White House News

April 8, 2021

Republicans, Democrats Fight Over New Election Laws
President Joe Biden is being lambasted by Republicans over his claims that a recently passed voting law
in the state of Georgia is reminiscent of the Jim Crow era—the period after the Civil War when lawmakers
passed laws that made it nearly impossible for black people to vote. The 98-page law limits ballot drop
boxes to inside early voting locations during voting hours, makes giving food or drinks to people waiting in
line to vote a crime, and allows for unlimited challenges to voter registrations and eligibility. It also grants
state officials broad rights, including the ability to replace local election officials, shortens the runoff cycle
from nine weeks to four weeks, and removes the secretary of state as chair of the state election board.
Critics of the law say that it disproportionately affects black voters, who were critical to Joe Biden
becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia since 1992. Biden’s victory also
hoisted two Democrats – Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff – to victory in Senate runoff elections in
Following the law’s passage, President Biden said in a statement, “Instead of celebrating the rights of all
Georgians to vote or winning campaigns on the merits of their ideas, Republicans in the state instead
rushed through an un-American law to deny people the right to vote. This law, like so many others being
pursued by Republicans in statehouses across the country, is a blatant attack on the constitution and
good conscience. This is Jim Crow in the 21 st  Century. It must end.” Biden added that the Justice
Department is “looking into” what they can do to counter the law. “We don’t know quite exactly what we
can do at this point,” Biden said. “It has nothing to do with fairness, nothing to do with decency. They
passed the law saying you can’t provide water for people standing in line while they’re waiting to vote?
You don’t need anything else to know that this is nothing but punitive, designed to keep people from
voting. You can’t provide water for people about to vote? Give me a break.”
Republicans fired back at Biden and Democrats decrying the law, saying that their handwringing amounts
to no more than a political stunt. Georgia lawmaker Wes Cantrell pointed out that Delaware and New
York—the home states of President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer—both have even
stricter election laws than the one passed in Georgia. Cantrell said he would introduce a bill to make
Georgia’s election laws more similar to those of Biden and Schumer’s state, both of which consistently
vote for Democrats. “Since President Biden seems to be very concerned about our laws here in Georgia,
this bill will make Georgia’s voting laws identical to those of his home state in Delaware,” Cantrell said.
“You didn’t just spread misinformation once. You did it again and again,” Cantrell continued, addressing
President Biden. “Delaware’s voting laws are draconian when compared to Georgia. Until you bring
election reform to your home state of Delaware, it’s probably best that you sit this one out. To use your
favorite phrase, ‘C’mon Man!’”
Despite the continued withering criticism from Democrats and the left, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said
that he would not back down. “There is nothing ‘Jim Crow’ about requiring a photo or state-issued ID to
vote by absentee ballot – every Georgia voter must already do so when voting in person,” Kemp said.
“President Biden, the left, and the national media are determined to destroy the sanctity and security of
the ballot box.”
Former President Donald Trump and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel have
also thrown their support behind the new law. “Democrats can lie and spin about the bill all they want, but
the real question should be: Why are Democrats so terrified of a transparent and secure election
process? We look forwarding to defending this law in court,” McDaniel said.
Two voting rights groups, the New Georgia Project and Black Voters Matters, have filed a federal lawsuit
challenging the law, arguing that it violates the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the US Constitution, saying
that provisions in the law “serve no legitimate purpose other than to make absentee, early, and election-
day voting more difficult – especially for minority voters.” Nse Ufot, chief executive of the New Georgia
Project, said that the lawsuit was filed because the new law is a “violation of voting rights… It is a violation
of our dignity and power.”
Deborah Scott, the executive director of Georgia Stand-Up, a civic action group, said the bill’s provision
barring electioneering by providing food and water to people standing in line to vote is targeted directly at
groups like hers. “If they won’t let us give them water at the polls, we’ll make sure they have water before
they get to the polls. We’re just going to find a way to make one,” Scott said. “We’re resilient. We have
survived slavery. We have survived the first Jim Crow and we’ll definitely survive Jim Crow in a
seersucker suit in 2021.”
Democrats have been using the new election law in Georgia to underscore what they say is the vital need
to pass the For the People Act, better known as H.R. 1, in the Senate. The legislation, which was recently

passed in the House of Representatives, is a sweeping bill that address elections and campaign finance
reforms, and one that Republicans say would take a wrecking ball to America’s election security.  
“Democrats can lie and spin about the bill all they want, but the real question should be: Why are
Democrats so terrified of a transparent and secure election process?”
Manchin Won’t Support Corporate Tax Hike
Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate who has emerged as a power broker in the 50-50 US
Senate, said that he would not vote to raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, a blow to President
Joe Biden’s plan to raise the rate in order to pay for his proposed $2.25 trillion infrastructure package.
Manchin said in an interview that he supports an infrastructure bill but that Biden’s current plan needs to
be modified to gain his support.
“As the bill exists today, it needs to be changed,” Manchin said. “If I don’t vote to get on it, it’s not going
anywhere.” Manchin added that he is not the only Democrat hesitant to increase taxes on corporations,
which would make American companies less competitive on the world stage. “There are six or seven
other Democrats who feel very strongly about this. We have to be competitive, and we’re not going to
throw caution to the wind,” Manchin said. 
Terror Watchlist Suspects Caught Crossing into US
Two Yemeni men on the FBI’s terror watchlist were arrested for illegally entering the US from Mexico,
federal authorities announced on Monday. The men, aged 33 and 26 but whose identities were not
revealed, were taken into custody near the Calexico Port of Entry in California in separate incidents, and
are both “known to be or reasonably suspected of being involved in terrorist activities.”
The number of migrants illegally crossing into the United States through the southern border is now at the
highest level in 15 years, as the Biden administration grapples with the crisis that they are hesitant to
even acknowledge. According to the Customs and Border Patrol, more than 170,000 migrants were taken
into custody in March alone, the highest monthly figure since 2006. Of those taken into custody, 18,800
were unaccompanied minors, well above the previous such record of 11,800 in May of 2019. Images
taken inside some of the Border Patrol facilities where migrants are being held shows individuals
crammed into holding pens, the same “cages” Democrats accused President Trump of using and
compared to Nazi concentration camps.
The surge has come after President Biden promised a more welcoming approach to illegal immigrants,
including a 100-day moratorium on deportations of illegal immigrants.
Farrakhan Follower Rams Police at Capitol
A Capitol Hill police officer was killed and another injured after a follower of anti-Semitic and anti-America
preacher Louis Farrakhan rammed a vehicle into them outside the US Capitol last Friday. The suspect,
identified as Noah Green, was shot and killed by police after exiting the vehicle following the ramming and
tried attacking another police officer with a large knife.
The killed officer was identified as William “Billy” Evans, whom the Capitol Police union said was a highly
respected team member and father of two. While the ramming attack was initially the top story in the
country, mainstream news outlets quickly turned their attention elsewhere after the attacker was identified
as a Muslim follower of the radical Farrakhan. Conservative sites have noted that it follows a pattern of
mainstream and liberal outlets ignoring stories when it does not fit a leftist narrative of Trump supporters
and white supremacists wreaking havoc. A recent shooting at a supermarket in Boulder,
Colorado—carried out by an anti-Semitic Syrian immigrant who was known to the FBI—also quickly faded
from media reports.
US Begins Indirect Talks with Iran
The Biden administration began indirect talks with the Iranian regime this week in an effort to bring the
United States back into the 2015 nuclear deal from which former President Trump withdrew in 2018.
Despite five other countries continuing to be a part of the deal, Iran has been steadily enriching uranium

in direct violation of the pact, but President Biden believes that getting the US back into the deal will make
the Iranians comply.
Officials who support the US returning to the deal, named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, of
which Russia, China, France, Germany, and Britain still comply by, argue that Iran has only been violating
the deal in an effort to force the US to offset crippling sanctions imposed by President Trump on the
regime. State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the indirect talks are a “healthy step forward,”
but added that “we don’t anticipate an early or immediate breakthrough, as these discussions, we fully
expect, will be difficult. We don’t anticipate at present that there will be direct talks with Iran. Though of
course we remain open to them. And so we’ll have to see how things go.”
Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei said that the regime is demanding the “lifting [of] all sanctions
that were imposed or reimposed against Iran” by President Trump, and claimed that Iran is “ready to
return to all our commitments immediately after the American side lifts sanctions in a complete and
verifiable” way.
Schumer Vows to Legalize Marijuana
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that he will move forward with legislation that would
federally legalize marijuana even if President Biden is opposed to it. In an interview, Schumer said that he
is having “an ongoing conversation” with Biden to “tell him how my views have evolved” on the issue, but
that the Senate would vote to legalize the substance even if Biden does not support it.
“He [Biden] said he’s studying the issue, so [I] obviously want to give him a little time to study it,” Schumer
said. “I want to make my arguments to him, as many other advocates will. But at some point we’re going
to move forward. Period.” Schumer, who had long been critical of attempts to legalize marijuana, changed
his position on the matter in recent years as public opinion shifts toward marijuana’s legalization, and
after several states have legalized cannabis without suffering severe consequences.
A November 2020 poll found that 68% of Americans now support legalizing marijuana, the highest level
ever measured. Many Democrats are framing marijuana legalization as a racial and social justice issue,
arguing that laws prohibiting its use have unfairly targeted minorities. Senators Cory Booker and Ron
Wyden said that “the War on Drugs has been a war on people – particularly people of color. Ending the
marijuana prohibition is necessary to right the wrongs of this failed war and end decades of harm inflicted
on communities of color across the country.”
Biden Sending $125 Million to Palestinians
President Biden is attempting to rehabilitate the United States’ relationship with the Palestinians which
was severely ruptured during President Trump’s tenure, beginning with sending $125 million in financial
aid to them. The funds, currently being readied by the State Department and USAID, includes $75 million
to support economic growth, increase access to basic needs, and programs that engage with Palestinian
society in Gaza and the West Bank.
President Trump had blocked any funds from being delivered to the Palestinians in a maximum pressure
campaign to force them into peace negotiations with Israel. State Department spokesman Ned Price said
that the American support and financial assistance being provided to the Palestinians “is consistent with
our values. It is consistent with our interests. Of course, it is consistent with the interests of the Palestinian
people. It’s also consistent with the interests of our partner Israel, and we’ll have more to say on that
going forward.”
Critics of giving aid to the Palestinians say that previous financial assistance given to Palestinian groups
were given to terror groups who used the funds to build tunnels and weapons to attack Israeli citizens.
Sitting Congressman Dies
Longtime Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings, the dean of the Florida Congressional delegation, died on
Tuesday at the age of 84 after battling an illness since 2019. Hastings first joined the House of
Representatives in 1992, winning a seat in the chamber that had impeached him years earlier when he
was a federal judge over bribery and perjury charges. Hastings went on to serve 15 terms representing
Florida’s 20 th District.
Hasting’s death creates another vacancy in the House at a time when Democrats cannot afford it. The
Democrats’ already thin majority in the House will shrink to 218-212 when Republican Rep. Julia Letlow –
who won a special election for her husband’s seat after he died of Covid-19 – is sworn into office next
week. That will mean Democrats can only afford two defections to the Republican camp on a vote on any

bill, making it more difficult for progressive legislation to be passed. A special election will take place to fill
the vacancy left by Hasting’s death, but Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will decide when to
schedule that election.  
Dems Can Bypass Filibuster on More Bills
The Senate parliamentarian ruled that Democrats can use special budgetary rules to bypass a potential
Republican filibuster on two more pieces of legislation, setting up Democrats to pass President Biden’s
infrastructure agenda in two packages with simple-majority votes. It’s a massive win for Senate Majority
Leader Chuck Schumer that will allow him to pass Biden’s $2.25 trillion infrastructure package. Schumer
can now pass a budget resolution for fiscal year 2022 to do a third reconciliation package for the second
half of the Biden infrastructure agenda or revise the fiscal year 2021 budget for a third time to set up a
third reconciliation package.