Democrats – Knox Democrats Sat, 09 Oct 2021 04:42:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Democrats – Knox Democrats 32 32 McConnell tells Biden he won’t cooperate with Democrats to raise debt ceiling again Sat, 09 Oct 2021 02:14:00 +0000 “I am writing to let you know that I will no longer provide such assistance if your all-Democratic government sinks into another preventable crisis,” McConnell said in a letter to Biden.

The couple also spoke on Friday, according to a source close to the conversation, and another source close to the conversation said McConnell gave the president the same message that was in the letter.

The Senate voted 50-48 Thursday in favor of the extension after 11 Republicans, including McConnell, broke ranks to help Democrats overcome an obstruction. The move by the Kentucky Republican allowed the debt ceiling deal to avert the economic catastrophe, announced earlier today, to move forward after weeks of partisan stalemate on the issue.

The House is expected to meet on Tuesday to vote on the bill and will need to approve the measure before it can be sent to Biden for signature.

While extending the debt limit may avert immediate economic catastrophe, it does not resolve the underlying partisan deadlock on the issue, but only delays the fight until another day.

In his Friday letter, McConnell touted the deal as due to his leadership and blamed Democrats, namely Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, for the crisis.

“Senator Schumer has brought the nation to the brink of disaster,” he said. “Embarrassingly, it has come to the point where senators on both sides have pleaded for leadership to fill the void and protect our citizens. I stepped up.

McConnell’s reaction comes after Schumer delivered what Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and several Republican senators sharply criticized as too partisan speech on Thursday night.

The New York Democrat criticized Republicans in his speech for almost pushing the nation into bankruptcy and chided their handling of the issue: “Republicans have played a dangerous and risky partisan game, and I am glad their trick did not work. families, for the sake of our economy, Republicans must recognize in the future that they should approach debt ceiling setting in a bipartisan fashion. “

In his Friday letter, McConnell called Schumer’s speech a “bizarre spectacle.”

“Senator Schumer exploded into such a partisan, angry and corrosive rant that even Democratic senators were visibly embarrassed by him and for him,” McConnell said.

CNN reported Thursday that senators on both sides of the aisle reacted negatively to Schumer’s speech.

“I thought it was totally out of place. I thought it was an incredibly partisan speech after we just helped them solve a problem,” said Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the GOP whip, who had helped find the Republican votes Democrats needed. to overcome the filibuster and had voted for himself despite his opposition. “I let him have it.

Manchin, a bipartisan preacher who tries to bring parties together on a number of issues, was also unhappy with the tone of Schumer’s speech, which took place on the crowded Senate floor as senators waited to vote final on the extension of the debt ceiling. .

“I don’t think that’s appropriate at this time,” the West Virginia Democrat said. “I know Chuck’s frustration built up, but that wasn’t the way to get rid of it. We just don’t agree. I would have done it differently.”

McConnell said his Friday post came “in light of Senator Schumer’s hysteria,” as well as concerns about the “partisan spending bill.”

Ahead of this week’s vote, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned of the danger of what would be the first US default in history if the debt ceiling was not raised, and said that there would be catastrophic consequences.
Republicans have insisted for months that Democrats must act alone to tackle the debt limit through a process known as budget reconciliation. Democrats argued that the issue is a shared bipartisan responsibility, that the reconciliation process is too long and cumbersome, and the risk of miscalculation would be too high.

McConnell said on Friday that by giving Democrats more time, it will be up to them to resolve the crisis without his cooperation if the United States is on the brink again.

“I will not participate in any future effort to mitigate the consequences of Democratic mismanagement. Your lieutenants on Capitol Hill now have the time they claimed lacked to settle the debt ceiling through a stand-alone reconciliation, and all the tools to do it. They can’t invent another crisis and ask for my help, “he wrote.

This story and the title have been updated with additional developments.

CNN’s Manu Raju and Daniella Diaz contributed to this report.

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Democrats still facing the limits of narrow majorities: the note Thu, 07 Oct 2021 10:05:47 +0000

TAKE it with Rick klein

It’s a 2021 theme: Democrats are frustrated with fellow Democrats – and even see their own party members as obstacles to progress.

Right now, the Biden agenda is stalled due to political math problems that fall into two main categories: There are things Democrats cannot do even if they have 50 votes in the Senate. , and things they can’t do because they can’t get to 50.

The first category is why the wrangling continues over the debt ceiling and why any deal now will only delay the tough decisions ahead. This is also why voting rights reform has stalled, to cite just one example that is fueling progressive and even moderate calls to limit or eliminate filibuster.

The latter category is why progress is slow and frustrating on infrastructure and social spending bills. Senator Bernie Sanders can again complain about two senators with veto power out of 48 – and we can even see nuances of that argument creeping into what President Joe Biden is saying – but as long as those votes are needed to get to 50 is reality.

There is also another problem reflected in the numbers for Democrats. With three weeks to go before the final deadlines for the infrastructure bill and the social spending bill, Biden’s poll is not helping democratic unity.

A Quinnipiac University poll on Wednesday found that 55% of the public thinks Biden has not been competent to run government – a government that, yes, is controlled by Democrats in Washington. This pushes Biden’s approval rating to new lows in the FiveThirtyEight poll tracking.

The past few months have been dominated by crises – in Afghanistan, at the border, over COVID-19, and in spending battles – that undermine the image of calm competence that characterizes Biden.

Partisan divisions have arisen in all of these areas and more. But Democrats continue to stand in the way of their disagreements over how to proceed.

The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper

The Department of Education has announced changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program that will affect approximately 22,000 borrowers.

The overhaul will give thousands of previously ineligible borrowers a student loan discount. The changes include an expansion of the types of payments included in the program and an appeal process to review past denials. With the new changes, the program is expected to cancel $ 1.7 billion in loans.

The changes come as the Biden administration works through intra-party bickering to adopt the Build Back Better plan, which includes a multibillion-dollar investment in higher education – in its current form at least.

The plan includes a free community college, increased Pell grants, and investments in HBCUs and other institutions serving minorities.

The initial price of the $ 3.5 trillion spending plan is expected to drop in hopes of attracting figures like the Senses. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. It is a reality that even President Joe Biden has recognized.

But it’s unclear whether the aforementioned investments in higher education will do the trick or if the ideas will be achievable in a lean plan.

The tip with Alisa wiersema

Gov. Greg Abbott expressed his condolences to the victims of the Timberview High School shooting from the border, where he and nine other Republican governors held a press conference on Wednesday to berate the Biden administration over immigration policy.

Abbott was joined by governors from Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and Wyoming, some of whom took the mike to blame the president for the crime problems in their states which they believe stem from undocumented immigration. . Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey – who was among 25 other state leaders to sign a letter last month asking to meet with the president by this week – said President Joe Biden was turning away from Republican governors .

“We tried to meet the president and be part of the solution, but he refuses. No, worse, he ignores us, just as he ignores the border and the welfare of the American people,” Ducey told reporters. .

It remains to be seen whether Republican governors and the White House can open a working dialogue on one of the country’s thorniest issues, but immigration continues to loom over the president’s legacy. According to Quinnipiac, 67% of American adults disapprove of his handling of immigration and the situation on the Mexican border.


ABC News’ Start Here Podcast. The Thursday morning episode features ABC News legal analyst Kate Shaw on a temporary injunction from a federal judge to ban the application of Texas’ controversial new abortion law. Next, ABC News’s Anne Flaherty talks about the future of COVID-19 testing in the coming year. And, ABC News’s Kayna Whitworth reports on the Colorado River’s water scarcity and its impact on Arizona farmers.


  • President Joe Biden receives the President’s daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. He will then depart for Chicago, where he will visit the Clayco construction site at 2:10 p.m. and comment on the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine requirements at 2:45 p.m. pm The President will return to the White House at 7.20 p.m.
  • The House Committee on Oversight and Reform will hold a hearing to assess the “audit” of the Maricopa County, Ariz., Election at 10 a.m.
  • The House agriculture committee will hold a hearing to review the state of the ranching industry at 12 noon.
  • Download the ABC News app and select “The Note” as your item of interest to receive the most cutting-edge political analysis of the day.

    The Note is an ABC News daily article that highlights the top political stories of the day. Please come back tomorrow for the last one.

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    Voters have the answer for Democrats on spending Wed, 06 Oct 2021 19:32:26 +0000

    Democrats in Congress are arguing with each other over whether to pass a massive spending bill, or just a big one. They should listen to the voters, who are leading the way.

    A new Morning Consult poll asked voters what they thought of the Democrats’ expanded child tax credit as part of the US Congress bailout passed in March. This law sharply increased credit for most families with children under the age of 18, while also eliminating a work requirement for eligibility. Low-income families who do not pay enough tax to qualify for the full credit amount now get the difference back in the form of a cash payment. And instead of waiting for the next year to claim the benefit, eligible families can now get half the credit in the form of a monthly government check. The Biden administration said the improved right would pay out several thousand dollars to families with 60 million children.

    The extension only lasts the rest of the year, and Biden and most Congressional Democrats want to keep it until 2025. It’s an important part of the $ 3.5 trillion spending bill that the politicians are debating. democrats. The idea is that once voters get a taste of the advantage, they’ll want to keep it in place and reward their Democratic benefactors at the voting booth in 2022 and 2024.

    But it doesn’t work like that. The Morning Consult poll found that only 50% of registered voters approve of the expanded tax credit, while 38% oppose it and 11% don’t know. It’s a slim majority in favor, but it’s also only half of all voters. Seventy-four percent of Democrats support the expanded tax credit, but only 44% of independents do. This tells you that support for a key Democratic initiative is underwater with centrist voters. Democrats must retain control of both houses of Congress midway through 2022.

    President Joe Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California on Capitol Hill in Washington on Friday, October 1, 2021, after attending a meeting with the House Democratic caucus to try to resolve a deadlock around the bipartite infrastructure bill. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh)

    Support is even lower to make permanent the more generous benefit, which only 35% of voters support. Fifty-two percent oppose it being permanent, while 13% say they don’t know. Even among Democrats, only 52% believe the change should be permanent.

    This is a signpost telling Democrats two things: 1. Come back to the center, and 2. Make sure voters know you are going back to the center.

    The Child Tax Credit is a darling of the liberal progressive wing of the Democratic Party, and in a way it resembles “universal basic income” – a fixed amount of government funding for every household, every year. But voters are not ready to widen the safety net so far, so quickly. That’s why Biden won the presidency in 2020, eclipsing liberal Democrats like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren with a vision of a pragmatic government staying within limits.

    LOS ANGELES, CA - July 15: U.S. Representative Jimmy Gomez, left, watches as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks about the expansion of the child tax credit during a press conference held at Barrio Action Youth and Family Center on Thursday July 15, 2021 in Los ngeles, California.  (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

    Rep. Jimmy Gomez, left, watches House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speak about the expanded child tax credit during a press conference held at the Barrio Action Youth and Family Center on July 15, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

    Progressives recently declared victory when they blocked the bipartisan infrastructure deal by demanding massive social spending in return for their votes. But blocking the infrastructure deal doesn’t mean progressives will get what they want. Rather, it can mean that no one gets what they want, and the whole Democratic package crumbles.

    Progressives blame a handful of Senate Democrats who will not approve $ 3.5 trillion in new spending over the next decade as if such centrist reluctance is unreasonable. It is rather the reverse. Centrists, including Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, have said they may not approve more than $ 2 trillion in new spending. This would add to nearly $ 6 trillion in relief funds for Covid over the past 18 months, plus all regular government spending. Adding up the $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill and total funding above usual levels would add up to something like $ 9 trillion since the start of 2020. This is unprecedented.

    Democrats may reduce their ambitions for a permanent extension of the child tax credit, making it more of a down payment than a new permanent right. They could lower the income limit at which the credit is phased out, reduce the amount of the credit itself, or put a limit on the number of children to whom it applies. They could also reduce the effective duration of the expansion, in order to reduce costs.

    Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., speaks during a press conference outside his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, October 6, 2021. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik)

    Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., speaks during a press conference outside his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, October 6, 2021. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik)

    Reducing the cost of this perk is crucial because it is one of the more expensive programs on the Democrats’ wishlist. A permanent expansion would cost around $ 1.1 trillion over a decade, or more than $ 100 billion per year. That’s almost a third of all new spending that Progressive Democrats demand. Halving that amount, for example, would still be a costly new right, albeit more in line with the spending ceilings Manchin and Sinema are seeking.

    Democrats will have to cut many other parts of the Biden plan to bring it within the range of a $ 2 trillion bill that has a chance of being passed by the Senate, where Democrats need every vote . Voters may like parts of the Biden plan, but in many ways they have expressed a preference for a gradual change from the revolution. Democrats can listen now, or they will get the message at the polls in 2022.

    Rick Newman is the author of four books, including “Rebounders: How Winners Go From Failure To Success.»Follow him on Twitter: @rickjnewman. You can also send confidential advice, and click here to receive Rick’s stories by email.

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    US Congressional Democrats target palm oil, beef trade in deforestation bill Wed, 06 Oct 2021 09:11:00 +0000 Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) questions Governor Gina Raimondo during a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation hearing on Governor Gina Raimondo’s appointment as Secretary of Commerce on Capitol Hill in Washington , DC, January 26, 2021. Tom Williams / Pool via REUTERS

    WASHINGTON / SINGAPORE, Oct.6 (Reuters) – Democrats in the US Congress were due to unveil legislation on Wednesday to curb illegal deforestation globally by restricting trade in certain agricultural products, such as palm oil and livestock , produced with these methods.

    The “FOREST law of 2021”, introduced simultaneously in the Senate and the House of Representatives by Democratic Senator Brian Schatz and Representative Earl Blumenauer, could have a major impact on the trade of countries like Brazil and Indonesia, but does facing a tough climb in the divided Congress.

    Under Democrats’ bill, companies should improve their monitoring of supply chains for certain commodities, including palm oil, cocoa, soybeans and livestock products, as well as rubber. and wood pulp, to prove that they come from areas that have not been illegally logged. Imports not meeting the standard would be blocked and companies would face prosecution and fines in the United States.

    “Deforestation continues to accelerate,” Schatz said in a telephone interview, adding: “It is time to use the economic and political power held by the United States” to reverse this trend.

    The legislation is intended in part to provide a model for global governments to tackle deforestation, shortly before the November UN climate conference in Glasgow. Experts estimate that deforestation accounts for around 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

    “If deforestation were a country, it would be the third-largest emitter” of greenhouse gases, said Schatz.

    Although Schatz is a member of a Senate panel on climate change and Blumenauer chairs a powerful House trade subcommittee, the two lawmakers have so far been unable to generate much support from the part. Republicans, who could block the bill from moving forward, especially in the Senate.

    Schatz said no Republican senator has signed the measure, while one in 212 Republican in the House so far is in favor, a Blumenauer aide said.

    But the bill, which is also touted as encouraging fair trade, could also be an “interesting political coalition,” Schatz said.

    “We want to have a level playing field because obviously none of our products are grown as a result of illegal deforestation,” he said.

    There are no plans to incorporate the FOREST law into the sweeping legislation of Democratic President Joe Biden, still under negotiation, which includes major new investments in other initiatives to reduce the carbon emissions responsible for climate change. global.

    It is estimated that nearly half of all tropical deforestation is the result of illegal conversion of forests for commercial agriculture. Four commodities – beef, soybeans, palm oil and wood products – are responsible for most of this tropical deforestation.

    Blumenauer said the legislation would focus on areas where there is the greatest risk of “inappropriately harvested products” reaching the United States and help those countries develop sophisticated tracking systems by providing financial assistance and knowledge. -do technique.

    The bill also seeks to include deforestation in financial crime laws, allowing the United States to prosecute people who use the proceeds of deforestation to finance criminal activity.

    “We have real challenges with Brazil,” Blumenauer said, noting a “pretty tough” government there.

    “There will come a time when there will be a new administration in Brazil. But in the meantime, we cannot look away as they are removing large swathes of the Amazon basin,” he said.

    Reporting by Fathin Ungku in Singapore and Richard Cowan in Washington. Editing by Gerry Doyle

    Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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    Democrats cry foul as Onondaga County GOP tries to rush redistribution Tue, 05 Oct 2021 17:17:10 +0000

    Republicans in the Onondaga County Legislature will today attempt to pass a last-minute resolution that would speed up the appointment of a commission to begin redesigning the new legislative districts.

    Democrats are crying out loud, calling the resolution a bold attempt by the Republican majority to attempt to manipulate the redistribution process for partisan purposes ahead of the November election.

    If approved, Legislative Speaker David Knapp’s resolution R-LaFayette would require the appointment of a six-member Onondaga County redistribution commission by Friday.

    The committee is expected to hold its first organizational meeting on October 13, just weeks before the November 2 elections, when the entire 17-member legislature is re-elected.

    Republicans have an 11-6 majority in the legislature. Under a September resolution approved along party lines, the majority party would control four of the six committee appointments.

    Knapp bypassed the committee process for the resolution, telling Democrats of his intentions on Friday. He will need a rule break for the measure to pass to a vote when the full legislature meets at 1 p.m. today.

    Lawmaker Chris Ryan, D-Geddes, has said he may try to table the measure in today’s session.

    “It’s too important to rush,” Ryan said in an interview. “So why are we raising this now?” We never had the opportunity to discuss the desirability of this. “

    Under the county charter, lawmakers have six months after receiving new census data to convene a redistribution commission. This means that the work of the commission should not start before February. The new constituency lines would come into effect with the 2023 elections.

    Ryan and other Democrats argue the commission should be formed after the November election, when it is clear which party will control the County Legislature for the next two years.

    As it stands, Republicans could nominate four of the six commission members.

    An appointment each is made by the Onondaga County Executive, the Speaker of the Legislature and the leaders of the majority and minority parties in the Legislature.

    The commission is also to include the two electoral commissioners of Onondaga County, a Democrat and a Republican.

    Ryan previously attempted to pass a measure in July 2020 that would have given the power to designate legislative constituencies to a panel of non-partisan citizens. The resolution failed on a straight-line vote.

    Knapp said his resolution had nothing to do with partisan politics. He said it made sense to start the redistribution process now so lawmakers could hear their constituents as they campaign for re-election.

    “Now is the perfect time to do it,” Knapp said in an interview. “We want the public’s opinion on what people think. “

    He said the redistribution process should be much simpler than it was 10 years ago, when the size of the legislature was reduced by two seats, and 20 years ago, when five seats were removed.

    “This time it stays the same,” Knapp said. “We do not envision dramatic changes in the boundaries of the district here. “

    Dustin Czarny, the Democratic Election Commissioner, said it was clear to him that Republicans did not want to take any chances with the impending election.

    If the legislature turns to the Democrats, both parties would have three people appointed to the commission.

    Czarny, speaking as a member of the commission, said what Republicans were trying to do was clear to him.

    “There really is no other way to read it,” Czarny said. “They are not subtle. This is an attempt to rush things in case the legislature turns to the Democrats in November. “

    He added: “The only absolute reason to do it is to try to pass a partisan card after the election.”

    Czarny said it also appears the Republicans are breaking their own promise to hold six public hearings on the redistribution plan, including two in Syracuse.

    Knapp’s resolution includes a requirement for four public hearings.

    Asked about his resolution, Knapp said the intention was still to hold six public meetings. He said two meetings are already required under the county charter.

    Knapp said he was not surprised Democrats were pushing back on his resolution.

    “If I were in their shoes, I would try to make political hay with this as well,” he said.

    A tip, a comment or a story idea? Contact Mark Weiner anytime by: E-mail | Twitter | Facebook | 571-970-3751

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    Virginia Democrats rally to reverse Trump’s 2020 gains with Latinos Mon, 04 Oct 2021 08:31:35 +0000

    While President Joe Biden won the majority of Latino voters in both states, Trump’s gains among the traditionally trusted Democratic constituency were undeniable. In Florida, Trump’s stronger-than-expected performance among Latinos from all walks of life – not just Republican-leaning Cubans in America – helped him carry the state.

    In Virginia, Trump was six points ahead of his 2016 performance with the Latinos, according to exit polls.

    Whether it’s an anomaly or a sign of something bigger, Democrats in Virginia are taking no chances in November. The McAuliffe campaign goes to great lengths to win and engage Latinos, who make up about 11% of the state’s population.

    In a gubernatorial race that has shrunk to single digits, a recent poll has found Virginia has become a testing ground for Democratic efforts to stop the bleeding ahead of the year’s crucial midterm election next.

    “Serious investments are being made in educating Latinos in the Commonwealth in a way that may not have happened in 2020,” Del said. Alfonso Lopez, the first Latino Democrat elected to the State General Assembly.

    “When we realized that the ‘Big Lie’ was working with a small segment of the Latin American population in other states, we made it clear that we needed to respond to them more effectively and get our message across,” Lopez added, referring to the unsubstantiated allegations by Trump and his supporters that seek to cast doubt on the results of the 2020 election.

    Virginia Latino executives say they are satisfied with the way McAuliffe has handled Latino outreach since announcing his candidacy – and especially in the months following his first victory. Her campaign, which has been endorsed by more than 50 Latino leaders and major organizations, features a dedicated Latino Outreach Director who focuses on organizing communities across Virginia.

    Among those at his side are revolutionary figures – Lopez, Elizabeth Guzman and Hala Ayala, the first two Latinas elected to the Legislative Assembly. Ayala is the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor this year.

    They, along with the Democratic strategists who are closely following the race, are confident that the campaign’s message of how McAuliffe will handle the pandemic and economic recovery for Virginians will resonate with Latinos.

    “The participation of Latinos is going to be decided by messages – about who really cares,” said Guzman, who was born in Peru. “We delivered to the state legislature. And have a [Democratic] trifecta in Virginia… if you look at our agenda, it has always been about serving the needs of the Latino community.

    Last month, the liberal advocacy group People for the American Way, in partnership with the McAuliffe Campaign, announced a statewide six-figure Spanish media campaign – which includes radio ads – aimed at getting Latinos to the polls. McAuliffe’s campaign also runs an online outreach program, which includes digital-first Spanish ads via Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Univision and Telemundo, a campaign spokesperson said. They also run audio ads in Spanish on Pandora.

    Still, there are worrying signs. A new Monmouth University poll found 53% of Latino voters said they would support McAuliffe, up from 58% in the same poll last month.

    In 2013, when McAuliffe won his first term, he won 66% of the Latin American vote, according to estimates by Democratic polling firm Latino Decisions.

    Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin isn’t really thriving among Latino voters. The same Monmouth poll showed he was performing well below Trump’s levels in 2020, placing Youngkin at 28%, compared to 36% for Trump in the state.

    But in a race that has tightened as Biden’s poll numbers sag, any suggestion that Latin American support is lagging behind is enough to set off fire alarms among Democrats.

    “Everyone’s looking at Virginia. And we have a chance to send a clear message to the country that the politics of the Trump era, the candidates of the Trump era are no longer where the country is going, ”said Jonathan Dromgoole, president of the Democratic Latino Organization. of Virginia.

    Privately, Democratic strategists and some Latino Democrats closely watching the race admit they fear enough information has reached Latinos about the election – and that there isn’t enough enthusiasm to attract them at the polls.

    “I think the party could always do a lot better,” said Luis Aguilar, Virginia director for CASA in Action, a Latino and immigrant organization that mobilizes voters. He highlighted the Democrats’ chronic problem engaging Latino voters consistently and not just at election time.

    Still, he said McAuliffe had a “winning ticket” given the infrastructure on the ground – including canvassing and phone calls to voters – that organizations like CASA in Action have provided. In 2020, CASA in Action announced that it had made more than 200,000 outreach attempts and mobilized nearly 15,000 black and Latino voters to support Biden in Virginia.

    And with just over a month to go, McAuliffe’s campaign plans to step up Latino outreach down the home stretch even further.

    “The truth is that the investment in Latino outreach hasn’t been there in the past and now we’re really making sure it’s something real,” said Canek Aguirre, a son of Mexican immigrants and the first Latino to serve in the city of Alexandria. Advice. “It’s a step in the right direction.

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    Democrats to be “disappointed” with party agenda – White House Sun, 03 Oct 2021 21:04:00 +0000

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 (Reuters) – Democrats will be disappointed as the party is forced to cut back on President Joe Biden’s infrastructure and social agenda amid opposition from Republicans and some moderate members of his party, said Sunday a senior advisor to the White House.

    “People will be disappointed. People will not have everything they want, it’s the art of legislating, but the point here is to have both bills, and we will fight until what we have the two bills, “Cedric Richmond, director of the White House’s Office of Public Engagement, said on NBC’s” Meet the Press “.

    Richmond, a former member of the House of Representatives, spoke two days after Biden’s visit to the Capitol on Friday in an attempt to end a fight between moderates and progressives within his Democratic Party that threatened both plans for law which form the core of its national program. – an infrastructure bill and a social spending bill of several billion dollars.

    An ambitious bill to strengthen the social safety net and tackle climate change will need to be cut by a target of $ 3.5 trillion, perhaps to come close to $ 2 trillion, the researchers said. Democrats after Biden’s visit. Moderate Democrats, especially Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, refused to back the majority. Manchin has said he could agree to a bill closer to $ 1.5 trillion, while Sinema has not publicly committed on a number.

    After agreeing earlier on urging moderates to hold a House vote last week on a $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill that was passed by the Senate during In a bipartisan vote in August, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi overturned the vote at the behest of progressives who want the two bills to move forward in unison. .

    Biden, who has said he will “work like hell” to pass the legislative package, will travel to Michigan on Tuesday to rally his support, the White House said on Sunday. Michigan has a delegation to Congress that in some ways represents the broad spectrum of the Democratic Party, from moderate Rep. Elissa Slotkin to Progressive Rep. Rashida Tlaib.

    Howell, Michigan, where the president will be visiting, is in the Slotkin district.

    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Sunday the goal was to complete the infrastructure and social spending bills within the next month. Congress must also act next month to prevent the federal government from a catastrophic default.

    The influential chair of the 95-member Progressive Congressional Caucus, Representative Pramila Jayapal, said on Sunday that an acceptable range for the social spending bill would be between $ 1.5 trillion and $ 3.5 trillion.

    US President Joe Biden speaks to reporters as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi oversees the president’s meeting with Democratic lawmakers on the United States Capitol to promote his bipartisan infrastructure bill on Capitol Hill in Washington, USA, October 1, 2021. REUTERS / Tom Brenner

    Moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said his revenue for the package was $ 1.5 trillion, but Jayapal told CNN: “It won’t happen. Because it’s too small to fit our priorities. . So it’s going to be somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 (trillion dollars). “

    Progressive Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, told ABC News on Sunday that $ 3.5 trillion “should be a minimum. But I accept it’s going to be a give and take.”

    Republicans adamantly oppose the social spending bill and scoffed at Democrats’ decision to overturn the infrastructure vote last week. “You saw an epic collapse of President Biden’s agenda last week, but they’re not going to stop there,” Republican House Whip Steve Scalise told Fox News “Sunday Morning Futures.”

    Jayapal and another leading progressive Democrat, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, said on Sunday that one way to cut the social spending plan would be to fund some programs for a shorter period than initially envisioned.

    But they both also suggested that the proposals to tackle climate change were non-negotiable. “We can’t afford to increase carbon emissions or just fossil fuel emissions right now. It’s just science, it’s not something we can cut down the line,” Ocasio said. -Cort on CBS “Face the Nation”.

    Tensions remain high between Democrats. Sinema slammed the party leadership on Saturday for delaying the vote on the bipartisan infrastructure package, saying the move was “inexcusable” and had eroded confidence. The vote is expected to take place “well before” Oct. 31, Pelosi said on Saturday.

    Democrats have limited time to reach agreement on the larger bill as they face several other deadlines in the coming weeks.

    The most critical comes first. The Treasury Department has warned it won’t be able to pay its bills around Oct. 18 unless Congress acts to increase or suspend the $ 28.4 trillion debt limit. This could trigger a historic default that would weigh heavily on the United States and global economies.

    Republicans have so far refused to vote to resolve the crisis, saying Democrats should use a parliamentary maneuver called “budget reconciliation” to do so. Schumer refused, calling the debt ceiling a bipartisan responsibility and noting that about $ 5,000 billion in the country’s debt was the result of actions taken during the administration of Republican Donald Trump.

    Reporting by Susan Cornwell; additional reporting by Phil Stewart and Jonathan Landay; Editing by Scott Malone and Diane Craft

    Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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    ‘SNL’ returns with new Joe Biden, seeking to unite Democrats Sun, 03 Oct 2021 04:23:00 +0000 The NBC variety show returned for the season premiere on Saturday and opened its 47th season with new actor James Austin Johnson as Biden.

    “What’s cooking, what’s good?” Johnson’s Biden said, kicking off the premiere. “How was everyone’s summer? Mine was bad.”

    Johnson’s Biden added that on the bright side, he “spent the whole summer without even falling down the stairs.”

    Johnson’s Biden then brought out a group of fellow Democrats from different ends of the political spectrum. This included Senator Kyrsten Sinema, played by Cecily Strong, and Senator Joe Manchin, played by Aidy Bryant, as well as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, played by Melissa Villaseñor, and Representative Ilhan Omar, played by Ego Nwodim.

    “Is it just me or does she look like all the characters in ‘Scooby-Doo’ at the same time?” Johnson’s Biden said of Strong’s Sinema.

    After thanking Biden for not “calling me Kamala”, Nwodim’s Omar said she was “designed in a lab to give Tucker Carlson a heart attack.”

    Johnson’s Biden was trying to unite the two sides in hopes of completing the infrastructure bill. It didn’t work.

    “I’m saying we need at least $ 300 billion in clean energy tax credits,” Ocasio-Cortez de Villaseñor said.

    “And I say $ 0,” Bryant Manchin replied.

    “See? Same page!” Johnson’s Biden said.

    Johnson’s Biden continued to try to find common ground. He asked if everyone likes roads, for example. Strong’s Sinema said she didn’t want roads.

    “No roads?” Johnson’s Biden asked. “Why?”

    “Chaos,” she replied.

    The group was later joined by other Democrats like former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, played by Pete Davidson, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, played by Alex Moffat. Both were there to promote the books. The name of Schumer’s book was “Sandwiches I Loved and Tried” while Cuomo’s book was titled “Oops”.

    Johnson’s Biden said that basically Democrats, despite their differences, are all the same.

    Davidson’s Cuomo then stepped in, “screwed up!”

    Then the entire cast kicked off the final season with the traditional sign “Live from New York … It’s Saturday Night!”

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    Biden vows ‘we’ll get there’ as Democrats try to overcome divisions to pass key agenda items Fri, 01 Oct 2021 20:58:00 +0000 “We’re going to get there,” Biden told reporters. Pressed on a timeline, the president said, “It doesn’t matter when. It doesn’t matter whether it’s six minutes, six days, or six weeks – we’ll do it.”

    Biden was on Capitol Hill Friday afternoon to meet with members of the House Democratic Caucus, as Democratic leaders and White House officials work to strike a deal on the economic framework that they believe can unlock enough voice for infrastructure. Two sources close to the ongoing talks told CNN that an agreement on the so-called economic package framework is not completed or imminent at the moment.

    The president’s high-stakes visit to the Hill comes as some Democrats have called on Biden to take a more active role in the process.

    Democratic Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee said on Friday, “I think the president should be involved” and said “very few of us have seen the president in the nine months that he’s been president. And I think so. he should come to a caucus “.

    It might be a quieter caucus meeting than others. Representative Jackie Speier, a Democrat from California, told CNN that members have decided as a caucus to put their cellphones in lockers. This is expected to reduce leakage from the meeting.

    Whether Biden’s involvement can change the dynamic or lead to any breakthrough remains to be seen. Divisions within the party were fully visible Thursday night when Democratic House leaders voted for the $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill as progressives revolted against the prospect of a vote and vowed to sink the bill. Progressives do not want to move forward with the bipartisan bill without a vote on the economic package, which could cost up to $ 3.5 trillion.

    On Friday, however, the way forward was still not clear, especially as progressives continue to say they need a Senate vote on the $ 3.5 trillion package to gain their support for the government. bipartisan infrastructure bill – and some Democrats are starting to openly express their frustration with the delay.

    Moderates are angered that there has yet to be a vote on the bipartisan bill after Democratic leaders pledged one would take place.

    Centrist Democratic Representative Scott Peters of California expressed that sentiment, saying, “I feel frustrated. I want to vote on this package today.” Reflecting the uncertainty on the Hill as to what will happen next, he said, “I don’t know what’s going to happen.

    Some progressives, meanwhile, have expressed frustration that they did not know West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin’s negotiating position sooner, so they could have started the negotiating process earlier. Manchin made it clear on Thursday that $ 1.5 trillion was the price he was prepared to accept for his party’s plan to expand the social safety net, placing it at $ 2 trillion from the lowest number that progressive democrats said they would accept.

    Other Democrats, however, have been more patient and have suggested it is good that talks are underway as they are expressing optimism that a deal will be reached.

    House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jefferies said on Friday: “The speaker indicated that we will be voting today. I expect to vote today and I expect the draft law be passed today.… I hope we ‘I will get some clarification within an hour or so from the Senate as to what they consider possible, so that we can decide on this. which is acceptable. ”

    Meanwhile, Democrats are preparing a “plan B” for the highways trust fund, which expired at midnight.

    Representative Mark Takano of California confirmed that House of Transportation Speaker Peter DeFazio had presented a plan to make a draft bill and said he “presumes” that a vote will take place today.

    Leaving the House Democratic caucus meeting this morning, DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat, did not confirm to reporters whether he was announcing a 30-day extension to highway funding, but asked if Republicans could boarding with an extension, he replied, “I think if that was a solution, then they would.”

    Any kind of interim bill would require the cooperation of both chambers to be resolved quickly.

    Some senators have already left town, including moderate Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Sinema has left Washington and is in Phoenix, Arizona, for a medical appointment, according to a statement from his office. The press release specifies, however, that it is continuing negotiations at a distance.

    This story and title was updated on Friday with additional developments.

    CNN’s DJ Judd, Morgan Rimmer, Kristin Wilson and Ali Zaslav contributed to this report.

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    2 Million Uninsured Americans Could Benefit From Medicaid In Democrats’ Spending Plan: Shots Fri, 01 Oct 2021 09:00:59 +0000

    Democratic lawmakers are proposing a way to offer Medicaid to low-income adults in states that have so far refused to expand the program. Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Spoke about the issue during a press conference with other lawmakers at the United States Capitol on September 23, 2021.

    Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images

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    Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images

    Democratic lawmakers are proposing a way to offer Medicaid to low-income adults in states that have so far refused to expand the program. Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Spoke about the issue during a press conference with other lawmakers at the United States Capitol on September 23, 2021.

    Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images

    Hours after the Supreme Court in 2012 narrowly upheld the Affordable Care Act but rejected the extension of mandatory Medicaid for states, Obama administration officials laughed when asked if it would pose a problem. problem.

    During a White House briefing, senior advisers to President Barack Obama told reporters states would be foolish to deny billions of dollars in federal funding to help residents get the security of health insurance.

    Flash-forward nearly a decade, and it’s clear to see the consequences of this move. Today, 12 Republican-controlled states have yet to adopt the Medicaid extension, leaving 2.2 million low-income adult residents uninsured.

    Tired of waiting for Republican state lawmakers, Congressional Democrats strive to close the Medicaid coverage gap as they forge a set of new national spending that could reach $ 3.5 trillion over 10 years and improve considerably other federal health programs. But the cost raises concerns within the party, and competition for initiatives in the package is fierce.

    With Democrats controlling both houses of Congress and the White House, health experts say this may be the only time such a solution away from Medicaid will be possible for many years to come.

    “This is one last better chance to do it,” said Judith Solomon, senior researcher at the Left Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

    Here are 6 things to know about Medicaid issues.

    1. Who would be helped?

    Adults caught in the coverage gap have incomes too high to qualify under their states’ strict eligibility rules that predate the 2010 Health Act, but are below the threshold federal poverty rate ($ 12,880 per year for an individual). When the ACA was created, Congress provided that people earning below the poverty line would be covered by Medicaid, so the law does not provide for any subsidy for coverage in ACA markets.

    About 59% of adults in the coverage gap are people of color, according to KFF analysis. Almost two-thirds live in a household with at least one worker.

    States that have not extended Medicaid are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming .

    About three-quarters of those in the coverage gap live in four states: Texas (35%), Florida (19%), Georgia (12%), and North Carolina (10%).

    2. Why haven’t states increased?

    Republicans in those states have listed a litany of reasons. They claim that Medicaid, a federal state program started in 1966 that now covers 1 in 4 Americans, is a failing system that does not improve health, despite dozens of studies to the contrary. Or they say working adults don’t deserve government help with health insurance.

    They also complain that it’s too expensive for states to pay their 10% share (the federal government pays the rest), and they don’t trust Congress to keep its funding promises for expanding states.

    Every time Medicaid expansion has been passed in a Republican majority state, it has passed – most recently in 2020 in Oklahoma and Missouri.

    3. How would the Democrats’ plan work?

    The plan of the house has two phases. Under the bill passed by the Energy and Trade Committee, as of 2022, people in the coverage gap with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty line (approximately $ 17,774 for an individual) would be eligible for grants to purchase federal insurance coverage. Marlet.

    Registrants would not pay a monthly premium because the tax credits would be enough to cover the full cost, according to a Solomon analysis. There would be no deductible and only a minimum copayment, like most state Medicaid programs.

    Assistance that is not generally available under the ACA would be offered. For example, according to Solomon’s analysis, low-wage workers would not be prevented from signing up for market plans because they have an offer of employer coverage. In addition, people could register at any time of the year, and not just during the registration season in late fall and early winter.

    Phase two would begin in 2025. That’s when people with a coverage gap would transition to a Medicaid program run by the federal government and run by managed care plans and third-party administrators.

    Registrants would not pay any cost-sharing in the federal Medicaid plan.

    4. Would the coverage be as good as if the states adopted the expansion?

    It would be very close, Solomon said. The new plan would include coverage for all services defined by law as “essential” health benefits, such as hospital services and prescription drugs.

    One difference is that coverage for non-emergency health-related transport services would not begin until 2024. Additionally, during these early years of the plan, some long-term services for medically fragile people typically covered by Medicaid would not be included. , and some screening and treatment services for 19 and 20 year olds would not be offered.

    The first phase would also not provide retroactive coverage for the three months preceding the request. Medicaid now covers medical expenses incurred in the three months preceding a person’s request if the person is found to be eligible during those months.

    One of the potential benefits of using market plans is that they might have larger physician networks than those associated with Medicaid programs.

    5. How much would it cost the government?

    The Congressional Budget Office has yet to reveal any estimates, although the price tag would likely run into the billions of dollars.

    The federal cost to cover people by helping them buy market plans is higher than it would be if the states had extended Medicaid. That’s because market plans typically pay doctors and hospitals higher fees, making them more expensive, Solomon explained.

    6. Could states that have already extended Medicaid cancel this policy and require residents to have coverage under the new setup?

    The bill urges states to keep their current Medicaid options. If a state chooses to stop spending funds for the expansion of Medicaid, it may have to pay a penalty based on the number of registrants who transition to the federal program, which can run into the millions of dollars.

    KHN (Kaiser Health News) is an editorial independent national newsroom and program of KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation).

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