Here are the top six stories in politics you need to know…
1. Ocasio-Cortez and Markey announce massive “Green New Deal” legislation
Sen. Ed Markey, (D-Mass) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D-N.Y), have announced that, as early as this week, they are preparing to introduce legislation of a so-called “Green New Deal.”
On New Year’s Day, Ocasio-Cortez, wrote on Twitter describing what her vision of a Green New Deal encompasses:
“Many people ask what a Green New Deal entails. We are calling for a wartime-level, just economic mobilization plan to get to 100% renewable energy ASAP.
To read more, check out http://ocasio2018.com/gnd – that’s our resolution text. Read Section #6 for our detailed scope & scale.”
It is unclear how closely the proposed legislation might match a draft document that was circulated last year by Ocasio-Cortez. If so, her draft was a massive government expansion, one that would dwarf the new deal programs enacted by President Franklin D Roosevelt between 1933 in 1936.
2. Bernie Sanders proposes 77% estate tax on billionaires
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), who is considering a presidential run in 2020, has proposed taxing the wealthiest Americans at a rate of up to 77 percent on estates with a value above $1 billion.
Estates with a value between $3.5 million and $10 million, he proposes taxing at 45 percent. Currently, estate tax starts when an estate is worth around $11 million.
Under Sanders proposed plan, it would raise up to $2.2 trillion in taxes, by taxing all of the 588 billionaires in the United States, who possess a combined net worth of over $3 trillion, according to the plan’s summary, as reported by Bloomberg.
3. Senator Cory Booker announces he is running for president in 2020
Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) announced that he is officially entering the race for the US presidency in 2020. “I’m running for president. Join me on this journey,” Booker wrote on Twitter in a post containing a promotional video.
“We are better when we help each other,” Booker says in a newly released promotional video. “I believe that we can build a country where no one is forgotten, no one is left behind; where parents can put food on the table; where there are good paying jobs with good benefits in every neighborhood; where our criminal justice system keeps us safe, instead of shuffling more children into cages and coffins; where we see the faces of our leaders on television and feel pride, not shame.”
4. White House whistleblower in Jared Kushner security clearance suspended
Tricia Newbold was suspended by the White House less than a week after blowing the whistle over President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner’s top-secret security clearance, which the White House approved over the objections of its security staff. Newbold, a White House security specialist, revealed it to the media in defiance of her supervisor Carl Klein.
For blowing the whistle, Newbold received a two-week suspension over defiance of authority, failure to follow instructions, and failure to supervise, according to a suspension decision notice obtained by NBC News.
Her suspension was proposed on December 3 of last year, and Newbold filed a discrimination complaint against her supervisor three months ago. Her attorney called her suspension payback for her whistleblowing.
5. South Dakota legalizes carry of concealed handguns without permit
South Dakota’s new Republican governor Kristi Noem signed legislation allowing residents of the state to legally carry a firearm concealed on their person, so long as they are allowed to possess one, and without the need for an additional permit for concealment.
Ahead of signing the legislation, in a message on Twitter about the new bill, the governor wrote: “Our Founding Fathers believed so firmly in our right to bear arms that they enshrined it into the Constitution. Tomorrow, I will sign SB47 into law.
This constitutional carry legislation will further protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding South Dakotans.”
6. Co-sponsor of Virginia late-trimester abortion bill apologizes says didn’t read text
Delegate Dawn Adams (D-Richmond), cosponsor of a controversial bill introduced in the Virginia House of Delegates that seeks to legalize third-trimester abortions in the state of Virginia has apologized for supporting it, saying she didn’t read the text or realize how far it went.
Her backpedaling comes a day after the bill’s primary sponsor, Delegate Kathy Tran, clarified before the committee that the bill would allow abortions up until the moment before birth.
Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam (D), has also come under fire for his support of the bill.