Day 272: "Untethered."
1/ Trump sued the Jan. 6 select committee and the National Archives to block the release of his White House’s records related to the Capitol attack. In a federal lawsuit, Trump argued that the House select committee’s request for documents was “unprecedented in their breadth and scope and are untethered from any legitimate legislative purpose,” and “almost limitless in scope.” Trump alleged that the committee is seeking potentially millions of presidential records that he claims are covered by executive privilege, which the Biden administration previously declined to assert on Trump’s behalf. (CNN / Politico / Associated Press / NBC News / New York Times / Wall Street Journal)
2/ The Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to temporarily block a Texas law that bans most abortions in the state while a legal challenge moves forward, calling the law “plainly unconstitutional.” The DOJ said that leaving the law in effect would allow Texas to “nullify” half a century of Supreme Court precedents “by banning abortion long before viability – indeed, before many women even realize they are pregnant.” In a 5 to 4 decision last month, the Supreme Court allowed the law to go into effect, saying the case presented “complex and novel” questions about whether the court had the authority to hear it. The court ordered Texas to respond by Thursday, and could rule this week. (New York Times / Associated Press / Washington Post / Politico)
3/ A key climate policy designed to phase out fossil fuels will likely be cut from the $3.5 trillion infrastructure package because Joe Manchin opposes the clean electricity program. Manchin, whose home state of West Virginia depends heavily on coal, told the White House that he is completely opposed to the Clean Electricity Performance Program, which would reward energy companies that switch from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas to clean power sources like solar, wind, and nuclear power. The Biden administration had been counting on the $150 billion program to achieve the bulk Biden’s pledge to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. As a result, the White House is rewriting the legislation without the climate provision while trying to cobble together a mix of other policies that could also cut emissions. Manchin is a crucial vote to passing any reconciliation package in the evenly divided Senate, and FEC filings show that he’s raised over $400,000 from energy companies in the third quarter. (NBC News / New York Times / Politico / Washington Post / Vox / Business Insider)
4/ The Biden administration laid out a roadmap for regulating a group of toxic “forever chemicals” that pose health risks to millions of Americans. The EPA wants to designate polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, as hazardous substances under the nation’s Superfund law, which could make manufacturers and distributors of the chemicals liable for cleaning up contaminated sites. PFAS are commonly called “forever chemicals,” because they do not break down naturally and have turned up in drinking water and the food supply. The EPA previously promised to regulate PFAS under both the Obama and Trump administrations, but the agency met resistance from the American Chemistry Council, a trade association that represents the industry. (Politico / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / NBC News)
5/ The Texas Senate passed a bill requiring transgender youth to compete on sports teams that match their birth gender, not the gender they identify with. The measure requires public schools to assign athletes based on the sex on their birth certificates. The new law negates a current regulation that lets transgender students compete if they’ve received a court order allowing them to change the gender marked on their birth certificate. The bill now heads to Gov. Greg Abbott, who has indicated he intends to sign it. (NBC News / CBS News)
6/ The Senate is expected to take up a voting rights legislation this week, which Republicans plan to block. The bill – a pared-back version of the For the People Act – give all voters in all states access to a minimum of 15 early voting days and same-day registration, establish Election Day as a public holiday, require states to have automatic voter registration, restore the right to vote to Americans with felony convictions upon completion of their prison sentence, and prohibit partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts. Democrats would need 10 Republicans to join them in overcoming the filibuster. Chuck Schumer said the Freedom to Vote Act was necessary to “right the ship of our democracy and establish common sense national standards to give fair access to our democracy to all Americans.” Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, promised that the measure “will go nowhere,” calling it a “partisan power grab” to “micromanage elections across America.” (NBC News / The Hill)
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