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Tag: ted budd

House Republicans Introduce National Abortion Ban

Sen. Marco Rubio is—so far—the only Republican senator up for reelection who has signed on to Sen. Lindsey Graham’s national abortion ban. But there’s a House version of the bill, too, and Rep. Ted Budd, currently running for Senate in North Carolina, is one of that bill’s 84 cosponsors.

Cheri Beasley, Budd’s Democratic opponent, responded quickly. “My opponent Congressman Ted Budd co-sponsored the Republican bill to ban abortion nationwide,” she tweeted, “I was taught that actions speak louder than words – and Budd has shown that he WILL lead the charge to take away our personal freedoms as Senator. Full stop.”

Abortion is currently legal in North Carolina up to 20 weeks, down from the 24 or so weeks to the point of viability, which was the standard under Roe v. Wade. Graham’s 15-week ban would be a second curtailment of rights in the state.

According to an August poll done for Carolina Forward by Public Policy Polling, 27 percent of respondents thought that 20 weeks was “about right,” while 28 percent wanted fewer restrictions and 37 percent wanted more. That’s 55 percent who prefer something less restrictive than a 15-week ban. Which, again, Rep. Ted Budd, the Republican nominee for Senate in the state, has co-sponsored.

Rubio and Budd are in a position to have quickly gone on the official record in support of a national abortion ban. But every other Republican Senate candidate should be facing questions about what they would do if elected.

In Arizona, Blake Masters already answered the question: “Of course” he would vote for Graham’s national abortion ban. Masters may have already tried to back away from his most extreme abortion positions, but a 15-week federal ban is still within his new faux-moderate persona. Which only goes to show how extreme he really is.

Georgia’s Herschel Walker also came out in support of the national abortion ban, saying, “I believe the issue should be decided at the state level, but I would support this policy.”

Would Don Bolduc, the brand-new far-right nominee in New Hampshire, vote for Graham’s bill if he was elected to the Senate? He’s previously said he wouldn’t “vote contrary to pro-life.”

Would Mehmet Oz, Pennsylvania’s Republican nominee, vote for a national abortion ban? A campaign spokeswoman dodged the question on his behalf, saying, on the one hand, “Dr. Oz is pro-life with three exceptions: life of the mother, rape and incest,” but on the other hand, “And as a senator, he’d want to make sure that the federal government is not involved in interfering with the states’ decisions on the topic.” That’s conspicuously not a no.

What about Nevada’s Adam Laxalt? His campaign hasn't commented. Ohio’s J.D. Vance also seems to have kept his mouth shut on this issue since Graham introduced his bill.

A spokeswoman for Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson gave the top Republican nonanswer, saying, “As the senator has said many times he believes this is a profound moral issue and agrees with the Dobbs decision to allow the democratic process to unfold in each state to determine at what point does society has a responsibility to protect life.” But Johnson is the guy who originally suggested he would support a bill codifying marriage equality, then flipped, so his spokeswoman’s carefully noncommittal implication that he wouldn’t support Graham’s bill is definitely not anything to rely on.

Every one of these people, if elected, might well get a vote on a national abortion ban—they definitely would if Republicans take control of the Senate. And their answers on whether they’d vote for it range from “of course” to dodging to silence. Meanwhile, according to one poll, Americans oppose a 15-week abortion ban by a 27-point margin, 57 percent to 30 percent.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

GOP Senate Candidate Backed Predatory Lenders Who Paid Him Well

North Carolina Republican Rep. Ted Budd opposed consumer protections against predatory lending, despite his own state prohibiting the practice.

North Carolina Republican Senate nominee Ted Budd has consistently sided with predatory lenders and the payday lending industry, even though payday lending is banned in his state. The industry has rewarded him with thousands of dollars in campaign contributions.

Budd, currently serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, is running against former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (D) this November for the open seat of retiring Republican Sen. Richard Burr. He calls himself a "liberal agenda crusher" who "will work for everyday families, not the elite or political insiders."

But Budd's record indicates otherwise. He has consistently supported lenders who prey on lower-income individuals using abusive repayment terms and exploitative tactics, practices that have been illegal in North Carolina for more than 20 years.

Many financial services companies offer payday or "cash advance" loans, short-term loans carrying a high interest rate based on anticipated income coming on the borrower's next payday.

North Carolina is among the states that have cracked down on these practices. According to its Justice Department, "North Carolina has some of the toughest laws against unfair loans in the nation and was the first state to adopt a comprehensive law against predatory home loans."

The state has prohibited payday loans since 2001. After state officials closed a loophole in 2006, payday lending shops stopped operating in the state entirely.

Republicans in Washington, D.C., have pushed to overrule those and other state regulations, at the behest of the lending industry. A rule enacted at the end of 2020 by then-President Donald Trump's administration allowed lenders to partner with banks from other states to avoid state restrictions.

The Democratic majorities in the House and Senate overturned the Trump administration rule in 2021. Budd and almost every other Republican voted to keep it in place.

In March 2018, Budd signed on as a co-sponsor of an effort to repeal a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule cracking down on payday, car title, and other high-cost loans.

In July 2020 and again in February 2021, Budd introduced a "Freedom from Regulations Act" that would have placed limitations on the actions of independent agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

His spokesperson told the right-wing Epoch Times after the initial bill was filed that the effort was "focused on some of the most far-reaching and economically impactful regulations that independent agencies have implemented, like the CFPB's 2017 payday lending rule, the FCC's 'net neutrality' rule, the NLRB's joint-employer rule."

As Budd repeatedly sided with payday lenders, payday lenders repeatedly filled his campaign coffers.

He received at least $2,500 from the Community Financial Services Association of America PAC, the political arm for the payday lending industry's trade association. A spokesperson for the group did not immediately respond to an inquiry about the donations.

Budd's June 2022 campaign finance report noted thousands of dollars in PAC contributions from payday lending companies.

Some of the industry donations he received came within days of a key vote.

On May 4, 2017, Budd voted to advance the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017 out of the House Financial Services Committee. The package, which was mostly aimed at rolling back the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, included a section determining that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau "may not exercise any rulemaking, enforcement or other authority with respect to payday loans, vehicle title loans or other similar loans."

"They're trying to sneak in that provision," Diane Standaert, then executive vice president at the Center for Responsible Lending, told the Los Angeles Times. "It seems like they hoped no one would notice."

Several financial company executives donated to Budd that month, including at least one payday lender.

On May 31, he received $1,000 from Scott Wisniewski, the CEO of Western Shamrock Corporation, which offers paycheck advance loans and has been called a "predatory lender" by the advocacy group Texans for Public Justice.

A spokesperson for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Democratic nominee Beasley, who supports her state's ban, told the American Independent Foundation in an emailed statement, "Payday lenders have a long record of taking advantage of hard-working Americans, and it's unacceptable that Washington politicians like Ted Budd chose to take their campaign contributions instead of holding them accountable. In the Senate, I will always stand up to corporate special interests to protect North Carolinians from predatory lenders."

Budd has a history of siding with his donors over his North Carolina constituents.

He accepted contributions from pharmaceutical interests within days of voting against a bill to lower prescription drug prices in 2019 and took cash from the oil and gas sector a day before voting not to prohibit price gouging by the industry.

Budd's spokespeople did not respond to an inquiry for this story.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

Republicans Fighting To Keep Confederate Statuary In Capitol

Reprinted with permission from American independent

A bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to remove monuments to prominent racists and Confederate traitors from display in the U.S. Capitol. But a group of 12 House Republicans wants to give a state's congressional delegation the authority to veto the removal of its home state's statues.

Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) filed a bill on Tuesday to "prohibit the removal of a statue provided by a State for display in National Statuary Hall unless two-thirds of the members of the State's congressional delegation approve the removal."

Republican Reps. Brian Babin (TX), Mo Brooks (AL), Ted Budd (NC), Rick Crawford (AR), Jeff Duncan (SC), Matt Gaetz (FL), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA), Kevin Hern (OK), Doug LaMalfa (CA), Thomas Massie (KY), and Steve Womack (AR) are original co-sponsors.

Under current rules, each state may select two statues of its own notable historical figures to be displayed in the National Statuary Hall Collection. The 100 statues are displayed in National Statuary Hall and other locations throughout the Capitol building.

Current honorees include Thomas Edison, Dwight Eisenhower, Helen Keller, Ronald Reagan, Will Rogers, Sakakawea (also known as Sacagawea), and George Washington. But they also include several former Confederate leaders and prominent racists, such as white supremacist and former North Carolina Gov. Charles Brantley Aycock, slavery defender and former Vice President John Caldwell Calhoun of South Carolina, and white supremacist and former Arkansas Sen. James Paul Clarke.

H.R. 3005, which passed in the House by a vote of 285-120, would require those states that currently display statues honoring individuals who voluntarily served the Confederate States of America to remove and replace them. It would also require removal of the statues of Aycock, Calhoun, and Clarke.

Norman and his 11 co-sponsors of H.R. 4234 were among the 120 representatives, all Republicans, who voted against the bill.

Though those voting yes included House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Minority Whip Steve Scalise, and 65 other Republicans, Brooks railed againstH.R. 3005 in a press statement titled "CONGRESSMAN MO BROOKS DEFENDS STATES' RIGHTS, RIPS INTOLERANT SOCIALISTS WHO SEEK TO TAKE DOWN CAPITOL STATUES THEY DON'T LIKE."

"Just as it would be wrong for Alabama and other states to dictate to New York and California who they must honor, it is similarly wrong and repulsive for New York, California, or other states to dictate to Alabama who we must honor," Brooks said. "I reject cancel culture and historical revisionism. ... Alabama, not New Yorkers, Californians, or anyone else, should decide who we wish to honor in Alabama's contribution to the National Statuary Collection. Socialist Democrat states should butt out!"

Brooks, Budd, Crawford, Duncan, Gaetz, Greene, Norman, and Womack each represent states whose statues would have to be removed should the Senate pass the bill and President Joe Biden sign it.

But if Norman's proposal passed, a 34 percent minority of a single state's delegation could block the removal of a statue, subverting majority rule in the House and even within the delegation itself.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

In Key '22 Senate Races, Republicans Already Face Headwinds

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Last year, Senate Republicans were already feeling so desperate about their upcoming midterm prospects that they rushed to wish Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa a speedy and full recovery from COVID-19 so that he could run for reelection in 2022. The power of incumbency is a huge advantage for any politician, and Republicans were clinging to the idea of sending Grassley—who will be 89 when the '22 general election rolls around—back to the upper chamber for another six-year term.

GOP fortunes have improved slightly since then, with historical trends improving their midterm prospects since Democrats now control the White House and both chambers of Congress. But the Senate map is still a long ways away from a gimme for Republicans, and several recent developments have brought good news for Democrats.

The first of those is a new poll from the Des Moines Register showing that nearly two-thirds of Iowa voters (64 percent) believe "it's time for someone else" to hold Grassley's seat versus the 27 percent who want to see the octogenarian reelected to an eighth term. Women voters were especially brutal, with seven out of ten saying they were ready to give Grassley the heave-ho.

Grassley's numbers with GOP voters lagged too, with just 51 percent committing to supporting him again, while just seven percent of Democrats and 23 percent of independents agreed. Grassley's overall job approval clocked in at a meager 45 percent; it's his lowest level since 1982.

The poll, conducted by Selzer & Co., upends Republican thinking that another Grassley run could help safeguard the seat. In fact, Grassley may be a liability in the general election, or GOP primary voters may choose an alternative. In any case, Iowa's Senate race could prove more competitive than Republicans had hoped.

Meanwhile, the GOP primary race for North Carolina's open Senate seat has been scrambled by Donald Trump's surprise endorsement of hard-right Congressman Ted Budd, according to Politico. Following Trump's input at the state party convention earlier this month, former North Carolina governor-turned-Senate candidate Pat McCrory rushed to dismiss the endorsement as falling "flat" in the room.

Now, retiring GOP Sen. Richard Burr is coming to McCrory's rescue, reportedly arguing both publicly and privately that he is "the only one in the race" who can win the seat statewide. "Pat McCrory has a commanding advantage," Burr told Politico.

Burr, one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump of impeachment charges, also took a swipe at Trump's rationale, or lack thereof.

"I can't tell you what motivates him," Burr said of Trump. "I've never seen individuals endorse a candidate a year before the primary. That's unusual."

Judging by Budd's own internal polling, Burr has a point. McCrory enjoys far higher statewide name recognition, and he's leading Budd by about two dozen points, 45 percent to 19 percent. Another Republican contender, former Rep. Mark Walker, garners just 12 percent of the vote, with 23 percent still undecided.

McCrory, who has been meeting with GOP senators to make his case, is running as an establishment Republican. Budd obviously occupies the Trump lane now. It's a scenario that could easily leave one side or the other feeling resentful depending on which Republican prevails, and any result on the GOP side could wind up depressing at least some general election turnout among Tar Heel Republicans.

But that's the least of the GOP's worries, according to McCrory's camp, which is intent on catastrophizing the ultimate result of a Budd primary win.

"If Republicans want a majority in the U.S. Senate, they will nominate Pat McCrory," said McCrory adviser Jordan Shaw. "Otherwise, Democrats are going to take this seat and keep the majority."

Republicans Who Stoked Capitol Mob Demand Removal Of Security Measures

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

On Friday afternoon, Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) tweeted a copy of a letter delivered to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, signed by 42 Republicans, demanding that the security fencing installed around the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., after the complex was stormed by supporters of Donald Trump on Jan. 6 be taken down.

Many of the Republicans who signed the letter helped incite the attack on the Capitol.

Budd commented, "42 House members just sent a letter to @Speaker Pelosi demanding that the militarized Capitol fencing come down and NOT be made permanent. It's time to open the People's House."

The letter reads in part,

It's time for healing and it's time for the removal of the fencing so the nation may move forward. ... Of course, we all understood that some increase in security was necessary after the tragic events of January 6, but now there is no valid reason to continue the same level of security measures. It is appalling that Communist China allows their citizens more freedom to visit historical sites like Tiananmen Square than currently exists for Americans who want to visit the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The fencing was placed around the Capitol at the recommendation of the acting Capitol Police chief, Yogananda Pittman, after a mob of far-right extremists spurred on by Trump attacked the building, leaving five dead. The fencing was originally intended to be temporary, but Pittman recommended it be made permanent.

"In light of recent events, I can unequivocally say that vast improvements to the physical security infrastructure must be made to include permanent fencing, and the availability of ready, back-up forces in close proximity to the Capitol," Pittman said.

Lawmakers who signed the letter also tweeted their disapproval of the fencing.

"The US Capitol is the PEOPLE'S HOUSE," tweeted Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA). "It shouldn't be a fortress. Why do @HouseDemocrats seem totally comfortable with barbed wire fencing when it's protecting them, but not when it's along the southern border protecting the entire country?"

Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) tweeted, "National Guard troops will still be in DC in February. Permanent fencing is being proposed around the Capitol. Many security perimeters are still in place. Where was all of this protection for American businesses when their stores were looted for WEEKS last summer?"

The fencing also drew criticism from the Democratic mayor of Washington, D.C., Muriel Bowser.

"Based on conversations with federal partners, there are some potentially volatile events upcoming that will require extra security. Fencing and the presence of troops will be a part of that," shetweeted Jan. 28. "But we will not accept extra troops or permanent fencing as a long-term fixture in DC."

Thirty-five of the 42 House Republicans who signed the letter also voted on Jan. 6 against certifying the results of Electoral College voting in the 2020 presidential election, charging that the election had been stolen from Trump and thereby supporting the lie that had motivated the mob that made extra security measures necessary in the first place.

Other signatories more directly incited the attempted takeover of the Capitol.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) not only voted against the certification of electoral votes, but has faced calls for her resignation by colleagues for her behavior Jan. 6, tweeting, "This is 1776" the morning of the attack and tweeting Pelosi's movements during the attack.

A month before the attack, Trump loyalist Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) told a crowd at an event held by the right-wing organization Turning Point USA to threaten lawmakers who wouldn't vote to overturn the election.

"Call your congressman and feel free, you can lightly threaten them and say, you know what, if you don't start supporting election integrity, I'm coming after you, Madison Cawthorn is coming after you, everybody's coming after you," he said. Cawthorn also voted against certifying the election results.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), another lawmaker who signed the letter, was named by Ali Alexander, a far-right extremist and organizer of the "Stop the Steal" rally that preceded the insurrection, as a fellow organizer of the riots. Biggs denied the allegations, but also sought clemency from Trump for his involvement.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) did vote to certify the results of the Electoral College voting, but he made inflammatory remarks encouraging violence. Days before the attack, he told Fox News' Tucker Carlson, "If we have a Democratically controlled Senate, we are basically at full-scale hot conflict in this country, whereas right now, we're at a cold civil war."

Telling Republican voters in Georgia's two Senate runoff elections in January to "hold the line," Roy said, "That's what is at stake."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

House Republican Report On Workers Is Bursting With Lies About Labor Unions

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

Ten House Republicans who fashion themselves policy wonks are out with their diagnosis of what ails the American worker. Their proposed cure is a future that would be brutish, nasty and short.

The Hobbesian, dog-eat-dog policies the Republican Study Group proposes would enhance the power of those born to privilege, just so long as nothing knocks them off their comfortable perch.

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