Battleground States Absent Hurdles to Place Harris on Ballot

Kamala Harris

Election laws in all seven battleground states will allow Democrats to place onto ballots the name of Vice President Kamala Harris, or another candidate if one materializes.

As President Joe Biden’s supporters rally around Harris to take his spot as the party nominee, Republicans are planning legal challenges. Biden announced his decision via social media Sunday afternoon, with one month until the Aug. 19-22 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Read More

VP Rumors Swirl Around Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro After Biden Withdrawal

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro

Rumors swirled Monday that Vice President Kamala Harris may select Pennsylvania’s governor as her running mate.

The news comes as Gov. Josh Shapiro himself encouraged Pennsylvania Democrats to unite behind her, just hours after President Joe Biden stepped down from his campaign.

Read More

Poll: Inflation, Immigration, Economy Are Top Concerns of Voters

Shopping

The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll, conducted prior to the weekend assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump, found that likely voters said inflation/price increases (45%), illegal immigration (36%) and the economy/jobs (28%) were the issues that matter most to them heading into the November election.

The poll was conducted in conjunction with Noble Predictive Insights from July 8-11 and surveyed nearly 2,300 likely voters, including 1,006 Republicans, 1,117 Democrats, and 172 true (non-leaning) independents. It has a margin of error of 2.1%. The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll is one of only six national tracking polls in the United States.

Read More

U.S. Voters Suspect AI Could Impact Their Lives as It Develops According to Poll

ChatGPT

New poll data of registered and potential voters reveals a general consensus that artificial intelligence could pose a threat to people as it further develops.

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is technology broadly used to complete tasks, learn information, and enable computers to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. Recently, AI technology has become more sophisticated and more widely used at an increasing rate. 

Read More

Democrats Chart Unknown Legal Territory as the Party Scrambles to Replace Joe Biden

President Joe Biden on Sunday succumbed to pressure from leaders of his own party and suspended his reelection campaign. Several organizations have explained the process to replace him as the Democratic nominee.

Read More

Trump, in First Rally Since Butler, Says He ‘Took a Bullet for Democracy’

In his first campaign trail stop since surviving an assassination attempt and accepting the party nomination at the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump on Saturday appealed to auto workers in Michigan.

Read More

A $40 Billion Critical Mineral Supply Chain Could Start in Pennsylvania

Acid Mine Drain

Pennsylvania has a mine pollution problem. America has a critical mineral shortage.

And both problems may get solved as researchers find these critical and strategic elements in the polluted waters that come from acid mine drainage. If all goes well, Pennsylvania could become a leader in boosting national security — while potentially creating billions of dollars in value from environmental hazards.

Read More

Poll: Two Thirds of American Voters Say Country is Heading in Wrong Direction

Protest

A new poll of voters finds two thirds of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, with Democrats equally divided on the question.

The Center Square Voters’ Voice poll found 65% of voters said the country is headed in the wrong direction, 24% said the country is headed in the right direction and 11% were unsure.

Read More

President Biden Considering SCOTUS Reforms According to Report

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden is considering formally supporting reforms to the Supreme Court, including the introduction of term limits for justices and an enforceable ethics code, the Washington Post reported.

Such reforms reflect increasing frustration among Democrats and Joe Biden’s supporters regarding recent controversies involving Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito, as well as landmark rulings by the court’s conservative majority. 

Read More

University in Kentucky Suspends Instructor After ‘Offensive’ Trump Shooting Post

John James

A college in Louisville has placed an instructor on unpaid leave after posting on social media he wished the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump succeeded.

“If you’re gonna shoot, man, don’t miss,” John James wrote in all caps on a post discovered Sunday by Libsoftiktok. The statement was made above a screenshot of a news story on the Saturday shooting during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania that left the former president and current Republican nominee injured after a bullet grazed his ear.

Read More

More than 205,000 Illegal Border Crossers in June, 2.5 Million in Fiscal 2024

Illegal Immigrants

There were more than 205,000 illegal border crossers apprehended in June, according to new U.S. Customs and Border Protection data released on Monday.

June’s numbers bring the total number of illegal border crossers this fiscal year to more than 2.4 million.

Read More

Report: NFL Teams Earned $400 Million from NFL Revenue as Public Incentives Escalate

The National Football League earned more than $13 billion and distributed more than $400 million in 2023 to each team from national revenue, Sportico reported.

The record distribution comes as teams across the league continue to push for public incentives for new stadiums and renovations.

Read More

General Assembly Sends Carbon Capture Bill to Governor’s Desk

Power Plant

A legal framework for carbon capture and sequestration, part of a plan to reduce emissions and advance hydrogen development, has made it through the General Assembly.

It now awaits the governor’s signature.

Read More

Small Businesses Worry About Inflation, Survey Shows

Workers

Small businesses cite inflation as their number one concern, according to new survey data.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses released the survey results Tuesday, which show that 21% of small business owners cite inflation as “the single most important problem in operating their business,” more than any other issue.

Read More

Corn Growers Join Petition to SCOTUS Over California Emissions Mandate

Corn Harvester

A coalition of energy, biofuel and agriculture groups – including the Illinois Corn Growers Association – are taking their challenge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s emissions mandate to the nation’s highest court. 

The group filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the EPA’s decision to grant a waiver to California for its 2021-2025 electric vehicle mandate. Illinois lawmakers have considered adopting California’s strict EV policies.  

Read More

Administrations Lay Plans to One-Up America’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm

Offshore Wind Farm

Installation of the country’s largest offshore wind farm began in earnest just two months ago off the coast of Virginia, and the Biden administration announced Friday it will be auctioninganother even bigger wind energy lease sale off the coast of the commonwealth. 

Dominion Energy leased the approximately 113,000 acres that would become the site of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project in 2013. After installing two pilot turbines in 2020, the utility began the installation of the rest of its 176 turbines in May.

Read More

Unemployment Insurance Claims Continue to Rise

Unemployment Insurance Claims Office

The number of insured unemployed individuals increased by 26,000 to 1,858,000, in the week ending June 29, the highest level since November 2021.

Seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims reached 238,000, marking an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 234,000. 

Read More

California Joins 26 States in Requiring Students Take Personal Finance Class

Students in Class

Over half of U.S. states now require high school students to receive a financial literacy course before they graduate after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill passed by the California Legislature.

With the passage of California’s law requiring schools to offer a course in personal finance by the 2027-28 school year and requiring the class of 2031 to receive at least one class, a total of 26 states now require students to take a course on how to manage money, according to a nonprofit spearheading efforts to pass such laws.

Read More

Federal Judge Pauses Biden’s Partial Liquefied Natural Gas Export Ban

Judge James Cain Jr.

A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked the Biden administration’s ban on new exports of liquified natural gas exports to non-free trade agreement countries.

Judge James Cain Jr. of the Western District of Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Department of Energy’s partial LNG export ban after more than a dozen states sued, arguing the ban was illegal.

Read More

Amtrak’s Staffing Jumps 22 Percent Since Pandemic, Salaries by More than $500 Million

Amtrak Train

Amtrak has seen a 22% increase in its employee count while salaries and benefits have increased by more than $500 million in the past four years – to $2.69 billion in 2023.

Amtrak, known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, serves more than 500 destinations in 46 separate states covering more than 21,400 miles nationwide.

Read More

Biden: Supreme Court Ruling on Presidential Immunity ‘Dangerous Precedent’

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden Monday night said the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that the president has “absolute immunity” when acting in his core constitutional duties is “a dangerous precedent” that “undermines the rule of law of this nation.”

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision ruled that the “president’s exercise of his core constitutional powers, this immunity must be absolute. As for his remaining official actions, he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity.”

Read More

Study: ‘Vast DEI Bureaucracy’ Negatively Impacting U.S. Armed Forces

F35 A - Nellis Air Force Base

A new Arizona State University study suggests that Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts in the United States military are ineffective.

The study done by the university’s Center for American Institutions argued that there is a emphasis on training new soldiers about social issues like “unconscious bias” and “intersectionality” in a way the center says runs contrary to typical American ideals. The study examined DEI plan’s in different sector of the military, including DEI office staffing and education at academies like West Point.

Read More

Overpayments Account for Nearly 75 Percent of Federal Improper Payments

Finances

The federal government reported $236 billion in improper payments in fiscal year 2023, with the vast majority coming from overpayments, according to a new watchdog report.

A U.S. Government Accountability Office report found 74% of improper payments – payments that shouldn’t have been made or were made in the wrong amount – were overpayments. Overpayments accounted for $175.1 billion of the total amount of improper payments in 2023. Overpayments are payments “in excess of what is due, and for which the excess amount, in theory, should or could be recovered,” according to the report.

Read More

Report Shows 61 Percent of Renters Can’t Afford Median Apartment Rate in U.S.

Los Angeles Apartment Building

Due to inflation eating away at earnings and less supply of affordable housing, the majority of Americans today cannot afford median rent prices, according to a new report by the real estate company Redfin.

The analysis comes as other reports indicate that both homeowners and renters are struggling with high housing costs due to inflationary pressures, an inflated housing market, low supply and demand for affordable housing.

Read More

Signatures Submitted for Nevada Voter ID Ballot Initiative

Repair The Vote Petition

A Nevada political action committee (PAC) has submitted signatures in support of a Voter ID ballot initiative.

Repair The Vote PAC gave state and county election officials more than 179,000 signatures. The required number is 102,362, with an equal number of signatures coming from every congressional district.

Read More

Pennsylvania Progressives Resolute in Palestinian Support

Pro Palestine Protest

Recent critical remarks from top-ranking state officials, including Gov. Josh Shapiro, have not deterred Palestinian support among progressive lawmakers and advocacy groups in Pennsylvania.

Earlier this month, Sens. Kristin Phillips-Hill, R-Jacobus, and Steven Santarsiero, D-Doylestown, announced a bill to prevent state-funded institutions from divesting from Israel. The legislation explicitly names schools like Penn and Pitt whose encampments made headlines across the globe.

Read More

Fast Action Sought in Pennsylvania on 220-Page Marijuana Bill

Pennsylvania state Reps. Aaron Kaufer and Emily Kinkead (composite image)

Legislators pushing a bipartisan bill to legalize recreational marijuana warn that, without action, neighboring states will supply the drug — and carry away the tax revenue.

Reps. Aaron Kaufer, R-Luzerne, and Emily Kinkead, D-Bellevue, will soon introduce their legalization bill, written to closely overlap with a Senate proposal. They want to move fast.

Read More

Corn Growers Join Lawsuit Against EPA for Emissions Mandates

Corn Farmer

Several U.S. oil and corn industry lobby groups are suing the Biden Administration over its plans to slash planet-warming tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks. The coalition argues the regulations will cause economic harm.

The EPA finalized new rules for models of semi-trucks, buses and other heavy-duty vehicles released from 2027 to 2032 in a bid to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More

Another Report Says CBP, ICE Not Detaining, Removing Inadmissibles Flying into Country

CBP officer

The Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued another report identifying ongoing problems with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) processes.

A regional CBP and ICE detention and removal processes were ineffective at one major international airport, the OIG audit found. The report redacts the name and location of the airport and CBP and ICE regional offices.

Read More

Post Office Firearms Ban Faces Constitutional Challenge

United States Postal Office

A federal ban on carrying guns in post offices is now in question as a legal filing is now challenging whether the ban violates the Constitution.

Two men, Gavin Pate and George Mandry, have filed suit against the Department of Justice over the ban on carrying and storing weapons at federal post office locations.

Read More

In First Five Years, 79,000 of DACA Recipients Admitted to U.S. Had Arrest Records

DACA Rally

Within five years of a new program created to prevent deportation of minors brought into the country illegally by their parents, nearly 80,000 were released into the U.S. with arrest records. The majority were between the ages of 19 and 22 when they were arrested, according to the latest available data published by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced he was expanding deportation protections and job opportunities for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by executive order by former president Barack Obama in 2012.

Read More

Nearly Half of Americans Struggling Because of Higher Prices in Poll

Grocery Shopping

Nearly half of Americans report that the recent spike in inflation is making it harder to make ends meet, according to a new poll.

Monmouth University released a poll Wednesday showing 46% of Americans are “currently struggling to remain where they are financially.”

Read More

CBP: More than 241,000 Illegal Entries in May, 2.2 Million in Fiscal Year

Illegal Immigrants

More than 241,000 people were apprehended after illegally entering the U.S. in May, according to newly released data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

May’s numbers push the total number of apprehensions and encounters of illegal border crossers to more than 2.2 million in the first eight months of fiscal 2024.

Read More

PennDOT Releases Draft Plan to Guide Transportation Improvements

The next major transportation plan is out and PennDOT wants the public to comment on it.

The Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan was released to the public this week, laying out how the agency plans to spend almost $29 billion in the next few years to build “a safe and reliable transportation network that connects Pennsylvanians to opportunities and services,” according to an agency press release.

Read More

Industry Groups Sue over Biden Regulation Requiring Electric School Buses, Trucks

Rich Moskowitz, AFPM General Counsel

A coalition of industry groups have filed a lawsuit challenging a Biden administration rule.

A dozen groups joined together to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for the Biden administration’s new rule, finalized earlier this year, which requires model 2027 trucks to meet strict emissions standards that critics say are meant to push out diesel and gas vehicles and to replace them with electric vehicles.

Read More

Biden Announces Widespread Amnesty Plan for Illegal Immigrants

President Joe Biden announced a new plan on Tuesday that will fast track a path to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals who’ve been living in the country illegally for more than 10 years and married a U.S. citizen. He also expanded protections for DACA recipients, according to several reports.

In a statement issued by the White House, the president blamed Republicans in Congress for not securing the border and fixing the “broken immigration system.”

Read More

Standard Operating Temperature Lowered for Pennsylvania Crematories

Crematory

Pennsylvania crematories can officially lower standard operating temperatures to save money and reduce environmental emissions.

Gov. Josh Shapiro signed the legislation Monday, which drops the temperature from 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit to 1,600 degrees. The small change garners big results, according to the funeral industry.

Read More

Pennsylvania Plan for Agency on Alzheimer’s Disease Support Moves Forward

Pennsylvania State Rep. Maureen Madden

Reform on Alzheimer’s Disease and similar conditions took another step toward the Pennsylvania governor’s desk last week.

Leaders in the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee hope to build momentum behind the issue after a plan laid out in 2014 to address the many obstacles facing those seeking care has largely fallen flat.

Read More

Pennsylvania’s Education Reform Recap

Children in a classroom

Both legislative chambers left town this week after advancing sweeping educational reforms likely to wind up – in some form – woven into the state budget due June 30.

While the plans don’t necessarily clash, Senate and House leaders do. The ideological strife will boil down to the estimated return on investment.

Read More

Supreme Court Ruling Upholds Immigration Law and Deportation Process

Justice Samuel Alito

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday upheld a law established by Congress requiring the deportation of foreign nationals who illegally enter the country. 

The court ruled on three consolidated cases in Campos-Chaves v Garland that were on appeal in the Fifth and Ninth circuits, where the appellate courts issued conflicting rulings.

Read More

Airline Industry Continues to Grapple with Safety Concerns

Boeing 737

Various aviation and airline executives and experts spoke Wednesday on safety in the industry at an event hosted by POLITICO.

Speakers included Bob Jordan, CEO of Southwest Airlines, Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kans. and Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Whitaker and other executives from the airline industry. 

Read More