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Benny

Thanks jcb. News from your neck of the woods.

Former Rep. Mondaire Jones launches comeback bid for House seat in New York

Former Rep. Mondaire Jones announced Wednesday he will run for Congress in New York’s 17th Congressional District, setting up a highly anticipated comeback bid and a possibly brutal Democratic primary in a key swing seat.

“Most people in Washington didn’t grow up like me,” Jones said in a campaign video that touched on abortion rights and his record increasing police funding. “They have no idea what it’s like to struggle. We got to get Washington back on the side of working people. I know we can do better. For me, this is personal.”

Jones will face a Democratic primary against Liz Whitmer Gereghty, an education advocate and the sister of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Gereghty, who serves on a school board in the district, has been courting support from members of the Michigan congressional delegation and is expected to carve out a more moderate lane in the race. Democrats are anxious to flip the seat currently held by Republican Rep. Mike Lawler.

Jones became one of the first two openly gay Black men elected to Congress when he first won his seat in 2020. As a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Jones supported “Medicare for All” and the “Green New Deal,” while also voting for increased police funding and the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure deal. Jones also voted to approve funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system in 2022, a nod to his district’s sizable Hasidic Jewish population.

After redistricting placed him in the same district as former Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, then the chair of House Democrats’ campaign arm, Jones opted not to run in the 17th District, even though it contained most of his old district in the lower Hudson Valley. He instead ran in the Manhattan-based 10th District, losing to Dan Goldman in the primary. Maloney then went on to lose to Lawler by less than a percentage point, one of many upsets Democrats experienced in New York House races. President Joe Biden carried the 17th district by 10 points in 2020.

Jones said in a Wednesday interview on News 12 Westchester that he regretted his decision to forgo a primary challenge against Maloney in 2020.

“I never imagined that I would wake up one day and would have to decide against primarying a member of the Democratic party at a time when we were seeing an assault on our democracy,” Jones said. “To that extent, yeah, I do regret not being the Democratic nominee last cycle.”

orlbucfan

Why is Gretchen Whitmer’s sister running in NY? You would think she would stay in MI cos her sister is rightfully beloved and respected there.

Benny

U.S. Rep. Colin Allred raises $6.2 million in first 2 months of Senate race

U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, D-Dallas, raised nearly $6.2 million in roughly the first two months of his campaign against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. He also transferred an additional $2.4 million from his House campaign account.

The numbers, first shared with The Texas Tribune, mean Allred will report about $8.6 million in total receipts between when he launched his Senate campaign on May 3 and the end of the second quarter, which was June 30. His campaign previously announced raising over $2 million in its first 36 hours.

Allred’s second-quarter fundraising cements his formidability as a fundraiser. Cruz’s last Democratic opponent, Beto O’Rourke, was a fundraising juggernaut at the height of the race, but it took him his first three fundraising quarters — nine months — to raise the $6.2 million that Allred collected in 59 days.

​​“Since day one this campaign has been about bringing people together to beat Ted Cruz and give this state the leadership it deserves,” Allred’s campaign manager, Paige Hutchinson, said in a statement. “We are amazed at the outpouring of support, and more confident than ever that we will have the resources to win next November and send Ted Cruz packing.”

Cruz has not released his second-quarter fundraising numbers yet. The figures are not due to the Federal Election Commission until July 15.

Allred’s campaign said the over $2.4 million that he I from his House account included direct funds and in-kind contributions, or non-monetary contributions such as goods and services. The transfer underscores the considerable money Allred already had saved up when he entered the Senate race — his House account had $2.2 million cash on hand at the close of the first quarter.

Allred’s campaign did not release how much cash on hand his Senate account had after the second quarter. Cruz’s reelection committee had a balance of $3.3 million after the first quarter.

Allred will likely face a contested Democratic primary to challenge Cruz. State Sen. Roland Gutierrez of San Antonio is also expected to run, and state Rep. Carl Sherman of DeSoto is newly considering a bid.

I hope one of these guys will finally topple Cruz, but it’s just not fundraising. Like him or not (as most do not), Cruz is decent on the debate stage. On the other hand, Cruz may not want to debate to control his narrative. The ERCOT fiasco in 2021 is always on the minds of tv commentators.

orlbucfan

Do not forget the all-important 50-State-Strategy. Whichever Demos are running must visit every county in that state. They all contain voters: reach out to them!

Benny

Dave Dayen

Biden Administration Begins Student Debt Relief Plan B

“Today’s decision has closed one path. Now we’re going to pursue another.” With that, President Biden committed his administration to a second option for canceling student debt, just hours after the first one was struck down by the Supreme Court.

Cynics are already grumbling that the goal is less to cancel student debt than to appear to be fighting for it. Chief Justice John Roberts and his colleagues were determined enough to nullify the first student debt relief program based on a non-injury by an unwilling plaintiff. Why would a second bite at the apple go any better? In any case, the timeline of the president’s path would likely put an ultimate reckoning out past the 2024 election.

Still, supporters of this Plan B can point to what tripped up the first effort at debt relief, and how a new process could fix those missteps in a way that would make it harder for the Court to work its will.

The first thing to be said is that this is not Plan B as much as it is Plan A. Four years ago, when the Prospect first suggested that presidents have the authority to cancel student debt without further congressional approval, that was based on the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), and the statutory language enabling the secretary of education to “compromise, waive, or release any title, claim, lien, or demand” on student debtors. It also specifically authorizes the department to waive equity claims, compromise “a debt in any amount,” and modify “any provision of a loan note.”

The White House instead used the HEROES Act of 2003, a law that gave the secretary the ability to “waive or modify” statutory or regulatory provisions to keep borrowers financially harmless from a national emergency like the pandemic. Because Donald Trump used this very statute to pause collection of student loan payments, the White House thought it might entice conservative justices.

In other words, it was about political tactics as much as the law, but it didn’t work. In terms of legal language, the HEA argument is clearly stronger.

(There’s a minor detail that, under the rules, the Education Department must consult with the Justice Department about any forgiveness totaling more than $1 million, but that’s easily done.)

What it would take to invoke the Higher Education Act to forgive student debt is a source of controversy. On one side, advocates say it could be done immediately, using the broad discretionary authority of the statute, and framing it as an “order” rather than a “rule,” which has a lower standard for administrative procedure. However, the Biden administration has long desired to confine debt relief to needier borrowers, which requires some form of means testing, and an application to boot.

A letter sent by advocates to the White House in May suggests that, because the government has already collected this information for the initial student debt cancellation program—which 16 million borrowers filled out—the secretary could immediately act for those borrowers. But the administration is not taking this approach. It has instead decided to engage in the “negotiated rulemaking” process to hammer out regulations governing debt relief under the HEA.

This was actually a live controversy from back when talk of debt relief first came up. It was discussed extensively in a January 2020 letter from the Legal Services Center at Harvard Law School to then-presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, when she announced her debt cancellation plan. It’s monstrously complicated, but I will try to explain.

To be clear, the administration could have initiated this rulemaking on January 20, 2021, and it would almost certainly have been done by now.

Though the HEA contains compromise and settlement authority, the Federal Claims Collection Act also purports to lay out when the government can collect, and settle, a federal debt. The FCCA does not supplant the secretary of education’s separate authority to cancel debts; however, regulations put forward by the department have occasionally referenced the FCCA and its implementing rules (known as the Federal Claims Collection Standards, or FCCS). For example, a 2016 Education Department rule said that the secretary can compromise, suspend, or terminate debts “under the provisions of the FCCS.” Those provisions are somewhat circumscribed and would not necessarily permit blanket forgiveness.

Both the Legal Services Center at Harvard and the advocates who wrote the White House in May do not believe that this limited the secretary’s authority. But of course, six unelected hacks in robes will give the final answer on that. One way out for the department is to rewrite the 2016 rule, to clarify its compromise and settlement authority.

This is what the department appears to be going with. Last Friday, it put out a hearing announcement for July 18, kicking off the negotiated rulemaking process. As is standard for Education Department regulations, negotiated rulemaking brings together “organizations or groups with interests that are significantly affected by the subject matter of the proposed regulations.” They have one or several sessions discussing the proposed rules, and then the department makes a determination, taking these viewpoints into account.

Negotiated rulemaking takes quite a while. The hearing is just to establish a committee and take input; after that, you have to write the proposed rule, again go through notice and comment, and publish a final rule. The negotiating committee can meet through every step of this process. While President Biden committed to moving as fast as possible, Politico has suggested this will stretch into next year, and that’s likely accurate, though the advocate letter cites many ways it could be accelerated. National Economic Council deputy director Bharat Ramamurti said in a press conference last week, “It’s going to be months … we are aiming to do it as quickly as possible.”

Because the Supreme Court only decides cases and controversies, and a rule would have to be issued for any litigation to commence (at least in theory), it would be until mid-2024 before the inevitable lawsuit could be filed. Given the usual Supreme Court schedule, that would put out disposition of the case until this time in 2025, well beyond Biden’s re-election campaign. A cynical reading would suggest that this is the point, to keep students believing that Biden is working on their behalf against a recalcitrant Court through Election Day.

To be clear, the administration could have initiated this rulemaking on January 20, 2021, and it would almost certainly have been done by now. Then we would not be in this position of delay.

Those facts are the reasons why some advocates are angered that this is a shadow play. They believe Biden should just ignore the FCCS issue and cancel debts now, based on the information received from 16 million borrowers. Implicitly, the feeling is that actually sending a cancellation notice puts the Supreme Court in the difficult spot of having to take away relief already granted. But I wouldn’t really put that past this Court, and certainly they can use the FCCS issue and the lack of new regulations to rerun the current case. I wouldn’t be surprised if that went right to the shadow docket with a swift reversal.

Whether you think the administration is being craven or just making the best of a bad call and a combative Court depends on whether you think negotiated rulemaking can actually overcome the hurdles placed in front of them to complete debt cancellation. Here’s one reading of what they might be thinking.

It’s shocking that it hasn’t received much attention, but the initial debt relief program did in fact deal with the fact that student loan servicers (private companies that handle day-to-day operations on federal loans) would be injured with lost revenue. The Supreme Court’s ruling hinged on this very fact, claiming that the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA) would be harmed. Putting aside that they didn’t bring the case and weren’t interested in doing so, they also weren’t harmed, because MOHELA was poised to receive $61 million in additional funds to process cancellations. That was more than the $44 million plaintiffs in the case claimed would be the injury to MOHELA.

In a negotiated rulemaking, servicers would be at the table. And there would be a public record on how much servicers would receive. If the administration is sharp, they would make this extremely clear; they would be compensating servicers for buying out their servicing rights, effectively. You might say that a one-time fee doesn’t make up for the ongoing harms to servicers from losing loans, but the government signs short-term contracts with servicers, so the lost revenue is simply as big as presumed.

I am sure the Court will try to get creative; Chief Justice Roberts, in his opinion last Friday, already tried to foreclose on this by claiming, wrongly, that the HEA “authorizes the Secretary to cancel or reduce loans, but only in certain limited circumstances and to a particular extent.”

But a public process under stronger authorities that buys out the servicers who might have claims to an injury in fact could cut off standing avenues. Remember, there were two challenges to the initial debt relief plan, and the Court unanimously rejected the first one, from debtors who felt like they didn’t get enough relief. If debtors are unavailable, and servicers are unavailable because they weren’t harmed, it becomes really hard to find anyone else who is available to have standing.

Again, it’s reasonable to see that as a long shot, and to look at this as a case of how to lose well: forcing the Court to rip debt relief away after people are notified of the forgiveness, or waiting years without clarity for an inevitable second rejection.

There’s a third option, however. Because 16 million borrowers have been contacted and applied for debt relief under the older program, they could immediately be processed under a new program with the same terms but new administrative authority. So when the rule is finalized next year, 16 million borrowers could get immediate debt relief. That would create the same dynamic as advocates want, forcing the Court to take money out of the hands of borrowers, while doing what defenders of negotiated rulemaking want, putting the action on stronger legal footing. It’s unclear whether the administration will do that. Stay tuned.

orlbucfan

All I know is I’m one person who paid off her student loans who totally supports debt relief.

Paul ADK

Student loans when I was in school are very different from the costs of education these days. It also used to be possible to work your way through school, I did, in part. The only way a high school graduate can work their way through school these days is if they’re a professional athlete, or an entertainer. The astronomical costs of education these days is one more way the the oligarchy grows their slave class. Uneducated means far more controllable.

wi66

One of my old HS teachers did that did roofing for cash, worked his ass off but paid for the majority of his education. Now a days to make tuition these days is to sell drugs without getting killed or prostitue your self and that has its own set of dangers. Work a full time job for the summer in this day and age forgettabout it-not happening. Sure you can get a 2yr in voc-tech for a lot of good paying jobs.But the STEM jobs require 4yrs and will pile up the debt. Its sad that lust for greed will prevent some very bright kids from getting the education we need to help solve the numerous problems the world has.

orlbucfan

Both comments rate a +270 each and how!

Benny

llinois Republican Darren Bailey challenges Rep. Mike Bost

Darren Bailey, the former Illinois Republican state senator who lost a bid last year for governor to Democratic incumbent JB Pritzker, is now running for Congress.

He filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday to run against five-term incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Bost. Bailey is set to make a formal announcement at a Fourth of July event with 500 guests at his home in Xenia.

The downstate Illinois contest is set to be the most watched in Illinois in 2024 as it pits two far-right Republicans against each other.

Bailey is a southern Illinois farmer whose run for governor was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, and Bost is a five-term congressman and U.S. Marine Corps veteran who was also endorsed by Trump. The former president called Bost a “terrific representative” for the 12th District.

This is the first real contest for Bost, whose last primary challenge was in 2018. Bost has consistently won his district by double digits against Democrats, including in 2022 when he won by 50 points. Bost has more than $648,000 on hand, according to FEC records.

A Trump endorsement would be huge in the high-profile contest.

A person familiar with the Trump campaign said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has told the former president that he supports the reliably conservative Bost, who also endorsed McCarthy’s election for the top House job.

Bailey’s team would also like an endorsement, though short of that would want Trump to remain neutral.

Trump likes to back winners, and he could be miffed that Bailey lost by double digits to Pritzker.

The governor’s race drew national headlines when Pritzker and the Democratic Governors Association spent $35 million on ads during the Republican primary to define Bailey as a far-right conservative against a more moderate candidate. That fueled the Republican base to get out the vote and secure Bailey’s place in the general election — and eased the way for Pritzker’s victory.

The ads also helped build Bailey’s image as a MAGA Republican. He has assembled a strong grassroots following and is seen in Illinois Republican circles as a formidable candidate against Bost.

The race is already creating tension within the GOP.

“Darren Bailey moved to a downtown Chicago penthouse to get blown out by JB Pritzker, now he’s back seeking another political promotion,” Chris Gustafson, a spokesperson for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a statement. “Mike Bost is focused on delivering conservative results for Southern Illinois and that’s why voters will re-elect him.”

Bailey was possibly angling for Bost’s seat even before last year’s governor’s race was wrapped up. Flyers were distributed in the deeply conservative 12th District promoting Bailey even though it’s an area that Bailey had easily sewn up for the governor’s contest.

Bailey’s real challenge in the governor’s race was winning over the Democratic stronghold of Chicago, where the bulk of the state’s population lives.

The 12th District, meanwhile, voted for Trump 56 percent to 41 percent in 2020, and 55 percent to 40 percent in 2016.

I don’t know if Mike Bost has much of a relationship with JB Pritzker. If those two find beneficially mutual agreements, Bost will keep his seat as an endorsement from Pritzker is worth more than an endorsement from Biden.

Benny

wi66

Must be nice to have morons contributed to his legal defense fund

orlbucfan

“morons” is a polite term for those yahoos.🤡

wi66

After the latest round of mass shootings this holiday weekend

274925.webp
orlbucfan

T and R x 3, jcb!!☮️👍🙂 Even political junkies like me have to give politics a break on occasion cos it can get so discouraging!😡

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

In my view, Biden has gone off the deep end with this appointment. smdh

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

This is a long video, but really good if you have the time. SHAME on Biden

orlbucfan

I’m afraid to listen, Aint.🙄

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

Obf, try to watch starting at about 37 minutes when Ilhan Omar is questioning Abrams.

orlbucfan

It’s Elliott Abrams (guessing here). I’ll do it.

orlbucfan

Just finished. Yep, Elliott Abrams. Why is SloMoJoe showing his senile ? RW arse by nominating yahoos who only served under GOPuke Prezzes? Guess he figures he’ll get re-elected no matter what he pulls. Hey, you old wrinkled clown, I’m not insulting my intelligence by voting for you. Abrams looks the part of a totally malevolent clown: cross between a spider and a skeleton.

wi66

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Booted From Right-Wing House Freedom Caucus

Question for the GQP, How batshit crazy is MTG when the batshit crazy GQPers kick her out of their batshit crazy Freedom Caucus?

https://www.yahoo.com/news/rep-marjorie-taylor-greene-booted-183345371.html

Then again maybe have a thunderdome death match where 3 women enter(Boebert,Kari lake and MTG) and if were lucky NONE leave !!!

orlbucfan

I had to read it to believe it.👏👏👏