👋 Away Message: So we had a little scheduling snafu here at WTF HQ, where both myself and Joe (voice of the pod) double-booked ourselves with personal and professional obligations next week. Oopsie! Not a very great job using a calendar on my part, I guess. On the other hand, it appears the government isn't going to be open for business anyway... Unless something truly WTF-y happens, I'll see you all again on Tuesday, October 10th, because Monday is a holiday (Indigenous Peoples' Day).
In the mean time, try our little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding and for being here. I'm going to miss you.
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1/ Instead of negotiating a deal to fund the government, Matt Gaetz and Kevin McCarthy got into a heated exchange during a closed-doors meeting with House Republicans. Gaetz accused McCarthy of paying social media influencers to attack him online. McCarthy responded that he wouldn’t waste his time or money on Gaetz. The Senate, meanwhile, has put together a bipartisan deal to temporarily fund the government and avert a shutdown, which House Republicans have largely dismissed because it “does nothing to deal with the border security” and contains additional aid for Ukraine. Further complicating matters is that at least 10 far-right conservative House lawmakers have declared that they will not vote for any stopgap measure under any circumstance. Lawmakers have until Sept. 30 to reach a deal to fund the government. If Congress doesn’t act, the government will shut down at 12:01 a.m. ET on Sunday. The government, meanwhile, started notifying the roughly 2 million federal workers and 1.3 million active-duty troops that a shutdown appears imminent. (Axios / Politico / CNN / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / CNBC / ABC News)
2/ Instead of negotiating a deal to fund the government, House Republicans held their first impeachment inquiry hearing into Biden. The House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and his Republican colleagues on the Judiciary, and Ways and Means committees have yet to provide any evidence of wrongdoing by Biden, but continue to promise to present “two dozen pieces of evidence revealing Joe Biden’s corruption and abuse of public office.” Further, a Republican-picked witness said during the hearing that “the current evidence doesn’t support articles of impeachment,” but suggested that an inquiry was still warranted anyway. Democrats, meanwhile, accused Republicans of trying to impeach Biden as retribution for the House having twice impeached Trump. (NBC News / Axios / Associated Press / NPR / Washington Post / Politico)
3/ Instead of negotiating a deal to fund the government, the Senate adopted a resolution formally requiring men to wear a coat, tie, and pants. The move follows Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s request that the Senate’s sergeant-at-arms stop enforcing the chamber’s informal dress code, which was widely viewed to be inspired by Sen. John Fetterman, who often wears casual clothes. The bill, however, doesn’t specify what is deemed as business attire for women on the Senate floor. (Axios / Politico / CNN / Washington Post)
4/ The federal judge overseeing Trump’s election interference case denied his demand that she recuse herself. Trump had argued that U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan’s previous comments – “Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President”; and that Jan. 6 defendants had “blind loyalty to one person who, by the way, remains free to this day” – suggested a bias against him that could taint the proceedings. In declining Trump’s request to recuse herself, Chutkan said Trump had applied a “hypersensitive, cynical, and suspicious” reading of her statements when sentencing Jan. 6 defendants and that the “statements certainly do not manifest a deep-seated prejudice that would make fair judgment impossible.” Trump’s trial is set to begin in March. (New York Times / NBC News / Washington Post / CNN / Associated Press / ABC News / Politico / Bloomberg)
5/ Biden will deliver a speech today on the state of democracy in America and the existential threats facing the country. Biden is expected to argue that “there is something dangerous happening in America” and how Trump and his allies represent an “extremist movement that does not share the basic beliefs of our democracy.” Biden’s address follows a Trump rally at a nonunion Michigan auto parts factory, where he repeatedly demanded the endorsement of the United Automobile Workers or else warned “It’s a government assassination of your jobs and of your industry, the auto industry is being assassinated.” Biden campaign called Trump’s speech “low-energy,” “incoherent,” and “pathetic” attempt to win the support of blue collar workers at a nonunion shop. (NBC News / Associated Press / CNBC / New York Times / Washington Post / The Hill)
🔮 Dept. of Magical Thinking.
- 56% of registered voters say Congress should not hold hearings to start the process of removing Biden from office, while 39% say it should. (NBC News)
- Trump is supported by 58% of the potential Republican primary electorate – 43 points ahead of Ron DeSantis with 15%. A front-runner in September hasn’t had a polling lead this large in 24 years. (CNN)