together legislation that would make it harder for presidents to grant clemency or pardons in situations that raise concerns of corruption, suspend the statute of limitations for federal offenses made by a sitting president or vice president, reestablish Congress' power of the purse and protect whistleblowers and inspectors general.  Additionally, the bill would require presidents and candidates from major parties to provide 10 years of tax returns to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), strengthen Congress' ability to enforce subpoenas and strengthen enforcement for Hatch Act violations.  The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from engaging in campaign politics work. An independent agency cited former White House aide Kellyanne Conway for violating the act, but the White House brushed it off.  Trump also granted 11th-hour pardons to friends and allies such as Michael Flynn and Roger Stone and refused to hand over his tax returns.  ...
    A federal judge has ruled against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Republican lawmakers' anti-riot bill despite their futile attempts to prove the piece of legislation wasn't an attempt to target Black Lives Matter activists. On Wednesday, September 10, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker ruled against the bill describing it as "'a trap for the innocent." The judge also expressed concern about the context of the lawmakers' definition of "riot." According to the Miami Herald, the definition of the word "is so vague that 'Floridians of ordinary intelligence' could not understand exactly what acts are prohibited under the law, a portion of which is temporarily blocked while a lawsuit goes to trial." "Governor DeSantis cannot credibly argue that this new definition of 'riot' was not intended to empower law enforcement officers against those who may criticize their legal authority, as he has referred to the proposed legislation that led to HB1 as 'the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country,'" Walker wrote. The ruling comes as DeSantis and Republican lawmakers face a flurry of lawsuits over...
    Share this: Almost any article you read about Section 230 reminds you that it contains the most important 26 words in tech and that it is the law that made the modern internet. This is all true, but Section 230 is also the most significant obstacle to stopping misinformation online. Section 230 is part of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), a 1996 law passed while the internet was still embryonic and downright terrifying to some lawmakers for what it could unleash, particularly with regard to pornography. Section 230 states that internet platforms — dubbed “interactive computer services” in the statute — cannot be treated as publishers or speakers of content provided by their users. This means that just about anything a user posts on a platform’s website will not create legal liability for the platform, even if the post is defamatory, dangerous, abhorrent or otherwise unlawful. This includes encouraging terrorism, promoting dangerous medical misinformation and engaging in revenge porn.
    A group of 19 Senate Republicans voted with Democrats to pass the largest infrastructure package in decades Tuesday, delivering a big win to President Joe Biden and the White House. The legislation passed 69-30. Nineteen Republicans joined every Democrat in voting for the package. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a total of 2,702 pages and includes $550 billion in new spending, with the rest redirecting spending that was already authorized by Congress. (RELATED: Senate Passes The Largest Infrastructure Package In Decades, Over A Dozen Republicans Vote In Favor) “Are there some things that Democrats like? For sure,” Republican North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer said on “Sunday Morning Futures.” Cramer was one of the 19 Republicans who voted in favor of the bill. “Are there some things missing that we would love? Of course there are,” Cramer added. “But this is a 50-50 Senate. Democrats have a majority in the House and the White House. So you’re going to have to take some of those things to get all of the other really good things.” NEW: Here are the...
    (CNN)Deployed to Iraq in 2003, US Marine Corps field radio operator Joanna Sweatt took cover in tight-spaced bunkers for hours at a time -- a tour of service laden with the stresses of being in a war zone that led to a blood clotting disease.Now, more than a decade after she was first diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis and medically discharged from the Marine Corps, the 43-year-old credits Arizona's vote-by-mail system with granting her access to the ballot box last November. "Standing in long lines is not practical for me," she said.Sweatt, a lead organizer for the progressive veterans PAC Common Defense, and members of disability advocacy organizations around the country say congressional Democrats' sweeping election overhaul bill is key to expanding voting access for people with disabilities.The "For the People Act," a piece of legislation at the center of the federal voting rights fight on Capitol Hill, aims to counter GOP-controlled states from advancing voting restrictions by making it easier for any eligible voter to vote by mail, among other provisions.Read MoreNearly 62% of disabled voters cast a ballot...
    Crus says he's upset that Texas Democrats are obstructing the 'will' of the majority. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) attempted Friday to eviscerate Texas Democratic lawmakers who fled the state to prevent a quorum for a GOP-backed voting restrictions bill. In the process, he accidentally made a strong argument against the legislative filibuster he and his party are using to thwart the Democratic majority in the U.S. Congress. On the latest episode of his "Verdict" podcast, Cruz laughed about the fact that a few of the Texas state representatives tested positive for COVID-19 after traveling to Washington, D.C., and dismissed their move as an anti-democratic stunt. "You shouldn't have the right to shut down the operation of the legislature. The legislature exists to do the will of the people. And these Democrats are trying to pull a political stunt to stop them from doing the will of the people," Cruz opined. "And by the way, they want to kill policies that the overwhelming majority of voters support." But this would seem...
    (CNN)President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he did not want to get "wrapped up" in arguments about the filibuster and it would "throw the entire Congress into chaos," as some Democrats call for weakening the Senate's filibuster rules in order to pass voting rights legislation. "What I want to do is I'm trying to bring the country together, and I don't want the debate to only be about whether or not we have a filibuster or exceptions to the filibuster or going back to the way the filibuster had to be used before," Biden told CNN's Don Lemon at a CNN town hall in Cincinnati. The President said: "There's no reason to protect it other than you're going to throw the entire Congress into chaos and nothing will get done. Nothing at all will get done. And there's a lot at stake. The most important one is the right to vote, that's the single most important one." RELATED: Why Washington gets so little doneHe again slammed Republicans who are attempting to curb voting rights across the country, calling it "Jim Crow on steroids." Republicans at the state level have moved since the 2020 election to roll...
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has insisted lawmakers should have the option to read a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill before deciding whether or not they should vote for it - after Majority Leader Chuck Schumer set up a vote for Wednesday.  On Monday, Schumer announced he will file cloture, setting up a procedural vote for Wednesday on the unfinished legislation for President Joe Biden's infrastructure package.  But it's unclear if the legislation will be finalized by then, with several Republican senators say they need more time and won't vote without seeing the bill's text.  'I think we need to see the bill before we decide whether or not to vote for it,' McConnell told reporters. 'I think that's pretty easily understood.'  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (pictured) believes lawmakers should have the option to glance at a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill before deciding whether or not they should vote for it. On Monday, Chuck Schumer (D-NY) (pictured) announced he will file cloture, a legislative procedure that sets up the Wednesday vote for President Joe Biden's bipartisan...
    Lawmakers dropped President Joe Biden's plan to help pay for a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package by increasing the Internal Revenue Service's tax collection powers on evaders. Republican Senator Rob Portman said on CNN Sunday the provision was dropped because 'we did have pushback.' Republicans are said to be concerned about the amount of power it would give the IRS. It was a stumble in negotiations as Biden's economic agenda faces a major test in the Senate this week.   Democrats are pushing Republicans to come to the table on the bipartisan infrastructure plan, which focuses on highways, airports, water ways and other tradition projects. It needs at least 10 GOP votes if it's too advance in the Senate. Republican Senator Rob Portman said lawmakers removed President Joe Biden's plan to help pay for a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package by increasing the Internal Revenue Service's tax collection powers on evaders Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said a deadline for a Wednesday vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill  There is a chance the IRS provision could be placed in a...
    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Tuesday didn't rule out eliminating the legislative filibuster for voting rights legislation as Democrats are getting increasingly frustrated with state-level efforts to tighten voting rules.  "Everything is on the table," Schumer told reporters at the Capitol about overcoming fierce GOP resistance to Democrats' legislation to set federal standards for voting access. Schumer's comments came as a group of Texas state lawmakers fled the state for Washington in an effort to shut down a special session where Texas Republicans seek to pass new sweeping election laws that Democrats say will make it harder to vote.  DEMOCRATS WHO 'FLED' TEXAS SLAM GOP-BACKED ELECTIONS BILL, SAY THEY ARE MAKING 'BIG SACRIFICES' WITH WALKOUT The lawmakers met with Schumer and pleaded for the Senate to pass its voting and elections reform law, known as S.1, while acknowledging their exodus from the state Legislature is just a temporary move in need of a permanent federal solution.  Schumer called the fleeing state lawmakers "brave" and "courageous" and blasted Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for trying to pass new voting restrictions in the...
    President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, July 12, 2021, in Washington.Evan Vucci/AP Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.Texas House Democrats fled the state on Monday to block Republicans from passing a sweeping voter suppression bill and traveled to Washington, DC, to lobby their congressional counterparts to pass federal legislation protecting voting rights. “We are living on borrowed time in Texas,” Texas Democratic leaders said in a statement. “We need Congress to act now…to protect Texans—and all Americans—from the Trump Republicans’ nationwide war on democracy.” Now they want the White House to act with the same urgency.  In a speech on Thursday, Vice President Kamala Harris called voting rights “the fight of our lifetime.” President Biden plans to deliver a major speech in Philadelphia on Tuesday denouncing GOP efforts to make it harder to vote, which White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Monday called “the worst challenge to our democracy since the Civil War.” Yet voting rights advocates...
    U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol June 24, 2021 in Washington, DC.Alex Wong | Getty Images The House approved legislation Tuesday that will speed up the visa process for Afghans who worked for the American military or NATO to come to the U.S.  The measure passed in a 366-46 vote and will now go to the Senate.  Under the legislation, Afghans who worked with U.S. troops as interpreters, drivers and other positions will no longer have to undergo a medical examination in Afghanistan to qualify for a special immigrant visa, or SIV. Instead, they will be allowed to get an examination in the U.S. within 30 days of their arrival. Many Afghans have been forced to travel long distances to get the medical examination at a single clinic in Kabul, which is costly, dangerous and a "serious delay" in the visa process, according to a statement introducing the legislation in May. Waiving the requirement in Afghanistan is expected to expedite the SIV process and ensure that Afghans...
    College sports will change forever on July 1, when the NCAA’s traditional definition of amateurism crumbles and student-athletes are permitted to earn paychecks based on their prowess on the fields and courts of play. Many are heralding the moment; some are dreading it; no one is exactly sure how it will play out over time. But we know this much: The implementation of Name, Image and Likeness legislation across the country is extraordinarily confusing, largely because the NCAA wasn’t prepared for a moment years in the making. Here’s a cheat sheet for fans to better understand the rapidly changing world of college sports. *** What is NIL? Name, Image and Likeness describes the process by which college athletes are allowed to receive financial compensation through marketing and promotional endeavors — from autograph signings to product endorsements to social media posts. *** What’s the origin of NIL? The legislation traces its origins to a class-action lawsuit filed in the late 2000s by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon, who argued that college athletes should be compensated for the use of their...
    Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, joined "Hannity" Tuesday to discuss the Senate Republicans' success blocking the sweeping legislation on election reforms. LEE: "I'm thrilled that we defeated S.1 tonight. This was a victory for the angels. This bill was written in hell by the devil himself. This bill would make it easier to vote. This would make it easier to vote illegally. This is the "Corrupt Politicians Act", and I'm glad we defeated it. Most importantly Sean, we have to remember that this would have arranged for federal taxpayer dollars to fund campaigns. Several of my colleagues have pointed out to me in the last few days that in their campaigns, if this bill had been law, they would have personally been entitled to tens of millions of dollars of federal taxpayer subsidies into their campaigns. Sean, there's one thing the American people do not want, and that's for the federal government to be running politicians' campaigns. And I'm thrilled that we stopped it." … This bill, S.1, of course, had nothing to do with 2020, had nothing to do with...
    Joe Manchin agreed Tuesday to vote with his fellow Democrats to begin debate on the voting rights bill – but 10 Republicans would still need to hop on board to progress the legislation. 'Today I will vote 'YES' to move to debate this updated voting legislation as a substitute amendment to ensure every eligible voter is able to cast their ballot and participate in our great democracy,' the West Virginia centrist Democrat said. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said: 'We worked it out.' The bill, however, needs 60 votes to avoid a filibuster and allow the Senate to begin debating the measure – and not one Republican has said they will join the 50 Democrats in voting to move forward. A vote on H.R. 1, or For the People Act, is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening. Manchin previously said he would not vote for the partisan bill, and didn't seem convinced otherwise after a meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House on Monday. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, pictured at the Capitol on June 22, said...
    Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) told Breitbart News during a press conference on Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is holding a likely to fail vote on the For the People Act to placate the far left, including a potential primary challenge from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Blackburn held a press conference call ahead of a planned Tuesday vote on S. 1, the For the People Act. S. 1 serves as the Democrats’ marquee legislation that would radically transform America’s electoral system, giving the federal government significant control over the country’s election. The legislation would: Federalize control over congressional elections; Declare that standard state and local maintenance of elections systems, such as purging ineligible voters from voter rolls, limiting vote-by-mail, requiring voter ID, and establishing rules against felons voting, would erode the right to vote; Restrict lawsuits against the rules in S. 1 to the federal court system, which is, coincidentally, favorable to Democrats; Establish online and automatic voter registration; Protect illegal immigrants from prosecution if they vote; Establish same-day voter registration; Register minors to vote; Mandate early voting;...
    The Biden administration will endorse legislation that would end the sentencing disparity between those caught with crack versus powder cocaine.  The Washington Post first reported that Regina LaBelle, the acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy will testify Tuesday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing and express the administration's support for the Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law Act, or Equal Act.  The move will be a reversal for Biden, who wrote legislation in 1986 as a U.S. senator that enacted steep differences in sentencing.  President Joe Biden's administration is endorsing a bill that would end the sentencing disparity between those caught with crack and powder cocaine   A 1986 crime bill then Sen. Joe Biden crafted gave a trafficker a minimum of 500 years for 500 grams of powder cocaine (left) versus just five grams of crack cocaine (right)  It mandated a five-year sentence for trafficking 500 grams of powder cocaine, versus just five grams of crack, which was given the nickname the 100-to-1 rule.  In 2010, during President Barack Obama's tenure, the...
    Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema doubled down on her defense of the filibuster under mounting pressure to denounce the legislative practice and ahead of a crucial Senate vote on a voting rights bill.  The Arizona Democrat, who touts her political independence and models her career in the maverick mold of the late John McCain, refused to bow to pressure from her own party and argued ending the filibuster 'damages our democracy.' 'The filibuster compels moderation and helps protect the country from wild swings between opposing policy poles,' she wrote in an op-ed published in The Washington Post on Monday night that defended the legislative tool.  The filibuster refers to the 60-vote threshold required to move legislation forward in the Senate. The Democrats' voting rights bill is expected to fall victim to it on Tuesday when it comes to the Senate floor. The legislative tool makes the minority party a power player in the Senate. In the current make up of the chamber, Democrats need 10 Republicans to vote with them to pass any legislation if all Democrats vote the party line.  Democratic...
    Democrats' voting rights bill is all but certain to fail in the Senate on Tuesday as Republicans move to block the progressive priority and Joe Biden failed to get centrist Joe Manchin to back the legislation. Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted the legislation on Monday as a 'disastrous proposal' that will get 'no quarter' in the Senate. Senator Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, met with Biden at the White House on Monday afternoon as the president attempted to persuade him to support the bill that would expand voting rights. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is bringing a vote to the floor Tuesday on a motion to begin debate on the amended version of legislation that passed the House in March. The procedural vote, however, would need 60 votes to succeed – and there is no indication any Republican senators will support the bill, let alone 10. Manchin has also said he opposes the bill, arguing that any major voting or election legislation must have bipartisan support, or else he will go against it. Republicans are prepared to...
                      by Ailan Evans  Over 70 companies signed on to a letter Monday in support of the For the People Act, a voting bill proposed by Democrats seeking to reform large parts of the electoral process. The letter called on the Senate to pass the voting bill, calling it “one of the most significant pieces of legislation to strengthen our democracy since the Civil Rights era” and condemning recent Republican voting legislation, The Hill reports. The letter was backed by a number of advocacy groups such as Vote.org and Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote “More than 360 bills in 47 states have been introduced to put up barriers to silence our fellow Americans’ voices, especially the voices of Black, Brown, young, disabled, and working class voters,” the letter said. “The For the People Act would override many of the abusive state laws that make it harder for millions to cast their ballots, and set national standards for free and fair elections.” “We applaud the House for passing the For the People Act, and urge...
    Procter & Gamble celebrates Pride with branded trikes and employees in the World Pride Parade on June 30, 2019 in New York City.Bryan Bedder | Getty Images More than ever, brands are signaling support for the LGBTQ+ community during Pride month. But experts say that true support has to come from more than a rainbow-hued post on social media.  A slew of giant brands this June have launched ad campaigns or marketed Pride-themed clothing and food. Kind Snacks has its own line of "Kind Pride" bars, for instance, while Skittles turned its packaging and candy gray to call attention to "the only rainbow that matters."  But with consumers giving a more watchful eye than ever to the brands they buy from, it has to go deeper than rainbow packaging, experts say. For instance, brands are being called out for purporting to support the LGBTQ+ community even when the companies have a history of donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to legislators who sponsor anti-trans legislation.  Also, though brands might feature the community prominently during Pride month, many still have a...
    The Club for Growth launched four radio ads Friday lobbying Senate Democrats against the “For the Politicians Act,” Breitbart News has learned exclusively. The grassroots conservative organization launched four ads in three states targeting Sens. Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). The ads will cost $25,000 and will remain on the air through the rest of the week. In the ad targeting Kelly, the Club for Growth noted that S.1, the “For the People Act,” would “let politicians use tax dollars to pay for campaign ads, even those nasty negative ads that trash up the tv.” “Mark Kelly helped write the thing; Kelly’s a cosponsor,” the narrator in the ad said. “Plus, it’ll stop states from requiring ID for voting. Shoot, I need an ID to get a fishing license.” “Yep, that’s Senate bill number one. Ask me, it smells more like number two,” the narrator said. The ads serve as the latest in the conservative organization’s efforts to stop House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) marquee legislation. Breitbart News reported in March...
    Recently, we learned that a significant effort to advance racial equity at the Minnesota Legislature received a serious blow. In a state that has long been defined by its paradox of being progressive yet having some of the worst racial and economic disparities in the nation; in a state that other states across the nation and other countries throughout the world are watching after witnessing the murder of George Floyd; in a state that is about to receive billions of dollars in federal (American Rescue Plan) funding as a result of the pandemic, the Legislature somehow still found a way to de-prioritize the implementation of a working group consisting of legislators and community members to design and propose a method for identifying the racial equity impacts of legislation. A process to determine equity impacts A number of partners — including the Center for Economic Inclusion, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Voices for Racial Justice, and the Racial Equity and Joy Coalition — worked tirelessly throughout the 2021 legislative session to ensure that a process for determining the racial equity impacts of...
    Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) amped up riot protections for police and other public and civil servants by signing the “Back the Blue Act” on Thursday. Reynolds enacted the legislation — SF 342 — during a news conference at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. “In Iowa, we Back the Blue,” a tweet from Reynolds said in part. The act increases qualified immunity protections and elevates charges related to riots and unlawful assemblies. In Iowa, we Back the Blue. Proud to sign the “Back the Blue Act” this morning at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy! pic.twitter.com/pX0mYgLwsu — Gov. Kim Reynolds (@IAGovernor) June 17, 2021 The legislation increases the penalty for anyone who participates willingly in a riot to a “Class D Felony,” according to the text. Charges will also be elevated to a Class D Felony for anyone who assaults and seriously injures a public or civil servant and/or brandishes a dangerous weapon in the process. Assault resulting in bodily injury or mental illness will warrant an aggravated misdemeanor charge. More upgrades: Unlawful assembly considered an aggravated misdemeanor Interference with public...
    Concerns Mount Over Looming Surge in Bankruptcy as COVID Medical Debt Soars Israels new prime minister, COVID-19 deaths, Biden heads to Brussels: 5 things to know Monday The Texas Democrats who blocked a Republican-backed voting restrictions bill from becoming state law at the eleventh hour last month will head to the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday to lobby senators as part of a broader, last-ditch effort to rally support for a major voter rights bill. © Provided by NBC News Nearly two dozen state Democrats plan to lobby senators in behalf of the For the People Act, a broad bill that would create a federal floor of voting rights access and kneecap laws like the one proposed in Texas and already enacted in other Republican-led states. Load Error The schedule is still in flux, but a source with knowledge of the plans said the Texas legislators are scheduled to meet with Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, both of Texas. They will also meet with House...
    The Endless Frontiers Act, a comprehensive bill sponsored by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., passed the Senate on Friday, leading some critics to point to a little-noticed move that could open a "Pandora's box" of unknown bioengineering with the help of federal funds. On "Fox News Primetime," host Tammy Bruce and investigative journalist Lara Logan noted that Democrats blocked the addition of an amendment from GOP Sens. James Lankford of Oklahoma, Steve Daines of Montana and Mike Braun of Indiana that would have outlawed so-called "Chimera research" – the bioengineering and experimentation of human-animal hybrid species. The larger bill has 6 Republican and 7 Democratic Senate co-sponsors, according to congressional records. Bruce reported that $250 billion in the Endless Frontiers Act will be allocated to promote emerging technologies to help the U.S. better compete with Chinese innovation. But she also noted that some of that Chinese experimentation has included a successful endeavor in April to create human-monkey embryos that lasted 20 days in a laboratory. That news comes as the National Institutes of Allergy & Infectious Disease and its leader, Dr....
    Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he would ‘for sure’ sign into law any bill that would ban transgender surgeries for minors. The Republican told Daily Caller News Foundation on Monday that he would sign the legislation if it came across his desk. He made the comments just a week after he signed into law a ban on transgender women from participating in female sports. 'I'm very much opposed to chemical castration of minors, I honestly didn't know this existed until a few years ago,' DeSantis told Daily Caller on Monday. 'That would be something I would sign for sure,' he said. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he would ‘for sure’ sign into law any bill that would ban transgender surgeries for minors
    Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., blasted Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., Monday for not budging on keeping the filibuster and opposing sweeping Democratic elections legislation, saying Manchin was doing "everything in his power to stop democracy." "Joe Manchin has become the new Mitch McConnell," Bowman said on CNN. "Mitch McConnell, during Obama's presidency, said he would do everything in his power to stop Obama. He's also repeated that now during the Biden presidency … Now Joe Manchin is doing everything in his power to stop democracy and to stop our work for the people, the work that the people sent us here to do." Manchin has committed to keeping the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to break to stop debate on most legislation and force votes, and he announced over the weekend his opposition to the For The People Act, a radical Democratic voting measure that conservatives argue would usurp state election authority. PROGRESSIVES LASH OUT AT MANCHIN AFTER SENATOR OPPOSES DEMS ELECTION BILL, ENDING FILIBUSTER CNN's "New Day," which has taken on an increasingly liberal bent with the addition of...
    Washington (CNN)Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin on Sunday defended his decision to vote against a sweeping voting rights bill and reiterated his opposition to gutting the filibuster, declaring in the strongest terms yet that he is not willing to change Senate rules to help his party push through much of President Joe Biden's agenda. "I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act. Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster," Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia, wrote in an op-ed published in the Charleston Gazette.Manchin's opposition to changing filibuster rules stands as a major roadblock to Biden's legislative priorities, as current rules allow Republicans to hold up many of the progressive bills the administration supports, including infrastructure spending, federal voting legislation and climate change legislation. What Joe Manchins constituents think of his bipartisanshiphe senator asserted that "the fundamental right to vote has itself become overtly politicized," and -- taking aim at members of his party --...
    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday re-upped her calls for the Senate to eliminate the legislative filibuster so Democrats can pass sweeping reforms while in control of Congress and the White House. The New York Democrat voiced her support for getting rid of the 60-vote threshold in response to a tweet from President Biden on Wednesday. Biden called for the passage of major federal voting rights legislation to combat the "all-out assault on our democracy" as GOP-led states change their election laws.  "Abolish the filibuster," the progressive Squad member posted in response to Biden's tweet.  BIDEN SEEMINGLY BLASTS SINEMA, MANCHIN FOR 'VOTING MORE WITH MY REPUBLICAN FRIENDS' The House already passed the massive election overhaul legislation, known as H.R. 1. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he'd bring the election legislation up for a vote in the Senate later this month, which would set the stage for a big clash on whether Democrats jettison the Senate tradition of a 60-vote threshold. Tensions around the filibuster debate escalated when Republicans last week used their first legislative filibuster during the Biden presidency...
                        The city of Knoxville plans to fund over $50 million for affordable housing over the next decade, according to legislation proposed by the mayor. The Affordable Housing Fund, as promulgated by Mayor Indya Kincannon, will commit a minimum of $5 million annually for the next decade to develop affordable housing. The Knoxville City Council is considering the legislation that would make Kincannon’s goal possible. The legislation would create a trust fund account called the “Knoxville affordable housing fund.” If passed, the new fund will take effect immediately. The legislation background declared that 1 in 3 Knoxville households pay too much for housing costs, which have reportedly increased over the years. It also stated that this affordable housing would revive the neighborhoods. “Addressing these affordable housing concerns is a priority that supports not only the needs of local families, but also our community’s efforts to revitalize neighborhoods that have experienced historical disinvestment, attract new business investment, and support workforce development, recruitment, and retention,” stated the legislation. Knoxville Communications Director...
    Washington, DC (CNN)Sen. Joe Manchin will not back the For the People Act, the sweeping elections and campaign finance overhaul sought by Democrats to blunt Republican state-level efforts to restrict voting access, a spokeswoman for the West Virginia Democrat confirmed Wednesday.Manchin -- who had previously expressed reservations about moving forward with a far-reaching measure without bipartisan support -- suggested instead using the John Lewis Voting Rights Act as the path forward.Manchin's proposal comes just one day after the Senate Rules Committee deadlocked 9-9 along partisan lines on passing the For the People Act out of committee Tuesday, revealing the tough path ahead for the Democratic legislation, which touches on everything from rules for early voting to public funding for Senate candidates. Manchin's suggestion for voting rights legislation -- the John Lewis Voting Rights Act -- is a bill far less sweeping than the For the People Act, but brings back major pieces of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, including a provision that require states to consult with the federal government before making major changes to their voting rules.Manchin's support of...
    You hear the old line from many progressive Democrats: ditch the Senate filibuster and we can pass our legislative agenda. Democrats are more than happy to upbraid Republicans for blocking bills important to the left. But Republicans aren't the Democrats' problem. Democrats are the problem. Democrats are struggling to advance key components of the progressive agenda through the Senate. Gun legislation. Voting rights. D.C. statehood. Environmental policy. Even infrastructure. House Democrats approved several of those measures already. But perhaps some introspection is in order. Democrats can’t pass these House-approved bills because all 50 Senate Democrats aren’t aligned. Sure. Democrats have nominal control of the Senate, thanks to the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris. But you have to at least be able to count to 50 if you're to have a snowball's chance of getting things to work in your favor in such a narrowly-divided Senate. And Democrats can’t necessarily do that on a host of subjects ... Yet. It still takes 60 votes to overcome a legislative filibuster in the Senate. That means if Democrats are all in lockstep,...
    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The next time you put on lipstick or apply mascara, consider how it was made and tested. There’s a worldwide push to stop animal testing and consumer demand for cruelty-free products. Maryland is emerging as a leader in this fight. READ MORE: Johns Hopkins University Helping India Fight Covid Surge Beauty that is kind. Maryland will become one of the first states in the country to ban cosmetic testing on animals. “This is reform that’s long overdue,” said Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, the Maryland state director, Humane Society of the United States. “And is gonna save lives of countless animals.” State lawmakers have passed “the prohibition on testing cosmetics on animals.” This legislation means future cosmetics — including lipstick, mascara, and blush — can not be tested on animals in Maryland. Linh Bui: “Why is this legislation important?” “This was a real win and benefit for a lot of folks — industry, consumers, as well as those of us who support our animal friends,” said Senator Clarence Lam, who represents Baltimore and Howard counties in District 12. Supporters said...
    Elliot Page — the transgender star formerly known as actress Ellen Page — is taking aim at state legislation regarding transgender kids, claiming the new laws will ultimately be responsible for the “death of children.” In an interview with Vanity Fair magazine, the formerly female star also claimed to have experienced a gender epiphany at an early age: “I was a little kid, absolutely, 100%, I was a boy.” Elliot Page spoke to Vanity Fair in advance of an Oprah Winfrey interview that is set to stream Friday on Apple TV+. “The backlash right now is so intense. But the rhetoric coming from anti-trans activists and anti-LGBTQ activists—it’s devastating. These bills are going to be responsible for the death of children. It is that simple,” Page said. Watch below:  Page was referring to a new law in Arkansas, as well as legislation in several other states, that would bar children from receiving irreversible hormone treatment and sex-change operations, as well as medication including puberty blockers. Proponents of the legislation argue it will protect children from making permanent changes to...
    The Washington Post reports that President Joe Biden will make a push for an immigration overhaul during his first address to Congress on Wednesday night, and will call for passage of his “ambitious” immigration bill introduced this past February that puts millions of undocumented immigrants on a path to citizenship. Under that legislation, certain immigrants, like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and farmworkers, would be eligible for accelerated paths. Biden will also reportedly “use his address to a joint session of Congress to push for more targeted legislation” that has already passed the House with support from Republicans, The Post said. The Dream and Promise Act, which protects DACA recipients and temporary status holders, passed with votes from nine Republicans. The Farm Workforce Modernization Act passed with support from 30 Republicans. Both bills are vastly popular among the public. Of course, the top Senate Republican is already throwing cold water on any movement. NBC News reporter Sahil Kapur tweeted that the Senate Republican minority leader dusted off the same old talking point that Republicans have used for years now as an excuse to block progress on...
    President Joe Biden will praise Vice President Kamala Harris for her work on border diplomacy in his address to a joint session of Congress Wednesday night where he also will call on lawmakers to pass his immigration proposal. Biden's plan, unveiled in March from Democratic lawmakers, includes an eight-year path to citizenship for most of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, eliminates restrictions on family-based immigration, expands worker visas, and includes funding for security updates at the border. But the immigration issue remains a divisive one amid a surge in migrant crossings at the Southern border. President Joe Biden will push Congress  to pass some time of immigration reform but, instead of comprehensive plan, he may settle for a targeted bill that would give citizenship to Dreamers Republicans claim it's the result of Biden rolling back President Donald Trump's restrictive policies and have criticized Harris for not visiting the border region.  The White House has defended Harris, noting she's in charge of addressing the root causes of migration and the underlying reasons sending migrants from the Northern...
    President Joe Biden will use his address to a joint meeting of Congress next week to renew his push for legislation named for George Floyd that bans police choke holds and racial profiling, the White House said Wednesday. Biden himself made the bill a priority in a call with members of George Floyd's family Tuesday shortly after a jury convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of murdering Floyd during an arrest last year.  Floyd's lawyer, Benjamin Crump, lobbied Biden for the bill during their call - which Crump tweeted out and which got broadcast on cable TV. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden would press Congress to act on George Floyd legislation during his address to a joint meeting of Congress next week. 'I think he's promising to the Floyd family that he will use the power of his presidency, the bully pulpit, as he intends to do during his joint address next week,' she said 'You got it pal. That and a lot more,' Biden promised him. He said the outcome 'provided a...
    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Tuesday that racial injustice and the violation of indigenous rights cause climate change. “We must recognize in legislation that the trampling of indigenous rights is a cause of climate change, that the trampling of racial justice is a cause of climate change,” the New York Democrat said during a speech that reintroduced the Green New Deal. Ocasio-Cortez and several of her Democratic colleagues reintroduced the legislation after announcing it in 2019. (RELATED: ‘Let’s Do This’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Challenges Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez To Debate On Green New Deal) WATCH: The legislation seeks to mitigate carbon emissions, which would reduce climate change, the American Action Forum (AAF) reported in 2019. The legislation includes several proposals, such as universal healthcare, “guaranteed green housing,” ensuring all Americans can access food and a “net-zero emissions transportation system.” The Green New Deal could cost up to $93 trillion, according to AAF estimates, with the majority of the cost attributed to universal healthcare and guaranteed employment. Ocasio-Cortez said the Green New Deal addresses the phenomenon and clarified that there isn’t an “environmental or...
    (CNN)It is not the job of jurors in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin to issue a verdict on American policing or racial justice, but their coming decision in the trial of the White cop who knelt on a Black man's neck for nine minutes has many in the country primed for a real turning point, one way or another.The visual documentation of the crime against George Floyd, the year of protest it unleashed and now the wall-to-wall coverage of the trial have supercharged expectations heading into jury deliberations that will decide Chauvin's guilt, but also have come, in anticipation, to feel like a moment of justice.The charges against Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, explainedWe have been here before, with the trials of those who attacked Rodney King, Trayvon Martin and Breonna Taylor. More than ever, the country feels like it's looking for some accountability, even if the jury is being asked to judge one man.Already the reckoning over policing has led to new state laws, many of which break along the normal political...
    (CNN)Thirty-three states have introduced more than 100 bills that aim to curb the rights of transgender people across the country, with advocacy groups calling 2021 a record-breaking year for such legislation.  Many of these bills are rapidly making their way through state legislatures. On April 6, Arkansas became the first state to outlaw providing gender-affirming treatment to minors, a move that the American Civil Liberties Union said would "send a terrible and heartbreaking message" to transgender youth across the country. According to data from the Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation's largest LGBTQ advocacy groups, at least 117 bills have been introduced in the current legislative session that target the transgender community. It's the highest number the organization has recorded since it began tracking anti-LGBTQ legislation more than 15 years ago. The majority of bills would affect transgender youth, a group that researchers and medical professionals warn is already susceptible to high rates of suicide and depression.   Here's where these bills have been introduced, and the restrictions they seek to impose:  Bans on participation in same-gender youth sports Read...
    Bradley Cortright April 8, 2021 0 Comments Former President Donald Trump is taking aim at Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) for vetoing a bill that blocks minors from receiving certain gender-affirming treatments or surgeries. Despite the fact that the Arkansas legislature voted to override Hutchinson’s veto, Trump released a statement shredding the governor. On Thursday, he said, “Hutchinson, the lightweight RINO Governor of Arkansas, just vetoed a Bill that banned the CHEMICAL CASTRATION OF CHILDREN.  ‘Bye-bye Asa,’ that’s the end of him!” “Fortunately for the Great State of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders will do a fantastic job as your next Governor!” Trump added. Trump endorsed Huckabee Sanders for governor in 2022. Hutchinson is term limited and cannot run again after his current term ends. On Monday, Hutchinson vetoed legislation that would have made his state the first in the country to ban minors from receiving puberty blockers, hormones, or transition-related surgeries. It would also threaten to revoke the licenses of healthcare providers who provide such care. Medical professionals argued that the legislation would block treatment that could...
    Ten House Democrats have now joined a lawsuit first filed by Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi accusing former President Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani of stoking the MAGA riot that had many of them cowering in their offices while a mob ransacked the Capitol. Joining the suit which relies on the Ku Klux Klan act and is joined by the NAAP, are prominent lawmakers including Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Jerold Nadler of New York and Financial Services Committee chair Rep. Maxine Waters of California.   Also joining are Reps. Steve Cohen of Tennessee, Karen Bass of California, Barbara Lee of California, Pramilia Jaypal of Washington, Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey, Veronica Escobar of Texas, Hank Johnson Jr. of Georgia, Veronica Escobar of Texas and Marcy Kaptur of Ohio. Each signed onto the suit in their 'personal capacity.'  House Judiciary Chairman Jerold Nadler has joined a lawsuit against former President Donald Trump and former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani over the Jan. 6th riot. The lawmakers were in the House House or its galleries when it happened The lawsuit, one...