‘A country that liberated slaves.’ Hawley minimizes racism’s role in US history
Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley pushed back against the national reckoning over systemic racism in a speech Friday, presenting the U.S. as a nation that had “liberated slaves” and positioning himself as leader of a new nationalist movement. Hawley addressed the American Conservative Union’s annual CPAC conference in Orlando and urged the crowd to embrace “a new nationalism” during a speech likely meant to serve as an audition for a future presidential run. He launched a critique of the reckoning that has taken place nationwide in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis last year....
The Kansas City Star
State Senate panel backs bill to end automatic voter registration in Georgia
ATLANTA — A Senate committee passed voting restrictions Friday that would end automatic voter registration and no-excuse absentee voting in Georgia. The Senate Ethics Committee voted mostly along party lines to advance the bills, which could reach the full Senate next week. The voting limitations advanced Friday are the latest in a series of bills pushed by Republican legislators after record turnout led to Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over Republican Donald Trump. Other legislation advancing in the General Assembly would add voter ID requirements for absentee voting, restrict ballot drop boxe...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Ted Cruz mocks Ocasio-Cortez, trip to Cancun at CPAC
Sen. Ted Cruz taunted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as he addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, making a joke out of the New York Democrat's fears of the deadly riot at the Capitol last month. In his remarks, Cruz, R-Texas, said the U.S. faces “dark times” with Democrats controlling both chambers of Congress, adding dramatically that “Bernie is wearing mittens, and AOC is telling us she was murdered,” his voice reaching a high pitch. The reference to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ sartorial choices at President Joe Biden’s inauguration and Ocasio-Cortez’s account of the Capit...
New York Daily News
Will Bunch: Why Biden needs a prime-time, Oval Office speech to declare war on voter suppression
The Democratic president had won a strong victory in the November election, and now the nation's best-known civil-rights leaders were urging him to take strong federal action to override a number of states where conservative lawmakers and sheriffs were impeding Black and brown Americans from voting. The president agreed with them in private — but he also insisted that he had to go slow, because a voting rights showdown might cost him centrist votes he needed for his bold economic agenda to fight poverty, expand health care and overhaul immigration. But within weeks, something dramatic happened...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
SC Republican files bill to allow Donald Trump to be buried on State House grounds
COLUMBIA, S.C. — A Republican state legislator wants to give former President Donald Trump the option of making the State House grounds his final resting place. A bill from GOP state Rep. R.J. May would require the South Carolina Department of Administration to offer any president acquitted of impeachment twice to be buried on State House grounds, according to a statement from May's political consulting firm, Ivory Tusk Consulting. The bill is a rebuttal to one introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, which would bar any president impeached twice from being buried at Arlington National...
The State (Columbia, S.C.)
Stacey Abrams backs federal protection as Georgia election bills draw more criticism
WASHINGTON — Stacey Abrams says new federal protections for voting rights are needed because too many states, including Georgia, are trying to hinder access. Legislation proposed this year by Republicans in the Georgia's General Assembly would eliminate or limit automatic voter registration, early in-person voting and mail-in voting, Abrams said. These changes are unnecessary and amount to voter suppression, she told the U.S. House Administration Committee on Thursday, urging members to move forward with a bill that could prevent those changes from becoming law. "Federal legislation and federa...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Overwhelmed federal courts ask Congress for more judges
Overwhelming caseloads, substantial litigation delays and spiraling costs have prompted Congress to take a fresh look at expanding the number of judges sitting on lower federal courts. In a hearing Wednesday held by the House Committee on the Judiciary, both congress members and witnesses characterized the situation as a crisis that has been decades in the making. "For 20 years-plus we've been in a judicial emergency," Chief District Judge Kimberly Mueller of the Eastern District of California testified to the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet. The Judicial Confer...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Pelosi slams Republicans for watering down Capitol probe
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed Republicans on Thursday for trying to distract attention from the role of right-wing radicals in the Capitol siege. The California Democrat trashed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for insisting that the commission study not just include the violence at the Capitol but also last summer’s racial justice protests. “We are talking about domestic terrorism,” Pelosi said. “That’s what we are trying to get to the bottom of. ... We’re not going to get into every case of mob violence.” Pelosi accused McConnell of allowing Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., to di...
New York Daily News
Tenants struggle amid patchwork of state rental relief efforts
Late last year, Congress gave Michigan more than half a billion dollars to protect renters in the state from eviction. There was just one catch: State leaders had to sign off on distributing the money. Nearly two months later, the funding—along with the rest of the federal aid given to Michigan for schools, vaccine distribution and business grants—is stuck in a partisan standoff. Republican lawmakers want to approve only a quarter of the funding, arguing that distributing it in installments will promote transparency. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, wants to make all the money available imme...
Jennifer Granholm confirmed as energy secretary in bipartisan Senate vote
Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm is officially headed back to political office. Ten years after her second term as governor ended, Granholm on Thursday was confirmed as President Joe Biden's energy secretary, taking over as head of a multibillion-dollar agency that oversees national laboratories, the U.S. nuclear arsenal and plays a significant role in funding technological innovation and adoption of new technologies. The U.S. Senate voted 64-35 to confirm Granholm. All 48 Democrats, including Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, both D-Mich., voted in favor of her nomination as did th...
Detroit Free Press