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Pro-GOP group places billboards near closed schools where Dem races are at stake in 2022



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A pro-Republican group in a dozen congressional districts controlled by Democrats is putting up advertisements targeting the issue of reopening schools during the coronavirus pandemic, Fox News reported Thursday.

On Thursday, the American Action Network (AAN) is unveiling a new issue advocacy campaign that calls for House lawmakers to support the safe reopening of U.S. schools, Fox News reported. The advertisements, which were first shared with Fox News, will appear in 12 districts represented by Democrats viewed as possibly weak in the 2022 midterm elections and who voted recently against the Reopen Schools Act sponsored by Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa).

The legislation would have provided full federal funding to schools that reopen for in-person learning during the pandemic and punished those that stay closed.

President Joe Biden’s administration, amid the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, has been pushing for schools to reopen soon, though teachers unions in major cities across the country have been fighting aggressively against this, calling for more protections and more vaccination of teachers. This has put Biden, seen by many as an ally of unions, in an awkward position as Republicans turn up the heat against him and Democrats for the slow march toward school reopenings and continued closures.

“Kids are falling behind, yet liberals in Congress seem not to care,” AAN president Dan Conston charged in a statement.

“[E]ven though the science shows it’s safe for children to return to school, teachers unions continue to keep students locked out of their classrooms,” Conston said, citing studies such as one from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicating that, when mask-wearing and social-distancing policies are practiced, the risk of COVID-19 spreading in schools remains low.

RELATED: CDC Director: Vaccinating teachers ‘not a prerequisite’ for safely reopening schools

“Liberals in Congress — awash in teacher union cash — are picking the unions over America’s kids,” he added. “Our children have fell behind enough, it’s time Congress supported safely reopening schools now.”

Across the country, several teachers unions are demanding more COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, and other protection measures before returning to in-person learning. The CDC is expected to publish new and more detailed guidance later this week on reopening schools, according to Fox News.

Part of the new AAN campaign features billboards nearby shut-down schools in the districts of Democratic Reps. Andy Kim (N.J.), Susan Wild (Pa.), and Elaine Luria (Va.). Moreover, this trio and nine other House Democrats will also be hit with digital advertisements in their districts and what the AAN calls “grassroots phone calls to their district offices,” according to Fox News.

The other nine others are Reps. Josh Harder (Calif.), Cheri Bustos of (Ill.), Haley Stevens (Mich.), Chris Pappas (N.H.), Tom Malinowski (N.J.), Matt Cartwright (Pa.), Education and Labor Committee chair Bobby Scott (Va.), Abigail Spanberger (Va.), and Ron Kind (Wis.), Fox News reported.

The AAN, a nonprofit advocacy group founded in 2010 along with its sister organization, the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), raised more than $215 million during the 2020 election cycle, according to Fox News. The latter was the largest spender among outside organizations supporting House Republicans, and the AAN spent millions advocating for conservative policies in Washington, D.C., as Fox News pointed out.

In order to retake the Democrat-controlled House in 2022, Republicans only need to flip five seats. In the 2018 midterms, Democrats ended eight years of GOP control in the lower chamber, however, Republicans surprised pollsters in 2020 by eating away at the Democratic majority. A phenomenon that has often repeated itself in contemporary politics is that the party in control of the White House typically loses House seats during the first midterm elections of the new administration.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Hunter Biden Indicted on Federal Gun Charges Amidst Special Counsel Investigation



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In a significant development, Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, was indicted on Thursday on federal gun charges as part of Special Counsel David Weiss’ ongoing investigation. The indictment alleges that Hunter Biden made false statements during the purchase of a firearm, among other charges.

The charges against Hunter Biden include:

• Making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm

• Making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a federal firearms licensed dealer

•Possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance

According to the indictment, the alleged incident occurred on or about October 12, 2018, in the District of Delaware. Hunter Biden is accused of knowingly making a false and fictitious written statement during the acquisition of a Colt Cobra 38SPL Revolver. According to reports from Fox News, the statement, submitted on Form 4473, falsely certified that he was not an unlawful user of, and addicted to, any stimulant, narcotic drug, or controlled substance.

Furthermore, the indictment further states that between October 12, 2018, and October 23, 2018, in the District of Delaware, Hunter Biden knowingly possessed the same firearm despite being an unlawful user of and addicted to controlled substances. This marks the first set of charges brought by Special Counsel David Weiss against Hunter Biden since being granted special counsel status.

The investigation came to public attention when it was reported by Fox News in 2021 that police had responded to an incident in 2018 involving a gun owned by Hunter Biden.

Reports state that, Hallie Biden, the widow of President Biden’s late son, Beau, who was in a relationship with Hunter at the time, discarded the gun. Hunter’s gun was thrown away in a dumpster near a market, located close to a school. It was subsequently revealed that Hunter Biden had purchased a gun earlier that same month.

Hunter Biden’s legal troubles do not end with the gun charges. Earlier in July, an original plea agreement collapsed, which would have seen him plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax counts for willful failure to pay federal income tax, thus avoiding jail time on a felony gun charge. Instead, he pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and one felony gun charge.

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed David Weiss as special counsel to oversee the Hunter Biden investigation and related matters. The White House has declined to comment on these developments, which continue to draw significant public and media attention.

Follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC for more!

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