THE TRUMP administration has stepped up its war on ‘Marxists and radicals’ naming three major cities that it has targeted to strip of their federal funding.
New York City, Portland and Seattle are on the Justice Department’s hit-list of ‘anarchist cities’ accused of encouraging crime and criminality.
A Justice Department statement on Monday featured recent crime rates in the cities and how their police forces have allegedly failed to respond. Attorney General William Barre said in the statement: ‘We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance.’
The Justice Department has warned Portland, Seattle and New York City to ‘reverse course’.
Its statement emphasised that these three major cities meet key criteria for de-financing. These include ‘Forbidding the police force from intervening to restore order amid widespread or sustained violence or destruction’, as well as ‘seeking to disempower or defund police’ and also ‘refusing to accept federal law enforcement assistance.’
The mayors have responded with a promise to sue, calling Trump’s move a political stunt. All three cities have seen major and massive protests since the death of unarmed black man George Floyd in May, and the launch of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign throughout the USA.
In a joint statement, the mayors of Portland, Seattle, New York and Washington DC accused Trump of ‘playing cheap political games with congressionally directed funds’, adding that the de-funding threat is ‘thoroughly political and unconstitutional’.
Reacting to the Justice Department announcement, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said of the decision: ‘It’s insulting to the people of New York City, and Trump’s effort to withhold our funding is unconstitutional.’
The city of Seattle allowed the establishment of an ‘autonomous zone’ where protesters forbade police from entering the area near the city centre for nearly a month. Protests have continued nightly for over 100 consecutive days in Portland, Oregon.
Meanwhile, Trump has said he will name his nominee for Supreme Court Justice by the end of this week, and is urging the Republican-controlled Senate to confirm his choice before the presidential election.
The plan has launched a furious battle ahead of the 3rd November poll for President. Trump wants to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal stalwart who died on Friday aged 87, with a conservative.
He is boasting that he has secured enough support in the Senate for such an eve of poll operation. In fact, early voting has already begun in four states – Minnesota, Virginia, South Dakota and Wyoming. Democrats have criticised Trump’s plan, with presidential candidate Joe Biden dubbing it an ‘abuse of power’.
Last Monday, Trump said he was ‘constitutionally obligated’ to nominate someone for the Supreme Court. Once the president names a nominee it is then the Senate’s job to vote on whether to confirm them. The Judiciary Committee will review the pick first and then vote to send the nominee to the floor of the Senate for a full vote.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has vowed to hold a confirmation vote before the election is concluded in November. Democrats have accused him of hypocrisy. Republicans currently hold a 53-47 majority in the Upper Chamber.
Meanwhile, the US Covid-19 crisis is intensifying, dealing another blow to President Trump. The USA, the richest country in the world, leads the world with its Covid-19 death toll which has reached 199,865, with confirmed cases now at 6,856,884. The US has been warned that it is heading for another surge of the virus this Autumn, according to data compiled by John Hopkins University.
Trump is now at bay – but continues to insist that if he loses the November election he may refuse to go, claiming that the postal vote rigged the election. By then he may have his increased Republican majority on the Supreme Court, and may appeal to it, in a bid to steal the Presidency of the USA with court approval.
The scene is being set for a colossal showdown. If Trump refuses to go the US trade unions must call a general strike to put him out, and pave the way for a Socialist United States of America that will be a huge leap forward for the US workers and the workers of the world.