In case you missed it last night: A Democratic candidate won the special election to fill Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s open House seat.
Democratic state legislator Melanie Stansbury defeated Republican state senator Mark Moores by about 25 points, delivering a resounding victory for Democrats after the party’s poor performance in a Texas special election last month.
Delivering a victory speech in Albuquerque, Stansbury said, “This moment is not just about standing up, but about leaning into the moment and bringing fundamental change to our politics and to our country.”
Stansbury’s win will help to slightly bolster Democrats’ very narrow majority in the House. Once Stansbury is seated to represent New Mexico’s 1st District, Democrats will have a 220-211 advantage over Republicans.
The margin of Stansbury’s victory was also encouraging to Democrats, given that Joe Biden carried the New Mexico district by 23 points in November. Haaland also won reelection to her seat by 16 points last year.
Stansbury’s ability to improve upon Biden and Haaland’s numbers gave some Democrats hope that they can hold off a wave of Republican victories in next year’s midterms. However, the midterms are still about a year and a half away, so time will tell.
Texas Democrats set example by facing down Republican voting rights assault
The Guardian’s Sam Levine reports:
For nearly five months, Democrats in state legislatures across the country have been scraping to do everything they can to stop an unprecedented onslaught of new voting restrictions from Republicans.
They have given searing speeches on the floors of state legislatures. They have supported protests and even gotten arrested demonstrating against the bills. They have filed lawsuits challenging new restrictions almost immediately after they were signed into law.
But despite their efforts, Democrats have not been able to stop sweeping new voting restrictions from going into place in states such as Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Iowa and Montana, where Republicans have used their legislative majorities to ram through the bills.
But late on Sunday night something different happened in Texas.
With Republicans on the verge of passing one of the most restrictive new voting laws in the country, Democrats in the state house of representatives walked out of the legislature, denying Republicans a quorum and killing the legislation. Governor Greg Abbott has fumed over the development and has pledged to call a special session to pass the bill.
Be sure to read the fine print on the Anheuser-Busch vaccine giveaway: only 200,000 participants will get money to buy a free round after the US hits Joe Biden’s vaccination goal.
And it may be a round for one person, as the beer company is only giving winners a $5.00 virtual debit card to purchase an Anheuser-Busch product.
Those who want the chance to win one of the debit cards will also have to create a My Cooler Rewards account and upload a “picture of your favorite place to grab a beer”.
Biden to announce partnership with Anheuser-Busch to encourage vaccinations
Joe Biden will also deliver an update this afternoon on his administration’s efforts to get Americans vaccinated against coronavirus.
The speech comes one month before July 4, Biden’s deadline to get 70% of American adults at least partially vaccinated for US Independence Day.
The president is expected to announce a new partnership between the White House and the beer company Anheuser-Busch to encourage Americans to get their vaccines.
The CEO of Anheuser-Busch said in an announcement this morning that the company will “buy Americans 21+ a round of beer when we reach the White House goal”.
“We pride ourselves on stepping up both in times of need and in times of great celebration, and the past year has been no different,” said CEO Michel Doukeris. “As we look ahead to brighter days with renewed optimism, we are proud to work alongside the White House to make a meaningful impact for our country, our communities and our consumers.”
The “Let’s Grab A Beer” initiative is only the latest in a string of US efforts to incentivize vaccinations. Perhaps most notably, the state of Ohio has been distributing $1 million lottery prizes to a handful of new vaccine recipients.
Biden to meet with Republican senator as he looks to wrap up infrastructure talks
Greetings from Washington, live blog readers.
Joe Biden will meet this afternoon with Shelley Moore Capito, the senator who has been leading the Republican team negotiating with the White House over a potential infrastructure bill.
The meeting comes almost one week after Capito and her fellow Republicans introduced their latest counteroffer, which proposed spending $928 billion for infrastructure projects over the next eight years.
That offer was still a far cry from what Biden has called for spending. Of the $928 billion in Republicans’ plan, only $257 billion is considered new money, while the rest was baselines spending, meaning the funds that were already going to be used on infrastructure projects over the next eight years because of existing policies.
In contrast, the president has proposed investing $1.7 trillion over baseline infrastructure spending, which is still less than the $2.25 trillion that he originally called for.
So Democrats and Republicans remain miles apart on infrastructure, and Biden has signaled that he is ready for the negotiations to come to a close.
“I told [Capito] we have to finish this really soon,” Biden said last Thursday. “We’re going to have to close this down soon.”
The blog will have more details on the meeting coming up, so stay tuned.