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Joe Manchin Declares He Will Not Support Critical Voting Rights Legislation – Possibly Killing HR1 ‘For the People’ Act

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U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has just announced he will not support HR1, the critical voting rights protection and expansion bill already passed by the House of Representatives.

“I believe Democrats and Republicans feel very strongly about protecting the ballot boxes allowing people to protect the right to vote making it accessible making it fair and making it secure,” Manchin told ABC News‘ Rachel Scott.

Republicans in at least 11 states have passed into law voter suppression bills, some of which literally reduce the number of ballot boxes, and access to those boxes, dramatically.

Manchin, who is more conservative than Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski, voiced support for the far less comprehensive John Lewis Voting Rights Act, saying, “if we apply that to all 50 states and territories, it’s something that can be done — it should be done.”

“It could be done bipartisan to start getting confidence back in our system,” he added, ignoring that the ones who destroyed confidence in the voting system are the Republicans.

On Tuesday Republicans on the Senate Rules Committee deadlocked the vote for the For the People Act, legislation that not only would secure voter protections but address rampant Republican gerrymandering as well as regulate dangerous dark money in politics. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer now will need at least one Republican to support the For the People Act if it is to even get to the floor for a vote.

Some political analysts say that given there is legislation in 48 states to suppress the vote, if Democrats don’t pass HR1, they will lose both the House and the Senate next year.

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Bipartisan Moderate Senators Announce Agreement on Infrastructure Focused on No Tax Increases for the Wealthy

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A bipartisan group of moderate Senators, five Democrats and five Republicans, have just announced agreement on an infrastructure bill focused on not raising taxes on the wealthy. The outlines of the package would be $1.2 trillion, but only $579 billion in new spending.

President Joe Biden’s original proposal was for a $2.3 trillion package that including tax increases on the wealthiest Americans. After Republicans refused he dropped it to $1.7 trillion, but again Republicans refused. Biden again came down, offering a stripped down $1 trillion package that would be paid for, at least in part, by forcing companies that pay no federal income taxes, like Amazon, to have to pay taxes.

Republicans again refused and earlier this week President Biden ended negotiations with Republican Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, saying he would focus on moderate Senators instead. The White House was reportedly not consulted on this agreement.

The group of Senators includes:

Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mark Warner (D-VA).

In a statement they say they have “worked in good faith and reached a bipartisan agreement on a realistic compromise framework to modernize our nation’s infrastructure and energy technologies.”

“This investment would be fully paid for and not include tax increases,” which appears to be the goal of the agreement.

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

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MSNBC’s Morning Joe Rips Apart Report on Trump’s Infamous Lafayette Park Photo Op

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MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough ripped apart the excuses offered by a Donald Trump appointee about his infamous June 1, 2020, photo op at Lafayette Square.

Federal agents fired chemical irritants at peaceful protesters ahead of the visit, where Trump held up a Bible in front of a historic church, but the Interior Department’s inspector general found the park was cleared so a contractor could install fencing, and the “Morning Joe” host was skeptical that then-attorney general William Barr would have been involved in mundane decisions about park maintenance.

“He could be the director for scaffolding of Lafayette Park, I apologize to William Barr,” Scarborough said. “I didn’t know he could try to undermine Jeffersonian democracy, undercut 220 years of checks and balances, and be responsible for scaffolding in Lafayette Park. If that’s the case, I apologize. But if not, then again, we look at the part where he comes out before Trump comes out, and he asks this question. ‘Are these people still going to be here when POTUS comes out?'” Scarborough said. “The operations commander replies to Mr. Barr, ‘Are you freaking kidding me?’ He then hung his head and walked away, the report said, and soon after the new director of scaffolding for Lafayette Park came out and in no uncertain terms told them to clear the park before Donald Trump came out, the violent confrontation began.”

“Children, take from that bedtime story or morning story, anything you want to take from it,” he continued. “But actually, if you use your mind — by the way, I apologize, that [Bible is] not upside down, that’s backwards. He’s [Trump] holding the bible backwards. As a certain Oklahoma senator said, I’ve been going to Sunday school for 50 years, and I’ve never seen anyone hold a Bible that way. But if it makes you feel better seizing on to a report that doesn’t cover the entire event and completely ignoring what the director of scaffolding for Lafayette Park said, you go with that.”

“But that’s awfully thin gruel,” Scarborough added, “if that’s what you’re relying on, awfully thin gruel. Good luck with that.”

 

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‘Point of No Return’ and ‘Crazy’: Trump White House Counsel Don McGahn’s Judiciary Committee Testimony Just Released

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Don McGahn at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in 2018

The House Judiciary Committee has just released the 241-page transcript of testimony given last week by former Trump White House Counsel Don McGahn.

“All told, Mr. McGahn’s testimony gives us a fresh look at how dangerously close President Trump brought us to, in Mr. McGahn’s words, the ‘point of no return,’” Chairman Jerry Nadler says.

In one point McGahn is questioned about his remarks that President Donald Trump asked him to do some “crazy shit.”

In the transcript, House Judiciary Oversight Counsel Sarah Istel asks McGahn to read a sentence from prior testimony. This starts with McGahn saying “Okay”:

A Okay. Priebus recalled that McGahn said that the President asked him to do, quote, “do crazy shit,” unquote, but he thought McGahn did not tell him the specifics of the President’s request because McGahn was trying to protect Priebus from what he did not need to know.
Q So, even if you don’t recall saying those specific words, is that a fair characterization of how you viewed the President’s request?
A Well, the President probably thinks this is an unfair characterization, but I —
Q I’m asking for your opinion.
A — think — I think it’s fair.
Q Can you just repeat that for the record? You think it’s fair?
A I think it’s fair.
Q Thank you.

You can read the document below, or at the House Judiciary website (PDF download).

Mcgahn Interview Transcript by davidbadash on Scribd

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