State Rep. Chris Todd from Jackson Weighs in on Court Packing, National Issues, and Etiquette as a Member of the Tennessee House

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed State Rep. Chris Todd from Jackson, Tennessee in studio to discuss court-packing, Keepnine.org, and working with House members.

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Minnesota Republicans to Pitch Plan to Spend Federal Stimulus Money on Hard-Hit Industries, Unemployment Fund, and Infrastructure

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and Sen. Zach Duckworth

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, and Sen. Zach Duckworth, R-Lakeville, on Friday announced a package aiming to spend billions of federal dollars on hard-hit industries, filling the unemployment fund, and infrastructure plans.

“These one-time funds provide us with the chance to set Minnesotans on a path for long-lasting growth. By targeting our spending for maximum impact, we are setting Minnesotans up to rebuild their community connections, invest in their families, and help our businesses recover and grow.” Duckworth said in a statement. “Most importantly, these investments are being made without increasing taxes on Minnesotans who have already sacrificed so much in the last year.”

The bill language, expected to be released next week, seeks to direct $2.5 billion of the American Rescue Plan to Minnesotans hardest hit by the pandemic and promote economic growth, according to a press release.

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Congressman David Kustoff Talks Washington D.C., Nancy Pelosi’s Power and Republicans Taking Back the House

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Tennessee Congressman David Kustoff to the newsmakers line to discuss what Is happening in Washington, D.C., and the power of Nancy Pelosi.

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General Assembly OKs Paid Parental Leave for Georgia State Workers

A follow-up attempt by lawmakers to implement paid parental leave for Georgia state employees is on its way to Gov. Brian Kemp.

The measure allows state employees in Georgia to take three weeks of paid parental leave. The House agreed Monday, 153-8, to the Senate’s changes to House Bill 146 after it unanimously passed the Senate last week. A similar measure cleared the House in 2020.

Under HB 146, state or local school board employees who worked at least 700 hours over the six months preceding the requested paid leave date can qualify for the paid time off after the birth of a child, adoption of a child or taking in of a foster child. Paid parental leave would be granted only once a calendar year. State agencies and school boards are able to dictate the policy rules.

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Commentary: Ohio U.S. Senate Candidate’s Insider Record Clashes with Her Trump-Supporting Rhetoric

The antics of the Democratic Party make it easy to lose sight of other enemies, especially those standing right beside us. The fog of political war conceals not only the foes in the field but also fake allies. Jane Timken’s case is illustrative.

Timken recently announced her plan to run for the Senate in 2022, following incumbent Ohio Republican Rob Portman’s recent decision not to seek reelection. She served as vice chairwoman of the Stark County Republican Party until becoming the first female chairwoman of the Ohio Republican Party in 2017. Timken resigned in February when Portman’s retirement presented her with a possible path to the Senate. High-profile praise from a few people in Donald Trump’s orbit has already come her way. 

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Ohio Legislature Passes Transportation Budget with Additional Allocations

The Ohio Senate approved more than $8 billion it hopes will spur both economic development and job growth while tackling the state’s transportation needs over the next two years.

The state’s proposed transportation budget passed the Senate unanimously Thursday with some adjustments made by the Senate, including additional money for public transportation, local road projects and emergency road repair. It also requires the Ohio Department of Transportation to reopen currently decommissioned weigh stations to serve as overnight parking areas for commercial truckers.

“This transportation budget makes critical investments in Ohio’s communities and local infrastructure,” said Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima. “I am confident House Bill 74 will improve roads and infrastructure that Ohioans use every day and will enhance Ohio’s economy and promote job growth.”

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Georgia House Passes on Effort to Study State’s Tax, Revenue Structure

The Georgia House has rejected a bill that would have launched a review of the state’s revenue and tax structure.

Senate Bill 148 would have created two panels to study and make recommendations for the state’s coffers. It would have re-established the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians and create the Special Joint Committee on Georgia Revenue Structure.

The House voted, 139-20, against the bill Thursday. It had 39 sponsors. 

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Michigan Senate Authorizes Second Lawsuit Against Gov. Whitmer

The GOP-dominated Michigan Senate on Thursday approved a lawsuit against Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

At issue is a possible attempt by the governor to unilaterally spend nearly a million dollars attached to a bill she vetoed this week.

Senate Resolution 26 reads: “Any attempt by Governor Whitmer to expend moneys that she vetoed without further legislative approval or expend certain funds without the enactment of Senate Bill No. 1 or House Bill No. 4049 would be contrary to both law and Michigan’s constitutional system.”

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Missouri House Sends Bill Clipping Health Officials’ Emergency Powers to Senate

A bill that would require local governments to approve extensions of public health emergency orders after 15 days is ready for adoption by the Missouri House.

House Bill 75, sponsored by Rep. Jim Murphy, was perfected Wednesday in a floor debate and awaits only a floor vote to be transferred to the Senate, where a raft of similar bills are matriculating in committees.

HB 75, which has already passed through the House Special Committee on Small Business and Rules – Legislative Oversight committees, would allow local public health officials to order a closure for no more than 15 days.

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Lt. Governor McNally Issues Revised Protocols for Accessing Tennessee’s Senate

Lt. Governor Randy McNally has decided that effective Monday new protocols will go into effect that will allow greater access to the Senate areas within the Cordell Hull Building.

The revised protocols are due to the increased availability of the vaccine and the overall decline in the spread of COVID-19, according to a late-day email Friday from McNally’s chief of staff addressed to Senate members and staff.

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Democratic-Led Senate Votes 56-44 to Continue Impeachment Trial of Trump as Day One Concludes

The Democratic-led Senate formally voted on Tuesday to proceed with former President Trump’s second impeachment trial in the Senate following the first day of arguments.

The vote on the constitutionality of the trial of Trump was 56-44 in favor of moving forward with the trial. The second day of the trial begins at noon on Wednesday. There were six Republican senators voting yes with all Senate Democrats including Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

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Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe Weighs in on the Upcoming Impeachment Trial of Citizen Trump

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil W. McCabe to the newsmakers line to weigh in on the looming impeachment trial of citizen Trump.

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Senate Confirms Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense

The Senate voted to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense, making him President Joe Biden’s second Cabinet nominee to be confirmed.

Austin was confirmed by a bipartisan 93-2 vote and will be the first black person to serve in the role. Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and Utah Sen. Mike Lee were the only senators to vote against his confirmation.

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Strategy at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C. Michael Waller Gives Eyewitness Account of Capitol Breach

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the Senior Analyst for Strategy at the Center for Security Policy Michael Waller to the newsmakers line to give an eyewitness account of what he saw during the breach of the Capitol last week.

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Biden Calls Romney ‘a Man of Enormous Integrity,’ Years After ‘Back in Chains’ Attack

President-elect Joe Biden on Friday called Sen. Mitt Romney a “man of enormous integrity,” a stark difference in rhetoric from the presidential campaign trail in 2012, when Biden told an audience with many African Americans that Romney would “put y’all back in chains.”

At a press conference on Friday, Biden said that he spoke to Romney earlier in the day about his opposition to GOP-led efforts to question the results of the 2020 election.

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Eleven Republican U.S. Senators and Senators-Elect Join Growing Chorus in Congress Who Say They Will Challenge Electoral College Results Wednesday

Eleven more Republican U.S. senators and senators-elect from 10 states said they will contest the Electoral College results Wednesday over fraud concerns.

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), one of the 11, made the announcement Saturday. Senator-Elect Bill Hagerty (R-TN), who was endorsed by President Donald Trump in the election, is working with her in the dissent.

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Commentary: Ossoff Must Be Defeated Yet Again

This week, I shared my thoughts on the evil soul of the White-hater, Jew-hater, Israel-hater, and overall despicable person Raphael Warnock. To summarize those 1500 words in 20 words: Warnock, who has the theological soul of a Warlock, regards the Wrong Rev. Jeremiah Wright as a modern-day Biblical “prophet.” In truth, Wright is so viciously despicable that even Obama, who once worshipped at Wright’s feet, fled from that church and left Wright as soon as the public learned what that White-hater, America-hater, and Jew-hater was saying each week from his true Bully Pulpit, the pulpit of a bully.

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Sen. Warner: New Relief Bill Will Likely Include $600 Stimulus Checks, Less Unemployment Coverage

Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) is confident that the Senate will soon pass the two-part COVID-19 relief package he helped develop. In a Thursday telephone press conference, Warner described key provisions of the plan and addressed controversy over a stimulus check added to the package while also limiting provisions to extend federal unemployment benefits past Christmas.

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Light at the End of the Tunnel: Host Leahy Outlines the Significance of Texas Lawsuit Claiming Constitutional Violations

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy explained the significance of the recent lawsuit Texas filed against the states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

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Senator-Elect Hagerty Joins President Trump in Georgia to Support Sens. Perdue and Loeffler

Tennessee Senate-elect Bill Hagerty joined President Donald Trump in Valdosta, Georgia Saturday night as the Republican Party comes together to make sure it holds onto the Senate-majority in Washington D.C.

Trump held the rally in Valdosta to garner support for Republican Senate candidates Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.

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Steve Bannon Talks Georgia Recount and the Search for Truth in Alternative Media Sources

Monday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host John Fredricks welcomed political strategist Steve Bannon to the show to discuss the Georgia recount and how people are searching for truth in the alternative media world.

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Georgia’s Senate Runoffs Have Seen $272 Million in Ad Spending in Just 22 Days

Campaigns in Georgia’s two Senate runoff races have spent over $272 million advertising since Election Day, according to an AdAge analysis.

Incumbent GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler have reserved $168.5 million worth of ads up to the Jan. 5 runoff, while their respective Democratic challengers, Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, have collectively reserved $102.5 million, the analysis shows. The sums do not include outside spending that has flooded the two races, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Rep. Green Appointed to National Defense Authorization Act Reconciliation Committee

U.S. Rep. Dr. Mark Green (R-TN-07) was appointed to a committee to work out differences between the House and Senate on the annual defense funding act.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23) made the announcement Wednesday.

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Georgia Democratic Senate Candidate Ossoff Initially Failed to Disclose Payments by Telecom Company Led by Official Opposed to Hong Kong Independence

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jon Ossoff of Georgia was compensated by a Hong Kong media company owned by an anti-democracy executive, a source of income previously undisclosed, The National Review said.

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Tillis Wins After Cunningham Concedes Race

Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham conceded the North Carolina Senate seat to Republican incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis Tuesday.

Cunningham conceded the race Tuesday, a week after Election Day, after Decision Desk HQ projected that the 47-year-old challenger had lost the race for the only North Carolina Senate seat up for grabs in 2020.

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Crom Carmichael Discusses the Concept of Democratic Losses That Leaned Too Left

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to weigh in on the several Democratic losses that suffered by being too progressive.

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Commentary: A Republican Senate Will Keep Biden in Check? Oh, Please!

In February 2020, Mitt Romney became the first U.S. senator in history to vote to convict the president of his own party. Despite a laughable impeachment case concocted by House Democrats and clear evidence of corruption tied to the Democratic presidential candidate whom the impeachment effort was designed to protect, Romney nonetheless supported the removal of Donald Trump from the White House.

“My faith is at the heart of who I am,” Utah’s junior senator claimed while working up tears from the Senate floor on February 5. “The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of high crime and misdemeanor. Yes, he did.”

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Perdue-Ossoff Race, Control of U.S. Senate Heading Toward January Runoff in Georgia

Ongoing vote tallies in Georgia suggest the fate of the U.S. Senate race between Sen. David Perdue and Jon Ossoff, and, perhaps, control of the U.S. Senate, will be decided by a runoff election in January.

As of Friday morning, incumbent Republican Perdue leads Ossoff, a Democrat, by 98,410 votes, with a 49.84% to 47.84% advantage – below the more than 50% of the vote Perdue needs to avoid a runoff against Ossoff on Jan. 5.

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Democratic Sen Gary Peters Wins Reelection in Michigan

Michigan Democratic Sen. Gary Peters won a second term Wednesday, multiple outlets reported.

Peters beat GOP challenger John James, a businessman and former Air Force pilot, by just 1.1 points, leading 49.6% to 48.5% when the race was called. Though the state was viewed as one of Republicans’ only senate pickup opportunities this cycle, most forecasts predicted Peters to win.

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Commentary: Republicans Leading in the Senate May Save America from Democratic One-Party Rule

States are still counting votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina — and with disputed deadlines currently allowing absentee ballots to still be received days after the election in Pennsylvania and North Carolina — it is simply too close to call the presidential race.

President Donald Trump carried Ohio, Florida and Iowa by big margins despite many mainstream news polls saying he would lose those states handily — which are little better than astrology at this point — and is still promising to take the race for the White House to the Supreme Court with litigation, presumably challenging any late ballots that come in.

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Tennessee Elections Ahead of November 3

With three days until Election Day, voting turnouts far surpassed 2016 records for early voting. Turnout jumped from about 273,000 the first day to nearly 2.3 million in under two weeks.
These numbers represent over half of Tennessee’s registered voters. More ballots are still forthcoming.

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Republicans Will Put PPP Funding Back on the Floor for a Vote Despite Democrats’ Efforts to Block It, Sen. Blackburn Says

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) told CNBC’s SquawkBox on Wednesday that Republicans will try again to pass their bill that would provide PPP and vaccine funding despite Democrats’ attempts to block the efforts.

CNBC asked Blackburn if she would vote for a deal if the White House and the Treasury Department reached an agreement with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12).

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Democrats Give ‘Panicked Stump Speech’ in Opposition to Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Sen. Marsha Blackburn Says in Opening Remarks at Confirmation Hearing

Democrats are “trying to create a panic” and turn Americans against Judge Amy Coney Barrett, U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn said during opening statements Monday at the Supreme Court confirmation hearing.

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Court Pick Barrett Visits Senate Ahead of Confirmation Fight

President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett, was on Capitol Hill on Tuesday for a day of meetings with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other pivotal Republican senators in preparation for her fast-track confirmation before the Nov. 3 election.

Joined by Vice President Mike Pence, McConnell said he was glad to welcome Barrett and “get the process started” on her confirmation. But the Republican leader declined to answer questions about whether the judge should recuse herself if legal challenges to the election between Trump and Democrat Joe Biden land at the high court.

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Commentary: Dear GOP Senate, Please Get This Right!

As Jack Nicholson said in “Terms of Endearment,” you were just inches from a clean getaway.
Armed with a wholly unimpressive list of accomplishments from the past four years, with the exception of confirming hundreds of federal judges, you were prepared to return home to defend your paltry record with little more than the argument that the other side is much, much worse. Which, lucky for you, is true.

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Trump Delegation Chairman Fredericks Says Poll Predicting Gloom for Trump in Virginia Is Fake Narrative

A poll from Roanoke College would have you believe President Donald Trump and U.S. Senate candidate Daniel Gade are in trouble in Virginia’s November election.

The chairman of the Virginia Trump delegation refutes the findings.

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Neil McCabe Discusses Complacent Republicans and Trump’s Lack of a Second Term Agenda

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line.

During the third hour, McCabe weighed in on Republicans’ complacent behavior to mail-in voting but noted that they might have a good chance of retaking the House with only 18 votes needed. He somberly admitted that a Biden presidency would result in a restructuring of police departments and that the Democrats would continue to go after former Trump administration officials.

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State House Passes Resolution to Address Adjourning with Unfinished Legislation

As Tennessee’s 111th Tennessee General Assembly wound down to adjourn, the House passed a resolution recognizing the need to address legislation passed by one chamber but left unfinished by the other.

When Tennessee’s 111th Tennessee General Assembly came back to their second session after the three-month COVID-19 recess, the Senate only wanted to take up bills that were budget-related, time-sensitive, or COVID-19 related, while the House planned to complete all of their work.

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Sen. Blackburn Co-Sponsors Bill to Enact Police Reforms

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has joined a legislative effort to provide police reform, accountability and transparency.

Blackburn said she became a cosponsor of U.S. Sen. Tim Scott’s (R-SC) Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere (JUSTICE) Act.

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State Lawmakers Will Have to Reconcile the House Budget Proposal That Gives Tax Dollars Back to Citizens and Makes Deeper Cuts Than the Senate Version

As the second session of the 111th Tennessee General Assembly winds down, the House and Senate will need to reconcile their two different budget proposals to close out the current fiscal year and for the upcoming fiscal year 2021.

The Senate version passed with a vote of 27 Ayes, 1 No and 2 Present and Not Voting during the June 11 floor session.

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Bill Hagerty Gets Tom Cotton Endorsement and Releases New TV Ad

U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty this week released a new television ad highlighting his business record, and that ad will run statewide.

“Now more than ever, we need business-minded leaders in the Senate to help get our economy going again and create more jobs for Americans. Just like President Trump, I have a proven track record of creating jobs, helping businesses expand and growing Tennessee’s economy to one of the strongest in the country,” Hagerty said in a press release.

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Five Democratic Senators Kneel at George Floyd Memorial

Five Democrat senators knelt during a moment of silence for George Floyd in a caucus meeting on Capitol Hill Thursday afternoon.

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) knelt, which lasted for eight minutes and 46 seconds, The Hill reported. That was the length of time fired Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck before he died. Chauvin faces a second-degree murder charge over the incident.

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