White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said President Donald Trump is planning to attend the next debate against Democrat Joe Biden on Oct. 15, but that he wants "fair" rules as the Commission on the Presidential Debates considers changes following Tuesday's contentious debate.
Trump thinks "the only way there's a fair debate is a change in the moderator and a change in the Democrat nominee," she said.
Trump signed a spending bill early Thursday morning to avoid a government shutdown after the Senate passed a bill late Wednesday to keep federal agencies running.
The White House announced late Wednesday it would would slash the number of refugees allowed to resettle in the U.S. to a new low of 15,000 next year. In former President Barack Obama's final year in office, the annual cap on refugees was 110,000.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is "hopeful" Democrats and the White House can reach a COVID-19 stimulus deal, but said differences remain on the size and scope of a possible agreement. There had been daylight in the talks after the Democratic-led House postponed a Wednesday vote in hopes the two sides could work out an compromise.
Meanwhile, Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett continues meeting with senators on Capitol Hill ahead of her confirmation hearings Oct. 12. She spent the last two days meeting with Republicans and will meet with 10 more GOP senators Thursday.
☕ The latest:
- Barrett confirmation: The FBI is reviewing Amy Coney Barrett's life as part of the vetting process that was thrust into the spotlight during Justice Brett Kavanaugh's hearings in 2018
- Chris Wallace gets candid: The Fox News anchor who moderated Tuesday's debate told the New York Times he "never dreamt that it would go off the tracks the way it did."
- Proud Boys: A Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Delaware thanked the Proud Boys for providing
- Airline furloughs: About 32,000 American Airlines and United Airlines employees are set to be furloughed unless Congress acts on new relief for the industry struggling as a result of the pandemic.
- Trump and Biden: The two candidates are holding fundraisers Thursday. Biden's event will be virtual while Trump speaks at a reception in Bedminster, New Jersey. Pence campaigns in Iowa.
- Trump's taxes: Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said he's concerned over how the New York Times obtained President Donald Trump's tax information, saying "whoever got it out violated the law."
- Trump's unfounded mail-in voting claims: Voting rights experts slammed Trump for unfounded claims about mail-in ballots he made during Tuesday's debate, including that mail carriers were selling ballots in West Virginia and that ballots were being "dumped in rivers."
- Voting in Philly: Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said Trump's claim during the debate that poll watchers were "thrown out" of Philadelphia elections offices is "completely inaccurate."
- Sports owners' political contributions: USA TODAY examined the political contributions of the owners of MLB, NBA, NFL, MLS and NHL teams. Collectively, they've given $14.6 million to federal candidates this election cycle with most money going to Republicans.
- Michelle Obama on the debate: The former first lady posted on Instagram about Tuesday's debate, saying "If you were turned off by the President’s behavior last night, I feel you. Believe me, I do."
- Jimmy Carter turns 96: The 39th president plans to celebrate his birthday at his Plains, Georgia, home. He continues to be the longest-living former U.S. president.
📆 33 days until Election Day, six days until the vice presidential debate, 111 days until Inauguration Day, 92 days left in 2020.
We will update this article throughout the day. You can follow all of USA TODAY's politics reporters on Twitter or subscribe to our daily On Politics newsletter.
The Republican-held Senate blocked a bill that would have protected the Affordable Care Act and barred the Justice Department from intervening in legal challenges to strike down health care for millions, including those with pre-existing conditions.
The vote on the measure, offered by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., forced Republicans, who are in danger of losing their majority in the chamber, to be on the record on the Trump administration's lawsuits targeting the Affordable Care Act.
The health care law is in danger of being struck down by the Supreme Court, which is set to hear the case just days after the November election. Six Republicans, almost all facing tough re-election prospects next month, joined Democrats in supporting the bill, but the 51-43 vote was shy of the 60 votes needed to proceed for a full vote on the legislation.
Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Martha McSally of Arizona, Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska joined Democrats.
"Republicans had a golden opportunity today," Schumer said at a news conference after the vote, "to make sure that the administration didn't pursue this suit that would take away Americans' health care. And of course, they sided with the big special interests and refused. The American people will hear this loud and clear. This is a stark division between the parties."
- Christal Hayes
First Democratic senator meets with Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., met with President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Thursday, becoming the first Democratic lawmaker to do so after three days of meetings with senators on Capitol Hill.
The meeting, first reported by the Washington Post and confirmed by Manchin spokesperson Sam Runyon, had not been listed on Barrett’s schedule of meetings with lawmakers.
A conservative Democrat who voted for both of Trump’s previous Supreme Court nominees, Manchin has said he would oppose Barrett’s nomination if the vote were held before Election Day.
Several Democratic senators have said they would refuse to meet with Barrett, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., though others like Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., have said they would meet with the nominee even as they opposed her confirmation before Election Day.
— Nicholas Wu
Trump will attend next debate, but wants 'fair' rules, McEnany says
President Donald Trump's spokeswoman said he is planning to attend the next scheduled debate with Joe Biden – but also expecting "fair" rules as the Commission on the Presidential Debates considers changes following Tuesday's slugfest.
Trump thinks "the only way there's a fair debate is a change in the moderator and a change in the Democrat nominee," White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday.
She did not specifically commit Trump to the next presidential debate, scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami.
“He wants to debate,” McEnany said. “He plans on being at the debate. But he wants the rules to be fair and wants a fair exchange and doesn't want rules that cover for a certain candidate's inability to perform well."
The commission announced Wednesday it will consider changes to the rules for the two remaining encounters between the presidential candidates after the first debate was dominated by interruptions and over-the-top rhetorical attacks, mostly by Trump on Biden and moderator Chris Wallace.
Trump also raised questions about the possible rule change, writing on Twitter: “Why would I allow the Debate Commission to change the rules for the second and third Debates when I easily won last time?”
– David Jackson and Michael Collins
Possible debate changes: Trump-Biden brawl in Cleveland prompts debate commission to consider format changes
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not appear optimistic about the prospects of coming to a bipartisan deal on a coronavirus stimulus bill on Thursday, signaling Democrats would push forward with a bill opposed by Republicans.
After Pelosi met Wednesday with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, one of the White House's top negotiators, the House postponed a vote on a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 bill to offer more time for both sides to come to a potential deal. While Pelosi said she remained "hopeful" and called talks with Mnuchin "constructive," she noted that Democrats and the White House had "a difference, not just of dollars, but of values." She added that her expectation was that Mnuchin would come back Thursday with a "counter" offer on issues in the bill, such as tax cuts, money for state and local governments and the weekly benefit offered to unemployed Americans.
"Hopefully, we can find our common ground on this and do so soon," the California Democrat said.
In the meantime, Pelosi said she hopes the House will move forward with a vote Thursday on its own legislation to show Americans "that we completely identify with the concerns that they have and how we have allocated the resources necessary to get the job done."
- Christal Hayes
The Trump administration will slash the number of refugees allowed to resettle in the United States to a new low next year – permitting no more than 15,000 people fleeing war, violence and persecution across the globe to make a new home in America.
In Obama's final year in office, the annual cap on refugees was 110,000; Trump has consistently pared that down over the past four years.
The State Department announced the cap late Wednesday and shortly after President Donald Trump attacked refugees during a campaign speech in Minnesota, home to a significant immigrant population from Somalia.
- Deirdre Shesgreen
About 32,000 American Airlines and United Airlines employees are set to be furloughed as federal COVID-19 stimulus money used to prop up struggling airlines runs out.
The airline industry wanted Congress to approve more relief for the industry, which is experiencing record-low ridership because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, Democrats in Congress and the Trump White House have failed to come to a deal, although the two sides did meet in person for the first time since August on Wednesday.
American Airlines flight attendant Breaunna Ross delivered a tearful goodbye to passengers over the intercom on a recent flight ahead of her furlough.
"As all of you know the airline industry has been impacted greatly by this global pandemic," she told the passengers on the flight from JAX to DFW while wearing a mask. Video of her speech has more than 126,000 views on Facebook.
- David Oliver and Chris Woodyard
'You know that your dream's ending': Flight attendants bid tearful goodbyes as they're furloughed
The next presidential debate between Democratic nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump will be Oct. 15 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. It will be hosted by C-SPAN Political Editor Steve Scully.
But before then, Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris debate at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Wednesday. That debate will be moderated by USA TODAY's Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page.
The third and final presidential debate is Oct. 22 at Belmont University in Nashville. The host is NBC News White House Correspondent Kristen Welker.
- Sean Rossman
Debate schedule: 2020 Presidential debate schedule
'Will you shut up, man?': 5 takeaways from the slugfest between Donald Trump and Joe Biden in Cleveland
Amy Coney Barrett is back on Capitol Hill Thursday for her third straight day meeting with senators ahead of her confirmation hearings, which begin Oct. 12. President Donald Trump's nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court will meet with 10 Republican senators Thursday.
Barrett has not yet met with any Democratic members of the Senate, the body tasked with confirming Supreme Court justices.
Several Democratic senators, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts have said they will not meet with Barrett, calling the process an "illegitimate power grab."
Others, however, like Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said they would still meet with her, though meeting times have not yet been scheduled.
"I always meet with the nominee, " Klobuchar said. "The best thing we can do is basically expose this process for what it is."
- Nicholas Wu
How the confirmation process works: What happens next in Senate confirmation process
USA TODAY Sports reviewed the political contributions of 183 owners from 161 teams across MLB, MLS, the NBA, the NFL, the NHL and the WNBA. The filings show that owners have collectively given at least $14.6 million to federal candidates during the 2019-20 election cycle so far – with nearly 86% of those funds going to Republican candidates and causes.
- Nancy Armour and Tom Schad
Sports political contributions: Sports team owners listen to players, but support Republicans to the tune of millions of dollars
President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan spending measure early Thursday morning to keep the federal government running until after the November presidential election.
Trump acted after the Senate passed the bill with just hours to spare before a government shutdown. He signed the bill minutes after returning from Minnesota, where he held a campaign rally.
The legislation passed just hours before the annual spending bill would have expired at midnight Wednesday leaving federal agencies across the country without money to continue operating. It extends government funding levels until Dec. 11 – a month after the election.
- Christal Hayes and John Fritze
Trump signs spending bill: Trump signs bipartisan legislation to avoid government shutdown through election
House Democrats postponed a vote Wednesday on a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill in the hopes a deal could be reached as negotiations drag on with the White House on a plan to help Americans struggling from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
The vote was postponed until Thursday to allow House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and White House negotiators more time to discuss a potential bipartisan deal, said a Democratic aide, who was unable to discuss internal deliberations publicly.
Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met at the Capitol Wednesday for their first in-person negotiations since August. The two sides have been at an impasse for months over the size and scope of a COVID-19 relief bill, but rank-and-file members have pressured congressional leaders to get some sort of relief deal done by Election Day.
- Nicholas Wu
President Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail Wednesday with a rally in Minnesota, seeking to reframe the debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden that was beset by frequent interruptions and personal attacks as a "win."
"All of us won big last night," Trump told supporters at the Duluth International Airport. "Liberal media is upset that I took the fight to Biden."
- John Fritze and David Jackson
Trump in Minnesota: Trump returns to campaign trail with Minnesota rally after widely panned debate
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Wednesday that President Donald Trump performed as expected during their raucous debate the night before by illustrating his unwillingness to confront the challenges facing America.
“He did what I expected him to do last night,” said Biden, a former vice president, at the second stop in Alliance, Ohio, of his six-city whistle-stop tour of Ohio and Pennsylvania. “I think the phrase was: ‘Now he can become really vicious’ – that was his phrase.”
Biden accused Trump of showing disregard for more than 200,000 people who have died from COVID-19. At one point in the debate, Trump was asked to disavow white supremacist groups such as the Proud Boys, and he replied: “Proud Boys – stand back and stand by,” which the group adopted as a rallying cry.
Biden, who called Trump racist during the debate, said his message to the group is: “Cease and desist.”
- Bart Jansen
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 2020 election updates: Pelosi says differences remain on stimulus