Day 232: "All options."
1/ Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Justice Department is exploring “all options” to challenge Texas’s restrictive abortion law, days after the Supreme Court refused to block a statute that bans the procedure as early as six weeks into pregnancy with no exceptions for rape or incest. “We will not tolerate violence against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services,” Garland said. “The department will provide support from federal law enforcement when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is under attack.” Garland added that the Justice Department would “protect the constitutional rights of women and other persons” under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, a 1994 law that guarantees access for people seeking access to reproductive health clinics. A United Nations human rights group condemned the Texas anti-abortion law, calling it “structural sex and gender-based discrimination at its worst.” (New York Times / Washington Post / The Guardian)
2/ The U.S. surpassed more than 40 million total cases of the coronavirus – about a fifth of the global total. Covid-19 deaths in the U.S., meanwhile, have climbed to a seven-day average of about 1,500 a day. In early July, the seven-day average of daily deaths was in the low 200s. (New York Times / Washington Post)
3/ An estimated 7.5 million people lost all of their jobless benefits after three federal pandemic unemployment programs expired. Another 3 million more people lost a $300-per-week federal supplement to their state unemployment benefits. (Washington Post / New York Times)
4/ More than 32% of Americans live in a county that experienced a weather disaster in the last three months. Another 64% of Americans live in a place that experienced a multi-day heat wave. (Washington Post)
5/ Biden asked Congress for $30 billion to address “urgent” extreme weather recovery efforts and help fund the resettlement of tens of thousands of Afghans. The White House wants $24 billion in additional funding to help recovery efforts for wildfires and hurricanes, and $6.4 billion for Afghan refugee aid as part of its short-term budgetary request to Congress to keep the government running past Sept. 30. (NBC News / CNN / NPR)
6/ The Biden administration outlined a plan for solar energy to supply 45% of the nation’s electricity by 2050. Solar currently accounts for about 3% of U.S. electricity supply. The ambitious plan requires the nation’s solar capacity to double annually through 2025 and then double again by 2030. The Solar Futures Study from the Department of Energy also shows that by 2035, solar has the potential to power all American homes and employ as many as 1.5 million people — without raising electricity costs for consumers. (New York Times / CNN / CNBC / NBC News)
7/ Chuck Schumer rejected Joe Manchin’s call for a “strategic pause” on Biden’s $3.5 trillion tax and spending package. “We’re moving full speed ahead,” Schumer said. “We want to keep going forward. We think getting this done is so important for the American people.” Manchin, meanwhile, has privately warned the White House and congressional leaders that he’ll support about $1.5 trillion of the $3.5 trillion plan. (Politico / Axios)
8/ An internal Capitol Police memo warned of potential violence at an upcoming pro-Trump rally to support the insurrectionists charged in the Jan. 6 riots. The “Justice for J6” rally organizers argue that the hundreds of people charged in the insurrection are political prisoners. Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, accused those of planning to participate in the rally of “coming back to praise the people who were out to kill” during the Jan. 6 attack by a pro-Trump mob. The rally is scheduled for Sept. 18 outside the Capitol. (CNN / Washington Post)
9/ The Biden administration told 11 officials appointed by Trump to military service academy advisory boards to resign or be dismissed. The officials asked to resign include Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, and H.R. McMaster. They were appointed to the advisory boards of the Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and West Point respectively. (CNN / Politico)
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