Biden Pushed For Bipartisanship What Happened
Biden ran on wanting bipartisanship efforts on Capitol Hill, and being a;negotiator during his 36 years in the Senate.;
Bipartisan efforts were made in the beginning of negotiations, with a;group of 10 Republicans meeting with Biden at the White House in early February to propose a counteroffer: a;$618 billion package.
But, those talks and communication have;since fizzled, according to Romney, who was;one of the senators who met with Biden. He told reporters;there has been very little effort on the part of the White House to find common ground with Republicans.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Me., who was also in the group of 10 Republicans, said;talks between the White House and her colleagues stalled.”
Biden said he hoped;”Republicans in Congress listen to their constituents,”;citing the popularity of the bill in some polls.;
Romney told reporters Thursday if some Republican amendments;got into the bill, some of his colleagues may support it.;
“But my guess is it’s not likely that many of our amendments will get any Democrat support so I think it’s very unlikely that any Republicans will support the final bill,” he said.
McConnell and other Republicans have also criticized Democrats for using;a special process called reconciliation to push forward;the legislation;without much input from the GOP.;
Gop Claims Afghan Refugees Are Arriving Unvetted That’s Not True
Thirty-five House Republican broke ranks Wednesday evening to support legislation that would establish an independent commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.
- Liz Cheney of Wyoming
- Tom Rice of South Carolina
- Dan Newhouse of Washington
- Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington
- Peter Meijer of Michigan
- John Katko of New York
- David Valadao of California
- Tom Reed of New York
- Don Bacon of Nebraska
- Andrew Garbarino of New York
- Tony Gonzales of Texas
- Dusty Johnson of South Dakota
- David Joyce of Ohio
- Chris Smith of New Jersey
- Van Taylor of Texas
- Chris Jacobs of New York
- David McKinley of West Virginia
- Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska
Why 21 House Republicans Balked At Medals For Capitol Police
There was a brief political consensus in the immediate aftermath of the insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The left, right, and center could all agree on a simple truth: participating in a riotous assault against the nation’s seat of government, in the hopes of derailing our electoral system, is a serious attack against our democracy.
As we’ve discussed, however, that consensus broke down soon after. As winter turned to spring, many House Republicans decided to rewrite recent history, recasting the villains as heroes, and the police as heavy-handed abusers who interfered with “peaceful patriots” engaged in a lawful protest. There was fresh evidence of this yesterday: TPM reported, “During a House Oversight committee hearing Tuesday, several Republicans spent their speaking time expressing concern for a specific group of people involved in the January 6 attack: the insurrectionists themselves.”
Soon after the hearing, the House took up a measure to honor the law-enforcement officials who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6. The resolution passed, but not unanimously.
To be sure, a 406-to-21 vote is lopsided, but under normal circumstances, we’d expect zero members of Congress to vote against a measure honoring Capitol Police who kept them safe during an attack on their own institution. Yesterday, however, 21 lawmakers — each of them conservative Republicans — voted “no,” despite knowing that the resolution would pass anyway.
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House Republicans Voted Against Giving Medals To Officers Who Responded To Jan 6 Riot
The House passed a bill Tuesday to award the Congressional Gold Medal to all law enforcement officers who defended the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, with 21 Republicans opposing the bill.
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The measure passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 406-21.
Details: The four medals awarded under the bill one of the highest civilian honors would be displayed in the Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police headquarters, Smithsonian Institution and the Capitol building.
The bill names the three law enforcement officers who died following the attack, and singles out U.S. Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman, who lured a mob away from members of Congress.
The resolution recognizes their actions as an example of “the patriotism and the commitment of Capitol Police officers, and those of other law enforcement agencies, to risk their lives in service of our country.”
The Republicans who voted against:
Rep. Thomas Massie
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
Rep. Andy Harris
The Long Fight To Funding
Congress passed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in 2010, over opposition from some Republicans who balked at its original $7 billion price tag. The act was reauthorized in 2015 for 90 years. But a portion of the law the Victim Compensation Fund was only funded for five years, through the end of 2020.; The fund aimed to provide necessary financial support for the thousands who suffered serious medical issues, including a spate of cancer diagnoses, after the 2001 attacks.;
The House voted 402 to 12 to permanently reauthorize the fund through 2092 earlier in July, with the Congressional Budget Office estimating $10.2 billion in costs over the next ten years. However, Sen. Rand Paul prevented the Senate from voting to approve the bill by unanimous consent last week because of its high cost. Fellow Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah also placed a procedural hold on the legislation, further preventing it from passing in the Senate.;
Under Senate rules, any one senator can propose that a bill be considered for unanimous consent, but one senator can also block it. The bill was then brought to the floor for debate and a full vote this week.
Comedian and 9/11 first responder advocate Jon Stewart blasted Paul;over the issue, telling Fox News the move was “absolutely outrageous.”;
In a last-minute pitch before Tuesday’s vote, Paul offered an amendment he said would help offset the bill’s spending costs.;
/11 Responders Bill Defeated By Senate Gop Filibuster
the CNN Wire StaffSTORY HIGHLIGHTS
- Motion for cloture falls three votes short of ending GOP filibuster
- Republicans oppose the $7.4 billion cost; supporters hope to revive the measure
- Bill would provide medical benefits, compensation for 9/11 first responders
- NYC Mayor Bloomberg calls it an “example of partisan politics trumping patriotism”
Washington — Senate Democrats failed Thursday to win a procedural vote to open debate on a bill that would provide medical benefits and compensation for emergency workers who were first on the scene of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The motion for cloture, or to begin debate, needed 60 votes to pass due to a Republican filibuster, but fell short at 57-42 in favor.
While supporters said they would try to bring the bill up again, either on its own or as part of other legislation to be considered, the vote Thursday jeopardized the measure’s chances for approval in the final weeks of the current congressional session.
The House previously passed the bill on a mostly partisan 268-160 vote.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg reacted to Thursday’s result by calling it “a tragic example of partisan politics trumping patriotism.”
“I urge Senate Republicans to reconsider their wrong-headed political strategy and allow the bill to come to the floor for a vote,” Bloomberg said in a statement.
Zadroga Act Opponents Including Paul Ryan Observe September 11 Anniversary
WASHINGTON — The nation’s leading Republicans marked the 11th anniversary of 9/11 with the words “never forget” on their lips — most of those using the occasion to promote legislation — but nearly all of them opposed the bill passed two years ago to help the first responders who suffered health problems in the wake of the attacks.
Prominent among them was vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan , who voted twice against the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, and opposed the final passage of the bill.
“Eleven years ago today, from Capitol Hill, I could see the smoke rising from the fires burning in the Pentagon. Like all Americans, I will never forget the moment that our homeland came under attack,” Ryan said in a statement. “For me, this is a day to remember those who perished on that day of terror, including the first responders.”
A spokesman for Ryan, Brendan Buck, insisted that Ryan supports 9/11 responders and pointed to the congressman’s votes soon after the attacks in favor of aid for those suffering. He explained Ryan’s Dec. 2010 comments on the House floor in opposition to the Zadroga bill by noting that Ryan said he didn’t like the bill because he thought it was flawed, was “rushed” onto the floor by Democrats, and created a new mandatory spending program.
“Gov. Romney supports government assistance to the victims of terrorism,” Saul said.
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Texas Elections Bill Was Near Party
Friday’s vote;saw only one representative;cross;party lines; Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, who voted against SB 1.;
All 40 Democrats who were present Friday voted against the bill, with several saying efforts should focus on improving;voter access with such initiatives as online or election day voter registration.
Instead, Republicans squandered an opportunity by focusing on restrictions that will have a disproportionate impact on voters of color, said Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie,;one of nine Democrats to speak against SB 1 to close Friday’s debate.
The bill, Turner said, was inspired by the “big lie” that President Donald Trump was denied a second term because of widespread election fraud, a conspiracy theory unleashing a toxic and dangerous threat to democracy.
“He and other Republicans whipped their base into a frenzy with crazy conspiracies about election fraud,” Turner said.
“This bill was never about election security or voter integrity.;It was always about using the big lie to justify restricting access to the ballot box,” he said.
Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, a Black woman who recalled having to pay a poll tax to vote when she was young, said SB 1 was a continuation of an attack on the right to vote for nonwhite citizens.
“We have 90 days to act,” he said. “The clock is ticking.”
Utah Sen Mike Lee Votes Against 9/11 First Responders Bill After Losing Bid To Limit Spending
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.
Washington The Senate passed a measure Tuesday extending for decades the fund for victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks after defeating an amendment by Sen. Mike Lee that would have limited the payout to about $20 billion over the life of the program.
The bill, which passed overwhelmingly in the Senate 97-2 and was previously approved by the House, now heads to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature.
Lee, a Utah Republican, had held up the bill while attempting to curtail the expansion to only what is needed in the next decade. His amendment, shot down by a 32-66 vote, would have given $10.18 billion to the fund in the next 10 years and another $10 billion after that.
After his amendment failed, Lee voted against the final bill. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, supported the overall measure.
Lee walked off the floor shortly after it was clear his amendment didnt have the 60 votes it needed to pass.
His office declined to comment on the vote and pointed to a statement from last week when the senator said that the victims fund has had an excellent record avoiding waste and abuse and has always been funded for a time-certain extension.
These two things are not coincidental, he said in that statement. They go together.
The Senate also rejected an amendment by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., that would have cut other programs to pay for extending the 9/11 fund. Paul cast the only other no vote.
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Republicans Vote Against Awarding Medals To Police Who Defended Capitol
The House passed legislation on Tuesday to award Congressional Gold Medals; one of the highest civilian honors; to police officers who defended the Capitol during the violent Jan. 6 insurrection.
Lawmakers handily passed the legislation. Members of both parties supported it, 406-21, with all of the votes in opposition coming from conservative Republicans.
The four medals awarded under the bill would be displayed at the Capitol Police headquarters, at the D.C. Metropolitan Police headquarters, at the Smithsonian Institution and in a “prominent location” in the Capitol.
The medal displayed in the Capitol would be accompanied with a plaque listing all of the law enforcement agencies that helped protect the building on Jan. 6 from the mob of former President TrumpJoe BidenSpotlight turns to GOP’s McCarthy in Jan. 6 probeBiden visits union hall to mark Labor DayBiden approves disaster funds for NJ, NY after Ida floodingMOREs election victory.
The resolution names three police officers; Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood of the Capitol Police and;Jeffrey Smith of the Metropolitan Police; who died in the days after they were on duty at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The measure states that their actions “exemplify the patriotism and the commitment of Capitol Police officers, and those of other law enforcement agencies, to risk their lives in service of our country.”
‘we’ll See You At The Polls’
But the bill’s House sponsor, Rep. Andrew Murr, R-Junction, said SB 1 was the product of more than 35 hours of House debate between the regular session that ended in May and two special sessions.
“We all strive for improvement, and I believe that’s what we’re looking at with this legislation, is improving the Election Code of Texas,” Murr said, his voice scratchy from almost 13 hours of debate Thursday over SB 1.
Moments before the House took its final vote on SB 1, Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston, engaged Murr in a back-and-forth discussion on the House floor.
“Do you think there’s fraud in Texas elections?” Dutton asked.
“Generally speaking, I;think there is always a likelihood of fraud,” Murr replied. “We have;seen past examples of fraud.”
Dutton ended with an acknowledgement that the fight over SB 1 was almost over, but he said a larger fight is looming: “We’re going to;go;vote, and so we’ll see you at the polls.”
Once the House names its five members to the conference committee, they will negotiate a final version of SB 1 that will need to be approved;by both chambers.
The bill’s author, Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, said Friday that;he will determine the next step after;studying House changes.
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DOJ wades in against Texas abortion ban
Attorney General Merrick Garland said Monday that the Justice Department would protect women seeking an abortion in Texas as the agency explores ways to challenge one of the most restrictive laws in the nation. In a statement, Garland said the department would protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services pursuant to our criminal and civil enforcement of the law known as the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.
The announcement from the Justice Department comes days after the conservative-majority Supreme Court declined to block the Texas law that bans abortion as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest. The law also allows anyone to file a lawsuit against any other person who has aided someone in obtaining an abortion, with the potential for a $10,000 payoff.
The Internet responds
Pro-choice users on TikTok and;Reddit;have launched a guerrilla effort to thwart Texass extreme new abortion law, flooding an online tip website that encourages people to report violators of the law with false reports, Shrek memes and porn.
The law makes it illegal to help women in;Texas;access abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy. To help enforce it, anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life established the digital tipline where people can send anonymous information about potential violations.
A Legislative Win But At What Cost
As the bill now heads to the president’s desk for final signature, advocates and living survivors can’t help but think the battle was won but at the expense of hundreds of their brothers in arms.
In the process of the reauthorization, over 200 firefighters and first responders died as a result of cancers and other medical ailments related to the 2001 terror attacks.;
The daughter of William Gormley, a former New York City firefighter who died after his own battle with cancer in 2017, told CBS that her family had filed a claim for benefits from the victims fund immediately after her father’s death and was assured that the money would be there.
“They went back on their promise but they had to. It was better for everyone to get a little money than no one at all,” Bridget Gormley said.
Gormley says the fund was unfortunately a “victim of its own success” after the fund quickly ran out of money because of a rise in cancer-related illnesses in the 9/11 community.;
“This is not going to be a cause for celebration,” Gormley noted importantly. “We unfortunately have to learn some lessons form our failures in this situation. It’ll be a milestone but it’ll serve as a testament to the first responders who fought.”
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