1/ The Senate postponed a vote to suspend the nation’s debt limit after Republicans planned to filibuster the effort for the third time in two weeks. Mitch McConnell and Republicans lawmakers continue to block debate on the legislation as part of their opposition to Biden’s economic agenda, arguing that Democrats should raise the debt limit unilaterally through reconciliation. Democrats, however, have repeatedly said that reconciliation is not an option, since it would be too complicated, time-consuming, and “risky” given the threat of a first-ever default on federal debt. Democrats need at least 10 Republicans to join them to break a filibuster on raising the debt ceiling. Schumer has said he wants Congress to pass legislation on the debt ceiling by the end of the week. (Washington Post / Reuters / CNN)
2/ Biden suggested that it’s a “real possibility” for Democrats to revise the Senate’s filibuster rules to overcome the Republican blockade on raising the debt ceiling. To invoke the “nuclear option” and change the filibuster rules, Democrats would need unity from their 50-member caucus, including Harris’ tie-breaking vote. Democrats said any “carve out” for the debt limit would apply only to the debt limit and not other measures. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, however, remain opposed to changing the Senate’s filibuster rules. Manchin called any speculation that he would support changing the filibuster “theatrics,” but added “we are not going to default as a country.” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, meanwhile, warned that Oct. 18 is the deadline before the U.S. “will be out of extraordinary measures, have limited cash, and likely to exhaust it very quickly.” She added that a default could plunge the U.S. into a recession. (Washington Post / New York Times / NBC News / Bloomberg / The Hill / CNN)
3/ Mitch McConnell offered to allow Democrats to temporarily raise the debt ceiling, but refused to lift the GOP blockade of a long-term increase. In a statement, McConnell said Republicans would let Democrats lift the debt ceiling through November to a fixed number, rather than suspending the limit until a set date, which would give Democrats more time to pass debt limit legislation through reconciliation without any Republican votes. “This will moot Democrats’ excuses about the time crunch,” McConnell said in a statement. Senate Democrats signaled they would accept McConnell’s offer, setting up a vote as soon as this week on the short-term debt patch. White House press secretary Jen Psaki, meanwhile, responded to McConnell’s proposal, saying: “We could get this done today, we don’t need to kick the can, we don’t need to go through a cumbersome process that every day brings additional risks.” (Politico / New York Times / Bloomberg / The Hill / Washington Post / CNN / Axios)
4/ Florida is the only state that hasn’t submitted a plan to the Education Department for how it’ll use federal Covid-19 relief funds for schools. The state’s plan is required before more than $2.3 billion in federal aid can be released to Florida’s schools. The Biden administration, meanwhile, ordered Arizona to stop using federal pandemic funding on a pair of grant programs only available to schools without mask mandates. (CNN / Associated Press)
5/ Trump’s top aides are expected to defy demands for documents and testimony from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The committee had issued subpoenas to Mark Meadows, Steve Bannon, Dan Scavino, and Kash Patel requesting documents by Oct. 7 and a deposition by Oct. 15. Trump and his legal team, however, have pressed the attorneys for the subpoenaed aides to defy the orders. The committee has also reportedly been unable to physically serve the subpoena to Scavino. (The Guardian / CNN)
6/ A federal judge sentenced a Jan. 6 rioter to 45 days in jail, 60 hours of community service, and $500 restitution for the damage done to the Capitol building. Matthew Mazzocco’s defense lawyer had asked for probation, while a federal prosecutor had suggested three months of home confinement. Instead, during Mazzocco’s sentencing, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan said that if the defendant “walks away with probation and a slap on the wrist, that’s not going to deter anyone from trying what he did again.” She added: “The country is watching.” Of 11 defendants sentenced so far, Mazzocco is the first to receive a jail term when prosecutors had not asked for one. (Washington Post)
7/ Trump praised Pence for downplaying the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, saying Pence’s Fox News interview “very much destroys and discredits the Unselect Committees Witch Hunt,” which is investigating the insurrection. During his interview with Sean Hannity, Pence blamed “the media” for distracting from Biden’s “failed agenda by focusing on one day in January,” adding that “they want to use that one day to try and demean the character and intentions of 74 million Americans.” A bipartisan group of former officials and former federal judges, meanwhile, asked the California bar association to investigate the conduct of John Eastman, the lawyer who outlined the legal strategy for Pence to overturn the 2020 election results by simply not counting electoral votes on Jan. 6. (The Hill / Washington Post)
poll/ 67% of Republicans say Trump should remain a major national political figure, including 44% who said they would like him to run for president in 2024. 32%, meanwhile, say they do not want Trump to remain a national political figure. (Pew Research Center)
poll/ 38% of Americans approve of the job Biden is doing as president – his lowest approval rating since taking office. 53% disapprove. (Quinnipiac)
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