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Breaking: North Carolina Republicans Fail to Repeal HB2

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GOP Lawmakers Unable to Reach Agreement 

In a distinctly embarrassing moment for the North Carolina GOP, at the end of a day marked by more time in recess than in session, Republican lawmakers failed to keep their promise to repeal HB2 in a special session called by Gov. Pat McCrory, which cost taxpayers $42,000. Wednesday’s session was called for the sole purpose of repealing the wide-sweeping, unconstitutional law that targets LGBT people and bans localities from enacting nondiscrimination, employment, minimum wage, and other ordinances while nullifying many existing protections.

Republican Speaker Tim Moore called the House in to session and called many recesses while no one from the House filed a bill to repeal the law. GOP Senate Leader Phil Berger filed a bill to repeal HB2, but it included a poison-pill that banned cities and towns from enacting any LGBT nondiscrimination protections for a six-month “cooling off period,” a “constitutionally questionable” portion of the bill, as one law professor noted.

Here’s how several Republican lawmakers treated the process and Democrats:

Republicans in North Carolina hold a super-majority in both houses, which should make for easy legislative decisions, especially with their current Republican governor.

Democratic Sen. Jeff Jackson:

Charlotte’s city council repealed their nondiscrimination ordinance this week, opening the door for the repeal of HB2. The agreement was once the ordinance was off the books the state legislature would reciprocate by repealing HB2 in full, with no conditions.

That was the only job legislative leaders had to do. Given that HB2 went from draft to bill to signed law in under 12 hours, repealing the law – a far easier and less complicated motion – could have taken no more than one or two hours.

This was the situation just after 5 PM, seven hours into the session:

Sen. Jackson:

Democratic Rep. Pricey Harrison:

Before the session officially ended, Senate Leader Phil Berger was already tweeting a statement blaming Governor-elect Roy Cooper for his failure to repeal a law in his GOP super-majority legislature:

Using the fake attempt to repeal HB2 as a weapon to attack Cooper was probably Berger’s plan all along. 

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Gaetz: ‘Corrupt’ Republicans Could ‘Take a Bribe’ and Throw House to Dems, Blocking Trump Run

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U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) says some of his fellow House Republicans would “take a bribe” to throw the razor-thin GOP majority to the Democrats if a far-right faction calls up a motion to oust Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, allowing Democrats to hand the gavel to the Minority Leader, Hakeem Jeffries. he warned if that happens, Democrats would immediately declare Trump ineligible to be President, pack the U.S. Supreme Court, and pass numerous laws like the American Rescue Plan.

“I do believe in a one seat majority there could be one or two or three of my colleagues who would take a bribe in one form or another in order to deprive the Republicans of a majority at all,” Gaetz said Friday on his podcast (video below.)

He added, “the risk that one or two of my corrupt Republican colleagues might take a bribe, take a walk, feign an ailment and flip this thing to the Democrats is a risk that is too high for me at this time.”

Gaetz’s fellow far-right Florida Republican member of Congress, Anna Paulina Luna, told listeners, “I heard that when, if and when the motion vacate is introduced, that there will be immediate resignations of a couple of more moderate members of Congress. And in the event that that happens, that ultimately means it does go to a Democrat speaker.”

RELATED: Jeffries Vows Democrats Will Ensure Ukraine Aid Passes as Johnson Defectors Grow

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) last month filed a “motion to vacate,” which she can use at any time to force a vote to oust the GOP Speaker, Mike Johnson. U.S. Rep. Tim Massie (R-KY) and just today, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) has signed on as co-sponsors.

Congressman Gaetz told listeners if Democrats do take the House through a force vote to remove Johnson, Democrats would “be declaring Donald Trump an insurrectionist and setting up a barrier to him being able to become the president United States.”

“That’ll be their leadoff hitter, and then the chaser to that shot will be a massive spending package that looks a lot more like the American Rescue Plan. They will blow past every concept of every cap ever imagined. You’ll be looking at Universal Basic Income, you could be looking at packing the Supreme Court.”

Watch a short clip of Gaetz’s remarks below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Stop Bringing Up Nazis and Hitler’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Smacked Down by Democrats

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Jeffries Vows Democrats Will Ensure Ukraine Aid Passes as Johnson Defectors Grow

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Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries vowed Friday the majority of Democrats will support Republicans’ Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and Gaza foreign aid legislation as Republican Speaker Mike Johnson lost support of another member of his conference to a faction determined to oust him.

“Democrats will provide a majority of our majority as it relates to funding Israel, humanitarian assistance, Ukraine, and our allies in the Indo Pacific,” Minority Leader Jeffries said. “It remains to be seen what Republicans will do in terms of meeting the national security needs of the American people, but it was important for House Democrats to ensure that the national security bills are going to be considered.”

Despite Republicans having a one-vote majority, more Democrats on Friday voted to move the critical and long-awaited foreign aid bills forward than did Republicans.

READ MORE: ‘Stop Bringing Up Nazis and Hitler’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Smacked Down by Democrats

The 316-94 vote included 165 Democrats and 151 Republicans voting yes, and 55 Republicans and 39 Democrats voting no.

Axios’ Juliegrace Brufke posted the list of Republicans voting against their party’s legislation.

Calling it a “rare” moment in modern congressional history to have to rely on opposition party votes to pass legislation, BBC News reports Speaker Johnson’s “hold on power is tenuous, and the legislators who oppose him – and his bid to provide aid to Ukraine – occupy some key positions within the House’s power structure.”

Amid the procedural vote to move the foreign aid funding bills forward, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, a far-right Republican of Arizona, announced he is joining Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and Congressman Tim Massie (R-KY) in formally announcing their will vote to oust Speaker Johnson.

Gosar, like Greene, is reportedly a Christian nationalist. In 2022 CNN reported his “lengthy ties to White nationalists, [a] pro-Nazi blogger and far-right fringe received little pushback for years.”

RELATED: ‘Repercussions’: Democrats and Republicans Stand Against ‘Pro-Putin’ House GOP Faction

“We’ve been very honest in our assessment of the situation from the beginning,” Jeffries on Friday also declared. “At the appropriate time as House Democrats, we will have a conversation about how to deal with any hypothetical motion to vacate.”

“Moscow Marjorie Taylor Greene, Massie, and Gosar are quite a group. But central to our conversation is to make sure that the national security legislation in totality is passed by the House of Representatives.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

 

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Biden Amps Up Field Offices, Trump to Mobilize Thousands of Lawyers to Monitor Vote Counts

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With less than seven months before Election Day the Biden campaign and the Trump campaign are taking shape, and like their politics they could not be more different.

President Biden is “scooping up record-making donations,” “flush with cash,” “building a behemoth of a campaign,” and “plowing the money into an expanding campaign operation in battleground states that appears to surpass what Donald Trump has built,” NBC News reported earlier this month.

Ex-President Donald Trump, struggling with donations, has “raised $75 million less for his presidential bid than Joe Biden and has 270,000 fewer unique donors now than at the same stage of his run for the White House four years ago,” the Financial Times reported Wednesday.

Now, as the Biden campaign invests in a massive ground game, Trump’s strategy is emerging, and it appears to be built on his “Big Lie,” the false and debunked conspiracy theory that there was and is tremendous election fraud.

READ MORE: ‘Repercussions’: Democrats and Republicans Stand Against ‘Pro-Putin’ House GOP Faction

Politico reports the Trump campaign plans to dispatch “more than 100,000 attorneys and volunteers across battleground states to monitor — and potentially challenge — vote counting in November.”

The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee are calling their plan “the most extensive and monumental election integrity program in the nation’s history.” The RNC is chaired by Trump’s hand-picked elections specialist who worked on the Bush 2000 election Florida recount team, and co-chaired by Trump’s daughter-in-law.

Despite Trump’s claims of a stolen election in 2020, his own Attorney General, Bill Barr, his own FBI Director, Chris Wray, his own Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Chris Krebs, all concluded there was no widespread election fraud and none that would have changed any election results. An independent federal agency, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, came to the same conclusion, all as The Brennan Center for Justice reported more than a month after the 2020 election.

Politico warns, “should Trump once again attempt to overturn the election, he will already have in place tens of thousands of workers who could help with that effort.”

“Having the right people to count the ballots is just as important as turning out voters on Election Day,” Trump said in a statement.

The Trump campaign “plans to deploy lawyers to monitor voter machine testing, early voting, election day voting, mail ballot processing and post-election canvassing, auditing and recounts. The campaign also plans to station lawyers at mail-in voting processing centers and set up a hotline that poll watchers and voters can use to report problems,” Politico adds. “The RNC also stated that attorneys will be stationed at ‘every single target processing center where mail ballots are tabulated.'”

READ MORE: ‘Big Journalism Fail’: Mainstream Media Blasted Over Coverage of Historic Trump Trial

The announcement of that massive operation comes on the heels of a convention this week hosted by the far-right Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association that “drew a parade of felons, disgraced politicians, election deniers, conspiracy theorists and, in the end, a few sheriffs,” NBC News reports. Also among attendees were “MAGA celebrities.”

“The group sees sheriffs as the highest authority in the U.S., more powerful than the federal government, and it wants these county officers to form posses to patrol polling places, seize voting machines and investigate the Democrats and foreign nations behind what they claim is a criminal effort to rig the vote by flooding the country with immigrants who vote illegally.”

David Gilbert at Wired reported: “Far-Right Sheriffs Want a Citizen Army to Stop ‘Illegal Immigrant’ Voters.”

Their plan perfectly dovetails with Donald Trump’s campaign push.

Gilbert writes, “election deniers and conspiracists have coalesced around a narrative they plan to push ahead of November: Blame the immigrants.”

Richard Mack, founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association told Wired that immigrants “have already disrupted the election because they are getting registered to vote.”

“That is election fraud,” Mack added, “these people are not qualified to vote. They are going to vote for whoever got them here and gave them a bunch of free stuff to get here, and of course that’s the Democrat Party, who are complicit in all of this.”

There are no reports of undocumented immigrants registering to vote in any substantial number. NBC News last week reported, “noncitizen voting” is “already illegal and very rare.”

READ MORE: ‘They Want Russia to Win So Badly’: GOP Congressman Blasts Far-Right House Republicans

Those claims, however, echo some made by the Republican Speaker of the House Mike Johnson one week ago in his joint press conference with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago.

“We only want U.S. citizens to vote in U.S. elections,” Johnson said, standing next to Trump, “but there are some Democrats who don’t want to do that. We believe that one of their designs, one of the reasons for this open border, which everybody asked all around the country, why would they do this? Why would they allow all this chaos? Why the violence? Because they want to turn these people into voters.”

“Right now the administration is encouraging illegals to go to their local welfare office to sign up for benefits,” Johnson, one of the top election deniers in the country, claimed as he explained his conspiracy theory. He did not state how the Biden Administration is communicating with undocumented immigrants, nor did he offer proof of these communications. He also did not state that the vast majority of undocumented immigrants are ineligible for any government welfare program.

 

Image via Shutterstock

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