US Domestic News Roundup: Biden signs debt limit bill, avoiding U.S. default; United Airlines pilots union votes to authorize a strike vote and more
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee in February had signed the bill passed by the state's assembly that aimed to restrict drag performances, putting the state at the forefront of a Republican-led effort to limit drag in at least 15 states in recent months. Trump moves to disqualify judge in porn star hush money case Former President Donald Trump is seeking to disqualify the New York state judge overseeing the criminal case against him stemming from a hush money payment to a porn star.
Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
Biden signs debt limit bill, avoiding U.S. default
President Joe Biden on Saturday signed a bill that suspends the U.S. government's $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, averting what would have been a first-ever default with just two days to spare. The House of Representatives and the Senate passed the legislation this week after Biden and House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached an agreement following tense negotiations.
United Airlines pilots union votes to authorize a strike vote
The United Airlines Holdings Inc pilots union has unanimously voted to authorize a strike vote, the union chair said in a letter to pilots on Friday. "You'll receive more communication regarding this impending strike vote in the coming days," the letter says. A spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) said it has not yet set a date for the strike vote.
Tropical Storm Arlene weakens to a tropical depression, US NHC says
Tropical Storm Arlene weakened to a tropical depression on Saturday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. The depression is located about 145 miles (233.35 km) west of the Dry Tortugas, Florida, packing maximum sustained winds of 35 miles per hour (56 km/h).
DeSantis chooses his words carefully in escalating war with Trump
In the first full week of his 2024 presidential campaign, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis worked hard to define himself as a candidate to voters — and just as hard to define the man who stands in his way for the Republican nomination. As he toured 12 cities in three early-voting states, DeSantis, 44, made his case that he is the more conservative and consistent alternative to Donald Trump, the former president and current front runner in the race.
Republicans set debate rules, creating hurdles for long-shots in 2024 primary election
The Republican National Committee on Friday announced relatively stringent limits on who can participate in the first 2024 presidential primary debate, posing a potential challenge for several long-shot contenders. The RNC, the Republican Party's governing body, will also require all attendees to support the eventual Republican nominee, the body said on Friday. The pledge requirement is notable as former President Donald Trump, who leads in the polls, has neither promised to support a nominee, nor has he confirmed he will attend the debates.
North Carolina's Fort Bragg sheds Confederate name, becomes Fort Liberty
Fort Bragg, the U.S. Army base in North Carolina that is among the world's largest military installations, was formally renamed Fort Liberty on Friday, part of a broader effort to rechristen bases named for Confederate officers. Last year, a commission created by Congress recommended new names for nine bases that honored Confederate officers, after the nationwide protests following the 2020 police killing of George Floyd prompted the military to re-examine its history through the lens of race.
Oath Keepers get prison sentences for sedition in US Capitol attack
Oath Keepers militant group members David Moerschel and Joseph Hackett were sentenced on Friday to prison for seditious conspiracy and other crimes arising from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by then-President Donald Trump's supporters. Hackett, a Florida chiropractor and low-level Oath Keepers leader, was sentenced to 42 months in prison while Moerschel received a three-year prison term.
Texas becomes largest state to ban transgender care for minors
Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Friday signed a bill that bans transgender healthcare including puberty blockers and hormone therapy for minors, making Texas the largest of the 20 states to have outlawed gender-affirming care. Republican lawmakers across the country have promoted similar bills, saying they mistrust the consensus among major medical associations that endorse gender-affirming care as needed and even life-saving for trans youth after extensive evaluation.
Federal judge rejects Tennessee drag show ban as unconstitutional
A federal judge has ruled that Tennessee's law restricting drag performances in public or where children were present was unconstitutional, striking a blow to efforts in U.S. states to regulate LGBTQ conduct. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee in February had signed the bill passed by the state's assembly that aimed to restrict drag performances, putting the state at the forefront of a Republican-led effort to limit drag in at least 15 states in recent months.
Trump moves to disqualify judge in porn star hush money case
Former President Donald Trump is seeking to disqualify the New York state judge overseeing the criminal case against him stemming from a hush money payment to a porn star. In a motion made public on Friday, Trump's lawyers argued that New York state Justice Juan Merchan in Manhattan has a conflict due to his daughter's work at a consulting firm that does work for Democrats. The motion also noted that the judge encouraged a former Trump Organization executive to cooperate during a prior case, calling that a preconceived bias against Trump.
(With inputs from agencies.)