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This Week in Research: August 1 – August 4

Highlights from the Week

1. A massive flood devastated portions of rural Kentucky last weekend. The storm was confirmed to have left at least three dozen people dead, with hundreds more displaced. Starting on Monday, August 1, and continuing through the week, FEMA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency combed through the rubble, looking for survivors and attempting to clear debris. To see Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s statement on the flooding in his home state of Kentucky, click here. To see all statements on the environment from members of Congress, click here.


2. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan this week in a move that has garnered both praise and criticism from both sides of the aisle. During Pelosi’s visit, the Chinese military carried out drills, demonstrating their military power. Tensions in the South China Sea could have a significant impact on American allies in the East Asian region like South Korea and Japan. To see the statement released by Senate and House Republicans in support of Pelosi’s trip, click here. To see Pelosi’s statement on her trip, click here.


3. On August 1, 2022, an American drone strike killed Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri at his safe house in Kabul, Afghanistan. Al-Sawahri is credited with being one of the key minds behind the 9/11 2001 terrorist attacks. President Biden said in a televised statement on Tuesday night, “...no matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out.” To see statements from members of Congress on Afghanistan, click here. To see President Biden’s official statement on the operation, click here.


Elections

By the Elections Research team (Noah, Seth, Nick, Caleb, & Anthony) and Elections Interns (Andres, Liam, Luke, Muzhi, Ephriam, Hugh, Riley, Mia, & Charles) Elections: Want to learn more about the results from the primary elections this week? Please click on the office you would like to view for the states below:

Biographies: Want to learn more about the candidates who ran in Arizona’s primary elections? You can see the full list of candidates running for various states below:

If you want to learn more about a candidate, click on a candidate and go to their ‘Bio’ tab to learn more.

Issue Positions/Political Courage Test:

Want to learn more about the candidates who are currently being tested and their responses to the Political Courage Test? You can see the full list of candidates, their responses, and response rates running for various offices below:

Officials

By the Officials Research team: Thomas, Bibi, Johanan, Neal, Jake, Craig, Israel, Wyatt, and Katie


Public Statements: 3,127 statements were added this week. See highlights from the week for notable statements.

Key Votes:

  • States: 46 new votes were added, 25 bills were updated with new information.

  • The governor of Colorado signed into law SB 150, expanding the response of the state to cases of missing indigenous persons. The bill establishes the Office of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives and a new system called the Missing Indigenous Person Alert sytem.

  • The governor of Louisiana vetoed SB 304, a bill which limited opportunities for sentence commutations in cases where the imprisoned person’s crime involved the death of a first responder or police officer.

  • The Oklahoma state legislature passed SB 1367, increasing the fees and penalties for illegal sales of medial marijuana. Under this new law, the first offense fine is increased from $1,000 to $5,000 and second offense fines increased to $15,000 dollars.

  • Federal Legislation: 6 new votes

  • The U.S. House passed the Big Cat Public Safety Act, amending current rules regarding the sale, transfer, and transportation of big cats. The bill also expands the definition of “big cats” to include lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, cougars, and any hybridization of those species.

  • The U.S. Senate passed the Honoring our PACT Act of 2022, which expands the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant program into the Pell Grant program, thereby expanding access to Pell Grants for individuals whose parent or guardian died as a result of performing military service for the U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001.

Special Interest Groups

  • There were 266 endorsements and 6 ratings released to the live web this week, which can be viewed here (organized by group). This year to date, the SIGs team has rated 78,350 candidates and entered endorsements for 20,228 candidates.


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Thirty years ago I took a leap of faith uncharacteristic for me then and now.  I quit my professional job as Archivist at the Arizona Historical Society, sold my house in Tucson, and more or less ran