Political Headlines Not To Miss This Week

Jun 25, 2020

During this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with political science professor Dennis Goldford of Drake University and political science professor Jonathan Hassid of Iowa State University. 

Here are some of the headlines discussed during the podcast. 

Democrats Outline Modified Convention Amid Coronavirus Fears

The in-person Democratic National Convention will be scaled down significantly as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with the Milwaukee event now relying heavily on "live broadcasts and curated content," organizers have announced.

"Convention planners said that host city Milwaukee would anchor the events for the week," organizers said in a press release Wednesday, "and that programming would include both live broadcasts and curated content from Milwaukee and other satellite cities, locations and landmarks across the country."

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'None Of Us Have Ever Been Told To Slow Down On Testing,' Fauci Testifies To House

At a hearing Tuesday on Capitol Hill, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health and other federal officials said that no one had told them — including President Trump — to slow down testing for the coronavirus. The statements came after Trump has repeatedly said that more testing would lead to more infections being revealed.

"None of us have ever been told to slow down on testing," Fauci told House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey. "That just is a fact." He said that more testing is needed and that officials are seeing a "disturbing surge" in new coronavirus cases in several states, including Florida, Texas and Arizona.

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Fauci Warns Of A "Disturbing' Uptick Of Infections In Some States And Contradicts Trump On Testing

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told House lawmakers that the nation is experiencing a “disturbing surge” of coronavirus infections as states reopen too quickly and without adequate plans for testing and tracing the contacts of those infected.

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Senate Democrats Block GOP Police Reform Bill

Senate Democrats, emboldened by a national outcry for reform of the country's law enforcement departments, blocked debate Wednesday on a Republican police reform bill that they said did not go far enough to address racial inequality.

Republicans needed 60 votes to proceed to begin debate on the legislation. The motion failed 55-45, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell voting against it for procedural reasons to allow the Senate to try again. Two Democrats, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Doug Jones of Alabama, broke with their party, as did independent Sen. Angus King of Maine, who caucuses with Democrats.

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Both Chambers Of Congress Back For 1st Time During Pandemic Amid Questions On Tests

On Thursday, the House and Senate will be in session at the same time, for the first time, since the pandemic began more than three months ago.

While the 100-member Senate resumed its regular floor business in May, the much larger House of Representatives has met sparingly. With more than 430 members, the lower chamber faces higher risks for an outbreak.

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Poll Finds Warren Most Popular Biden VP Choice Among College Students

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is the most popular choice to be presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's running mate among college students, according to a new poll. 

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U.S. Designates Four More Chinese News Organizations as Foreign Missions

The Trump administration announced on Monday that it was designating four more Chinese state-run media organizations that have operations in the United States as foreign missions, in a new round of restrictions likely to lead to some form of retaliation from China.

State Department officials said they were taking the action to make it clear to American citizens that the organizations are viewed by the U.S. government as propaganda organs for a foreign government. The groups will be asked to send to the department a complete roster of employees in the United States and a list of their real estate holdings.

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President Trump Fires Top U.S. Prosecutor Who Investigated His Allies, Barr Says

President Trump has removed Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, from office, ending the tenure of a top Justice Department official whose office has overseen the prosecutions of several of the president's associates.

Attorney General William Barr announced the termination Saturday, less than a day after initially suggesting that Berman was resigning — only to be contradicted by Berman himself.

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