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Rhode Island has become a temporary Democratic Party laboratory that tests which messages and messengers motivate the base.
The candidates running in the special Sept. 5 primary to replace ex-Rep. David Cicilline (D) offer something for just about every variety of Democrat. Their pitches, policy stances, political styles, and personal backgrounds vary enough to provide insight into which of the party’s power centers might have a leg up as they try to regain control of the House next year.
“This race can give us hints about the persistent battle in the Democratic Party between White very liberal progressives and candidates of color,” said Brown University political science professor Wendy Schiller. “Both types of candidates have been successful at attracting outside PAC money, which shows how interest groups can reinforce divisions within the party.”
Key groups on Capitol Hill have weighed in, such as the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ BOLD PAC, EMILY’s List, and the New Democrat Coalition Action Fund which endorsed Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos.
Former Biden and Obama administration aide Gabe Amo has the backing of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) headlined a rally for former state lawmaker, Aaron Regunberg, who has the endorsement of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
The district, home to waterfront mansions, giant jazz and folk festivals, CVS’ corporate headquarters, and significant immigrant communities, has a population that’s about 63% non-Hispanic White, according to a 2021 Census Bureau survey. About a quarter of the households were living on less than $35,000 a year, and another quarter had income exceeding $100,000, the survey estimated.
It’s a crowded primary, with a dozen names on the ballot in a district so dominated by the Democratic Party that the primary is the key contest in choosing a successor to Cicilline. Several of the candidates — including Matos, Amo, and state Sen. Sandra Cano — have the chance to be ground-breakers as the first person of color or female Democrat to represent the state in Congress. Kate Ackley gives the full election day preview.
- President Joe Biden has no public events scheduled today.
- Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre delivers a briefing at 2:30 p.m.
Previewing Congress’ Return
Key House Republicans and their allies are adding new demands for abortion and transgender health policy riders to government spending bills just a month before federal agencies face running out of money.
At least three first-term lawmakers are making moves to fill the soon-to-be vacant seat on the House Appropriations Committee, which will come open in September when Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) plans to retire.
An AI forum to be hosted by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sept. 13 will include former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna, Hugging Face CEO Clément Delangue, Anthropic co-founder Jack Clark, and Palantir CEO Alex Karp. The forum will also hear from representatives of industry associations, labor unions, and civil rights groups.
Senators are urging credit card giants Visa and Mastercard to cancel plans to raise their swipe fees charged to retailers and used reports on the plans to champion their bill to force competition in the industry.
People, Politics, and Power
Biden is nominating fewer judges with career experiences important to progressives as the administration seeks to fill as many vacancies as possible ahead of the 2024 election.
Blake Masters is set to announce plans to run for the Arizona Senate seat currently held by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I), the Wall Street Journal reports.
Trump’s Legal Challenges
State election officials should decide whether Donald Trump is barred from serving a second term as president for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, said former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R).
Trump and his company inflated the value of his assets by as much as $2.2 billion, according to a new court filing by New York’s attorney general urging a judge to find the former president liable for fraud before a trial set to start in October.
What Else We’re Reading
Florida has started to dig out from the aftermath of Idalia, which weakened to a tropical storm as it brought heavy rain across Georgia and the Carolinas, caused billions of dollars in damage, grounded flights, and left thousands without power.
Insulin makers whose drugs landed on Medicare’s price negotiations list could be the next to file lawsuits to block the program, even as officials maintain they’re following the strict requirements of the law when choosing the drugs.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo won a promise to revive business talks between Washington and Beijing, but American firms were left wondering if that will be enough to recommit to a market that looks increasingly risky.
The US for the first time approved the transfer of weapons to Taiwan under a program usually reserved for sovereign states, the State Department said Wednesday.
The US government urged its citizens to leave Haiti as soon as possible, as escalating gang violence makes it harder to travel.
Dozens of striking Hollywood writers and actors are going beyond the picket line to the next frontier of advocacy against consolidation in entertainment: the federal regulations docket.
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