Gillibrand releases Social Security platform

 Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

July 17, 2019: Kirsten Gillibrand published a Medium post outlining her Social Security and senior policy plan. Cory Booker introduced the Second Look Act on early releases for inmates.
Facebook Ad Spending (July 8 - July 14)

Campaign Finance Spotlight

Monday was the deadline for presidential candidates to file second-quarter financial reports with the Federal Election Commission. Here are three highlights from those reports: 

  • Trump led all presidential candidates with $26.5 million in receipts. Individual contributions accounted for $8.8 million of that total while amounts received from PACs and political committees were $17.6 million.
  • Buttigieg more than tripled the amount he received during the first quarter, reporting $24.9 million in individual contributions. Biden and Warren followed with $22 million and $19.2 million, respectively.
  • Sanders spent $14.1 million during the second quarter—the most expenditures of any candidate. He also ended the quarter with $27.3 million—the most cash among the Democratic candidates. Only two other Democratic candidates—Buttigieg and Warren—reported having about $20 million or more in cash on hand heading into the third quarter.

The following two charts show individual contributions, total receipts, expenditures, and cash on hand for each presidential candidate.


Notable Quote of the Day

“The path to maintaining a majority in the Senate goes through North Carolina and I think the path to the president’s re-elect does as well.”

– Thom Tillis, U.S. senator from North Carolina


  • The Des Moines Register and AARP are hosting a series of five forums in Iowa this week. Michael BennetJohn DelaneyTulsi Gabbard, and Tim Ryan will participate in Wednesday’s event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
  • Joe Biden unveiled his policy proposal focusing on rural communities Tuesday. Biden called for expanding a microloan program for new farmers, investing in broadband infrastructure, doubling funding for community health centers, and recruiting more doctors to residencies in rural areas.
  • Cory Booker is introducing the Matthew Charles and William Underwood Second Look Act Wednesday, which would establish several early release protocols. Booker proposed allowing people who have served more than a decade in prison to petition a court for early release. Inmates older than 50 would get the presumption of release following a petition.
  • Shondaland and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews interviewed Steve Bullock Tuesday.
  • Pete Buttigieg will speak at the Young Democrats of America convention in Indiana Thursday.
  • Democracy Now! interviewed Julián Castro about immigration, labor issues, and foreign policy.
  • Kirsten Gillibrand published a Medium post outlining her senior policy plan. Gillibrand said she would increase Social Security benefits by $65/month, eliminate a cap on total benefits, and expand eligibility to include surviving spouses and other select family members. Gillibrand would also increase the Social Security payroll tax cap and establish a 3.8 percent investment income tax to keep the program solvent.
  • Kamala Harris released her plan to lower the price of prescription drugs. Under Harris’ proposal, prices would be set by the Department of Health and Human Services. Companies that sell drugs at a higher rate would be taxed on the profits, which would then be turned into rebates for consumers.
  • The Chronicle interviewed John Hickenlooper about climate change, the Senate, and education policy.
  • Amy Klobuchar outlined her first 100 days in office during a policy address in Washington, D.C. She said she would first rejoin the International Climate Change Agreement, preserve insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions, and travel to Canada and Europe to strengthen international relationships.  
  • Beto O’Rourke hired Aisha McClendon to serve as his national director of African American voter outreach.
  • Bernie Sanders said he would try to split apart Facebook, Google, and Amazon, and pursue greater enforcement of antitrust legislation.
  • Joe Sestak wrote an op-ed in Fortune about his military service and the principle of accountable leadership.
  • Elizabeth Warren attended Mark Esper’s confirmation hearing Tuesday, where she questioned the nominee for secretary of defense about his relationship with defense contractor Raytheon.
  • The San Francisco Chronicle profiled Andrew Yang’s campaign and how he is performing better than several politicians in the race.


  • Donald Trump launched the Women for Trump coalition Tuesday at an event near Philadelphia. Leading the effort were Lara Trump, Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel, former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, and others.

On the Cusp: Tracking Potential Candidates

  • Mark Sanford announced that he was considering running for president. “I think the Republican Party has lost its way on debt, spending and financial matters,” Sanford said.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: July 17, 2015

Politico reported on Elizabeth Warren’s speech at Netroots Nation and her influence on the 2016 Democratic primary.