STRUCK DOWN: Senate Fails To Pass Democrat Abortion Bill

WASHINGTON (Breitbart)– Senate Democrats on Wednesday failed to pass legislation that would prohibit local, state, and federal governments from preventing abortions.

The Senate attempted to invoke cloture and end debate on S. 4132, the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022. The motion failed 49-51, as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) opposed the motion, and it required 60 votes to invoke cloture. The legislation would prohibit government restrictions on access to abortions. Specifically, the legislation states that governments may not limit a healthcare provider’s ability to:

  • Prescribe certain drugs
  • Offer abortion services via telemedicine
  • Immediately provide abortion services when the provider determines a delay risks the patient’s health

The legislation, according to Congress.gov, stipulates:

In addition, governments may not (1) require patients to make medically unnecessary in-person visits before receiving abortion services or disclose their reasons for obtaining such services, or (2) prohibit abortion services before fetal viability or after fetal viability when a provider determines the pregnancy risks the patient’s life or health.

The bill also prohibits other governmental measures that are similar to the bill’s specified restrictions or that otherwise single out and impede access to abortion services, unless a government demonstrates that the measure significantly advances the safety of abortion services or health of patients and cannot be achieved through less restrictive means.

The Department of Justice, individuals, or providers may bring a lawsuit to enforce this bill, and states are not immune from suits for violations.

The bill applies to restrictions imposed both prior and subsequent to the bill’s enactment.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)  sponsored the legislation after Politico leaked a draft Supreme Court opinion that would strike down Roe v. Wade. The Senate Democrats proposed the legislation to attempt to enshrine many of the pro-abortion protections enabled by the landmark Supreme Court ruling.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said in a statement after the vote:

Today’s vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act is a continuation of the left’s mission to undermine the legitimacy of the Supreme Court and prop up their abortion-on-demand agenda. This bill would force states to legalize late-term abortions, remove informed consent laws, and prevent restrictions on gruesome fetal dismemberment procedures. Today, I stood up to the woke mob and voted to protect women and their unborn children.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who voted against the bill, said that the bill “would disenfranchise every voter in Missouri, overturn our state laws – and give the power to DC Democrats.”


Sean Moran of Breitbart contributed to the contents of this report.

DEAL OR NO DEAL? Pelosi, Mnuchin Continue COVID-19 Talks Despite Dwindling Odds

WASHINGTON (The Hill) — The top negotiators fighting for a deal on emergency coronavirus relief spoke again on Wednesday as they face increasingly dismal odds to secure an agreement before Election Day.

The hourlong phone call between Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was a “productive” one, according to Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill, citing a focused effort to find “clarification on language” — a reference to assurances sought by Democrats that new funding allocated by Congress will be spent on intended programs.

But a deal remains a long shot, as Democrats have held firm to their $2.2 trillion demand; Senate Republicans have balked at even the $1.8 trillion proposal from the White House; and President Trump has confused the debate with a stream of mixed messages regarding what he supports.

“One major area of disagreement continues to be that the White House lacks an understanding of the need for a national strategic testing plan,” Hammill tweeted. “The Speaker believes we must reopen our economy & schools safely & soon, & scientists agree we must have a strategic testing plan.”

Speaking at a public conference shortly after his call with Pelosi, Mnuchin noted the distinct divisions blocking a deal, emphasizing entrenched differences remain over both the amount of new spending and the policy areas it should target.

“I don’t agree with the Speaker’s approach that we have to do all or nothing,” Mnuchin said in an interview with the Milken Institute. He added that securing and executing a deal before the elections “would be difficult just given where we are and the level of detail.”

Another area of disagreement is how much aid should be extended to state and local governments, which are struggling to fund the emergency response to the pandemic while simultaneously being squeezed by a loss of tax revenue.

Democrats had proposed $436 billion in aid for those localities, while the White House countered with $300 billion. Mnuchin on Wednesday said that number marked “an extraordinary compromise” on the part of the administration, suggesting the White House is not ready to raise its offer.

Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.) said Democrats are also wary of how the state and local funds are allocated. He accused Republicans of manipulating the language in earlier rounds of emergency relief to ensure that red states benefited disproportionately.

“This is one place where the details matter a lot,” Foster said on a press call. “A small town in Wyoming or Montana got, I think, five times more money than a small town in Illinois.”

Another sticking point surrounds GOP demands for language protecting businesses and schools from liability if workers or students contract the virus — a demand Mnuchin amplified Wednesday.

Democrats are insisting that those liability protections be excluded, and appear equally unyielding in that demand.

“I think that it should be a dealbreaker for us to leave it in there,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). “We have to make sure that there is some accountability for safety of workers. And right now, that’s now where they are.”

The persistent disagreements have diminished the chances that the sides can reach a deal before the elections. And Trump, who has remained on the sidelines during the talks, has only muddled the debate.


The Hill’s Mike Lillis contributed to the contents of this report.

‘TEAR ‘EM DOWN!’: Pelosi Calls For Removal of Monuments Honoring Confederate Heroes From Capitol

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling for the immediate removal of 11 Confederate statues from the United States Capitol on the grounds that their presence promotes “barbarism.”

In a letter to Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo, and Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif, who head a congressional panel responsible for the handling of Capitol displays, Pelosi said the statues represent “cruelty.”

“The halls of Congress are the very heart of our democracy,” Pelosi wrote in the letter sent Wednesday. “The statues in the Capitol should embody our highest ideals as Americans, expressing who we are and who we aspire to be as a nation. Monuments to men who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such a plainly racist end are a grotesque affront to these ideals. Their statues pay homage to hate, not heritage. They must be removed.”

In a statement issued in response, Lofgren wrote that she supported Pelosi’s efforts to remove the statues.

“Indeed, what the Confederate statues in the National Statuary Hall Collection represent is anathema to who we are as a Congress and a country,” Lofgren said. “I agree that the Joint Committee and Architect of the Capitol should expediently remove these symbols of cruelty and bigotry from the halls of the Capitol.  I stand ready, and call on the Chair of the Joint Committee to swiftly approve the removal of these statues. The Capitol building belongs to the American people and cannot serve as a place of honor for the hatred and racism that tears at the fabric of our nation, the very poison that these statues embody.”

As of press time, Blunt had not yet issued a response.

TRUMP: I Reversed on Striking Iran Because 150 People Would Die

WASHINGTON (Newsmax) — President Donald Trump said Friday the U.S. was “cocked and loaded” to retaliate against Iran for downing an unmanned American surveillance drone, but he canceled the strikes he had ordered 10 minutes before they were to be launched after being told 150 people could die

Trump’s tweeted statement raised several questions, including how he could have learned about casualties only minutes before the operation when that information typically would be provided much earlier. His tweet was the latest indication that he does not want to escalate the U.S. clash with Tehran, though he didn’t rule out future strikes. He said U.S. economic sanctions are crippling the Iranian economy, more are being added and he insisted anew that the U.S. would never allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon

After days of harsh words against the United States, Iran also seemed to be tamping down its rhetoric.

Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guard’s aerospace division, told reporters on Friday that a U.S. spy plane with around 35 crew members was flying close to the unmanned U.S. Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk that was shot down, but that Iran chose not to target the manned aircraft. Separately, he told Iranian state TV that Iran warned the drone several times before downing it with a missile.

Late Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration barred American-registered aircraft from flying over parts of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and several major airlines from around the world on Friday began rerouting their flights , including British Airways, Australia’s Qantas, Germany’s Lufthansa and the Dutch carrier KLM.

In a lengthy tweet, Trump defended his stance on Iran amid criticism from Democrats who accuse him of having no strategy. He said he pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which gave Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for pledges to rein in its nuclear program, because the agreement only temporarily blocked Iran from having nuclear weapons. Trump said the nuclear deal also did not stem Iran’s support of militant groups or restrain its ballistic missile program.

He said his exit from the deal and the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran has crippled its economy.

“Now they are Bust!” Trump tweeted and then outlined his reasons for canceling the strikes.

“We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it.”

He added that those deaths would not be a proportionate response to the downing of an unmanned drone.

“I am in no hurry,” he said. “Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!”

The overnight events, however, were a stark reminder of the serious risk of military conflict between U.S. and Iranian forces as the Trump administration combines its “maximum pressure” campaign of economic sanctions with a buildup of American troops in the region. As tensions have mounted in recent weeks, there have been growing fears that either side could make a dire miscalculation leading to war.

The U.S. military operation was called off around 7:30 p.m. Washington time, after Trump had spent most of Thursday discussing Iran strategy with top national security advisers and congressional leaders.

The downing of the U.S. drone — a huge, unmanned aircraft — over the Strait of Hormuz prompted accusations from the U.S. and Iran about who was the aggressor. Iran insisted the drone violated Iranian airspace; Washington said it had been flying over international waters.

Trump’s initial comments on the attack were succinct. He declared in a tweet on Thursday that “Iran made a very big mistake!” But he also suggested that shooting down the drone — which has a wingspan wider than a Boeing 737 — was a foolish error rather than an intentional escalation, suggesting he was looking for some way to avoid a crisis.

“I find it hard to believe it was intentional, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said at the White House. “I think that it could have been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it.”

Trump, who has said he wants to avoid war and negotiate with Iran over its nuclear ambitions, cast the shootdown as “a new wrinkle … a new fly in the ointment.” Yet he also said “this country will not stand for it, that I can tell you.”

But fears of open conflict shadowed much of the discourse in Washington. As the day wore on, Trump summoned his top national security advisers and congressional leaders to the White House for an hour-long briefing in the Situation Room. Attendees included Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, national security adviser John Bolton, CIA Director Gina Haspel, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Army Secretary Mark Esper, whom Trump has said he’ll nominate as Pentagon chief.

“The president was very clear of what he wants to achieve with Iran — to never allow them to have a nuclear weapon,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told “Fox and Friends” Friday.

“He was very clear that there will be action,” said McCarthy, who was in the meeting.

“He has a long-term game plan here and it doesn’t mean that you have to act within the few hours. … He’s just not overreacting. It’s going to be measured. And it’s going to achieve a goal.”

“I find it hard to believe it was intentional, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said at the White House. “I think that it could have been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it.”

Trump, who has said he wants to avoid war and negotiate with Iran over its nuclear ambitions, cast the shootdown as “a new wrinkle … a new fly in the ointment.” Yet he also said “this country will not stand for it, that I can tell you.”

But fears of open conflict shadowed much of the discourse in Washington. As the day wore on, Trump summoned his top national security advisers and congressional leaders to the White House for an hour-long briefing in the Situation Room. Attendees included Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, national security adviser John Bolton, CIA Director Gina Haspel, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Army Secretary Mark Esper, whom Trump has said he’ll nominate as Pentagon chief.

“The president was very clear of what he wants to achieve with Iran — to never allow them to have a nuclear weapon,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told “Fox and Friends” Friday.

“He was very clear that there will be action,” said McCarthy, who was in the meeting.

“He has a long-term game plan here and it doesn’t mean that you have to act within the few hours. … He’s just not overreacting. It’s going to be measured. And it’s going to achieve a goal.”

Pompeo and Bolton have advocated hardline policies against Iran, but Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House intelligence committee, said “the president certainly was listening” when congressional leaders at the meeting urged him to be cautious and not escalate the already tense situation.

On Capitol Hill, some lawmakers insisted the White House must consult with Congress before taking any actions.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said no specific options for a U.S. response were presented at Thursday’s meeting. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “The administration is engaged in what I would call measured responses.” And late Thursday, House Republicans on the Foreign Affairs, intelligence and Armed Services committees issued a statement using the same word, saying, “There must be a measured response to these actions.”

The Trump administration has been putting increasing economic pressure on Iran for more than a year. It reinstated punishing sanctions following Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of an international agreement intended to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from earlier sanctions.

Citing Iranian threats, the U.S. recently sent an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf region and deployed additional troops alongside the tens of thousands already there. All this has raised fears that a miscalculation or further rise in tensions could push the U.S. and Iran into an open conflict 40 years after Tehran’s Islamic Revolution.

usvsiran

POST: Biden ‘close to announcing’ 2020 run

WASHINGTON (New York Post) — Joe Biden may finally be ready to join the 2020 presidential race.

The former vice president is telling close friends and supporters that he will be running for the Democratic nomination to unseat President Trump — but needs to raise money, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Biden, the Journal reported, wants to raise several million dollars for his campaign but is concerned that he can not garner the kind of online support given to candidates such as Beto O’Rourke and Bernie Sanders.

In the first 24 hours after their announcements, O’Rourke hauled in $6.1 million and Sanders collected nearly $6 million.

Biden reportedly wants to garner enough money to make an announcement of a large fundraising amount when he enters the race.

The former vice president under President Obama, and critic of Trump, has flirted with the idea of running for months.

joebiden

REPORT: ‘Fear’ prompting Cohen to reconsider testimony before Congress

WASHINGTON — “Fear” is causing former Trump attorney Michael Cohen to reconsider his planned testimony before Congress next month, his advisor said on Thursday.

Lanny Davis, a lawyer who’s been serving as an advisor to Cohen on his public relations strategy, told MSNBC that some remarks made by the president about Cohen equated to witness tampering and that Trump should be criminally investigated.

“There is genuine fear and it has caused Michael Cohen to consider whether he should go forward or not, and he has not made a final decision,” Davis said.

Davis called the president out on a myriad of issues during the interview, but particularly on comments Trump made during a Fox News interview on Saturday in which he insinuated that he may have dirt on Cohen’s father-in-law.

“That’s the one that people want to look at,” Trump told Fox.

Trump’s remarks “could be obstruction of justice,” Davis said.

“There is no question that his threatening and calling out his father-in-law, who – quote – has all the money, is not only improper and unseemly for a bully using the bully pulpit of the presidency,” said Davis, “but the very definition of intimidation and witness tampering.”

During a federal court hearing in New York last August, Cohen testified that Trump had ordered him to arrange “hush money” payments during his 2016 election campaign to two women with whom he is alleged to have had extra-marital affairs, a violation of federal campaign laws. Cohen also pled guilty to lying to Congress about a proposed Trump project in Russia.

As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, Cohen agreed to testify before Congress in regard to several ongoing investigations relating to whether or not the president or members of his former campaign team colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Trump has denied allegations of such collusion.

trumpcohen

PROTECTING OUR VETS: House passes H.R. 299, which ensures vets will get the help and treatment they need

The bill, co-sponsored by Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04), included language from Westerman’s HR 4843 which extends coverage to children with spina bifida developed due to parent’s exposure to Agent Orange.

HR299

BYE BYE TRUMP? REPORT SAYS CONGRESS HAVING ‘SECRET CONVERSATIONS’ ABOUT REMOVING NEW PRESIDENT

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Members of Congress are having secret meetings about removing president Donald Trump from office, says a report published on Friday by The New Yorker magazine.

According to the piece, Washington bigwigs are not pleased with the president’s “difficult first 100 days,” and are in discussion on how they can go about taking the president down.

“Nobody occupies the White House without criticism, but Trump is besieged by doubts of a different order, centering on the overt, specific, and, at times, bipartisan discussion of whether he will be engulfed by any one of myriad problems before he has completed even one term in office—and, if he is, how he might be removed,” wrote New Yorker columnist, Evan Osnos (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/05/08/how-trump-could-get-fired).

“By this point in George W. Bush’s term, Bush had travelled to twenty-three states and a foreign country. Trump has visited just nine states and has never stayed the night,” Osnos writes. “He inhabits a closed world that one adviser recently described to me as “Fortress Trump.” Rarely venturing beyond the White House and Mar-a-Lago, he measures his fortunes through reports from friends, staff, and a feast of television coverage of himself. Media is Trump’s “drug of choice,” Sam Nunberg, an adviser on his campaign, told me recently. “He doesn’t drink. He doesn’t do drugs. His drug is himself.”

Osnos claims he has “interviewed several dozen people about the prospects of cutting short Trump’s Presidency,” including “his friends and advisers; to lawmakers and attorneys who have conducted impeachments; to physicians and historians; and to current members of the Senate, the House, and the intelligence services.”

“After Republicans abandoned their first effort to enact health-care reform, and courts blocked two executive orders designed to curb immigration from predominantly Muslim countries, he was determined to dispel any sense that his Administration had been weakened,” says Osnos, who claims that when, not if, Trump is impeached is only a matter of time.

‘When members of Congress returned to their home districts in March, outrage erupted at town-hall meetings,” claims Osnos, “where constituents jeered Republican officials, chanting “Do your job!” and “Push back!” The former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, who is now a Republican congressman, told me that he’d held eight town halls in his district. Trump won South Carolina by nearly fifteen points, so Sanford was surprised to hear people calling for him to be impeached. “I’d never heard that before in different public interactions with people in the wake of a new President being elected,” he told me. “Even when you heard it with the Tea Party crowd, with Obama, it was later in the game. It didn’t start out right away.”

Sadly, it appears that the president is unaware of the vultures circling overhead as he is used to being the man in control.

“It’s not clear how fully Trump apprehends the threats to his Presidency,’ says Osnos. “Unlike previous Republican Administrations, Fortress Trump contains no party elder with the stature to check the President’s decisions. “There is no one around him who has the ability to restrain any of his impulses, on any issue ever, for any reason,” Steve Schmidt, a veteran Republican consultant, said, adding, “Where is the ‘What the fuck’ chorus?”

“The power of impeachment is a “promising tool for curtailing a defective Presidency”, says Osnos. “This is a conversation that people are having around the dinner table, it’s one people have at the office, members of Congress are talking about it in private and the question is very simple: is this a president who is able to do the job and is able to go the distance,” he said during an appearance on MSNBC’s The Last Word (http://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/watch/-how-donald-trump-could-get-fired-the-25th-amendment-935111235525).

Calls for comment to the White House have not yet been returned.

ANGRYTRUMP

PREPARING FOR THE WORST: D.C. PLANS ‘FULL SCALE’ ATTACK DRILL AS WAR WITH NORTH KOREA LOOMS

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Washington leaders have ordered a “full-scale” terror attack drill set for the nation’s capitol on Wednesday in light of mounting tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, federal officials have confirmed.

In a press release on Tuesday, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments stated (https://www.mwcog.org/newsroom/2017/04/24/full-scale-exercise-focused-on-preparing-for-complex-terror-attacks-to-include-national-capital-region-first-responders-emergency-managers/) that law enforcement officers and first responders have been ordered to participate in an exercise “designed to prepare for the possibility of a complex coordinated terror attack in the National Capital Region.”

Scott Boggs, managing director of Homeland Security and Public Safety at COG said the drill will include hundreds of police and first responders in addition to dozens of actors.

“Law enforcement officials practice and exercise their skills on their own regularly because that’s the best way to ensure we are always ready to respond quickly and professionally,” Boggs said in a statement. “On April 26, we’ll go one step further and stage a very realistic emergency event involving multiple sites and actors posing as the casualties. However, there is no reason for residents to be alarmed because the exercise will occur in a controlled environment.”

The drill will be held across six sites in D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland.

The drill is being held on the same day the president has asked all members of Senate to attend an emergency meeting at the White House where they will be briefed on the escalating conflict with North Korea.

After a meeting with the president, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told reporters that even if North Korea has developed the technology for a preemptive nuclear strike, Trump will not allow that to happen.

“If I were North Korea, I would not underestimate President Trump’s resolve to stop them from getting a missile to hit our homeland,” he said.

Tensions between the United States and the rogue state have risen sharply in recent weeks as a series of North Korean missile tests have prompted dire warnings from President to watch who they provoke, adding that “all options are on the table” – including military strikes – to curb the North Korean leader Kim Jung un’s nuclear ambitions.

In a show of force, president Trump ordered a fleet of U.S. war ships with nuclear capability to stand by at the Korean border. The latest vessel, the USS Carl Vinson, is scheduled to arrive in the Sea of Japan within days, American Vice President Mike Pence said on Saturday.

But as of Tuesday, the communist leader remains defiant.

“Now that we possess mighty nuclear power to protect ourselves from US nuclear threat, we will respond without the slightest hesitation to full-out war with full-out war and to nuclear war with our style of nuclear strike, and we will emerge victor in the final battle with the United States,” the North’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

The official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said on Saturday in a commentary that North Korea would not hesitate to launch “full out war” against the U.S., if provoked (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/04/north-korea-mad-170422145639890.html).

“The US has now gone seriously mad. It is mulling frightening the DPRK and achieving something with nuclear strategic bombers, nuclear carriers, etc,” Rodong Sinmun said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic Republic of Korea.

“However, the army and people of the DPRK will never be browbeaten by such bluffing. Under the situation where the US hurts the DPRK by force of arms, we have nothing to be bound to. The DPRK will answer to such war moves and provocations with pre-emptive strike of its own style and a great war of justice for national reunification.”

nuclearthreat