Schumer: Inflation Reduction Act Has Votes to Pass After Concessions to Sinema

Conservative Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona) announced on Thursday that she will support the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) after Democratic leaders agreed to take out proposals to raise taxes on businesses and the wealthy in order to fund the bill. Sinema said in a statement that, after the Senate parliamentarian reviews the budget package, she will “move forward” with the bill. With Sinema’s support, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) says that the Senate now has all 50 Democrats on board to pass the bill via a simple majority vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris’s vote being the 51st.…

22 Government Watchdogs Ask Pelosi and Schumer to Act on Congressional Stock Ban

A coalition of government watchdog and advocacy groups sent a letter to Democratic leaders on Tuesday, urging them to take action to ban members of Congress from trading individual stocks, a move the organizations say is crucial to protecting democracy and preserving Congress’s legitimacy. The group of 22 organizations told Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) in their letter that the Democrats must bring a stock ban to a vote before the November elections usher in a new Congress, and that the leaders must throw their support behind a ban in order to…

Belarus: Sham “conspiracy to seize power” trial against prominent political activists starts

Responding to news that a court in Belarus has begun a “conspiracy to seize power” trial against prominent political activists, including the leader of the Belarusian Popular Front party, Ryhor Kastusyou, Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, said: “Today, another show trial begins in Minsk with the sole purpose of […] The post Belarus: Sham “conspiracy to seize power” trial against prominent political activists starts appeared first on Amnesty International.

Russia: Charging 92 members of Ukraine’s military with ‘crimes against humanity’ brazenly undermines fair trial rights

Responding to the news that 92 members of the Ukrainian armed forces have reportedly been charged with “crimes against humanity”, Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, said: “In charging these 92 members of the Ukrainian armed forces in proceedings that lack transparency and rely on, and seek to feed, […] The post Russia: Charging 92 members of Ukraine’s military with ‘crimes against humanity’ brazenly undermines fair trial rights appeared first on Amnesty International.

Marriage Equality Bill Could Break Senate Filibuster, Lawmakers Say

Lawmakers in support of a bill to codify marriage equality throughout the U.S., cementing rights recognized in a 2015 Supreme Court case, are optimistic that the legislation can attain the 60-vote threshold needed to avert a filibuster. Several Republican senators have indicated support for the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law that is still technically on the books that, if reinstated, would allow conservative states to discriminate against LGBTQ couples in their jurisdictions. The bill comes in response to rising Christofascism from the Supreme Court, which has suggested…

Manchin Backs Gun Legislation but Won’t Budge on Ending Filibuster

The day after a horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in which 19 children and two adults were killed on Tuesday morning, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) told reporters that he supports passing legislation to reform gun laws in the U.S. — unless doing so will require getting rid of the filibuster. Manchin has consistently defended the filibuster over the past year and a half, even as it was repeatedly used by Republicans to sabotage the Democratic party’s entire legislative agenda, including the Build Back Better Act. Shortly after the Uvalde shooting, Manchin expressed dismay that Republicans in the Senate…

Chuck Schumer Blasts Fox News Over Amplification of Racist Far Right Theory

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) sent a letter to executives of both Fox News and its parent company Fox Corporation on Tuesday, demanding that they stop promoting white supremacy on air, and citing the network’s amplification of the so-called “Great Replacement” theory that inspired a white supremacist massacre in Buffalo, New York, last weekend. That theory, which Schumer rightly points out in his letter “has no basis in fact,” is rooted in far right ideology but is rapidly becoming more prevalent in mainstream conservative circles. Its proponents posit the lie that there is a conspiracy to replace white…

How Did Biden Not Notice the Far Right Lurch of the Republican Party Until Now?

Sometimes, all you can do is stand back and breathe. “I never expected the ultra-MAGA Republicans who seemed to control the Republican Party now,” the president of the United States said on Monday. “I never anticipated that happening.” To all of us who have now been shouting for decades about the inexorable march toward this precise state of affairs, the willful obliviousness of this statement from Biden is truly stunning. Imagine if Bill Gates announced that he only recently realized the electron is a thing, or if Luciano Pavarotti just thought he was yelling the whole time, or if they…

Progressives Are Urging Schumer to Restart Push for Climate and Social Spending

Progressive groups are asking Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to restart negotiations on the budget reconciliation package that contains the bulk of President Joe Biden’s social and climate agenda, which passed the House under the banner of “Build Back Better” before stalling in the Senate last year. Refusals by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and other centrists to support the legislation prevented the Senate’s razor-thin Democratic majority from reaching a 50-member consensus necessary for passage. The bill would have needed to pass through the special “budget reconciliation” process in order to dodge Republican obstruction in the evenly divided Senate. Social…

Sanders Says He’s Open to Supporting Primary Challengers to Manchin and Sinema

Ahead of a crucial vote to amend the filibuster to support voting rights, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) has said that he would be open to supporting candidates levying a primary challenge to conservative Democrats Senators Joe Manchin (West Virginia) and Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona). Sanders told reporters on Tuesday that he would consider backing primary challenges to the two filibuster holdouts when they’re up for reelection. The senators, who are basking in the praise and political contributions from conservative groups, stand in the way of nearly every Democratic priority currently before Congress. The Senate’s protracted battle on the filibuster is coming…

Sanders Says Manchin and Sinema Are Undermining US Democracy

Sen. Bernie Sanders said Friday that by vowing to uphold the archaic Senate rule standing in the way of voting rights legislation, his Senate colleagues Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are putting “the future of American democracy” at risk. “It is a sad day when two members of the Democratic caucus are prepared to allow the Freedom to Vote Act to fail,” the Vermont senator tweeted. “I hope very much they will reconsider their positions.” Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) opposition to weakening the 60-vote filibuster rule — a stance they reiterated Thursday — effectively tanks their party’s hopes of…

Sanders Urges Biden to Cancel All Student Loans After Biden Announces Freeze

After the Biden administration announced on Wednesday that it is extending the federal student loan payment pause, progressive lawmakers are encouraging the president to take further action by cancelling student debt. Debt advocates and lawmakers have been pressuring Joe Biden to follow through with his campaign promise to cancel up to $10,000 of student debt per borrower, some of them urging him to forgive student loans altogether. These calls were amplified after the administration announced that it would be extending the payment freeze for another 90 days, until May 1 – a decision that debt cancellation advocates say was largely…

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