Category Archives: Elections

Student Loan Payments Paused for Millions Amid Court Fight Over Relief Plan

While praising the Biden administration’s move “to stave off this reckless attack from extremist politicians and judges,” advocates stressed that “broad-based debt cancellation is the only solution.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 7-19-2024 by Common Dreams

Image: The Prospect/CC

The Biden administration responded to an appellate court temporarily blocking one of its student debt relief programs by pausing payments for the 8 million borrowers already enrolled—a move welcomed by advocates, even as some called for further action.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona acknowledged in a statement that the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling against President Joe Biden’s Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan “could have devastating consequences for millions of student loan borrowers crushed by unaffordable monthly payments if it remains in effect.”

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Targeting Corporate Landlords, Biden to Unveil National Rent Control Plan

“The rent is too damn high—and rent control is a real fix,” one group said, praising the proposal.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 7-15-2024 by Common Dreams

Rent control rally in Seattle, 2019. Photo: Seattle City Council/flickr/CC

As former U.S. President Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination and announced his running mate on Monday, Democratic President Joe Biden prepared to unveil a proposal that would cap annual rent increases at 5% for tenants of major landlords.

After Biden briefly previewed the proposal during a press conference last week, The Washington Post reported on the planned announcement Monday, citing three people familiar with the matter. The Associated Press separately confirmed the plan.

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Teamsters President Urged to Cancel Republican Convention Speech

One Teamsters official warned the union leader’s scheduled appearance “only normalizes and makes the most anti-union party and president I’ve seen in my lifetime seem palatable.”

By Jake Johnson. Published 7-12-2024 by Common Dreams

Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien testified at a hearing held by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) in 2023. Photo: Teamsters

Teamsters general president Sean O’Brien is facing mounting internal pressure to cancel his planned speech to the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee next week, with the union’s vice president at large accusing the labor leader of kowtowing to a viciously anti-worker party and a GOP presidential hopeful whose first four years in the White House were marked by open attacks on the labor movement.

John Palmer, the Teamsters’ vice president at large, wrote in an op-ed in New Politics earlier this week that O’Brien’s scheduled appearance at Donald Trump’s invitation “only normalizes and makes the most anti-union party and president I’ve seen in my lifetime seem palatable.”

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Lawmakers Move to Bar Foreign-Owned Corporations From Spending on US Elections

A new bill “closes a glaring loophole opened up by the Supreme’s Court disastrous Citizens United decision which allows U.S. companies primarily owned by foreign entities to funnel money into our elections,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin.

By Edward Carver. Published 7-11-2024 by Common Dreams

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund owns stakes in several major U.S. companies including Uber. Such companies have been allowed to spend freely on elections since 2010, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizen United. Photo: Ivan Radic/flickr/CC

Democratic lawmakers on Thursday introduced bills to the U.S. Senate and House seeking to ban corporations that are at least 5% foreign-owned from federal elections spending, drawing praise from advocacy groups.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introduced the Get Foreign Money Out of U.S. Elections Act to the Senate and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) reintroduced the same bill to the House, with each version gaining co-sponsorship by progressive lawmakers such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

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Led by Left Coalition, French Election Shows ‘How You Defeat the Far Right’

France’s left-of-center parties held off a far-right advance in the country’s parliamentary elections by building a progressive platform and forming strategic alliances, their supporters say.

By Edward Carver. Published 7-8-2024 by Common Dreams

Supporters of La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) part of The Nouveau Front Populaire coalition, celebrate the election results. Screenshot: CNN

Political figures from across the world congratulated France’s left-of-center coalition following parliamentary elections on Sunday in which it gained the most seats of any group, outperforming the far-right party that many feared would take control of the National Assembly, in what The Washington Post called “one of the greatest political upsets in recent French history.”

In the second and final round of voting, the Nouveau Front Populaire (NFP) won roughly 180 out of the 577 seats in the assembly, far from a majority but more than President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist coalition, which won about 160, or Marine Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement National (RN), which won about 140 or 145.

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With Attention on Presidential Contest, GOP Goes on Austerity Rampage

One leading Democrat warned Republicans’ spending proposals would “demolish public education” and “let corporate price gouging run rampant.”

By Jake Johnson. Published 7-6-2024 by Common Dreams

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson speaking with attendees at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s 2023 Annual Leadership Summit. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

With much of the public’s attention on the looming presidential election and high-stakes jockeying over who will take on Donald Trump in November, congressional Republicans in recent weeks have provided a stark look at their plans for federal spending should their party win back control of the presidency and the Senate.

The appropriations process for Fiscal Year 2025, which begins in October, is currently underway, with congressional committees engaging in government funding debates that are likely to continue beyond the November elections.

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Britain’s new prime minister has a chance to reset ties with the White House – but a range of thorny issues and the US election make it more tricky

By Garret Martin, American University School of International Service. Published 7-5-2024 by The Conversation

Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria cast their votes in the 2024 General Election. Photo: Keir Starmer/flickr/CC

The new U.K. prime minister, Sir Keir Starmer, will have just a couple of days to settle into the job before facing his first test on the global stage.

Having presided over a landslide victory for his party on July 4, 2024, Starmer will head to Washington, D.C., for a crucial NATO summit starting July 9. Days later he will host over 50 European leaders for the European Political Community meeting.

Amid many global challenges, Starmer has an opportunity to show that the U.K. is back on the world stage. In particular, with many Western leaders facing serious headwinds at home – think Emmanuel Macron in France or Olaf Scholz in Germany – Starmer has a chance to re-establish the U.K. as the key partner for the U.S. in Europe.

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Arizonans Submit Over Double the Signatures Needed for Abortion Ballot Measure

“The enthusiasm we’ve seen from Arizona voters for this constitutional amendment is unprecedented, and we’re ready to stand with them through Election Day and restore the reproductive freedom they deserve.”

By Jessica Corbett Published 7-3-2024 by Common Dreams

Arizona for Abortion Access held a press conference about signature collection on July 3, 2024. (Photo: Arizona for Abortion Access/X)

Campaigners on Wednesday turned in 823,685 signatures—more than double the 383,923 required—to the Arizona secretary of state’s office to get a proposed state constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights on the November ballot.

“What we’re turning in is a show of strength of the campaign, but also strength of the issue of protecting abortion,” said Chris Love, a spokesperson for Arizona for Abortion Access. “And I’m confident that we will obviously appear on the ballot, but more importantly, I’m confident that we’ll win in November.”

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Project 2025: How Trump Win Would Imperil Worker Organizing Gains Under Biden’s NLRB

The right-wing agenda “offers a playbook for how an administration could jeopardize the NLRB’s ability to protect organizing workers.”

By Julia Conley. Published 6-20-2024 by Common Dreams

Just before oral arguments in an American Federation of Government Employees’ lawsuit against the Trump administration, AFGE and other unions rally to protest the Trump administration’s anti-union executive orders. in 2018. Photo: AFGE/flickr/CC

With longtime labor lawyer Jennifer Abruzzo at the helm of the National Labor Relations Board, serving as general counsel, the Biden administration has worked to reverse the decadeslong trend in the U.S. of weakened labor laws—achieving a high rate of workers voting to join unions, requiring thousands of workers to be reinstated at their jobs after being illegally fired for organizing, and increasing the number of workers who are eligible to unionize.

But as the Center for American Progress (CAP) warned in an analysis published on Thursday, all that progress and more could be erased if former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee in the November election, were to win a second term in the White House—enabling him to put the right-wing plot Project 2025 into action.

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‘Unconscionable’: Prosecution of Arundhati Roy Sanctioned Under Indian Anti-Terror Law

“This is horrifying—a clear case of political persecution by an authoritarian government,” one of Roy’s publishers wrote.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 6-16-2024 by Common Dreams

Arundhati Roy at Harvard for a lecture in 2010. Photo: jeanbaptisteparis/flickr/CC

Delhi Lieutenant Gov. V. K. Saxena has sanctioned the prosecution of world-renowned Indian author and activist Arundhati Roy over comments she allegedly made 14 years ago regarding Kashmir, officials from his office said on Friday.

Saxena is a member of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), and Roy has been a vocal critic of Modi and what she has described as India’s “descent… into full-blown fascism” under BJP leadership.

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