20+ Republican states exploring lawsuits against Biden’s ‘outrageous’ vaccine mandates

(LifeSiteNews) – At least 20 Republican states have announced that they may take legal action to block the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements for tens of millions of American workers in the private sector.

Dozens of Republican governors and state attorneys general quickly slammed the new COVID-19 rules unveiled by Joe Biden in a speech yesterday, which include a dictate to force U.S. businesses with more than 100 employees to require workers either to take the coronavirus vaccine or undergo weekly testing.

That rule, which has yet to be formalized, will come through the Department of Labor’s Office of Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Biden said, and may lead to $14,000 in fines per violation. Biden also announced that he will mandate vaccination, with no testing option, for all federal employees, federal contractors, healthcare workers at facilities that accept Medicare or Medicaid funding, and 300,000 educators with the federal Head Start program.

The move drew almost unanimous backlash from conservative leaders across the country.

“When you have a president like Biden issuing unconstitutional edicts against the American people, we have a responsibility to stand up for the Constitution and to fight back, and we are doing that in the state of Florida,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday. “This is a president who has acknowledged in the past he does not have the authority to force this on anybody, and this order would result potentially in millions of Americans losing their jobs.”

Texas has also threatened to take action, Gov. Greg Abbott tweeting yesterday that “Texas is already working to halt this power grab.” The state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, affirmed that Texas has plans to sue the Biden administration “very soon.”

Governors and attorneys general in nearly every Republican-led state have made similar comments, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte calling the Biden administration’s new mandates “gross federal overreach” and “unlawful in Montana.”

“OSHA cannot dictate personal health care decisions for Missourians,” read a statement from Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s office on Friday. “Missouri is not under an OSHA state plan, and Parson will not allow state employees to be used to enforce this unconstitutional action.”

“Joe Biden doesn’t have the legal authority to force COVID vaccines on millions of Americans. His proposal is unlawful and historic in its overreach. Lawsuits are coming,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt likewise pledged today, echoing comments from attorneys general in Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Utah.

As Biden began his remarks last night, Gov. Henry McMaster of South Carolina even vowed to fight him and fellow “radical Democrats” “to the gates of hell.” Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy described the administration’s “unenforceable” vaccine rules as “a case for the 25th Amendment.”

Republican governors especially took aim at Biden’s declaration Thursday that he would use his “power as President” to push governors who resist COVID-19 mandates “out of the way.”

“The White House needs to be reminded that the states created the federal government, not the other way around,” said Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota, who floated “mounting a legal challenge to this mandate.”

“Governors don’t report to Joe Biden. Governors don’t report to the federal government, the states created the federal government, and Joe Biden has stepped out of his reach,” Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey similarly said. “These mandates are outrageous. They will never stand up in court. We must and will push back.”

“How many businesses are going to lose employees?” he asked.

Other governors who have explicitly announced possible legal action against the Biden regime include Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Idaho Gov. Brad Little, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, Ohio Gov. Ron DeWine, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, and Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon.

Top Republican state leaders have reportedly begun working together against Biden’s latest COVID-19 plan, as well. “A conference call with Republican governors just wrapped up,” Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama revealed earlier today. “President Biden has overreached with these new mandates, and we’re united in fighting back. I’m partnering alongside my conservative colleagues across the country in this fight.”

State attorneys general appear to be developing a similar coalition, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita said Thursday. “My team and I, along with other like-minded attorneys general, are reviewing all legal action on how to stand against these authoritarian actions by the Biden administration,” Rokita said.

The Republican National Committee will also sue “to protect Americans and their liberties” if the administration’s proposed orders come into effect, according to chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

Joe Biden responded to threats of lawsuits on Friday, saying that he’s “disappointed” with defiant governors and telling them to “Have at it.”

Biden’s unprecedented federal vaccine mandates brazenly contradict numerous past assertions from the White House that it would not attempt to make coronavirus vaccination compulsory. “I don’t think it should be mandatory, I wouldn’t demand it to be mandatory,” Biden stated last year.

“He lied,” House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) tweeted.

The reversal also comes amid sharply dropping vaccine efficacy, worker shortages due to COVID vaccine mandates, and several foreign and domestic crises for the Biden administration, like record-level inflation and the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.





Source link

DOJ Exploring Ways to ‘Challenge’ Texas Pro-Life Law

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is looking into ways it can challenge a new law in Texas that makes illegal abortions done after a fetal heartbeat is detected, according to Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Garland disclosed the effort as he emphasized that federal authorities will crack down on anybody who seeks to use violence or intimidation to block abortions from being carried out in Texas.

“While the Justice Department urgently explores all options to challenge Texas SB8 in order to protect the constitutional rights of women and other persons, including access to an abortion, we will continue to protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services pursuant to our criminal and civil enforcement of the FACE Act,” Garland said in a statement on Monday.

Texas Senate Bill 8, which went into effect on Sept. 1, prohibits abortions from being done without an attempt to detect a fetal heartbeat.

If a heartbeat is detected, abortions cannot be done unless a physician says a medical emergency exists. A medical emergency is defined in the state as posing a serious threat to the pregnant mother’s life.

No lawsuits have yet been filed under the new law because no credible accounts of violations have emerged, according to the Texas Right to Life.

Rebecca Parma, senior legislative associate at the pro-life group, told The Epoch Times that the Biden administration’s rhetoric since the Supreme Court ruling indicates officials are trying to maneuver around the ruling “and enforce an ideology outside of the court system and on Texas.”

An exam room is seen at the Planned Parenthood South Austin Health Center in Austin, Texas, on June 27, 2016. (Ilana Panich-Linsman/Reuters)

“We’ll see what they decide to do but it is disappointing that they’re not allowing this to go through the court,” she said.

Spokespersons for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, and Texas Sen. Bryan Hughes, the bill’s author, did not respond to requests for comment.

The FACE Act bars the use or threat of force and physical intimidation to injure, intimidate, or interfere with a person seeking to obtain or provide abortion services.

The DOJ is committed to providing support when an abortion clinic or health center is attacked and has reached out to U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and FBI field offices in Texas and across the country “to discuss our enforcement authorities,” Garland said, adding that the department “will not tolerate violence” against those people who try to obtain or perform abortions.

Abortion providers and many Democrats have decried the new law, arguing that up to nine out of 10 abortions will be prevented by it and that it violates Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that found access to abortion is a constitutional right.

Republicans and pro-life activists say the law protects the rights of unborn children and note that state officials cannot enforce it. Instead, the law grants private citizens the ability to sue doctors or others accused of performing illegal abortions or aiding and abetting them.

The Supreme Court upheld the new law last week, ruling against an emergency motion for immediate relief. Still, the narrow 5–4 majority acknowledged there are constitutional concerns and left open the possibility of ultimately ruling against the law.

President Joe Biden, in the wake of the ruling, directed his Gender Policy Council and the Office of the White House Counsel to explore how the federal government, including the DOJ, could “ensure that women in Texas have access to safe and legal abortions as protected by Roe.” He later said he wasn’t sure if the government could do anything.

Zachary Stieber

Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.



Source link

Attorney General Garland: Prosecutors urgently exploring options to challenge the Texas abortion law

​​The Justice Department says it will use a federal law known as the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act to protect women seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services, following the recent passage of Texas law limiting most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.  

The move was announced Monday by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The Texas law also leaves enforcement of it up to citizens through lawsuits instead of criminal prosecutors.

Garland said in a statement federal prosecutors are still urgently exploring options to challenge the Texas law, according to the Associated Press. 

He said the Justice Department would enforce the federal law “to protect the constitutional rights of women and other persons, including access to an abortion.”

The federal law, commonly known as the FACE Act, prohibits physically obstructing or using the threat of force to intimidate or interfere with a person seeking reproductive health services. The law also prohibits damaging property at abortion clinics and other reproductive health centers, the wire service also reports.



Source link

Biden: DOJ Exploring Ways to ‘Limit’ Enforcement of Texas Heartbeat Bill

President Joe Biden departs after delivering remarks on the August Jobs Report at the White House in Washington, September 3, 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

President Biden told reporters on Friday that he consulted with the Justice Department regarding potential methods to blunt the enforcement of Texas’s fetal heartbeat law.

“The most pernicious thing about the Texas law is it creates a sort of vigilante system where people get rewards to go out to—anyway,” Biden said, referring to the law’s enforcement mechanism allowing private citizens to sue people who help facilitate an abortion.

“I was told there are possibilities within the existing law to have the Justice Department look and see whether there are things that can be done that can limit the independent action of individuals in enforcing a state law,” Biden said. “I don’t know enough to give you an answer yet, I have asked that to be checked.”

The Texas law went into effect on Wednesday, and remains in effect because the Supreme Court rejected a challenge by abortion providers in a 5-4 decision. The majority did not address the law’s merits but instead found that the plaintiffs could not be granted relief because no one has yet been fined for aiding an abortion and challenged the fine in court. The plaintiffs lacked the standing to sue the state since it is private individuals, rather than state officials, who are tasked with enforcing the law.

“This order is not based on any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas’s law, and in no way limits other procedurally proper challenges to the Texas law, including in Texas state courts,” the majority opinion states.

Biden called the decision an “unprecedented assault on a woman’s constitutional rights under Roe v. Wade” in a statement to the press.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.





Source link

Exclusive: J&J exploring putting talc liabilities into bankruptcy, sources say

FILE PHOTO: A bottle of Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder is seen in a photo illustration taken in New York, February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar/Illustration/File Photo/File Photo

July 18, 2021

By Mike Spector, Jessica DiNapoli and Dan Levine

(Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson is exploring a plan to offload liabilities from widespread Baby Powder litigation into a newly created business that would then seek bankruptcy protection, according to seven people familiar with the matter.

During settlement discussions, one of the healthcare conglomerate’s attorneys has told plaintiffs’ lawyers that J&J could pursue the bankruptcy plan, which could result in lower payouts for cases that do not settle beforehand, some of the people said. Plaintiffs’ lawyers would initially be unable to stop J&J from taking such a step, though could pursue legal avenues to challenge it later.

J&J has not yet decided whether to pursue the bankruptcy plan and could ultimately abandon the idea, some of the people said. Reuters could not determine whether J&J has retained restructuring lawyers to help the company explore the bankruptcy plan.

J&J faces legal actions from tens of thousands of plaintiffs alleging its Baby Powder and other talc products contained asbestos and caused cancer. The plaintiffs include women suffering from ovarian cancer and others battling mesothelioma.

“Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. has not decided on any particular course of action in this litigation other than to continue to defend the safety of talc and litigate these cases in the tort system, as the pending trials demonstrate,” the J&J subsidiary housing the company’s talc products said in a statement provided to Reuters. J&J declined further comment.

Should J&J proceed, plaintiffs who have not settled could find themselves in protracted bankruptcy proceedings with a likely much smaller company. Future payouts to plaintiffs would be dependent on how J&J decides to fund the entity housing its talc liabilities.

J&J is now considering using Texas’s “divisive merger” law, which allows a company to split into at least two entities. For J&J, that could create a new entity housing talc liabilities that would then file for bankruptcy to halt litigation, some of the people said.

The maneuver is known among legal experts as a Texas two-step bankruptcy, a strategy other companies facing asbestos litigation have used in recent years.

J&J could also explore using another mechanism to effectuate the bankruptcy filing besides the Texas law, some of the people said.

A 2018 Reuters investigation https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/johnsonandjohnson-cancer found J&J knew for decades that asbestos, a known carcinogen, lurked in its Baby Powder and other cosmetic talc products. The company stopped selling Baby Powder in the U.S. and Canada in May 2020, in part due to what it called “misinformation” and “unfounded allegations” about the talc-based product. J&J maintains its consumer talc products are safe and confirmed through thousands of tests to be asbestos-free.

The blue-chip company, which boasts a roughly $443 billion market value, faces legal actions from more than 30,000 plaintiffs alleging its talc products were unsafe. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear J&J’s appeal of a Missouri court ruling that resulted in $2 billion of damages awarded to women alleging the company’s talc caused their ovarian cancer.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers view the two-step bankruptcy strategy as one that skirts potentially expensive settlements or judgments. Companies view it as a way to corral numerous lawsuits in one court for efficient negotiations that bankruptcy law dictates for asbestos liabilities. The company outside bankruptcy can reach a funding agreement with the entity navigating a court restructuring to cover future settlement payments.

In 2017, Brawny paper towels manufacturer Georgia-Pacific used the Texas law to move asbestos liabilities to an entity that later filed for bankruptcy in North Carolina.

Bankruptcy cases filed to resolve litigation, including those related to asbestos, often take years, and almost never fully repay creditors. OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP, for instance, is near resolving thousands of opioid lawsuits after two years of bankruptcy negotiations with a plan valued at more than $10 billion to address trillions of dollars in claims.

Another company, DBMP LLC, filed for bankruptcy last year to resolve asbestos liabilities and said the case could take up to eight years, according to a company press release.

J&J also faces litigation alleging it contributed to the U.S. opioid epidemic and recently recalled certain spray sunscreen products after discovering some of them contained low levels of benzene, another carcinogen.

The company in June agreed to pay $263 million to resolve opioid claims in New York. It has denied wrongdoing related to its opioids.

(Additional reporting by Nate Raymond; editing by Vanessa O’Connell and Edward Tobin)





Source link

Corrupt Sam Bee: With Trump Gone, Political Comedy Is Having ‘Fun,’ ‘Exploring Ourselves!’

If you had any doubt that modern late night political comedy is a corrupt, hack-filled enterprise, Samantha Bee on Tuesday is proof positive. Appearing on CBS This Morning, the TBS Full Frontal host exclaimed that, with Trump gone, hosts can just have “fun” and they can focus on “exploring ourselves.”

Holding Joe Biden to account with political mockery is clearly not on the agenda. Talking to CBS guest host Michelle Miller, Bee cheered, “I have to say that post-Trump it is so much more fun to do the show…. The transition was so — it was so effortless for us. It was just chef’s kiss. We’re having so much fun doing the show, we’re going to wild places. We’re doing all this stuff.”

 

We’re doing all this stuff… except make fun of Biden. Underlining this point, the partisan Democrat host appreciated not having a Republican to constantly run down: “It feels like we’re really blossoming and getting a chance to do stories we wouldn’t get to do otherwise. So, it’s been a great evolution.”

How much of a contrast is this? In 2018, the unhinged Bee lashed out at Ivanka Trump as a “feckless cunt.”

In April of 2021, Bee seemed puzzled that she would even be required to make fun of Biden, telling Dan Rather: “Why would I purposefully undermine something that seems to be a great idea, pretty much across the board? Like, I don’t need to make jokes just to make jokes. Like, I like to make targeted jokes.” In February of 2021, she told Al Roker that the “adults are in charge.”

Another reminder that late night political comedy is for Democrats only. Republicans and independents should just tune Bee and her fellow hacks out. 

The support of such partisan hackery was sponsored by Toyota and Giant food. Click on the links to let them know what you think.

A partial transcript to the segment is below. Click “expand” to read more.

CBS This Morning

6/21/2021

8:36

MICHELLE MILLER: Samantha, Michelle here. You launched Full Frontal five years ago. Since then we’ve had two presidential elections, we’ve had a global pandemic. How has your show evolved since then?

SAMANTHA BEE: Oh, you know, I have to say that post-Trump it is so much more fun to do the show.

MILLER: Really?

BEE: I know that there was a lot of conversation about late night shows and what will everybody do in a post-Trump era? I have to tell you the transition was so — it was so effortless for us. It was just chef’s kiss. We’re having so much fun doing the show, we’re going to wild places, we’re doing all this stuff, we’re coming out of the pandemic. It feels like we’re really blossoming and getting a chance to do stories we wouldn’t get to do otherwise. So, it’s been a great evolution. Honestly I think the show is better than ever.

BEE: You in fact say that the idea that the Trump administration was good for comedy is in fact wrong. Why?

MILLER: Oh, yeah. Well, I mean it was bad for the world. [Laughs.] It’s better for us now because the world is better and it’s a little bit easier for us as a comedy show to explore ourselves and to tell the kinds of stories that we maybe wouldn’t have had a chance to do otherwise.



Source link

China Exploring Possibility of Improving Air Capabilities on Small Island Uncomfortably Close to Hawaii

China is creeping further east across the Pacific Ocean with a new project that could put military assets thousands of miles closer to Hawaii.

A new report says China is looking to establish an airfield about 1,900 miles from Hawaii — less than half the distance between the Chinese mainland and America’s Pacific island state.

According to Reuters, China has a partnership deal with a tiny island nation of Kiribati.

The goal of the deal is to develop an airstrip on one remote speck of land, according to China’s Foreign Ministry.

Kiribati lawmakers say that China has developed plans for upgrading an airstrip on Kanton, a small atoll. The Chinese plans also call for upgrading a bridge.

Trending:

CNN’s Don Lemon Fails to Get Guest to Take ‘Bait,’ Instead Gets Contradicted on Slavery

China’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the communist nation was working on behalf of the Kiribati government.

The airstrip is being upgraded to assist with domestic transportation issues, the statement said.

China is seeking “mutually beneficial cooperation” with Kiribati and will work within the limits of its ability to provide help without any political conditions,” the statement said.

Kiribati broke diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 2019 and established ties with China instead.

Is it already too late to stop China’s dominance?

The Drive reported that the airstrip China will be upgrading was used by the U.S. Army Air Force during WWII and that the island was used by the U.S. to track spacecraft and missiles until the 1960s.

The outlet speculated about China’s possible motives and potential uses for the airstrip.

“The existing runway at Canton Airport, once modernized, could be long enough to support fighter deployments, but the improved section would likely need to be extended out to the full 8,000 feet length to support large-size transports, as well as maritime patrol aircraft or even bombers,” the outlet reported.

“A considerable investment would also need to be made to supporting infrastructure to sustain any kind of meaningful, longer-term deployment by military aircraft, including hangars, fueling and maintenance facilities, and accommodations for aircrew and ground personnel.

“The location of the airstrip would be especially useful for surveillance aircraft flights, including those by long-endurance unmanned aircraft, extending reach toward both Hawaii in one direction, and Australia and New Zealand in the other. Persistent intelligence-gathering, sea control, and long-range maritime targeting would all be of interest for the People’s Liberation Army in this region.”

Related:

Chinese Rocket Reportedly Lands in Indian Ocean, Ending Days of Speculation

Even prior to reports of the airstrip project, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute was sounding an alarm over dredging projects China was conducting on Kiribati.

“These facilities would give China control over the world’s best tuna fishing grounds plus swathes of deep-sea mineral resources, and a presence near the US bases at Hawaii, Kwajalein Atoll, Johnston Atoll and Wake Island. They would also be positioned directly across the major sea lanes between North America and Australia and New Zealand,” consultant Steve Raaymakers wrote for the group.

“During World War II, Japan’s attempt to block the same lanes were defeated, starting with the Battle of the Coral Sea and then the taking of Guadalcanal in Solomon Islands. Today, China is moving to achieve control over the vital trans-Pacific sea lines of communication under the guise of assisting with economic development and climate-change adaptation,” Raaymakers added.

“The developments in Kiribati are part of a much larger Pacific-wide Chinese strategy.”

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.



Source link

Chuck Schumer is ‘Actively Exploring’ Granting Citizenship to Millions of Illegal Immigrants

Asylum-seeking migrant families wait to be transported by the U.S. Border Patrol after crossing the Rio Grande river into the United States from Mexico in La Joya, Texas, April 27, 2021. (Go Nakamura/Reuters)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) told members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that he is “actively exploring” ways to grant citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants via budget reconciliation, two people familiar with the discussions told the New York Times.

Passing such legislation via budget reconciliation rules would require a simple majority vote in the Senate, rather than the filibuster-proof threshold of 60 votes required for most legislation. Schumer is reportedly considering passing the citizenship bill along with President Biden’s infrastructure bill via reconciliation, should negotiations over a standalone immigration bill break down.

However, it is unclear whether the move would receive approval of the Senate parliamentarian, who interprets and arbitrates Senate rules and procedures. Senator John Cornyn (R., Texas) was skeptical that the parliamentarian would allow legislation to legalize undocumented immigrants to pass via budget reconciliation.

“I think they’re dreaming; I don’t think the parliamentarian will allow that. That’s not really the purpose of reconciliation,” Cornyn told the Times.

Cornyn also emphasized that “before we can do anything meaningful on immigration, we’re going to have to deal with the current crisis at the border.”

Sources familiar with Schumer’s thinking believe he will argue that there is precedent for using the procedure to change immigration policy. Republicans, including Cornyn, supported the use budget reconciliation to reclaim unused visas in 2005, although that was a more limited action that what Schumer would be proposing in this case.

Members of the Hispanic Caucus have previously stated that the president is open to passing immigration reform via budget reconciliation if Democrats don’t receive GOP support.

Biden generally “supports passing certain immigration reforms by reconciliation if we can’t get the 10 Republican votes,” Representative Darren Soto (D., Fla.) told Politico in mid-April.

Biden released his immigration bill in January, calling to legalize roughly 11 million migrants currently residing in the U.S.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.





Source link

Caitlyn Jenner Reportedly “Actively Exploring” Run for California Governor

Former Olympic champion and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner is reportedly actively exploring a run for governor of California.

Current Governor Gavin Newsom will face a runoff election in the future and Jenner is mulling the idea of a run.

SFGate reported:

Caitlyn Jenner, the former Olympic athlete and reality television star, is reportedly “actively exploring” a bid for governor of California.

TRENDING: WATCH: Alex Jones Physically Stops Vehicle After Witnessing Migrant Children Being Stuffed in the Luggage Compartment

Axios reported Tuesday that Jenner’s interest is very real — so much so that she has been having serious conversations with multiple political consultants. According to Axios, Jenner, a longtime Republican, is being assisted by longtime GOP fundraiser Caroline Wren, who worked to re-elect President Trump in 2020.

Jenner, who came out as transgender in 2015 and lives in Malibu, voted for Trump in 2016, but later expressed disappointment with his handling of LGBT issues.





Source link

Gun Control: White House Exploring Executive Action on Firearms

President Joe Biden speaks about the mass shooting in Colorado from the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., March 23, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The White House is privately considering taking executive action on gun control, including strengthening background checks and increasing community anti-violence funding, according to a new report.

The administration has been toying with the idea of taking executive action on firearms for weeks, according to the Washington Post, though it has faced renewed calls for gun legislation in the wake of a week that saw two mass shootings in the United States.

The White House is also considering regulating “ghost guns” which are devices assembled at home and lacking serial numbers, making them more difficult to track.

The report comes as Biden on Tuesday publicly called for tighter gun laws after a gunman opened fire in a Boulder, Colo. grocery store, killing ten people, including Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley. 

In a public address on Tuesday, Biden proposed a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, and an expansion of background checks during gun sales. 

“I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common-sense steps that will save lives in the future and to urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to act,” Biden said.

He signaled he might offer new legislation to supplement two bills that have already passed the House, which are aimed at closing loopholes gun background-check system.

Though Biden had pledged on the campaign trail to send a bill to Congress on his first day in office repealing liability protections for gun manufacturers and closing background-check loopholes, that promise never came to fruition.

However, administration officials rebuked claims that they had not focused on gun control.

“We are certainly considering a range of levers, including working through legislation, including executive actions to address not just gun safety measures, but violence in communities,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. “So that is — has been under discussion and will continue to be under discussion.”

Gun legislation will be a tough sell in the evenly divided Senate, though: even if every Democratic senator supported a measure, at least ten Republican votes would be needed in order to pass the evenly divided chamber.

Democrats including Senator Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Representative Jason Crow (Colo.), Representative David Cicilline (R.I.), and Pennsylvania Senate candidates John Fetterman and Malcolm Kenyatta have used the shootings to call for an end the 60-vote threshold required to pass most legislation in the Senate.

“Things won’t get better until Democrats get rid of the filibuster and finally pass gun safety legislation that a huge majority of Americans support,” Warren wrote in a tweet. “What are we waiting for – another tragedy?”

However, because Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia, has opposed the two House bills as too far-reaching, Democrats would not even have the votes to pass the legislation by a simple majority.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) recalled a failed attempt to push gun legislation in 2019 after two mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, but he said, “This Democratic Senate will be different.”

Yet Schumer would not promise that any specific legislation would pass.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.





Source link