democrats

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

  • The Green New Deal could cost American families $244 billion just to replace four appliances.
  • Roughly half of U.S. homes rely on natural gas for heating. Replacing all that could cost $155.5 billion.
  • “The Green New Deal is not a practical solution for American consumers,” said a ratepayer advocate.

The Green New Deal calls for upgrading every existing building in the U.S. to “maximum energy efficiency” within 10 years, but how much would that cost Americans to just replace common household appliances?

It would cost nearly $244 billion, according to a rough cost estimate put together by the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), a ratepayer advocacy group. The group looked at the cost to replace natural gas-fueled furnaces, water heaters, stoves and dryers present in tens of millions of U.S. homes.

“The Green New Deal is not a practical solution for American consumers,” CEA President David Holt said in an emailed statement. CEA represents households, energy end-users, like businesses, and energy producers.

“Many common household appliances including furnaces, water heaters, stoves and dryers are powered by abundant, affordable energy resources including natural gas, which the proposal aims to eliminate,” Holt said.

For perspective, replacing “greening” common appliances would dwarf the economies of entire states, including Oregon, South Carolina and Kentucky. The cost is also more than the gross domestic product of many countries, like Vietnam and Romania. (RELATED: Green Raw Deal? Cities And States Scale Back ‘Green’ Ambitions As Costs To Taxpayers Rise)

U.S. Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Markey hold a news conference for their proposed "Green New Deal" to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey hold a news conference for their proposed “Green New Deal” to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., Feb. 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, both Democrats, introduced Green New Deal resolutions, calling for a World War II-level mobilization of national resources to fight global warming.

The Green New Deal aims to move the U.S. to “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions” within 10 years while also calling for a slew of welfare and “social justice” programs aimed at “repairing historic oppression” of certain groups.

The resolution also calls for “upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification.”

It’s difficult to put a cost on upgrading every building. The federal government does keep data on household appliances, including furnaces and air conditioners. CEA multiplied the number of homes with certain natural gas appliances by average installation costs.

While gas appliances are often more efficient and cost-effective, the Green New Deal’s call to cut emissions likely mean those appliances would need to be replaced with electric ones.

It would cost more than $155.5 billion to replace gas furnaces used in roughly 59.5 million households, CEA estimated. Gas furnaces are more efficient, especially in the frigid cold.

U.S. Representative Ocasio-Cortez moves through a group of reporters after a news conference for the proposed "Green New Deal" at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez moves through a group of reporters after a news conference for the proposed “Green New Deal” to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., Feb. 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

CEA estimated it would cost another $50 billion to electrify water heaters for the 56.3 million homes that currently rely on natural gas, $26.4 billion to replace natural gas cooking ranges at 39 million homes and $11.9 billion to install electric clothes dryers in 17.9 million homes.

This doesn’t include the cost of replacing coal and gas-fired power plants with renewables and other zero-emissions sources, which could cost anywhere from $5 trillion to $40 trillion. Not getting rid of fossil-fueled power plants could make electric appliances drive more emissions.

“American consumers need better, more practical energy solutions than this proposal offers,” Holt said.

Many Democratic presidential hopefuls have embraced the Green New Deal, including every Democratic senator seeking the nomination in 2020. However, not all Democratic lawmakers are sold on the Green New Deal.

The Green New Deal is meant to be a litmus test for 2020 candidates, but the proposal has got Republicans confident about their chances in the next election cycle.

Many Republicans derided the plan as “socialist,” and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to bring it to a vote in the Senate — that’s how sure he is it will fail.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Jason Hopkins | Energy Investigator

A young Texas boy faced both praise and ridicule from adults after he opened a hot chocolate stand to raise money for President Donald Trumps’ border wall.

Benton Stevens — a seven-year-old from Austin — wanted to help raise funds for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border after watching Trump deliver the State of the Union address earlier in February. He set up a hot chocolate stand near a local strip mall as a way to collect money.

WATCH:

The stand, which is explicitly advertised as a fundraiser to help Trump build the wall, sells hot chocolate for $2 a cup. People can customize their drinks by paying an extra 50 cents for a big “Nancy Pelosi” marshmallow or grab smaller “Beto O’Rourke” marshmallows for free.

“I think it’s important that [our children] know what’s going on in the world, where we stand, what we believe in,” said Jennifer Stevens, Benton’s mother. Both Jennifer and her husband, Shane, are members of the Republican National Committee and say their dinner table conversations have clearly influenced Benton. The boy’s parents say he begged them to raise money for the border wall and set up the stand over the weekend.

“Every day he would get off the bus and say, ‘mom can we go do my stand,’” Jennifer stated.

The fundraiser appears to be quite successful, with Benton reportedly raising nearly $1,400 in two days.

Trump recently signed a spending bill that appropriates $1.375 billion to build 55 miles of new wall on the U.S. southern border. The president has taken the controversial step of declaring a national emergency, which is allowing him to grab billions more for wall construction funding. (RELATED: Democrats Fundraise Off Trump’s Plan To Declare National Emergency)

While Benton says some adults were “really happy” to see his stand, others were not so thrilled to see him raising money for a border wall.

“Some people were mad and calling me a ‘little Hitler’ and stuff, and some people were really happy,” Benton explained.

Border Wall And Migration In Focus As Negotiations Over Border Security Continue

EL PASO, TEXAS – FEBRUARY 12: People work on the U.S./ Mexican border wall on February 12, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. U.S. President Donald Trump visited the border city yesterday as he continues to campaign for more wall to be built along the border. Democrats in Congress are asking for other additional border security measures. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

This isn’t the first time Benton has faced backlash for his political beliefs. He said that while he attended Trump’s presidential inauguration three women in pink hats ridiculed his “Make America Great Again” hat.

However, Benton’s parents want it to be a learning experience for him.

“If he’s going to do it, he needs to learn that there’s going to be a little backlash,” Shane stated. “But I just wish [the critics] would do it in a little more respectful, adult-like manner.”

Benton, in the meantime, has big plans for the money he’s raised. The young boy wants to mail the funds to Trump or deliver it to him in person “so that the illegal immigrants can’t get into our town illegally.”

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Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pauses during a visit to the Winnipeg Transit Fort Rouge Garage to make a transit infrastructure announcement in Winnipeg
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pauses during a visit to the Winnipeg Transit Fort Rouge Garage to make a transit infrastructure announcement in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, February 12, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon VanRaes

February 19, 2019

By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada’s two main opposition parties on Tuesday demanded Prime Minister Justin Trudeau launch a public inquiry into allegations of wrongdoing by his officials that have prompted the biggest crisis of his career.

Underlining the extent of Trudeau’s problems, a new poll showed his ruling center-left Liberals had slipped behind their main rivals ahead of a federal election in October.

The government has been on the defensive since the Globe and Mail reported on Feb. 7 that officials had pressured Jody Wilson-Raybould, the former justice minister, to help construction company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc escape with a fine rather than face trial on charges of bribing Libyan officials.

Gerald Butts, Trudeau’s principal private secretary and one of the architects of the Liberals’ surprise 2015 election win, quit on Monday while insisting he had done nothing wrong.

“The allegations threaten to impugn the integrity of the prime minister’s office … he felt he would be more of a distraction if he stayed,” said a government official.

Andrew Scheer, leader of the official opposition center-right Conservatives, told the House of Commons on Tuesday that the resignation would not clear up the matter.

“This is not an ordinary political scandal. Something more sinister is at play here … if a crime has been committed, those responsible must be punished,” he said, suggesting officials may have obstructed justice.

Charlie Angus of the left-leaning New Democrats urged Trudeau to “come clean with the Canadian people … agree to an independent inquiry”.

Wilson-Raybould, who was demoted in January, quit earlier this month. She has said nothing so far about SNC-Lavalin.

An Ipsos-Reid poll for Global News taken after her resignation showed the Liberals had dropped four percentage points since December to 34 percent, with the Conservatives up two points at 36 percent.

The survey suggests that if an election were held now, no party would have enough legislators to form a stable government.

Trudeau says the allegations of wrongdoing are false and ministers voiced their support as they arrived for a regular cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

“It’s obviously a sad moment for me and Gerry’s many friends … having said that, our work goes on,” Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters.

A Trudeau spokeswoman said no decision had been taken on who would replace Butts.

One potential candidate is David MacNaughton, the influential Canadian ambassador to Washington, who helped successfully negotiate the renewal of a continental trade pact last year, said two well-placed Liberals.

MacNaughton, 70, enjoys cabinet level status inside the Trudeau government and also has experience of working with Katie Telford, Trudeau’s chief of staff.

“You need someone with stature. The list of people who could do this job is very short,” said one Liberal, who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the matter. MacNaughton declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

Source: OANN

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FILE PHOTO: Former National Security Adviser Flynn arrives for status hearing at U.S. District Court in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn arrives for a status hearing related to his guilty plea on charges that he made false statements in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., July 10, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

February 19, 2019

By Jonathan Landay and Nathan Layne

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top White House aides ignored repeated warnings they could be breaking the law as they worked with former U.S. officials and a close friend of President Donald Trump to advance a multi-billion-dollar plan to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East, Democratic lawmakers alleged in a report released Tuesday.

The House of Representatives Oversight Committee report said former national security adviser Michael Flynn and two aides promoted the plan with Tom Barrack, the chairman of Trump’s inaugural committee, and a consortium of U.S. firms led by retired military commanders and former White House officials.

The effort, the report said, began before Trump took office and continued after his inauguration in January 2017 despite National Security Council staff warnings that a proposed transfer of U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia was being fast-tracked around a mandatory approval process in possible breach of the Atomic Energy Act.

John Eisenberg, the top NSC lawyer, had ordered the work halted because of concerns that Flynn could be breaking a conflict of interest law as he advised the consortium while serving on Trump’s campaign and transition team, said the report, which is based on documents and whistleblower accounts.

Administration support for the project, however, appears to have continued to the present, with Trump meeting consortium representatives in the Oval Office last week, the committee report said.

“The committee is now launching an investigation to determine whether the actions being pursued by the Trump administration are in the national security interests of the United States, or rather, serve those who stand to gain financially,” the report said.

The report, compiled by the Democratic staff of the panel chaired by Representative Elijah Cummings, comes as Democrats expand inquiries into alleged administration wrongdoing after winning a majority in the House in November elections.

The nuclear project is being promoted by IP3 International, a consortium of U.S. technology firms founded by retired Navy Rear Admiral Michael Hewitt, retired Army General John Keane, and Robert McFarlane, a former national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan. The board includes former senior U.S. civilian and military officials.

The report said the companies include reactor manufacturer Westinghouse, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year.

The White House, Flynn and IP3 had no immediate response to the report.

PLAN FOR DOZENS OF REACTORS

Working with the U.S. government, the consortium would build dozens of power reactors in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other U.S. Arab allies, according to the IP3 website. In doing so, the project would help restore U.S. influence in the Middle East while boosting regional economic and political stability, according to the website.

Flynn, a retired Army general, promoted the plan on two 2015 trips to Saudi Arabia, and listed himself on government documents as an IP3 advisor during a period in 2016 while he was working for Trump’s campaign and transition, the report said.

He is cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Flynn was an early target of the investigation and is awaiting sentencing for lying to FBI agents.

Barrack was represented in the plan, the report said, by the then-head of his firm’s Washington office, Rick Gates, a former political consultant and Trump’s deputy campaign manager. Gates pleaded guilty last year to financial fraud and lying to the FBI and also is now cooperating with Mueller.

Documents appended to the report included a draft presidential memorandum appointing Barrack as a special envoy to oversee implementation of the project that McFarlane sent to Flynn and his then-deputy, K.T. McFarland, on Jan. 28, 2017.

Also included with the committee’s report was a document authored by Barrack titled “The Trump Middle East Marshall Plan” that promoted the plan and was sent to NSC staff on March 28, 2017, by IP3 board member Frances Fragos Townsend, who served as homeland security adviser to President George W. Bush.

A current senior administration official was among the unnamed whistleblowers who came forward “with significant concerns about the potential procedural and legal violations connected with rushing through a plan to transfer nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia,” the report said.

The whistleblowers, it said, also warned about political appointees ignoring the advice of “top ethics advisers at the White House who repeatedly and unsuccessfully ordered senior Trump Administration officials to halt their efforts.”

In addition to McFarland, Flynn’s top Middle Easy adviser, Derek Harvey, played a key role in promoting the plan in the White House, doing so despite warnings of possible ethics and criminal law violations, the report said.

(Reporting by Jonathan Landay and Nathan Layne; Editing by Bill Trott)

Source: OANN

Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent

President Donald Trump’s prediction that he would be sued in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals jurisdiction for declaring a national emergency at the southern border now seems well on its way to coming to fruition.

Trump delivered a singsong rendition of what he expected to happen in his Friday Rose Garden announcement, saying, “We will have a national emergency, and then we will then be sued, and they will sue us in the 9th Circuit, even though it shouldn’t be there. And we will possibly get a bad ruling, and then we’ll get another bad ruling. And then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court, and hopefully, we’ll get a fair shake.”

Trump’s dark humor quickly became reality Monday evening when 16 states sued the president over the national emergency declaration. The suit was organized by the State of California and filed in the Federal District Court in San Francisco, which appeals to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Other states that joined the lawsuit include Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon and Virginia.

“Contrary to the will of Congress, the president has used the pretext of a manufactured ‘crisis’ of unlawful immigration to declare a national emergency and redirect federal dollars appropriated for drug interdiction, military construction and law enforcement initiatives toward building a wall on the United States-Mexico border,” the lawsuit declares.

EL PASO, TEXAS – FEBRUARY 12: People work on the U.S./ Mexican border wall on February 12, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. U.S. President Donald Trump visited the border city yesterday as he continues to campaign for more wall to be built along the border. Democrats in Congress are asking for other additional border security measures. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The lawsuit follows Trump’s political defeat in Congress when he was only able to secure $1.375 billion in funding for his proposed border wall. The president long requested $5.7 billion in wall funding and instead will tape funds available to him under his executive powers.

These funds include $600 million available to him as a result of asset forfeiture, appropriate funding under his authority to interdict drug corridors; it also includes use military construction funds available to him under his authority as commander-in-chief. (RELATED: Trump Will Sign Border Bill, Declare National Emergency)

White House officials long feared the lengthy court process which could enjoin court battles over a national emergency declaration. One official pointed out to The Daily Caller that the court battle over the travel ban took nearly one year to process its way through the courts even though the administration was ultimately vindicated.

Officials fear that border wall funding will be held in legal limbo as the 2020 presidential election draws closer and closer.

Source: The Daily Caller

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

President Donald Trump called The Washington Post “a Fact Checker only for the Democrats” on Twitter Tuesday.

“The Washington Post is a Fact Checker only for the Democrats,” Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “For the Republicans, and for your all time favorite President, it is a Fake Fact Checker!”

WaPo Fact Checker columnist Glenn Kessler was quick to respond on Twitter Tuesday morning.

“Reminder: Trump cites the Washington Post Fact Checker when we give Pinocchios to Democrats,” Kessler wrote, referencing a Dec. 17, 2013, tweet from Trump about fact-checking former president Barack Obama. (RELATED: Rod Rosenstein Is Leaving The Justice Department: Report)

WaPo’s “ongoing database” of what it says are “false or misleading” claims by Trump was last updated Sunday.

“In 759 days, President Trump has made 8,718 false or misleading claims,” the page’s header reads. The tally includes repeats of claims like “Building the wall,” which the WaPo rates as “three Pinocchios.”

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks on border security during a Rose Garden event at the White House February 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks on border security during a Rose Garden event at the White House February 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WaPo’s most recent fact-check post about Trump examined claims during his national emergency declaration news conference Friday.

“Where to begin with President Trump’s rambling news conference to announce he was invoking a national emergency to build a border wall? It was chock-full of false and misleading claims, many of which we’ve previously highlighted, either in our database of Trump claims or our list of Bottomless Pinocchios,” Kessler and fellow fact-checker Meg Kelly wrote in the post.

WaPo’s Fact Checker said Trump’s Feb. 5 State of the Union address included nearly 30 “stretched facts and dubious figures.” The post looked into Trump’s claims like “We have created 5.3 million new jobs and importantly added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs.”

The fact-checkers wrote:

Trump often inflates the number of jobs created under his presidency by counting from Election Day, rather than when he took the oath of office. There have been almost 4.9 million jobs created since January 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of which 436,000 are manufacturing jobs, according to the BLS.

This is an impressive gain for almost two years; under President Barack Obama, about 900,000 manufacturing jobs were gained over seven years from the 2010 nadir after the Great Recession. Moreover, despite the recent gains, the number of manufacturing jobs is still nearly 1 million below the level at the start of the Great Recession in December 2007.

Other statistics Trump cited rang true. His claim that “[u]nemployment for Americans with disabilities has also reached an all-time low” matched with numbers showing the annual unemployment rate for disabled people was 8 percent in 2018, the lowest rate since the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) started keeping track about a decade ago.

Trump is joined by a politician on the opposite side of the political spectrum when it comes to hitting back against the WaPo Fact Checker. Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had a meltdown in a series of tweets in early January over getting fact-checked by organizations like WaPo and PolitiFact. She also got into a Twitter spat with Kessler himself after he awarded one of her misleading claims with “three Pinocchios” in late January.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Chris White | Energy Reporter

  • House Republicans are offering a way to revive an Obama-era rule that many conservatives believed gave government too much control of the internet.
  • Republican lawmakers are trying to rescue parts of net neutrality from the scrap heap without including the parts some conservatives find loathsome.
  • Republicans are offering a fix to the now-dead net neutrality: Craft rules that prevent blocking users’ content, but that do not provide the government with too much authority over the internet.

A handful of Republican lawmakers are offering legislation that would revive parts of net neutrality, a controversial regulatory system that some critics believe gives the government too much control over the internet.

Republican Reps. Bob Latta of Ohio and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington are pushing a bill preventing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) against blocking and throttling user content. The proposed legislation would do everything but regulate ISPs under Title II rules, which critics say is anti-market.

Latta and other Republicans believe the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is unable to anticipate the kinds of conduct a rapidly changing and innovating tech platform might create in the future. Many Democrats, on the other hand, believe a Title II designation is the starting point for any regulation, not the jumping off point. Such designations treat the internet as a utility.

Latta’s effort, otherwise known as the Open Internet Act of 2019, is a culmination of many twists and turns. His proposal is a revival of a bill from Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, a Republican and former chair of the House Communications Subcommittee. Walden’s iteration was itself based on a bill offered up in 2015 by Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota. Latta is a ranking member on the committee.

Michael Powell, the president of the Internet & Television Association (NCTA), suggested at a Feb. 7 congressional hearing on the topic that his group would support a reinstatement of the 2015 Open Internet Act so long as the new piece did not include the general conduct standard.

Powell and others have fought over the net neutrality concept for years, even as it continues to evolve. Congress made five attempts between 2005 and 2012 to turn the principle into a binding law. The FCC finally issued the Open Internet Order reclassifying ISPs as Title II services during the latter half of the Obama administration. Everything changed after President Donald Trump was elected.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai returned the previous classification of ISPs as Title I services shortly after Trump named him head of the agency. More than 20 states launched a joint lawsuit against the FCC shortly thereafter, with California doing those states one better: The Golden State passed its own state-level net neutrality law, which is being challenged by the federal government. (RELATED: Justice Department Sues California Over Its Net Neutrality Law)

Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018.

Powell, meanwhile, argues that ISPs do not intentionally create business models that prioritize different users. “Americans have never known anything but an open Internet,” Powell said during a press conference in 2017, noting that an open internet was a concept woven into how the internet was designed.

“One of the great lies is that that’s ever been challenged, or that it’s at risk,” said Powell, who formerly led the FCC. “The bottom line is that nobody has ever represented to me a meaningful business model that would ultimately cause consumers to have a horrible experience.” He was one of only a handful of people at the Feb. 7 hearing who prefers restoring the internet to the pre-Obama era.

Activists argue that the internet would slow down and be relegated to the wealthiest few absent Title II regulations. But conservatives and others who opposed the Obama-era orders frequently point to media reports to rebut that narrative.

Wired magazine, for instance, acknowledged in December 2018, a year after the end of net neutrality, that on the one-year anniversary of the repeal, there have been very few consequential changes. Other outlets made similar points. Since the repeal of the Obama-era rule took effect in June 2018, internet speed went from 12th to sixth fastest in the world, according to media reports.

Latta’s office has not responded to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment about the nature of his legislation.

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Source: The Daily Caller

U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi attends a news conference in Brussels
U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi attends a news conference following the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Brussels, Belgium, February 19, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

February 19, 2019

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A delegation of U.S. lawmakers sought to reassure European allies in Brussels on Tuesday that differences over President Donald Trump’s policies were mere “family squabbles” and transatlantic ties remain strong.

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi cast the visit by a 50-strong delegation to Europe as proof of enduring bonds despite anger in European capitals over what is seen as Trump’s disregard for their interests.

“It is about one word: it is about respect,” Pelosi told reporters, stressing that the delegation was the largest yet to attend the Munich Security conference over the weekend.

Misgivings over Washington’s leadership on foreign policy issues was on full display at the conference of world leaders, with anxiety mounting over division in the West on how to deal with threats ranging from nuclear arms to climate change.

“Like in a family, there are ups and downs,” congressman Eliot Engel, chairman of the foreign affairs committee said. “Things sometimes are bumpy, but they straighten out.”

Referring to unease in transatlantic ties, congressman Gregory Meeks remarked: “We may have a squabble but those squabbles will dissolve.”

The European Union and the United States have traditionally been the closest of allies, working together also via NATO.

Trump, however, has lambasted his European peers for not spending enough on defense, raising doubts among many in Europe about his commitment to the Western military alliance and Europe’s broader security.

Speaking in Brussels, Pelosi pointed to bipartisan support for NATO after the U.S. House of Representatives last month approved legislation aimed at stopping Trump from withdrawing the United States from military alliance.

“I don’t think there is any difference between democrats and republicans on our relationship with NATO,” she said.

(Reporting by Clare Roth and Alissa de Carbonnel, Editing by William Maclean)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during a news conference on Yemen resolution
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during a news conference on Yemen resolution on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

February 19, 2019

By Susan Heavey, James Oliphant and John Whitesides

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, the progressive populist who mounted a fierce challenge to front-runner Hillary Clinton in the 2016 White House campaign, said on Tuesday he will again seek the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2020.

Sanders, 77, a self-described democratic socialist who caucuses with the Democrats, joins an already-crowded Democratic race that includes fellow Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

The Brooklyn native announced his candidacy in an email to supporters, pledging to build a vast grassroots movement to confront the special interests that he said dominate government and politics.

Sanders said he would push for many of the same issues that powered his 2016 bid and resonated with younger voters, including universal healthcare, raising the hourly minimum wage to $15, and free public college tuition.

“Our campaign is about creating a government and economy that works for the many, not just the few,” Sanders said, asking for 1 million people to sign up to kick off his bid.

In an interview with Vermont Public Radio, the Vermont senator promised a “very different campaign” in an effort to unseat Republican President Donald Trump.

Trump’s campaign weighed in on Sanders’ run in a statement.

“Bernie Sanders has already won the debate in the (Democratic) primary, because every candidate is embracing his brand of socialism,” Trump campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said.

RELEVANCE

Sanders’ insurgent 2016 candidacy against Clinton was a long shot, but he ended up capturing 23 state nominating contests and pushing the party to the left, generating tension between its establishment and liberal wings that has not entirely abated.

This time around, Sanders has been among the leaders in opinion polls of prospective 2020 candidates, but he faces other liberal progressives touting many of the same ideas he brought into the party mainstream.

That could make it harder for him to generate the same level of fervent support he did four years ago.

Sanders is also likely to face questions about his age and relevance in a party that is increasingly advancing more diverse and fresh voices, including those of women and minorities – groups that Sanders struggled to win over in 2016.

A former mayor of Burlington, Vermont, Sanders won a U.S. House of Representatives seat in 1990, making him the first independent elected to the House in 40 years. In 2006, he won a U.S. Senate seat and in 2018 was voted in for a third six-year term.

His push against Clinton, a former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state, was notable because few Democrats seemed inclined to challenge her claim on the nomination. Sanders’ candidacy swiftly became a phenomenon, as he spoke to swelling crowds and garnered passionate support on social media.

Unlike Clinton, he refused to take money from corporate political action committees, or PACs, relying on a flood of small-dollar donations.

When he ultimately conceded and spoke at the Democratic National Convention in support of Clinton, he was jeered by some of his supporters. At the time, Sanders said his populist platform would endure.

The primaries and caucuses that determine the party’s nominee will begin in February 2020 in Iowa, and the Democratic winner is likely to face Trump in the general election in November.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey, James Oliphant and John Whitesides; Additional reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Jonathan Oatis and Bernadette Baum)

Source: OANN


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