The DC: Trump says painting ‘Black Lives Matter’ on 5th Ave would be ‘symbol of hate,' and... 📜 Should the Senate abolish the legislative filibuster?
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Welcome to Thursday, July 2nd, honeys and vinegars...
President Donald Trump attacked New York City's plan to paint "Black Lives Matter" on Fifth Avenue, condemning it in a tweet as a "symbol of hate."
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered the phrase painted on the street in front of Trump Tower to send a message:
"It's an important message to the whole nation, and obviously we want the president to hear it because he's never shown respect for those three words...We have to make it come alive today so we're going to make it really clear to the president, it's going to be right outside his doorstep."
On the Radar
Dems Weigh Ending Filibuster if They Win the Majority
Democrats are considering making a drastic change to how legislative business is conducted in the Senate if they win enough seats to secure a majority in this fall’s elections by invoking the “nuclear option” to eliminate the legislative filibuster.
The legislative filibuster, known as a cloture motion, requires three-fifths of the Senate (typically 60 votes) to vote in favor of limiting further debate on a bill to 30 hours before a passage vote can occur.
The cloture motion was developed to limit senators’ ability to use a talking filibuster to delay Senate proceedings. The use of cloture motions has proliferated in recent decades: from 1917 to 1970, the Senate only voted on 49 clotures motions. From 2013-2018, there were 509 cloture votes.
The 60-vote threshold is significant because it’s relatively rare for one party to control 60 seats in the Senate, something which occurred most recently for Democrats during a brief period in 2009-2010. As a result, the cloture motion serves as a key obstacle for the Senate to clear controversial legislation. In the current Congress, Democrats have used cloture votes to block debate on police reform, coronavirus relief, and abortion bills.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday warned Democrats against ending the legislative filibuster if they win the majority, and reminded them that he has resisted calls from President Donald Trump to ditch the legislative filibuster.
For a politics-free guide to how to protect you and your loved ones from corona, click on over to our Coronavirus Info Center.
Under the Radar
Countering Chinese Aggression
The Senate is considering the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021 this week, which includes several provisions aimed at countering the increasing military belligerence of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The NDAA, which passed the Senate Armed Services Committee on a bipartisan 25-2 vote, could pass the Senate before the end of the week.
Since early May 2020, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has engaged in a series of skirmishes against the Indian military in Ladakh―a disputed part of the Kashmir region in the Himalayas.
One of the most significant escalations occurred in late June, when hand-to-hand combat involving iron rods, clubs, and batons broke out between the opposing troops that reportedly led to the deaths of 20 Indian troops and 35 Chinese troops from the melee & subsequent hypothermia.
In Hong Kong, the PRC is implementing a new national security law that violates the "one country, two systems" principle it agreed to uphold through 2047, prompting sanctions by the Trump administration. And in Xinjiang, the PRC is imprisoning over a million Uyghurs in "re-education" camps aimed at eliminating the culture of the Muslim minorities, in addition to forcing Uyghur women to undergo abortions and sterilization.
Also Worth a Click
And, in the End…
Today marks the 56th anniversary of the enactment of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The act prohibited the segregation policies that relegated Black Americans to separate schools, restaurants, restrooms, and drinking fountains during the Jim Crow era.
Congress and LBJ went on to pass another Civil Rights Act in 1968, which created federal hate crime laws, banned discrimination in housing through provisions known as the Fair Housing Act, criminalized interstate travel with the intent to engage in riots, and ensured that civil rights protections extended to jurisdictions governed by American Indian tribes.
The bill’s enactment came against the backdrop of riots across the country following Martin Luther King Jr's assassination, which prompted LBJ to invoke the Insurrection Act and use the military to quell the unrest in D.C., Chicago, and Baltimore.
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