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    Washington — The "Plan B" that some Senate Democrats had proposed for the minimum wage hike is now off the table, a senior Democratic aide told CBS News. The proposal involved a payroll tax penalty for large companies that pay their workers less than a certain amount. The aide said they're going to be looking at "all legislative avenues" in the future to get the minimum wage hike approved, and insisted, "we aren't going to just throw up our hands and walk away." "I expect that you'll be hearing a lot more about it this week, but it's not going to go away as an issue, certainly," the aide said.  The fate of the Democrats' proposed $15-an hour minimum wage hike has been in question since the Senate parliamentarian ruled last week that it couldn't be included in the massive $1.9 trillion economic relief package if that package is passed through...
    Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) (L) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walk side-by-side to the Senate Chamber at the U.S. Capitol February 7, 2018 in Washington, DC.Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images A bipartisan group of senators is urging Senate leaders to expand a key economic relief provision when the chamber takes up the $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package next week. Nine lawmakers wrote Friday to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pushing them to boost the employee retention tax credit in the bill working its way through Congress. The policy, first implemented as part of the CARES Act last spring, aims to encourage companies to keep workers on payroll while the pandemic damages the economy. As structured now, businesses can claim refundable tax credits for 70% of eligible wages and health-insurance costs for up to $10,000 per employee each quarter. Employers...
    Washington (CNN)House Democrats are taking a major step forward to push through President Joe Biden's massive $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill by the end of next week.The House Budget committee announced Thursday it will take the step of cobbling together pieces of the plan on Monday and vote to advance it out of the committee, paving the way for House floor action by week's end.Democrats are trying to swiftly pass the relief package on the strength of their majority in Congress to deliver on promises made by the President, but the process of passing such a significant piece of legislation is complicated and must clear a number of hurdles in both chambers. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at a press conference that the budget committee will "consolidate" the various elements of the rescue plan following work by committees with jurisdiction over specific policy provisions. The speaker said that after that,...
    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks during her weekly press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., February 18, 2021.Kevin Lemarque | Reuters The House aims to pass its $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan before the end of February as Democrats race to beat a deadline to extend key unemployment programs, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday. The California Democrat told reporters she hopes for a vote "sometime at the end of next week." House leaders will stay in touch with the Senate about what Congress can include in the aid package under budget reconciliation, which enables Democrats to approve the plan without Republican votes, Pelosi added. The party aims to speed up Covid-19 vaccinations and buoy jobless Americans as the U.S. approaches a year of fighting the health crisis. Some Republicans have backed a smaller bill based around vaccine distribution money, but Democrats wielding control of Congress and...
    Bradley Cortright February 10, 2021 0 Comments House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is encouraging senators to vote to convict former President Donald Trump and bar him from holding future office. Schiff was asked during an appearance on CNN on Tuesday night what he would like the Republican senators to know about how they vote on whether or not to convict Trump. “You know, the job is just not that important. If the worry here is losing a primary election, there are worse things in the world. And to me, the worst thing in the world is not to do your constitutional duty,” Schiff said. He went on to warn that if the Senate votes to acquit Trump, the former president could incite violence again. “If they don’t disqualify this president after committing the most egregious constitutional crime in history, and he runs again, we will fully have...
    (CNN)Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday that he thinks there are enough Democratic votes to pass a massive Covid-19 relief package through a process known as reconciliation as the country grapples with the economic fallout of the pandemic. "I believe that we do," the incoming chairman of the Senate Budget Committee said when asked during an interview with ABC whether he thought there are enough Democratic votes."All of us will have differences of opinions, this is a 1.9 trillion dollar bill, I have differences and concerns about this bill, but at the end of the day we are going to support the President of the United States," Sanders added.Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, has said that Democrats will use the move to pass the package by 51 votes in the Senate, rather than 60, if Republicans don't move the legislation.GOP senators offer Covid-19 relief counterproposal to force...
    Democrats are using their one-vote control to carry Joe Biden’s amnesty chief through the Senate, despite near-unanimous GOP opposition. The process will likely require floor votes on Thursday and Monday, because GOP Senators have blocked an informal fast-track confirmation process. No Democratic senators are expected to oppose nominee Alejandro Mayorkas, whose pro-migration, pro-Wall Street policies tend to push Americans to the sidelines, lower wages, and reduce technology investment — but also to boost Democrats’ vote totals. “This is nothing but putting the swamp back,” said a Hill source. “Mayorkas is example Number 1 of the swamp. He’s going to make sure rich donors get what they want from government, he’s going to help Democrats push amnesty through, and if they can’t do it by legislation, he’ll do it administratively.” Mayorkas has already gotten through the GOP-majority at the homeland security committee because Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Rob Portman (R-OH)...
    Congressional Democrats have started their push to get a bill raising the minimum wage to $15 through a divided Congress, as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders threatened to try to use his powerful budget post to force it through if Republican opposition holds. Democrats have pushed for the wage hike for years, and finally have the opportunity to try to more than double the $7.25 federal minimum after watching years of action in the states. But the idea is already running into Republican opposition, as well as resistance from Democrats in swing states amid business arguments that a wage hike would harm businesses struggling during the pandemic.   'In the richest country in the history of the world, if you work 40 hours a week, you should not be living in poverty,' said Sanders, a self-described Democratic socialist who was defeated by Joe Biden in the primaries but maintains influence...
    (CNN)For as many foes as the superhero fends off, Batman has a formidable team of supporters starting with his sidekick Robin, Gotham City Commissioner James Gordon and his ever-loyal butler, Alfred Pennyworth.But one of the Caped Crusader's most fervent supporters lies not in a comic book, but in the US Senate, and he's known the Bat for more than 80 years.Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont and the longest-serving member of the current Senate, is a Batman aficionado who's turned his fandom into philanthropy. He's even used the comics to forward his legislative agenda. Now President pro tempore of the Senate, Leahy is third in the presidential line of succession. Though it's unlikely he'll ever have to serve as President, his high-profile position shines a brighter light on his colorful resume -- which includes multiple appearances in the "Batman" films. When he's not working in the Senate chambers in...
    Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s top election official, blamed President Donald Trump for losing Republicans the state’s Senate runoff elections Tuesday night. Sterling, a Republican and Trump voter, was delivering an update on both races and the 4,670 absentee ballots that had yet to be counted and announced when he was asked who was responsible for the losses of Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue to Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively. (RELATED: Trump Ramps Up Attacks On Georgia’s Top Two Republicans Ahead Of State’s Senate Runoffs) “I think you heard this answer from me over the past few times, President Donald J. Trump,” Sterling answered. “Between him and a couple of other people who ran for office and didn’t necessarily think it all the way through at to where the outcomes could be, it all comes down to that.” DALTON, GEORGIA – JANUARY 04: U.S. President Donald Trump holds...
    Joe Biden faces a dramatically different start to his presidency if Democrats are able to secure Jon Ossoff's lead in his Georgia Senate runoff – with a big stimulus bill, prompt assembly of a government, and a string of judicial confirmations in the offing. An Ossoff victory, on top of Rev. Raphael Warnock's projected win over Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, would establish a 50-50 Senate – handing Democrats effective control after Sen. Kamala Harris is sworn in as vice president. It isn't enough of a majority to ram through big changes of the kind President Trump has warned about – a 'Green New Deal' or Medicare for All – but would constitute a game-changer for Biden's first years in office. President-elect Joe Biden would be able to push through cabinet nominees in a 50-50 Senate controlled by Democrats – and can use budget procedures to jam through sweeping legislation...
    To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here: http://bit.ly/1M1mIfw  To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: http://bit.ly/1Tt4hqN --> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.* *Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.    The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Polls open in toss-up Georgia runoffs | Absentee ballots may slow down results | Can’t start counting until tonight | Trump holds Ga. campaign rally | Airs campaign grievances | Says he ‘hopes Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceTrump's final push for Georgia runoff dominated by personal grievances Trump at Georgia rally says he hopes Pence 'comes through for us'  GOP has become the party of the primal scream MORE comes through’ for him in tomorrow’s count | DC boards up | Road closures ahead of protests | What to expect | Proud Boys leader arrested upon return to DC | Law student offered Moderna vaccine...
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday it's "highly likely" Congress will keep working through the weekend to finalize the details of emergency coronavirus relief, raising the prospect that lawmakers again pass a stopgap measure to fund the government and briefly extend the Friday deadline.[ SEE: The Latest News on the Coronavirus Outbreak ]Congress is scrambling to piece together a bipartisan deal on nearly $900 billion in coronavirus aid and an omnibus spending package to fund federal agencies before government funding lapses Friday at midnight. But without the text of the bills and no planned votes, members are increasingly likely to pass another short-term measure to push back the deadline a few days to avert a shutdown and press forward with their work. "We're going to stay right here until we are finished, even if that means working through the weekend, which is highly likely," McConnell said Thursday morning. "And if we...
    Getty House Democrats are calling for another round of stimulus checks in their new $2.2 trillion proposal. The presidential election is over, although it’s bogged down in legal challenges and continuing ballot counts. Does that mean that you will get a $1,200 second stimulus check from the government now (and $3,400 for a family of four)? Those are the amounts that both Republicans and Democrats conceptually agreed on as negotiations bogged down in the days before the election. Former Vice President Joe Biden is leading in the electoral college, although President Donald Trump has claimed he’s being cheated and is fighting on. Both men have voiced support for a second round of stimulus checks. But it’s really in the hands of Congress. It’s Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, who has insisted on a bill around $500 billion, saying his members won’t support more. It’s House...
    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tore into Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for trying to push the Supreme Court confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett through just before the election, accusing him of having “defiled” the Senate. After being asked by MSNBC’s Ari Melber why the Democrats have decided to boycott Barrett’s nomination, Schumer declared: “The process is the most rushed, most partisan, least fair process on the Supreme Court nomination in the history of America.” “They are rushing this nominee through,” he claimed, adding, “This nominee’s views are so far to the right that even Republican mainstream wouldn’t vote for these kinds of positions, like get rid of ACA — well, some of them would — and the process is so unfair… We don’t want to participate in such an illicit process.” “The rules of the Judiciary Committee are that you need two Democrats to send...
    Ballots are arriving at homes across Colorado this week. The state has had all-mail ballot elections since 2014, which has resulted in record turnout and, this year, many sighs of relief from people who do not have to vote in person during a pandemic (though vote centers will be open in every Colorado county for those who like the personal touch, lost their ballot...or even want to register on election day, as you can if you've lived in this state for 22 days by November 3). But this year, you’ll want to have plenty of time to consider your ballot, and maybe a few beers on hand (as well as the 2020 State Ballot Information Ballot, aka the “Blue Book,” that also arrived through the mail) as you dig deep into the issues. In addition to the contests between congressional candidates (the race for the U.S. Senate between Cory Gardner...
    Mitch McConnell has somehow decided that the way to handle Amy McGrath, the first woman to fly a combat mission for the Marine Corps and the first woman to pilot the F/A-18 on a combat mission, is to laugh at her. And to laugh about coronavirus. You have to see it to believe it, McConnell laughing, giggling, chuckling malevolently over his dereliction of duty in saving the nation from this pandemic. xWe're facing a national crisis.There's nothing funny about 214,000 Americans dying. pic.twitter.com/fQdJsoMdPe— Amy McGrath (@AmyMcGrathKY) October 13, 2020 “The House passed a bill in May, and the Senate went on vacation,” McGrath says over the soundtrack of McConnell’s laughs. “You just don't do that. You negotiate. Senator, it is a national crisis,” she continued, as he continued to giggle. “You knew that the coronavirus wasn't going to end at the end of July. We knew this,” and he’s still laughing....
    PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – In addition to the presidential race, voters will be electing state senators in 25 districts around the Commonwealth. One hotly contested race involves 38 communities in the Mon Valley, eastern Allegheny County, and the northwestern part of Westmoreland County. After almost three decades at Mellon Bank, Democrat Jim Brewster entered full-time politics later in life, first as mayor of McKeesport and now a state senator. This year he faces a Republican woman from Lower Burrell, Nicole Ziccarelli, who is running an aggressive campaign against him. “A lot of parts of our district from Kiski to Kennywood have seen a lot of decline over the years, and Senator Brewster has been at the helm of that,” Ziccarelli told KDKA political editor Jon Delano. In campaign ads, Ziccarelli blames the incumbent for a decline in the region, and the 39-year old mother of four says it’s time for a...
    As some Democrats cozy up to the idea of packing the Supreme Court should President Trump and Republicans place Judge Amy Coney Barrett on the bench before the election, others have expressed a wariness to the idea. This is especially true for Democrats challenging Republican incumbents in Arizona, Georgia, Iowa and North Carolina. “Mark opposes adding justices to the court,” a spokesman for Mark Kelly, the former astronaut challenging Republican Sen. Martha McSally in Arizona, told the Washington Examiner. BIDEN AGAIN DEFLECTS ON COURT-PACKING QUESTIONS: 'I'M NOT GOING TO PLAY TRUMP'S GAME'  Campaign aides to Jon Ossoff, the Democratic challenger to Republican Sen. David Perdue in Georgia; Democrat Theresa Greenfield, who is challenging Republican Sen. Joni Ernst in Iowa; Democrat Sara Gideon, who is taking on Republican Sen. Susan Collins in Maine; and Democrat Cal Cunningham, who is up against Sen. Thom Tillis in North Carolina, all confirmed to the Washington Examiner that they oppose court-packing. Democratic nominee...
     Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association  To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here: http://bit.ly/1M1mIfw To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: http://bit.ly/1Tt4hqN --> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.* *Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.    The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Senate panel votes to subpoena Twitter, Facebook, Google CEOs |  ‘Trump fatigue’ spells trouble |  Senate GOP frustrated after Tuesday’s debate |  Trump signs funding bill after short lapse | NYC becomes first big city to reopen all schools |  Five cursing parrots separated   LATEST WITH GOVERNMENT FUNDING A teeny lapse in government funding:     Via The Hill’s Niv Elis, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump signs bill averting shutdown after brief funding lapse Privacy, civil rights groups demand transparency from Amazon on election data breaches Facebook takes down Trump campaign ads tying refugees to...
    Senate Democrats are working to prevent Republicans from committing 'a political heist.' Since Donald Trump named Amy Coney Barrett as his pick to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, Senate Democrats have started readying an arsenal of procedural tactics to prevent Barrett's confirmation. Senate Republicans are working to push through Barrett, who is 48, before the end of Trump's first term in office, while Senate Democrats are gearing up to fight Barrett's confirmation tooth-and-nail. "If we don't fight this with every fiber, politically, that we have, then we will have allowed a heist, a political heist, of a historic nature that the Republicans will have perpetrated on the American people," Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) said in an interview.
    This article is republished from The Conversation. United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Sept. 18, thrusting the acrimonious struggle for control of the Supreme Court into public view. President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have already vowed to nominate and confirm a replacement for the 87-year-old justice and women’s rights icon. This contradicts the justification the Republican-controlled Senate used when they refused to consider the nomination of Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s pick for the Court after the death of Antonin Scalia in February 2016. Article continues after advertisement Garland, a moderate judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, was nominated in March 2016, but McConnell balked on the basis that it was an election year. “The American people are about to weigh in on who is going to be the president,” said McConnell in March 2016. “And that’s the person, whoever that...
    Caren Morrison September 22, 2020 7:13AM (UTC) This article was originally published on The Conversation. United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Sept. 18, thrusting the acrimonious struggle for control of the Supreme Court into public view. President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have already vowed to nominate and confirm a replacement for the 87-year-old justice and women's rights icon. : This contradicts the justification the Republican-controlled Senate used when they refused to consider the nomination of Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's pick for the Court after the death of Antonin Scalia in February 2016. Garland, a moderate judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, was nominated in March 2016, but McConnell balked on the basis that it was an election year. "The American people are about to weigh in on who is going to be the president," said McConnell in March 2016....
    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, following the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday, September 18, stressed that if President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are determined to ram a far-right extremist through the Senate, everything will be on the table for Democrats — and one possibility that is being discussed is packing the Court. Journalist Matthew S. Schwartz discusses that possibility on National Public Radio’s website, drawing on the insights of legal and constitutional scholars. The last time Democrats tried to pack the Supreme Court by increasing the number of justices was during the 1930s under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was frustrated that some of the more conservative justices were hostile to his New Deal. Ultimately, FDR and other Democrats of the 1930s abandoned that idea, although some historians believe that the threat of adding more justices to the High Court...
    Democrats have threatened to pack the Supreme Court if Donald Trump's nomination gets confirmed following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  The president on Saturday urged the GOP-run Senate to consider 'without delay' his upcoming nomination to fill the seat vacated by Justice Ginsburg, who died Friday. The move comes just six weeks before the election.  Since 1869 nine justices have served on the nation's highest court.  Joe Kennedy III, who represents Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District and is the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, tweeted Sunday: 'If he holds a vote in 2020, we pack the court in 2021. It’s that simple.'  House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler wrote on Twitter: 'If Sen. McConnell and @SenateGOP were to force through a nominee during the lame-duck session -- before a new Senate and President can take office -- then the incoming Senate should immediately move to expand the Supreme Court.'   And Sen. Ed Markey...
    Now that’s what I like to hear. On a scale of 1 to “Donald Trump got shorted a McNugget in his lunch order,” the palpable rage is at about a 9 right now. And rising. But this may settle my humors some. Politico: During a Democratic Caucus call Saturday afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told his colleagues “everything Americans value is at stake” and vowed to respond if Republicans fill Ginsburg’s seat before January.   “Let me be clear: if Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans move forward with this, then nothing is off the table for next year,” Schumer declared. “Nothing is off the table.” Does that mean my dream of packing baking soda into every Trump orifice with an old-timey cannon stuffer and forcing him to sit in a vinegar dunk tank 24/7/365 can still come true? (And since it’s my idea, I get the exclusive concession....
    Caren Morrison, Georgia State University United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Sept. 18, thrusting the acrimonious struggle for control of the Supreme Court into public view. President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have already vowed to nominate and confirm a replacement for the 87-year-old justice and women’s rights icon. This contradicts the justification the Republican-controlled Senate used when they refused to consider the nomination of Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s pick for the Court after the death of Antonin Scalia in February 2016. Garland, a moderate judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, was nominated in March 2016, but McConnell balked on the basis that it was an election year. “The American people are about to weigh in on who is going to be the president,” said McConnell in March 2016. “And that’s the person, whoever that may be, who ought to be...
    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told his colleagues that "nothing is off the table next year" if Republicans push through a nominee for the Supreme Court in the next several weeks. A source told Axios about the comment made to congressional Democrats on a conference call on Saturday, and other outlets have confirmed it. After Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday night, the fight over whether or not her seat would be filled before the inauguration began immediately. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate will vote on President Trump’s nominee, if he is to put one up. In a tweet on Saturday, Trump indicated that he would nominate a replacement for the late justice soon. Schumer, a New York Democrat, made a similar comment to reporters in July 2019, saying if Democrats retook control of the Senate in 2016, nothing would be "off the...
    (CNN)As the United States faces multiple crises, Americans need a specific kind of leader -- a forward-looking, empathetic one. After working with Joe Biden in Congress for several decades, I have no doubt that he not only meets, but exemplifies, these character traits. He has proven himself to be a politician who cares about the pain of others and who deftly consoles those in need by encouraging them to dream of a better tomorrow. While Joe has demonstrated such concern on countless of occasions, I'll share two instances that stand out in my memory.Barbara BoxerWhen I was in the House of Representatives in 1994, a former colleague of mine, Illinois Rep. Marty Russo, had a terrifying health scare. His son, Tony, had been diagnosed with cancer. Distraught by the sudden news, Marty turned to Joe for counsel. Having lost his first wife and daughter in a car crash in the...
    In Kansas’ Republican senatorial primary, voters will choose between former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Rep. Roger Marshall — who some GOP strategists believe is by far the more electable of the two. And according to Politico’s James Arkin, one of the prominent Republicans who is sounding the alarm is Kevin McLaughlin, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Although Kobach and Marshall are both hard-right politically, Kobach is more extreme — so extreme that even in deep red Kansas, he lost a gubernatorial race to a centrist Democrat in the 2018 midterms. That Democrat, Laura Kelly, is now governor of Kansas, where Kobach was a leading promoter of the racist “birther” conspiracy theory during the 2010s. Arkin reports that on Thursday, July 30, McLaughlin appeared in a private Zoom call and warned that if Kobach receives the GOP nomination and loses in the general election, it...
              U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said in a statement that a bill she is sponsoring that would allow Americans to sue China over its role in COVID-19 has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill, called the Civil Justice for Victims of COVID Act, would allow suits to be brought in federal court over China’s role in spreading the Chinese coronavirus. Senate bill tracking information did not provide the next step at press time. “China’s Communist Party must face consequences for concealing and now profiting off the COVID-19 pandemic they enabled,” Blackburn said. “The costs are devastating: trillions of dollars in economic damage, millions of American jobs lost, and over a half million deaths worldwide – and counting. Business owners and families who have lost loved ones deserve justice. Under this legislation, Americans will have the opportunity to bring a lawsuit against China...
              MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (AP) — Legislative leaders had a tentative agreement Monday on the outlines of a police accountability bill, the top Republican in the Minnesota Senate said, but chances appeared dimmer for a $1.9 billion public construction projects package that had yet to win the necessary GOP support in the Democratic-controlled House. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-East Gull Lake) (pictured above) said he planned to adjourn the special session by midnight if there was no agreement on the projects bill, also known as a bonding bill. He said a deal was mostly up to the House. “It’s basically today or it’s not going to happen,” Gazelka said as lawmakers returned to the Capitol to resume their second special session of the year after several days of behind-the-scenes negotiations. Gazelka said he and Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman (D-Brooklyn Park) had a “tentative...
            by Scott McClallen  The Minnesota legislature kicked off its second special session Monday, and Gov. Tim Walz signed Executive Order 20-78, extending the COVID-19 peacetime emergency through Aug. 12. Walz first declared a peacetime emergency on March 13. “COVID-19 continues to present an unprecedented and rapidly evolving challenge to our state,” Walz said in a statement. “The peacetime emergency has provided us tools to save lives and mitigate the devastating impacts of this pandemic. As cases skyrocket in other states, we can’t let our guard down now.” The latest order extends $50 million of federal funding per month and prior executive orders. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 36-31 Monday to revoke those emergency powers. The DFL-dominated House says it will vote to keep those powers. The Senate also adopted a resolution to adjourn until next Monday to allow the House to work through bills. The chambers will...
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seems poised to violate another unwritten rule for his own partisan gain. The Kentucky Republican as minority leader cited the so-called Thurmond Rule in June 2012 to halt judicial nominees at the end of President Barack Obama’s first term, but McConnell is moving forward with the nomination of his protégé Justin Walker on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, reported Roll Call. “The Leader has made it clear no vacancy will be left behind,” said McConnell spokesman David Popp. “The party who nuked the judicial filibuster doesn’t get to talk about the Thurmond Rule. They should have thought about that before they set off the bomb.” Senate Democrats ended the 60-vote filibuster for executive branch nominees in 2013, but McConnell has a record of citing the rule — named after the late South Carolina Republican Sen. Strom Thurmond — when a...
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