Author Archives: Jake Johnson

Congress ‘asleep at the switch’ as Biden continues Trump-era ploy to privatize Medicare

More than 1,500 physicians warn that the experiment threatens "the future of Medicare as we know it."

A Trump-era pilot program that could result in the complete privatization of traditional Medicare in a matter of years is moving ahead under the Biden administration, a development that—despite its potentially massive implications for patients across the U.S.—has received scant attention from the national press or Congress. Continue reading

GOP, Big Pharma plotting to convince Senate parliamentarian to help kill drug price reforms

The pharmaceutical industry and its allies in the Republican Party are reportedly teaming up to craft challenges to congressional Democrats’ drug price reform plan in the hopes of convincing the Senate parliamentarian—an unelected functionary—to help tank the proposal. Continue reading

‘He should be expelled’: Republican Paul Gosar shares edited video of him killing AOC

"This man should not serve in Congress," said Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). "Fantasizing about violently attacking your colleagues has no place in our political discourse and society."

Far-right Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona is drawing widespread condemnation for sharing an edited animated video depicting him killing Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, conduct that lawmakers and others said warrants his immediate removal from office. Continue reading

‘Political malpractice’: House Democrats’ bill wouldn’t add dental to Medicare until 2028

"I don't want to see it drawn out to as far as the House has proposed," Sen. Bernie Sanders said during a recent press call.

House Democrats’ 2,465-page reconciliation package includes a plan to add dental benefits to Medicare, a proposal that is overwhelmingly popular with U.S. voters and—according to advocates—urgently needed to assist the tens of millions seniors who have been forced to go without crucial care. Continue reading

Democrats urged to ‘ignore’ parliamentarian’s advice against path to citizenship

"Ignore this ruling or get a new one. The GOP didn't hesitate when they pushed their corporate agenda."

Democratic lawmakers and the White House are facing pressure to disregard the Senate parliamentarian after the unelected official on Sunday deemed a crucial immigration measure out of bounds for reconciliation, endangering an effort to provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of people. Continue reading

Ocasio-Cortez slams Texas governor’s ‘disgusting’ defense of abortion ban

"It's not just ignorance, it's ignorance that's hurting people across this country."

Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday condemned Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest defense of his state’s near-total ban on abortion as “disgusting” and said the Republican leader’s ignorance on matters of basic biology is actively harming people across the nation. Continue reading

Sotomayor rips right-wing justices as Supreme Court effectively overturns Roe v. Wade

In a blistering dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor slammed conservative justices for opting to "bury their heads in the sand" when faced with a "flagrantly unconstitutional law."

The conservative U.S. Supreme Court issued an unsigned order in the dead of night Wednesday leaving Texas’ draconian abortion ban in place, a move that effectively overturns Roe v. Wade and imperils reproductive rights across much of the United States. Continue reading

Roe v. Wade in grave danger as Supreme Court lets Texas abortion ban take effect

"Access to almost all abortion has just been cut off for millions of people. The impact will be immediate and devastating."

A draconian Texas law banning abortions beyond around six weeks of pregnancy took effect at midnight after the conservative U.S. Supreme Court did not act to block it on Tuesday, a decision that could have major implications for reproductive rights across the country. Continue reading

Ocasio-Cortez slams Biden administration for upholding ‘absurdly cruel’ Cuba embargo

Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday condemned the Biden administration for upholding the United States’ crippling embargo against Cuba, where people have taken to the streets in recent days to protest food and medicine shortages exacerbated by the decades-old economic restrictions. Continue reading

‘We’re not going away!’ Nonviolent protest over voting rights ends with arrests in DC

"We're saying across this country, it's time for people... to march on these Senate offices," declared Rev. William Barber.

Activists with the national Poor People’s Campaign were arrested Wednesday after blocking a street in front of the Hart Senate building in Washington, D.C. to demand passage of the For the People Act, a popular voting rights expansion bill that Republicans successfully filibustered just 24 hours earlier. Continue reading

Calls to ‘expand the Supreme Court’ grow as McConnell warns he’s prepared to steal another seat

"Mitch McConnell is already foreshadowing that he'll steal a 3rd Supreme Court seat if he gets the chance. He's done it before, and he'll do it again."

Progressive calls to add seats to the U.S. Supreme Court gained fresh urgency Monday after Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested he would block President Joe Biden from filling a potential high court vacancy if Republicans wrest back control of the upper chamber in next year’s midterms. Continue reading

Biden faces backlash over ‘shameful’ capitulation to GOP governors as they end unemployment lifelines

"You only take back the lifeline when people aren't drowning," said Claire Guzdar of the Groundwork Collaborative.

Biden administration officials publicly signaled Friday that they have no intention of putting up a fight as the Republican governors of 25 states prematurely cut off emergency unemployment programs, yanking key lifelines from millions of jobless workers and depriving local economies of billions of dollars. Continue reading

Texas Democrats walk off House floor to block ‘one of the ugliest voter suppression bills in the country’

"This is the kind of fight we need from our legislators."

Texas Democrats blocked final passage of a Republican-authored voter suppression bill late Sunday by abruptly walking off the state House floor, denying the chamber’s GOP majority the quorum necessary to proceed to a vote. Continue reading

‘It’s the filibuster or democracy,’ say progressives after GOP tanks January 6 commission

"Unless we abolish the filibuster, there will be no progress on any agenda focused on justice, fairness, or basic survival," said Sen. Ed Markey.

Intensifying progressive calls to eliminate the legislative filibuster, Senate Republicans wielded the archaic procedural tool on Friday to torpedo a bill that sought to establish an independent commission to probe the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Continue reading

‘Stop the monopoly madness’: Biden urged to block Amazon’s $8.5 billion purchase of MGM

"In announcing plans to buy MGM, Jeff Bezos placed a big softball on a tee for the Biden administration to knock over the fence."

Progressive opponents of corporate consolidation are pushing the Biden administration to intervene after Amazon announced Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire the Hollywood film and television studio MGM for nearly $8.5 billion, a deal that critics denounced as harmful to workers, consumers, and U.S. democracy. Continue reading

After deranged Marjorie Taylor Greene video emerges, AOC laments colleague is ‘deeply unwell’

"If the shoe were on the other foot, the GOP would be calling for my expulsion," said the New York Democrat.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lamented Friday that Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia is “deeply unwell” following the emergence of a 2019 video showing Greene—then a private citizen—telling the New York Democrat through the mail slot of her locked office door that she is “bringing God’s judgement on our country” by supporting women’s reproductive freedom. Continue reading

Left says Senate Democrats face existential choice: Kill filibuster or watch democracy die

"This is about to move from an abstract conversation about Senate rules to a very clear choice for Senate Democrats: Protect the 'Jim Crow' filibuster or protect American democracy—they won't be able to do both."

As the Senate Rules Committee convened Tuesday to mark up a sweeping legislative proposal aimed at protecting and expanding voting rights, progressive activists ramped up pressure on the chamber’s Democrats to eliminate an archaic procedural rule that poses a critical threat to the bill’s chances of becoming law. Continue reading

New York AG reveals telecom giants funded ‘secret campaign’ to flood FCC with fake net neutrality comments

"This investigation shows how low the industry will stoop to undermine even the most basic and benign safeguards."

The New York Attorney General’s Office released a report Thursday showing that major U.S. telecom companies pumped millions of dollars into a “secret campaign” that flooded the FCC with millions of fake comments in an attempt to influence the agency’s 2017 repeal of net neutrality protections. Continue reading

‘A slap in the face’: Postal union slams DeJoy plan to close mail processing facilities

"Plant consolidations are a misguided strategy that not only disrupts the lives of postal workers but will further delay mail."

The 200,000-member American Postal Workers Union reacted with outrage Tuesday to news that USPS management is moving ahead with a plan to consolidate 18 mail processing facilities as part of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s sweeping overhaul of delivery operations. Continue reading

In closed-door event with corporate lobbyists, Manchin vows $15 wage ‘not going to happen’

A top restaurant industry lobbyist reportedly "couldn't contain his excitement" at the West Virginia Democrat's remarks.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia on Tuesday reportedly mocked the popular push for a $15 federal minimum wage during a private event with restaurant industry lobbyists, telling attendees he prefers an hourly wage floor of $11 and nothing “above half of that” for tipped workers. Continue reading

Democratic lawmakers urge Barrett to recuse herself from Koch dark money case

The members of Congress note that Americans for Prosperity, a Koch-funded advocacy group, mounted a "full-scale campaign" in support of the justice's confirmation.

Three Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday urged U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett to recuse herself from a pending case revolving around the nonprofit arm of Americans for Prosperity, a Koch-funded political advocacy group that spent heavily to ensure Barrett’s confirmation to the bench last October. Continue reading

DeSantis signs ‘outrageous and blatantly unconstitutional’ anti-protest bill into law

"Every single Floridian should be outraged by this blatant attempt to erode our First Amendment right to peacefully assemble."

Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed into law a bill that civil rights groups warn is designed to crack down on peaceful demonstrations and criminalize dissent by redefining “rioting” in an overbroad way and creating draconian new felonies for protest-related offenses. Continue reading

Federal court ends Trump effort to open 128 million acres of Atlantic, Arctic oceans to drilling

"As the Biden administration considers its next steps, it should build on these foundations, end fossil fuel leasing on public lands and waters, and embrace a clean energy future."

A federal appeals court on Tuesday dealt the final blow to former President Donald Trump’s attempt to open nearly 130 million acres of territory in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans to oil and gas drilling. Continue reading

‘All you telecom lobbyists are bound to lose’: Judge upholds California’s gold standard net neutrality law

"Now we're one step closer to net neutrality being the law of the land."

Defenders of the open internet celebrated a major victory late Tuesday after a federal judge ruled that a California law establishing strong net neutrality protections can take effect, a severe blow to the telecom giants that spent big money trying to kill the measure through aggressive lobbying and litigation. Continue reading

‘Blood is on Abbott’s hands’: Anger at GOP leaders surges as food, water shortages compound Texas power crisis

"Abbott has failed and passed off blame to somebody else. Texas is in dire straits. Texans are dying. Homes are being destroyed, people are cold and hungry, and we have no idea when things will begin to return to normal."

Texans who have been without power for days in the aftermath of Winter Storm Uri are now also facing food and water crises as frigid temperatures and ongoing blackouts disrupt supply chains and wreak havoc on the state’s infrastructure—compounding emergencies that have spurred intensifying backlash against GOP leaders. Continue reading

‘Fire DeJoy before he burns down USPS’: Postmaster general pushes plan for slower mail, higher prices

'Fire DeJoy before he burns down USPS': Postmaster general pushes plan for slower mail, higher prices

Undeterred by the backlash and widespread delays that followed his disruptive operational changes at the U.S. Postal Service last year, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is reportedly planning to roll out another slate of policies that would significantly hike postage rates and further slow the delivery of certain kinds of mail. Continue reading

Ignoring pleas of press freedom defenders, Biden DOJ files appeal to extradite Julian Assange

"The Assange case represents the gravest threat to press freedom in a generation."

The Biden Justice Department on Friday formally appealed a British judge’s rejection of the U.S. request to extradite Julian Assange, confirming the new administration’s intention to run with its predecessor’s espionage charges against the WikiLeaks publisher despite warnings that the case endangers press freedoms around the world. Continue reading

Medicare for All the ‘only way forward,’ concludes Lancet panel in study detailing death and misery inflicted by Trump

"Trump's disastrous actions compounded longstanding failures in health policy in the USA. We know what it will take to create a healthy society. We just need the political will to do it."

A panel of policy experts and medical professionals convened to examine the healthcare legacy of Donald Trump concluded in a detailed report released Thursday morning that the former president’s sweeping regulatory rollbacks and full-scale assault on America’s already decimated public health infrastructure severely undermined the nation’s fight against Covid-19 and caused tens of thousands of preventable deaths. Continue reading

As DeJoy readies new assault on U.S. Postal Service, pressure grows for Biden to ‘clean house’

"My solution starts at the top: firing the whole board who presided over Trump and DeJoy's wrecking of USPS," said Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr.

With Postmaster General Louis DeJoy reportedly preparing to unveil plans for another round of service cuts and operational changes as soon as this week, President Joe Biden is facing growing calls from lawmakers, mail carriers, and others to take urgent steps to protect the U.S. Postal Service from further damage, pave the way for DeJoy’s removal, and shore up the agency’s finances for the near and distant future. Continue reading

Biden urged to fire entire US Postal Service Board for complicity in ‘devastating arson’ by Trump and DeJoy

"Trump confessed he was wrecking USPS to rig the election. His toady Postmaster General DeJoy carried out that arson. It's time to clean house."

Democratic Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. of New Jersey on Monday urged President Joe Biden to terminate all six sitting members of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors for their “silence and complicity” in the face of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and former President Donald Trump’s full-scale assault on the beloved government mail agency. Continue reading

‘Clean house of every last Trumpist’: Biden urged to keep firing spree going by sacking Social Security holdovers

"The only thing that is acceptable at the Social Security Administration is a new commissioner and a new deputy commissioner who believe in the system, the movement won't accept anything less."

After President Joe Biden kicked off his White House tenure Wednesday by sacking several corrupt and incompetent holdovers from the Trump administration—including labor board attorney Peter Robb and CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger—progressives are urging the newly inaugurated president to keep the firing spree going by terminating his predecessor’s right-wing appointees at the Social Security Administration. Continue reading

“Enabling president’s unhinged, unstable, and deranged acts”: GOP blocks measure urging Pence to invoke 25th Amendment

"Their complicity endangers America, erodes our democracy, and it must end."

A Republican congressman from West Virginia on Monday blocked a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Donald Trump from office, a move that came as Democratic lawmakers unveiled articles of impeachment against the president that are expected to receive a vote later this week. Continue reading