Tag: h.r.1.

Background Briefing: February 1, 2021


Fixing American Democracy as the Democrats’ First Order of Business

We begin with the priority the Democrats in the House and Senate are trying to make their first order of business with H.R.1, the “For the People Act” and its Senate counterpart S.1. But in order to restore voting rights, reform campaign finance and enhance ethics enforcement, the Democrats would need to get rid of the filibuster. Meanwhile the Republicans are running with Trump’s lies that he won an election that was stolen from him and are trying to push through laws in State Houses based on those lies to suppress votes and limit voting rights. Joining us is Paul Blumenthal, a reporter in Washington D.C. who covers campaign finance, congressional investigations and elections for The Huffington Post where he has an article “Senate Democrats Announce First Order of Business For New Majority: Fixing Democracy.” We discuss whether Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema who are opposed to ending the filibuster, can be persuaded that nothing can be accomplished unless a national standard is set to expand voting rights, ban dark money and gerrymandering and establish a system of publicly-financed elections.


Trump’s New Lawyers Have Less Than 48 Hours to Prepare Briefs

Then we speak with a veteran Washington lawyer and expert on white-collar financial crime and international tax evasion, Jack Blum, who spent 14 years as a staff attorney with the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He joins us to discuss Trump’s firing of his lawyers because they resisted Trump basing his defense in the upcoming impeachment trial on his claim that he won the election and how his new lawyers, one who declined to prosecute Bill Cosby and the other who specializes in getting Mafia bosses off, have less than 48 hours to prepare briefs.


Military Junta Arrests Myanmar’s Elected Leader Whose Reputation is Tainted

Then finally we look into what is happening in Myanmar where the power behind the scenes, the military junta, has arrested the country’s elected leaders including the Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyii whose international reputation is in tatters following the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingyas. A leading expert on Burma/Myanmar, David Steinberg, a distinguished professor emeritus of Asian Studies at Georgetown University, joins us.