U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Tuesday apparently tried to make a soundbite speech for Fox News while falsely characterizing the LGBTQ Equality Act and its impact on “religious freedom.” Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) was not going to allow Cruz’s political grandstanding get in the way of an important confirmation hearing.
Cruz, under fire for months now over various scandals, including his role in the January 6 insurrection, has gone as far as doing a photo op showing him holding a case of bottled water after his Cancun excursion when he left millions of his constituents in the middle of a sub-freezing winter storm without power or water.
On Tuesday Cruz tried the “religious liberty” approach, attacking civil rights attorney and champion Vanita Gupta.
Gupta, the president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, is President Joe Biden’s nominee to be Associate Attorney General. Cruz falsely framed his question, trying to back Gupta into a difficult position while not letting her complete her answer.
“Do you agree with the provisions stripping RFRA’s religious liberty protections from Americans?” an argumentative Cruz asked Gupta.
The LGBTQ Equality Act does not “strip” the Religious Freedom Restoration Act’s religious liberty protections from Americans. What it does is say the law cannot be used as the basis for anti-LGBTQ discrimination. Cruz has attacked LGBTQ activists in year past, claiming they are waging “jihad” on Christians.
Gupta tried to answer and present her position. She did not get far.
“Senator, let me begin by saying that religious liberty is incredibly important to me. I am a person of faith. My family is one of deep and abiding faith. And this country’s founding freedom was rooted in religious liberty. I have defended religious freedom throughout my career when I was at the Justice Department I launched an interagency effort to protect religious liberty –”
“I appreciate that but our time is limited –” said Cruz, not wanting Gupta’s background to be advertised, and cutting her off.
“Senator, Senator, it is only fair to allow her to complete her answer,” Chairman Durbin told the Texas Tea Party Senator.
Cruz was not about to let Durbin set the rules.
“Mr. Chairman, I understand that she has things she wants to say but I asked if she supports the repeal of RFRA,” Cruz said, admitting that he’s lying about the LGBTQ equality Act, which does not repeal the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
“Senator, if you want to make a speech you may make a speech,” Durbin replied before Cruz cut him off too.
“I’m asking a question, I’m asking a question and I understand that you support her nomination so you’re giving a speech too but but I’m asking a question,” Cruz repeated.
“I’m asking you allow her to answer,” Durbin again stated.
“She was not answering,” Cruz claimed, unfairly. “She’s welcome to answer the question. The question is, do you support the Equality Act’s repealing RFRA’s protection of religious liberty for Americans?” Cruz said, again falsely stating what the LGBTQ Equality Act does.
“Senator, I support RFRA,” Gupta replied. “I have enforced provisions of RFRA, and the Justice Department must enforce the law. The Justice Department enforces religious liberty and protects it. It also enforces our nation’s anti discrimination laws.”
Cruz again was not satisfied and interrupted Gupta again.
“Let me try again for a third time. Do you support the Equality Act’s repeal of RFRA’s religious liberty protections?” he asked, again lying about what the legislation does.
“Senator, if confirmed as Associate Attorney General, my duty will be to enforce laws to protect religious liberty and the anti discrimination laws that the Justice Department –”
And once again, Cruz interrupted Gupta.
Okay so you’re declining to answer that as well.”
Sen. Dick Durbin to Sen. Ted Cruz: “Senator if you want to make a speech you may make a speech, but if you’re asking a question allow her to answer.” pic.twitter.com/KXJxeFnKVV
— The Hill (@thehill) March 9, 2021
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‘They Have Something on Him’: Trump Calls for McConnell to Be ‘Impeached’ (Which is Not Possible)
Donald Trump, now relegated to a far-right streaming video website as larger right-wing outlets like Fox News distance themselves from him, is now calling for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to be impeached.
A Real America’s Voice host interviewing the former president, who is under several civil and criminal investigations, said, “Democrats are scheming, probably with some of the RINOs, in order to blow the debt ceiling up.”
“RINOs” is a right-wing derogatory term for “Republican in Name Only.”
The host was likely referring to a call to eliminate the debt ceiling, meaning the House and Senate would no longer have to vote to approve a debt limit increase.
“Um, what is your position on that?” the host asked.
“It’s crazy, what’s happening with this debt ceiling,” Trump responded.
“Mitch McConnell keeps allowing them to have it,” the former president said in a manner that appears to exhibit his lack of understanding.
The debt ceiling, or debt limit, as the Treasury Dept. explains, “is the total amount of money that the United States government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal obligations, including Social Security and Medicare benefits, military salaries, interest on the national debt, tax refunds, and other payments.”
Most importantly, it “does not authorize new spending commitments. It simply allows the government to finance existing legal obligations that Congresses and presidents of both parties have made in the past.”
In other words, it’s not an authorization to spend more, it’s an authorization to pay the nation’s existing bills.
“Failing to increase the debt limit would have catastrophic economic consequences,” Treasury adds. “It would cause the government to default on its legal obligations – an unprecedented event in American history. That would precipitate another financial crisis and threaten the jobs and savings of everyday Americans – putting the United States right back in a deep economic hole, just as the country is recovering from the recent recession.”
Trump’s claim that “Mitch McConnell keeps allowing them to have it,” in actuality means that McConnell generally supports not shutting down the federal government by allowing his caucus to vote to increase the debt limit.
“I mean, they ought to impeach Mitch McConnell, if he allows that,” the 45th President said, again displaying his basic ignorance of government.
They can be reprimanded, censured, or even expelled, but not impeached.
Also, Trump signed several debt limit increases into law. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget in January of 2020 reported Trump “signed into law $4.2 trillion of debt over a comparable budget window and $4.7 trillion from 2017 through 2029.”
“Frankly, Mitch McConnell, something has to be, they have something on him,” Trump insisted, not identifying who “they” are, or what they might “have” on him. “How he approves this thing is incredible.”
Watch below or at this link.
Trump this morning calls for Mitch McConnell to be impeached: “They ought to impeach Mitch McConnell .. they have something on him.” pic.twitter.com/qP5UPtml7g
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) November 3, 2022
DeSantis Administration Blows Off Court Ruling – Strips Funding From Schools Defying Unlawful Mask Mandate Ban
The administration of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is going ahead with plans to financially punish schools that defy his ban on mask mandates for students.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran withheld funds from the Alachua and Broward county school districts that are equivalent to the salaries paid to school board members’ salaries.
Both counties had defied DeSantis by implementing mask mandates and refused to back down in the face of the governor’s threats.
However, there is some question of whether the decision to withhold the funding from the schools will hold up in court.
“Corcoran’s announcement Monday came after Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper on Friday ruled that DeSantis’ overstepped his constitutional authority in issuing the executive order,” reports the Tampa Bay Times. “Cooper issued an injunction barring Corcoran, the Department of Education and the State Board of Education from enforcing DeSantis’ order. It was not clear Monday evening whether the announcement about withholding funds from the Alachua and Broward districts conflicts with Cooper’s ruling.”
Despite this, the Florida Department of Education released a statement Monday saying that “the withholding of funds will continue monthly until each school board complies with state law and rule.”
Madison Cawthorn Attacks Dr. Fauci: ‘We Want to Prosecute This Guy to the Full Ability of the Law’
U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying House Republicans will “prosecute” the esteemed immunologist and director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), as a “pawn of the Chinese Communist Party” and for lying to Congress.
There is no evidence either of those claims are true.
Speaking to former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis, the host of “Just the Truth” on the Real America’s Voice website, Cawthorn falsely claimed Dr. Fauci has “directly lied to Congress,” echoing a claim made by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) on Wednesday. Ellis, who claims to be a “constitutional law attorney,” did not mention to Cawthorn that the House of Representatives does not have the power to criminally prosecute.
“I’ll tell you when we take the majority back in 2022, I’ll make sure consequences are doled out,” Cawthorn promised. “But we want to prosecute this guy to the full ability of the law because I’ll tell you to lie to the American people just to get your name in the news just to see your face on the cover of books just to get fame or fortune, I’ll tell you, Dr. Anthony Fauci does not deserve either fame or fortune.”
On Wednesday Cawthorn told Newsmax, “I think we should indict Jill Biden.”
Rep. Madison Cawthorn vows that if the GOP gains control of the House in 2022, he will “make sure that consequences are doled out” to Dr. Anthony Fauci: “We want to prosecute this guy to the full ability of the law.” pic.twitter.com/kFN0rGOCGJ
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) July 22, 2021
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