👋 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/ Senate Republicans and Joe Manchin blocked a bill to enshrine abortion rights into federal law, which would guarantee access nationwide even if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Democrats needed 60 votes to take up the Women’s Health Protection Act, but all 50 Republicans and Manchin voted against proceeding to debate. The final vote was 49-51. Following the vote, Biden criticized Republicans’ “failure” to protect access to reproductive health care, saying the vote “runs counter to the will of the majority of the American people” and that Republicans “have chosen to stand in the way of Americans’ rights to make the most personal decisions about their own bodies, families and lives.” Harris added that “the priority should be to elect pro-choice leaders.” (NBC News / New York Times / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Associated Press / Politico / CNBC / Bloomberg)
2/ Republican Sen. Susan Collins called the police over a chalk message in front of her house asking her to support the Women’s Health Protection Act. Collins called the chalk message – “Susie, please, Mainers want WHPA —> vote yes, clean up your mess” – a “defacement of public property in front of our home.” Collins, a moderate, pro-choice Senate Republican previously voted to confirm several Supreme Court justices who appear poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. Collins also voted against Women’s Health Protection Act. (CNN / Buzzfeed News / Business Insider)
3/ The pace of inflation eased slightly in April for the first time in seven months. The Consumer Price Index increased by 8.3% in April compared to a year ago – below the 8.5% year-over-year increase in March, which was the highest rate since 1981. Prices rose 0.3% on a month-to-month basis. Core inflation, meanwhile, rose 0.6% in April – faster than March’s 0.3% increase. (Politico / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / CNN / New York Times / Washington Post / CNBC)
4/ The House approved more than $40 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine. The package, which is larger than the $33 billion aid package Biden requested last month, includes more than $18.7 billion in military and security aid, and $8.8 billion in direct economic support for Ukraine. The package now heads to the Senate where it will need 60 votes to advance. (Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal)
5/ A New York judge released Trump from a contempt of court order – on the condition that he pays the $110,000 in fines he’s accumulated for failing to comply with a subpoena for documents issued by the New York Attorney General’s Office. The judge ruled that if Trump and his company didn’t pay the $110,000 penalty by May 20, he would reinstate the contempt order and retroactively apply the $10,000-a-day fine. (Associated Press / Politico / New York Times / ABC News / CNN)
6/ Several people who served as fake Republican electors in Georgia are cooperating in the criminal probe of Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. During interviews with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ office, witnesses have reportedly provided significant information about what happened on December 14, 2020, when pro-Trump electors met and voted on alternate slates. Trump, who lost Georgia by about 12,000 votes, pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” the votes needed to swing the state to him. The call set off the criminal investigation. The Justice Department is also investigating fake electors and a grand jury recently issued subpoenas. (CNN)
poll/ 57% of Americans say Roe v. Wade should be left in place, while 36% want the Supreme Court to overturn the precedent. 33% of Americans support keeping abortion legal, 31% support abortion rights with some limitations, 26% say it should be illegal except for rape, incest or to save the mother’s life, and 8% say it should always be illegal. 52% of Americans, meanwhile, disapprove of the job the Supreme Court is doing – up from 42% from two months ago. (Monmouth)
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