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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., now says she’s not considering a fresh round of impeachment charges against President Trump as a tool to delay a Supreme Court confirmation vote.

“I don’t think he’s worth the trouble at this point,” she told reporters Thursday, which also marked the one-year anniversary of the speaker announcing the first impeachment inquiry.

Much to the ire of Democrats, Republicans have promised to move full speed ahead to fill the vacancy left on the Supreme Court by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Trump is planning to announce his nominee Saturday and Senate Republicans have pledged to move forward with a vote before the election.

During an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Pelosi was asked whether she and House Democrats would move to impeach the president or Attorney General Bill Barr in an effort to prevent the Senate from acting.

“We have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now, but the fact is we have a big challenge in our country,” Pelosi said. “This president has threatened to not even accept the results of the election.”

She added: “Our main goal would be to protect the integrity of the election as we protect the people from the coronavirus.”

Pelosi was pressed again on whether she would employ impeachment tactics, to which she said the Constitution requires that Congress “use every arrow in our quiver.”

“We have a responsibility,” Pelosi said. “We take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. We have a responsibility to meet the needs of the American people.”

She added: “When we weigh the equities of protecting our democracy, it requires us to use every arrow in our quiver.”

The White House slammed Pelosi’s suggestion, as a “bizarre and dangerous” power grab.

House Republicans threatened a motion to oust her from the speakership if she brought forth impeachment charges to delay Trump from filling the SCOTUS seat.

“I will make you this one promise, listening to the speaker on television this weekend, if she tries to move for an impeachment based upon the president following the Constitution, I think there will be a move on the floor to no longer have the question of her being speaker. She may think she has a quiver – we do too,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, D-Calif., told reporters Wednesday.

He added: “The president is supposed to move forward and they will. The Senate is supposed to take the action and they will – it’s their constitutional right and they are following through.”

If Pelosi and House Democrats try to impeach the president, “we will take the movement to remove her from [the] speakership,” McCarthy said.

Author: Morgan Phillips

Source: Fox News: Pelosi not considering another Trump impeachment: ‘I don’t think he’s worth the trouble at this point’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., expressed optimism that progressive Democrats can “likely” push Joe Biden further to the left if he’s elected president.

She noted that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, is reportedly concerned that Biden is not far left enough, an assessment she said she agrees with.

“We’re different people, and clearly I, in the primary, one of the reasons why I was supportive of Senator Sanders was because of how progressive his stances are, but, you know, the primaries are over, and right now what is most important is to make sure that we ensure a Democratic victory in November and that we continue to push Vice President Biden on issues from marijuana to climate change to foreign policy,” Ocasio-Cortez told “Just the News” in an interview Tuesday.

“I think, overall, we can likely push Vice President Biden in a more progressive direction across policy issues,” she said. “I think foreign policy is an enormous area where we can improve; immigration is another one.”

Ocasio-Cortez acknowledged intra-party disagreement but emphasized she wouldn’t try to “undermine” Democrats.

“There are some areas where we just fundamentally disagree, but that’s OK,” she said. “I think it’s important to acknowledge that we can have, in some cases, very large disagreements — it doesn’t mean that we’re trying to undermine the party or undermine each other. It means that we’re trying to do what’s best for people in the country.”

Ocasio-Cortez described the Biden campaign as “pretty stubborn” on health care reform. Biden calls for a building up Obamacare with a federally run public option, where Ocasio-Cortez’s wing of the party is pushing Medicare-for-All. Ocasio-Cortez said a public option is at least better than the current system.

“One concern I’d say that I have with a public option is that it very easily allows insurance companies to just kind of bump off their more expensive patients onto a public option, thus making an increase in the costs on a public option and kind of them keeping healthier people that require less insurance coverage for themselves,” she said.

“The whole purpose of insurance is to even out those costs, which is why I believe single-payer is a better policy, so in terms of that we do disagree,” she added. “But either way, I do think that a public option is likely a better scenario than we have right now.”

She recognized she’d need a “mass movement” on Medicare-for-All to convince the former vice president to support it.

“We’ll see what progress that we’re able to make on issues like immigration and criminal justice reform,” she added.

Ocasio-Cortez said she would also push for “full legalization” of marijuana.

“But, you know, we will hash those out,” she said. “Our main priority is to make sure that the vice president is successful and victorious in November so that we can have those kinds of conversations in the first place from a more effective stance with him in the White House.”

Author: Morgan Phillips

Source: Fox News: AOC says Dems can ‘likely’ push Biden in ‘more progressive direction’ if elected

Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer was recorded saying the country’s largest county would not reopen its schools until “after the election.”

“We don’t realistically anticipate that we would be moving to either tier 2 or to reopening K-12 schools at least until after the election, in early November,” Ferrer said in a conference call with school administrators and medical staff, a recording of which was played on KFI’s “John and Ken Show.”

Her comments led the California radio show hosts, who obtained the recording, to speculate about why she chose to use the General Election instead of some other day like Halloween, as a target date, and whether the county health department and schools were trying to manipulate public opinion in favor of the Democrats.

“What does it have to do with the elections?” one of the hosts asks. “That makes no sense, she just picked a date, the elections.”

The county health department said the election reference is an expected point in time to give context to how reopening plans are proceeding.

“Dr. Ferrer’s comment was related only to timing any expanded school re-openings to allow for enough time from the implementation of changes to assess impact prior to expansions,” a county Department of Public Health spokesperson told Fox News in a statement.

“When we look at the timing of everything, it seems to us a more realistic approach to this would be to think that we’re going to be where we are now until we are done with the election,” Ferrer said.

This summer, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second-largest district with nearly 735,000 students, announced it would start the school year with only distance learning. The district announced it had hammered out a tentative agreement with its teachers’ union on how distance learning would be carried out that includes set school hours online.

Starting Sept. 14, K-12 schools in Los Angeles County can offer on-campus services for small groups of students with disabilities or students requiring instruction for English as a second language, along with other specialized school services.

Officials from the county health department intend to work with school officials and high need students during the next six to eight weeks to assess safety directives and to ensure proper distancing.

“This information will be used to inform the timing of future activities at schools,” a health department spokesperson said.

Nevertheless, the radio hosts debated why Ferrer had picked the election as a target date for a more widespread return to in-person instruction.

“What caught my attention on this was that she said election not just once, but she says it twice,” KFI News radio reporter Steve Gregory said.

One of the hosts speculated that opening school campuses to all students could help President Trump at the pools.

“I interpret it as they’re holding off until the election because sending the kids back into school would put everybody in a good mood,” a host said. “They’ll feel that the whole nightmare is over and that gives goodwill to Trump and more votes.”

As of Wednesday, Los Angeles County had 936 hospitalizations due to COVID-19 and a seven-day daily average positivity testing rate of 4.1 percent.

Last week, Los Angeles County moved forward with reopening its economy by, allowing salons to open for indoor service at 25 percent. However, shopping malls will remain shuttered.

In August, California health officials released guidelines for elementary schools to seek waivers that would allow them to offer classroom instruction but recommended that local health officials not even consider that option in counties with the highest rates of coronavirus infection.

School districts could apply for waivers for kindergarten to sixth grade because health officials say those students are less likely than older children to become infected or transmit coronavirus.

However, the state health officials said districts shouldn’t be considered for waivers if their counties have had more than 200 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people over two weeks. At the time, that included Los Angeles.

But to reopen on-campus for specialized services would take another round of negotiations with teacher’s unions, which oppose reopening for those with special needs.

Author: Morgan Phillips

Source: Fox News: LA County schools won’t reopen until ‘after the election,” health director says

Mayor Lori Lightfoot defended the Chicago Police Department banning protesters from the block where she lives, citing her right to safety.

The Democratic mayor said her family requires heightened security due to threats she receives, but did not elaborate.

“I think that residents of this city, understanding the nature of the threats that we are receiving on a daily basis, on a daily basis, understand I have a right to make sure that my home is secure,” Lightfoot said, according to the Chicago Tribune.

She said comparisons to how the police department protected previous mayors’ homes, such as that of Rahm Emanuel, were unfair because: “This is a different time like no other,” Lightfoot told reporters.

After massive street protests after the killing of George Floyd in May, Chicago police banned protests near the mayor’s home. Officers were instructed to arrest anyone protesting near her Logan Square residence.

More than 100 people have been arrested in recent weeks after looting downtown on Aug. 10 that Lightfoot characterized as a “planned attack.” Officials said “car caravans full” of people stormed Chicago’s Magnificient Mile, Irving North and Gold Coast neighborhoods that Sunday night.

City officials were forced to shut down public transit and lift all bridges to downtown into the following morning.

Author: Morgan Phillips

Source: Fox News: Lori Lightfoot defends ban on protesters on her block, citing her right to safety

In the latest battle between Gov. Gavin Newsom and houses of worship over coronavirus restrictions, three Northern California churches sued the governor on Wednesday, seeking to overturn his ban on singing during religious services.

The suit, filed on behalf of Calvary Chapel of Ukiah, Calvary Chapel of Fort Bragg and River of Life Church in Oroville, seeks to block Newsom’s July 1 ban on singing in houses of worship to stop the spread of coronavirus because of an alleged double standard.

“Places of worship must, therefore, discontinue singing and chanting activities and limit indoor attendance to 25 percent of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower,” new guidelines read as state health officials recommend churches have members sing online from their homes.

The suit, filed by attorneys who have previously led lawsuits against Newsom’s ban on in-person services, said the Democratic governor banned singing and chanting inside churches but not anywhere else. They also noted that the governor “has been unwavering in his support of massive protests” against police brutality.

“On or about July 2, 2020, following implementation of the Worship Ban, when asked to explain whether people should heed Newsom’s mandate and avoid large crowds and gatherings, Newsom refused to place the same restrictions on protesters and explained ‘we have a Constitution, we have a right to free speech,’ and further stated that ‘we are all dealing with a moment in our nation‘s history that is profound and pronounced … Do what you think is best,’” the lawsuit stated.

The suit cites scripture to emphasize the importance of singing during worship– “singing and praying aloud as a body of Christ is an integral part of worship for believers and plaintiffs.”

“Let me be clear, the state does not have the jurisdiction to ban houses of worship from singing praises to God,” Robert Tyler, one of the lawyers filing the suit, said in a statement, according to the Sacramento Bee.

California faced a number of lawsuits alleging first amendment infringement after it mandated that houses of worship must close during the coronavirus pandemic, prompting the governor to allow them to reopen at a limited capacity on May 25.

After facing another spike in COVID-19 cases, Newsom announced this week that all bars across the state must close and that restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and card rooms must suspend indoor activities.

Some houses of worship had to shut down again, too. The governor announced that all gyms, places of worship, malls, personal care services, barbershops, salons, and non-critical offices in counties on the state’s “monitoring list” had to shut down under the new order. The order affects more than 30 counties which are home to about 80 percent of California’s population.

Author: Morgan Phillips

Source: Fox News: 3 churches sue Newsom after California bans singing in places of worship because of coronavirus

The Trump administration submitted a notice of withdrawal from the World Health Organization to the United Nations secretary-general, a senior administration official told Fox News on Tuesday, after President Trump for weeks had blasted the WHO’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and what he called its pro-China bias.

The White House also notified congressional lawmakers Tuesday of the official removal, effective July 2021.

“Congress received notification that POTUS officially withdrew the U.S. from the @WHO in the midst of a pandemic,” Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., tweeted.

Menendez argued, “To call Trump’s response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn’t do it justice. This won’t protect American lives or interests—it leaves Americans sick & America alone.”

A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres confirmed Tuesday that the organization received U.S. notice to withdraw.

Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R- Tenn., broke with Trump to condemn his unilateral decision, saying holding the WHO accountable should be done after the pandemic.

“I disagree with the president’s decision. Certainly there needs to be a good, hard look at mistakes the World Health Organization might have made in connection with coronavirus, but the time to do that is after the crisis has been dealt with, not in the middle of it,” the Republican senator said in a statement.

Alexander added that withdrawing U.S. membership could interfere with vaccine trials and make it harder to work with other countries to stop viruses before they get to the U.S. “If the administration has specific recommendations for reforms of the WHO, it should submit those recommendations to Congress, and we can work together to make those happen,” he said.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democrats’ presumptive 2020 presidential nominee, said he would rejoin the WHO on his first day in the White House if elected.

“Americans are safer when America is engaged in strengthening global health,” the former vice president tweeted. “On my first day as President, I will rejoin the @WHO and restore our leadership on the world stage.”

Trump first announced that the U.S. would back away from the organization in late-May. “Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” Trump told reporters at a Rose Garden event.

“The world is now suffering as a result of the misfeasance of the Chinese government,” Trump added.

In the course of the same statement, Trump announced a number of measures aimed primarily at China in response to its conduct on a number of fronts including trade, the coronavirus and its recent crackdown on Hong Kong.

Beijing further increased its grip on Hong Kong last week by passing a security law that critics say undermines the semi-autonomous territory’s judicial independence. The law gives police greater power to crack down on any activity there that authorities deem subversive with secessionist aims.

Trump added that the State Department’s travel advisory for Hong Kong would be revised to reflect the increased danger of surveillance and punishment by the Chinese. Additionally, the U.S. is revoking Hong Kong’s preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory, and taking steps to sanction officials involved in eroding Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Trump announced in April the U.S. would freeze funding to the WHO, and threatened to make the freeze permanent if the organization did not enact “major substantive reforms.” The U.S. had been the top contributor to the agency to the tune of approximately $450 million a year. China meanwhile pays approximately $50 million a year — although Beijing had recently announced a $2 billion injection of funds.

The U.S. repeatedly raised concerns about WHO officials’ praise of Chinese “transparency,” its ignoring of warnings about the virus from Taiwan, and its repetition of Chinese claims that COVID-19 could not be spread from person-to-person. Trump has also pointed to opposition from WHO officials to his decision to place a travel ban on China in the initial days of the crisis.

The UN-backed global health body faced renewed scrutiny when it quietly changed its public coronavirus timeline to say it had initially heard of the virus from the internet, not from Beijing officials as it had long insisted.

According to multiple reports, the revisions were made on the WHO website on June 29, adding fuel to the fire that the Chinese leadership long purported to cover up COVID-19 and the WHO assisted them in doing so.

Author: Morgan Phillips

Source: Fox News: Trump administration submits notice of withdrawal from World Health Organization

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