US Politics

United States political news and analysis with a focus on the connection between American policy and the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

Robert Wexler

Jewish Biden backers push for Robert Wexler to be ambassador to Israel

Underpinning the pressure to name Wexler is the hope among traditionally pro-Israel Democrats that Biden maintains a close relationship with Israel

By RON KAMPEAS/JTA
06/05/2021

US backs giving poorer countries access to COVID-19 vaccine patents

Biden voiced his support for a waiver - a sharp reversal of the previous US position - in remarks to reporters

By REUTERS
06/05/2021
Joint session of Congress to certify Joe Biden as the next US president in the US Capitol in Was

143 US lawmakers support doubling religious institution security grants

Several Jewish organizations advocated in the past two years to increase the project’s funding in light of antisemitic attacks in several states across the US.

Biden heeds complaints, lifts refugee cap to 62,500

A Democrat, Biden formally reversed himself just 2 weeks after his administration announced it would keep the cap at the 15,000 level set by his Republican predecessor, an immigration hawk.

By REUTERS
03/05/2021

Florida to fine social media for banning politicians, just not Disney

State will not account for temporary bans or bans earned from violating a platform's terms of service.

Biden on Jewish heritage month nods to Chuck Schumer and Doug Emhoff

Kamala Harris’s husband is Douglas Emhoff, who is Jewish and Chuck Schumer is a Jewish Democrat from New York, who became Senate majority leader in January when Democrats retook the Senate.

By RON KAMPEAS/JTA
03/05/2021
The Idaho House of Representatives Room in Idaho State Capitol Building

Idaho and West Virginia pass anti-Israel boycott laws

Idaho’s Anti-Boycott Against Israel Act states that public entities cannot do business over a total of $100,000 with companies that do not expressly oppose the BDS movement

By GABE FRIEDMAN/JTA
01/05/2021

Next major war will be 'very different,' US defense secretary says

Austin called for harnessing technological advances and better integrating military operations globally to "understand faster, decide faster and act faster"

By REUTERS
01/05/2021
 The Pentagon (Aerial view)

Pentagon to cancel Trump border wall projects using military funds

President Joe Biden issued a proclamation on January 20, his first day in office, ordering a freeze on border wall projects

By REUTERS
30/04/2021
U.S. House of Representatives votes on Trump impeachment on Capitol Hill in Washington on December 1

Republican Jewish Coalition PAC endorses reps from diverse backgrounds

The RJC-affiliated political action committee endorsed a number of Latino and Asian relative newcomers to the US House of Representatives.

By RON KAMPEAS/JTA
30/04/2021
A MAN plays with a soccer ball in a field at Central Park on spring equinox, in the Manhattan boroug

Scott Stringer, Jewish candidate for NYC mayor, denies abuse allegations

Denying sexual assault allegations against him, Scott Stringer says he will not be dropping out of the NYC mayoral race.

By ANDREW SILOW-CARROLL / JTA
30/04/2021

Biden talks tough on China in first speech to Congress

"China and other countries are closing in fast. We have to develop and dominate the products and technologies of the future," Biden said.

By REUTERS
29/04/2021
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, personal attorney to US President Donald Trump, speaks dur

US investigators raid Giuliani apartment in New York, seize electronics

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have been investigating Giuliani's business dealings in Ukraine.

By REUTERS
29/04/2021

Small crowd planned for Biden's first speech to Congress

Just 200 people, mostly lawmakers plus a handful of representatives of other arms of government and select family members, will attend the masked, socially distanced speech.

By REUTERS
28/04/2021
Protesters rally outside of the state capitol building before the vote on the extension of Governor

WMD charges added against men who plotted to kidnap Michigan Gov. Whitmer

In the new indictment, Fox, Croft and Harris were accused of planning to destroy a bridge near Whitmer's vacation home in order to hinder the response by law enforcement.

By REUTERS
28/04/2021

Likely candidate for new ambassador to Israel emerges in Washington

Thomas R. Nides emerges as a likely candidate for ambassador to Israel ahead of President Biden's nominee announcements.

US Justice Dept. ends Trump-era limits on grants to 'sanctuary cities'

The policy reversal marks a major victory for states and cities that have been unable to access awards they received for police funding without first cooperating with ICE.

By REUTERS
28/04/2021

Laura Moser felt more Jewish after Congress run. So she moved to Berlin.

In Berlin, she is relieved from deciding whether she wants to be inside, one of them. She is not one of them.

By RON KAMPEAS/JTA
28/04/2021

Biden pick for key appeals court gets a Jewish group’s endorsement

The National Council of Jewish Women is endorsing two of President Joe Biden’s nominees to appeals courts.

By RON KAMPEAS/JTA
28/04/2021

Joe Lieberman is lobbying Republicans to make DC a state

Lieberman, whose last acts in Congress included a DC statehood bill in 2012 that went nowhere, told Forbes he “would be glad” to make the case.

By RON KAMPEAS/JTA
24/04/2021
GOP Convention July, 2016

Virginia Republicans won’t move convention voting off Shabbat

A majority of the State Central Committee voted Thursday for a religious exemption to voting at the convention taking place on May 8, a Saturday.

By RON KAMPEAS/JTA
24/04/2021

328 Congress members support full funding of Israel security assistance

The move comes three days after Democratic senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders said during the J Street conference that the administration should consider conditioning aid to Israel.

US House passes bill to make Washington, DC, the 51st state

By a vote of 216-208, the Democratic-controlled House approved the initiative with no Republican support.

By REUTERS
22/04/2021

Gun control bill named after Jewish Parkland Victim reintroduced

A gun control bill named after a Jewish Parkland shooting victim is reintroduced after a spate of mass shootings across the US.

By RON KAMPEAS/JTA
22/04/2021
Armenian Genocide

Biden expected to recognize massacre of Armenians as genocide - WSJ

US President Biden is expected to formally recognize the genocide of the 1.5 million Armenian men, women, and children who lost their lives under the Ottoman Empire.

By REUTERS
22/04/2021
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gestures after the Congress certified the Electoral College votes of the

Congress: bipartisan support grows for bills expanding Israeli-Arab ties

It’s a sign of increasing bipartisan support for the initiative launched by former President Donald Trump.

By RON KAMPEAS/JTA
22/04/2021
Matthew McConaughey stars Guy Richie's  'The Gentelmen'

Actor Matthew McConaughey beats incumbent for Texas governorship - poll

Despite half of the poll respondents saying they approve of Governor Greg Abbot's handling of his job, only a third said they would vote for him over McConaughey.

Senate Democrats seek oversight of F-35 sales

US senators Dianne Feinstein and Bob Menendez introduced a bill requiring the president to certify that F-35 sales to other countries will not "undermine Israel’s qualitative military edge"

US President Joe Biden speaks at the White House

White House: No guarantees on Afghanistan's future after US troops leave

President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that the United States will withdraw its remaining 2,500 troops from Afghanistan by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the al Qaeda attacks.

By REUTERS
18/04/2021

After nearly 100 days in office, what do Americans think of Biden? -poll

Currently, 59% approve of the way Biden is handling his job as president, while 39% disapprove.

Conservative US House Republicans to form 'America First' caucus

Republican lawmakers Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar are involved in the caucus, Representative Louie Gohmert, who is considering joining, confirmed to reporters.

By REUTERS
18/04/2021

US pressuring Israel to stop commenting on Iran - report

According to the report, the Biden administration feels 'uneasy' regarding the recent Israeli operation in Natanz.

Former US President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Or

Man sues Trump for US coronavirus deaths, seeks $1 trillion

75 co-plaintiffs are suing the former president in a class action lawsuit for the United States' coronavirus death toll and for economic and psychological problems.

Tucker Carlson takes aim at ADL with Israeli immigration policy - analysis

After the segment, the Anti-Defamation League called on Carlson to be fired. But Fox declined to act, citing Carlson’s claim that he wasn’t talking about race, and Carlson isn’t backing down.

By BEN SALES/JTA
17/04/2021

How is America’s Jewish refugee aid agency doing after 3 months of Biden?

On Friday, Biden made it official: He would not be raising the cap on refugees above the limit set by Trump.

By BEN SALES/JTA
17/04/2021
Roger Stone departs a status conference in the criminal case against him brought by Rober Mueller

US sues Trump ally Roger Stone for approx. $2 million in unpaid taxes

Stone was indicted by Robert Mueller, the former special counsel tasked with investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump granted him a presidential pardon in December.

By REUTERS
17/04/2021
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to The Jerusalem Post, November 20, 2020

Pompeo violated ethics rules, asked state employees to do personal tasks

"The Pompeos made over 100 requests to employees in the office of the secretary to conduct work that appeared to be personal in nature," the report said.

By REUTERS
17/04/2021

Capitol Police leadership held back some equipment during riot-official

Protesters during last summer's anti-racism demonstrations were injured by such weapons.

By REUTERS
15/04/2021

Andrew Yang films campaign ad in Orthodox Brooklyn toy store

Yang visited Toys 4 U, a Borough Park toy store that caters to the local Orthodox community, calling it “the heart of Borough Park,” according to local news site BoroPark24.

By SHIRA HANAU/JTA
12/04/2021

US diplomat criticizes China, 'need to get to the bottom' of COVID origin

The top US diplomat's sharp words underscored criticism from other members of the Biden administration over Beijing's lack of transparency in the crucial early days of the pandemic.

By REUTERS
11/04/2021

Blinken warns of China's 'increasingly aggressive actions' against Taiwan

Beijing on Thursday blamed the United States for tensions after a US warship sailed close to Taiwan.

By REUTERS
11/04/2021
Former US President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Or

Trump tells Republican donors he'll help GOP win Congress in 2022

The former president shed no new light on a possible 2024 presidential bid.

By REUTERS
11/04/2021

Antony Blinken recalls State Dept obstruction of bids to save Jews

Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, used the occasion to take his own department to task for its neglect of Jews during the Nazi era, and to call for action on behalf of the persecuted today.

By RON KAMPEAS/JTA
10/04/2021

ADL calls for Tucker Carlson’s firing after he endorses conspiracy theory

Appearing Thursday on “Fox News Primetime,” Carlson said Democrats are coordinating a “replacement” of current US voters with immigrants from the “Third World.”

By BEN SALES/JTA
10/04/2021
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. C

Jewish and Arab-American groups join bill that reports hate crimes

The NO HATE bill introduced Thursday would train law enforcement across the country to report hate crimes according to a single standard.

By RON KAMPEAS/JTA
10/04/2021
US Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlan

US House ethics panel opens investigation of Republican Matt Gaetz

Earlier, Representative Adam Kinzinger became the first congressional Republican to call for Gaetz to resign.

By REUTERS
09/04/2021
US Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY)

Lee Zeldin, Jewish Long Island rep., running for governor of New York

"I'll bring the kind of relentless, fighting spirit towards helping to save our state that Cuomo reserves for multi-million dollar self-congratulatory book deals, cover-ups, abuse & self-dealing."

GOP senators urge Biden admin. to 'reset its approach to Iran immediately'

The senators defended the sanctions and said that they are not new.

COVID-19 vaccine passports: Which US states support, oppose them?

One state has already rolled out vaccine passports and others are developing them but others still remain on the fence and some have rejected them.

07/04/2021

Marjorie Taylor Greene mistakenly suspended from Twitter for 2nd time

"@Twitter suspended me again by 'mistake' yesterday after I tweeted, ‘He is risen.' Everyone knows that’s a LIE, and it was no mistake."

AOC among most ineffective lawmakers in Congress, according to study

Among all Democratic lawmakers, AOC was ranked 230th out of 240 Congressional Democrats in terms of effectiveness.

A mob of supporters of former US President Donald Trump fight with members of law enforcement at a d

Half of Republicans believe false accounts of deadly US Capitol riot

Since the Capitol attack, Trump, many of his allies within the Republican Party and right-wing media personalities have publicly painted a picture of the day’s events jarringly at odds with reality.

By REUTERS
05/04/2021

Biden: We must ensure the Holocaust can never be erased from our memories

Biden: “It is the shared responsibility of all people to ensure that the horrors of the Shoah can never be erased from our collective memory.”

US consults Israel for advice following Capitol ramming attack

"We had a call with the Knesset last week, trying to see what do they do in Israel around the Knesset," said Rep. Tim Ryan.

Blinken puts more focus on Palestinians, security in call to Ashkenazi

Later on Friday, President Joe Biden announced that the US would be lifting its sanctions on the International Criminal Court, which were announced during the Trump administration.

Will Biden circumvent US law against ‘pay for slay’?

The legislation’s clearly expressed goal is to deny the PA funding until it stops its program of incentivizing and paying for the murder of civilians.

By ERIC R MANDEL
03/04/2021
CODY DECKER takes a swing during a PCL baseball game

MLB moves All-Star Game, draft from Georgia following voting law outcry

"Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box."

By REUTERS
03/04/2021
Robert Levinson

Matt Gaetz says part of plot involving missing FBI agent Robert Levinson

Gaetz and his father, Don, who is said to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, say they alerted federal authorities to the alleged extortion scheme.

By RON KAMPEAS/JTA
02/04/2021
ICC

Biden plans to repeal ICC sanctions - report

No formal decision has been announced as of yet.

Trump sued by Capitol police officers over Jan. 6 riots

Trump has denied responsibility for the rioting, which left five people dead, including a police officer. His office did not immediately return a call for comment on the lawsuit.

By REUTERS
01/04/2021

Watchdog: USAID didn't properly vet Palestinian recipients for terror ties

Tightening up its procedures would “better position USAID to reduce the risk of providing assistance to entities or individuals associated with terrorism,” the GAO said.

By RON KAMPEAS/JTA
01/04/2021
Joel Greenberg, bearing his tax collector badge and a sidearm, appears in a TV news report

The guy who got Gaetz in trouble: Who is Joel Greenberg?

Greenberg has been indicted for stalking a political rival, sex trafficking of a child, among an array of other charges.

By RON KAMPEAS/JTA
01/04/2021
US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) addresses a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washi

Marjorie Taylor Greene dubs COVID-19 vaccine passports 'Mark of the Beast'

She added that any company requiring one is engaging in a practice she dubs as "corporate communism."

31/03/2021
Donald Trump and Joe Biden

New poll shows stark partisan divide on American views of Trump's legacy

The poll also found that more than half (53%) of Americans rate Trump's performance during his presidency as "below average," 41% of whom say he was a "terrible president."

Jury to hear arguments in Derek Chauvin trial for George Floyd's death

Philonise Floyd, a brother of George Floyd, said before the service began that he had faith that prosecutors from the Minnesota attorney general's office would see Chauvin convicted.

By REUTERS
29/03/2021

Bipartisan senators introduce bill to expand Abraham Accords

It calls for an assessment of the future staffing and resourcing required for expanding the agreements and potential roadblocks to future agreements.

Minnesota Supreme Court rules willing alcohol consumption justifies rape

The victim testified that she blacked out and woke up on a couch finding the man who she had just met sexually assaulting her.

New York subpoenas dozens of Cuomo aides in sexual harassment probe - WSJ

The governor has so far denied any wrongdoing, though he has acknowledged it had been a "custom" for him to kiss and hug people when greeting them.

By REUTERS
27/03/2021

Georgia state rep. arrested, handcuffed, dragged out of state Capitol

The incident took place following the state legislature's passing of a bill that would institute several restrictions on voting access.

26/03/2021
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN makes a phone call.

Biden wishes the Jewish community 'next year in person' amid Passover

"We can close the Seder by adapting a familiar refrain, not only next year in Jerusalem, but next year in person. Next year together."

Trump seeking to open social media network - report

According to the report, Trump is in talks with his digital adviser Dan Scavino to take control of FreeSpace.

Facing recall, California Gov. Newsom has Jewish caucus in his corner

Newsom’s supporters are raising money and bumping up ad spending on behalf of the first-term Democratic governor and former San Francisco mayor.

By GABE STUTMAN / JTA
26/03/2021
Colin Kahl

Senate Committee advances Kahl’s nomination in Biden administration

Kahl’s rocky nomination process still depends on a Senate floor confirmation vote.

A member of a flight crew wears a face mask as a preventive measure

Erdan discusses visa waiver for Israelis with US DHS Secretary

Including Israel in the program has been a matter of ongoing discussions between Jerusalem and Washington for years.

GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith to Schumer: The Sabbath is on Sunday

She cited mentions of God on US properties and on the dollar bill and in protocols, including swearings-in of witnesses.

By RON KAMPEAS/JTA
25/03/2021
Missouri Governor Eric Greitens appears in a police booking photo in St. Louis

Jewish Missouri governor who quit after sex scandal, announces Senate run

Eric Greitens resigned, but charges in both cases were eventually dropped. He and his wife are getting divorced.

By RON KAMPEAS/JTA
24/03/2021
A mob of supporters of former US President Donald Trump fight with members of law enforcement at a d

Will Capitol rioters face sedition charges? The DOJ thinks it is likely

"I believe the facts do support those charges," said acting US Attorney Michael Sherwin for the District of Columbia. "I think that, as we go forward, more facts will support that."

By REUTERS
22/03/2021

What are Joe Biden's foreign policy priorities?

Biden has shown that America will lead global issues that require international responsibility and return to the global leadership race.

By ALI CINAR , SELMA BARDAKCI/THE MEDIA LINE
22/03/2021

Donald Trump to launch new social media platform, senior adviser says

Trump is projected to draw "tens of millions of people" to this new platform, which is set to launch in around 2-3 months.

Medical cannabis

White House suspends new staffers for cannabis use despite policy change

The policies disproportionally affected applicants with disabilities, all medical cannabis patients, younger applicants and applicants from states which have legalized cannabis.

Biden slips: Mossad parody regrets adding 'fun slide' to Air Force One

Implying that it had a hand in making the presidential aircraft, the agency made a meme of Homer Simpson standing in front of a lever that reads "super fun happy slide."

Biden stumbles while boarding plane, White House says he's fine

"It's very windy outside," said Jean-Pierre when asked about his stumbling. "He is doing 100 percent fine."

By REUTERS
20/03/2021

Majority of Americans support prosecution of Capitol rioters - poll

Americans view prosecution of the Capitol rioters as "very important," and a similar share sees political extremism as a "major problem" for the country, according to Pew Research Center.

Ahead of Colin Kahl’s confirmation, CUFI calls on Joe Manchin to oppose

“Looking at the foreign policy approach of the members of the Committee, it is clear to us that Senator Manchin is the most likely swing vote,” Pastor John Hagee said.

US House passes resolution aimed at advancing Equal Rights Amendment

“Equality of rights under the law shall not be abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex."

By REUTERS
18/03/2021
Democratic 2020 US presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden reacts during a televi

Biden says Russia's Putin will pay a price for election interference

Asked what the consequences would come, he said, "You'll see shortly."

By REUTERS
17/03/2021
The "Field of flags" is seen on the National Mall in front of the US Capitol building ahead of inaug

US Intelligence: Russia, Iran tried to influence 2020 election

The report assesses “with high confidence” that Iran carried out an influence campaign during the 2020 presidential election.

16/03/2021

Guam rep., National Guard bring Marjorie Taylor Greene cookies, books

The incident, while humorous, raises questions on the political use of National Guard troops.

16/03/2021

Majority of Americans believe Trump shouldn't run for president - poll

The Invisibly study surveyed 1,200 Americans between March 1-5, questioning them on their opinions of the Trump impeachment case.

White House: Probe into Cuomo allegations should be quick, thorough

"New developments seem to happen every day. We find them troubling. The president finds them troubling, hard to read," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

By REUTERS
16/03/2021

Two charged for assaulting police officer who died after US Capitol riot

A law enforcement source familiar with the matter said it is still too early in the probe to know if Tanios or Khater directly bear any responsibility for Sicknick's death.

By REUTERS
16/03/2021

Deb Haaland becomes first-ever Native American US cabinet secretary

Haaland's ascension to the cabinet is the culmination of weeks of active campaigning by Native American tribes and environmental groups in support of her historic appointment.

By REUTERS
16/03/2021

US legislation seeks to provide 'Priority 2' refugee status for Uyghurs

“As Jews and as Americans, we have a moral responsibility to act,” Rep. Deutch told the Jerusalem Post in a statement

Fauci hopes Trump will tell his supporters to get COVID-19 vaccine

Asked whether Trump should speak to his supporters directly, given those poll numbers, Fauci said: "I hope he does because the numbers that you gave are so disturbing."

By REUTERS
14/03/2021

Trump hints daughter-in-law Lara might run for North Carolina Senate seat

The impromptu announcement was met with applause; Sen. Lindsey Graham says Lara 'shoo-in' for the nomination.

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