Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed an elections overhaul into law Tuesday that adds more voting restrictions in the booming state, after Democrats spent months protesting what they say are efforts to weaken minority turnout and preserve the GOP's eroding dominance.

A decades-old fight to expand and protect voting rights will intensify this weekend, when multiracial coalitions of civil, human and labor rights leaders hold rallies in Washington and across the nation to urge passage of federal voter protections eroded since the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Georgia's State Election Board inched forward Wednesday in a process set in motion by Republican lawmakers using a controversial provision of the state's sweeping new election law that could ultimately lead to a takeover of elections in the state's most populous county.

The far-reaching proposal, at nearly 900 pages, is viewed by backers as the civil rights issue of the era, legislation that is suddenly of the highest priority after the 2020 election as states impose restrictive new laws that could make it more difficult to vote. In the evenly split Senate, Republicans are united in opposition, seeing the bill as federal overreach and denying Democrats the 60 votes that would be needed to overcome the filibuster and begin debate.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos paid no income tax in 2007 and 2011. Tesla founder Elon Musk's income tax bill was zero in 2018. And financier George Soros went three straight years without paying federal income tax, according to a report Tuesday from the nonprofit investigative journalism organization ProPublica.

GOP chairs Jeff Kaufmann of Iowa, Stephen Stepanek of New Hampshire, Michael McDonald of Nevada and Drew McKissick of South Carolina said in a statement they want to preserve the historic schedule, which has led off with Iowa's caucus followed by New Hampshire's primary.

"Liberty requires at least three essential things — an unfettered right to vote, freedom of speech, and the meaningful separation of powers," the lawsuit says. "This lawsuit is necessary to preserve individual constitutional rights, and constitutional government, against the attacks that (the law) makes on these three pillars of liberty."

Meeting behind closed doors for less than 20 minutes, GOP lawmakers used a voice vote to remove the Wyoming congresswoman from her leadership post, the latest evidence that challenging Trump can be career-threatening for a Republican, even one from party royalty.

The former New York City mayor has been under investigation for several years over his business dealings in Ukraine. Details of the searches were not immediately available, but it comes as the Justice Department continues its investigation into the former New York City mayor and staunch Trump ally.


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