Day 519: "Breathing room."
1/ The Jan. 6 committee will delay its public hearings for several weeks citing new evidence. Since the hearings started, the committee has obtained footage from a documentary filmmaker who followed Trump and his inner circle spanning “almost a year,” additional Trump White House emails and records from the National Archives, new interviews and depositions, and information left on investigators’ tip line. The committee was expected to hold its final hearings by the end of June. Instead, sessions will resume in July following Thursday’s scheduled meeting, which will focus on Trump and his allies’ efforts to pressure Justice Department officials into helping them overturn the results of the 2020 election. Chairman Bennie Thompson said later “at least two” are planned for next month starting the week of July 11, after the House returns from its two-week recess. (NPR / Politico / Washington Post / ABC News / Bloomberg)
2/ The Justice Department issued subpoenas to people in at least two states as it expanded its Jan. 6 investigation into efforts by Trump supporters to undo Biden’s electoral victory through fake electors. Federal agents issued subpoenas to Brad Carver in Georgia, a lawyer who claimed to be a Trump elector, and Thomas Lane in Virginia, who worked on the Trump campaign’s efforts in Arizona and New Mexico. After leaving the Trump campaign, Lane went to work on the Republican National Committee’s election efforts in Virginia. Separately, some of the would-be Trump electors in Michigan also received subpoenas. (Washington Post)
3/ The Senate advanced a bipartisan gun safety bill, clearing a procedural hurdle to take up the compromise measures before the Fourth of July recess. Roughly a third of Senate Republicans helped advance the package, which House Republican leaders have formally opposed. Democrats, however, control the House and will likely pass the bill without Republican support. (New York Times / Politico / CNN / NBC News)
4/ Biden called on Congress to temporarily suspend the federal gas tax of 18.3 cents per gallon for three months to give Americans “just a little bit of breathing room.” Biden also asked states to suspend their own gas taxes and urged oil companies to increase refining capacity and pass “every penny” of their savings on to consumers. The administration estimates consumers could save about a dollar per gallon between the suspension of the federal and state gas taxes, and an increase in refining capacity could lower gas prices. The move, however, is unlikely to have the support in Congress needed to pass. And economists, meanwhile, have criticized the idea of suspending the gas tax since federal road and highway programs are funded from fuel tax revenue and the relief to consumers would be limited – the federal gas tax represents less than 5% of the total per gallon cost. (New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Politico / Bloomberg)
- What a pause in the gas tax would mean for prices at the pump. The White House is desperate to bring down prices, but some experts don’t think Biden’s idea would help much. (Washington Post)
5/ Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged that higher interest rates could lead to a recession, saying the central bank is “not trying to provoke” a recession but it’s “certainly a possibility.” Powell, addressing the Senate Banking Committee a week after the Fed ordered the largest interest rate increase since 1994, said the central bank was “strongly committed to bringing inflation back down […] “We need to get inflation back down to 2%.” The consumer price index in May increased 8.6% over the past year, the highest level since December 1981. Economists, meanwhile, put the odds of a recession in the next 12 months at 44% – up from 28% in April. (NPR / CNBC / Wall Street Journal / Washington Post / New York Times)
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