WASHINGTON – A clutch of powerful U.S. Senators is pushing back against a bid by the Trump administration’s Treasury Department to weaken a watchdog panel involved with overseeing $2.4 trillion in pandemic aid, according to three congressional aides. The effort to reinforce the authority of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) is the latest sign of tension between lawmakers and watchdogs tasked with safeguarding COVID funds on one hand, and on the other, a Trump…"U.S. lawmakers move to fight Treasury bid to curtail pandemic watchdog"
WASHINGTON – Carly Fiorina, a formal rival of Donald Trump for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, plans to cast her vote for Democrat Joe Biden in November. “I’ve been very clear that I can’t support Donald Trump,” Fiorina told The Atlantic magazine in an interview published on Thursday. Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard Co chief executive, fell in line behind Trump like many Republicans in his 2016 race against Democrat Hillary Clinton. Since then, she has…"Former Trump 2016 Republican rival Fiorina to back Biden"
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday declined to direct Ohio to accept electronic signatures from residents seeking to place voter initiatives on the ballot rather than signing petitions in pen due to the coronavirus pandemic. The justices in a brief order opted not to reinstate a federal judge’s May 19 ruling that had allowed organizers of proposed ballot measures, including one to raise the state’s minimum wage, to use electronic signatures and extended…"Supreme Court declines to change Ohio ballot initiatives policy"
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democrats urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday not to hold a key procedural vote this week on a Republican police reform bill that critics say does not go far enough to address racial disparities in American policing practices. The chamber’s top Democrat and two Black senators wrote a letter urging McConnell instead to consider stronger reforms contained in a sweeping Democratic bill the U.S. House of Representatives is due…"Senate Democrats urge McConnell not to force Republican police bill vote"
WASHINGTON/TULSA, Okla. – Amid a still-strong pandemic and after weeks of protests about racial inequality, President Donald Trump will hold a rally with thousands of supporters in Oklahoma on Saturday in an effort to reinvigorate his re-election campaign. Trump has come under fire for his responses to the coronavirus and to the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in the custody of Minneapolis police. He drew more criticism for his decision to…"Trump delights supporters, alarms health officials with Tulsa rally"
– The Minneapolis City Council on Friday unanimously passed a resolution to pursue a community-led public safety system to replace the police department following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the city’s police. The move comes days after a veto-proof majority of the council voted to disband the police department after the country erupted in protest over the killing of Floyd, a black man who died when a white police officer knelt…"Minneapolis City Council resolves to replace police with community-led model"
WASHINGTON – With the number of U.S. coronavirus cases now topping 2 million, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Thursday blasted anew President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic, saying Trump “still refuses to take the virus seriously.” Noting that the number of COVID-19 cases continued to rise in more than 20 states, Biden, who will face Trump in the Nov. 3 election, accused the Republican president of “trying to ignore reality.” “Just like Donald…"Biden blasts Trump as U.S. coronavirus cases top 2 million"
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday unveiled its version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, a $740 billion bill setting policy for the Defense Department on everything from troop salaries and equipment purchases to great power competition with China. The 2021 bill also wades into current controversies revolving around racial issues highlighted by protests after Minneapolis police killed George Floyd, an African American. The proposed NDAA, which is…"Senate committee unveils $740 billion defense bill, targets China"
DENVER – A Colorado environmental group dropped plans to place an anti-fracking measure on the state’s November ballot citing the COVID-19 pandemic, the second state initiative to be put off this year over virus worries. The group, Colorado Rising, had been exploring several ballot initiatives to place more stringent regulations on oil and gas drilling in Colorado, the fifth-largest U.S. oil-producing state, after its 2018 effort failed. A California initiative seeking to raise the state’s…"Colorado group drops plans for anti-fracking ballot measure"
WASHINGTON – A book by former White House national security adviser John Bolton will be published June 23 despite attempts by White House lawyers to block release of the volume describing his time as a top aide to President Donald Trump, Bolton’s lawyer wrote on Wednesday. Bolton was abruptly fired by Trump last Sept. 10 amid disagreements over how to handle foreign policy challenges such as North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan and Russia. The hawkish conservative…"Trump ex-adviser Bolton’s book to come out June 23 over White House objections"