Highlights from the Week
1. The FBI carried out a raid on ex-President Trump’s Mar-A-Lago residence in Florida on Monday, August 8th, in a search for records that Trump is accused of removing from the White House when he departed. The National Archives are responsible for preserving all communications and records from the executive branch, and the staff have grown concerned about whether Mr. Trump’s staff was being forthcoming about what had been removed. To see Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s statement on the raid, click here. President Biden has said he will not be commenting on the events.
2. This week, gas prices dropped below $4 a gallon in many parts of the country, the lowest since March. President Biden has been attempting to combat the high gas prices on several fronts through relationships with oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia, paving the way to expand fracking operations, and pushing for the addition of the Inflation Reduction Act to the recent infrastructure bill that passed both chambers. To see statements from Biden on oil and gas, click here. To see statements from members of Congress on oil and gas, click here.
3. American basketball player, Britney Griner, was arrested by Russian police on February 17, 2022, on charges of carrying cannabis oil into the country while she was visiting to compete in a basketball tournament. On Friday, August 5th, she was sentenced to nine years in a penal colony. Griner, who is 31 years old, plays for the Phoenix Mercury professional team and first rose as a star while playing for the Baylor Lady Bears in college. Senator Tammy Baldwin called on the Russian government to release Griner; view her letter here. Representative Greg Stanton proposed a House resolution calling for Griner’s release, and it was passed on July 24th. To see Stanton’s statement on the resolution, click here.
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 Missouri’s state legislative primary election? You can see the full list of candidates who ran here. If you want to learn more about a candidate, click on a candidate and go to their ‘Bio’ tab to learn more.
Want to learn more about the candidates who ran in Kansas’s statewide primary election? You can see the full list of candidates who ran here. 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:
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.
States: 37 new votes were added, 14 bills were updated with new information.
On August 5th, the governor of Indiana signed into law SB 1, a bill which prohibits all abortions (with certain exceptions for rape and incest before 10 weeks of pregnancy and risk of patient health before 20 weeks).
The governor of Virginia vetoed a bill, which had passed the House and Senate by a wide margin, intended to shift the Department of Juvenile Justice away from the adult justice system and explore merging it with the Secretary of Health and Human Resources. The bill established a study to explore the effects and possibilities of this transition.
The California State Senate passed SB 1056, which is intended to regulate violent content on social media. Under this bill, violent posts are defined as posts containing a “true threat” against a specific person and requires social media platforms to clearly state whether they have mechanisms for reporting violent posts. The bill authorizes that the target of online harassment has the right to seek a court order requiring the platform to remove the post.
Federal Legislation: 4 new votes
The Senate passed the Build Back Better Act, an expansive infrastructure bill intended to push forward some of President Biden’s key campaign promises and address inflation.
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 80,364 candidates and entered endorsements for 21,378 candidates.