Day 533: "Broken."
1/ Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone agreed to testify after receiving a subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee. Cipollone will sit for a videotaped, transcribed interview behind closed doors on Friday. He is not expected to testify publicly. Former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s testified last month that Cipollone repeatedly tried to prevent Trump from encouraging his supporters to march to the Capitol on Jan. 6. Hutchinson also testified that Cipollone had warned in the days leading up to the attack that Trump and his aides could be charged with “every crime imaginable” if Trump joined protesters at the Capitol. The committee scheduled its seventh hearing for July 12 at 10 a.m. ET. House Republicans, meanwhile, threatened to subpoena unspecified records of the Jan. 6 committee in retaliation if the GOP retakes the majority next year. (New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Washington Post / ABC News / Axios / Bloomberg / CNN)
2/ Lindsey Graham will challenge the subpoena from a special grand jury in Georgia investigating Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election in the state. In a statement, Graham’s attorneys said the subpoena for his testimony is “all politics” and that Graham “plans to go to court, challenge the subpoena, and expects to prevail.” Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ special grand jury wants to hear from Graham because he allegedly made two calls to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his staff following the election “about reexamining certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia in order to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump.” (NBC News / CNN)
3/ Biden planned to nominate an anti-abortion Republican to a lifetime appointment as a federal judge in Kentucky the day before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. In an email dated June 23, the White House informed Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s office that Chad Meredith was “to be nominated tomorrow” to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. The next day the Supreme Court overturned Roe, effectively banning abortion in Kentucky because of its trigger law. While Meredith’s nomination was never announced or submitted by the White House, there has been no indication it has been rescinded either. The nomination was reportedly part of a deal with Mitch McConnell to stop holding up Biden’s other judicial nominations. (Courier Journal / CNN / Wall Street Journal / The Guardian)
4/ The seven states that make up the Colorado River Basin have less than 60 days to come up with a plan to significantly reduce their collective water consumption in the next 18 months or risk a potential collapse of the Colorado River system. Climate change and a two-decade-long drought have diminished river flows and reservoir water levels by about 20%. Scientists estimate that one-third of that loss can be attributed to warmer temperatures. As a result, the Bureau of Reclamation ordered Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, Nevada, California, and Arizona to cut their water usage by 2 to 4 million acre-feet in 2023 — which amounts to more than Arizona’s entire annual usage. Under the terms of the 1922 Colorado River Compact, the Upper Basin is made up of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, while the Lower Basin consists of Arizona, California, and Nevada and Mexico. Each basin has rights to 7.5 million acre-feet of water, with an additional 1.5 million acre-feet of water for Mexico. While the upper basin has never come close to using its full share of the water over the past century – using roughly 3.5 million acre-feet annually – the lower basin by some estimates uses more than 8.5 million acre-feet annually. Associated laws and agreements predetermine what happens at various stages of water shortages, and under a 2007 agreement, any shortages in supply would be borne by Arizona and Nevada first. The Bureau of Reclamation gave the states until Aug. 16 to figure out a path to conservation before the Bureau would take unilateral action to protect the system. (Politico / Water Desk)
5/ The Biden administration announced plans to “fix” the “broken” federal student loan system. The proposal would update protections for students defrauded by for-profit schools, overhaul of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, changes how interest accrues on some loans. The public has 30 days to comment on the Education Department’s proposals, and the final rules will go into effect no later than July 1, 2023. As many as 40 million Americans could be impacted by the changes. (CNBC / Wall Street Journal)
6/ Covid-19 was the third leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2020 and 2021, trailing heart disease and cancer. Between March 2020 and October 2021, Covid-19 accounted for one in every eight deaths and ranked in the top five causes of death for every age group of people older than 15 years. (JAMA Internal Medicine / Axios / Ars Technica)
poll/ 54% of Americans feel their lives are somewhat the same as it was before the pandemic, while 34% think their lives are not the same. (New York Times)
poll/ 54% of Texas voters oppose the state’s trigger law automatically banning abortions, while 37% support the trigger law. 15% of Texas voters said “abortion should never be permitted.” (University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll)
poll/ 57% of Americans disapprove of the Supreme Court’s decisions to overturn Roe v. Wade, while 41% approve. 52% of adults in states that have new restrictions on abortion or where prohibitions are set to soon take effect disapprove of the court’s decision, while 47% approve. 62% of Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases – largely unchanged since before the court’s decision. (Pew Research Center)
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