Why it matters: While Democrats fight to convince voters that they should be the ones tasked with taking down President Trump, the current administration is powering ahead on efforts to restrict immigration, unleash business and reshape the U.S. role in the world.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty won the Tennessee Republican Senate primary on Thursday evening, beating out surgeon Manny Sethi for GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander's seat, who announced his retirement in late 2018, AP reports.
The Justice Department announced Thursday that it will send federal law enforcement agents to St. Louis, Mo., and Memphis, Tenn., to help stem violent crime.
Why it matters: The Trump administration's deployment expands its "Operation Legend" program as President Trump has blamed spikes of violence across the U.S. on activists' efforts to "dismantle and dissolve" local law enforcement. Democrats have accused Trump of targeting Democratic-run cities as part of his "law and order" messaging strategy following the police killing of George Floyd.
A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit brought by House Republicans against Speaker Nancy Pelosi that sought to invalidate a resolution that allows members to vote via proxy during the coronavirus pandemic.
The big picture: The lawsuit, led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, alleged that the system is unconstitutional because the Constitution requires a quorum, or a majority, of lawmakers to be physically present in order to conduct business. Pelosi, who has defended the resolution as vital to public health, argued that "the Constitution empowers each chamber of Congress to set its own procedural rules."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Thursday calling for the recent Trump appointee to reverse operational changes to the U.S. Postal Service that "threaten the timely delivery of mail" ahead of the 2020 election.
Why it matters: U.S. mail and election infrastructure are facing a test like no other this November, with a record-breaking number of mail-in ballots expected as Americans attempt to vote in the midst of a pandemic.
Local elections officials are sprinting to recruit younger poll workers ahead of November after elderly staff stayed home en masse to avoid coronavirus during primary elections.
Why it matters: A Pew Research analysis reports that 58% of U.S. poll workers in the 2018 midterms were 61 or older. Poll worker shortages can cause hours-long voting lines and shutter precincts.
The State Department lifted its international travel advisory on Thursday, roughly four months after warning Americans not to fly abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Each day that goes by without a COVID-19 stimulus agreement is another day of worry for many in America's middle class, which was already shrinking before the pandemic began.
Axios Re:Cap digs into middle class myths and realities with Jim Tankersley, a New York Times economics reporter and author of the new book, "The Riches of This Land."
The Commission on Presidential Debates on Thursday denied the Trump campaign's request to add a fourth debate in the first week of September or move up one of the existing debates in order to get ahead of an expected surge in early voting.
The bottom line: Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are set to debate on Sept. 29 in Cleveland, Oct. 15 in Miami, and Oct. 22 in Nashville. "If the candidates were to agree that they wished to add to that schedule, the Commission would consider that request," the organization wrote in a statement.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) has tested positive for COVID-19 and plans to quarantine at his home for the next 14 days, his office announced Thursday. He currently has no symptoms.
Why it matters: The 73-year-old DeWine was set to meet President Trump Thursday on the tarmac at an airport in Cleveland and was tested as part of standard protocol. He is the second governor known to have contracted the coronavirus, after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R).
New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit Thursday to dissolve the National Rifle Association, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.
Why it matters: The NRA is the most powerful gun lobby in the country and receives a huge amount in donations each year, but New York's investigation claims that CEO Wayne LePierre and other top leaders undermined the organization's mission for their own personal benefit.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tore into her Republican colleagues on Thursday for their approach to negotiating the next coronavirus stimulus package, telling CNBC's Jim Cramer: "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn."
Why it matters: Democrats and the Trump administration have not agreed to any "top-line numbers" and remain "trillions of dollars apart," White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Thursday.
Snapchat is rolling out a slew of new tools and features to help prepare young people to vote in the November election.
Why it matters: Snapchat has unparalleled reach into Gen Z and Millennial demographics. The tools it's building are meant to guide those specific populations to more resources to help them register to vote and form a voting plan. Other platforms focusing on voter registration are doing so with a much wider user population in mind.
Joe Biden's climate posture is a political winner in four states where Senate races and the presidential contest are competitive, per new polling from progressive think tank Data for Progress.
Why it matters: Biden has tethered the spending portion of his energy and climate platform to his wider economic response to the coronavirus pandemic, which could mean a quick push for legislative action if he wins.
Two new stories, taken together, highlight the political push-pull around Joe Biden's climate and energy plans.
Driving the news: Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that some left activists "want Biden to distance himself from former Obama administration advisers they view as either too moderate or too cozy with the fossil fuel industry."
Vice President Pence told the Christian Broadcast Network in an interview to be broadcast Thursday that Chief Justice John Roberts "has been a disappointment to conservatives."
The state of play: The conservative Roberts has this year sided with the Supreme Court's more liberal justices on abortion, LGBTQ discrimination and the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified Wednesday that she believes there was a "legitimate basis" for the FBI to interview then-national security adviser Michael Flynn in January 2017 as part of a counterintelligence investigation into Russian election interference.
Why it matters: The Justice Department under Attorney General Bill Barr is attempting to dismiss the case against Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, on the grounds that there was no basis for the FBI to interview him in the first place.
Former first lady Michelle Obama said on her Spotify podcast Wednesday that it's "exhausting" waking up daily to "yet another story" of a Black person being dehumanized, hurt, killed or falsely accused of something.
The big picture: Obama was speaking in the context of the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests prompted by May's death in police custody of George Floyd. "I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade depression," she said. "Not just because of the quarantine, but because of the racial strife, and just seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting."
Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) announced on Wednesday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Why it matters: Davis, the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, said he has taken precautions against the virus, such as twice-daily temperature checks. He spoke to Republicans about staying safe after Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) recently tested positive for the virus and spoke out against wearing face masks, Politico notes.
Facebook removed a video post from President Trump Wednesday in which he claimed in an interview with Fox News that children are "almost immune" to COVID-19.
Why it matters: It’s the first time that Facebook has removed content from Trump's account for violating policies on coronavirus-related misinformation.