1/ Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to boost the domestic production of solar panels and their parts in an effort to shift the country toward clean energy. Biden also declared a 24-month tariff exemption for solar panels from four Southeast Asian nations after an investigation froze imports. The Commerce Department’s inquiry into possible trade violations involving Chinese solar panel- and cell-makers had cut solar installation forecasts nearly in half. In 2020, 89% of the solar panels used in the U.S. were imported. Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden invoked the Defense Production act “to make sure that he’s delivering for the American people.” (NPR / Associated Press / New York Times / NBC News / Reuters / Washington Post / CNN)
2/ Biden is expected to decide in July or August whether to partially forgive student-loan debt for 40 million borrowers who owe about $1.6 trillion. Earlier this year, Biden extended the pandemic-related pause in federal student loan payments through the end of August. Officials say Biden is likely to announce his plans closer to when the pause is scheduled to lapse. (Wall Street Journal)
3/ The U.S. has wasted 82.1 million Covid-19 vaccine doses – just over 11% of the doses the federal government distributed. CVS and Walmart were responsible for over a quarter of the doses thrown away. (NBC News / Axios)
4/ Pence’s chief of staff reportedly warned the Secret Service on Jan 5th that Trump was going to publicly turn against the vice president, and there could be a security risk because of it. It is unclear what the agent, Tim Giebels, did with Marc Short’s message. The next day, however, more than 2,000 pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol, with some chanting “Hang Mike Pence.” (New York Times / Axios)
5/ The Justice Department charged the former top leader of the Proud Boys extremist group and four other members with seditious conspiracy for their role in the Jan. 6 insurrection. The men were previously charged in a March indictment with conspiring to obstruct the certification of the 2020 presidential election, and the sedition charges add to the Justice Department’s allegations of an organized plot to use force to either to overthrow the government or to interfere with the execution of federal law. The Justice Department previously charged 11 members of the Oath Keepers and their leader Stewart Rhodes in January 2022 with similar seditious conspiracy charges. (Associated Press / Politico / New York Times / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal)
6/ The Justice Department declined to prosecute former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and communications chief Daniel Scavino despite being referred for contempt for failing to cooperate with the Jan. 6 committee. Meanwhile, former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee. Navarro is the second Trump adviser to face criminal charges. Steve Bannon was indicted on a contempt of Congress charge in November after he refused the committee requests. (New York Times / CNN / Politico / Washington Post / ABC News / NBC News / CBS News)
Notably Next: The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection of the Capitol will host its first televised hearing Thursday at 8 pm Eastern. After more than 100 subpoenas, 1,000 interviews, and 100,000 documents, the committee said it plans to present evidence from its 10-month investigation that show a deliberate, coordinated effort by Trump and his associates to delay certification of Biden’s 2020 presidential election, and how that led to the violence at the Capitol. At least six hearings are planned, two of them in prime time. (Bloomberg / Associated Press)
poll/ 45% of Americans say Trump is solely or mainly responsible for the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, while 55% say Trump is only somewhat or not really responsible. (Washington Post)
poll/ 83% of Americans described the state of the economy as poor or not so good. 35% said they aren’t satisfied at all with their financial situation. (Wall Street Journal)
poll/ 37% of Americans approve of Biden’s handling of the economy. 80% say that inflation is also an important factor in how they will vote this November. (ABC News)
poll/ 44% of Republican respondents said deadly mass shootings in the U.S. are something that must be accepted as part of a “free society.” 85% of Democrats and 73% of Independents, meanwhile, said mass shootings are “something we can prevent and stop if we really tried.” (Newsweek)
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