Repercussions from the 2020 general elections continue to plague the Florida Democratic Party as the group’s youngest base of support appears to have turned on leadership and have called for them to “resign or be fired from their positions within the party.”
Yeah, it’s getting worse for Florida Democrats after getting destroyed statewide by Florida Republicans. Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo’s (pictured) time is running out. READ MORE
As we wait on the official presidential results, all eyes are on Georgia, as Republicans look to add two more Senate seats to their 50-seat majority.
All Republicans need to do is win one of two run-off senatorial contests to hold the majority in the U.S. Senate. If they lose both seats, Sen. Kamala Harris will become the tie-breaker, and would essentially give Democrats the majority in that chamber.
Senator Marco Rubio was in Georgia helping raise cash for the two Republican senatorial candidates, Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.
MEDAL OF HONOR >>> Senate Passes Bill Honoring Sgt. First Class Alwyn Cashe
JUST PLAIN CRAZY >>> Marco Rubio: ‘The elements that control the Democrat Party today are crazy’
RUSSIAN COLLUSION HOAX >>> Cruz to McCabe: If Flynn Violated the Logan Act, Is Biden Currently In Violation?
+Don’t allow socialism to destroy our economy
+Don’t accept that being for the “free market” means letting China steal our jobs
+Don’t forget we won’t be a great power if we stop being an industrial power
Rep. Matt Gaetz @RepMattGaetz–According to Michigan’s election data, about 9,500 voters confirmed dead through the Social Security death index are marked in the state’s mail-in voting database as having returned ballots. I’m betting this dead vote swung overwhelmingly for Biden.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy @RepStephMurphy–Congratulation
Rep. Ted Deutch @RepTedDeutch–Our country faces a deep divide. But today, more than any other day, we put partisanship aside and honor the service and sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform. Thank you to our veterans for reminding us how fortunate we are to be Americans. #VeteransDay
Rep. Lois Frankel @RepLoisFrankel –While we may not be commemorating #VeteransDay in person this year, it’s just as important as ever to thank our men and women in uniform, including the over 91,000 veterans here in #PBC, for their service. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your courage and sacrifice!
Jimmy Patronis @JimmyPatronis @JoeBiden s #coronavirus advisor says the U.S. should go into national lockdown for four to six WEEKS to avoid ‘covid hell’ and the administration can borrow money to pay wages while businesses are closed
DEMOCRATS BIGGEST CHEERLEADER IN FLORIDA
“Rubio backs Trump’s legal challenges, takes aim at mainstream media” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – In response to the 2020 presidential election results, where major news sources have reported Vice President Joe Biden (D) as the winner, President Donald Trump (R) has begun litigation this week to contest several state election results, citing widespread voter fraud. As a result, Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) released a video discussing the 2020 post-election process wherein he addresses the “70% of Republicans” that “don’t believe the 2020 election was free and fair.” The Florida lawmaker commented that “both sides should support allowing the post-election process provided for in our laws to work, to move forward,” adding that “our election laws call for recounts in closes elections” and that “they provide candidates the right to contest votes cast in violation of the law.” Noting that “both Democrat and Republican candidates have used these laws themselves,” Rubio explained that “Joe Biden had hired an army of election lawyers to use this very process if he had fallen short in the preliminary results,” so “President Trump is well within his legal rights to pursue all these things under these laws now.” The Florida Senator also took aim at the mainstream media, saying that they “need some self-awareness” for being “angry that Republicans won’t just take their word for it that Biden won.” Rubio pointed out that the media was clamoring for “four years claiming that Russians hacked the last election,” that they “supported Democrats when they went to court to overturn the governor’s race in Georgia in 2018,” they “railed against how dangerous Trump rallies were, but now you seem to have no problem with Biden supporters celebrating in big crowds.”
“Rick Scott tapped to head national Republican senatorial election efforts” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Senate Republicans have given Florida Senator Rick Scott a big vote of confidence when they elected him to the chair of their political campaign arm of their caucus, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). “I’m honored my colleagues entrusted me with this responsibility and I look forward to the challenge,” stated Sen. Rick Scott. “Keeping a Senate majority is vitally important to the future of this country and to preserve the American dream. Republicans across the nation are fighting for lower taxes, better jobs and opportunity, a secure border and safe communities. We know Democrats want the opposite – socialism, Medicare-for-all, defunding the police and the Green New Deal – and we won’t accept that. I’m confident that our message will continue to resonate with the American people and we won’t stop fighting to make Washington work for all families.” Scott’s case that Democrats have embraced Socialism by supporting issues like Medicare for all, the Green New Deal, a defunding Police, has been made, especially in Florida where Cuban-Americans and Venezuelan-Americans defeated two pro-Medicare for All and Green New Deal-supporting sitting members of the U.S. House of Representative. Now, with Sen. Tom Tillis (R) having won his reelection race in North Carolina, and with Senator Dan Sullivan’s (R) race in Alaska all but wrapped up, Republicans head into the two run-off senatorial races in Georgia up by two seats in the Senate. One of the races that Scott and the national Republican machine will be intimately involved in will the reelection effort by his Florida colleague Senator Marco Rubio (R), who just announced his intentions to run earlier this week.
“Iran poised to strike U.S. from Venezuela with acts of terror” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – One of the most, if not the most, clear and present threats to U.S. national security in the Western Hemisphere is the growing influence and support from the Islamic State of Iran to the dictatorial regime of Nicholas Maduro in Venezuela. Days after the 2020 presidential election between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden concluded, Iranian officials traveled to Venezuela to reiterate their unabated support for the Maduro regime, chided the U.S., and extended the opportunity to buy Iranian weapons, possibly short and mid-range ballistic missiles. According to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zari (pictured with Dictator Maduro), Iran believes the U.S. government no longer can “control what’s happening in the world” or show other countries how to protect citizens’ rights. Speaking two days after the U.S. presidential election, Mohammad Javad Zarif said the era of “Western hegemony had ended” as he praised Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for resisting a U.S.-coordinated campaign to oust him. “Today, the United States and its allies can’t control what’s happening in the world. They’ve lost control,” said Minister Zarif. Jorge Arreaza, Venezuela’s foreign minister who was with Minister Zarif during his visit, divulged that the Venezuela-Iran meeting was at a “climax” and that the regime was afforded the opportunity to buy Iranian arms if needed. Yes, the Chinese and Russian presence in Venezuela poses a significant threat to the U.S. Most pressing though is the fact that Iran has sworn destruction to the U.S. and is willing to sell weapons to Maduro, possibly using Venezuela as an Islamist springboard to smuggle in their weaponized proxies, in particularly the terror group Hezbollah, to launch attacks against the U.S. and possibly its allies in Brazil and Colombia.
“Florida cities, including Jacksonville, rank among best cities for veterans” by Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Brendan Ward – A recent report from WalletHub ranked several Florida cities among the best cities for veterans. Orlanod landed the No. 1 spot in the nation, with Tampa coming in at No. 3. Jacksonville cracked the top 15 at No. 14, while St. Petersburg came in at No. 16, Hialeah landed at No. 37 and Miami came in at No. 82. Jacksonville tied for the largest veteran population in the country, with Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake, Virginia; Colorado Springs; and Henderson, Nevada. The First Coast has the second lowest number of homeless veterans, behind Norfolk. Besides Orlando and Tampa, Irvine, California; Raleigh, North Carolina and Austin, Texas ranked in the top five on the best cities list. To compile the rankings, WalletHub graded each city in four categories including:
· Employment: Includes veteran unemployment rate and veteran-owned businesses per veteran population
· Economy: Housing affordability, veteran income growth and share of veterans living in poverty
· Quality of life: Includes total veteran population and projected veteran population growth
· Health: Based on VA benefits administration facilities per veteran population, VA health facilities per veteran population and quality of VA health facilities.
“Lincoln Project eyes Rubio and DeSantis — Florida AG joins other GOP states in battle over Penn. ballots — Record-breaking hurricane season” by Politico’s Gary Fineout – Hello and welcome to Tuesday. The daily rundown — Between Sunday and Monday, the number of Florida coronavirus cases increased by 3,924 (nearly 0.5 percent), to 847,821; active hospitalizations went up 119 (nearly 4.3 percent), to 2,902; deaths rose by 58 (0.3 percent), to 17,179. Homeward Bound — Rick Wilson just returned to Tallahassee after spending months quarantined in Utah with other members of the Lincoln Project, the super PAC made up of Never Trump Republicans that aimed to be a force during this election cycle. Turns out they’re not done yet and there’s a suite of Donald Trump devotees, like Gov. Ron DeSantis, they can’t stand either. I am a Rock — Wilson, whose fame rose as a GOP media consultant during the age of Trump, told Playbook “I don’t have a lot of friends in my home state of Florida anymore. And that’s ok.” He adds, “as much as they want to pat themselves on the back for winning Florida, Donald Trump still lost… They lost the White House and that’s all that mattered to us.” The Boxer — Wilson worked on the Lincoln Project ads that went viral and at times were only intended to provoke the president. So the question is what’s next? Well, the group plans to dive into two runoffs for Senate seats in Georgia, do some work overseas, and then… they eventually plan to turn their attention to Florida and Trump allies such as DeSantis and Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott. At the Zoo — “As we outlined in our first op-ed, our goal was not just to beat Donald Trump, but to beat Trumpism,” Wilson said. Wilson said he thinks about Florida Republicans who backed Trump “all the time.” “We have a phrase inside the Lincoln Project — you buy the ticket, the you take the ride,” he said. “None of those men covered themselves with glory as independent voices for Florida against Trump”
“Florida reports 4,353 new COVID-19 cases as storm flooding shuts down testing sites” by Click Orlando’s Emilee Speck – Several coronavirus testing sites are closed in South Florida after Tropical Storm Eta dumped up to 23 inches of rain near one of Florida’s busiest testing sites as the state reported 4,353 new infections on Tuesday. Rain from the aftermath of the storm damaged one of the state’s largest COVID-19 testing sites at Miami-Dade County’s Hard Rock Stadium, officials said. Throughout the pandemic, it has been one of the busiest places for people to get a coronavirus diagnosis. The site was expected to be closed until Wednesday or Thursday. At least seven other state testing sites were to remain closed on Tuesday. For the past eight months, the Florida Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard and website have updated around 11 a.m. daily, however, the DOH is now providing those updates in the late afternoon. On Friday, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings revealed the Department of Health planned to shift the timing of when the department releases daily COVID-19 data to the afternoon. The DOH has not responded to questions about this change. The Florida Department of Health reported 4,353 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the state’s overall total to 852,174 cases since March. The Florida Department of Health on Tuesday reported 69 people have recently died from COVID-19. As of Tuesday’s coronavirus report, a total of 17,460 deaths across the state have been related to the coronavirus, a number that includes 212 non-resident deaths in Florida.
“Florida voters appear split on whether to repeal Affordable Care Act” by News 4 Jax’ Scott Johnson, Jim Piggott, Kent Justice – The Supreme Court is working to decide whether to leave in place the bulk of the Affordable Care Act, including protections for preexisting health conditions and subsidized insurance premiums. On Tuesday, the justices took on the latest Republican challenge to the Obama-era health care law, with three appointees of President Donald Trump. At least one of those Trump appointees, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, seemed likely to vote to leave the bulk of the law intact. “It does seem fairly clear that the proper remedy would be to sever the mandate provision and leave the rest of the act in place,” Kavanaugh said. In the court’s third major case over the 10-year-old law, popularly known as “Obamacare,” Republican attorneys general in 18 states and the administration want the entire law to be struck down. That would threaten coverage for more than 23 million people, as well as millions of others with preexisting conditions that now would include COVID-19. According to AP VoteCast, which surveyed more than 3,600 voters in Florida: 50% believed the government should either repeal the law entirely or repeal parts of the law; 50% suggested the government should leave the law as is, or expand it.
“Operation Mr. Clean brings down 44 suspects in multi-agency drug trafficking investigation” by NWF Daily News’ Jim Thompson – An ongoing investigation into drug trafficking that began more than a year ago in Walton County became a multi-agency effort that resulted in the indictment of 15 people on federal drug-trafficking charges and an additional 29 people facing state drug-trafficking charges. The results of the 18-month investigation, dubbed Operation Mr. Clean, were announced Wednesday in a news conference at the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. The news conference included Sheriff Michael Adkinson, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Lawrence Keefe, and Mike Dubet, assistant special agent in charge of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s Jacksonville District Office. The agencies received significant assistance from the public, according to Adkinson. “We had a lot of people reaching out,” he said. The investigation included extensive physical surveillance, the purchase of more than 500 grams of methamphetamine by an undercover DEA agent and federal telephone wiretaps. Addressing the local aspects of the investigation, Adkinson said, “We don’t ‘cowboy’ this stuff. We make professional cases that will stand up in court.” The investigation thus far has resulted in the seizure of almost 20 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, representing thousands of doses of the drug; 672 grams of heroin; 162 grams of carfentanil; 32 grams of suspected fentanyl; and 533 grams of suspected GHB, commonly referred to as the “date rape” drug.
“Florida corrections officer charged with murder of inmate” by Fox 35 Orlando’s Holly Bristow – A Florida Department of Corrections officer is charged with murder. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Michael Raymond Riley, Jr., 27, killed Christopher Howell while in custody at the Lake Correctional Institution. “I’m very, very, very pleased that in less than a year we’ve got an arrest on a beating that didn’t have to happen,” said Debra Bennett, executive director of the Change Comes Now. She fights injustice within the prison system. “It’s the right step in the right direction,” Bennett said. Riley’s arrest affidavit and warrant are still sealed by a judge, so the details of what happened behind this prison walls on June 18 are still unclear. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said in its release, “The victim died as a result of actions taken by Riley in his capacity as a correctional officer.” Howell was doing time on theft and aggravated assault charges after stealing a $8 dollar knife at Home Depot then $60 in cellphone charges from a Target in South Florida. “This was a man that was in prison for a year and four months, doing a 4 year sentence. So in essence, we have a corrections officer that gave him a death sentence that wasn’t administered by a judge. So, I’m happy he’ll know our lives matter inside as well,” Bennett said. Riley was arrested on a 2nd-degree murder charge Monday. Court records show that by Tuesday afternoon he already posted his $50,000 bond and was out of jail. That detail is not sitting well with Bennett. “It’s a huge slap in the face. It’s a slap in the face to anybody still in that prison. A slap in the face to all the men in that confinement cell that witnessed the beating. It’s a slap in the face to Christopher Howell’s mother when she turns on the news and sees the guy is already out on bond,” Bennett said.
“Jewish voting patterns point to gain in ‘bedrock Republicanism,’ particularly in Florida” by Jewish News Syndicate’s Jackson Richman and Sean Savage – Regardless of the outcome of the U.S. presidential race, the close results and possibility of a split Congress indicate that the nation remains deeply divided politically and socially. The Jewish community is no exception. Jeremy Burton, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, told JNS that “we knew already before the election that the Jewish community was deeply divided.” “That divide is not 50/50, the way the nation is; it is one where significant parts of our people have profoundly different worldviews and profoundly different conceptions of how Jewish interests and values inform our civic engagement,” he said. Indeed, exit polls conducted during the election indicate that U.S. President Donald Trump received the highest percent of the Jewish vote for a Republican in decades, while former Vice President Joe Biden came in lower for a Democratic candidate in recent years. Trump received 30.5 percent of the Jewish vote, while Biden got 60.6 percent, according to a Republican Jewish Coalition survey conducted by Basswood Research and McLaughlin & Associates. A poll by the AP also found that Trump won 30 percent of the Jewish vote. However, the poll found a higher result for Biden, with 68 percent, which is still lower than Hillary Clinton in 2016 (71 percent) and Barack Obama in 2012 (69 percent). However, a J Street’s national post-election survey, conducted by GBAO Strategies, 77 percent of respondents said they voted for Biden, while 21 percent said they voted for Trump—a four-point decrease for the Republican nominee compared to 2016. In the crucial state of Florida, Jewish voters appeared to be critical to Trump’s winning the state’s 29 electoral votes, according to the AP exit poll in the state, with 43 percent of Jews voting for Trump compared to 56 percent for Biden. The 43 percent mark represented the highest percentage of the Jewish vote in the Sunshine State for a Republican presidential candidate, according to the Republican Jewish Coalition, which spent more than $5 million targeting Jewish voters in Florida on Trump’s behalf.
“Florida Attorney General signs on to brief challenging Pennsylvania absentee ballot count” by News Service of Florida – Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody signed on Monday to a brief aimed at convincing the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that allowed Pennsylvania elections officials to count some late-arriving absentee ballots. Moody was one of 10 Republicans attorneys general who filed the brief in a challenge to a decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that allowed counting absentee ballots received up to three days after the Nov. 3 election. The case is one of a flurry of lawsuits filed by Republicans alleging potential ballot fraud in various states. President Donald Trump has fueled the allegations for months, including in recent days as results showed Democrat Joe Biden winning the presidential election. The GOP attorneys general in Monday’s brief said the decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court “exacerbated the risks of ballot fraud” in the key swing state. The brief was filed by Moody and the attorneys general of Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas.
“Senate GOP picks Florida’s Rick Scott as NRSC chairman” by Roll Call’s Bridget Bowman – Florida Sen. Rick Scott will be the next chairman of Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, with his colleagues formally selecting him for the job Tuesday morning. Scott was unopposed for the National Republican Senatorial Committee chairmanship, after announcing he would run for the post late last week. The current NRSC chairman, Indiana’s Todd Young, is up for reelection in 2022. Scott is often listed among potential presidential hopefuls in 2024, and his stint as head of the NRSC would expand his political résumé. It’s not yet clear whether Scott will be tasked with defending a GOP majority or with winning back control of the Senate. With President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, Democrats now have a narrow path to the Senate majority if they win both of the Senate runoffs in Georgia. Senate races in Alaska and North Carolina have still not been called, but the Republican incumbents are leading there. Either way, Scott faces a difficult Senate map in 2022, when Republicans will largely be on defense. If appointed Georgia GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler holds on to her seat in the Jan. 5 runoff, Republicans will be defending 21 Senate seats compared with 13 for the Democrats. Republicans will be defending seats in swing states such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Scott’s own Florida, where Sen. Marco Rubio is up for reelection. Democratic seats in battleground states on the 2022 ballot include Arizona and Nevada.
“Rubio, defeated in 2016 presidential bid, says Trump would be frontrunner in 2024” by Fox News’ Marisa Schultz – Sen. Marco Rubio, who lost to President Trump in his 2016 White House bid, said Trump would likely clear the field again if he needed to run for a comeback second term in 2024. Rubio, R-Fla., praised the way Trump motivated millions of people to vote Republican for the first time and predicted Trump could have a second act in the White House. “If he runs in 2024, he’ll certainly be the front-runner and will probably be the nominee,” Rubio told congressional pool reporters Tuesday. “But again I’m still being presumptuous here, we’re not even through with 2020.” Republicans largely have stood with Trump as he contests Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 election through various court challenges. Assuming Trump’s legal battles fall short in changing the outcome of the election, the president would be eligible to run again for office in 2024. Rubio is among a long list of Republicans — including Vice President Mike Pence and even Don Trump Jr. — who are expected to consider a run for the presidency, though on Wednesday the senator declined to comment on a 2024 bid for himself. “We’re not even through with 2020, there’s a lot of other decisions to be made, so I haven’t even — honestly guys, no one can even start thinking about things like that until some period of time has elapsed,” said Rubio, who will soon campaign in Georgia for the two senate run-offs elections. Axios reported Tuesday that Trump is already mulling a possible 2024 run, signaling the president at least privately is accepting his loss in 2020.
“Biden Says Standoff With Trump Administration Won’t Stop Transition” by WSJ’s Andrew Restuccia and Eliza Collins – Joe Biden called President Trump’s unwillingness to concede the presidential election an “embarrassment” but said it wouldn’t impede his White House transition, despite a standoff with the administration that is preventing the president-elect’s team from accessing key resources. The Trump administration hasn’t issued a typically routine technical designation that would allow Mr. Biden’s staff to view detailed classified information, send representatives to embed with government agencies and have the State Department facilitate calls with foreign leaders. The delay could also hamper Mr. Biden’s selection of cabinet officials because the ability to conduct background investigations for security clearances is frozen. Mr. Biden said Tuesday at a news conference in Wilmington, Del., that his team could manage without those resources, and he said he wasn’t planning to take legal action to try to force the Trump administration to identify him as the winner of the election. “I’m confident that the fact that they’re not willing to acknowledge we won at this point is not that much consequence in our planning and what we’re able to do between now and Jan. 20,” he said. “It would be nice to have it, but it’s not critical,” he said of the access to classified information that would come with an official administration designation. He also said his transition team could operate without millions in government funds that he would receive to set up a new administration. “I just think it’s an embarrassment, quite frankly,” he said about Mr. Trump’s refusal to concede. “How can I say this tactfully? I think it will not help the president’s legacy.” Mr. Biden said he has spoken to six world leaders, and on Tuesday afternoon, his team announced groups of people who will study each department, though they cannot yet embed at government agencies.
“Trump administration removes senior defense officials and installs loyalists, triggering alarm at Pentagon” by CNN’s Barbara Starr, Zachary Cohen and Ryan Browne – The Trump administration has carried out sweeping changes atop the Defense Department’s civilian leadership structure, removing several of its most senior officials and replacing them with perceived loyalists to the President. The flurry of changes, announced by the Department of Defense in a statement roughly 24 hours after President Donald Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper, have put officials inside the Pentagon on edge and fueled a growing sense of alarm among military and civilian officials, who are concerned about what could come next. Four senior civilian officials have been fired or have resigned since Monday, including Esper, his chief of staff and the top officials overseeing policy and intelligence. They were replaced by perceived Trump loyalists, including a controversial figure who promoted fringe conspiracy theories and called former President Barack Obama a terrorist. A senior defense official told CNN late Tuesday that “it appears we are done with the beheadings for now,” referring to the wave of ousted civilian leaders, including Esper. But the moves will likely only add to the sense of chaos within the Pentagon following Trump’s firing of Esper. The President jettisoned him two days after his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, was projected as the winner of the presidential election, a conclusion that Trump has refused to accept. Concerns are growing that a chaotic transition period could undermine national security. While top officials have been dealing with Trump’s unpredictable decision making since he took office, the current level of uncertainty has risen steadily since the election.
“Florida’s DeSantis moves to allow citizens to shoot looters, rioters targeting businesses” by Fox News’ Caitlin McFall – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has drafted “anti-mob” legislation that would expand the state’s Stand Your Ground law – a move that some worry would allow armed citizens to shoot and potentially kill anyone they suspect of looting. DeSantis’ newest legislation comes in response to months of protesting that frequently lead to rioting this summer in Florida and across the U.S., following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The legislation is an attempt to prevent “violent and disorderly assemblies” by permitting violence against anyone involved in the “interruption or impairment” of a business, reportedly described in the draft as being a burglary within 500 feet of “violent or disorderly assembly,” according to reporting by the Miami Herald Tuesday. “It allows for vigilantes to justify their actions,” a former Miami-Dade County prosecutor, Denise Georges, who has worked with Stand Your Ground cases told the Miami publication. “It also allows for death to be the punishment for a property crime — and that is cruel and unusual punishment. We cannot live in a lawless society where taking a life is done so casually and recklessly.” The draft legislation also includes measures that would make protesting which disrupts the public by blocking traffic, a third degree felony. The law would also reportedly grant immunity to drivers who unintentionally kill or injure protesters who were blocking traffic. Additionally the law would allow the state to withhold funds from local governments that cut police budgets. DeSantis, an ardent supporter of President Trump, who won in Florida by just over three points, reportedly submitted copies of the legislation to the state’s Senate Committee on Criminal Justice and the House Judiciary Committee, according to emails obtained by the Miami Herald.
“Biden and McConnell, Old Sparring Partners, Hold Key to Cooperation” by WSJ’s Siobhan Hughes and Ken Thomas – In December 2010, when then-Vice President Joe Biden initiated back-channel conversations with then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell over a looming tax deadline, he had one condition for negotiating. “I’m not going to tell you your politics, and you’re not going to tell me my politics,” Mr. Biden told Mr. McConnell, according to Rohit Kumar, the Republican senator’s senior policy adviser at the time. “If I tell you I can’t do something, you’ve got to take me at my word. If you tell me you can’t do something, I’m going to take you at your word.” It was a practical approach that would yield a deal that month, and later in 2011 on raising the U.S. debt ceiling and in 2012 on averting more across-the-board tax increases. The trust between the two men—who by that point had served in Washington together for more than a quarter-century—was born of a shared commitment to the fundamental building blocks of negotiations: forge deals in which each side wins something. Operate in confidentiality. Attack ideas and not personalities, and don’t let past slights stand in the way of the next negotiation. Not since Lyndon B. Johnson has an incoming president had as much personal connection to top Senate leaders as will President-elect Joe Biden. Their shared experience, and code of conduct, holds the potential to open up pathways for deal making that were missing during the tenure of President Trump, who frequently undercut his Republican negotiators by promising one thing privately only to reverse himself publicly, or President Obama, who served in the Senate for less than a full term. But this isn’t 1963—or 2010. In an increasingly polarized atmosphere, Mr. Biden will be under intense scrutiny from his left flank, which is already calling on him to shun incremental change in favor of an ambitious agenda and to populate his administration with progressives. To stay in power—and in the majority by eking out at least one win in two January Senate runoffs in Georgia—Mr. McConnell depends on support from the coalition assembled by Mr. Trump.
“John Roberts has heard just about enough of Obamacare for one lifetime” by CNN’s Joan Biskupic – Chief Justice John Roberts twice saved Obamacare, and he appears ready to uphold it again. But Roberts is growing weary of it all. His message to the many parties represented at the court on Tuesday was essentially: Just stop. Stop asking the justices to do the work of Congress. Stop pulling the court into the partisan fracas. And perhaps especially, stop forcing this chief justice to return to the days when, as Roberts said Tuesday, “we spent all that time talking about broccoli.” At stake as the justices decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act is health care coverage for more than 20 million Americans and a signature policy of former President Barack Obama. But this third challenge has become even more politically soaked than the 2012 and 2015 attempts because of President Donald Trump’s opposition, and the high court’s integrity is again on the line.
Trump swiftly named new Justice Amy Coney Barrett after the September death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — the third justice he appointed to the nine-member bench. And just as Trump has suggested his appointees would back him in any litigation related to the November 3 election, he has often signaled he expects his appointees to side with him on administration initiatives such as ending Obamacare. The Barrett appointment also has moved the court beyond a 5-4 divide to a new 6-3 conservative-liberal dominance. Roberts, who had been at the ideological center and regularly controlled cases with his fifth vote and regard for institutional interests, is likely to find it harder to steer a steady course. But his role as chief justice still gives him a commanding presence and, as demonstrated in his questions to lawyers during the two-hour teleconference hearing, he continues to seek ways to minimize differences and — for now at least — avoid blockbuster rulings. The cautious, strategic Roberts does not want the court to drive someone else’s policy agenda, for example, by killing Obamacare when Trump and congressional Republicans failed. Referring to members of Congress, Roberts said at one point on Tuesday: “I think, frankly, that they wanted the court to do that, but that’s not our job.”
“Biden camp asks for $30M in fundraising appeal to beat Trump’s lawsuits” by Fox News’ Sam Dorman – President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign is fundraising to fight the Trump campaign’s legal efforts, vowing to “re-launch” its “fight fund” even as Biden has tried to downplay his opponent’s lawsuits. “Donald Trump is doubling down on lawsuits,” a campaign email read on Tuesday night. The campiagn argued that “litigation is expensive, but we need to be prepared to fight these lawsuits regardless and ensure Trump doesn’t win them just because we don’t have the funds to fight back. Which is why today we are re-launching our Biden Fight Fund, and why we need your help to fill it with $30 million in the coming days and weeks.” The campaign added that it “wouldn’t be asking if we didn’t truly need $30 million to be able to fund the legal work ahead — we can’t run out of resources now, which is why we need to fill this fund as soon as we can.” The campaign previously promoted the “Biden Fight Fund” on the day after the election. Since then, the number of Trump’s lawsuits has grown while several have been shot down by courts. As late as Tuesday evening, the campaign was expected to file a lawsuit blocking Michigan from certifying its election results, citing a need to verify that the ballots were “tabulated in accordance with the law.” Tuesday’s email from the Biden campaign came hours after he shrugged off President Trump’s frefusal to accept the election outcome as “inconsequential,” even as Democrats elsewhere warned that the Republican president’s actions were dangerous. He described Trump’s position as little more than an “embarrassing” mark on the outgoing president’s legacy, while predicting that Republicans on Capitol Hill would eventually accept the reality of Biden’s victory. The Republican resistance, Biden said, “does not change the dynamic at all in what we’re able to do.”
“Supreme Court Justices Question GOP States’ Case Against ACA” by WSJ’s Jess Bravin – Several conservative Supreme Court justices joined liberals voicing skepticism that the entire Affordable Care Act must fall because of one change Congress made in 2017, suggesting the law may survive its latest test in the high court. A Texas-led group of Republican-leaning states, backed by the Trump administration, contend that the 2017 tax law that reduced to zero the ACA’s penalty for failing to have insurance destroyed its constitutional foundation. The Supreme Court found in 2012 that the law was justified under Congress’s power to levy taxes. California and a coalition of liberal-trending states, joined by the Democratic-controlled House, defended the law, arguing that a mandate without a penalty makes carrying insurance a personal choice rather than a legal command, but that even if the mandate is unconstitutional, the balance of the 1,000-page law, including provisions protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions, should stand. “It’s hard for you to argue that Congress intended the entire act to fall if the mandate were struck down when the same Congress that lowered the penalty to zero did not even try to repeal the rest of the act,” Chief Justice John Roberts told Texas’s lawyer, Kyle Hawkins, the state solicitor general. Mr. Hawkins argued that the move, even if inadvertent, made the entire law unconstitutional, because the statute still says that most Americans “shall” carry health insurance, a command that the Supreme Court found justified only if it were enforced through a tax penalty. Justice Brett Kavanaugh said that even if elimination of the penalty made the mandate unconstitutional, the court’s precedents required upholding as much of a statute as possible. He said that all indications were that the rest of the ACA, with provisions extending Medicaid coverage to the working poor, allocating subsidies for lower-income Americans to purchase private insurance, and protecting individuals with pre-existing conditions, could independently stand.
“McConnell and Schumer reelected as Senate party leaders” by CNN’s Clare Foran and Ted Barrett – Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer were reelected as Senate party leaders on Tuesday during leadership elections held even as the battle for control of the chamber is still underway. A pair of Georgia runoff elections that won’t take place until January are on track to determine whether Republicans or Democrats wield the Senate majority next year, but both parties still pressed ahead with elections for top leadership posts for the next session of Congress. McConnell was reelected unanimously as Republican leader, according to his spokesman David Popp. The Senate Democratic caucus reelected Schumer as Senate Democratic leader and the full leadership team by acclamation, according to a Democratic source. It’s still not certain, however, who — McConnell or Schumer — will become Senate majority leader and who will be minority leader, a question that won’t be answered until it is clear which party ultimately wins the majority. Senate Republican leadership elections took place Tuesday morning in a closed-door meeting. Elections were determined by majority vote and secret ballot. The full slate of current GOP leadership has been expected to remain on with the exception of the chairman of the Senate Republican campaign arm. Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida was elected to lead the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the upcoming election cycle, a position currently held by Indiana Sen. Todd Young. It’s typical for there to be a new leader in a new election cycle, and Scott’s bid was uncontested. Leadership elections for the Senate Democratic caucus took place during a special caucus meeting.
Nancy Pelosi @SpeakerPelosi–If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, more than 20 million Americans could lose their health care coverage, 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions could lose protections, and drug costs could skyrocket for seniors.