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Published: Thursday, July 28, 2016 @ 9:00 PM
Updated: Thursday, July 28, 2016 @ 11:33 PM
PHILADELPHIA — Hillary Clinton’s full remarks
11:20 p.m.: “Just ask yourself, Does Donald Trump have the temperament to be Commander-in-Chief? He can’t even handle the rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign. He loses his cool at the slightest provocation. When he’s gotten a tough question from a reporter. When he’s challenged in a debate. When he sees a protester at a rally. Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”
“Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of young black and Latino men and women who face the effects of systemic racism, and are made to feel like their lives are disposable.
Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses goodbye every day and heading off to do a dangerous and necessary job. We will reform our criminal justice system from end-to-end.”
11:15 p.m.: “The choice we face is just as stark when it comes to our national security. Anyone reading the news can see the threats and turbulence we face. From Baghdad and Kabul, to Nice and Paris and Brussels, to San Bernardino and Orlando, we’re dealing with determined enemies that must be defeated. No wonder people are anxious and looking for reassurance, looking for steady leadership.”
“Keeping our nation safe and honoring the people who do it will be my highest priority.”
11:10 p.m.: “We’re going to give small businesses a boost. Make it easier to get credit. Way too many dreams die in the parking lots of banks. In America, if you can dream it, you should be able to build it.”
“We’re going to help you balance family and work. And you know what, if fighting for affordable child care and paid family leave is playing the ‘woman card,’ then deal me in.”
11:04 p.m.: “If you believe the minimum wage should be a living wage, and no one working full time should have to raise their children in poverty, join us.”
“… That’s how we’re going to make sure this economy works for everyone, not just those at the top. Now, you didn’t hear any of this from Donald Trump at his convention. He spoke for 70-odd minutes, and I do mean odd. And he offered zero solutions. But we already know he doesn’t believe these things.”
“In my first 100 days, we will work with both parties to pass the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II. Jobs in manufacturing, clean energy, technology and innovation, small business, and infrastructure,” Hillary Clinton said.
10:57 p.m.: “Tonight, we’ve reached a milestone in our nation’s march toward a more perfect union — the first time that a major party has nominated a woman for President. … When any barrier falls in America, it clears the way for everyone.”
“When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit. So let’s keep going, until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves.”
“Democrats, we are the party of working people, but we haven’t done a good enough job showing we know what you’re going through and we’re going to do something about it.”
10:49 p.m.: “I’ve been your First Lady. Served eight years as a Senator from the great State of New York. I ran for President and lost. Then I represented all of you as Secretary of State.”
“The family I’m from, well, no one had their name on big buildings. My family were builders of a different kind. Builders in the way most American families are. They used whatever tools they had, whatever God gave them, and whatever life in America provided, and built better lives and better futures for their kids.”
“I will be a President for Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. For the struggling, the striving and the successful. For all those who vote for me and those who don’t. For all Americans together.”
10:47 p.m.: “And so it is with humility, determination and boundless confidence in America’s promise, that I accept your nomination for President of the United States,” Hillary Clinton said.
10:40 p.m.: “Donald wants us to fear the future, and fear each other,” she said. “We are clear-eyed about what our country is up against. But we are not afraid. We will rise to the challenge, just as we always have.”
“We will not ban a religion, we will work with all Americans and work with our allies to fight and defeat terrorism,” Hillary Clinton said.
“We have the most powerful military, the most innovative entrepreneurs,” Hillary Clinton said. “Don’t let anyone tell you our country is weak. Don’t believe anyone who says, ‘I alone can fix it.’ Those were actually Donald Trump’s words … and should set off alarm bells for us. Isn’t he forgetting those on the front line.”
“He’s forgetting every last one of us,” Hillary Clinton said. “Americans don’t say ‘I alone,’ we say ‘we’ll fix it together.’”
10:34 p.m.: On children, Hillary Clinton, 68, said, “The president we elect is going to be their president too.”
“I want to thank Bernie Sanders,” she said, prompting chants of “Bernie” from the audience. “To all your supporters here and around the world … your cause is our cause. Our country needs your ideas, energy and passion. That is the only way we can turn our progressive platform into real change for America.”
“We’ve come to Philadelphia, the birthplace of our nation … our founders embraced the enduring truth that we are stronger together,” Hillary Clinton said. “Once again America is once again at a moment of reckoning. Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart. Bonds of trust and respect are fraying. And just as with our founders there are no guarantees. It’s truly is up to us. We have to decide whether we’re going to work together so we can all rise together.”
10:27 p.m.: Hillary Clinton has taken the stage as the last speaker at the Democratic National Convention.
“Thank you so much. … And Bill that conversation we started in the law library 45 years ago, it is still going strong. You know that conversation has lasted through good times that have filled us with joy and hard times that have tested us, and I’ve even gotten a few words in.”
“What a remarkable week it’s been. We head the man from Hope, Bill Clinton, and the man of hope, Barack Obama.”
10:06 p.m.: Chelsea Clinton has taken the stage to introduce her mother, Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton.
“I’m here as a proud American, proud Democrat, proud daughter,” Chelsea Clinton said.
Chelsea Clinton said her daughter Charlotte loves to FaceTime with her grandmother.
“My earliest memory is my mom picking me up, giving me a big hug and reading me ‘Good Night Moon,’” Chelsea said. “Regardless of what was happening in her life, she was there for me.”
“I love that my parents expected me to have opinions … and to be able to back them up,” Chelsea said.
“She’s a listener and a doer, she’s a woman driven by compassion, faith … and a heart full of love,” Chelsea said. “I’m voting for a fighter that never gives up.”
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 12:00 AM
Ending weeks of negotiations between Congress and the White House, GOP leaders on Wednesday night released a $1.3 trillion funding plan for the federal government, an agreement that will result in over $100 billion in new spending in 2018, causing heartburn – and opposition – among more conservative Republicans in the House.
Almost six months behind schedule on their budget work, lawmakers produced a mammoth bill, which weighs in at 2,232 pages, the product of extended talks that almost went awry at the last minute.
The bill was highlighted by the inclusion of a number of non-spending provisions, like two measurse championed in the aftermath of the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which would get more information into the background check system for gun buyers, and to help schools better recognize possible problems with violence.
Each party had a laundry list of items that they trumpeted in a flurry of news releases sent to reporters – for Republicans, that often included more money for the Pentagon, while Democrats focused on more money for domestic programs.
In all, almost 4,000 pages of bill text and supporting materials were released to lawmakers – almost impossible for anyone to read before the votes, which are expected on Thursday.
But we did some speed reading – and here is some of what we found:
1. The Omnibus features more spending from budget deal. Following through on a bipartisan budget agreement from earlier this year, this funding measure adds more money to the Pentagon – raising the overall military budget to $700 billion this year, and $716 billion in 2019. This year’s hike was $61 billion: “This is the biggest year-to-year increase in defense funding in 15 years,” GOP leaders said in their argument to Republican lawmakers. More money is also added for domestic programs, but that did not match the defense increase, but it was still one reason why Democrats signed on to the agreement. The total for discretionary funding is $1.3 trillion, more than any single year of the Obama Administration.
2. More conservative Republicans not pleased. Even before the details were out on the Omnibus, it wasn’t hard to tell what members of the House Freedom Caucus were going to do on this bill – vote against it – even with the big increase in defense funding. “That is not in anyway close to what the election was about, close to what we campaigned on,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). “We all campaigned on changing the status quo,” said Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH). “I think all of us agree we’re spending too much,” he added. But that was a minority view within the party, as GOP leaders focused more on the big increase in military funding.
3. President Trump backs it with some reservations. After evidently wavering on the details during the day on Wednesday, the President took to Twitter a few hours later to trumpet some of the details in the agreement, and to knock Democrats for what’s not in the Omnibus – as there is no agreement dealing with younger illegal immigrant children, known as the “Dreamers.” “Democrats refused to take care of DACA,” the President said. “Would have been so easy, but they just didn’t care.”
4. Trump could have had much more for border wall. While the President professed himself satisfied with $1.6 billion in money for border security, Democrats reminded him that they had offered $25 billion for the wall, in exchange for provisions allowing the “Dreamers” to stay in the U.S., and for many to get on a 12-year pathway to citizenship. But for a variety of reasons, the President did not want to accept that kind of an agreement with Congress, as both parties blamed the other for the lack of a deal. As for that $1.6 billion, the bill limits where it can be used:
5. NASA sees a budget boost. With the spending spigot open in this bill, there are very few mentions of cuts in the documents handed out by Republicans, as agencies like NASA instead saw their budgets boosted. NASA – which has drawn strong words of praise from President Trump since he took office – saw its budget go above $20 billion for the first time ever, jumping just over $1 billion. That will be good news to lawmakers in Florida – and many other states – which have a piece of NASA’s research and operations.
6. Omnibus includes funds for a new Hurricane Hunter plane. After a round of devastating hurricane strikes in 2017, this spending plan will direct $121 million to buy a “suitable replacement” for a Gulfstream IV Hurricane Hunter plane, which will insure that enough planes are ready for a busy storm season. For example, in late September and early October of 2017, one of those planes had three separate mechanical problems – but when it was grounded, there was no backup plane. That’s long been a concern for Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), and he noted the provision last night after the bill was released.
7. A big change for the Internal Revenue Service. After years of seeing budget reductions, the IRS was a budget winner in this Omnibus spending agreement, as the agency’s
budget will go up almost $200 million to $11.43 billion. There will be $320 million specifically dedicated to implementation
of the new tax cut law, which was approved late in 2017, in order to change all the forms, schedules, and internal systems
to reflect those changes in tax year 2018. $350 million will be directed to improve IRS customer service, which has been suffering
more and more telephone delays in recent years. It was a bit of a switch for the GOP to be bragging about how much money they
were spending at the IRS, instead of vowing to find new ways to cut the budget at the tax agency.
8. Trump wanted to end transportation grants. Congress tripled them. One piece of President Trump’s budget plan for 2019, was a proposal to eliminate “TIGER” grants for infrastructure. But instead of getting rid of that $500 million program, Congress increased it by $1 billion, tripling the size of those popular transportation grants. Mr. Trump’s first budget also tried to get rid of the TIGER program, but when you look at the budget, you realize quickly that grant programs are popular in both parties, because they funnel money to the folks back home.
9. The ban on funding for a group that no longer exists. Once again, this year’s funding bills from Congress include a provision to make sure no federal dollars go to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform, known as ACORN – even though ACORN has disbanded – that happened eight years ago, in 2010. But Republicans have wanted to make sure that any group which looks anything like ACORN, or might turn out to be a progressive grass roots group which acts like ACORN, doesn’t get any federal funding in the future.
10. Death payment for a late lawmaker. Earlier this week came the sad news that Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) had died, after the 88 year old veteran lawmaker had fallen at her home. When members die while in office, it is customary for the Congress to approve a full year’s salary for that member’s spouse or estate. It’s officially known on a budget line as “Payment to Widows and Heirs of Deceased Members of Congress.” Looking through the fine print – it’s actually characterized as “mandatory” spending – and not discretionary.
The House will vote first on the plan – most likely on Thursday. The Senate is expected to follow suit soon after.
Lawmakers are then expected to leave town for a two week Easter break.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 4:23 PM
After weeks of negotiations, Congress unveiled a $1.3 trillion funding measure for the federal government on Wednesday night, adding billions in new spending for both the Pentagon and domestic spending programs, adding in a pair of bills dealing with school safety and gun violence, but including no deals on some politically difficult issues like the future of illegal immigrant “Dreamers.”
The 2,232 pages of bill text were quietly posted by GOP leaders after yet another day of closed door negotiations, which included a trip down to the White House by House Speaker Paul Ryan.
“No bill of this size is perfect,” Ryan said in a written statement, as he touted the extra money in the plan for the U.S. military.
“But this legislation addresses important priorities and makes us stronger at home and abroad,” Ryan added.
Among the items included in the Omnibus funding bill:
+ The bipartisan “Fix NICS” bill, which would press states and federal agencies to funnel more information into the instant background check system for gun buyers.
+ The “STOP School Violence Act,” which would send grant money to local governments to help schools better recognize possible violent threats in schools and their communities.
+ A series of corrections to the recent tax cut law.
Even before the text of the bill was unveiled, a number of Republicans were not pleased, arguing the GOP has done little to merit the support of voters back home, saying it will mean more spending and a bigger government.
“That is not in any way close to what the election was about,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who argued the President should veto the bill.
Also causing some irritation was the fact that the bill was negotiated with little input from most lawmakers, and sprung on them just hours before the House and Senate were due to head out of town on a two week Easter break.
“There is not a single member of Congress who can physically read it, unless they are a speed reader,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC).
One of the many provisions in the bill included a $174,000 payment to the estate of the late Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), who died earlier this week.
Those type of payments are typical when a lawmaker dies while in office.
GOP leaders hope to vote on the Omnibus in the House on Thursday, as lawmakers are ready to go home for a two-week break for Easter.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 5:40 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 5:40 PM
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Wednesday passed a bill that would give victims and prosecutors the right to sue websites that allow posts selling women and young girls – the culmination of a three-year effort by Portman to stop online sex trafficking
The bill, which passed the House at the end of February, now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature. Trump has signaled he will sign it.
“It’s a really big week,” said Portman one day before the Senate passed the bill 97 to 2, with only Sens. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican and Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, opposing. Portman said after Trump signs the bill, prosecutions of online sex traffickers could begin “within weeks.”
“People could be saved from this,” he said.
Portman, chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, launched an investigation into sex trafficking in 2015. Before long he and Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, had discovered a few things: One, that the overwhelming trafficker of women and children was an online marketplace called Backpage.com, and two, that a provision within the 1996 Communications Decency Act effectively gave websites like Backpage legal protection because it protected websites from liability based on third-party posts. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Backpage.com is involved in 75 percent of the online trafficking reports it receives from the public.
The investigation – which included a Supreme Court fight to subpoena information from a very resistant Backpage.com – ultimately found that Backpage.com was well aware that they were at times selling young girls for sex on their site, but tried to protect themselves by simply editing the language on the ads, rather than take the ads down altogether. “They didn’t remove the post because they didn’t want to lose the revenue,” Portman said on the Senate floor.
Portman and other lawmakers became convinced that amending the 1996 law could prevent Backpage and other sites from having essential legal immunity to sell people online.
“It became clear that there was a federal solution that could make a big difference,” Portman said.
His bill – which has been cosponsored by 68 members of the Senate – tweaks the Communications Decency Act to ensure that websites that are essentially sex trafficking marketplaces can be sued, including by victims or law enforcement.
Among the bill’s cosponsors was Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. He said after the vote that he was glad to join his fellow Ohio senator to pass the bill. “We need to remain vigilant in rooting out human trafficking wherever it occurs,” Brown said.
Portman’s work on the issue – he ran ads highlighting the issue during his 2016 campaign – was featured in a Netflix documentary called “I am Jane Doe.”
That documentary also featured the story of Kubiiki Pride, an Atlanta mother whose daughter ran away from home. Pride looked on Backpage only to find her 14-year-old daughter being sold for sex, with pictures of her daughter in “explicit photographs.
Pride called Backpage.com and asked them to take down the ad. They refused, telling her that she didn’t post the ad nor pay for it, therefore could not take it down. Later, when she finally got her daughter back, she couldn’t sue because of the Communications Decency Act. So frustrated was the legal system by the provision in the law that at one point, a Sacramento judge threw out pimping charges against Backpage and directly called on Congress to act.
Portman said when he began pushing to change the provision, he was met by resistance from websites who told him, point-blank, that they would win.
“This law was considered sacrosanct,” he said.
But now, it’s on the verge of being changed.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 8:01 AM
Reviewing the reaction of the Obama Administration to signs that Russia was trying to interfere in the 2016 election campaign, Senators on Wednesday expressed frustration at the refusal of the Obama and Trump Administrations to publicly reveal the names of at least 21 states targeted by Russian cyber attackers in 2016, arguing there is no reason to keep that information from the American people.
“America has to know what’s wrong,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “And if there are states that have been attacked, America should know that.”
In a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said states which were victimized prefer to remain anonymous, giving no hint that the identities of those states would be revealed any time soon.
“The 21 states themselves have been notified,” said Nielsen.
“But people have to know,” Feinstein countered.
Feinstein also pressed former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who defended efforts by the Obama Administration to both warn states – and warn the public about the Russian election threat.
“Senator, the American people were told,” Johnson said.
“Not sufficiently in any way, shape, or form,” Feinstein replied.
Johnson acknowledged that an early October 2016 warning about Russian actions – issued both by DHS and the broader U.S. Intelligence Community – did not get the press traction that he thought it deserved, mainly due to other breaking news about the campaign for President on that day.
“It was below the fold news, the next day, because of the release of the Access Hollywood video the same day,” Johnson said, referring to the tape of President Donald Trump in which he bragged about how he treated women, a revelation that roiled the 2016 campaign for the next several days.
At the hearing, Johnson did not mention what else was released on the same day – as just minutes after the Access Hollywood tape was made public, Wikileaks made the first release of hacked emails from John Podesta, a top aide to Hillary Clinton – all of that combining to overwhelm the U.S. government warning about Russian actions.
In hindsight, members of both parties said it was very obvious that – at the time – Russia was actively trying to cause trouble in the 2016 elections.
“Russian government actors scanned an estimated 21 states, and attempted to gain access to a handful of those,” said Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“In at least one case, they were successful in penetrating a voter registration database,” Burr added.
Burr said his panel’s investigation showed that DHS and the FBI in 2016 did alert states of the Russian threat, but in a “limited way,” which resulted in most states not treating the information as an imminent threat.