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Vice President Mike Pence. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

More than 5,900 people — many of whom are alumni and current students — have signed a petition urging Taylor University, an evangelical school in rural Indiana, to rescind its invitation for Vice President Mike Pence to deliver the commencement address next month, reports the Washington Post.

"Inviting Vice President Pence to Taylor University and giving him a coveted platform for his political views makes our alumni, faculty, staff and current students complicit in the Trump-Pence Administration's policies, which we believe are not consistent with the Christian ethic of love we hold dear."
— the petition’s author, Alex Hoekstra, who graduated from Taylor in 2007, wrote

Details: According to the Post, the university's divided faculty voted 61-49 last week, condemning Pence's invitation.

  • Pence, who has defended or been silent on a number of President Trump's controversial policies, faced similar protests when more than 100 students at Notre Dame, a Catholic university in South Bend, Indiana, walked out during his 2017 commencement speech.

In his announcement last week about the school's selection, Taylor University's president, Paul Lowell Haines, called Pence a "good friend to the University ... [and] a Christian brother whose life and values have exemplified what we strive to instill in our graduates."

Why it matters: Per the Washington Post: Pence's planned appearance at the religiously affiliated school "has become a lightning rod in the intensifying debate over faith and politics."

Go deeper: Buttigieg targets Trump, Pence in warning LGBTQ struggles not over

Go deeper

47 mins ago - Health

Cuomo advisers reportedly altered July COVID-19 nursing homes report

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Seth Wenig/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's advisers successfully pushed state health officials to exclude certain data on the number of COVID-19 nursing home deaths from a July report, the Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday.

Why it matters: The changes resulted in a "significant undercount of the death toll attributed to the state’s most vulnerable population," the WSJ wrote.

Ro Khanna wary of Biden approach on Middle East

Rep. Ro Khanna. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images

An outspoken progressive Democrat is wary of President Biden’s approach to the Middle East, arguing it’s like “conceding defeat of the aspiration” to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Why it matters: A number of members of Biden’s own party dislike his Middle East strategy, as his administration signals the region is no longer the priority it was for President Obama and his predecessors.

Democrats eye reconciliation for immigration

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Comprehensive immigration reform is a pipe dream, but some Senate Democrats are hoping to tie key immigration provisions to the next big reconciliation push.

Why it matters: Immigration is one of the most controversial and partisan issues in U.S. politics, which is why the budget reconciliation process — which allows for bills to pass the Senate with a simple majority rather than the usual 60 votes — is so attractive.