Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Eight Republican senators voted against a bipartisan emergency coronavirus appropriations bill on Wednesday. But six of those same senators had previously voted for Donald Trump’s border emergency declaration.

The 90-to-8 vote sent the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to Donald Trump. The bill will provide temporary paid sick leave for some workers, free coronavirus testing, and expanded Medicaid, food assistance and unemployment. Trump signed it Wednesday night.

Republican Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, James Inhofe and James Lankford of Oklahoma, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Tim Scott of South Carolina each voted no.

But last March and September, all six voted to support Trump’s declaration of a “border emergency.”

“The current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency,” Trump declared last February. To address this, he announced he would siphon billions of dollars appropriated for defense to pay for a wall along the southern border.

Majorities in the House and Senate voted to reject this declaration, but all six voted to preserve it, effectively endorsing his move.

The senators did not immediately respond to inquiries about their votes.

Last week, Trump finally issued an emergency declaration over the coronavirus pandemic.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Photo by archer10 (Dennis) / CC BY-SA 2.0

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

For months, one postal worker had been doing all she could to protect herself from COVID-19. She wore a mask long before it was required at her plant in St. Paul, Minnesota. She avoided the lunch room, where she saw little social distancing, and ate in her car.

The stakes felt especially high. Her husband, a postal worker in the same facility, was at high risk because his immune system is compromised by a condition unrelated to the coronavirus. And the 20-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service knew that her job, operating a machine that sorts mail by ZIP code, would be vital to processing the flood of mail-in ballots expected this fall.

Keep reading... Show less