• Politics, Education and Brewing

    VOA Connect Episode 109 – Any marriage can have its challenges – meet one couple that manages to overcome deep political differences to celebrate what they have in common.  And find out how a bike shop is handling competition from online retailers (hint: it involves beer).

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  • Love and Ballots

    California couple John and Laura Hunter disagree on some things – including how President Trump is carrying out his job. But they have found common ground in helping migrants make the treacherous journey to America. They talk to us about some of the factors shaping their radically different political opinions.

    Reporter/Camera: Genia Dulot 

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  • Bikes and Beer

    A family-owned bike shop tells us about the different ways they get customers into their store and onto their bikes.  We look at their selection of bikes and some of the ways they give back to their community.  Oh and did we mention they also make and sell their own beer?

    Camera/Producer: Lisa Vohra

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  • ДБР повідомило про підозру ексчиновнику «Нафтогазу» у зловживанні на 284 мільйони гривень

    Державне бюро розслідувань повідомило про відозру колишньому директору одного з департаментів «НАК «Нафтогаз України» у зловживанні владою, що завдало державі 284 млн грн збитків . Імені підозрюваного у відомтві не називають.

    «Слідством встановлено, що у 2013 році керівництво ПАТ «НАК «Нафтогаз України» уклало з товариством договір на послуги з проведення сейсморозвідувальних досліджень вартістю 407 мільйонів гривень. Знаючи, що товариство не зможе виконати частину досліджень, підозрюваний склав та передав на підпис керівництву перелік робіт, а згодом погодив акти їх виконання. Ці дії стали підставою для часткової оплати послуг згідно з договором, що завдало державі 284 мільйони гривень збитків», – зазначається у повідомленні на сайті ДБР.

    Як зазначається, підозрюваному загрожує покарання у вигляді позбавлення волі від 3 до 6 років з позбавленням права обіймати певні посади чи займатися певною діяльністю до 3 років, зі штрафом від 500 до 1000 неоподатковуваних мінімумів доходів громадян. Наразі суд вирішує питання, коли провести засідання щодо обрання йому запобіжного заходу.

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  • У МЗС відреагували на заяву про «12 кроків» у Мюнхені

    Ця неофіційна заява вже зникла із сайту Мюнхенської конференції

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  • За добу українські позиції на Донбасі обстріляли 6 разів – штаб ООС

    Штаб Операції об’єднаних сил повідомив у вечірньому зведенні за 14 лютого про 6 обстрілів позицій українських військових на Донбасі поблизу населених пунктів Лебединське, Березове, Новомихайлівка, Славне та Новолуганське на Донеччині, а також Новотошківське на Луганщині.

    За цими даними, втрат серед українських військовослужбовців немає.

    Угруповання «ДНР» заявило про обстріл поблизу Горлівки, а представники угруповання «ЛНР» повідомляє про відсутність вогневої активності протягом доби.

    Збройний конфлікт на Донбасі триває від 2014 року після російської окупації Криму. Україна і Захід звинувачують Росію у збройній підтримці бойовиків. Кремль відкидає ці звинувачення і заявляє, що на Донбасі можуть перебувати хіба що російські «добровольці».

    За даними ООН, від березня 2014-го до 31 жовтня 2019 року внаслідок збройного конфлікту на Донбасі загинули 13 000 – 13 200 людей.

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  • North Dakota, Tribes Reach Settlement Over Voter ID Lawsuit

    North Dakota reached a proposed settlement agreement Thursday with American Indians who sued over the state’s voter ID laws, arguing they are a form of voter suppression.
    The proposed federal consent decree announced jointly by tribal lawyers and the state follows U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland’s ruling Monday that the Spirit Lake Nation and the Standing Rock Sioux, as well as six individual Native American plaintiffs, may challenge the state’s requirement that voters have ID with a verified street address.
    The Spirit Lake and Standing Rock tribal councils still must approve the settlement agreement, which would halt a federal trial scheduled for May on the issue.
    North Dakota doesn’t have voter registration, but the state has required voters to provide ID since 2004. The state accepts a driver’s license as identification or ID cards issued by the state, long-term care facilities or North Dakota’s American Indian tribes. The law required that all must have a birth date and valid street address.
    State officials argued that not requiring street addresses could lead to voter fraud and people voting in the wrong district. American Indians argue that such addresses are not always evident on reservations, that many tribal members don’t know their address, don’t have a provable one because they’re homeless or stay with friends or relatives, or can’t afford to get an updated ID with a street address.
    The proposed deal puts the burden on the state to assign or verify street addresses for Native American voters, ensuring they will still be able to cast a ballot, said Tim Purdon, a lawyer for the tribes.
    State and county officials, in coordination with tribal governments, will then use those maps to assign or verify the voter’s residential street address and will provide that address to the voter, Purdon said.
    “These concessions by the state are vindication of the claims brought by the tribes,” Purdon said. “We are pleased this will make it easier for Native Americans to vote across the state.”
    Secretary of State Al Jaeger, the state’s top election official, said he was “very pleased” with the development and that the state is “looking forward to the conclusion of this process.”
    Purdon said the proposed consent decree announced Thursday came after days of negotiations with the state. It also follows an announcement last week by Jaeger, who said Gov. Doug Burgum had granted him emergency rulemaking authority to give tribes the ability to quickly verify “set-aside” ballots, which are not counted until the voter proves his or her eligibility.
    The revised system would allow tribes to quickly verify voters, rather than the previous system in which voters had up to six days to return with proof of their identity, possibly discouraging some voters from following through.
    The order also allows the state to incorporate information from tribal IDs into new electronic poll books.

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  • Wanted: Texas Republicans Need New Voters in 2020, and Fast

    It’s normal to target new voters ahead of Super Tuesday. Think volunteers holding clipboards at street festivals, malls or outside grocery stores. Democrats in Texas have made it a perennial focus, hoping they can end decades of losses by rousing more voters to the polls.
    Republicans here, meanwhile, never really needed to bother,  but now that’s changing as worries deepen about their grip on the state in 2020.
    With their base not expanding and their margins of victory getting thinner, Texas Republicans have begun spending big on finding more conservatives to vote. And they’ve taken a different approach to it ahead of the Texas primaries on March 3.
    Hired canvassers to stand outside driver’s license offices, pushing a petition on gun rights by asking, “Do you have a moment to support the Second Amendment?” People who stop are nudged to identify themselves as liberal or conservative. Finally, things cut to the chase: they’re offered the chance to sign up to vote.
    But if a reporter arrives, they scram, abruptly sweeping voter registration forms into boxes, taking down signs, and heading for their cars.
    “We’re instructed to break down whenever press is here,” says a man with Engage Texas, the political super PAC coordinating the effort, declining to explain why or provide his name.
    The effort is another sign of the intense partisan struggle underway in a state that’s been the GOP’s largest and most important asset but also is key to Democrats’ hopes for future electoral dominance.
    Despite the canvassers’ nothing-to-see-here retreat, many conservatives acknowledge that the ground seems to be shifting after a generation of lopsided victories on Election Day. Party activists are looking beyond just motivating registered voters who sometimes don’t get to the polls. They’re spending big, putting up more than $12 million so far, searching for those who aren’t on the rolls at all.
    The GOP’s electoral base, mostly aging and white, has delivered around 4.5 million votes in every presidential year since 2004, but that number has scarcely budged even as Texas’ population has boomed. In 2018, Democrats surpassed 4 million votes for the first time, and Republican Sen. Ted Cruz survived reelection by a mere 215,000 votes.
    The sprawling metropolitan suburbs that have started turning purple have put Democrats in reach of flipping a handful of congressional districts and given them an outside chance at winning a majority in the Texas House. The GOP holds a 23-13 edge in the congressional delegation and are fighting to retain half a dozen districts it narrowly hung onto last cycle.
    Sending out clipboard holders, equipped with a line of questions that screens for likely Republicans, shows a willingness to take up even the unglamorous grind of signing up new voters.
    “We’re buying an insurance policy,” said Steve Munisteri, a former White House adviser under President Donald Trump who now leads a separate campaign to turn up new Republican voters in Texas. “I feel like we can go anywhere from losing by a smidgen to winning by a comfortable margin.”
    Democrats, who accuse Republicans of waging a decade-long campaign of voter suppression ranging from ID laws to shutting down polling locations, say the irony isn’t lost on them.
    “If I’m a Republican and my path ahead in Texas is in registering a lot of voters, I’ve run out of other options,” said Cliff Walker, deputy executive director of the Texas Democratic Party.
    Walker would not say how much Democrats are spending, but the party says it will have 1,000 people on the ground this cycle to sign up new voters.
    Texas enters Super Tuesday having surpassed 16 million voters for the first time, and voter registration in recent years has outpaced population growth. A core belief among many Democrats is that higher turnout generally favors their side,  but already in 2020, lower-than-expected attendance in the Iowa caucuses and a defeat in a Texas legislative special election are raising warning flags about enthusiasm.
    Trump may have a cushion here in the presidential race after winning Texas by nine points in 2016, but there is still no other outfit in the country that compares to Engage Texas. It has raised nearly $12 million exclusively from major GOP donors and groups. Among them are Dallas-based Energy Transfer, whose CEO is billionaire Kelcy Warren, and Dallas oil tycoon Ray Hunt. Although it is not the first political action committee singularly dedicated to registering new voters, there appear to be few parallels on this scale.
    Leaders of Engage Texas said unfair press coverage toward Republicans is why their employees packed up and left at two driver’s license offices after being approached by an Associated Press reporter.
    “Republican-build efforts don’t always get a fair shake. They’re going to be a bit skeptical,” said Chris Young, the executive director of Engage Texas.
    Young, who was the field director for the Republican National Committee in 2016, would not provide data on how many voters his group has registered or his targets. But he said “hundreds” of paid staff were working largely around Texas’ big cities and booming suburbs.

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  • Жириновский и Кива в Тиндере/ Эрдоган поджёг вату / Майдан в России

    Жириновский и Кива в Тиндере/ Эрдоган поджёг вату / Майдан в России

    Ватные ж… должны гореть ярко! Борьба с российской пропагандой – это наше с вами общее дело❤

    Для поширення вашого відео чи повідомлення в Мережі Правди пишіть сюди,
    або на email: pravdaua@email.cz
    Найкращі пропозиції товарів і послуг в Мережі Купуй!

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  • В Кремле не вняли предупреждениям

    В Кремле не вняли предупреждениям

    Для распространения вашего видео или сообщения в Сети Правды пишите на email: pravdaua@email.cz
    Лучшие предложения товаров и услуг в Сети SeLLines

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  • Газпром готовится к взысканию долгов с россиян

    Газпром готовится к взысканию долгов с россиян

    Для распространения вашего видео или сообщения в Сети Правды пишите на email: pravdaua@email.cz
    Лучшие предложения товаров и услуг в Сети SeLLines

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  • Trump to Transfer $3.8B From Military to Fund Border Wall

    The Trump administration is transferring $3.8 billion in recently passed military funding to finance construction of the president’s long-sought U.S.-Mexico border wall, angering not just Democrats but also GOP defense hawks.

    Thursday’s move by the Pentagon would transfer money from National Guard units, aircraft procurement and shipbuilding to anti-drug accounts that can finance construction of new wall.

    The maneuver, announced in “reprogramming” documents provided to lawmakers, came in for harsh criticism by Rep. Mack Thornberry of Texas, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee. Democrats slammed the transfers as well, but Trump faced no consequences when making similar transfers last year.

    “Congress has the constitutional authority to determine how defense dollars are spent,” Thornberry said in a statement. “The re-programming today is contrary to Congress’s constitutional authority.”

    Trump’s action comes less than two months after he signed a huge appropriations package into law. He alienated lawmakers on both sides last year when diverting funding intended for popular projects on military bases.

    This time, the Pentagon is targeting $1.3 billion for National Guard equipment and excess procurement of aircraft like the F-35 and V-22 Ospreys, favored by many lawmakers for the jobs they bring to their districts and states. He’s also eliminating funding for an amphibious assault ship built in Mississippi and an Expeditionary Fast Transport ship that’s built in Alabama, represented by Sen. Richard Shelby, the Republican chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

    Trump’s fiscal 2021 budget, released only Monday, contains a $2 billion request for the wall, less than Trump asked for last year, which reflected the fact that Trump has more money for the wall than can be spent immediately.

    “Today (Trump) stole from our National Guard to pay for his wasteful wall,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

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  • China Still Not Sharing Coronavirus Information, Experts Say

    Six weeks after announcing the appearance of a new, highly contagious and sometimes lethal virus, experts say China is still not sharing important data that could help contain the epidemic.

    “As countries are trying to develop their own control strategies, they are looking for evidence of whether the situation in China is getting worse or better,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

    But that evidence is not forthcoming.

    “We still don’t have very basic information,” said former U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief Tom Friedman, who currently heads public health nonprofit Resolve to Save Lives.

    As a team from the World Health Organization arrives in China to help respond to the COVID-19 outbreak spreading out of the central city of Wuhan, “we hope that information will be coming out,” Frieden said.

    “The next few days will be key,” he added.

    FILE – Medical workers in protective suits work inside an isolated section at a community health service center, in Qingshan district of Wuhan, Hubei province, China, Feb. 8, 2020.

    Beijing has not accepted the CDC’s offer to send top experts.

    Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s health emergencies program, did not specify nationalities of the team members at a press conference Thursday. “But I can assure you the team is top-class scientists from all over the world and all of the relevant countries who can contribute to an endeavor such as this,” he said.

    “We are a little disappointed that we haven’t been invited in and we’re a little disappointed in the lack of transparency coming from the Chinese,” Larry Kudlow, the director of President Donald Trump’s Economic Council, told reporters Thursday.

    Behind the curve

    China is releasing a daily count of newly identified cases, but not the date when those patients became ill. That’s important because without the date of symptom onset, epidemiologists can’t tell if an epidemic is growing or waning. The daily case count indicates when testing labs are processing samples without revealing much about the course of the outbreak, experts note.

    When Chinese officials changed how they diagnose the disease on Thursday, it was impossible to tell if the 13,000 new cases Beijing reported actually represent a jump in infections because Beijing hasn’t reported dates of onset. WHO’s Ryan said some of those cases go back to the beginning of the epidemic. But WHO doesn’t know which ones.

    A woman wearing a face mask and gloves buys canned foods beside empty shelves, at a supermarket in Hong Kong, Feb. 13, 2020.

    China is not routinely releasing data on patients’ ages and who gets the most severe disease. It’s not clear how many people who were tested came back positive. It’s not known how many people who are infected don’t get tested.

    “We know some are missed, there’s no question about that,” said Frieden from Resolve to Save Lives.

    “But is it 10 times as many? Five times as many?” he asked. “We just don’t know.”

    Glaring omission

    Health care workers are at extremely high risk of infection in any outbreak. WHO usually lists infections among this important group in its situation reports. But Beijing has reported very little about how health care workers are faring.

    Researchers in Wuhan have published one study that said 40 out of 138 hospitalized patients were health care workers who contracted the illness in the hospital.

    “That was really the first public indication that health care worker infections had, in fact, occurred,” Nuzzo from Johns Hopkins said. “That, I think, is a really glaring omission.”

    Frieden partly blamed the lack of data reporting on a “fog-of-war experience in an overwhelming outbreak.” The volume of patients has vastly exceeded the capacity of the health care system.

    But the lingering question, he added, “is whether they’re holding back some information.”

    Better than SARS

    Early in the outbreak, Chinese authorities pressured doctors who spoke publicly about the new disease.

    Beijing drew global condemnation for withholding information during the 2002-2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome.

    A health official wearing a protection suit and a face mask waits for passengers at a cruise ship terminal in Port Klang, Malaysia, Feb. 13, 2020.

    This time, officials have praised Beijing for reporting the COVID-19 outbreak much more quickly and for rapidly releasing the virus’s genetic code.

    Chinese scientists have published a series of “elegant” studies in top medical journals outlining some important details of the disease, Nuzzo noted.

    “I don’t want to paint a picture of a country that’s absolutely refusing to turn over data because they’re clearly cranking out papers,” she said.

    But critical information is still lacking, and in a serious outbreak of a new disease, she added, data should be shared as widely as possible as soon as possible.

    “The basic concept is tell people what you know when you know it,” Frieden added. “And if you don’t know something, indicate how are you going to find that information out.”

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  • Billionaire Bloomberg Campaign Aims to Unify Splintered Democrats

    Splintered results in early Democratic Party presidential nominating contests are providing an opening for former New York mayor and billionaire Mike Bloomberg’s unconventional media-driven campaign strategy.

    Matthew Dallek, a professor of politics at George Washington University, said Bloomberg made a “risky bet” that the Democratic field would be “so scrambled” and moderate candidates “sufficiently weak” that he could bypass the early nomination contests and still win.

    Bloomberg declared his candidacy for president relatively late in November and missed the filing deadline for state elections this month. But he has been blanketing America’s airwaves with slick political advertisements.


    Flawed field

    The results from the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire’s primary have raised concerns among some Democrats that no one strong enough to defeat President Donald Trump will emerge from the current field of candidates.

    “The other ones will go self-defeat themselves. It’s awful and Trump just will pick up the pieces if we don’t get Mike in there,” said Craig Hedley, a Bloomberg supporter in Virginia.

    Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ victories in two very close elections, winning over former mayor Pete Buttigieg in New Hampshire by one percent and virtually tying Buttigieg for first place in Iowa, have alarmed moderates who view Sanders’ agenda to make college education and health care free as polarizing and extreme. Sanders is a self-described democratic socialist.

    “I don’t think he [Sanders] can build a coalition and I don’t think he can beat Trump,” said Deborah Hedley, who is also a Bloomberg supporter in Virginia.

    The other well-known progressive presidential contender, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, has had weak showings so far, after finishing third place in Iowa and fourth in New Hampshire.   

    Among the moderate contenders, Buttigieg, the former South Bend, Indiana mayor, and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar have gained political momentum. But polls show neither has significant backing from minority voters, key Democratic constituencies, creating doubts that either has a viable path to the party’s nomination.

    Surprising to many is that former Vice President Joe Biden, who was the early national front-runner in the race, stumbled badly in the first two contests.  

    People listen as Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg speaks at a campaign event in Raleigh, N.C., Feb. 13, 2020.

    Unifying force

    Despite not being on the ballot in Iowa or New Hampshire, Bloomberg rose to third place in two national polls this week, coming in behind only Sanders and Biden.

    A recent convert to the Democratic Party in 2018, Bloomberg first ran for mayor as a Republican, before changing to Independent. He is now billing himself as a unifying force who can appeal to disaffected Republicans and independents in key battleground states that swung to Trump in 2016 and which Democrats hope to recapture in November. 

    “I’m running to bring our country back together and start putting the United back in the United States of America,” Bloomberg said during a recent campaign speech in Michigan.

    Bloomberg, who is the 12th richest man in the world, has strong pro-business credentials as head of the multi-billion dollar Bloomberg media company. And he has gained national recognition for his tenure as mayor of New York, the largest city in the country.   

    Bloomberg has earned “credibility” with party leaders, said Dallek, by using his vast fortune to help Democrats win control of the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections. He also won recognition as a philanthropist and an issues advocate, funding organizations that fight climate change and gun violence.

    D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Breakfast in Washington, Jan. 21, 2019.

    Bloomberg’s activism has helped earned him endorsements from a cross section of party leaders that include Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser.

    “I’m supporting Mike Bloomberg,” said Bowser. “He has spent many, many years and many millions of dollars standing up to the NRA (National Rifle Association) to make cities and towns across America safer.”

    Also endorsing Bloomberg this week was Florida congressman Ted Deutch, who represents the Parkland area where in 2018 a gunman killed 17 people, including many students, with a semi-automatic rifle at a local high school.

    Calandrian Simpson Kemp, an African American from Texas, who lost her son to gun violence, made an emotional appeal on Bloomberg’s behalf in a television ad that played during the Super Bowl, and she is now traveling with the campaign as a surrogate spokesperson.

    “He cares,” she told a crowd in Richmond, Virginia. “As a mother I would not throw my all and my everything behind somebody who is just talking.”

    Bloomberg’s first real test will come on Super Tuesday on March 3, when he will be on the ballot in 14 states with large, diverse electorates that include California, Texas and Virginia.

    People attend news conference against NYPD’s “stop-and-frisk” policies outside the Federal Court, New York, Nov. 1, 2013.

    Stop and Frisk

    But Bloomberg has been criticized for Stop and Frisk law enforcement policies while mayor that disproportionately targeted African American and Latino men with aggressive search and detainment tactics.  

    In November of last year, Bloomberg tried to put the matter behind him by apologizing for the police policy.

    “I now see that we could and should have acted sooner and acted faster to cut the stops. I wish we had, I’m sorry that we didn’t,” he said.

    However, Bloomberg was forced to address the controversy again this week after a 2015 recording surfaced in which the then-mayor defended the practice of targeting young African American and Latino men, saying they fit the profile for “95% of your murders” in New York.

    Bloomberg said in a statement this week that he “inherited the police practice of stop-and-frisk” and that he cut it back by 95% during his time in office. He also reiterated his earlier apology and said, “I have taken responsibility for taking too long to understand the impact it had on black and Latino communities.”

    Buying election

    Bloomberg is also self-funding his extensive national campaign. He has spent over $200 million of his own money and is reportedly planning to double that amount on television advertising and expanding his national campaign staff in the coming weeks.  

    His supporters commend Bloomberg for using his wealth to fund his campaign, arguing that the billionaire’s resources will be needed to compete against Trump. Republicans have collected over $200 million so far for the president’s reelection campaign.

    But Sanders, Warren and others have criticized Bloomberg, accusing him of attempting to buy the election.

    “How do we feel, about living in a so-called democracy when a billionaire, multi-billionaire, 55 billion, can spend unlimited sums of money?” asked Sanders.

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  • US Senate Votes to Curb Trump’s Iran War Powers

    A handful of Republican senators joined their Democratic colleagues Thursday to pass a resolution calling on President Donald Trump to “terminate the use of U.S. Armed Forces for hostilities against Iran” unless those actions are authorized by Congress.

    The U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan war powers resolution by a vote of 55-45.  

    Trump is expected to veto the measure, arguing it would be dangerous to limit his war-making power.  

    “It is very important for our Country’s SECURITY that the United States Senate not vote for the Iran War Powers Resolution,” Trump said on Twitter Wednesday. “We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness.”

    It is very important for our Country’s SECURITY that the United States Senate not vote for the Iran War Powers Resolution. We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness. Americans overwhelmingly support our attack on terrorist Soleimani….

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2020

    Trump said he had overwhelming American public support for the airstrike last month that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.  

    “If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day,” he said. “Sends a very bad signal. The Democrats are only doing this as an attempt to embarrass the Republican Party. Don’t let it happen!” 

    ….If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day. Sends a very bad signal. The Democrats are only doing this as an attempt to embarrass the Republican Party. Don’t let it happen!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2020

    But Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, the resolution’s co-sponsor, argued it was time to reassert the U.S. Congress’ constitutional authority to declare war as tensions between the U.S. and Iran increased following the death of Soleimani.

    “War is the most solemn responsibility we have,” Kaine said of the Senate Thursday. “We have a special obligation to make sure that we deliberate and deliberate carefully before we send troops into harm’s way. The president of the United States — this president and every president — always needs the ability to defend the United States against imminent attack without asking for anybody’s permission. I think the world knows we will do that. This body, though, is the body that needs to decide if we go on offense and engage in military action.” 

    Republican support for the measure comes a little over a week after members of the president’s own party voted to acquit him of charges in the Senate impeachment trial. 

    But in floor remarks Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer addressed criticism of the resolution, saying it was not an attempt to embarrass Trump.

    “Well, then why are a good number of Republicans supporting it?” Schumer said. “This resolution is going to pass with a bipartisan majority of Senators in support — a rarity these days. If this is purely an attempt to embarrass the president, well, it’s going to be a bipartisan one.”

    But supporters of the resolution were unable to muster a two-thirds vote that would override an expected presidential veto.  

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Feb. 13, 2020.

    Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, asked in opposition to the measure Wednesday, “What message will the Senate send to American service members? Should they doubt whether their own leaders are authorized to defend them?”

    He said, “What message should we send to our regional allies and partners? Can they count on continued solidarity from the United States? What would it say to a real great-power, competitors like Russia and China, if we cannot even remain united in the face of a lesser challenger such as Iran? Let’s send the right message with our votes. Let’s defeat this misguided resolution.”   

    Another Republican lawmaker, Senator John Thune, said Trump’s killing of Soleimani was justified, calling the war powers resolution “an ill-advised and potentially problematic response to the president’s action.”

    The killing of Soleimani heightened tensions between the United States and Iran last month, reviving a long-running debate over the role Congress should play in overseeing the president’s ability to manage foreign military operations.

    In the nearly two decades since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, U.S. lawmakers have revisited the issue of congressional approval for conflicts with little success. 

    But those efforts gained renewed energy following a Jan. 8 intelligence briefing that congressional Democrats and two Republican senators said did not sufficiently inform Congress of the administration’s strategy in the Middle East.

    FILE – Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul, both Republicans, walk to a vote on Capitol Hill, in Washington, June 27, 2019.

    Republican Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee said the briefing on Trump’s engagement with Iran following the drone attack on Soleimani was among the worst they had been given during their time in the U.S. Senate.

    Kaine won their support for the resolution along with votes from Republicans Susan Collins, Todd Young and Jerry Moran to attain the majority needed to pass the legislation.

    Senate action on the war powers resolution follows a number of votes in the House of Representatives aimed at addressing rising tensions with Iran.

    In January, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledged Soleimani was a terrible person, while stressing the importance of congressional debate over war powers.

    The House voted nearly along party lines on January 9, passing a non-binding resolution similar to Kaine’s legislation by a 224-194 vote.

    Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., does a television interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 18, 2019.

    Representative Elissa Slotkin, a Democrat who co-sponsored the legislation, said in a House floor speech, “If our loved ones are going to be sent to fight in any protracted war, the president owes the American public a conversation. The resolution we will be voting on today allows us to start that debate as our founders intended.”

    Later in the month, a pair of bills limiting Trump’s military authority passed the House with some Republican support. The first bill limits funding for overseas military action if the president has not sought congressional approval for his or her actions.

    The second bill repealed the 2002 Authorization of Military Force (AUMF) resolution that has been broadly used by presidents of both parties to justify U.S. military actions overseas. Trump, in part, used the 2002 AUMF to justify his strike against Soleimani, also citing an imminent threat to U.S. personnel overseas.   

    The White House said Trump would veto both of the House-passed measures if they also are approved by the Republican-majority Senate.

    The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the sole responsibility to formally declare war. But American presidents have had wide latitude to unilaterally order military action in response to imminent threats and sudden crises.


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