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2020 Election: Live Updates on Biden, Trump and A.O.C.

2020-07-21 18:42:26
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Biden, in a speech in Delaware, lays out his plan for assisting caregivers.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced a sweeping proposal for a $775 billion investment in caregiving programs today, with a series of plans covering care for small children, older adults and family members with disabilities.

His campaign hopes the move will land with particular resonance given the caregiving needs of millions of American families during the coronavirus pandemic.

The proposal, which Mr. Biden outlined in a speech delivered near his home in Wilmington, Del., is the third of four economic rollouts that he is doing before the Democratic National Convention next month.

“If we truly want to reward work in this country, we have to ease the financial burden of care that families are carrying,” Mr. Biden said in the speech.

Mr. Biden’s plans are intended to appeal to voters now more acutely aware of how essential caregivers are, amid a health crisis that shuttered schools — a source of child care for many Americans — and limited the options to care for older family members who are more vulnerable to the virus. They include public pre-K, child care tax credits of up to $16,000 and eliminating the waiting list for home and community care under Medicaid.

But they are also aimed at the caregivers themselves, promising more jobs and higher pay. His campaign estimated that the new spending would create three million new jobs in the next decade, and even more after accounting for people able to enter the work force instead of serving as unpaid, at-home caregivers.

In a conference call outlining the plan on Monday night, the Biden campaign framed the issues as an economic imperative to keep the country competitive globally, and to enable it to recover from the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic. The United States is the only rich country without benefits like paid family leave and subsidized child care, and research has shown that labor force participation has stalled because of it.

Though Mr. Biden had previously called for public pre-K, paid family leave and elder care, this is the most detail he has given about what those plans would look like and about additional ideas he has for helping caregivers. During the Democratic primary, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders were at the forefront of family policies, and each proposed universal child care, beginning at birth. Even now, Mr. Biden has not gone that far. The senators’ other ideas, like raising preschool teachers’ pay, are included in his new plans.

The briefings are part of a broader communications plan that Mr. Trump’s advisers have sketched out for the coming weeks. They’re hoping to stop his slide in the polls, as every public survey and most private ones show Mr. Trump lagging behind Mr. Biden nationally and in several key battleground states.

The White House is trying to exclude undocumented immigrants from being counted by the census.

Mr. Trump on Tuesday sought to exclude undocumented immigrants from being counted when drawing the nation’s House districts, a move that critics called a transparent political ploy to help Republicans that would violate the Constitution.

Though the Constitution tasks the census bureau with counting each person in the United States regardless of citizenship, Mr. Trump argued in a presidential memorandum that his executive power permits him to strip undocumented immigrants from a final count he is required to deliver to Congress. That final summary, provided by the president at the end of each decennial census, determines the count of House seats in each state.

The White House is arguing that stripping undocumented immigrants from that final count would reflect a better understanding of the Constitution by clarifying that only citizens and legal residents are to be considered for purposes of drawing congressional lines. But the move is likely to draw a constitutional challenge in the courts.

The executive memorandum comes a year after Mr. Trump was blocked by the Supreme Court from adding a citizenship question to the census on the grounds that its ostensible reasoning “seems to have been contrived.” Without that data, it was unclear how the president could order that the census, which is nearly complete, disregard undocumented immigrants, although the administration has been trying to collect information on them through separate means like driver’s license files.

Experts in constitutional law dismissed Tuesday’s executive action as partisan politics just months before an election. “I think the Donald Trump view is: ‘I can look like I’m trying to do something by stoking anti-immigrant fervor, and if I lose in court then, I just stoke anti-court fervor too,’” Joshua Geltzer, the director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown, said in an interview. “It should be legally impossible as well as factually difficult to do.”

A study last year by the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that supports limits on immigration, found that excluding immigrants from the count for purposes of drawing congressional districts would take away seats from some states while giving more to others. If all immigrants and their U.S.-born minor children were not included — including naturalized citizens and legal residents as well as undocumented immigrants — it would switch 26 seats, enough to change the majority control of the House if all went from Democrats to Republicans.

If only undocumented immigrants and their U.S.-born minor children were excluded, the study found, it would flip five seats, with Ohio, Michigan, Alabama, Minnesota and West Virginia each gaining a seat in 2020 that they otherwise would not have had. California and Texas would each lose two seats and New York would lose one.

Trump paid over $2 million for his sparsely attended Tulsa rally in June.

Mr. Trump has held only one campaign rally since the pandemic swept across the country in March. And it not only failed to fill the arena in Tulsa, Okla., but it was also very expensive.

New campaign filings submitted late on Monday showed that Mr. Trump’s campaign paid more than $2.2 million in event, facility and audio visual costs in June, including $537,705.44 in “facility rental” payments to the BOK Center, where the event took place.

But that fee was just the start.

The campaign then paid nearly $1 million in “event staging” between June 16 and the end of the month to eight different companies, including $673,906 to Arcus Group, LLC. The campaign also made two payments totaling more than $426,000 to LMG, LLC for “audio visual services,” right before and after the rally.

After a brief and tense exchange, the newspaper said, Mr. Yoho walked away from Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, uttering a pair of expletives.

Mr. Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday called Mr. Yoho’s conduct “virulent harassment,” and said that Representative Roger Williams, Republican of Texas, had witnessed the exchange and ignored it.

“I never spoke to Rep. Yoho before he decided to accost me on the steps of the nation’s Capitol yesterday,” Mr. Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “Believe it or not, I usually get along fine w/ my GOP colleagues. We know how to check our legislative sparring at the committee door. But hey, ‘b*tches’ get stuff done.”

Mr. Hoyer called Mr. Yoho’s actions “despicable,” and said he owed Ms. Ocasio-Cortez an apology on the floor of the House.

“It was an act of a bully, it was the act of a person who is the antithesis of John Lewis, who we honor this week,” Mr. Hoyer told reporters, referring to the Georgia congressman and civil rights icon who died on Friday.

Several male lawmakers, mostly Democrats, expressed outrage on behalf of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter Tuesday, with some suggesting that Mr. Yoho’s attack was a reflection of how conservatives have sought to demonize the first-term progressive because of her gender and race.

“Like @aoc, I believe poverty to be a root cause of crime,” Representative Dean Phillips, Democrat of Minnesota, wrote. “Wonder why Rep. Yoho hasn’t accosted me on the Capitol steps with the same sentiment? #shameful.”

New polls show that while most Americans support racial justice protests, a majority of Republicans oppose them.

A pair of polls released on Tuesday found that Americans continue to express broad support for racial justice protests sweeping the country, and most say that the movement has had an impact on their views.

But Republicans now appear to largely oppose the protests, suggesting that whatever political consensus may have begun to emerge around these issues in late spring has eroded significantly.

Sixty-nine percent of Americans said in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll that the criminal justice system does not treat Black people equally to white people, and most said they saw discrimination by police officers as a systemic issue. Sixty-three percent expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

These kinds of numbers would have been hard to imagine before the current protest movement began in May. In a separate NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 57 percent of Americans said the demonstrations had made them more concerned about racial inequality in the country.

But a stark partisan divide runs through the data. While support for Black Lives Matter is almost unanimous among Democrats, more than two-thirds of Republicans said in the ABC/Post poll that they opposed the movement. That marks a shift from early June, when some polls found that Republicans were about evenly split on Black Lives Matter.

Similarly, in a Washington Post/Schar School survey from early June, Republicans had been about evenly divided on whether George Floyd’s killing at the hands of Minneapolis police highlighted a broader issue with race and policing. But in the ABC/Post poll released on Tuesday, Republicans retrenched: Seventy-three percent said that recent police killings of unarmed Black people had been isolated incidents, not indicators of a systemic problem.

In the NBC/Journal poll, three-quarters of Republican voters said they worried that the protests were “creating social unrest and bringing too much change.”

Senator Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor Monday to lament the death of Representative John Lewis, a civil rights icon, calling him a “monumental figure” who made “huge personal sacrifices to help our nation move past the sin of racism.”

While many Democrats welcomed the tribute, they immediately pressed for more than just reverent words, arguing that if Mr. McConnell and his fellow Republicans really wanted to honor Mr. Lewis, they should agree to restore the voting rights protections that were the cause of his life, which were stripped away by the Supreme Court seven years ago.

The death of Mr. Lewis, who was brutally beaten in 1965 while demonstrating for voting rights in Selma, Ala., has renewed a push by Democrats and civil rights activists to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, a move that Republicans have steadfastly opposed, and name it in his honor.

“The law he nearly died for has been gutted by the Supreme Court,” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, said Monday. “Congress has the power to restore it. But only one party seems interested in doing so.”

Ever since the Supreme Court in 2013 invalidated key aspects of the Voting Rights Act — allowing states, mostly in the South, to change their election laws without advance federal approval — Democrats and voting rights advocates have been trying to persuade Congress to pass legislation to restore protections for Black voters at the polls.

Last year House Democrats — joined by just one Republican, Representative Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania — voted to reinstate federal oversight of voting rights in nine states and many other jurisdictions. That and another House attempt to dismantle barriers to voting ran into a brick wall in the Senate.

“Mitch McConnell just spoke on the Senate floor about John Lewis (and quoted Dr. King) but said nothing about restoring the Voting Rights Act or taking any action to honor his legacy,” Vanita Gupta, chief executive of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, wrote on Twitter on Monday.

Ms. Gupta’s organization says it identified 1,688 polling place closures between 2012 and 2018, and that such closures are likely to make ballot access more difficult for Black voters. And a full-scale voting meltdown last month in Georgia’s statewide primary election, in which predominantly Black areas experienced some of the worst problems, raised new concerns about racially discriminatory voter suppression.

“The appropriate way to honor John Lewis is for the Senate to take up the Voting Rights Act and name it for John Lewis,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in an interview on MSNBC. “That it should be so difficult for them to take up the Voting Rights Act is really hard to comprehend, but maybe now they see a path. I certainly hope so.”

Trump spent more in June as Biden gained ground.

Mr. Biden has continued to bank funds for the fall sprint to the general election, as his main campaign committee out-raised Mr. Trump while also spending far less, campaign filings released late on Monday show.

Mr. Biden’s re-election committee raised $63.4 million in June and spent only $36.9 million. Mr. Trump’s committee raised $55.2 million and spent $50.3 million.

Both candidates raise and spend money through shared committees with the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee. But the most flexible cash that can be used for most any political purpose is the money in their direct campaign accounts.

Adding up all their joint party accounts, Mr. Trump entered July with $295.9 million cash-on-hand and Mr. Biden had $244.8 million. From April to the end of June, Mr. Biden closed the fund-raising gap significantly, shaving off more than two-thirds of the president’s cash advantage.

As for the president’s June spending, more than 80 percent of his re-election campaign’s money — $40.5 million — went to a single firm, American Made Media Consultants, LLC, which has served as a clearinghouse to purchase media for the campaign. That spending included a raft of television and digital ads, as well as some text messaging services.

Mr. Biden’s campaign listed spending $26 million on digital and television advertising, campaign records show. The difference in ads mostly accounts for the overall gap between the two.

Ohio’s state House speaker is arrested in a bribery inquiry.

The F.B.I. arrested Ohio’s state House speaker and at least four other Republican officials and lobbyists as part of an investigation into $60 million in bribes, according to Ohio officials and newspaper accounts from the state.

The state House speaker, Larry Householder, was arrested on his farm near Dayton shortly after dawn, the Dayton Daily News reported. Mr. Householder is the second consecutive Ohio House speaker to be ensnared in a federal probe, following Cliff Rosenberger, who resigned in 2018 but has yet to be charged with a crime.

Federal prosecutors in Ohio scheduled a news conference for 2:30 p.m. to discuss the case.

Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio had planned to hold his own news conference at 2:30 p.m. to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, but he has canceled it.

A federal official confirmed the arrest of Mr. Householder, as well as that of Matt Borges, a former chairman of the Ohio Republican Party who last month launched a super PAC aimed at convincing Republicans to vote against Mr. Trump.

Mr. Borges lost his post as Ohio’s Republican chairman in January 2017 when Mr. Trump, then the president-elect, intervened to oust Mr. Borges in favor of an ally.

Mr. Borges has long been aligned with former Gov. John Kasich, the last Republican to concede to Mr. Trump in the party’s 2016 presidential primary. Mr. Kasich has gone on to become, largely from his perch as a cable television commentator, one of the president’s harshest critics from within the Republican Party.

Facebook labels Trump post attacking mail-in voting as rigged.

Facebook on Tuesday added a label to a post by President Trump attacking mail-in voting, in the latest example of new policies by social media companies to quell an outcry over their moderation policies.,

Starting this week, Facebook is attaching the label to all posts by high-profile politicians about voting. It provides a link to voting information, but does not specify whether a post contains inaccurate or misleading information, as Mr. Trump’s did.

“Mail-In Voting, unless changed by the courts, will lead to the most CORRUPT ELECTION in our Nation’s History! #RIGGEDELECTION,” he had written.

As the country grapples with how to safely carry out elections during a pandemic, Mr. Trump has made an escalating series of fantastical — and false — accusations about the risks of embracing mail voting, warning that mail elections would involve robbed mailboxes, forged signatures and illegally printed ballots. But in states that have long embraced mail voting — such as Washington State, which has been mainly using mail balloting since 2005 — those running elections say they have seen no evidence of widespread fraud.

Facebook also added its new voting information label this week to a post by Mr. Trump promoting an online campaign event, and a post from Mr. Biden counting down the days to the November election.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, announced the labels last month, in part to mitigate a growing outcry from major advertisers who have boycotted the platform over its handling of hateful speech.

Twitter added a label to a tweet by Mr. Trump in May, saying it violated its rules about glorifying violence and contained manipulated media. Twitter said it would not label Mr. Trump’s post on Tuesday because it does not take action on “broad, nonspecific statements about the integrity of elections or civic processes.”

Democrats’ hopes are rising for November, lifted by strong voter turnout and fund-raising.

There is ample evidence of enthusiasm among the Republican base, too. Despite Mr. Trump’s lack of a serious challenger within the party, more than 14 million people have voted in Republican primaries, according to data from The Associated Press. That is nearing the 18 million ballots cast in the contested 2012 Republican primary and outpaces turnout in 2004, the last time there was a Republican incumbent.

As for the energy coursing through the Democratic electorate, political analysts point to the prospect of getting Mr. Trump out of office as the core reason.

“The intensity around ousting Donald Trump, which we saw on full display in 2018, has not waned one bit,” said Amy Walter, the national editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. “That enthusiasm in coming out to vote is saying, ‘I’m letting everyone know that I am showing up now — in a primary that’s over and in a pandemic — to send a signal that I am going to show up in November.’”

Reporting was contributed by Davey Alba, Maggie Astor, Peter Baker, Julian E. Barnes, Luke Broadwater, Nick Corasaniti, Reid J. Epstein, Nicholas Fandos, Shane Goldmacher, Isabella Grullón Paz, Maggie Haberman, Thomas Kaplan, Annie Karni, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Claire Cain Miller, Elaina Plott, Katie Rogers, David E. Sanger and Rachel Shorey.


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