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White House slams Republicans for trying to ‘obstruct’ the passage of the $739B ‘anti-inflation plan’

EXCLUSIVE: The White House is on offense this week as it tries to garner support for the more than $700 billion reconciliation package that Biden administration officials and Democrats say will lower the deficit, while slamming congressional Republicans for trying to “obstruct” the “anti-inflation plan” in order to protect “tax welfare” for corporations and the wealthy. President Biden, last week, said the Inflation Reduction Act is “the strongest bill you can pass to lower inflation, cut the deficit, reduce health care costs, tackle the climate crisis, and promote energy security, all the time while reducing the borders facing working-class and middle-class families.” The bill, according to the president and to congressional Democrats, will “reduce inflationary pressure on the economy” and will “restore fairness to the tax code” by making the largest corporations “pay their fair share.” But the White House this week is taking preemptive strikes at Republicans, saying the GOP won’t work with them to fight inflation. SCHUMER AND MANCHIN’S $700B SPENDING BILL UNDERCUTS EFFORTS TO WOO BLUE-COLLAR VOTERS “Congressional Republicans like Rick Scott have proposed raising taxes on nearly 100 million working Americans, ending Medicare in 5 years, and compounding Donald Trump’s 2017 tax cuts for the wealthy with even more giveaways for the richest Americans,” White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates told Fox News Digital. “The president and congressional Democrats are pursuing the opposite with the Inflation Reduction Act — a plan for the middle class that 126 top economists confirm will ‘fight inflation and lower costs for American families,’ paid for with revenue ‘exclusively from wealthy individuals and corporations,’” Bates said. “Instead of working with us against inflation, the congressional GOP has decided that tax welfare for hedge fund managers who pay less than the vast majority of Americans, for multibillion dollar corporations who game the system to pay nothing in taxes, and for Big Pharma matter more,” Bates told Fox News. He added: “Congressional Republicans are trying to obstruct an anti-inflation plan in order to protect tax welfare for giant corporations and the wealthy.” But Bates said it is “not a shock that those who call inflation a ‘political goldmine’ have their priorities so backwards.” A White House official told Fox News that Republicans have a “simple choice,” which is to either back a plan that would “fight inflation and cut costs for families,” or support “tax welfare for big corporations and wealthy individuals who have rigged the tax code to their benefit, at the expense of everyone else.” The reconciliation package raises revenue by requiring corporations with more than $1 billion in profits to pay at least a 15% tax rate and by enforcing the law so that corporations and high-income individuals pay the taxes they owe. The bill also closes the “carried interest” loophole for investment fund managers with at least $400,000 in income, which a White House official said enables them to pay a significantly lower tax rate than middle class families. The White House estimates the 15% corporate tax rate will raise $313 billion over the next decade. A nonpartisan congressional panel, the Joint Committee on Taxation, estimates that nearly 50% of the total will come from American manufacturers.  DEMOCRATS’ SOCIAL SPENDING BILL HAS FUNDING TO FIGHT EVERYTHING FROM COW TO CAR EMISSIONS The National Association of Manufacturers estimates the 15% minimum corporate tax could lead to fewer blue-collar manufacturing jobs over the next decade. That reality stems from the fact that the tax will apply to corporations that list at least $1 billion in profits over a three-year period on their financial statements.  One tax in the bill specifically hits the energy industry. Called a “Waste Emissions Charge,” this provision would bill energy facility operators for methane emissions that escape into the atmosphere.  The American Natural Gas Association estimated that the tax would increase Americans’ natural gas bills by 17%. It would also apply to petroleum production, fossil fuel processing, energy storage and more.  BIDEN URGES CONGRESS TO PASS ‘FAR FROM PERFECT’ MANCHIN DEAL: ‘PUT POLITICS ASIDE, GET IT DONE’ “Natural gas is the single largest source of electricity generation in our entire country,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Monday. “A plurality of all the power in America comes from natural gas. It’s also how countless families heat their homes. And it’s a lynchpin of our domestic energy independence and our ability to export to allies like Europe. But the Green New Deal Democrats are coming straight after American natural gas with huge new tax hikes.” “It’s a very simple message: Democrats are getting ready to vote for tax hikes during a recession,” a GOP aide told Fox News. “The sharks are already circling underneath the plank they will walk off.” The U.S. economy shrank in the spring for the second consecutive quarter, meeting the criteria for a recession as record-high inflation and higher interest rates forced consumers and businesses to pull back on spending. Democrats are using a process called budget reconciliation to advance the legislation, which allows them to get around the Senate filibuster with just 50 votes. As long as all Democrats avoid catching COVID-19 and are present and able to vote for the bill, they likely have the votes to get the legislation across the finish line.  Fox News’ Haris Alic and Tyler Olson contributed to this report. 
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Pennsylvania Supreme Court upholds state’s mail-in voting law

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the state’s expansion of mail-in voting, in a case brought by Republican state representatives who voted for the legislation in 2019.  “We find no restriction in our Constitution on the General Assembly’s ability to create universal mail-in voting,” wrote Justice Christine Donohue in the majority opinion. The 5-2 ruling, with the two Republican justices both voting no, means expanded vote-by-mail will likely be in place for marquee races in November for governor and U.S. Senate. A lower court panel with a majority of Republican judges had thrown out the law in January, a ruling put on hold while the state Supreme Court reviewed an appeal by the administration of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. MSNBC SOUNDS ALARM ON HISPANICS FLEEING DEMOCRATIC PARTY: ‘WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?’ In the new decision, the justices agreed with Wolf’s argument that the lower court wrongly based its decision on court rulings that addressed older versions of the state constitution that had invalidated antiquated laws passed to expand absentee voting. The majority cited a provision of the Pennsylvania Constitution, “method of elections,” that says all elections shall be by ballot “or by such other method as may be prescribed by law.” Wolf’s lawyers had told the court the current version of the state constitution should not be interpreted to outlaw voting by mail that goes beyond allowing it for people who are out of town on business, ill, physically disabled or performing election day duties or a religious observance. They said the constitution establishes only minimums for absentee and mail-in ballots. “Today’s court ruling definitively asserts that mail-in voting is a legal and constitutional method for Pennsylvania voters,” Wolf said in a statement. “By upholding the law, which the General Assembly approved in 2019 in a bipartisan manner, this ruling assures that mail-in voting remains in place and Pennsylvanians will be able to cast their ballot legally in person or by mail without any disruption or confusion.” Fourteen Republican state lawmakers sued last month in another attempt to get the mail-in voting law thrown out. That lawsuit hinges on a provision that says the law becomes void when any of its requirements are struck down in court. The pending lawsuit says the “non-severability” provision was triggered by a May 20 decision by a panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals over the law’s requirement that mail-in ballots have a voter’s handwritten date on the outside envelope. The federal appeals court panel found that a handwritten date had no bearing on a voter’s eligibility in a Lehigh County judicial race last November. More than half of states now allow no-excuse absentee voting. Pennsylvania joined them in 2019, when Wolf agreed to a deal that also got rid of the straight-ticket voting by party option on ballots. But many Republicans soured on the law after Trump claimed mail-in voting was rife with fraud. The Associated Press contributed to this report. 
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Idaho’s near-total abortion ban challenged by Justice Department

The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit on Tuesday challenging Idaho’s near-total ban on abortion, arguing that it would criminalize doctors for performing abortions during medical emergencies.  Idaho’s law is set to take effect on Aug. 25 after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, returning the issue of abortion to the states.  The law bans all abortions except for cases of incest or rape that are reported to law enforcement, or when a physician determines “in his good faith medical judgment and based on the facts known to the physician at the time, that the abortion was necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman.” Attorney General Merrick Garland argued Tuesday that Idaho’s law would violate the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, which requires doctors to provide stabilizing treatment.  FEDERAL JUDGE TEMPORARILY BLOCKS ARIZONA LAW RECOGNIZING ‘PERSONHOOD’ AT FERTILIZATION “When a hospital determines that an abortion is the medical treatment necessary to stabilize a patient’s emergency medical condition, it is required by federal law to provide that treatment,” Garland said at a news conference on Tuesday.  “Although the Idaho law provides an exception to prevent the death of a pregnant woman, it includes no exception for cases in which the abortion is necessary to prevent serious jeopardy to the woman’s health.” Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said that patients have the right to “stabilizing hospital emergency room care” regardless of state law.  “Women should not have to be near death to get care,” Becerra said in a statement. “The Department of Health and Human Services will continue its work with the Department of Justice to enforce federal law protecting access to health care, including abortions.” Becerra issued guidance to health care providers last month that states physicians “must” provide an abortion if it is the “stabilizing treatment necessary to resolve” an emergency medical condition.  Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit challenging that guidance, arguing the Biden administration is “flagrantly disregarding the legislative and democratic process” by mandating “that hospitals and emergency medicine physicians must perform abortions.”  Tuesday’s lawsuit challenging Idaho’s ban marks the first major legal challenge by Biden’s Justice Department. 
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Oklahoma public schools requiring students complete ‘biological sex affidavits’ to participate in sports

Oklahoma public schools are now requiring students from kindergarten through college to complete a sex affidavit if they wish to participate in school sports.  An affidavit form distributed by Woodall Public Schools as part of its 2022-23 athletic policy began circulating on social media July 28 after Erin Matson, executive director at Reproaction, a reproductive justice group, shared the form on her Twitter page.  “Do you understand what is happening?” Matson tweeted.”This has nothing to do with encouraging girls to be athletes. This is totalitarianism. It is the white nationalist agenda. The anti-LGBTQ agenda. The anti-abortion agenda. It is all the same agenda.” “Woodall Public Schools is following a new Oklahoma law, and the affidavit is required by the state statute,” Woodall Schools Superintendent Ginger Knight told Fox News Digital via email. The form requires the affiant sign the form as well as a notary.  CALIFORNIA SCHOOL DISTRICT PAYING $20K FOR ‘WOKE KINDERGARTEN’ CONSULTING Fox News Digital reached out to the Oklahoma State Department of Education but did not immediately hear back.  The affidavit comes as a part of the state’s Save Women’s Sports Act, signed in March by Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt. The law requires that youth sports teams base eligibility on “biological sex” rather than gender identity. The text of the law specifies that sports designated for “females, women or girls” shall not be open to male students. The act requires public school students complete the affidavit prior to the start of the school year, “acknowledging the biological sex of the student at birth.” Students 18 years or younger must have a parent or guardian complete the form, while those older than 18 can complete the form themselves.  OKLAHOMA SCHOOL DISTRICTS DISCIPLINED AFTER ALLEGEDLY VIOLATING CRITICAL RACE THEORY BAN If there is any change in the status of the student’s biological sex, the affiant is required to notify the school within 30 days of the change.  The law came under fire from several civil rights critics, including the ACLU. “Promoting baseless fears about trans athletes does nothing to address those real problems,” Tamya Cox-Touré, ACLU of Oklahoma executive director, said in a statement. “Ultimately, SB2 violates the United States Constitution and federal civil rights law, puts Oklahoma at risk of losing federal funding and harms transgender youth, all to solve a problem that does not exist.” The “Save Women’s Sports Act” passed amid a heated debate over allowing transgender girls to participate in women’s sports. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are among several governors who have also signed bills prohibiting transgender women from competing in female sports. 
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Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, Senate candidate, said sanctuary cities make ‘everybody safer’

A 2016 clip of Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman claiming that sanctuary cities “make everybody safer” and that “immigrants commit crime at a far lower rate than native-born people” is receiving renewed attention as the U.S. Senate race heats up between him and Republican candidate Mehmet Oz. Speaking at West Chester University on Jan. 27, 2016, Fetterman said blocking migrants from entering the country was un-American. His comments came at a time of backlash over then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposal to order a “complete shutdown of Muslims” entering the U.S. until it can get a grip on terrorism. “Of course, there could be a bad apple coming in from anywhere, but you’re telling me that a little 5-year-old orphan from Syria, you know, should get frozen out? It’s just un-American,” Fetterman said at the event during his failed 2016 Senate bid to unseat Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. SANCTUARY CITIES MAKE ARRESTING CRIMINAL ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS HARDER, PUT OFFICERS AT RISK: DHS WATCHDOG “We need a comprehensive approach, and we need to stop kicking that can down the road and realize that the overwhelming majority, and this is a statistical fact, immigrants commit crime at a far lower rate than native-born people,” Fetterman continued.  “Sanctuary cities is another policy that I very much support,” he added. “Sanctuary cities, again statistically, make everybody safer. It makes everybody better. But the other side wants to demonize that, because there’s a dark side of populism, and that’s what the other side seems to have tapped into – that if you’re the wrong color, and you’re the wrong religion, and you came from the wrong country that you’re automatically a suspect.” JOHN FETTERMAN ONCE SIGNED PLEDGE TO BAN FRACKING, WHICH SUPPORTS TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PA JOBS Oz, a doctor and former talk show host, seized on Fetterman’s support for sanctuary cities, or cities that limit their cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in his first TV ad of the general election released Thursday. “Sanctuary cities, weak prosecutors, crime skyrocketing, failed liberal policies are making us less safe,” a narrator says in the ad. The Oz campaign has also published a letter signed by 13 Republican county sheriffs calling on Fetterman to clarify several policy positions on topics like decriminalizing drugs and reducing prison populations. “It’s time John Fetterman starts answering publicly for his crazy views on things like support for dangerous sanctuary city policies, decriminalizing all drugs, energy-crushing policies like the Green New Deal and trillions more in wasteful spending,” Oz told Fox News Digital on Saturday. In a statement to Fox News Digital on Tuesday, Fetterman campaign spokesperson Joe Calvello said Fetterman “supports comprehensive, common-sense immigration reform that will strengthen and secure our borders and create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.” Billy Penn, an NPR-affiliated news site, previously rated Fetterman’s 2016 comments about sanctuary cities being safer “impossible” to fact check.  “Even if a widely agreed upon definition and corresponding figure existed, there appears to be no research that definitively measures this,” the report said.  Since Fetterman’s comments, the Cato Institute released a study in 2021 that concluded that in Texas in 2019, illegal immigrants were 37.1 percent less likely to be convicted of a crime than native‐​born Americans and legal immigrants were about 57.2 percent less likely to be convicted of a crime than native‐​born Americans. In 2020, a study from the University of Wisconsin–Madison found “considerably lower felony arrest rates among undocumented immigrants compared to legal immigrants and native-born US citizens.”
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