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US lawmakers send Diwali greetings to Indian-American community

Dozens of elected representatives in the US greeted Indian Americans on the occasion of Diwali, with many of them joining their constituents in celebrating the festival of lights.

Light will always overcome darkness, tweeted Gavin Newsom, Governor of California, home to the largest Indian-American population in the US. “Today, we celebrate the power of hope over despair. Happy Diwali to all those celebrating!” he said.

“Happy Diwali to all who celebrate. While celebrating will be different this year, I hope this holiday brings you light, joy and peace,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“Happy Diwali to all those celebrating the Festival of Lights around the world and in the great State of Texas,” tweeted Governor Greg Abbott of Texas.

“Wishing a Happy Diwali to all those observing! On this festival of lights, may you and your families be blessed with the glow of joy and prosperity to last through the year,” said Delaware Senator Chris Coons, who could be picked for Secretary of State under a Biden administration.

“Wishing a happy Diwali to everyone celebrating the Festival of Lights in New York, across America, and around the world, and Saal Mubarak to everyone ringing in the New Year!” said Senate Minority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee also sent out its Diwali greetings. “To all those celebrating Diwali this week, I wish you and your family a joyful and blessed Festival of Lights! Diwali2020,” said Jim Risch, Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“Joining millions in New Jersey and around the world lighting lamps today as we celebrate #Diwali. These tiny flames illuminate the darkness and symbolize our common pursuit of light, knowledge and goodness. Sending my warmest wishes for a safe and happy holiday,” said Senator Bob Menendez, Ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“Wishing a happy Diwali to all those celebrating the Festival of Lights in Pennsylvania and around the world today. As we take a moment to celebrate the light and joy in our communities, may we continue to give light to a more just and peaceful world,” said Senator Bob Casey.

“Happy Diwali to all those celebrating the Festival of Lights today! Wishing you a joyous and prosperous holiday,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth.

Senator Ted Cruz sent his Diwali greetings to Indians and all Indo-American friends in Texas.

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Latest News USA

GOP Senators move amendment to block ‘court packing’

Washington: Sen. Ted Cruz and five other Senate Republicans have introduced a constitutional amendment this week to prevent Democrats from packing the Supreme Court if Joe Biden wins the White House and Democrats capture the Senate.

The proposed amendment simply states: “The Supreme Court of the United States shall be composed of nine justices.”

It would need to pass with a two-thirds super majority in both the Senate and the House and need to be ratified by three-fourths of the states,  within seven years after its submission for ratification.

“Make no mistake, if Democrats win the election, they will end the filibuster and pack the Supreme Court, expanding the number of justices to advance their radical political agenda, entrenching their power for generations, and destroying the foundations of our democratic system,” Cruz said in a statement.

“We must take action before election day to safeguard the Supreme Court and the constitutional liberties that hang in the balance,” he added.

Some Democrats have threatened to add justices to the high court if they win the White House and control of the Senate after the Nov. 3 election.

Sen. Ed Markey called on fellow Democrats last month to “abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court” if Mitch McConnell went ahead and filled late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat during the election year.

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer isn’t ruling anything out although there doesn’t appear to be much support in the Democratic caucus for expanding the court. Joe Biden has refused to take a stand on the issue so far.

Packing the U.S. Senate

A 104-seat Upper Chamber is on the agenda if Democrats sweep the election, or so say some of the Republicans leaders.

Some Democrats are making noises to pack the Supreme Court if Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed, but they might not have the Senate votes if the chamber is closely divided. No problem: The number of seats in the Senate, as on the High Court bench, can be adjusted if Democrats have their way. In June the House for the first time passed a bill that would make the District of Columbia a state, and Barack Obama in July called Puerto Rican statehood a progressive priority.

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Latest News US Election Special

GOP could face “bloodbath of Watergate proportions”: Ted Cruz

Washington: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told CNBC on Friday that the GOP could face “a bloodbath of Watergate proportions” on Election Day if voters are feeling “depressed” about the economy and the pandemic.

“I am worried. It’s volatile, it’s highly volatile … if people are going back to work, if they’re optimistic, if they’re positive about the future, we could see a fantastic election — the president getting reelected with a big margin, Republicans winning both Houses of Congress and I think that’s a real possibility,” Cruz said, adding,

“But I also think if on Election Day people are angry and they’ve given up hope and they’re depressed, which is what Pelosi and Schumer want them to be, I think it could be a terrible election. I think we could lose the White House and both houses of Congress, that it could be a bloodbath of Watergate proportions.”

Meanwhile,  a few Republicans have reportedly started to separate themselves from President Trump and his possible political collapse, focusing on his carelessness with the virus.

 A senior Republican official told Axios new site that this is less about shaping this election, and more about preparing for the aftermath.

Note what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in Kentucky last Thursday: “I haven’t been to the White House since August the 6th.” He added, “I personally didn’t feel that they were approaching the protection from this illness in the same way that I thought was appropriate for the Senate [masks and distancing] … I think we’ve shown that … we can function safely.” McConnell also did not back $1.8 trillion White House stimulus plan, saying he will move a bill in Senate of trimmed, targeted stimulus.

Also this week, in her sole face-to-face debate, embattled Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), pressed repeatedly, wouldn’t say whether she’s proud of her support for Trump, CNN reported.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C), who’s in one of the closest Senate races, acknowledged in an interview with WRAL TV that he erred in going without a mask at a White House reception that has been linked to a cluster of cases, including his own.

The bottom line, comments Axios, is that most Republican consultants fear that the White House is gone — they’re pinning their hopes on the Senate.

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