Democrats face off at third presidential debate » Democrats took the stage in Houston last night for the third presidential debate hosted by ABC.
AUDIO: The candidates are right here behind this screen. We can’t wait to introduce them to you all.
Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren flanked early frontrunner Joe Biden.
Out of the gate, Biden challenged both senators on the cost of their government-run healthcare plans.
BIDEN: My plan for healthcare costs a lot of money. It costs $740 billion dollars. It doesn’t cost $30 trillion.
That remark was aimed at Sanders, who defended his plan…
SANDERS: Medicare for all will cost over $30 trillion. That’s right Joe. Status quo over ten years will be $50 trillion.
Biden said his plan is built around adding a public option to Obamacare.
Though the former vice president came out swinging, he was on the defensive much of the night. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro said Biden’s healthcare plan leaves too many people uninsured.
CASTRO: I am fulfilling the legacy of Barack Obama and you’re not.
BIDEN: That’ll be a surprise to him.
But candidates saved most of their rhetorical punches for President Trump.
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker blasted the president’s trade policies.
BOOKER: He is pulling us away from our allies, out of the Iran deal, out of the Paris Climate Accord. And on trade he’s deciding to take on China while at the same taking on tariff battles with all of our allies.
Senator Warren said she’d approach trade talks very differently.
WARREN: I want to negotiate trade with unions at the table. I want to negotiate it with small farmers at the table. I want to negotiate it with environmentalists at the table.
Billionaire Tom Steyer will join the fray in the next debate, expanding the field to 11. That’s scheduled for October 15th in Ohio.
House Judiciary panel approves rules for impeachment hearings » Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday moved one step closer to impeachment hearings against President Trump.
AUDIO: Mr. Chairman, there are 24 ayes and 17 nos. The ayes have it. The resolution is agreed to.
With that party-line vote, the panel approved the rules for impeachment hearings.
Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said—quote—“The conduct under investigation poses a threat to our democracy.”
NADLER: We have an obligation to respond to this threat, and we are doing so. Under the procedures outlined in this resolution, we will hold hearings that allow us to further consider the evidence against the president.
But the top Republican on the committee, Congressman Doug Collins, said Nadler is turning a simple procedural vote into something it’s not. He said the chairman is giving the false impression that impeachment proceedings are already underway.
COLLINS: This has nothing to do with the investigation. Today was simply to get you all here to cover something that is really, frankly a snoozefest most of the time, because it was packaged in such a way that started from last Friday when it leaked out that they were doing this – that this as an impeachment [SIC] — It’s not.
Impeachment has divided Democrats who control the House. Democrats on Nadler’s committee include some of the most liberal members of the House, and they’ve been eager to charge ahead. But many Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, still see an impeachment push as a big political risk.
Trump administration implements asylum rule after court ruling » The Trump administration says it has begun restricting asylum claims on the southern border following a Supreme Court ruling.
Migrants who pass through other countries on their way to the United States will have to seek asylum in those countries before applying for it at the U.S. border.
After the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said an injunction on the rule could stand in the border states of California and Arizona—the Supreme Court lifted the injunction nationwide.
But the head of Customs and Border Protection, Mark Morgan, acknowledged Thursday that the legal battle is not over.
MORGAN: We’re still going through hearing this on the actual merits of this case right now. But right now, what that means, while that’s going on, we can fully implement this rule.
The high court ruled 7 to 2 to lift the injunction. Justices Sonya Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented.
EPA scraps major Obama-era regulation » The head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Andrew Wheeler, announced Thursday that the agency is scrapping a major Obama-era regulation.
WHEELER: Today’s final rule puts an end to an egregious power grab, eliminates an ongoing patchwork of Clean Water Act regulations, and restores a longstanding and familiar regulatory framework.
In 2015, the EPA installed the Waters of the United States rule. It helped to shield many U.S. wetlands and streams from pollution. But Wheeler said the rule overreached—giving Washington power over “seasonal streams, ponds, ditches” and other areas “that are dry through most of the year.”
Former FBI deputy director could face criminal charges » Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe could face criminal charges after the Justice Department reportedly rejected an appeal from his lawyers. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen reports.
ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: In April, the Justice Department’s inspector general found that McCabe lied to federal agents during an investigation into media leaks at the FBI.
Since then, McCabe’s lawyers have been working to head off possible prosecution. But several media outlets, citing unnamed sources, reported Thursday that the Justice Department has rejected an appeal from his legal team. And U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu has recommended going ahead with unspecified charges.
McCabe maintains that he never intentionally lied.
Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen.