Apr 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Amash dismisses concerns that his candidacy will help re-elect Trump

Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.), who announced Wednesday that he has formed an exploratory committee for a potential third-party presidential run, dismissed concerns on MSNBC that his candidacy could help re-elect President Trump.

What he's saying: Amash said that denying more candidates on the 2020 ballot is essentially "voter suppression" and "frankly un-American," adding, "If people want to vote for someone, they should vote for that person."

  • Amash, who has been critical of Trump and was the lone House Republican to support impeachment after the Mueller report came out, also said "it cuts both ways," and that some Trump supporters believe he is helping Biden.
  • "We don't know who people will vote for. It's impossible to say whether more people will vote for Biden or Trump if I'm in the race or not in the race, so I think there's a bit of a factual issue there. But more important, we want to give the American people more choices. This is about democracy."

The big picture: Amash, a libertarian who did not vote for the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, criticized the idea of the federal government controlling the entire country's coronavirus response, arguing that it should mostly be left to the states and people at home.

  • Amash has advocated for direct payments from the government, which he said would streamline the relief process by eliminating bureaucracy and transaction costs.

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Mark Zuckerberg: Social networks should not be "the arbiter of truth"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday that social media platforms should not police political speech, and that "people should be able to see what politicians say.”

Why it matters: Zuckerberg was responding to Twitter's decision this week to fact-check a pair of President Trump's tweets that claimed that mail-in ballots are "substantially fraudulent." Twitter's label, which directs users to "get the facts" about mail-in voting, does not censor Trump's tweets.

House Democrats pull FISA reauthorization bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats pulled legislation Thursday that would have renewed expired domestic surveillance laws and strengthened transparency and privacy protections amid broad opposition from President Trump, House GOP leadership and progressive Democrats.

Why it matters: The failure to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) comes as Trump continues to attack the intelligence community, which he claims abused the law to surveil his 2016 campaign and Trump administration officials.

U.S. GDP drop revised lower to 5% in the first quarter

Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy shrunk by an annualized 5% in the first quarter — worse than the initially estimated 4.8% contraction — according to revised figures released by the government on Thursday.

Why it matters: It's the worst quarterly decline since 2008 and shows a huge hit as the economy was just beginning to shut down because of the coronavirus. Economists are bracing for the second quarter's figures to be the worst ever — with some projecting an annualized decline of around 40%.

1 hour ago - Economy & Business