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House passes Homeland Security bill with meaningless anti-abortion rider

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Republicans in the House of Representatives attached an anti-abortion rider to a Homeland Security spending bill Thursday. The provision would do nothing to change existing policy and is unlikely to make it past the Senate, but it is seen as sending an election-year message to the lawmakers’ conservative constituents.

In what was probably not intended as a deliberate rebuke to Republican president candidate Mitt Romney, the Homeland Security bill caters to state and local governments by increasing funding for first responders like police and fire departments, while cutting funds from the widely unpopular Transportation Security Administration.

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The anti-abortion rider, proposed by an Alabama Republican, would prevent Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from funding abortions for illegal immigrants in its custody, except in cases of rape, incest, or threats to the life of the mother. It passed on a party-line vote, 234 to 182.

According to an ICE spokesperson, however, the agency has never paid for abortion services.

The House also passed a provision to block spending for the newly created ICE post of public advocate. The office, which is intended to deal with questions and complaints about immigration policy, has been accused by Republicans of putting the interests of illegal immigrants ahead of those of Americans.

The Senate is expected to take up the bill later this summer.

Photo: Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons.

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2020 Election

Trump’s former White House doctor Ronny Jackson wins GOP runoff for Congress in Texas

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Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician and President Donald Trump's onetime nominee for secretary of veterans affairs, has won his bid for the Republican nomination for a solidly red congressional seat in the Texas Panhandle.

With 100% of polling locations reporting, though some mail-in ballots will still need to be counted, Jackson held a lead of 11 percentage points over Josh Winegarner, a veteran agriculture expert and lobbyist. Jackson and Winegarner were competing for a seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon, who is retiring and held the seat since 1995.

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Ivanka Trump’s tweet raises eyebrows: ‘Why is a senior White House official endorsing a food product?’

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As her big brother was dragging their 14-year-old half brother into the 2020 campaign, senior White House advisor Ivanka Trump was endorsing a line of canned food products.

If it’s Goya, it has to be good. Si es Goya, tiene que ser bueno. pic.twitter.com/9tjVrfmo9z

— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) July 15, 2020

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Florida outbreak is ‘much worse’ than Gov. DeSantis is letting on: Former COVID-19 data chief

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Rebekah Jones, the Florida data scientist who in May claimed that she was fired for refusing to manipulate state coronavirus data to meet the Republican governor's reopening criteria, has issued a new warning: The ongoing outbreak is "much, much worse" than it has been painted by the administration.In a Monday interview with MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell, Jones, who built the state government's coronavirus data portal, identified a number of failures since she left her state job. Florida recently posted the highest daily caseload in a single day across all 50 U.S. states.
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