Here is a summary of the top 5 political issues making headlines today.
1. Trump still has not conceded as Biden prepares to take over
More than a week after the election and five days after Joe Biden was projected the winner of the race having massed more than the needed number of electoral votes, U.S. President Donald Trump has not conceded the election results..
Instead Trump continued to tweet about unsubstantiated election fraud on Wednesday.
“A guy named Al Schmidt, a Philadelphia Commissioner and so-called Republican (RINO), is being used big time by the Fake News Media to explain how honest things were with respect to the Election in Philadelphia,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning.
Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania with its 20 electoral votes gave him more than the needed 270 electoral votes to claim the presidency.
So far, most Republican leaders in Washington have backed Trump and his legal team’s attempts to challenge the results in various courts or stayed silent on the outcome of the race.
But William Cohen, a former defense secretary and Republican U.S. senator, told CNN: “My reaction is the way they are conducting themselves is more akin to a dictatorship than a democracy.”
Undeterred by the lack of concession from Trump, Biden continued with his transition preparations on Wednesday.
“We’re going to do exactly what we’d be doing if he had conceded and said we’ve won, which we have. So there’s nothing really changing,” Biden said on Tuesday.
2. Trump, Biden honor veterans in person and by tweeting
Wearing face masks due to the coronavirus pandemic, Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, placed a wreath at the Korean War memorial in Philadelphia.
“Today, we honor the service of those who have worn the uniform of the Armed Forces of the United States,” Biden said on Twitter.
“To our proud veterans—I will be a commander in chief who respects your sacrifice, understands your service, and will never betray the values you fought so bravely to defend!”
Trump, who fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday and also put several backers in top Defense Department jobs, stood in the rain with others, including Vice President Mike Pence, at Arlington National Cemetery in front of the Tomb of the Unknowns. A band played the national anthem as the president and his party looked on.
Later “Taps” was played by a trumpeter. Trump left without delivering any remarks.
He had mostly been tweeting comments about the presidential election being stolen from him for the past week and did so again on Wednesday.
But he did post a link to the White House “Proclamation on Veterans Day.”
“I encourage all Americans to recognise the fortitude and sacrifice of our veterans through public ceremonies and private thoughts and prayers,” it read in part.
a. It’s Time You Know the Difference Between Veterans Day and Memorial Day – Military News
3. Sullivan reelected in Alaska as fight for Senate control intensifies
As expected, incumbent Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan was declared the winner Wednesday over Al Gross, an independent running as a Democrat, to give the Republican Party 50 seats in the U.S.Senate.
Sullivan easily won his bid for a second term, beating Gross by a projected 20 percentage points, 57.5% to 37.5%.
With Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham already conceding to Republican Senator Thom Tillis in a close race in North Carolina, both parties are looking to two January 5 run-off races in Georgia to determine which one controls the U.S. Senate in the next term.
If Democrat Rafael Warnock, an African-American pastor from the church where Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached, defeats incumbent Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler in one race, the Democrat will still have to win the other for 50-50 split.
In the second race, Republican Senator David Perdue faces Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff.
Should the Democrats prevail in both races, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would cast the deciding vote on any legislation.
b. Biden has a bold agenda, but a divided Congress could constrain him – Science Magazine
4. Georgia starts recount, but not because of Trump
Georgians gave President-elect Joe Biden about 14,000 more votes than they cast for President Donald Trump in the November 3 election.
But the state is now going to be recounting votes by hand.
This has nothing to do with Trump not conceding in the race or making unfounded claims about widespread voter fraud and mail-in ballots.
“With the margin being so close, it will require a full by hand recount in each county,” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said at a news conference in Atlanta, CNN reported. “This will help build confidence.”
“It will be an audit, a recount and a recanvas all at once,” he added.
Biden’s apparent victory in Georgia was the first for a Democrat in the state since 1992.
The Trump campaign could still request a recount after the state completes its recount. Georgia law provides that option if the margin between the candidates is less than 0.5 percent. Biden’s lead is around 0.25 percent.
5. Abrams rebounded from loss to lead Biden win in Georgia
In Democratic political circles away from Washington, she is being touted as one of the stars who did all she could to help Joe Biden win her home state of Georgia in the presidential race.
But if Stacey Abrams had her way, she would have been making pitches for Biden from the governor’s mansion and not as a vital campaign organizer and activist.
In 2018, Abrams narrowly lost the race to become the first female African-American governor not just in Georgia, but the entire United States.
While Georgia will be conducting a recount in the race between Biden and U.S. President Donald Trump, Abrams is already working on the Democrats’ efforts to win the two Senate seats that will be contested in a January 5 runoff.
“We have seen what is possible when we work hard and when we work together,” Abrams said told campaign staff and supporters in a video statement. “We know we can win Georgia. Now let’s get it done, again.”
Abrams, 47, a former state lawmaker, is also a novelist, writing under the name Selena Montgomery. Her May 2021 release will be a thriller, “When Justice Sleeps.”
Her name has also been connected with another Justice with a capital J.
Talk of Abrams becoming attorney general and head of a Biden Justice Department are the latest buzz about one of the Democrats now shining in the national spotlights.
b. Black Americans Largely Rebuked Trump’s Overtures, Helped Lift Biden – Wall Street Journal