Will Florida’s new Republican governor keep his vow of bipartisanship?

So far, Ron DeSantis has nominated prominent Democrats to lead and pledged his support to the environment and clean water

Two months after narrowly winning a contentious election in which he nailed his colors firmly to the mast of Trumpism, Ron DeSantis will be sworn in as Florida’s 46th governor on Tuesday with voters in the nation’s third most populous state still unsure exactly what they will be getting.

Many of the Republican’s picks for his new administration during the seven weeks’ transition since his progressive Democratic opponent Andrew Gillum conceded have, predictably, followed his predecessor Rick Scott’s brand of hardline conservatism. For example, Mary Mayhew, his choice to lead Florida’s healthcare agency, served the White House in blocking expansion of the Medicaid program that provides health insurance for the poor. And DeSantis’s key advisor and former state House speaker, Richard Corcoran, is a right-wing ideologue who will become the next commissioner of education.

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Rashida Tlaib: Democrat defends call for Trump’s impeachment – live

Michigan congresswoman stood by impeachment comment as her office says: ‘Tlaib was elected to shake up Washington’

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On their first full day in power, House Democrats voted to jump into into a court battle defending the Affordable Care Act as part of their rules package.

From Politico:

From the Associated Press, new poll shows Americans increasingly concerned with immigration:

As much of the U.S. government remains shut down over President Donald Trump’s insistence on funding for his border wall, nearly half of Americans identify immigration as a top issue for the government to work on this year.

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Medicare for All: ‘huge step’ for proposal as Pelosi agrees to hold hearings – live

Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, one of the two first Muslim Congresswomen who will take office today, will take her oath of office on a copy of the Koran owned by Thomas Jefferson, per the Detroit Free Press.

Fun fact: When Rashida Tlaib, a Muslim, is sworn in as the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress today, she will take the oath of office using Thomas Jefferson’s personal copy of the Quran. https://t.co/wZ6I2eKq3v

The new 116th Congress has now officially convened.

Vice President Mike Pence is swearing in members of the Senate. House members are preparing to be sworn in.

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Fate of Obama’s health law set to be decided by supreme court – again

Democratic state attorneys pledge to appeal Texas judge’s decision to strike down Affordable Care Act

The future of the Affordable Care Act is once again set to be decided by the US supreme court, amid warnings from experts that healthcare access for millions of Americans hangs in the balance.

A coalition of Democratic state attorneys has vowed to appeal a late-Friday decision by a federal judge in Texas to strike down the entire ACA, also known as Obamacare, as unconstitutional.

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US federal judge rules Obama healthcare law unconstitutional

Fort Worth judge issued his decision, agreeing with 20 states challenging the law, on the eve of the 2019 sign-up deadline

A US federal judge in Texas ruled on Friday that the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is unconstitutional, a decision that was likely to be appealed to the supreme court.

US district judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth agreed with a coalition of 20 states that a change in tax law last year eliminating a penalty for not having health insurance invalidated the entire Obamacare law.

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How Republicans are turning US states into labs of anti-democracy

The party’s brazen efforts to rewire state legislature poses a greater threat than Trump – and will be all the harder to tackle

America’s federal system of government is, in theory, key to the strength of its democracy. As opposed to citizens in the more centralized states of Europe, Americans get to vote for a huge array of local offices, policies and ballot initiatives that can influence their lives for the better. Innovation in the states can be healthy for the whole country, such as when healthcare reform in Massachusetts provided inspiration for the Affordable Care Act. The supreme court justice Louis Brandeis famously praised US states as laboratories which could “try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country”.

Related: Voter suppression is an all-American problem we can fight – and win | Cas Mudde

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Has Obamacare become a winning issue for Democrats?

Democrats were once reluctant to engage with attacks on the law. But in the midterms campaign, the tide has turned

Donald Trump would like to believe it’s all about him. And there is no doubt that the extraordinarily divisive US president has helped drive turnout on both sides of the midterm elections.

But after their catastrophe of 2016, when Hillary Clinton was criticised for lacking a clear message to compete with “Make America great again”, Democrats realised that a pure anti-Trump message would not be enough. Instead, many have maintained a laser-like focus on a single issue: protecting Americans’ healthcare.

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Trump officials move to restrict immigrants who use public benefits

Proposals mean permanent residence applicants could be judged a burden for receiving legal benefits like food aid

The Trump administration on Saturday said it would propose making it harder for foreigners living in the United States to qualify for permanent US residency if they have received public benefits such as food aid, public housing or Medicaid.

The proposed regulation from the Department of Homeland Security would instruct immigration officers to consider whether a person has received a range of taxpayer-funded benefits to which they are legally entitled in determining whether a potential immigrant is likely to become a public burden.

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Conservatives call for constitutional intervention last seen 230 years ago

Lawmakers push for ‘constitutional convention’ to restrict federal government – and it’s not as far fetched as it sounds

It’s been more than 230 years since America’s last constitutional convention, but there is growing confidence in some conservative circles that the next one is right around the corner – and could spell disaster for entitlement programs like medicare and social security, as well court decisions like Roe v Wade.

“I think we’re three or four years away,” said the former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn on Friday, speaking at the annual convention for American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec) – a powerful rightwing organization that links corporate lobbyists with state lawmakers from across the country.

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Wayne Swan wins Labor presidency – question time live

Swan will take over as ALP president from Mark Butler after counting was completed on Monday. All the day’s events, live

Turnbull loses 34th Newspoll running
Tim Storer pleads for tax relief for low paid

Bill Shorten has responded to Wayne Swan’s election as ALP president:

It’s a great pleasure to congratulate Wayne Swan on his election as President of the Australian Labor Party

Just further to the Mediscare bill, here is some of what Christian Porter had to say in that URGENT press conference:

I just wanted to make three comments about the significance of this bill. The first is that the integrity of the Australian democratic system absolutely relies on the proposition that we have a clear, statutory statement of principle that it is a criminal act to use modern mass communications to deceive Australian voters, and that’s what the Mediscare bill does today.

The second point about this is that the new offence, which will make it a criminal act for anyone to impersonate or contend that they are acting on behalf of a Commonwealth body, will apply to a very broad range of Commonwealth bodies, from Commonwealth departments like the department of attorney-general to Commonwealth corporations like the NBN, right through to critical service delivery agencies of the Commonwealth such as Medicare, Centrelink and the NDIS.

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