Lawmakers and agricultural groups are racing to pass a bill that would alter the number and length of farmworker visas before the newly-elected GOP majority takes control of the House in January, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
The House bill would create 20,000 three-year H-2A visas permitting year-round work, and provide a path to citizenship for approximately one million farmworkers currently living in the U.S. illegally, according to the WSJ. Currently, H-2A visas only allow workers to remain in the country for up to 10 months, which has caused issues for some farms, such as dairy farms, that require workers year-round.
Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R), the chair of the state Senate, refused to bring up an election integrity bill for a vote on Monday because Republican Gov. Brian Kemp wanted it scrapped, Senate GOP leadership said, according to state Sen. Brandon Beach.
Senate Bill 89 would have dealt with chain of custody for ballots and prohibited private, “Zuckerbucks”-like donations from going directly to counties by routing them first through the State Election Board for distribution.
However, a vote on the bill was blocked by Duncan on Monday, the last day of the 2022 legislative session.
While many government leaders sound the all clear message on COVID-19, dropping vaccine restrictions and mask mandates, some states and municipalities are clinging to the emergency powers that allowed them to govern people’s behavior in unprecedented ways.
Citing the need to direct emergency funding and oversee hospitals, they have held on to their emergency orders even as many restaurants, shopping centers, and sports arenas are once again packed and lingering pandemic concerns have faded into the background of a more normal life.
Emergency orders at the state level are usually issued in response to temporary threats, especially weather disasters, and are wrapped up in a few days or weeks. Soon after the new coronavirus exploded in March 2020, most governors issued broad executive orders. Under these powers, governors banned crowds, closed businesses, and imposed mask and vaccination mandates. They have also deferred to unelected public health officials in imposing restrictions.
Using the pretext of the so-called insurrection on January 6, 2021, the long knives are out for Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Post-election text exchanges between Mrs. Thomas and Mark Meadows, President Trump’s chief-of-staff, recently were leaked by the January 6 select committee to none other than the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward, who darkly described the communications as proof that “Ginni Thomas used her access to Trump’s inner circle to promote and seek to guide the president’s strategy to overturn the election result.”
The small cache of texts—29 total—shows Thomas expressing frustration at the election’s outcome. There is nothing sinister, and certainly nothing criminal, about the messages.
With U.S. and world food prices set to soar due to inflation and supply shortages stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a key GOP lawmaker is asking the Pentagon to study the potential for conflict if the global food supply shrinks by 5%.
U.S. farmers will pay $300-$400 more per acre to grow crops this year due to inflation and costs associated with the war in Europe, Georgia Republican Rep. Austin Scott warned Monday on the Just the News TV show.
Shipping is another issue, as trade is throttled by war-related disruptions and tough economic sanctions against Russia.
After gradually reducing requirements for automobiles to pass a mechanic’s inspection before obtaining a registration, a bill in the Missouri state legislature would eventually end the program.
Currently, motor vehicles with more than 150,000 miles and 10 years from their manufacturing model year must pass a biennial safety inspection. House Bill 2499, sponsored by Rep. J. Eggleston, R-Maysville, changes the law to exempt motor vehicles with less than 150,000 miles and manufactured after Jan. 1, 2012.
During testimony on Wednesday before the House Downsizing State Government Committee, Eggleston said legislators in 2019 considered eliminating the inspection program but compromised instead and loosened requirements.
Republican lawmakers blasted a federally funded education program that trains researchers and teachers in critical race theory after The Center Square’s investigation broke news of the program. Now, one Florida U.S. Congressman is calling for an investigation into whether the program violates state law.
Newly uncovered Department of Education grant documents show that the department awarded $1,020,800 in a 2017 grant and $1,498,620 in a 2021 grant to a Florida-based program called Partners United for Research Pathways Oriented to Social Justice in Education (PURPOSE).
The taxpayer-funded program – led by Florida State University, which has partnered with Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University – offers participants one-year fellowships. Participants receive training in a range of issues, including critical race theory, during the fellowships.
Democrats are weighing whether to extend an individual stock trading ban to spouses of lawmakers.
The Ban Conflicted Trading Act “prohibits a Member of Congress or certain congressional officers or employees from (1) purchasing or selling specified investments, (2) entering into a transaction that creates a net short position in a security, or (3) serving as an officer or member of any board of any for-profit entity.”
The legislation in its current form would not apply to the spouses of lawmakers. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul has made headlines over the years with his millions of dollars in stock purchases, particularly with technology companies.
University of Toronto psychologist Jordan Peterson, who famously opposed Canadian gender pronoun mandates, disclosed Wednesday that he had resigned as a tenured professor years earlier than planned.
In a lengthy and impassioned account of his decision for the National Post, the bestselling author argued that the “radical leftist Trinity” of diversity, inclusion and equity (DIE) is reducing his students to their race and ignoring their merit. He faulted colleagues for “going along with the DIE activists.”
Meanwhile, an Ivy League law professor who is even more politically incorrect than Peterson may not have a choice in whether she keeps her job of two decades.
Facing intensifying criticism from Democratic lawmakers, journalists, and even some federal judges for not seeking harsher punishment against January 6 protesters, Attorney General Merrick Garland finally produced charges to appease his detractors. Last week, more than a year after the so-called insurrection, Garland charged 11 members of the Oath Keepers with seditious conspiracy.
The star of the new indictment, handed down by a grand jury on January 12, is Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the alleged militia group. (His co-defendants were charged with several other offenses months ago.)
Rhodes, described only as “person one” for nearly a year in numerous criminal indictments related to his organization, has been a free man since January 6, 2021, raising plausible suspicions that he may have been a government informant at the time. After all, the FBI has a longstanding pattern of infiltrating fringe groups such as the Oath Keepers and moving them to commit indictable crimes.
ASouth Carolina congressman has introduced legislation to open a dozen new ports of entry in America, seeking to shift the burden of President Joe Biden’s border crisis from Texas to wealthy enclaves favored by Democrats like Martha’s Vineyard, New York’s trendy suburbs and Silicon Valley.
Rep. Ralph Norman, a Republican, said he introduced the Stop the Surge Act last week as a companion to similar Senate legislation sought by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). It would require all future illegal aliens captured at the border to be shipped to the wealthy, liberal enclaves.
“All these prosperous areas that you see, you know, million dollar houses, let’s send them there,” Norman told John Solomon Reports podcast. “And let’s let them exercise what they claim to be compassion on illegals.
The Democrats’ reconciliation package will likely include more than $500 billion worth of climate provisions, more than the entire Department of Energy budget, the White House said, according to The Hill.
The budget represents an opportunity for “historic investment in climate change,” White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said during an event hosted by The Hill on Tuesday evening. The likely price tag for climate programs included in the bill is likely to fall somewhere between $500 billion and $555 billion, Axios previously reported.
The red state/blue state dichotomy is not simple.
Nowhere is that more apparent than Tennessee where—despite having one of the most conservative electorates in the country—the leadership has been passive at best in responding to the wishes of their supporters during these days of great crisis.
Another former Facebook employee filed a whistleblower complaint Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission alleging that the tech giant misled its investors by failing to combat the spread of hate and misinformation on its platform, The Washington Post reported.
The former employee, whose name is not yet public, alleged that Facebook executives chose not to pursue adequate content moderation policies related to hate speech and misinformation for the sake of maximizing profits. The complaint also alleges that Facebook did not do enough about alleged Russian misinformation on the platform for fear of upsetting former President Donald Trump.
In particular, the complaint alleges that Trump and his associates received preferential treatment, according to the Post.
Top lawmakers in the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee met with Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen on Thursday, a person familiar with the matter confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Democratic Rep. David Cicilline, who chairs the subcommittee, and Republican Rep. Ken Buck, who serves as ranking member, held a meeting with Haugen to discuss Facebook and issues related to social media competition, Politico first reported, citing two sources. A person familiar with the matter confirmed the meeting to the DCNF, and said the lawmakers also discussed potential antitrust reforms, as well as matters related to privacy and social media algorithms.
Buck and Cicilline worked together to advance a series of antitrust bills targeting major tech companies out of the House Judiciary Committee in June, and have both advocated for breaking up Facebook and other large platforms. The antitrust bills are currently set to reach the House floor in November.
A number of Pennsylvania educators said Thursday the Department of Health hands down COVID-19 mitigation orders and doesn’t back them up when it comes to enforcement, leaving schools in a difficult spot.
Michael Bromirski, superintendent of Hempfield School District in Lancaster County, told the Senate Education Committee that since pandemic mitigation rules lifted earlier this summer, school districts no longer handle quarantine orders for students exposed to the virus after the department told them it’s the state’s responsibility – and authority – to do so.
Except, parents rarely receive such instructions, generating confusion and frustration.
A bipartisan group of 32 state attorneys general sent a letter to leading lawmakers in the House and Senate on Monday urging the passage of a series of antitrust bills targeting major technology companies.
The letter, led by attorneys general Phil Weiser of Colorado, Douglas Peterson of Nebraska, Letitia James of New York, and Herbert H. Slatery III of Tennessee, was addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The attorneys general urged Congress to modernize federal antitrust laws and enhance consumer protections by passing a series of bills introduced in the House Judiciary Committee in June that target big tech companies.
“A comprehensive update of federal antitrust laws has not occurred in decades,” the attorneys general wrote. “The sponsors of these bills should be commended for working to ensure that federal antitrust laws remain robust and keep pace with that of modern markets.”
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may have violated a myriad of House ethics rules for attending the ritzy Met Gala on Monday evening while wearing a “tax the rich” dress, a conservative watchdog group alleged in a complaint obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The watchdog group, National Legal and Policy Center, alleged in a complaint filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics on Thursday that Ocasio-Cortez’s acceptance of free tickets to the event, which reportedly run at $35,000 apiece, for both herself and her boyfriend violated House Gift Rules. The group also alleged that Ocasio-Cortez received a prohibited gift from a paid attendee of the Met Gala by sitting at a sponsored table during the event, which are reportedly valued at up to $300,000.
In addition, the watchdog group alleged that Ocasio-Cortez may have accepted prohibited in-kind gifts due to her use of her custom-designed “tax the rich” dress and other services and amenities.
Anew poll on the recall election for California Gov. Gavin Newsom shows voters appear essentially locked into their position on whether to remove the embattled Democrat lawmaker.
The poll released Thursday by the nonpartisan The Public Policy Institute of California found 58% of likely voters surveyed oppose removing the governor from office, compared to 39% who support recalling him.
The numbers are largely consistent with those the pollsters collected in March and May – 40% to 56% and 40% to 57%, respectively, in the largely Democrat-leaning state.
The State Department is endangering the lives of Americans and others still in Afghanistan, lawmakers and others allege, even as the State Department claims it has accomplished an unprecedented, global evacuation effort.
Military veteran Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) who has called on President Biden to resign over Afghanistan, is calling on Americans to demand that Secretary of State Antony Blinken get stranded Americans out of Afghanistan immediately.
The battle to “Save Women’s Sports” resulted in a slew of legislation banning biological males from girls’ sports and conversations on the national stage about gender, sex, individual dignity, and much more. Now the advocacy groups behind this push are assembling to battle the next burgeoning culture war issue — transgender sex change surgeries and procedures for minors.
Progressive activists, media, lawmakers, and even some medical professionals call such procedures “gender affirming medical care” and protest that denying an individual this “care” is cruel, regardless of age. Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed the state’s SAFE Act in April, arguing that the legislation was a “vast government overreach” and that it shouldn’t jump into every ethical issue.
But advocacy groups like the Family Policy Alliance (FPA) insist these procedures irrevocably hurt children. And backed by a network of about 40 independent, state-based family policy councils, FPA aims to multiply the number of states across the nation that legally protect children from gender transition.
Despite calls for increased regulation of the tech industry, Congress has yet to pass any major legislation, leaving it up to the states to take action curbing tech companies’ power and influence.
Meanwhile, state legislatures have introduced and enacted legislation on data privacy, antitrust, and content moderation, while state attorneys general have issued a number of legal challenges alleging anticompetitive business practices.
House lawmakers are set to return from recess Monday and will likely take up the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill the Senate passed last week — and with it, a controversial and last-minute cryptocurrency tax provision.
The bill contains a tax reporting mandate forcing cryptocurrency “brokers” to disclose gains and transactions to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as part of a scheme designed to help cover part of the infrastructure bill’s cost. However, the bill’s definition of “broker” has been criticized by the cryptocurrency community and pro-crypto lawmakers as vague, expansive and potentially unworkable, with many fearing it could stifle the industry and force crypto companies to collect personal information on their customers.
The provision defines a broker as “any person who is responsible for regularly providing any service effectuating transfers of digital assets on behalf of another person,” and forces brokers to report transactions to the IRS in a form similar to a 1099. This means brokers have to collect and report customer information such as names, addresses, and taxpayer identification numbers.
Additional childcare subsidies provided during the COVID-19 pandemic will be extended until the end of 2021, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday.
The state program, which provides financial assistance for childcare services, temporarily loosened the eligibility requirements through July 31, 2021. Northam directed the Virginia Department of Education to continue covering copayments through December 31, using federal COVID-19 relief funds.
“Access to high-quality child care is not only critical to the health and safety of Virginia’s children, but it is also important for advancing a strong, equitable recovery,” Northam said in a statement. “Extending these resources through the end of 2021 will help close the affordability gap for parents and providers, allowing thousands of Virginians to return to work, support their families, and grow our economy.”
With President Biden pressing on with attacks against America’s oil and natural gas workers to push his environmental agenda, it’s past time to shed a little light on the failure he’s promoting. He may claim that his proposal to produce 80% of America’s electricity through non-carbon sources is a bold new idea, it’s actually a green failure that he’s trying to recycle…and we’ve got the receipts from two states to prove it.
Let me introduce you to California and Arizona, two neighboring states where one has embraced the Biden Green Plan for years while the other rejected it. Rest assured, Biden, John Kerry, and their army of eco warriors are hoping you ignore the following inconvenient truths.
In November 2018, Arizona voters soundly defeated Prop 127 by a margin of more than 2 to 1. The ballot measure was heavily pushed by former presidential candidate current extreme eco-leftist billionaire Tom Steyer. Similar to Biden’s plan, Prop 127 required Arizona to get 50 percent of its power from “renewable” sources by 2030. Keep in mind, these are the same voters that would elect a Democrat to the US Senate and give its electoral votes to Biden just two years later, tipping the presidential race toward the left. In other words, Prop 127, less restrictive than the Biden plan, proved to be too extreme for down-the-middle voters.
Are you having a hard time understanding why the housing market is heating up, and why the cost of essentials such as milk, eggs, and gas is climbing? Are you in the market for a used car? Then you know how expensive those are right now. And why can’t businesses find employees, yet millions remain unemployed? Economists agree the recovery isn’t like anything we’ve seen before. That’s because we’ve never had a situation before where the heavy hand of government shut down private enterprises on a nationwide scale. The market distortions are enormous. As states reopen, there is a herky-jerky feel to the economy that has many people unsettled.
Former Federal Reserve vice chairman Alan Blinder wrote in the Wall Street Journal recently, “the recovery is not linear. Rather, it is proceeding in fits and starts. Sales of physical goods, for example, dipped only briefly when Covid hit, recovered quickly, and are now well above their pre-pandemic levels. In stark contrast, businesses that deliver personal services, such as restaurants and hotels, suffered a devastating depression and are still below their pre-pandemic levels.”
By far the most uneven outcome so far since the economy crashed in spring 2000, besides the 7.6 million fewer jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels, has been inflation, which is up 5 percent the past 12 months.
The U.S. Capitol Police on Monday morning conducted what it called a “routine” training exercise on the grounds of the Capitol. The stagecraft, almost five months to the day from the January 6 protest, involved emergency vehicles and helicopters. The agency warned area residents not to be “alarmed,” which of course was the exact reaction USCP wanted.
Call it insurrection theater. The USCP has acted as the Democratic Party’s stormtroopers since January 6, attacking peaceful Americans during the protest, lying about the death of officer Brian Sicknick, and now making officers available for embarrassing cable news hits where they share their hurt feelings and the permanent trauma they’ve suffered since enduring the supposedly harrowing ordeal. The distressed officers, however, seem just fine with the fact that a still-unidentified colleague shot and killed an unarmed woman, Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt.
Capitol-employed apparatchiks have played a key role in shaping the narrative about what happened on January 6, all in service to their Democratic paymasters.
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday that he would veto funding for his state’s legislature after Democrats delayed the passage of an expansive elections bill.
Democrats in the state House quietly left the floor late Sunday with just hours to spare in the legislative session, preventing the bill from coming up for a vote. If signed into law, Senate Bill 7 would enhance voter ID provisions, empower partisan poll watchers and ban ballot drop boxes and drive-thru voting centers, which were used disproportionately in Texas’ biggest counties.
It would also make it easier to overturn an election in the state, allowing courts to throw out the results of an entire election if the amount of illegally cast votes exceeds the margin between two candidates, regardless of which candidate received more fraudulent votes. In 2020, there were just 43 documented cases of voter fraud, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The two top lawmakers on the House Homeland Security Committee reached an agreement Friday on legislation that would create a bipartisan, 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The bill, authored by Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson and New York Republican Rep. John Katko, is focused exclusively on the attack and not other episodes of political violence as multiple Republicans earlier insisted. Though it has the support of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, it is unclear whether Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other members of his caucus support it.
“I haven’t read through it,” McCarthy told reporters when asked about the bill Friday morning.
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott indicated Thursday that he will sign a heartbeat abortion bill banning abortions after the unborn baby has reached six weeks gestation.
Texas’ Heartbeat Act passed the state’s Senate Thursday. Abbott highlighted the bill’s passage in a tweet that noted the bill was “on its way to my desk for signing.” The governor also thanked Republican state lawmakers Bryan Hughes and Shelby Slawson for their leadership in introducing the legislation.
The speaker of the New York Assembly announced Thursday he authorized an impeachment investigation into allegations of misconduct against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“I am authorizing the Assembly Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment investigation, led by Chair Charles D. Lavine, to examine allegations of misconduct against Governor Cuomo,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said in a press release.
“The reports of accusations concerning the governor are serious,” Heastie, a Democrat, said. “The committee will have the authority to interview witnesses, subpoena documents and evaluate evidence, as is allowed by the New York State Constitution.”
A right-wing plot to storm the Capitol and remove lawmakers did not materialize on Thursday, after the FBI, DHS, and Capitol Police issued bulletins warning that they had intelligence identifying “credible threats” to that effect.
In dozens of reports, the corporate media hyped the “potential threat” of a QAnon uprising in our nation’s Capitol.
In response, the House of Representatives suspended its Thursday session and Capitol Police and National Guard troops went on “high alert.”
Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Monday that “faith-oriented” people in Congress have told her they “don’t believe in science.”
The California Democrat spoke Monday on the house floor where she discussed coronavirus relief and the recently approved vaccines, accusing the White House of spreading “quackery” notions of herd immunity.