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Senator Collins will vote Yes, all but securing Kavanaugh’s confirmation



Senator Collins will vote Yes all but securing Kavanaughs confirmation

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) spoke on the Senate floor and declared that she will be voting to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh tomorrow to be the next Associate Supreme Court Justice. She joins Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) as the other previously undecided Senator to declare in the affirmative.

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) declared she will be voting against Kavanaugh earlier.

The other Senator on the fence, Joe Manchin (D-WV), has not made an announcement but was the only Democrat to vote for cloture this morning. If Collins, Flake, and all the Republicans other than Murkowski vote for confirmation, Manchin’s vote will only determine whether the confirmation is complete Saturday or if it must wait until Sunday when Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) returns to Washington DC from his daughter’s wedding. In the unlikely scenario of Manchin voting against his constituents’ wishes, Vice President Mike Pence will have to break the tie.

Update: Manchin is a Yes as well:

Collins spent around an hour talking about Kavanaugh’s qualifications and the process she followed in deciding to vote for him. She also took the opportunity to speak out mildly against President Trump who some fear nominated Kavanaugh because of his position that sitting Presidents should be protected from criminal and civil investigations until after their term.

A pro-choice moderate Republican, Collins detailed her questioning of Kavanaugh over Roe v. Wade and other decisions regarding abortion. It was a necessary statement to justify her decision to confirm a pro-life Supreme Court Justice. She then diffused the President’s promise to nominate judges who will overturn Roe v. Wade by noting that every Republican presidential platform included such promises, yet Roe v. Wade still stands.

The last portion of her speech was an explanation of her perspectives on Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations of sexual assault by Kavanaugh. It was an often-awkward and meandering diatribe against how the Democrats handled the process while maintaining that she believes Ford was sexually assaulted. She railed against whoever leaked Ford’s letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein about the assault, causing Ford to come forward publicly despite her wishes to remain anonymous. The insinuation was that someone in Feinstein’s office or Feinstein herself was the leaker.

Here is how she concluded her remarks:

My Take

Collins is still a Democrat in Republican clothing, but her words will do more to put moderate pro-choice voters at ease than anything that’s been said to date. She also gave an eloquent explanation of how due process applies in confirmation hearings, something that’s been debated heavily since the allegations of sexual abuse were made public.

For once, Senator Collins is doing the right thing. She’ll betray conservatives again and again in the future, but for today she’s earned a degree of gratitude. Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation will go a long way towards saving our republic.

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Guns and Crime

Sanctuary policies fail 14-year-old Ariana Funes-Diaz again as her suspected MS-13 murderers released a second time



Three juvenile MS-13 gang members charged for brutal murder of 14-year-old Ariana Funes-Diaz

The story of Ariana Funes-Diaz’s death is saddening because it was completely preventable. Our initial report failed to determine her alleged murderers had already been detained and released a year before she was killed.

MS-13 gang members Josue Rafael Fuentes-Ponce and Joel Ernesto Escobar were in the custody of Prince George County in Maryland with ICE detainer orders on them, but the sanctuary rules in the jurisdiction allowed their release. They allegedly claimed another victim less than a year later, had another detainer put on them following their arrest, and have again been released so they could avoid deportation.

Let that sink in. Murder suspects have been released by law enforcement because of sanctuary rules in place. There is absolutely no way for Democrats to spin this, but in their minds they’re doing the right thing because the rights of gang member illegal immigrants are higher than the rights of American citizens.

ICE has rightly condemned the rules that allowed this and the law enforcement agencies that are failing to protect Americans.

ICE seeks custody of teen murder suspects for a second time

Following the recent arrest of two unlawfully present teens suspected in the violent murder of a young girl in Maryland, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers in Baltimore are again seeking to take custody of the illegal aliens through the ICE detainer process following the Prince George’s County Detention Center’s (PGCDC) failure to cooperate.

Josue Rafael Fuentes-Ponce and Joel Ernesto Escobar, both Salvadoran nationals, were previously arrested on May 11, 2018 when they were arrested by Prince George’s County Police Department (PGCPD) for attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, participation in gang activity, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted robbery, and other related charges. ICE officers lodged a detainer with PGCDC, however both were released on an unknown date and time without notification to ICE.

Sanctuary rules give the freedom of criminal illegal aliens higher priority than the safety of American citizens. Ariana Funes-Diaz would be alive today if her MS-13 gang member murderers weren’t protected by Democrats. It’s infuriating.

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Shannon Grove on high speed rail: ‘The more we look at this project, the more uncertainties come to light’



Shannon Grove on high speed rail The more we look at this project the more uncertainties come to lig

SACRAMENTO – Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) issued the following statement after the Assembly Transportation Committee held an extensive hearing on the California High-Speed Rail project today.

“The more we look at this project, the more uncertainties come to light. Whether it is the loss of federal funds, the looming deadlines, or the failure to comply with the requirements of Proposition 1A, these hearings have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the California High-Speed Rail Authority is incapable of building anything that resembles what they promised the voters.

“Sacramento Democrats can no longer pretend they don’t know this project is off the rails. It is a shameful waste of taxpayers’ dollars and we must stop throwing our hard-earned money down the drain. It is time to kill the big rail fail,” said Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove.


Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove represents California’s 16th Senate District which encompasses large portions of Kern, Tulare and San Bernardino counties and including the cities of Bakersfield, Barstow, California City, Exeter, Frazier Mountain, Joshua Tree, Mojave, Needles, Ridgecrest, Rosamond, Taft, Tehachapi, Twentynine Palms, Tulare, Visalia, Yucca Valley and portions of the Kern River Valley. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

For press inquiries or questions, please contact Jacqui Nguyen, press secretary for the Senate Republican Caucus, at 858.999.7706.

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California Senate approves bill to provide business licensing fee relief for disaster victims



California Senate approves bill to provide business licensing fee relief for disaster victims

SACRAMENTO – The state senate has unanimously passed SB 601, by Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga), to waive or reduce government licensing fees for businesses recovering after a disaster.

After events like wildfires, floods, and earthquakes, victims face many challenges including increasing expenses. For small businesses, recovery can also include having to replace paperwork such as state licenses needed to operate in California.

“State licensing fees can often be a hurdle as entrepreneurs begin their careers,” said Morrell. “For businesses that have already played by the rules and contributed to our economy, SB 601 helps them get back on their feet after a disaster. While we need licensing reforms and relief across the board, I am grateful to my senate colleagues for their support of this good government measure.”

In recent years, California has seen several of the most damaging and costly natural disasters in its history. The 2017 Tubbs Fire, Southern California mudslides, and 2018 Camp Fire combined have claimed over 100 lives, destroyed more than 25,000 structures, and impacted an estimated 381,784 businesses.

Morrell has led past efforts on licensing reform in California, including the authoring of SB 999 (2018) to repeal certain licensing requirements in the fields of barbering and cosmetology as well as the authoring of SB 1155 (2017) to waive initial licensing fees for veterans entering the civilian workforce.

The bill unanimously passed the senate and will next be considered in the State Assembly.

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