Democratic Rivals Rebuke Biden for Not Backing Abortion Rule Repeal

Posted: June 5, 2019, 7:03 pm

Democratic Rivals Rebuke Biden for Not Backing Abortion Rule Repeal Former U.S. vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks to people in downtown Boston, Massachusetts, June 5, 2019. WASHINGTON — Joe Biden is under fire from his Democratic presidential rivals and women's rights advocates for his defense of a decades-old prohibition on federal money paying for abortions.
Most Democratic White House hopefuls reflect their party's latest platform calling for the outright repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which traces back to a compromise made when Biden was a young Delaware senator in the years after the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling legalized abortion nationwide.
But a Biden campaign spokesman said Wednesday that the former vice president supports the measure, though he “would be open to repealing it” if abortion access is further threatened by restrictive state laws, like those recently passed in Georgia and Alabama.
The hedging prompted in..

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De Blasio Gets 2020 Presidential Backing from Local Union

Posted: June 5, 2019, 1:01 pm

De Blasio Gets 2020 Presidential Backing from Local Union FILE – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at an event in Washington, March 25, 2019. NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH'-zee-oh) has picked up the first union endorsement of his longshot presidential bid.
The New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council announced Wednesday that it is endorsing de Blasio and will send members to campaign for him in early voting states including New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina.
De Blasio is among two dozen candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. Since joining the race last month, he has struggled to emerge from the pack and may not qualify for the first Democratic debates .
But Hotel and Motel Trades Council President Peter Ward says de Blasio offers “much-needed hope to working families across the country.”
The 40,000-member union local is an affiliate of the national hotel workers union UNITE HERE.

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US Senators Launch Bipartisan Bid to Block Saudi Arms Sales

Posted: June 5, 2019, 11:38 am

US Senators Launch Bipartisan Bid to Block Saudi Arms Sales FILE – The U.S. Capitol building is seen at sunrise in Washington. Republicans and Democrats are banding together to try and stop the Trump administration's sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia.
Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and others are introducing 22 Senate resolutions to halt the sales. The move threatens to tangle up the Senate in a series of votes this summer.
It's unclear whether the resolutions will pass, but the support of Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Ran Paul underscores the breadth of bipartisan opposition to the administration's policy.
Trump invoked emergency powers to sell arms to the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates without congressional review. The senators say the use of the power was unprecedented and can be challenged.
Lawmakers have grown increasingly critical of U.S.-Saudi ties since the killing of U.S.-based columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

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2020 Hopeful Inslee: Build US Foreign Policy Around Climate

Posted: June 5, 2019, 11:11 am

2020 Hopeful Inslee: Build US Foreign Policy Around Climate FILE – Democratic Presidential candidate Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks during a campaign event at the Unity Freedom Presidential Forum, May 31, 2019, in Pasadena, Calif. Democratic presidential hopeful Jay Inslee wants the U.S. to shape all foreign policy decisions around a commitment to combat the climate crisis, including willingness to use tariffs, other trade incentives and international finance rules to compel other nations to reduce carbon pollution.
“Our goal is to re-establish American leadership in the fight against climate crisis and use all the tools in the international relations toolbox,” Inslee told The Associated Press.
That vision could involve butting heads with China, the world's leading carbon polluter, and leading oil producers including Russia and Saudi Arabia. But Inslee said the crisis demands a tough approach. “We certainly have an obligation not only to ask but to use mechanisms to put press..

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Virginia Governor Launches Effort to Remove Discriminatory Laws

Posted: June 5, 2019, 9:50 am

Virginia Governor Launches Effort to Remove Discriminatory Laws FILE – An advertisement for a “Colored Horse Show” is on display at the Montpelier Train Depot segregation exhibit in Orange, Va., Jan. 27, 2016. RICHMOND, VA. — Gov. Ralph Northam has signed a bill striking Jim Crow-era exceptions from Virginia's minimum-wage law, and he formed a commission to find other discriminatory language in state laws and regulations.
The bill the Democrat signed Tuesday eliminates an exemption in state law that said certain jobs traditionally held by African Americans, including ushers and doormen, didn't have to pay minimum wage.
And in his executive order, Northam tasked the commission with identifying other examples of “vestiges of inequity and inequality” on Virginia's books, and issuing its findings by November.
Northam pledged to focus on addressing Virginia's longstanding history of racial inequity after a blackface scandal nearly forced him from office in February.

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O’Rourke Voting Rights Plan Seeks 65% National Voter Turnout

Posted: June 5, 2019, 9:38 am

O'Rourke Voting Rights Plan Seeks 65% National Voter Turnout Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke speaks during the 2019 California Democratic Party State Organizing Convention in San Francisco, June 1, 2019. Beto (BET'-oh) O'Rourke has unveiled a voting rights proposal he says can increase voter registration by 50 million and raise nationwide voter turnout to 65%.
He's seeking to ensure 35 million new voters cast ballots in 2024's presidential race.
The former Texas congressman and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate announced Wednesday he'd champion legislation ensuring automatic voter registration, including preregistration starting at age 16 and same-day registration. He'd make Election Day a holiday, extend early voting and strengthen the Voting Rights Act.
O'Rourke promises to direct the Justice Department to combat strict voter ID laws around the country and keep some state officials from ..

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US Court Weighs if Climate Change Violates Children’s Rights

Posted: June 5, 2019, 6:07 am

US Court Weighs if Climate Change Violates Children's Rights Supporters attend a rally Tuesday, June 4, 2019 for a group of young people who filed a lawsuit saying U.S. energy policies are causing climate change and hurting their future. PORTLAND, OREGON — In a courtroom packed with environmental activists, federal judges wrestled Tuesday with whether climate change violates the constitutional rights of young people who have sued the U.S. government over the use of fossil fuels.
A Justice Department attorney warned three judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that allowing the case to go to trial would be unprecedented and open the doors to more lawsuits.
“This case would have earth-shattering consequences,'' Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark said.
He called the lawsuit “a direct attack on the separation of powers'' and said the 21 young people who filed it want the courts to direct U.S. energy policy, instead of government officials.
The..

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Joe Biden’s $5 Trillion Climate Plan: Net Zero Emissions by 2050

Posted: June 4, 2019, 9:15 pm

Joe Biden's $5 Trillion Climate Plan: Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden looks at an array of solar panels during a tour at the Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative in Plymouth, N.H., June 4, 2019. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is pitching a $5 trillion-plus climate proposal that he says would lead the U.S. to net zero emission of carbon pollution by 2050.
The former vice president calls for $1.7 trillion in federal spending over 10 years, with the rest of the investments coming from the private sector. Biden proposes covering the taxpayer costs by repealing the corporate tax cuts that President Donald Trump signed in 2017, while eliminating existing subsidies to the fossil fuel companies.
Biden's plan — a mix of tax incentives, federal spending, new regulation and more aggressive foreign policy on climate issues — comes as he pushes back on rivals' assertions that his environmental agenda..

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Democratic Hopeful Warren Proposes $2T ‘Green Manufacturing’ Plan

Posted: June 4, 2019, 9:00 pm

Democratic Hopeful Warren Proposes $2T 'Green Manufacturing' Plan Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks at Focus: HOPE in Detroit, June 4, 2019. DETROIT — Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren proposed on Tuesday spending $2 trillion on a new “green manufacturing” program to address climate change that would invest in research and exporting American clean energy technology.
The manufacturing program is the first in a new series of “economic patriotism” proposals Warren is unveiling intended to create American jobs and help U.S. industry.
“This is going to be a big plan for bold structural changes,” Warren said at a campaign rally in Detroit, Michigan.
Warren told the crowd of about 500 in a facility that teaches manufacturing skills that her proposal would be paid for by cutting subsidies in the oil and gas industry. Additionally, by all companies paying more taxes, she said, singling out Amazon.com.
Among the more than 2..

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US House Votes to Protect ‘Dreamer’ Immigrants

Posted: June 4, 2019, 8:34 pm

US House Votes to Protect 'Dreamer' Immigrants FILE – Immigrant rights supporters gather at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Sept. 26, 2017. The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed legislation to end the threat of deportation that has long hung over undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers” who entered the United States when they were children.
By a vote of 237-187, the Democratic-controlled House approved the legislation despite opposition from the White House, which said the move would “reward illegal immigration.”
Only seven Republicans voted for the bill.
There have been no signs that the Republican-controlled Senate would consider the House bill, likely leaving this Democratic initiative to be fought over during the 2020 presidential and congressional election campaigns.
Earlier in his administration, Republican President Donald Trump said he wanted to help Dreamers, many of whom were very young when they arrived in the United States with their parents.
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