WASHINGTON – Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says it's a “big lie” to call the new voting law in Georgia racist and he warned big business to “stay out of politics” after major corporations and even Major League Baseball distanced themselves from the state amid vast public pressure.
McConnell particularly slammed President Joe Biden's criticism that the Georgia bill was restrictive and a return to Jim Crow-era restrictions in the Southern states aimed limiting ballot access for Black Americans. “It's simply not true,” McConnell told reporters Monday.
Embattled Gaetz won't step down
Rep. Matt Gaetz said Monday he will not leave Congress and denied that he “slept with” an underage girl, suggesting that accusations against him stem from political foes angry that he “loathes the swamp.”
The Florida Republican, starting his fifth year in Congress, has been battling to preserve his political career since reports last week that he is under federal investigation for possible sex crimes. In a column in the Washington Examiner, a conservative news outlet, Gaetz predicted that “some of my feckless colleagues in Congress” will call for him to step down.
Utah birth dads on hook for delivery
Biological fathers in Utah will be legally required to pay half of a woman's out-of-pocket pregnancy costs under a new law unique to the state that critics say doesn't do enough to adequately address maternal health care needs.
The bill's sponsor has presented the measure as an effort to decrease the burden of pregnancy on women and increase responsibility for men who have children. But some critics argue the new legislation won't help women who are most vulnerable and could make abusive situations even more dangerous for pregnant women.
Transgender bill vetoed in Arkansas
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Monday vetoed legislation that would have made his state the first to ban gender confirming treatments or surgery for transgender youth, though lawmakers could enact the restriction over his objections.
The Republican governor's veto follows pleas from pediatricians, social workers and the parents of transgender youth who said the measure would harm a community already at risk for depression and suicide. Hutchinson said he met with doctors and transgender people as he considered the measure.