Democrats Introduce Another Voting Bill, But Odds of Becoming Law Are Slim

Tim Kaine and Amy Klobuchar

Senate Democrats are set to release their new, trimmed down voting bill, but despite unanimous support from their caucus it faces a steep climb to become law.

The bill, titled the Freedom to Vote Act, is Democrats’ response to a series of voting restrictions passed in Republican-controlled states across the country. But despite its framework, constructed around a compromise plan proposed by West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, it must still clear a filibuster to pass the Senate, meaning at least 10 Republicans would have to sign on in support.

The legislation, introduced by Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, drops some of the more contentious provisions included in the For the People Act, Democrats’ previous legislation that fell to a GOP filibuster in June. While the new bill would no longer restructure the Federal Election Commission and requires a nationwide voter ID standard, it includes automatic registration provisions and would make Election Day a national holiday.

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Airbnb Offers Free Temporary Housing Across the World to 20,000 Afghan Refugees

Airbnb, a vacation home rental site, is offering free temporary housing to around 20,000 Afghan refugees across the world, the company announced Tuesday.

“As tens of thousands of Afghan refugees resettle around the world, where they stay will be the first chapter in their new lives,” Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky said in a statement. “For these 20,000 refugees, my hope is that the Airbnb community will provide them with not only a safe place to rest and start over, but also a warm welcome home.”

Around 3.5 million people living in Afghanistan have been displaced, including around 270,000 due to Taliban advances since January, the U.N. reported on July 13. Around 10,400 people were evacuated by U.S. military flights from Afghanistan Sunday and another 6,660 were taken Monday, according to the Associated Press.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: The Higher Inflation and Bigger Debt Act

United States currency

The $3.5 trillion spending bill set up to follow the $1.1 trillion infrastructure bill (which has little to do with infrastructure) should be called what it really is: The Higher Inflation and Bigger Debt Act.

The Democrats would like you to believe it is only a reconciliation bill. This is vital to them because a reconciliation bill only takes 50 senators and the vice president to pass the U.S. Senate.

However, this additional $3.5 trillion comes after trillions of emergency spending prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider what the Congressional Budget Office has written about the fiscal situation before the $1.1 trillion and $3.5 trillion bills are passed:

Here is what the Congressional Budget Office forecasts (not counting Biden’s enormous spending plan): 

“By the end of 2021, federal debt held by the public is projected to equal 102 percent of GDP. Debt would reach 107 percent of GDP (surpassing its historical high) in 2031 and would almost double to 202 percent of GDP by 2051. Debt that is high and rising as a percentage of GDP boosts federal and private borrowing costs, slows the growth of economic output, and increases interest payments abroad. A growing debt burden could increase the risk of a fiscal crisis and higher inflation as well as undermine confidence in the U.S. dollar, making it more costly to finance public and private activity in international markets.”

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New Poll Spells Bad News for Progressives in High-Profile Ohio Special Election

Shontel Brown and Nina Turner

Nina Turner and Shontel Brown, the two leading Democrats vying to fill a House seat that includes Cleveland, are tied with 33% support, a new poll shows.

The Aug. 3 special election will likely determine who will succeed Housing Secretary Marcia Fudge, who resigned the seat after getting confirmed in March. Though Turner, a close ally of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, entered the race as an overwhelming favorite, Democrats seeking a moderate alternative have lined up behind Brown in recent weeks.

Brown has been endorsed by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, Hillary Clinton, the Congressional Black Caucus and other high-profile members of the Democratic establishment, while Turner has the support of the “Squad” and other progressives.

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Michigan Senate Passes $17 Billion Budget Plan

The Michigan Senate passed a plan totaling $17 billion for K-12 schools, hours before the budget deadline that levies no penalties for late action.

The real deadline for the state budget is Sept. 30, ahead of the Oct. 1 start of the state’s fiscal year.

House Bill 4410 passed on a 34-0 vote, which Senate Appropriations Chair Jim Stamas, R-Midland, called an “immediate priority.” The bill includes $10 million to repair natural disaster relief in cities flooded in June 2021.

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Michigan Senate Votes to End $300 Weekly Federal Unemployment Benefits

The Michigan Senate voted 19-16 to approve House Bill 4434, which aims to end the state’s participation in boosted $300/week federal unemployment program.

Republicans have argued the benefit hinders economic recovery 15 months after the pandemic started.

Business owners told lawmakers on June 17 they can’t find workers, even after hiking pay, signing bonuses, and flexible hours. Some industries have seen as many as 35% of workers not return post-COVID-19, leaving some gas stations wondering if they’ll get enough gas.

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Eleven Republican U.S. Senators and Senators-Elect Join Growing Chorus in Congress Who Say They Will Challenge Electoral College Results Wednesday

Eleven more Republican U.S. senators and senators-elect from 10 states said they will contest the Electoral College results Wednesday over fraud concerns.

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), one of the 11, made the announcement Saturday. Senator-Elect Bill Hagerty (R-TN), who was endorsed by President Donald Trump in the election, is working with her in the dissent.

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Eleven Republican U.S. Senators and Senators-Elect Join Growing Chorus in Congress Who Say They Will Challenge Electoral College Results Wednesday

Eleven more Republican U.S. senators and senators-elect from 10 states said they will contest the Electoral College results Wednesday over fraud concerns.

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), one of the 11, made the announcement Saturday. Senator-Elect Bill Hagerty (R-TN), who was endorsed by President Donald Trump in the election, is working with her in the dissent.

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Minnesota, Virginia Congressmen Propose Constitutional Amendment to Limit Supreme Court Size at Nine Justices

U.S. Reps. Collin C. Peterson (D-MN-07) and Denver Riggleman (R-VA-05) said they want to make sure that neither political party can ever pack the Supreme Court.

In a bipartisan joint press release issued Thursday, the representatives said they introduced an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to permanently set the number of U.S. Supreme Court Justices at nine.

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Trump Impeached: U.S. House Impeaches President for Third Time in Nation’s History

The U.S. House of Representatives officially impeached President Donald J. Trump Wednesday evening, making him just the third president in the country’s history to be impeached.

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Collin Peterson Leaning Against Voting for Articles of Impeachment: ‘Too Divisive’

Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN-07) said he’s leaning against voting for the articles of impeachment that House Democrats officially introduced Tuesday morning.

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