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Politics: 2024Talks - June 18, 2024

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Politics and views in the United States.

Audio file

U.S. House passes the National Defense Authorization Act, with hard-right amendments. Political scientists say they worry a second Trump presidency could 'break' American democracy, while farmers voice concerns about the Farm Bill.


Welcome to 2024 Talks, where we're following our democracy in historic times.

On this vote, the yeas are 217, the nays are 199.

The bill is passed without objection.

A motion to reconsider is laid on the table.

The House of Representatives passed the $900 billion National Defense Authorization Act, but it faces an uphill battle in the Senate.

House Republicans included amendments blocking the Pentagon from reimbursing troops seeking abortions, blocking funds to cover gender-affirming care, and ending diversity measures.

Other amendments call for defunding a U.S. military humanitarian aid pier off Gaza's coast.

At a Turning Point USA Action conference over the weekend, Steve Bannon, a close ally of former President Donald Trump, called for "victory or death" in the election.

He also repeated Trump's threat to use the Justice Department to go after their opponents.

Political scientists say they're growing increasingly worried about whether U.S. democracy can withstand future challenges, particularly from a second Trump presidency.

Harvard professor Stephen Levitsky says the Republican Party no longer abides by longstanding democratic norms.

It must unambiguously accept the results of elections.

It must unambiguously reject the use of political violence.

And it must be willing to break completely with violent or anti-democratic forces.

At the Turning Point USA conference, the former president said he would stop assisting Ukraine in their war against Russia and called Ukraine's war a scam.

Also RNC co-chair Laura Trump reaffirmed threats made by her father-in-law to go after anyone who they think is cheating in the election.

If you cheat in an election, we will find you, we will track you down, and we will prosecute you to the full extent of the law.

Reports before and after the 2016 and 2020 elections, including studies commissioned by the Trump administration, have shown voter fraud is extremely rare.

Consumer advocates say they're opposed to a bill dealing with cryptocurrency.

The Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act puts its regulation under the Commodity Futures Trading Commission instead of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mark Hayes is with Americans for Financial Reform.

You're basically creating a more permissive regulatory regime that allows crypto businesses to do basically what they do with a patina of protection, but it actually doesn't provide the same kind of protections you get if you simply dealt with them the way we do now.

The House is finalizing its version of the Farm Bill with big fights expected in the Senate over hunger programs and other items.

Smaller farmers and ranchers say they're worried about cuts to the climate and conservation programs they use, especially reductions in grants for small operations.

And Barb Kalba, a fourth-generation Iowa family farmer, says big subsidies are increasingly tilted toward huge factory farms and combined feeding operations.

Industrial-scale factory farms, even though they're industrial-scale, they do not have to go by industrial standards.

They go by ag standards.

And that's why we have the problem with pollution that we have.

That should be addressed in the Farm Bill.

I'm Edwin J. Vieira for Pacifica Network and Public News Service.

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