Congressman John Rose ‘Confident’ Kevin McCarthy Will Do ‘Exceptional’ Job in House Speaker Role

Tennessee Congressman John Rose (R-TN-06) released a statement expressing his confidence in the newly-elected Speaker of the House, California Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-20). During the chamber’s 15th round of voting that took place late Friday night, McCarthy garnered enough votes to secure the role of Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 118th Congress.

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Tennessee’s U.S. Congressional Delegation Sworn into 118th Congress

All nine representatives serving Tennessee were sworn into the 118th Congress following the chamber’s vote for house speaker.

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Federal Border Wall Replacing Arizona Container Wall Goes Up Next Week

United States Customs and Border Protection announced Friday that construction on a barrier at the Yuma sector of the southern border would start next week.

A press release explained that the federal government would “close gaps” near the Morelos Dam, a primary location for illegal crossings in Arizona.

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FDA Approves New Drug for Early Treatment of Alzheimer’s

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease, with testing reportedly showing considerable success in helping patients with the debilitating condition. 

The FDA said in a press release that it had approved the drug Leqembi for Alzheimer’s patients. The drug is “the second of a new category of medications approved for Alzheimer’s disease that target the fundamental pathophysiology of the disease,” the agency said. 

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SCOTUS to Vote on Hearing 2020 Election Case Against Biden, Harris, Pence, Senators, Congressmen

The Supreme Court is set to consider hearing a 2020 election case regarding actions taken on Jan. 6, 2021 by former Vice President Mike Pence, President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, 291 House members, and 94 senators.

The lawsuit, filed by Raland J. Brunson, alleges the defendants violated their oaths of office by refusing to investigate evidence of fraud in the 2020 election before accepting the electoral votes on Jan. 6, 2021, allowing for Biden and Harris to be “fraudulently” inaugurated.

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New Louisiana Law Requires Government-Issued ID to Watch Porn

A new Louisiana law went into effect this year requiring individuals who access porn websites to verify their age using government-issued identification.

Republican state Rep. Laurie Schlegel of Louisiana introduced the bill last February requiring commercial porn websites to verify the age of anyone who accesses its material with a government-issued ID, which Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law in June. The bill, which went into effect over the weekend, makes companies who violate the law liable to civil claims while ostensibly prohibiting them from collecting users’ data.

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Minnesota Moms Say Lack of Abortion Restrictions Will Lead to Abuse, Loss of Parental Rights

A group of mothers defending “common-sense” and “bipartisan” abortion restrictions in Minnesota have made clear their belief that the state’s objections are legally flawed.

On Thursday a court hearing was held about the dispute between the attorney general’s office and the advocacy group Mothers Offering Maternal Support (MOMS). Judge Thomas Gilligan of the Ramsey County District Court presided over the hearing, the same judge who had struck down multiple abortion restrictions as “unconstitutional” in July.

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Poll: Michiganders Approve of Right to Work by 2:1 Ratio

Approximately twice as many Michiganders approve of a right-to-work law than oppose it, according to a statewide poll released Thursday by TargetPoint Consulting on behalf of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

The TPC poll concluded 58% of 800 Michigan voters surveyed support the state’s legislation; 29% of respondents oppose it. The margin of error for the poll is +/- 3.5%; Michigan has about 8.2 million registered voters.

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DeWine Vetoes Ohio Bill That Would Let Lawmakers Retain Own Attorneys

Calling the language too broad, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed a bill that would allow the governor and General Assembly to retain special counsel and moved the venue for an appeal from an agency order.

The move came in a Tuesday afternoon announcement that included details of three bills signed into law. Since Sunday, DeWine has signed 23 new laws.

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Arizona Senate President May Investigate Katie Hobbs for Requiring Donors to Contribute $250k to Dark Money Group

Arizona’s new Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs is facing criticism for secrecy surrounding the amounts of money that donors contributed to her inauguration events, which previous governors have disclosed in the past. It’s also been revealed that Hobbs asked the donors to contribute a quarter of a million dollars, with no explanation where the money is going. Arizona Senate President Pro Tempore T.J. Shope (R-Coolidge) said he may conduct an investigation.

“I would think it might be something we would look into,” Shope told AZ Family. “We should have the right to know as a citizen what kind of contributions they’re getting.” State Senator John Kavanaugh (R-Fountain Hills) said he agreed. 

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Attorney for Indicted Loudoun County Official in School Assault Case Says Client Accused of Lying

One of the northern Virginia public school officials indicted last month in connection with how his school district handled two high-profile, 2021 sexual assaults in schools is facing a felony perjury charge in the case, his attorney said Thursday.

The official, Wayde Byard, a Loudoun County Public Schools spokesman, was indicted by a Virginia special state grand jury following an investigation into how the school system handled the assaults.

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Wisconsin Republicans to Vote on Bail Reform Amendment Next Week

Republicans in Madison are moving quickly to change how bail works in Wisconsin.

A pair of lawmakers want to take the first vote next week on a Constitutional amendment that would give judges more latitude in deciding when to keep someone in jail and when to release them.

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Report: ‘Unclear’ Whether Pennsylvania’s Rural Tax Credit Program Creates Jobs

Lawmakers have approved a variety of tax credits in an effort to boost economic growth in the commonwealth. Evidence of that growth, however, can be hard to find. 

For one program aimed at rural Pennsylvania, a state agency has recommended a pause until more data can show that the tax credits have actually created jobs.

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DOJ Announces Final Sentence in Operation Against Drug Traffickers Targeting Savannah

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia announced the final sentence in its Operation Stranded Bandit which saw 34 defendants sentenced to up to 292 months for involvement in meth trafficking from Mexico to Savannah through Atlanta.

“Our law enforcement partners built Operation Stranded Bandit on the foundation of prior investigations dismantling a network of drug traffickers operating inside and outside prisons to bring large quantities of methamphetamine to coastal Georgia,” U.S. Attorney David Estes said in a Thursday press release. “Getting gun-carrying drug traffickers off our streets, particularly those with gang affiliations, is a vital part of protecting our communities from violent crime.”

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DeSantis Activates National Guard to Take on Migration Crisis

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday announced that he would activate the state National Guard to help the federal government address the rising tide of illegal migrants entering the nation through the Florida Keys.

An archipelago situated in the state’s southeast, the islands provide a critical landing point for many migrants traveling to the United States via the Caribbean Sea.

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Commentary: An Age of Decay

America ran out of frontier when we hit the Pacific Ocean. And that changed things. Alaska and Hawaii were too far away to figure in most people’s aspirations, so for decades, it was the West Coast states and especially California that represented dreams and possibilities in the national imagination. The American dream reached its apotheosis in California. After World War II, the state became our collective tomorrow. But today, it looks more like a future that the rest of the country should avoid—a place where a few coastal enclaves have grown fabulously wealthy while everyone else falls further and further behind.

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Virginia May Let Younger Veterans Get Tax Break

Virginia lawmakers may soon consider removing the existing age restriction on people eligible for a military benefits income tax subtraction under a bill pre-filed ahead of the 2023 session. 

House Bill 1436 by Del. John J. McGuire, R-Goochland, proposes removing the age 55 or older restriction, which would allow younger veterans to take advantage of income tax subtractions of up to $40,000 in military benefits in the coming years.

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Washington Lawmaker Introduces Proposal to Pay Prisoners Minimum Wage

A Washington legislator who served time behind bars contends it is time for the state to stop saving millions on the backs of inmates who are paid pennies for work in prison jobs.

“This is an evolution of slavery,” Rep. Tarra Simmons, D-Bremerton, told reporters. She is proposing that inmates be paid minimum wage when they work in the kitchen or produce furniture or other goods.

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Senate Democrats Criticize New Biden Border Plan

On Thursday, four Democratic members of the U.S. Senate slammed Joe Biden’s most recent proposal for handling the immigration crisis, particularly the plans to slightly increase the number of deportations.

As reported by The Hill, ahead of Biden’s planned first trip to the southern border since taking office, the Biden Administration announced revised plans that involve temporarily expanding Title 42 to increase the number of daily deportations by turning away illegal aliens who present themselves at the border.

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U.S. Shells Out Another $3 Billion in Military Aid for Ukraine

The U.S. announced a $3.1 billion security assistance package for Ukraine on Friday, including for the first time dozens of heavy infantry vehicles.

Of the total, $2.85 billion will come directly from existing U.S. weapons stocks, including 50 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles and 500 anti-missiles, according to a press release. Ukrainian officials expect Russia to conduct a second mobilization and renewed offensive in the coming months, according to Reuters.

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Commentary: Second Amendment a Blessing, Not a ‘Curse,’ in End-of-Year Examples of Defensive Gun Use

The editorial board of a major New Jersey newspaper started the year off with an anti-Second Amendment screed, decrying the right to keep and bear arms as a “curse” perpetuated by a “fanatical” interpretation created by the Supreme Court in 2008.

Among other things, editors at the Newark-based Star-Ledger bemoaned that the Second Amendment keeps the nation from enacting “rational” gun control along the lines of Canada—which is a hair’s breadth away from banning all firearm sales—and called for readers to imagine the possibilities if the Supreme Court would just reinterpret the Constitution according to the justices’ personal perceptions of “reasonable” public policy.

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