The latest on the 2020 election and SCOTUS battle

By Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 6:00 p.m. ET, September 29, 2020
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1:09 p.m. ET, September 29, 2020

Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and their spouses to release tax returns ahead of debate

From CNN’s Sarah Mucha

Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images
Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

Ahead of Tuesday night’s debate, Joe Biden’s campaign revealed that the Bidens, along with Senator Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, will be releasing their 2019 tax returns. 

Here's what the campaign said on a press call this afternoon:

"Today, the Bidens are releasing their 2019 tax returns, making 22 years of records available to the American public. Senator Harris and Mr. Emhoff are releasing theirs as well," deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said.
"For Senator Harris, this is now 15 years of returns that are available to the American public. This is a historic level of transparency and it will give the American people faith once again that their leaders will look out for them and not their own bottom line. So, we will have those returns available at shortly. They'll be available this afternoon, and we'll let you guys know when they get posted." 
12:52 p.m. ET, September 29, 2020

Senate Democratic leader says they will "keep fighting" against Barrett confirmation

From CNN's Ali Zaslav


Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats are going to “keep fighting” against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett from being confirmed, because “you never know."

"They didn't think we could win on preventing them from stopping Obamacare, we kept fighting and we did,” he said in a Tuesday interview on "The View." 

When asked his thoughts about Democrats questioning Barrett on her faith and participation in People of Praise in the upcoming Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, Schumer reiterated that Barrett’s religion “has nothing to do with it.

"It's her views on the issues that we must focus on, and that is the only path to victory," he said.

The New York Democrat said in the next few weeks there’s going to be a “huge national campaign” and a lot of protesting about Barrett’s views by the American people. He said he hopes that “might” convince two GOP senators to vote to delay the confirmation vote, by “feeling the heat” from constituents. 

Remember: At this point it’s very unclear there would be enough senators to defect and block Barrett’s nomination. Most GOP senators have already united behind the push for a quick confirmation.

11:36 a.m. ET, September 29, 2020

Here's where Biden and Trump stand on immigration

From CNN's  Mackenzie Happe and Kate Sullivan

Getty Images
Getty Images

President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have taken very different positions on a range of policy issues. Here's where they stand on immigration.


Biden supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. He has also called on Congress to immediately grant citizenship to some undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children.

At the first Democratic presidential debate in June, Biden said that undocumented immigrants with no criminal records "should not be the focus of deportation."

In an interview with CNN in July 2019, Biden said he opposes decriminalizing crossing the border without documentation, something other candidates in the field have supported. "I think people should have to get in line, but if people are coming because they're actually seeking asylum, they should have a chance to make their case," Biden said.


During his 2016 campaign, Trump proposed the construction of a wall along the US-Mexico border, and has made it a tenet of his immigration policy as President.

After taking office, he issued an executive order suspending the entry of people from a number of Muslim-majority countries for 90 days; the order went through several iterations in court before it was upheld.

The administration's "zero tolerance" policy in 2018 — criminal prosecutions of adults who illegally crossed the border — resulted in thousands of family separations at the border as parents were detained. Under a court order, the government must identify and reunify certain separated children.

The President has proposed a merit-based immigration system, establishing a points-based system for green card holders and restricting sponsorship to spouses and minor children.

Trump also officially ended Obama-era protections for undocumented immigrants who were brought into the country as children, a decision that has now been taken to the Supreme Court.

11:30 a.m. ET, September 29, 2020

Trump will have all his adult children with him at tonight's debate

From CNN's Kate Bennett

Julio Cortez/AP
Julio Cortez/AP

All of the adult children of President Trump will be in attendance at Tuesday night's debate, a source familiar with the Trump guest list tells CNN. 

Don Jr., Eric and Tiffany are scheduled to attend. Kimberly Guilfoyle and Lara Trump will also be there.

CNN previously reported Ivanka Trump is on the guest list, as well as first lady Melania Trump.

11:27 a.m. ET, September 29, 2020

Trump and Biden prepare for a clash over voter fraud claims at Tuesday's debate

From CNN's Ellie Kaufman, Jeremy Herb and Pamela Brown

Getty Images
Getty Images

President Trump is expected to wage an attack on the election itself at Tuesday night's debate with former Vice President Joe Biden by repeating his past claims that conflate and exaggerate problems with mail-in voting.

The "integrity of the election" is one of six topics at the first presidential debate between Trump and Biden. A source close to the campaign said Trump's message at the debate will be consistent, and that the campaign plans to amplify any case of voter fraud or suspected voter fraud, even if it's murky. Trump will argue that even one case of fraud is too much and "integrity is one of the most important things in a democracy," the source said.

Trump also plans to go through the "laundry list of things he's done to solidify election security," according to the source, and he will respond to questions about a peaceful transition by arguing he "doesn't expect to lose." 

Trump previewed his assault on mail-in voting at a Sunday press conference, ticking off issues with voting in eight states in an effort to claim widespread voter fraud due to the expansion of mail-in voting during the Covid-19 pandemic. He's continued to harp on the issue on Twitter, as he's done for months, in the run-up to Tuesday's debate.

But the examples Trump cited on Sunday show how the President is making misleading and often outright false claims about fraud related to voting, incorrectly tying the rejection of mail-in ballots to fraud, and exaggerating the impact of isolated instances involving problems with small numbers of ballots. 

"We have a big problem, and you see it every day, you see it happening every day with ballots," Trump said Sunday. "When the ballots and when the system is rigged -- which it is, obviously it is -- and the only one that knows that better than me are the Democrats."

Trump's critics warn his repeated attacks on mail-in voting are undermining the integrity of the election, sowing doubts among his supporters about the results of the election.

Trump has also failed to highlight other possible threats to the election -- most notably Russia's interference efforts -- as the intelligence community says Russia is conducting an active campaign to try to denigrate Biden. And a ransomware attack targeting one of America's leading software providers has again raised concerns over the security of state and local governments' election systems ahead of the election.

Many of Trump's charges point to states where mail-in ballots have been rejected. While mail-in ballots are rejected at a higher rate than in-person ballots, that's typically not because of fraud. It's mostly due to voters failing to complete all required steps -- or often simply because the ballot was mailed too late.

Read the full article for a breakdown of the claims Trump is making about voter fraud.

11:10 a.m. ET, September 29, 2020

Trump and Biden have their first debate tonight. Here's what to expect.

Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images
Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will face off this evening in the first presidential debate of 2020.

The debate will start at 9 p.m. ET and is happening at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.

You can watch it pretty much anywhere — including on CNN and

Here's what you need to know about the event:

  • The moderator: Fox News' Chris Wallace is moderating. The commission on Presidential Debates said he alone is selecting the questions — they will not be known to the commission or the candidates.
  • Key topics: Wallace selected the following topics for the first debate: "The Trump and Biden Records," "The Supreme Court," "Covid-19," "The Economy," "Race and Violence in our Cities" and "The Integrity of the Election."
  • The format: Each of those topics will last about 15 minutes, and the candidates will have two minutes to respond after the moderator opens each segment with a question. Wallace will then use the rest of the time in the segment to facilitate further discussion on the topic, according to the commission.
  • How coronavirus is impacting the debate: The size of the audience will be limited compared to previous debates. Frank Fahrenkopf, the co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, estimated 60 to 70 audience members would be seated in the debate hall. Both first lady Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump will be in attendance at the debate, a White House official confirmed to CNN. Everyone will undergo testing for Covid-19 and follow other health safety protocols. Biden and Trump will not shake hands.
10:33 a.m. ET, September 29, 2020

McConnell: "Glad" to have Barrett here and "get the process started"

From CNN's Ali Zaslav

Susan Walsh/Pool/AFP/Getty Images
Susan Walsh/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he’s "glad" to have President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett at the Capitol and glad “to get the process started.”

“We’re pleased today to welcome Judge Barrett to begin the process of advice and consent in the Senate,” said McConnell.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett took a photo with the Senate Majority Leader, Vice President Mike Pence as well as White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and White House counsel Pat Cipollone, ahead of Barrett’s packed day of meetings with GOP senators.

McConnell and the Vice President did not respond to questions shouted from reporters.

Angie Trindade contributed to this report.

10:35 a.m. ET, September 29, 2020

Here's where Biden and Trump stand on police reform

From CNN's  Mackenzie Happe and Kate Sullivan

Getty Images
Getty Images

In the wake of George Floyd's killing earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of people from all races took to the streets across the United States to protest police brutality. Here's where both candidates say they stand on police reform.


Biden has said he does not support calls to "defund the police," which picked up steam after the police killings of George Floyd in Minnesota and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, as well as others. But he does support some of the principles the phrase's advocates champion.

Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates has said that Biden supports "the urgent need for reform -- including funding for public schools, summer programs, and mental health and substance abuse treatment separate from funding for policing -- so that officers can focus on the job of policing."

Biden's campaign has said he backs proposals to increase spending on social programs separate from local police budgets, but he also wants more funding for police reforms such as body cameras and training on community policing approaches.

Biden has called for an additional $300 million in funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services program, which would allow more officers to be hired and would pay for training on community policing approaches.


Trump has declared himself "your President of law and order" amid nationwide protests over systemic racism and police brutality in America. He has lambasted efforts to defund police departments and has said police were owed respect for their work.

In June, he signed an order to enact modest reforms in a move to confront the outcry over police brutality, including a tracking program that will encourage localities to submit information on officers who have been fired or found in court to have used excessive force. The Justice Department will also direct federal grants toward police departments that are credentialed for having use of force and de-escalation policies and banning the use of chokeholds, except when lethal force is authorized. Working with federal health officials, the department will increase training on programs that pair social workers with police to answer mental health and homelessness calls.

The Justice Department's political leadership under the Trump administration has endorsed a policing policy that prioritized stamping out a national uptick in violent crime and boosting the morale of street cops, who the Trump administration claimed had been antagonized under the Obama era.

10:05 a.m. ET, September 29, 2020

Here's where Biden and Trump stand on the economy

From CNN's  Mackenzie Happe and Kate Sullivan

Getty Images
Getty Images

President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have taken very different positions on a range of policy issues. Here's where they stand on the economy.


Boosting the middle class is one of the main pillars of Biden's campaign. He has said the country needs to build an economy that "rewards work, not just wealth." Biden wants to repeal the tax cuts enacted by the Trump administration and is pushing for a $15 minimum hourly wage, eliminating noncompete agreements for workers and expanding access to affordable education, including free community college.

Biden's plan to address the coronavirus pandemic also includes steps designed to help businesses and schools reopen, including financial support for retaining and rehiring workers, building a best-practices clearinghouse for schools and guaranteeing paid leave for anyone with coronavirus or who is caring for someone with the virus.

In an interview with CNN in July 2019, Biden said he would raise the top individual income tax rate to 39.5% and raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. Biden has detailed a moderate proposal to use government purchasing to spur manufacturing in sectors including clean energy, infrastructure and health care. He has also proposed new tax credits for those who care for children, seniors and disabled people. Biden said he would build tens of thousands of new child-care facilities as part of a plan to bolster what his campaign called the "caregiving economy." Biden's climate plan also aims to spur the creation of millions of new jobs and focuses on infrastructure. His climate plan is part of a series of economic plans aimed at jump-starting an economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic.


Congress passed and Trump signed the largest emergency aid package in US history on March 27 in response to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The roughly $2 trillion CARES Act stimulus package included, among a myriad of other items, direct financial assistance to Americans. A large part of the stimulus package is the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program, which provides forgivable loans to small businesses if at least 75% of the money goes toward payroll expenses. During an interview with Politico on April 25, Biden argued that another stimulus package was needed and should be "a hell of a lot bigger" than the CARES Act. On March 18, Trump signed into law a coronavirus relief package. The package included provisions for free testing for Covid-19 and paid emergency leave for certain people impacted by the coronavirus, with payments capped at $511 a day. It also increased Medicaid funding, certain tax credits, and expanded food assistance. There are many critics of these programs and packages and a good deal of evidence that some of the funds did not go to those Americans and small businesses most in need.

Trump's major economic policy achievement in office was the 2017 tax cut, which drastically reduced rates for individuals and businesses -- but led to a rise in the federal budget deficit to nearly $1 trillion in fiscal year 2019, undermining a campaign promise to not just shrink deficits but eliminate the national debt altogether by the end of a second term.