Epoch Times Politics

Pelosi: Biden Doesn’t Have Power to Forgive Student Loans

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that President Joe Biden does not have the legal authority to forgive federal student loans in what appears to be a disagreement with other top Democrats. For months, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has issued near-daily tweets insisting that Biden forgive all student loans. But during a weekly press conference, Pelosi said Biden can only pause or delay student loan payments and cannot unilaterally cancel them. “He can postpone, he can delay, but he does not have that power,” Pelosi told reporters. “That would best be an act of Congress.” Schumer and other progressive Democrats have argued that Biden can forgive student loans using the same legal provision that former President Donald Trump used to delay payments on loans and interest starting in March 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The recent comments from Pelosi are sure to trigger pushback from some Democrat ...

GOP Governors Push Back Against CDC Mask Guidance

Following the federal government's decision to update guidance around COVID-19 masking, several GOP governors pushed back and said their states won't be re-imposing mask mandates. “The CDC’s new guidance suggesting that vaccinated people wear masks indoors flies in the face of the public health goals that should guide the agency’s decision making,” Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican said in a statement after the CDC's updated guidance. “The State of Nebraska will not be adopting their mask guidance.” On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that it would recommend masks for high-transmission areas for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. The reason why, according to the CDC, is due to the Delta COVID-19 variant. While CDC Director Rochelle Walensky noted that Americans are “tired and frustrated” by the pandemic, mask-wearing is needed in some areas. Several federal agencies and the White House have since mandated face coverings ...

New York Times Reporter Deletes Tweets Suggesting Trump Supporters Are ‘Enemies of the State’

A New York Times reporter, Katie Benner, deleted a series of tweets that suggested supporters of former President Donald Trump should be called "enemies of the state," saying that they were "unclearly worded." The series of now-deleted posts began by saying that "today's #January6thSelectCommittee underscores the America's current, essential [national security] dilemma: Work to combat legitimate national security threats now entails calling a politician's supporters enemies of the state." Benner continued by saying, "As Americans, we believe that state power should not be used to work against a political figure or a political party. But what happens if a politician seems to threaten the state? If the politician continues to do so out of office and his entire party supports that threat?" "This dilemma was unresolved by the Russia probe and 2 impeachments. With many Republicans denying the reality of the Jan. 6 attack, I doubt the #January6thCommittee will resolve ...

Department of Justice Warns States Against Violating Federal Law With Audits

Department of Justice officials on Wednesday alerted states that they're tracking closely the 2020 election audit taking place in Arizona and proposed audits in several other states. The new guidance document summarizes the Biden administration's position on federal law concerning audits, deeming the round of reviews either done, being done, or proposed "unusual" and "exceedingly rare" while highlighting that federal law imposes constraints under which counties and states must comply. The laws include the Civil Rights Act of 1960, which mandates the retention of election records for 22 months after a federal election, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which outlines that no person "shall intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for voting or attempting to vote, or intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for urging or aiding any person to vote or attempt to ...

Senators Say They Have Deal on ‘Major Issues’ During Infrastructure Talks

Several Republican senators said Wednesday they've come to a tentative agreement on a more than $1 trillion infrastructure package that has been touted as bipartisan. “We now have an agreement on the major issues. We are prepared to move forward,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), one of the Republican negotiators, to reporters in Washington. Portman made the comment after holding a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), saying the GOP leader is open to the accord. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), a member of the group, told reporters that lawmakers are coming up with the text of the package, saying: “I think we’re good to go." Since the package was announced several weeks ago by President Joe Biden, Republican and Democrat senators have been working on several key issues, including how the package would be funded. Also on Wednesday, senators told media outlets the measure is expected to cost $1.2 ...

US, India Agree to Expand Multilateral Security Partnership

NEW DELHI—The top diplomats of India and the United States pledged Wednesday to expand their multilateral security partnership, underscoring the deepening of ties between two countries concerned over the Chinese regime's growing aggressiveness in the region. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar met in New Delhi and sought to strengthen a regional front against Beijing’s coercion in the Indo-Pacific and their cooperation in Afghanistan. They also lauded each country's help in fighting the coronavirus and said their vaccine partnership is an effort to end the pandemic. Blinken also announced a $25 million fund to support India’s COVID-19 vaccination program. “There are few relationships in the world that are more vital than one between the U.S. and India. We are the world’s two leading democracies and our diversity fuels our national strength,” Blinken said at a joint news conference. Washington has made no secret of ...

Department of Homeland Security Imposes Employee Mask Mandate

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on July 28 announced that all employees, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, have to wear masks and physically distance themselves indoors. The policy will go into effect immediately, the department said in a statement. The DHS oversees a number of different agencies, including Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Transportation Security Administration. "DHS is following the new @CDCgov guidance and @OMBPress instructions to ensure the safety of our workforce. Beginning today, all employees, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask indoors & physically distance," the agency wrote on Twitter. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, meanwhile, is working from home this week after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for the virus, said a spokesperson. “Secretary Mayorkas has a virtual schedule this week after coming into close contact with a DHS official who later tested ...

Bipartisan Group of Senators Demand ‘Thorough Review’ of US Funding for Chinese Virus Research

A bipartisan group of senators is calling on President Joe Biden to make sure the United States completes a "thorough review" of U.S. funding for Chinese virus research. "The United States must complete a thorough review of existing and prior U.S. government support or funding for research collaboration with the PRC related to gain-of-function, synthetic biology, biotechnology, or other research areas that pose dual-use concerns," the senators wrote in a July 27 letter to Biden. PRC stands for the People's Republic of China. No U.S. taxpayer money should go to supporting collaboration with Chinese entities that pose risks for the United States, the lawmakers added, noting that China has "demonstrated lax biosecurity standards, violated the International Health Regulations (2005), attempted to steal intellectual property related to COVID-19 vaccines, and may be in violation of the Biological Weapons Convention." A formal review should analyze any direct or indirect U.S. taxpayer funding ...

‘We’re Gonna Fight the Liars’: Kevin Sorbo on Hollywood and the Media

Actor and filmmaker Kevin Sorbo said that Hollywood and the media are promoting hate, anger, and decisiveness, and he intends to fight those “liars” with his own movies that "have a moral value." “Hollywood has an agenda. They want to push their agenda,” Sorbo said in a recent interview with EpochTV’s “CrossRoads” program. “Who runs the culture? Hollywood and the media does. Why the media wants to promote hate, anger, divisiveness is beyond me. I don't get it,” Sorbo continued, saying Hollywood and the media are doing “a great job” perpetuating hate and anger. “See the way it's playing on our streets today. You look at what's going on with Antifa, [Black Lives Matter], the destruction, the hate, the anger, the violence, I mean, it just goes on and on and on,” Sorbo said. “It's crazy what's going on in our country right now.” Sorbo said he wants to fight ...

Biden Signs Memorandum to Bolster Efforts to Combat Cyberattacks

President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed a memorandum aiming to bolster America's critical infrastructure against cyberattacks. The National Security Memorandum on Improving Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure Control Systems addresses cybersecurity for critical infrastructure and implements long-overdue efforts to tackle cyber-related threats, according to what a senior White House official said on a briefing call with reporters. The official noted that the memorandum seeks to address what was described as a patchwork of sector-specific and state-level approaches that were adopted in piecemeal fashion over time in response to specific security threats as they arose. "The cybersecurity threats posed to the systems that control and operate the critical infrastructure on which we all depend are among the most significant and growing issues confronting our Nation," Biden said in the memorandum. "The degradation, destruction, or malfunction of systems that control this infrastructure could cause significant harm to the national and economic security of the ...

Fauci: CDC ‘Didn’t Flip Flop’ on COVID-19 Masking, Vaccine Guidance

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases head Anthony Fauci said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "didn't flip flop" by issuing new masking guidelines for schools and certain high transmission areas. The reason for the change in guidance, he said in an MSNBC interview Tuesday, is due to the so-called "Delta" COVID-19 strain. Federal health officials said the Delta variant now comprises most of the new COVID-19 cases in the United States. "Something has changed. And what has changed is the virus," he said referring to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus that causes COVID-19. "The CDC hasn't changed, and the CDC hasn't really flip-flopped at all. What's happened is that when that earlier recommendation was made, we were dealing predominantly with the Alpha variant." When asked about why masks are needed for vaccinated individuals, Fauci said it's because of the nature of the Delta strain. "The ...

South Dakota Gov. Says No Mask Mandates Following CDC Reversal

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said that her state won't be imposing a mask mandate following a guidance reversal by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that is now urging some fully vaccinated people to wear facial coverings indoors. "The CDC shifts their position AGAIN," Noem wrote in a post on Twitter. "South Dakota's cases remain low. If you're worried about the virus, you're free to get vaccinated, wear a mask, or stay at home. But we won't be mandating anything." "And the CDC's inconsistency doesn't help the American people," the Republican governor said, referring to the agency's recent masking policy shift, which came about 2 1/2 months after the CDC announced that fully vaccinated persons didn't need to wear masks indoors because of the protection provided by the vaccines. Noem's remarks come after the CDC on July 27 revised its guidance on masking, citing the threat of the Delta ...

CDC Director: Vaccine Passports ‘May Very Well Be a Path Forward’ in US

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky suggested that vaccine passport-style systems might be implemented in the United States amid the COVID-19 pandemic. When asked in a TV interview Wednesday about whether the United States would mandate a European-style "health pass" system for nightclubs or bars, Walensky said, "That may very well be a path forward." The director further said that "in some fully vaccinated venues," it "is possible" for a fully vaccinated individual to transmit and pick up COVID-19 "in those settings" and added that federal officials have "seen that" during studies. COVID-19 is the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. Her comments came after the CDC announced Tuesday it would recommend people wear masks in some areas with high transmission. Vaccinated and unvaccinated children should also wear masks when fall classes start, the CDC also said, reversing guidance issued only a few weeks ...

Religious Freedom Group to Challenge Veterans Administration’s Vaccine Mandate

A public interest law firm that specializes in First Amendment religious freedom litigation is challenging the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs mandate that all employees be vaccinated against the CCP Virus that is also known as the novel coronavirus. “The COVID shots have only been approved for experimental and investigational use. Under the federal Emergency Use Authorization law, these shots cannot be mandated or administered without the free and full consent of the individual,” said Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver in a statement late Tuesday. “The VA has no authority to mandate the COVID shots. Federal employees are also protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Forcing any person to receive one of these COVID injections is a violation of federal law. It is shocking that a federal agency would brazenly violate federal law,” Staver said. Staver’s comment followed a July 26 announcement by VA Secretary Dennis McDonough ...

Dave Rubin: Good Liberals ‘Getting Mugged by Reality’ of Woke Left

Good liberals getting mugged by reality is a phenomenon that Dave Rubin started to notice a few years ago but that has increased recently, where people who might not have had a strong party affiliation (during the lockdowns) realized the left’s liberalism is not working for them. “When I would go to these rallies to open up the state, I would meet good liberals. These were not Republicans. Maybe they were Democrats, but they were usually apolitical people. ... They were business owners, restauranteurs—things of that nature— who suddenly couldn't go to work, who suddenly couldn't put food on the table, etc.,” said Rubin. “And then suddenly, they [liberals] were like, 'Whoa, now I see it,' the thing that I've been talking about for years that something is wrong with the left, that liberalism is not working in a modern conventional sense. ... I think once you see it, you ...

Justice Department Declines to Back Rep. Brooks in Lawsuit Over Jan. 6 Breach

The Department of Justice has declined Rep. Mo Brooks' (R-Ala.) request to intervene in a lawsuit related to the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) sued Brooks, former President Donald Trump, and others in March, claiming they incited the breach through comments made at a rally earlier that day. Brooks argued in a filing this month that he was acting within the scope of his office and should either be dismissed as a defendant or be replaced by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Brooks said he only spoke at the rally on The Ellipse because he was asked to make remarks by a White House official. He also prepared the speech in his congressional office. Federal law states that the DOJ shall defend federal employees against lawsuits "for injury or loss of property, or personal injury or death arising or resulting from the negligent or wrongful act ...

Mask Mandate in Missouri’s St. Louis County Is Overturned

A mask mandate in Missouri’s St. Louis County has been overturned just one day after it went into effect. A county council meeting voted 5-2 on Tuesday evening to repeal the mandate that would have required masks to be worn in indoor public settings regardless of vaccination status. “Too many American men and women have given the last full measure of devotion for us to be cavalier with the very liberty they fought and died to provide,” said Councilman Ernie Trakas, reported the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I will not abide any measures that seek to compromise or erode our liberty and freedom.” The mandate was announced by county executive Sam Page and St. Louis mayor Tishaura Jones amid a surge in cases of the highly contagious Delta COVID-19 variant. The strain was first identified in India late last year and currently makes up approximately 83 percent of all new sequenced ...

Democrat Proposal to Change Death Taxes Could Destroy 745,000 Jobs: Study

A Democrat proposal to tax unrealized capital gains when heirs inherit assets—the Sensible Taxation and Equity Promotion (STEP) Act—would have a "significantly negative impact" on the economy, including average annual job losses of 745,000 over ten years, a new study projects. The study (pdf), carried out by the nonpartisan firm Regional Economic Models Inc. (REMI) on behalf of the conservative-leaning Committee to Unleash Prosperity, found that sustained annual job losses from eliminating a tax benefit on appreciated assets known as the “step-up in basis” would range from a low of 537,000 to a high of 949,000, with models predicting a base case of 745,000 lost jobs through 2030. The STEP Act, introduced by Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) in March and backed by a number of prominent Democrats, seeks to get rid of the step-up in basis and treat assets transferred by gift, in trust, or upon death as triggering immediate capital ...

Vaccine Mandate for All Federal Employees Under Consideration: Biden

President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that his administration is considering mandating that all federal workers get the COVID-19 vaccine. “That’s under consideration right now,” Biden said when asked if federal employees should be required to get vaccinated. Biden was in McLean, Virginia to address members of the intelligence community. Biden also blamed people who are unvaccinated for fueling the pandemic, in a response to a question about whether the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s new mask guidance sowed confusion in Americans. “We have a pandemic because of the unvaccinated and they’re sowing enormous confusion,” Biden said, adding that “And there’s only one thing we know for sure, if those other hundred million people got vaccinated, we’d be in a very different world. So get vaccinated, if you haven’t, you’re not nearly as smart as I said you were.” The Department of Veterans Affairs says it is invoking ...

House Reimposes Masks Requirement on House Floor After New CDC Guidance

The U.S. House of Representatives is reimposing a mask mandate after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) again altered its COVID-19-related guidance telling fully vaccinated people to wear masks in some indoor areas. In a memo issued late Tuesday, Brian Monahan, the Capitol’s attending physician, said that masks will once again be required on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. "For all House Office Buildings, the Hall of the House, and House Committee Meetings, wearing of a well-fitted, medical grade, filtration face mask is required when an individual is in an interior space and other individuals are present. To be clear, for meetings in an enclosed US House of Representatives controlled space, masks are REQUIRED," Monahan said. The mask mandate was initially put in place at the start of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic last year by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who ruled that ...

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