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McCarthy’s Mess and the Fight for Economic Freedom
Also inside: Exclusive interviews with PA Gov. Josh Shapiro and NV AG Aaron Ford
Welcome to From the Frontlines, a bi-weekly newsletter featuring the local political stories you need to know from key states ahead of the 2024 election.
It’s long been called one of the worst jobs in Washington (at least when Republicans hold the position), but Kevin McCarthy’s tenure as Speaker of the House has taken the absurdity to a whole new level.
McCarthy has spent the better part of nine months debasing himself before the Freedom Caucus, trying desperately to meet as many of their demands as possible in order to avoid a humiliating removal as House Speaker.
This month, amid pressure from the likes of Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (who likes McCarthy) and Matt Gaetz (who very much does not), McCarthy launched a farcical, fact-free impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, in part to try and persuade the fringes of his caucus not to shut down the government at the end of the month.
That effort has failed spectacularly, and the government is barreling towards a shutdown in less than two weeks because McCarthy can’t get his own house in order. Just how much of a mess are House Republicans causing? Here are two screenshots of Politico’s homepage, taken six days apart:
This shouldn’t exactly come as a surprise. After all, these are some of the same people who tried to overturn an election, want to ban abortion nationwide, call teachers “groomers,” and embrace anti-worker and pro-corporate policies. Their agenda is not one of helping the majority of Americans—it’s one of rolling back rights and freedoms to advance a very narrow vision of what America is. That they can’t agree amongst themselves over just how narrow that vision should be makes it all the more ridiculous and disturbing.
But while Washington Republicans are failing at the basic acts of governance and representation, thousands of everyday Americans and many Democrats are fighting for a different vision. One that embraces freedom in all its forms.
The Democratic governor of Pennsylvania is making it easier for eligible voters to participate in the democratic process.
Roughly 13,000 union auto workers are on strike across the Midwest as they seek better wages and benefits from the enormously profitable “Big 3” car makers — General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis. The workers—who earn hundreds of times less than the CEOs of the companies—are fed up with the rampant inequality that decades of pro-corporate and anti-worker policies have wrought. They want their fair share.
Educational freedom, reproductive freedom, democratic freedom, and economic freedom. These are the battles defining America today.
Long after Kevin McCarthy’s term as House Speaker ends, the consequences of these fights—the ones happening in state houses, school board meetings, and picket lines—will live on.
Let’s jump in with the stories you need to know from the past two weeks:
Pennsylvania: Gov. Josh Shapiro’s exclusive interview with The Keystone
Gov. Josh Shapiro on Tuesday announced that his administration would implement Automatic Voter Registration (AVR), allowing eligible Commonwealth residents to register to vote when they obtain driver’s licenses and ID cards at the DMV. Watch the exclusive interview here.
More from The Keystone:
Arizona: Arizonans’ Best Path to Abortion Access Isn’t Through Mexico
Mexico’s Supreme Court decriminalized abortion in September, a move that puts the country in stark contrast with the United States, where the procedure’s federal protections were removed last year by the nation’s highest court. But federal decriminalization doesn’t mean traveling to Mexico is a viable option for Arizonans in need of abortion care. Read the full story here.
More from Copper Courier:
Florida: Nearly Half of Florida Professors Want to Leave the State, Survey Finds
Following the passage of legislation that undermines higher education, nearly half of Florida faculty members surveyed said they’re planning to look for jobs in other states within the next year. Read the full story here.
More from Floricua:
Iowa: Iowa Teacher Explains How the 2023-2024 School Year is Already “Pull Your Hair Out” Crazy
An Iowa teacher writes about what it’s really like to be an educator in Iowa right now and how a new law makes the 2023-2024 school year a particular challenge. Watch the video here and read the full story here.
More from Iowa Starting Line:
Michigan: Michigan Dems Introduce Bills to Protect Reproductive Freedom
Michigan Democrats introduced legislation this month to chip away at several lingering obstacles to reproductive health care that are still buried in Michigan’s state laws, with the goal of expanding access and ensuring all Michiganders can receive the care they deserve. Read the full story here.
More from The ‘Gander:
Nevada: State Attorney General Aaron Ford on How He’s Fighting for Nevadans’ Rights
The Nevadan/El Nevadense sat down for an exclusive interview with Nevada’s 34th Attorney General, Dr. Aaron Ford on September 14. We discussed various topics, such as abortion, housing, human trafficking, and other issues affecting the Latino community statewide. Watch (or read) the exclusive interview here.
More from The Nevadan/El Nevadense:
North Carolina: ‘Sick of Thoughts and Prayers’: Students Press Lawmakers on Gun Violence
North Carolina students had a blunt message for lawmakers during a recent rally against gun violence: This “lockdown generation,” which has seen so many mass shootings and gotten only thoughts and prayers from elected officials in return, is angry, galvanized, and heading to the voting booth in 2024. Read the full story here.
More from Cardinal & Pine:
Virginia: Why Virginia Republicans Should Be Scared of National GOP’s Government Shutdown Gambit
With some conservative lawmakers calling a federal government shutdown at the end of September “inevitable,” Republican General Assembly candidates in Virginia could end up dealing with the fallout. This fall’s races for all 140 seats in the state House and Senate are the political focal point in Virginia at the moment, but a looming federal government disaster could shift the landscape dramatically all the way down the ballot. Read the full story here.
More from Dogwood:
Wisconsin: Republicans Vote to Fire Top Elections Official, Spurring Legal Battle Over Whether They Can Do That
The Republican majority in the state Senate voted to fire Wisconsin Elections Commission Meagan Wolfe, a move that was met with a lawsuit from the commission and Attorney General Josh Kaul—seeking a court’s confirmation that the Senate vote has no legal standing. Read the full story here.
More from Up North News:
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