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Empresarios latinos confían entrar en los planes de estímulo económico

Washington, 27 oct.- Los empresarios latinos lamentan que recibieron poca ayuda en los programas de estímulo federal para lidiar con la crisis surgida por la pandemia y esperan que, tras las elecciones, quien sea ganador los incluya en los planes de estímulo económico, indicó el presidente de la Cámara Hispana de Comercio en Estados Unidos (USHCC), Ramiro Cavazos.

Cavazos dijo a EFE que “de los 4,7 millones de negocios pequeños con dueños hispanos, menos del 3 % obtuvo préstamos de los más de 660.000 millones de dólares ofrecidos en el programa” aprobado por el Congreso y promulgado por el presidente Donald Trump en marzo.

La Cámara Hispana de Comercio invitó a Trump y al candidato presidencial demócrata, Joe Biden, a que participaran en septiembre en su convención anual, que esta vez se realizó de manera virtual.

“Sólo Biden vino, y el presidente Trump no participó”, dijo Cavazos, lo cual es sorprendente si se tiene en cuenta que en un estado crucial para la elección, como lo es Florida, hay unos 600.000 pequeños negocios que son propiedad de hispanos.

La Cámara también instó a los dos partidos a que presentaran de cara a las próximas elecciones un “plan de negocios que ayudara al rescate de la economía para los empresarios hispanos, y el plan más desarrollado y positivo que vemos es el de Biden”.

“Se ve más robusto, conectado con que el gobierno federal ofrezca más contratos”, agregó. “El Gobierno federal es el comprador más grande del mundo, especialmente en la defensa, y muchos contratos van a las empresas grandes, mientras que menos van a empresarios pequeños”.

Una tercera propuesta de la USHCC a Trump y Biden fue “que, dentro de las dos semanas después de la elección, nos inviten a participar en un comité de transición con más hispanos en posiciones de peso”.

“La campaña de Biden ya nos invitó a ser parte del equipo de transición del Partido Demócrata, si ganan”, añadió. “No nos han invitado como Cámara en el grupo de Trump”.

En la franja ancha del empresariado latino, donde la economía formal se roza y mezcla con la informal, muchos negocios pequeños han logrado sobrevivir el embate de la covid-19 sin ayudas gubernamentales, y a pesar del desempleo y las pérdidas de sueldos.

“En los últimos 10 años el 85 % de los nuevos empresarios en el país eran latinos con pequeños negocios”, agregó Cavazos, quien destacó que muchos de los latinos más jóvenes trabajan en su propio negocio, y más del 85 % de ellos depende de tecnología y trabajan desde sus hogares con un “presupuesto muy eficiente”.

Estos emprendedores operan con gastos fijos austeros, una fuerza laboral flexible que emplea familiares o jornaleros, sin costos de seguro de salud u otros beneficios como vacaciones o licencias médicas pagadas.

Un ejemplo es “Empanadas de Mendoza”, cuya propietaria Gabriela Quiroga, de Argentina, quien en el comienzo de la pandemia tuvo que cerrar la operación de sus dos puestos móviles (food trucks) por un mes y medio, y desde entonces ha ido gradualmente restableciendo su negocio.

“Los negocios de propiedad de mujeres latinas crecen seis veces más que los de mujeres de otros grupos raciales o étnicos”, dijo Cavazos.

“Estos préstamos ayudaron en los primeros 30, 60 días, pero sólo la mitad de los empresarios hispanos tienen una relación con un banco grande, un requisito para obtener las ayudas”, añadió Cavazos. “Muchos no recibieron nada. Uno de cada tres de estos negocios cerró permanentemente o temporalmente”.

El Congreso aprobó y el presidente Donald Trump promulgó en marzo un paquete de estímulo económico incluyendo una medida que se prometió como enfocada en los negocios pequeños fue el Programa de Protección de Sueldos diseñado para asistir a los empresarios en el pago de sueldos a sus trabajadores durante la emergencia.

“Yo lo solicité apenas me enteré, pero no lo obtuve”, dijo a Efe Quiroga, quien inició su negocio familiar hace cinco años. “No sé, nunca me contestaron. Pagué los sueldos con lo que tenía de ahorros”.

Desde que retornó a la actividad el 27 de abril con su oferta de empanadas, sándwiches y otras comidas, Quiroga cambió la estrategia de negocio.

“Antes íbamos a las oficinas y vendíamos unas 60 a 70 empanadas por día”, explicó. “Ahora vamos a los barrios y hacemos 100, 150 empanadas”.

El negocio está bajando de ritmo para “Empanadas de Mendoza”, lo cual es normal a medida que progresa el otoño, y Quiroga junto con su familia, están ahora preparando otro camión con optimismo y sin esperar ayudas.

“Las ayudas que son préstamos no me ayudan”, señaló. “Es cierto que los porcentajes (de interés) son más bajos, pero la plata que perdí ya la perdí. Un préstamo hay que volver a pagarlo”. EFE News

Empleadas domésticas latinas, víctimas de “abrumador” impacto por la Covid

Washington, 27 oct- Más del 75 por ciento de las trabajadoras domésticas latinas, que en su mayoría tienen niños pequeños o de edad escolar, proveen el ingreso principal en sus hogares y han sufrido el “abrumador” impacto que supone las pérdidas rápidas de sueldos y empleos debido a la pandemia de la covid-19, según un informe divulgado este martes.

La Alianza Nacional de Trabajadoras Domésticas (NDWA, en inglés) inició en marzo y continuó hasta septiembre una encuesta de más de 20.000 de estas trabajadoras hispanohablantes, incluidas limpiadoras, niñeras y cuidadoras de enfermos, para documentar cómo la pandemia afectaba sus vidas y sus empleos.

La directora ejecutiva de NDWA, Ai-jen Poo, dijo en una teleconferencia de prensa que “las limpiadoras de casas, niñeras y cuidadoras de enfermos han sufrido un impacto abrumador por la pandemia de coronavirus, además de la crisis económica que continúa”.

“Estas trabajadoras hacen posible que todos los demás trabajen, y sin embargo son las últimas en recibir un apoyo que es crucial”, añadió. “Debemos aseguraros no sólo de que las trabajadoras domésticas estén incluidas en cualquier plan de alivio, sino de que estén en primer lugar en la agenda de nuestra recuperación económica”.

“Hay unos 2,5 millones de trabajadoras domésticas en el país, y éste es un contingente laboral compuesto, desproporcionadamente, por mujeres afroamericanas, hispanas y asiáticas”, dijo Poo. “La pandemia ha sido devastadora con pérdida de empleos e ingresos, en tanto que quienes siguen trabajando se ven obligadas a elegir entre el empleo, el cuidad de sus niños y familias, y el exponerse ellas mismas al contagio”.

Rufina Rodríguez, quien dijo que es una madre que ha vivido y trabajado como limpiadora por 18 años en Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), indicó que antes de la pandemia limpiaba de 12 a 13 casas por semana.

“Con la pandemia me quedé sin trabajo hasta el 4 de junio, pero desde entonces sólo tengo de tres a cuatro casas”, añadió. “Mi esposo, que es diabético y más vulnerable al virus, trabaja en un restaurante pero le han recortado las horas”.

“Tenía miedo de enviar a mi hijo a la escuela, pero ahora estudia en casa”, agregó Rodríguez, quien dijo que muchas de sus compañeras siguen sin empleo, y su propia familia no califica para las ayudas que el gobierno aprobó en marzo, porque uno de los cónyuges es inmigrante indocumentado.

Amalia Hernández dijo que ha vivido y trabajado durante 35 años en Nuevo México, cuidando ancianos y enfermos en sus hogares, y que la cooperativa de trabajadoras de la cual es parte antes de la pandemia tenía unas 20 trabajadoras ocupadas a tiempo completo.

“Ahora apenas si tenemos 10 ó 12, y sin empleo a tiempo completo”, agregó. “A veces trabajo más horas y, aunque sé que no recibiré pago extra, tengo el deber de cuidar de los mayores, que son mis clientes”.
“La pandemia ha traído enorme estrés a mí y a mi familia, nos ha afectado económica y emocionalmente”, agregó. “Estamos preocupadas por la salud de nuestros clientes y por nuestro propio bienestar”.

El informe indicó que durante seis meses consecutivos más de la mitad de las mujeres que respondieron a la encuesta fue incapaz de pagar el alquiler o la hipoteca de sus viviendas.

“Casi 9 de cada 10 encuestadas son madres, y 3 de cada 4 son las que ganan el ingreso principal para el sustento de sus hogares”, añadió. “Además de arreglárselas para el cuidado de los bebés, las madres ahora tienen que acomodar el aprendizaje remoto de sus niños en edad escolar, y más del 25 por ciento de estas trabajadoras carece de computadora para la educación de sus hijos”.

Entre otros datos, el informe señaló que hacia fines de marzo, cuando la pandemia golpeó más fuerte la actividad económica en Estados Unidos, más del 90 % de las trabajadoras domésticas perdió su empleo, y a la conclusión de la encuesta en septiembre el porcentaje de trabajadoras sin empleo seguía siendo casi cuatro veces mayor que antes de la pandemia.

Antes de la pandemia más del 33 % de estas mujeres trabajaba de 31 a 40 horas por semana, y al final de la encuesta sólo entre el 2 % y el 3 % de ellas tenía un empleo por tantas horas.

Cuando la pandemia cesó o redujo su empleo casi el 75 % de las trabajadoras domésticas no recibió compensación alguna, y casi la mitad de las que perdieron el empleo no han recibido contacto alguno de sus empleadores.

El informe de NDWA encontró que el 25 por ciento de las trabajadoras domésticas ganaba menos de 399 dólares en la mejor semana de su empleo y, durante la pandemia, éste pasó a ser el mejor ingreso para el 80 por ciento de estas mujeres.

“Esperamos que este informe arroje luz sobre la urgencia de hacer que los empleos domésticos sean buenos empleos”, indicó NDWA. “Las trabajadoras domésticas necesitan seguridad económica y empleos seguros, lo cual significa acceso al alivio de la pandemia y políticas que aseguren que se les pague salarios más altos, tengan beneficios como días de enfermedad y licencia familiar y médica pagadas, y una vía a la legalización y la ciudadanía”. EFE News
jab/abm

As Candidates Debate Ballot Security, Early Voting Surges

When President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden squared off Tuesday to debate, an estimated 1 million Americans had already cast their ballots.

Hundreds of thousands had voted by mail in a system whose enlargement this year has drawn Biden’s enthusiasm and Trump’s condemnation.

The president cast doubt Tuesday on the process, citing Americans who drop ballots at collection centers or allow third-parties to “harvest” ballots in large numbers—avoiding large crowds and Covid-19 worries but opening the door to potential fraud.

Ballots, Trump said, are “being sold. They’re being dumped in rivers. This is a horrible thing for our country. This is not going to end well.”

Biden pushed back, saying election fraud via mail-in voting has not been documented, and pointing to five states—two of which have Republican governors—where widespread voting by mail has been the norm for several election cycles.

‘This is all about trying to dissuade people from voting because he’s trying to scare people into thinking that this isn’t legitimate,” Biden said.

Then-candidate Trump speculated openly in 2016 that his first presidential election could be rigged against him, eventually claiming votes cast by “illegals,” referring to migrants in the U.S. illegally, were the chief reason he lost California.

He resumed Tuesday where he left off, condemning a “rigged” election that will largely break away from the tradition of casting votes at polling stations.

“You have it in your control to determine what this country’s going to look like the next four years,” Biden said, appealing to a TV audience during a mostly audience-free debate.

More and more Americans continue to “pull the lever” early; the U.S. Elections Project estimates more than 1 million votes have been cast. Democrats heavily outnumber Republicans in ballots requested and even more so in ballots returned.

The battleground states of North Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin have each received more than 200,000 votes via U.S. Mail.

But there have been hiccups in the process. In New York City, nearly 100,000 Brooklynites were sent the wrong return envelopes due to a printing error by a third-party vendor, raising concerns over whether similar errors could invalidate the votes of thousands in November.

Elsewhere, swing state Pennsylvania has made headlines as a potential source of grief in determining the winner.

The Pennsylvania Republican Party is asking the Supreme Court to stop state officials from allowing ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 to be counted if they arrive up to three days after Election Day.

The Keystone State also must face the “naked ballot” issue.

Naked ballots are mistakenly sent without first being placed in a secrecy envelope, which should accompany them in mailings to voters.

Officials in Pennsylvania say as many as 100,000 votes statewide could be invalidated.

“I hope its going to be a fair election. But if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with that. I’ll tell you what it means, you have a fraudulent election,” Trump said Tuesday.

“These people aren’t equipped to handle it, number one. Number two, they cheat.”

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace moderated the 90-minute debate, the first of three such televised clashes in the presidential race. Vice President Mike Pence and California Sen. Kamala Harris will debate on Oct. 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah; Trump and Biden will meet again on Oct. 15 in Miami, Florida, and on Oct. 22 in Nashville, Tennessee.

(Edited by Allison Elyse Gualtieri and David Matthew)



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Biden Calls Trump ‘Racist’ and President Boasts of ‘Letting People out of Jail’ in Heated Debate

Vice President Joe Biden called President Donald Trump a “racist” Tuesday during a helter-skelter debate that left viewers winded and the candidates visibly upset.

Trump claimed the mantle of “law and order” as soon as moderator Chris Wallace segued into a set of questions about race relations and criminal justice, challenging Biden on how he has responded to a summer of racial unrest.

“The people of this country want and demand law and order and you’re scared to even say it,” Trump said, criticizing Biden’s unwillingness to challenge Democratic-led cities including Chicago and Portland for their patient approaches to protests that turned violent.

 

Wallace failed for 90 minutes to leash Biden and Trump, losing battle after battle to more and more interruptions.

The presidential race simmered on the back burner of a summer of violent protests over race relations, touched off by the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, who was black, while in police custody on May 25.

The demonstrations continued throughout the summer and into fall, revived again in September when a Kentucky grand jury declined to indict three police officers for killing Louisville, Kentucky resident Breonna Taylor. Police forcibly entered her home with a search warrant and fired their weapons.

One officer was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for blindly shooting into Taylor’s apartment. The city of Louisville settled a lawsuit with Taylor’s family for $12 million.

Trump sidestepped Wallace’s challenge to condemn all white supremacists and militia groups on Tuesday, evading the moderator’s question and instead condemning left-wing protesters who organize under the name “Antifa.”

“I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not the right wing,” Trump said. “I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.”

Pressed about a right-wing group called the Proud Boys, he said: “Stand back, stand by, but I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not right-wing problem,” he said. “This is a left-wing problem.”

Wallace asked Trump why he had banned, by executive order, all racial sensitivity training in federal government facilities.

The president characterized the training as “radical” and said participants were exposed to “very sick ideas, and really they were teaching people to hate our country.”

“No one is doing that,” Biden said quickly. “He’s the racist. His friends look down on so many people.”

“There is nothing we cannot do if we do it together,” said Biden. “We can take this on and we can defeat racism.”

Claiming his support among black voters is high for a Republican, Trump boasted about his success with the First Step Act, a law that led to freeing thousands of nonviolent drug offenders serving long prison sentences.

President Donald Trump stands at his podium at the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio on September 29, 2020. (Courtesy: CBSN)
Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio on September 29, 2020. (Courtesy: Fox News)

Alice Johnson, a woman released because of the law’s changes inside the Department of Justice, flew on Air Force One to Cleveland with Trump and his aides. Johnson has publicly thanked the president many times. He didn’t mention her Tuesday night.

Trump also took aim at Biden’s sponsorship of a crime bill in 1994, which led to tougher criminal penalties and an increase in incarceration rates, especially among black men.

“You called them ‘superpredators.’ African Americans, ‘superpredators.’ And they’ve never forgotten it, they’ve never forgotten it, Joe,” said Trump.

“You call them ‘superpredators,’ and I’m letting people out of jail now,” he said.

The heated 90-minute debate was the first in a series of three, including one on Oct. 15 in Miami, Florida, and another in Nashville, Tennessee on Oct. 22.

(Edited by David Matthew)



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‘He blew it!’: Biden Says Trump’s Lax Attention to Covid-19 Pandemic Destroyed U.S. Economy

Former Vice President Joe Biden blamed President Donald Trump for harming the U.S. economy by allowing the Covid-19 pandemic to shred millions of jobs.

“We handed him a booming economy. He blew it!” Biden said Tuesday during the first of three presidential debates, in Cleveland, Ohio.

The White House has predicted a roaring comeback to balance the deathly slide from the first seven months of 2020. Trump has said he wants “a perfect V-shaped recovery,” referring to how that result would look on a numerical graph.

The president said the U.S. was doing “record business” in recent months because millions of Americans have gone back to work. Job losses had followed shutdowns ordered by state governments to stall the spread of the coronavirus.

The pandemic has claimed more than 200,000 lives in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University. Biden laid them at Trump’s feet, and said the president’s lax attention to public health doomed businesses big and small.

“You can’t fix the economy until you fix the Covid crisis,” Biden said.

Many businesses, particularly restaurants, have closed their doors for good without a steady stream of customers. Trump suggested a President Biden would be an unsteady hand prone to triggering new shutdowns.

“He will shut it down again. He will destroy this country,” Trump said. “This guy will close down the whole country and destroy our country.”

Trump blamed the pandemic response for fueling divorces, alcoholism, drug abuse and other mental health issues.

“It’s not fair. It’s almost like being in prison,” Trump said. “He wants to shut down this country, and I want to keep it open.”

Biden also brought up Trump’s personal finances, the subject of media coverage this week after the New York Times wrote about the president’s tax returns.

“Millionaires and billionaires like him, in the middle of the Covid crisis, have done very well. Billionaires have made another $300 billion because of his profligate tax proposal and his only focus on the market,” Biden said. “You folks at home, you folks living in Scranton and Claymont and all the small towns and working class towns in America, how well are you doing? This guy paid a total $750 in taxes.”

“Wrong,” Trump countered.

Trump has been pushing state and local leaders to allow businesses to reopen since mid-April, warning that not doing so would be detrimental to the economy. The unemployment rate was around 4.8% when Trump took office and dropped to 3.5% in February, before the effects of the pandemic were felt. April’s unemployment rate surged to 14.7% with 20.5 million people losing their jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. April’s numbers were the worst since the Great Depression.

August’s unemployment numbers dipped to 8.4% as employers continued to bring back workers. But the pace of hiring slowed from earlier in the summer when 1.7 million jobs were added in July and 4.8 million in June.

The latest jobs numbers were some of the clearest on the state of the economy as emergency federal spending comes to an end. The emergency spending included a $600 weekly supplement to unemployment benefits, loans to small businesses and a one-time $1,200 stimulus check to eligible individuals.

Congress and the Trump administration have been unable to reach a deal on additional relief packages.

Even with the economic downturn, polls have shown that more voters trust Trump on the economy. Throughout his presidency, Trump has pointed to record-high stock indexes and low unemployment numbers as reason that his leadership is better for the economy.

Biden and Trump met in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday for the first of three presidential debates before Election Day. Fox News’ Chris Wallace moderated the hour-and-a-half-long event in front of a smaller-than-usual audience because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The president and his rival will meet for the second debate on Oct. 15 in Miami, Florida, and Oct. 22 for the final debate in Nashville, Tennessee.

Vice President Mike Pence and California Sen. Kamala Harris have their only debate on Oct. 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

(Edited by Allison Elyse Gualtieri and David Matthew)



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Jabs Fly in First Debate as Trump and Biden Hurl Insults

“Will he just shush for a minute?” “Let me shut you down, Joe.” “Keep yapping, man.” “It’s hard to get a word in with this clown.”

Donald Trump and Joe Biden dressed for combat Tuesday night, slashing their way through a chaotic presidential debate that generated far more heat than light.

“Under this president we’ve become weaker, sicker, poorer, more divided and more violent,” Biden said.

“There’s nothing smart about you, Joe,” Trump said. “47 years, you’ve had nothing.”

Moderator Chris Wallace, used to the calm of Sunday morning Fox News interviews, grew frustrated with interruptions and digressions. He upbraided the president for ignoring the debate rules his campaign agreed to.

“If you want to switch seats,” Wallace said, cut off again by two booming voices on stage.

Trump shoved. Biden shoved back.

After the president called racial sensitivity training in government agencies “racist,” Biden said,  “He’s the racist.”

From CNN’s anchor desk afterward, veteran broadcaster Wolf Blitzer called Tuesday night’s spectacle “the most chaotic presidential debate I have ever seen.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the last presidential debate between the president of the United States and the former vice president of the United States,” Blitzer said.

Wallace prodded and led the two political titans through a range of topics, among them the Supreme Court, race riots, the U.S. economy, health care, environmental science and the Covid-19 pandemic.

“China ate your lunch, Joe,” Trump said, saying his opponent would have knuckled under to Beijing instead of blocking travel between the U.S. and China after the pandemic first asserted itself.

“Will you shut up, man? This is so unpresidential,” Biden said as Trump interrupted him later, one of more than two dozen moments more suited to the UFC than the USA.

In moments of substance Biden blasted Trump for presiding over an economy in tatters because of the Covid-19 pandemic, saying he could have saved the U.S. economy by acting sooner.

“We handed him a booming economy. He blew it!” Biden said.

Predicting more bad news to come, the former VP said: “A lot of people died and a lot more are going to die unless he gets a lot smarter, a lot quicker.”

Trump interrupted.

“You graduated either the lowest or almost the lowest in your class. Don’t ever use the word smart with me. Don’t ever use that word,” he said.

Trump claimed a Biden-run White House would have presided over more than 2 million Covid-19 casualties, a ten-fold increase.

“Joe, you could never have done the job we’ve done. You don’t have it in your blood,” he said.

“Why are you holding big rallies?” moderator Chris Wallace asked him, hinting at the public health risk from cramming thousands of people together in basketball arenas and airport hangars.

“Because people want to hear what I have to say,” said Trump.

“Are you not worried about spreading the virus?” Wallace asked.

“So far, we have had no problem whatsoever,” Trump said. “It’s outside that’s a big difference, according to the experts, and we do them outside. We have tremendous crowds.”

Trump sidestepped Wallace’s challenge to condemn all white supremacists and militia groups on Tuesday, evading the moderator’s question and instead condemning left-wing protesters who organize under the name “Antifa.”

“I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not the right wing,” Trump said. “I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.”

Pressed about a right-wing group called the Proud Boys, he said: “Stand back, stand by, but I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not right-wing problem,” he said. “This is a left-wing problem.”

The president criticized the dramatic expansion of vote-by-mail policies, expressing doubts about Americans who drop ballots at collection centers or allow third-parties to “harvest” ballots in large numbers. They avoiding large crowds and Covid-19 worries, but Trump said they also open the door to fraud.

Ballots are “being sold. They’re being dumped in rivers,” Trump said. “This is a horrible thing for our country. This is not going to end well.”

‘This is all about trying to dissuade people from voting because he’s trying to scare people into thinking that this isn’t legitimate,” Biden said.

The Supreme Court was in focus early Tuesday night because Trump made his third nomination to the high court less than a week ago. Biden said no high-court vacancies should be filled before the next inauguration.

“We won the election. Elections have consequences. We have the Senate, we have the White House and we have a phenomenal nominee, respected by all,” Trump said of Judge Amy Coney Barrett and his desire to put a third justice on the high court in as many years.

Former President Barack Obama seated two justices in eight years.

Biden insisted American voters “have a right to have a say” in lifetime appointments to the nation’s highest judicial body, calling for the decision to go to November’s victor.

“The people already had their say,” Trump said, pointing to the 2016 election.

Republicans are moving quickly to confirm Barrett. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Sept. 18 from metastatic pancreatic cancer at the age of 87. The White House officially sent Barrett’s nomination to the Senate hours before the debate.

President Donald Trump stands at his podium at the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio on September 29, 2020. (Courtesy: CBSN)
Moderator Chris Wallace speaks at the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio on September 29, 2020. (Courtesy: CBSN)

Barrett’s potential confirmation would mean conservatives hold a 6-3 majority. She met with Republican senators on Capitol Hill on Tuesday; Democrats have warned that she could usher in a reversal of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, and the Affordable Care Act.

Barrett, a devout Catholic and mother to seven children, staunchly opposes abortion.

Biden has urged Senate Republicans not to move forward with confirming Ginsburg’s replacement before the election.

“If Donald Trump wins the election, then the Senate should move on his selection and weigh the nominee he chooses fairly,” Biden said in a Sept. 20 speech at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. “But if I win this election, President Trump’s nominee should be withdrawn and I should be the one who nominates Justice Ginsburg’s successor.”

Biden has not released a list ofhis own potential Supreme Court nominees, as Trump did during the 2016 election and again in both 2017 and 2020.

Democrats have accused Republicans of hypocrisy for moving forward with Barrett’s nomination. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, refused to schedule hearings for Merrrick Garland, who was to be President Barack Obama’s third justice, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia during Obama’s final year in office.

McConnell has said the situation is different this time, since the same political party holds both the Senate and the White House.

There have been growing calls among Democrats for Biden to enlarge the court if he defeats Trump and Barrett is confirmed, in order to create a new liberal majority. Biden so far has not supported the idea.

The debate in Cleveland, Ohio, was the first of three showdowns between Trump and Biden before Election Day. The audience was limited, compared with past presidential debates, because of public health precautions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump and Biden will meet again Oct. 15 and Oct. 22 for their final two debates in Miami, Florida, and Nashville, Tennessee. Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris will face off Oct. 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the only vice presidential debate.

(Elizabeth Thorpe and K.B. Mensah contributed reporting. Edited by David Matthew and Allison Elyse Gualtieri)



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