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For Third Time in Two Days Senate GOP Changes Rules to Force Committee Confirmation of Trump Nominee

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No Democrats Present for Unanimous Confirmation Votes

Senate Republicans on an environmental committee Thursday morning suspended their rules requiring at least one member of the minority party to be present before a quorum can be called, and pushed through President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency. This is the third time in two days Republicans have taken this unusual action to support the new president.

Scott Pruitt, Trump’s highly controversial choice to head the EPA, was unanimously approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, in an 11-0 vote. His nomination will advance to the full Senate, where is is likely to be confirmed. Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) (photo) led the vote.

On Wednesday, Steve Mnunchin and Tom Price, Trump’s nominees to head the Treasury Dept. and Health and Human Services Dept., were also unanimously passed through committee after Republicans changed the rules to allow votes with no Democrats present.

Pruitt, the Attorney General of Oklahoma, has spent the past six years suing the EPA, and is known as an anti-environmentalist. Under Pruitt’s tenure, Oklahoma has suffered an exponential increase in earthquakes, most of which are directly tied to the increase in fracking he has allowed. 

All three nominee are expected to be voted upon by the full Senate soon.

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HISTORY IN THE MAKING

‘We Do Think It’s Going to Be Today’: Joe Biden Announcing His VP Running Mate Expected Momentarily

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Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has made his decision and is expected to announce his vice presidential running mate any moment. MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell just reported, “we do think it’s going to be today.”

She and NBC News’ Kristen Welker also shared several anecdotes that make it seem today is the day, and the person the former Vice President has chosen is a Black woman.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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NOT HOW THIS WORKS

Where Is Betsy DeVos? Education Secretary Hiding in ‘Sprawling’ Michigan Mansion While Demanding Schools Reopen: Report

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Where is Betsy DeVos? The Education Secretary is under fire for demanding schools reopen while not giving them the assistance they need to protect students, teachers, administrators, and staff, yet she is working remotely from her “sprawling” 22,000 square foot “waterfront estate with a round-the-clock security detail paid for by taxpayers,” NBC News reports. That security cost taxpayers $25 million over the past year.

DeVos “insists that it isn’t her job to help localities determine how to [re-open] safely.”

The Education Secretary’s’ public schedule “has been mostly empty for the past several weeks, including no events on her public schedule for this week,” NBC’s Heidi Przybyla reveals.

Yet DeVos “has been holding events not listed on her public calendar, including several sponsored by the conservative Federalist Society, according to Federalist Society postings. She has also participated in a few events related to private schools and advocacy for vouchers, including a roundtable July 23 at a private Christian school in Ohio and two events in the Carolinas with Vice President Mike Pence.”

Przybyla says DeVos is “not touring those public schools that she’s demanding reopen.”

The Education Secretary also “declined to appear at a House coronavirus subcommittee hearing on safely reopening K-12 schools ‘so she could explain why she is pressuring schools to fully reopen, despite the risks,’ James Clyburn of South Carolina, the No. 3 House Democrat, said Thursday.”

Here’s what some are saying:

 

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News

‘Was I Unmasked?’: Trump Appears to Admit Talking to Foreign Individuals Being Monitored When He Was a Candidate

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President Donald Trump wants to know how many times he was “unmasked” while he was a candidate for the Oval Office. That would mean he appears to know now he was talking to foreign individuals who were being monitored – and some would likely want to know who and why.

Unmasking is the lawful process of identifying a U.S. citizen or legal resident who was speaking to a foreign person or government that U.S. intelligence agents are monitoring. It can be used to determine if they were caught in any illicit activity, or might be a target of illegal activity.

Speaking about his disgraced former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn, Trump told right wing radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday, “we’re talking about unmasking, yes. That was a big deal. Horrible deal where they unmasked {Flynn] so many times.”

“I think he’s got to have the record for unmasking,” Trump said, which suggests he knows Flynn was talking to foreign individuals, apparently frequently.

“Maybe I do, you know, because we’re still looking how many times did they unmask me. Let’s find that out, too, because look, they were spying on our campaign. They were using him and others, and they were spying on my campaign. So was I unmasked?”

Trump’s claims of his campaign being “spied on” have been thoroughly debunked, time and time again.

“So far, they haven’t said, but let’s see what happens. I think you’re going to have a very interesting report coming out with Durham. Not report, I hope it’s not going to be a report. The last thing I want is another report. We’ve had enough reports.”

 

 

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