Here are the main events that occurred in Politics this week:
1. 2020 Election: Joe Biden Selects Kamala Harris As Running Mate
Joe Biden has selected California senator Kamala Harris as his Vice-Presidential running mate, a historic choice he believes will bolster his chances of beating Donald Trump in an election year shaped by the Coronavirus pandemic and a national reckoning on race. Senator Harris, Biden’s one-time presidential rival and a barrier-breaking former prosecutor, is the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India and is the first African-American woman and the first Asian-American to be nominated for a major party’s presidential ticket. “I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked Kamala Harris – a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants – as my running mate,” Biden wrote on Twitter. In a tweet, Harris said she was “honored” to join Biden on the Democratic ticket and pledged to “do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief”. Biden announced his selection in a text and email message to supporters. His campaign said the two would hold their first event together on August 12, in Biden’s home town of Wilmington, Delaware.
2. President Donald Trump Signs Four Executive Orders Providing Economic Relief Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
At his Bedminster, New Jersey golf resort on August 8, President Donald Trump signed four executive actions to provide economic relief amid the coronavirus pandemic. The actions amount to a stopgap measure, after failing to secure an agreement with Congress. The three memorandums and one executive order called for extending some enhanced unemployment benefits, taking steps to stop evictions, continuing the suspension of student loan repayments, and deferring payroll taxes. President Trump promised that funds would be “rapidly distributed” to Americans in need, although it remains unclear whether the president has the authority to do certain steps unilaterally, without congressional approval. In any case, legal challenges are expected, which could delay any disbursement of funds.
3. July Jobs Numbers Reveal Mixed Economic Outlook
The US economy added another 1.8 million jobs in July, a sharp slowdown from June and a small step for an economy that is still down almost 13 million jobs since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. It was the third straight month of improvement after the spring lockdown that decimated the labor market, and the July job gain exceeded economists’ expectations. Even so, it was far fewer than the 4.8 million jobs added in June. The unemployment rate fell to 10.2%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported August 9 but remains above the recent highs of 10% that were recorded in November of 1982 and October of 2009.
4. 2020 Election: NAACP Announces Initiative to Boost African-American Voter Turnout in Key Swing States
The NAACP, the largest US civil rights organization, is launching a drive ahead of November’s presidential election to boost African-American voter turnout in six key states, it said on August 12. The initiative aims to enlist the services of about 200,000 “high-propensity” African-American voters, or people who turned out to vote in a high number of recent local, state and presidential elections. Those voters, in turn, will seek to mobilize so-called “low-frequency” African-American voters, people who were registered to vote, but who had not voted in the most recent election cycle or several election cycles, in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, all competitive states in the 2020 Presidential election that recently saw Joe Biden leading in the polls. The goal is to increase African-American turnout by more than 5% compared to 2016. That year, African-American voter turnout declined to its lowest level since 1996, according to the Pew Research Center. “We’ve seen the outcome of when we have a drop in voter activity in the Black community,” said NAACP President Derrick Johnson. “We have racism germinating from the White House,” he said, stressing the urgency of getting African American voters to the polls.