US Domestic News Roundup: Kansas legislature passes bill to ban transgender athletes from girls' sports; Biden's $6.8 trillion budget challenges Republicans, raises taxes on rich and more
Dominion was thrust into the national spotlight in the wake of the 2020 election, when Fox hosts aired debunked conspiracy theories claiming that Dominion's voting machines were used to rig the outcome against Republican former President Donald Trump and in favor of the winner, Democrat Joe Biden. Former Ohio House speaker Householder convicted over $60 million bribery plot A federal jury convicted former Ohio House of Representatives Speaker Larry Householder and former Ohio Republican Party chair Mathew Borges of participating in a $60 million bribery scheme, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday.
Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
Kansas legislature passes bill to ban transgender athletes from girls' sports
Kansas' Republican-led legislature on Thursday passed a bill that would ban transgender athletes from playing girls or women's school sports if they were born male. Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, a Democrat, is expected to veto the bill, as she vetoed two similar measures in the previous two years. But this year the bill appears to have enough support to override any veto. The governor's office did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Biden's $6.8 trillion budget challenges Republicans, raises taxes on rich
U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday unveiled plans for government spending and higher taxes on the wealthy, choosing the swing state of Pennsylvania to reveal his playbook for an expected 2024 re-election bid. Speaking at a Philadelphia union hall, the Democratic president challenged Republican opponents on fiscal responsibility, highlighting plans to cut U.S. deficits nearly $3 trillion over 10 years by raising taxes on those earning more than $400,000 a year.
DeSantis, Trump to collide in key state of Iowa
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will make his first trip to the early nominating state of Iowa on Friday as he tests the waters for a presidential bid, only days before fellow Republican and former President Donald Trump is slated to campaign there. Iowa could be particularly crucial for DeSantis, who is expected to jump into the 2024 White House race later in the spring. The state will hold the first Republican nominating contest early next year, and a win there would show DeSantis is a viable candidate against Trump.
Analysis-Is Dominion Voting case against Fox News worth as much as $1.6 billion?
As Fox Corp defends itself against a high-profile defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems, the network is questioning how the once-obscure company could claim it deserves to be awarded more than $1.6 billion in damages. Dominion was thrust into the national spotlight in the wake of the 2020 election, when Fox hosts aired debunked conspiracy theories claiming that Dominion's voting machines were used to rig the outcome against Republican former President Donald Trump and in favor of the winner, Democrat Joe Biden.
Former Ohio House speaker Householder convicted over $60 million bribery plot
A federal jury convicted former Ohio House of Representatives Speaker Larry Householder and former Ohio Republican Party chair Mathew Borges of participating in a $60 million bribery scheme, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday. Householder, 63, and Borges, 50, were charged in 2020 in the federal bribery case stemming from a bill passed in 2019 to bail out Ohio's nuclear power plants. Federal prosecutors called it the biggest corruption case in the state's history. The legislature revoked the bill in 2021.
US senators blast Treasury's failure to move faster on climate risks
Three U.S. senators blasted the Treasury Department on Thursday for its failure to act more swiftly to counter climate risks, and urged Secretary Janet Yellen to appoint a new climate counselor to lead the effort. In a letter to Yellen viewed by Reuters, Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren, Sheldon Whitehouse and Edward Markey criticized the work done by John Morton, Yellen's first climate counselor. Morton stepped down in December and returned to the private sector.
Top US Senate Republican McConnell treated for concussion after fall
U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, one of the most powerful figures in Washington, is being treated for a concussion and will remain hospitalized for a few days after tripping and falling, his spokesperson said on Thursday. McConnell, who is 81 and was first elected to represent Kentucky in the Senate in 1984, "tripped at a dinner event Wednesday evening and has been admitted to the hospital and is being treated for a concussion," spokesperson David Popp said in a statement.
South Carolina attorney Murdaugh appeals conviction of murdering wife, son
Richard "Alex" Murdaugh, the South Carolina lawyer convicted last week of murdering his wife and son, appealed his conviction and life sentence on Thursday, according to court records. Murdaugh, 54, a member of a powerful South Carolina family, was found guilty on March 2 on two counts of shooting his wife Maggie, 52, and youngest son, Paul, 22, on their family estate on June 7, 2021.
Judge to weigh Bankman-Fried's trial schedule, bail conditions at hearing
A U.S. judge is expected on Friday to consider what restrictions Sam Bankman-Fried should face while free on bail, and whether the FTX cryptocurrency exchange founder's Oct. 2 fraud trial should be pushed back. Bankman-Fried is fighting to stay out of jail after U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan raised concerns last month that the 31-year-old former billionaire wunderkind was testing the limits of his $250 million bail package by communicating in ways that could not be monitored.
US weekly jobless claims post largest rise in 5 months; labor market still tight
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased by the most in five months last week, but the underlying trend remained consistent with a tight labor market. Part of the larger-than-expected rise in claims reported by the Labor Department on Thursday reflected a surge in applications in New York state, which some economists attributed to a mid-winter school recess from Feb. 20-24. There was also a sharp rise in filings in California.
(With inputs from agencies.)