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This Week in Research: July 18 – July 21

Highlights from the Week

1. President Joe Biden’s diplomatic visit to the Middle East wrapped up after talks with leaders in Israel and Saudi Arabia. The much anticipated trip involved discussion with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salaman regarding oil and gas prices in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to taking meetings with diplomats, Biden took a stand on Iran’s nuclear program saying that he would be willing to use military force as a last resort against Iran. To see all statements from President Biden on international relations, click here. To see statements on foreign affairs from members of Congress, click here.


2. On Wednesday, July 20th, 2022, Olena Zelenska, the first lady of Ukraine, spoke before the U.S. Congress where she called for additional weapons to defend the country against Russian military action. The day before, Tuesday, July 19th, Mrs. Zelenska met with Jill Biden at the White House to discuss the effects of war on the Ukrainian people, with particular attention paid to the suffering of women and children. To see statements from members of Congress on Ukraine, click here.


3. The sentencing trial of Nikolas Cruz, the shooter in the 2018 Parkland school shooting in Florida, began this week in Fort Lauderdale. The defendant has been found guilty of killing 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and wounding 17 others and is now facing either life in prison without possibility for parole or the death penalty. To see statements from members of Congress on guns, click here. To see statement from members of Congress regarding the death penalty, 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 candidates running in the Delaware primary elections? You can see the full list of candidates running for various offices below:

Want to learn more about the candidates running in general elections? You can see the full list of candidates running for various offices by state below:

Want to learn more about the results from the Maryland primary elections this week? You can see the results of the elections here.

Biographies: Want to learn more about the candidates running in New Hampshire’s congressional primary election? You can see the full list of candidates running 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 running in gubernatorial 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: 2,285 statements were added this week. See highlights from the week for notable statements.

Key Votes:

  • States: 20 new votes were added, 10 bills were updated with new information.

  • Maine signed LD 965 into law, which prohibits certain pre-employment non-disclosure agreements and severance settlements which limit an individual’s right to provide evidence on a company to law enforcement.

  • The governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, signed into law HB 105, which establishes new regulations on vaping and smoking in public parks and beaches. The bill authorizes counties to enact their own smoking regulations that may be stricter than the state law but also prohibits counties from further regulating the smoking of cigars.

  • After passing H 7693 in the House of Representatives, Rhode Island may become the eighth state to remove the statute of limitations for felony sexual assault cases should the bill go on to be passed in the Senate and approved by the governor.

  • Federal Legislation: 5 new votes

  • The U.S. House passed the Respect for Marriage Act on July 20th, 2022. This bill enshrines the right to same-sex marriage by repealing the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which had defined marriage as between one man and one woman. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, but the law is still active, which means that if the Supreme Court should reverse the 2015 decision, there would not be federal protections for same-sex marriages without this bill. The bill has been sent to the Senate where it will have to overcome the 60 vote threshold for a filibuster.

Special Interest Groups

  • There were 93 endorsements and 18 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 76,441 candidates and entered endorsements for 16,123 candidates.



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