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Arizona and Nevada make up 3% of the U.S. population — and are vital to picking a president



Arizona and Nevada make up 3% of the U.S. population — and are vital to picking a president

When President Biden flies into Nevada on Monday and to Arizona the following day, he’s likely to compliment the West’s natural beauty, pay homage to the unmatched political power of the Culinary Workers Union and nod to local Democratic elected officials.

Another truth about his visit to the two Southwestern states may remain unspoken: Though together they are home to only about 3% of the U.S. population, Arizona and Nevada are expected to have an outsize influence on the outcome of the 2024 presidential race.

With Arizona’s 11 electoral votes and Nevada’s six, the states collectively hold more voting power than Georgia, another closely contested state that both Democrats and Republicans believe they can win — as Biden and former President Trump engage in the first rematch of presidential contenders in nearly 70 years.

Having secured enough delegates last week to become their parties’ presumptive nominees, the two oldest major-party candidates in American history are facing off in a presidential rematch that most people saw coming and many hoped to avoid.


The race pits a president languishing in the polls against a challenger facing multiple criminal indictments. It gives citizens asking for change a chance to vote for more of the same, unless they opt for a long-shot third-party candidate.

Many Americans have said they don’t like it. They wish the stress of a country that feels perpetually at odds would just stop.

“Everything is kind of haywire and crazy,” Trevean Rhodes, a security guard at a Las Vegas supermarket, said last week. “Normalcy is a thing of the past.”

Nevada has gone to the Democrats in four straight presidential elections, but by thin margins. Biden won Arizona in 2020, though Republicans prevailed in all but two of the last 12 presidential cycles there.

Recent public polling in both battleground states shows Biden trailing Trump, but both sides have said they expect close contests. And both states have already received substantial attention, especially from the Democrats.


Vice President Kamala Harris visited Phoenix recently to talk about abortion, and in late January stopped in Las Vegas, where she called Trump a threat to democracy. Biden’s trip this week will take him to Reno, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

His events in Arizona are expected to focus on Latino voter engagement, sources familiar with his travel told The Times. The trip comes amid a $30-million advertising barrage from Biden’s campaign across all of the battleground states. (Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia are the others.)

Former President Trump, in Las Vegas for the Nevada GOP’s caucuses last month, blasted his rival’s handling of migrants entering the U.S. from Mexico.

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)


Trump, stopping in Las Vegas before Nevada’s GOP caucuses in early February, slammed Biden’s handling of the mounting number of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, and called human trafficking of migrants “a weapon of mass destruction” against the U.S.

Even as the candidates gear up for their marathon to election day with more than seven months to go, interviews with more than two dozen voters, elected officials and political consultants in Arizona and Nevada revealed a collective ennui about Biden vs. Trump 2.0.

“There’s a voter fatigue, I think,” said Arizona House Minority Whip Nancy Gutierrez, a Democrat. “People are just sick of being bombarded, with no bipartisanship and no working together on many of the same issues.”

Democrats say Biden must do more to highlight what they claim as his accomplishments, including job creation tied in part to an infrastructure law that brought public works to Nevada and Arizona, and passage of a bipartisan gun control measure that increases background checks for younger firearm buyers.

They also cite the president’s efforts to protect access to abortion and contraception via executive orders after the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision overturning Roe vs. Wade, and his support for a robust U.S. presence internationally, including through aid to Ukraine in its war with Russia.


Republicans plan to rely on what they contend was America’s stronger standing during Trump’s four-year tenure in Washington, citing high levels of employment and lower inflation as hallmarks of his administration.

Donald Trump, framed by blurred heads in a crowd, standing and pointing

Trump, working to stay connected to his base in Arizona after his failed efforts to overturn his 2020 defeat, appears at a right-wing gathering in Phoenix in 2021.

(Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

Trump also claims credit for building up the wall dividing the U.S. and Mexico to reduce illegal crossings, as well as for pushing through $3.2 trillion in tax cuts, appointing Supreme Court justices who rejected the nationwide right to abortion, pulling the U.S. out of trade agreements he said hurt American workers, and clearing the way for the U.S. to become the world’s top producer of oil and natural gas.

The state of the economy, a perennial centerpiece of presidential electioneering, is cited more than any other issue as the top concern in Nevada, which saw its unemployment rate spike to more than 30% during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Unemployment in the state is just over 5% now, still the highest in the country. But even some with jobs express concern that high inflation has made it harder for them to pay their bills.

At a supermarket on the east side of Las Vegas last week, two men demonstrated the breadth of the disagreement about how the economy is doing.

Alberto Cardona said he didn’t care about all of the economists saying inflation had tapered off.

The electrician said they were “lying,” and he saw proof, literally, in the pudding. He said he paid 99 cents for a carton of pudding at the supermarket when Trump was president. Now it costs $1.47. He blamed Biden and other Democrats for the upswing, saying they supercharged inflation by overspending “and printing money that they don’t have.”

“Everything’s terrible right now. I’m living paycheck to paycheck, trying to support my family,” said Cardona, 50. He said he would vote for Trump.


A few minutes later, Fernando Alcazar pronounced himself ready to vote for Biden.

“Look at what he’s done and where the country is headed,” said the 52-year-old gambling industry consultant. “The economy is good, and we’re going in the right direction.”

Though inflation has climbed much higher in earlier eras, the low inflation of the last two decades or so has made the recent upswing feel disabling, especially to younger people, said Stephen Miller, research director at the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

But he said people’s views of the economy could be reshaped in the coming months.

“Between now and early fall, if grocery prices come down and gasoline prices come down, the mood will change,” Miller said. “We’ll see.”


Rep. Steven Horsford, a Democrat who represents Clark County in the U.S. House and chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, said that’s why it’s key for Biden to remain on point.

“You can’t only focus on the accomplishments, of which there are many,” Horsford said. “You’ve also got to talk about what you plan to do going forward.”

President Biden, surrounded by supporters, smiles for those taking selfies with him in the background

Biden smiles for supporters’ selfies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, last week after speaking on improving healthcare and lowering prescription drug prices.

(John Locher / Associated Press)

In both Nevada and Arizona, Democrats say access to abortion should be a winning issue for Biden. They described a wave of anger among their voters that followed the reversal of Roe.


Organizers hope to put measures supporting abortion access on the ballot in both states. Though a Nevada law protects access to abortion there, a political action committee is gathering signatures to qualify a measure that would enshrine abortion access into the state Constitution. The measure would apply for pregnancies of up to 24 weeks. Activists in Arizona are charting a similar course.

Republicans have a ballot measure of their own in Nevada: one that would require voters to present identification when they go to the polls.

The proposal responds to belief among conservatives that elections have seen widespread tainting by ineligible voters casting ballots. Though claims of such voter fraud have seldom been substantiated, they are accepted as a matter of faith, and are therefore highly motivating, to many in the GOP.

Several people, many in plastic raincoats, next to a barbed-wire-topped wall, a few pacing as others huddle around a campfire

Immigration is a major campaign issue again. Here, migrants from Colombia wait at the southern border for U.S. officials to transport them to apply for asylum.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


With migrant crossings from Mexico to the U.S. hitting a high in recent months, even Democrats in cities well north of the border have expressed concern about the burden newcomers put on infrastructure and public services.

Republicans plan to focus intensely on the issue.

Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb, who is running for U.S. Senate in Arizona’s Republican primary this summer, said Biden’s policies supporting migrants underscore an inherent unfairness in the minds of voters he’s met. Along with the economy, Lamb said, nothing angers his constituents more than the sense of disorder at ports of entry and in communities where migrants enter the country.

“They’re very angry with the misappropriation of tax funds used to put these people up in hotel rooms, to give them transportation on airplanes and to give them, in some cases, gift cards, while we have American veterans and we have Americans who are homeless and are struggling,” Lamb said.

Democrats like Alcazar, the gambling industry consultant in Vegas, said it’s unfair and inaccurate to blame Biden for the surge of migrants. He noted that the White House had hammered out an immigration overhaul deal with congressional Republicans that included increased border security, only to have the GOP back away when Trump signaled his opposition.


“It was their chance to step up and do something about the issue,” Alcazar said. “But they didn’t follow through. Instead, they wanted Trump politics.”

President Biden speaking at a lectern with a presidential seal as Arizona's flag is displayed on a large screen

In a nod to Arizona’s many Republican voters, Biden honored the late Sen. John McCain last fall in remarks on democracy in Tempe, Ariz. The two served across the Senate aisle from each other for over two decades.

(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

As the oldest president at 81, Biden has faced repeated questions about his mental acuity and fitness to serve.

Robert Bailey, a political independent, said he has voted for candidates of both parties in the past, but wouldn’t consider Biden this time.


“He can’t remember things he needs to remember,” said Bailey, 57, a street performer in Las Vegas. “People just help him stay in office and get his job done.”

Some say Trump, 77, also shows signs of aging.

But more challenging critiques grow out of the dozens of criminal charges he faces — on allegations of illegality related to his attempts to reverse his 2020 election loss in Georgia and his stashing of classified government documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort and of obstruction of justice; of having a role in the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in an attempt to prevent Congress’ certification of Biden’s victory; and of falsifying records related to hush money allegedly paid to porn star Stormy Daniels.

“We understand that Trump wants to take us backwards,” said Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, a Democrat. “You have Donald Trump running a campaign of creating doomsday scenarios and seeking retribution against his political opponents.”

Romero said Biden has a list of accomplishments that her constituents will feel the benefits of for decades. She cited the nearly $100 million that’s flowed to her city from the infrastructure and inflation-reduction measures he’s championed.


In Nevada, meanwhile, the Biden campaign will remind 12,000 residents about the student loan relief they got from the administration, and tell 22,000 seniors not to forget how Democrats capped the price of their insulin prescriptions.

Diane Farajian, 65, said that Trump was slow to respond to the coronavirus surge, and that he makes her uneasy. The retired Las Vegas blackjack dealer plans to vote for Biden, though she said she usually supports Republicans for the White House.

“We need good people in there,” Farajian said. “There was just so much trouble when Trump was in office.”

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Chip Roy raises alarms about George Soros' purchase of radio giant Audacy



Chip Roy raises alarms about George Soros' purchase of radio giant Audacy

FIRST ON FOX: Rep. Chip Roy is accusing liberal billionaire George Soros of trying to fast-track his acquisition of a major radio company through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

“I write today regarding Soros Fund Management’s acquisition of over $400 million in debt held by Audacy — the second-largest broadcast radio station owner in the country. Of particular concern, the Soros groups are asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve a change in ownership in Audacy without the FCC running its normal, statutorily required process,” Roy said in a letter.

“This transaction, which affects radio stations that reach millions of listeners across the U.S., including in Texas’ 21st congressional district, should — at minimum — be subject to rigorous FCC oversight to ensure U.S. radio stations are not subject to undue influence.”



Rep. Chip Roy, left, is calling national attention to George Soros’ hedge fund acquiring a large stake in a radio company. (Getty Images)

Soros’ investment firm became the largest shareholder of Audacy last month, which owns local radio stations across the country. Audacy filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. 

Soros Fund Management was involved in a similar corporate restructure last year when it was one of the companies that acquired Vice Media after its bankruptcy filing last year.

Now, however, Roy raised alarm over Audacy also requesting that federal officials grant it a temporary exemption to existing FCC rules that forbid foreign company ownership of U.S. radio stations to exceed a 25% share, which would normally slow down the approval process.


The Audacy radio logo

Audacy is the second-largest radio network in the U.S. after iHeartRadio. (Getty Images)

“But instead of going through the usual petition for declaratory ruling process, which would enable the FCC to review and assess those foreign ownership interests as part of its transaction review, the Soros group has asked the FCC to waive that process and put it off until sometime down the road — indicating that those foreign stakeholders will be given ‘special warrants’ in the meantime,” Roy wrote.

“The Soros group says that skipping the foreign ownership review at this time will enable the FCC to expedite its approval of the Soros applications and thus allow them to more quickly realize their ownership interests in, and take the reins at, these hundreds of local radio stations across the country.”

Audacy’s restructuring deal, which includes Soros’ firm and others, has been approved by the courts and is now awaiting its final hurdle — FCC approval, according to Inside Radio.


Roy told Fox News Digital that he heard from constituents who “reached out and raised issues and concerns about the extent to which it’s very clear that Soros is, you know, making a move in the radio world.”


“I wanted to pose those questions to…understand what’s happening with the FCC on this, and raise the awareness publicly of the extent to which Soros’ people may be using — either the rules to their advantage, or frankly, the rules are getting abused to fast-track getting in there and grab that debt as a backdoor way to try to acquire a significant amount of ownership over local radio,” he said.

Fox News Digital reached out to Audacy, the FCC and a Soros representative for comment.

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Inside an Arizona abortion clinic: Uncertainty looms and optimism reigns



Inside an Arizona abortion clinic: Uncertainty looms and optimism reigns

When Anna first read about the Arizona Supreme Court reinstating an 1864 law banning all abortions except when a mother’s life is at risk, she sent the article to her partner with an angry text.

“I was like, ‘God, this makes me so mad,’” she said.

She also decided to take a pregnancy test, just in case. Her period was a few days late, which she figured was because of her new birth control pills.

“I just want to make sure before anything goes into effect,” said Anna, 24, who declined to give her last name. “Thank God I did.”


Days later, she found herself at Camelback Family Planning, discussing her options for an abortion.

The April 9 ruling set off a political hurricane, with both President Biden and former President Trump weighing in and Arizona’s Legislature devolving into chaos over whether to repeal the ban before it goes into effect June 8. But at a Phoenix abortion clinic, in the eye of the debate, it has been business as usual.

On Wednesday, Dr. Barbara Zipkin breezed into an examination room carrying Scooter, her emotional support dog. Although she lives in Sherman Oaks, Zipkin flies to Arizona most weeks, staying at her sister’s house while working three to five days at the Camelback clinic.

With her support dog Scooter staying in his bed, Dr. Barbara Zipkin rushes to an exam room at Camelback Family Planning on April 18, 2024, in Phoenix. The clinic will have to cease performing abortions on June 8 if the 1864 law banning abortions isn’t delayed of overturned.


The doctor, who said she is “somewhere between 40 and death,” recalls the moment in 1973 when Roe vs. Wade took effect: She was on a plane returning to medical school, and she thought, “This is what I’m going to do.” She worked for years as an OB-GYN in Los Angeles, specializing in genetics and performing a lot of second trimester abortions.

“But there are enough providers in L.A.,” she said. “Arizona is unique.”

In the exam room, Zipkin walked Anna through her options — a medication abortion, which the patient had previously experienced with a difficult recovery, or a surgical procedure. Then Zipkin recited a state-mandated “silly consent” form, adding her own caveats to each point.

“Consent says the state of Arizona wants you to believe that there are alternatives to abortion. Well, that’s all well and good, but it’s not really true, because when you’re in this position, you really only have two options. One is carry it and the other is don’t carry it,” Zipkin said. “Adoption and all that — that comes after. You’re either carrying this or you’re not, and it still affects you.”

Anna said she’d always paid attention to the national conversation around abortion, as a woman and especially as an Arizonan. Anna said she had started taking birth control pills within a week of getting pregnant. As a 24-year-old who lives with roommates, she doesn’t consider herself financially able to care for a child.

Zipkin performs an ultrasound on a patient.

Dr. Barbara Zipkin performs an ultrasound on a 25-year-old patient who didn’t want her name or face shown at Camelback Family Planning on April 18. The patient thought the Arizona 1864 law banning abortion had already taken effect and was planning on going to California for an abortion but she learned that the clinic in Phoenix was still open and performing abortions. “It makes me sad to think that women in the future may not be to have the choice to come here if that law goes into effect,” she said.

“It’s just not the situation I want for myself, or my children in the future. I want a two-parent household in a stable home, or a stable situation,” Anna said. “I just don’t know that I’m in that right now.”

After her 10-minute consultation with Zipkin, Anna scheduled an appointment for the following week, when she would decide whether to have a medication or surgical abortion.

After answering Anna’s questions, Zipkin offered her last bit of guidance: “Before I forget, because I have the attention span of a gnat — vote!”

Abortion is likely to top voters’ concerns in Arizona, where state legislators have yet to vote on a proposed bill repealing the ban.


In the sunny plaza between the two state Capitol chambers, protesters on both sides of the debate milled about Wednesday, some wearing bright orange T-shirts in support of Arizona for Abortion Access, and others in shirts depicting baby’s feet and proclaiming “Choose life.”

Uncertainty at the clinic

Back at the Camelback clinic, staff members gathered in the break room, decorated with posters and handmade thank you cards, including one with a uterus drawn in place of a “Y.” They discussed what could happen after June 8, and the clinic’s founder, Dr. Gabrielle Goodrick, sought to provide clarity.

1 A Thank You card hangs on the refrigerator in the beak room at Camelback Family Planning on April 17, 2024

2 A Thank You cards hang on a cupboard at Camelback Family Planning on April 18, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona.

3 Information on a no-cost abortion clinic in San Francisco hangs on the glass at the

1. A Thank You card hangs on the refrigerator in the beak room at Camelback Family Planning on April 17, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. The clinic will have to cease performing abortions on June 8 if the 1864 law banning abortions isn’t delayed or overturned. 2. A Thank You cards hang on a cupboard at Camelback Family Planning on April 18, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. The clinic will have to cease performing abortions on June 8 if the 1864 law banning abortions isn’t delayed or overturned. 3. Information on a no-cost abortion clinic in San Francisco hangs on the glass at the reception area at Camelback Family Planning on April 18, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. The clinic will have to cease performing abortions on June 8 if the 1864 law banning abortions isn’t delayed or overturned.


She’s hopeful that a constitutional amendment guaranteeing abortion access will be on the November ballot — activists with Arizona for Abortion Access say they have gathered enough signatures.

“People were pretty nervous and stressed that they’re not going to have a job until November,” Goodrick said.

For a clinic rocked by Supreme Court decisions, it has become adept at weathering changes, Goodrick said. A ruling comes down, the staff adjusts its routines and schedules and continues to provide abortions with new limitations, which sometimes includes referring patients to clinics in California or Nevada.

The constant fluctuations have had their toll, though. The clinic, which Goodrick opened in 1999, usually averages about 350 patients a month. That total dropped in 2022 amid patient confusion over what would happen in the wake of Roe vs. Wade being overturned. Her small staff of 12 shrank to six, Goodrick said, as workers grew tired “from the stress of just not knowing.”

The doctor and her staff had just gotten into the swing of their new routine when the state Supreme Court ruling came down.

 Dr. Barbara Zipkin, right, consults with a co-worker over ultrasound results at Camelback Family

Dr. Barbara Zipkin, right, consults with a co-worker over ultrasound results at Camelback Family Planning . The clinic will have to cease performing abortions on June 8 if enforcement of the 1864 law banning abortions isn’t delayed or overturned.

“The patients are more anxious,” Goodrick said. “It causes what the Republicans want, which is mayhem.”

But this time, she hopes, will be different.

“We just have to get to Nov. 25,” Goodrick said, referring to the date that a constitutional amendment, if approved, would take effect.

Confident that the political fight will turn in her favor, Goodrick has opened the clinic’s doors to media from around the globe, who’ve descended on Arizona to chronicle the latest front in a nationwide battle over abortion.


Nurses wearing “abortion is healthcare” T-shirts moved deftly around the journalists, whom they’ve grown accustomed to filling their workplace recently. On their lunch break, the staff crowded into the break room, bickering over Supreme Court justices.

“Which one’s worse — [Clarence] Thomas or [Samuel] Alito?” one asked.

Sitting at a folding table laden with snacks, Dr. Jessica Holmes peered at the clinic’s schedule on her laptop.

Nurses carry charts to exam rooms past thank you cards tacked to cupboards and artwork of a uterus hanging on a clothesline.

Nurses carry charts to exam rooms past thank you cards tacked to cupboards and artwork of a uterus hanging on a clothesline at Camelback Family Planning.

“Are you doing through June, or only the first eight days?” Holmes asked.


“No, we’ll go through June,” Goodrick answered briskly.

Opposing forces of optimism

Standing on the sidewalk a few yards from the clinic door, antiabortion activists were similarly optimistic about the future of Arizona’s abortion law.

“We accept it as a victory and we’re very excited,” said Matt Engelthaler, 49, who has protested abortions since he was a teenager, when he first joined his parents to pray outside clinics. “But we also realize that changing laws isn’t what’s gonna do anything, it’s just changing hearts. That’s what we pray for.”

Engelthaler fingered rosary beads as he held a sign that said, “Choose life.” A Catholic, he said he prayed the rosary “for the moms, dads and the babies,” and another prayer for the abortion clinic workers, “that they can understand the travesty of what they’re doing and turn away from it.”

A passing car honked, and the driver stuck his middle finger in the air at the protesters.


“People just don’t know how to do the peace sign correctly,” Engelthaler said with a laugh.

A few minutes later, another car honked and the driver gave a thumbs up.

By the clinic door, three volunteers wearing bright, rainbow-colored vests escorted patients from their cars into the clinic, blocking their view of the sidewalk protesters with large, rainbow umbrellas. Michael Buble played on a nearby speaker, ready to drown out any protester’s megaphone.

“When they go loud, we go louder,” said one escort, who declined to give her name. She said her group of volunteers would continue serving at the clinic until they’re told to stop.

One of the patients, a 26-year-old from Phoenix, said the escorts’ music lifted her spirits on an otherwise bleak day. She took Scooter into her arms and, stroking the dog’s back, told the doctor that she found out she was pregnant two days after the state Supreme Court decision.

A patient strokes support dog Scooter in an exam room

A 26-year-old patient from Phoenix strokes support dog Scooter in an exam room as Dr. Barbara Zipkin discusses her options for an abortion. The patient found out she was pregnant two days after the Arizona Supreme Court reinstated an 1864 law banning abortion.

“It has just been draining, in that sense of like, wow — this would happen this week,” the patient said.

She said that as Christians, her family vehemently opposes abortion and would support her if she decided to have a baby. The woman said she and her partner decided to keep the abortion private.

“It’s definitely confusing and emotional, considering, like, my upbringing,” she said. But referring to the escorts outside who welcomed her, she added, “it’s also encouraging, in a sense, because you do feel this community.”

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How the Senate Voted on Foreign Aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan



How the Senate Voted on Foreign Aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

The Senate on Tuesday passed the long-stalled $95.3 billion package of aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, along with legislation that could lead to a ban on TikTok, clearing the measure and sending it to President Biden for his signature.

Answer Democrats Republicans Independents Total Bar chart of total votes
0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0

Note: Three senators did not vote.

The overwhelming vote reflected broad bipartisan support for the measure, which passed the House on Saturday by wide margins after a tortured journey through Congress that was met with right-wing resistance.

The measure includes $60.8 billion for Ukraine; $26.4 billion for Israel and humanitarian aid for civilians in conflict zones, including Gaza; and $8.1 billion for the Indo-Pacific region. It also would impose a new round of sanctions on Iran, and require the sale of TikTok by its Chinese owner or ban the app in the United States.


The measure had been stalled for months on Capitol Hill, where right-wing Republicans opposed to the aid for Ukraine pressured Speaker Mike Johnson not to allow it to be considered unless their demands for a severe border enforcement bill were met.

But when Republicans, egged on by former President Donald J. Trump, rejected linking it to a bipartisan border deal, the Senate passed the foreign assistance package on its own in February and pressured the House to do the same.

It took Mr. Johnson two additional months to figure out a way to steer around his right flank and do so. He used a convoluted maneuver in which the House cast separate votes to push through the pieces of the package and sent them to the Senate as one bill.

The TikTok provision was included as part of an effort to sweeten the deal for conservatives. Lawmakers have repeatedly cited the potential for Beijing to gain access to U.S. user data or to use the app for propaganda, including ahead of this year’s presidential election.

How Every Senator Voted

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