Salem Radio Network News Friday, September 29, 2023


Bernie Bennett

Reporting from Capitol Hill, Bernie Bennett has updates on what’s going on in the House.

Former President Trump Kicks Off Campaign Events

Sat, Jan 28, 2023 at 10:16 pm

The former President is kicking off his 2024 campaign with two stops along the East Coast. More from Correspondent Bernie Bennett.

Former President Donald Trump kicked off his 2024 White House bid with a stop Saturday in New Hampshire before heading to South Carolina, appearances in early-voting states marking the first campaign events since announcing his latest run more than two months ago.

Those states hold two of the party’s first three nominating contests, giving them enormous power in selecting the nominee.

Mr. Trump and his allies hope the events will offer a show of force behind the former president after a sluggish start to his campaign. In recent weeks, his backers have reached out to political operatives and elected officials to secure support for Mr. Trump at a critical point when other Republicans are preparing their own expected challenges.

Bernie Bennett reporting.

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Migration Within the Country Grows the Population of the South

Sat, Jan 28, 2023 at 10:13 pm

The U.S. population center is on track this decade to take a southern swerve for the first time in history. Correspondent Bernie Bennett has this report.

Last year, the South outgrew other U.S. regions by well over 1 million people through births outpacing deaths and domestic and international migration, according to population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Northeast and Midwest lost residents, and the West grew by an anemic 153,000 people, primarily because a large number of residents left for a different U.S. region. The West would have lost population if not for immigrants and births outpacing deaths.

In contrast, the South grew by 1.3 million new residents, and six of the 10 U.S. states with the biggest growth last year were in the South.

Bernie Bennett reporting.

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New Inflation Report

Thu, Jan 12, 2023 at 2:03 pm

Inflation eased again in December, assuring economic policymakers that price increases are pulling back after soaring to 40-year highs last year. More details from Correspondent Bernie Bennett.

The consumer price index shows that inflation cooled last month to 6.5%, as expected, down from 7.1% in November and well below a June peak of 9%.
The Consumer Price Index for all items fell .1 percent, even as gasoline prices are in decline.

The CPI report shows signs that the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases are cooling the overheated economy.

It was the slowest rate of price increases in more than a year. Inflation is still well above normal levels, and the economy remains vulnerable to shocks that could send prices back up.
Bernie Bennett in Washington.

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New Poll on the Selection of House Speaker

Thu, Jan 12, 2023 at 2:01 pm

The beginning of Congress last week was delayed by the historic 15-ballot fight to elect Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House. Voters are divided over whether McCarthy or his opponents are more to blame for that delay. Correspondent Bernie Bennett has this report.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 65% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the delayed start of Congress was a serious problem, including 33% who think it was Very Serious. Thirty-two percent (32%) don’t see the delay as a serious problem, including 16% who say it was Not At All Serious.

The survey of 900 likely U.S. voters was conducted January 5th, 8th and 9th with a plus or minus 3% margin of error and a 95% level of Confidence.

Bernie Bennett, Washington.

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Kevin McCarthy Makes House Floor Speech

Sat, Jan 7, 2023 at 10:45 pm

Today, Rep. Kevin McCarthy was sworn in as the 55th Speaker of the House of Representatives. House Correspondent Bernie Bennett.

Newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy began his address to the House with a joke for Democrat Leader Hakim Jeffries, who earned unanimous support from his Democrat colleagues to be elected speaker.

MCCARTHY ELECTED-mccarthy-a2-SATam (:06) “(laughter)”

He made a promise to the newly chosen Democrat Leader.

MCCARTHY ELECTED-mccarthy-a4-SATam (:10) “never personal”

Bernie Bennett in Washington.

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Kevin McCarthy Is Elected House Speaker

Sat, Jan 7, 2023 at 10:42 pm

After fifteen historical votes, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has been elected Speaker. House Correspondent Bernie Bennett shares this story.

MCCARTHY ELECTED-mccarthy-a1-SATam (:05) “up here”

The newly elected House Speaker addressing the House after winning the required number of votes to become speaker.
House Clerk Cheryl Johnson reads the tally.

MCCARTHY ELECTED-johnson-a1-SATam (:06) “216”

McCarthy became the 55th Speaker of the House in the midnight hour on Saturday, ending a historic four-day, 15-ballot stalemate caused by a group of 20 conservative members – and fulfilling the California Republican’s longtime goal.

Bernie Bennett, Washington.

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Who Is the House Clerk?

Sat, Jan 7, 2023 at 10:32 pm

A new star has emerged from the House hunt for a new speaker, and she’s not an elected official. Correspondent Bernie Bennett has this profile from Capitol Hill.

Standing up to nominate Rep. Byron Donalds for House speaker on the second day of the speaker’s race, Republican Chip Roy addressed the woman presiding over the chamber as “Madam Speaker.”

The third-term congressman quickly corrected himself. “Madam Clerk,” he acknowledged with a smile.

The flub illustrated the rising stature of House clerk Cheryl Johnson, a central figure in the drama that has become a days-long effort to select a speaker.

According to her official bio, Cheryl Johnson is the 36th person to serve as clerk and was first sworn in by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2019. She is the first Black woman to preside over the House chamber.

Bernie Bennett, the Capitol.

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A 13th Vote Approaches

Sat, Jan 7, 2023 at 10:29 pm

The House adjourns until 10pm as Kevin McCarthy gains votes in his bid to be House Speaker. Bernie Bennett has details on this.

Kevin McCarthy tells reporters he is confident that he will be elected Speaker of the House tonight, following a gain of votes in the 13th round. McCarthy finally gained more votes than Democrat Hakim Jeffries, including Republican hold outs Andy Biggs of Arizona, Andy Harris of Maryland and most notably Byron Donalds, who had run against him. Donalds said in a Tweet that he was satisfied with concessions McCarthy had agreed to in order to move forward.

Republicans are asking two absent members to return to Washington, Ken Buck and Wesley Hunt, in order to have 434 members on the floor, and give McCarthy the 218 votes he needs.

Bernie Bennett at the Capitol.

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A Deal Is Looming

Sat, Jan 7, 2023 at 10:25 pm

A moderate Republican says a new deal could peel off 10 McCarthy detractors in the hunt for a new Speaker of the House. Correspondent Bernie Bennett has this update from Capitol Hill.

As the House returns to business this hour to determine who will become the new Speaker, Nebraska Republican Rep. Don Bacon said he expects the potential deal being discussed to win over perhaps 10 of the 20 McCarthy opponents. Republican Leader McCarthy, however, will need to win over more than that to reach the 218 votes he needs. Bacon said he’s concerned by concessions McCarthy may need to make to more conservative members, but he’s “more excited that we’re going to get it looks like half of the folks over, and that’s a great number.” The House reconvenes to elect a speaker before moving on to other House business. Bernie Bennett, Capitol Hill.

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A Deal was in the Works for Speaker of the House

Sat, Jan 7, 2023 at 10:22 pm

Kevin McCarthy and the opponents to his bid for Speaker, inch toward a deal to end the Speakership fight. Correspondent Bernie Bennett has this update.

The two sides were working furiously behind closed doors to carve out an agreement even as McCarthy lost five more floor votes for the Speakership, with the same band of opponents voting against him. It made 11 straight ballot losses for McCarthy. Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina, one of the 20 Republicans consistently voting against McCarthy, said of the offers coming from the McCarthy camp, “It’s the changes that we wanted.” McCarthy allies also voiced optimism, saying they felt progress was being made. But they hadn’t been able to show progress on the floor despite the growing number of concessions. And it was unclear a deal would get McCarthy over the hump. Bernie Bennett, Capitol Hill.

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House GOP Will Curb Environmental Spending

Fri, Dec 30, 2022 at 9:49 am

A House majority gives Republicans a chance to take on ESG investing. Details from House Correspondent Bernie Bennett.

Republicans are expected to crack down on environmental and socially conscious investing, known as ESG, when they retake the House next year.

ESG, which stands for environmental, social and governance investing, is a broad term for attempts to invest ethically, and can include actions by the government, investment firms and banks or individuals.

Proponents of ESG see it as a way to invest in companies seen as having a positive impact, or that meet a set of environmental and social standards.

Republicans have also raised concerns that money managers who take these factors into account may do so at the expense of profits for their clients.

Bernie Bennett in Washington.

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Rep. Raskin (D-MD) Announces Cancer Diagnosis

Fri, Dec 30, 2022 at 6:26 am

Democrat Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland reveals he’s been diagnosed with “a serious but curable form of cancer.” More on this from House Correspondent Bernie Bennett.

Raskin said in a statement he was diagnosed with a common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that affects white blood cells in the body’s immune system. On Wednesday, the 60-year-old lawmaker said he was beginning chemo-immunotherapy at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. Raskin said he was specifically diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, which usually develops in the lymph nodes deep inside the body. While fast-growing and aggressive, the cancer is treatable. Raskin said he plans to “get through this” and “keep making progress every day in Congress for American democracy.” Bernie Bennett in Washington.

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The U.S. Restricts Travel from China Over Rises in COVID

Fri, Dec 30, 2022 at 6:22 am

The US will impose new restrictions on travelers from China amid new COVID outbreaks. Details from Correspondent Bernie Bennett.

The Biden administration is planning new coronavirus precautions on travelers arriving from China due to a surge in COVID-19 cases and concerns about the lack of transparent reporting data from the country. Beginning Jan. 5, all air passengers at least 2-years-old coming from China will be required to show a negative COVID-19 test no more than two days before their departure from China, Hong Kong, or Macau. The requirement will apply to all air passengers, regardless of nationality and vaccination status. Officials did not say how long the policy will be in place. Bernie Bennett reporting.

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George Santos May Impact McCarthy’s Speaker Chances

Fri, Dec 30, 2022 at 6:18 am

The controversy surrounding Congressman-Elect George Santos crashes into the speakership battle facing House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Correspondent Bernie Bennett has more on this.

The New York Republican, who has admitted to fabricating much of his personal and professional biography, is set to be sworn into Congress the same day the House will start votes for a new speaker. But House GOP leader McCarthy needs all the support he can get – even if it comes from a member-elect steeped in controversy. Right now, the Republican leader has five members threatening publicly to oppose his speakership bid on Jan. 3, which happens to be the same number required to block him from reaching the needed 218 votes. And the party is expecting multiple votes, marking only the second time since the Civil War that the speakership race would go beyond a first ballot.

Bernie Bennett, Washington.

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Arrests in the Mall of America Shooting

Sun, Dec 25, 2022 at 12:10 am

New developments in a shooting in Minnesota. Details from Correspondent Bernie Bennett.

Five people were arrested in the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old man at the Mall of America that sent the sprawling commercial center into lockdown on one of the final days of the holiday shopping season, police said Saturday.

At an evening news conference, Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges announced the arrests in connection with the Friday night shooting in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington and said all would face murder charges, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Hodges said the arrested suspects were two men, 18, and three 17-year-old male juveniles, and they were taken into custody in the morning at a home in nearby St. Louis Park by SWAT team officers from three jurisdictions.

Bernie Bennett reporting.

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Looking for Consensus in Brazil

Sun, Dec 25, 2022 at 12:08 am

Trumpets and snares will play Brazil’s national anthem at Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s swearing-in on Jan. 1. More details from Correspondent Bernie Bennett.

When Lula clinched his election win over Jair Bolsonaro on Oct. 30, tens of thousands of people sang the familiar tune throughout the night, pushing the song to the top of Spotify’s list in Brazil and showing one way that many Brazilians aren’t ready to extend olive branches.

Healing Brazil’s divided society will be easier said than done. Lula’s Cabinet appointments thus far favoring leftists and stalwarts of his Workers’ Party are turning off those who trusted the divisive 77-year-old to govern alongside moderates, and who joined forces after Bolsonaro repeatedly tested the guardrails of the world’s fourth-biggest democracy.

Brazil’s October election was its closest in more than three decades, pitting two arch-rivals against one another. In Lula’s victory speech on Oct. 30, he declared that “there are not two Brazils,” as tens of thousands gathered outside his hotel in Sao Paulo to celebrate his victory.

Bernie Bennett reporting.

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Trump Responds to Jan. 6 Report

Sun, Dec 25, 2022 at 12:06 am

Former President Trump issues a response to the Jan. 6 Report, calling it a “con and a disgrace.” Correspondent Bernie Bennett has this report.

Former President Donald Trump issued a video response to the release of the Jan. 6 report Friday, claiming the committee investigating the riot omitted evidence, made false statements and “did not produce a single shred of evidence” that he “intended” violence on the Capitol.

The House Select Committee released its final 845-page report Thursday, ending their 18-month investigation into the Jan. 6 riot. The committee cast blame on Mr. Trump as the “central cause” of the riot, and recommended he be banned from running for office in 2024.

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McCarthy Calls for Mayorkas’ Resignation

Wed, Nov 23, 2022 at 1:31 pm


House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to resign over his handling of the U.S.-Mexico border, saying that GOP lawmakers will consider impeachment next year if he does not step down. More on this from Congressional Correspondent Bernie Bennett.

McCarthy said at a press conference in El Paso, Texas, on Tuesday, “If Secretary Mayorkas does not resign, House Republicans will investigate, every order, every action and every failure will determine whether we can begin impeachment inquiry.”

McCarthy cited the Department of Homeland Security head’s statements to Congress that the border is under control, record border crossing numbers and his ending of the “Remain in Mexico” asylum policy instituted during the Trump administration as reasons for resignation.

McCarthy was nominated by House Republicans to serve as Speaker in the next Congress last week during a closed-door vote.

Bernie Bennett reporting.

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Two Explosions Rock Jerusalem

Wed, Nov 23, 2022 at 1:27 pm

Two blasts went off near bus stops in Jerusalem at the height of morning rush hour on Wednesday, killing one person and injuring at least 18, in what police said were suspected attacks by Palestinians. Details from Correspondent Bernie Bennett.

The first explosion occurred near a typically crowded bus stop on the edge of the city. The second went off about half an hour later in Ramot, a settlement in the city’s north. Police said one person died from their wounds and at least three were seriously wounded in the blasts.

Israeli media said the person killed was a 16-year-old Jewish seminary student.

Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have been surging for months, amid nightly Israeli raids in the occupied West Bank prompted by a spate of deadly attacks against Israelis that killed 19 people in the spring. There has been an uptick in recent weeks in Palestinian attacks.

Bernie Bennett reporting.

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Alaska Election Results Revealed

Wed, Nov 23, 2022 at 1:25 pm

Alaska is set to announce the results from its ‘confusing’ ranked choice system of elections. Details from Congressional Correspondent Bernie Bennett.

Alaska’s lengthy and convoluted election process is set to come to an end on Wednesday when Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Democrat Rep. Mary Peltola are likely to finally emerge as the winners – largely thanks to the state’s new ranked-choice system.

The Alaska Division of Elections will reveal the final unofficial results on Wednesday night.

Murkowski leads Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka by less than 1,700 votes – 43.3 percent to 42.7 percent.

In the House contest, Peltola holds a commanding lead, with 48.7 percent support over Republicans Sarah Palin at 25.8 percent and Nick Begich at 23.4 percent.

Bernie Bennett reporting.

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A Wal-Mart Employee Kills Several in Chesapeake, VA

Wed, Nov 23, 2022 at 1:22 pm

Police say 6 people and an assailant are dead in a Walmart shooting in Coastal Virginia. Correspondent Bernie Bennett reports.

A shooter opened fire in a Walmart in Virginia late Tuesday, leaving six people dead, in the second high-profile mass killing in a handful of days. The assailant is also dead.

Officer Leo Kosinski said in the early hours of Wednesday, the store in Chesapeake is now safe and will likely be closed for several days during the investigation.

Kosinski said he couldn’t say how the gunman died but that he didn’t believe police fired shots.

The shooting had apparently stopped when police arrived at the store in Chesapeake, which is Virginia’s second-largest city and lies next to the seaside communities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

Bernie Bennett reporting.

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House Republicans Will Investigate Biden Family Business Dealings

Thu, Nov 17, 2022 at 5:55 pm


House Republicans allege that President Biden was directly involved in business dealings with son Hunter Biden. More on this from correspondent Bernie Bennett.

TAG: The Republicans released a report Thursday outlining their findings.

Republican Reps. James Comer and Jim Jordan alleged at a press conference that President Biden was actively involved in overseas business dealings alongside his son Hunter.

Comer, citing whistleblowers, asserted that the Biden family “flourished and became millionaires by simply offering access to the family.”

Bernie Bennett, Washington.

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Pelosi Steps Down as Speaker

Thu, Nov 17, 2022 at 3:04 pm

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will not seek a leadership role in the new Congress. House Correspondent Bernie Bennett has the story.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she will not seek a leadership position in the new Congress.

Pelosi announced in a spirited speech on the House floor that she will step aside after leading Democrats for nearly 20 years and in the aftermath of the brutal attack on her husband, Paul, last month in their San Francisco home.

All now in their 80s, the top House Democratic leaders have faced restless colleagues eager for them to step aside and allow a new generation to take charge.

Bernie Bennett, Washington.

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Arizona Governor’s Race Called for Democrat Hobbs

Tue, Nov 15, 2022 at 7:20 am

Democrat Katie Hobbs was elected Arizona governor on Monday, defeating an ally of Former President Donald Trump. Correspondent Bernie Bennett has details.

Hobbs, who is Arizona’s secretary of state, rose to prominence as a staunch defender of the legitimacy of the last election and tried to charactherize Republican rival, Kari Lake, as an agent of chaos.

She will succeed Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who was prohibited by term limit laws from running again. She’s the first Democrat to be elected governor in Arizona since Janet Napolitano in 2006.

Vote counting had gone on for days since the Tuesday election, as officials continued to tally massive amounts of late-arriving ballots. The problem affected about 7% of ballots cast in person on Election Day and about 1% of the total cast in Maricopa county.

Bernie Bennett reporting.

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Editorial Cartoons

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Michael Ramirez
Mon, Sep 18, 2023