Day 545: "We're all going to die."
1/ Joe Manchin abandoned negotiations with Democrats on an economic package that contained incentives to combat climate change and new taxes on the wealthy and corporations because he’s concerned about inflation. Instead, Manchin said he’s only willing to support legislation to lower prescription drugs costs and extend enhanced Affordable Care Act subsidies, suggesting that Democrats wait until September to pursue a party-line climate and tax policy. Manchin killed Biden’s Build Back Better Act seven months ago, where Democrats in the evenly divided Senate needed all 50 members to pass the economic package by simple majority under budget reconciliation rules. Manchin’s latest de facto veto of Biden’s economic agenda follows the June inflation report, which showed annual inflation running at 9.1% – the worst in more than 40 years. Manchin claimed that he’s still open to a deal, but and wants to see July’s inflation numbers before deciding, saying he “believes it’s time for leaders to put political agendas aside, reevaluate and adjust to the economic realities the country faces to avoid taking steps that add fuel to the inflation fire.” Bernie Sanders, however, accused Manchin of “intentionally sabotaging” Biden’s agenda, saying the “problem was that we continued to talk to Manchin like he was serious. He was not.” Sanders added that Manchin is a “major recipient” of fossil fuel money and that he’s received campaign donations from “25 Republican billionaires.” With climate legislation tabled, the Biden administration’s goal to cut U.S. emissions by about 50% by the end of 2030 — 101 months from this August – is now in jeopardy. The climate package’s tax credits for wind and solar power, nuclear plants, biofuels, advanced energy manufacturing, and electric vehicles, would have cut global warming causing emissions by nearly 40% by 2030. When asked about the consequences of Congress failing to act on climate change, House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth replied: “We’re all going to die.” (New York Times / Washington Post / Bloomberg / Politico / NBC News / Axios / NBC News / CNN / Talking Points Memo / Washington Post)
How One Senator Doomed the Democrats’ Climate Plan. “Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia led his party and his president through months of tortured talks, with nothing to show for it as the planet dangerously heats up.” (New York Times)
The hidden absurdities behind Joe Manchin’s ugly new reversal. “The West Virginia Democrat reportedly told party leaders late Thursday that he won’t support any new incentives to combat climate change or any new tax hikes on corporations or the wealthy. The Post reports that in private talks, Manchin appeared close to a deal, only to renege at the last minute.” (Washington Post)
Mother Nature Dissents. “From Texas to California, voters are enduring rude wake-up calls about the future of our country.” (The Atlantic)
2/ The Jan. 6 committee subpoenaed the Secret Service for text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021, after the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general told lawmakers that messages sent by agents on the day of the Capitol attack had been erased. The subpoena demands the production of records by July 19 – tomorrow. Adam Kinzinger, one of two Republicans sitting on the committee, said it was “quite crazy” if the Secret Service deleted the messages. On Thursday, the committee will hold a prime-time hearing that will detail how Trump did “nothing” to stop the riot at the Capitol as it was unfolding, but instead “gleefully watch television during this time frame.” Kinzinger said the session “is going to open people’s eyes in a big way.” (CBS News / Politico / Washington Post / USA Today / The Hill)
December 2020: Trump entertained fringe legal advice from a lawyer suggesting that he could declare “martial law” to overturn the election. William Olson’s plan included tampering with the Justice Department and firing the acting attorney general, according to the Dec. 28 memo he wrote, titled “Preserving Constitutional Order.” According to his memo, Olson urged Trump to force the Justice Department to intercede with the Supreme Court to reverse his electoral defeat. (New York Times / CNN)
Trump Tells Team He Needs to Be President Again to Save Himself from Criminal Probes. Trump has “spoken about how when you are the president of the United States, it is tough for politically motivated prosecutors to ‘get to you,” says one of the sources, who has discussed the issue with Trump this summer. “He says when [not if] he is president again, a new Republican administration will put a stop to the [Justice Department] investigation that he views as the Biden administration working to hit him with criminal charges — or even put him and his people in prison.” (Rolling Stone)
A criminal probe of Trump could complicate Jan. 6 cases. “But if the Department of Justice starts assertively mounting a criminal investigation of Trump, it could create delays in other Jan. 6-related trials because defense attorneys for hundreds of defendants could demand access to much of the evidence against Trump as part of the discovery process.” (Politico)
John Eastman loses emergency request to protect his phone data from DOJ investigators. “US District Judge Robert Brack rejected Eastman’s arguments for emergency help from the court in an opinion Friday. Eastman had asked the court to block federal investigators from using the contents of his phone in their probe.” (CNN)
3/ Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis sent target letters to several prominent Georgia Republicans warning them they could be indicted as part of her criminal investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia. State Senators Burt Jones and Brandon Beach, and David Shafer, the chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, all received letters. Jones and Shafer participated in a meeting at the state Capitol on Dec. 14, 2020, in which 16 pro-Trump Georgia Republicans selected themselves as the electors for the state despite having no legal basis for doing so. Willis also subpoenaed Georgia Republican Rep. Jody Hice to appear before the grand jury. (Yahoo News / New York Times / CNN / Newsweek)
4/ The White House abandoned plans to nominate an anti-abortion Republican to a lifetime appointment as a federal judge after Rand Paul scuttled Biden’s deal with Mitch McConnell to nominate Chad Meredith. Biden had planned to nominate Meredith in a purported deal with McConnell to stop obstructing other judicial nominees in the Senate. “In considering potential District Court nominees, the White House learned that Senator Rand Paul will not return a ‘blue slip’ on Chad Meredith,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said. “Therefore, the White House will not nominate Mr. Meredith.” (New York Times / CNN / Associated Press)
5/ Ted Cruz claimed the Supreme Court was “clearly wrong” and “overreaching” when it legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Cruz’s remarks come weeks after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas argued in his concurring Roe v. Wade opinion that the court “should reconsider” past rulings, including Obergefell v. Hodges, as well as opinions that protected the right to same-sex intimacy and contraception. The House is expected to vote this week on a measure to codify marriage equality into federal law and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. On Friday, the House passed the Women’s Health Protection Act and the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act to codify Roe v. Wade into law and protect people who are forced to travel out of state to receive care. All three measures are expected to die by a Republican filibuster in the Senate. (NBC News / USA Today / Washington Post / CNN)
6/ All 208 House Republicans voted against investigating white supremacist and neo-Nazi activity in the military and federal law enforcement. Despite unanimous Republicans opposition, the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act was passed in a 218-208 party-line vote. The “Schneider Amendment” orders the FBI, Homeland Security, and the Secretary of Defense to publish a report that sets out ways to combat white supremacist and neo-Nazi activity in the uniformed services and law enforcement agencies. Once the House passes the $840 billion military spending bill, it will head to the Senate where it will need some Republican support to muster the 60 votes necessary to move the measure through the evenly divided chamber. (New York Times / Vice News / The Hill / Newsweek / Common Dreams)
poll/ 38% of Americans approve of the job Biden is doing as president, with 62% disapproving. 12% strongly approve of the way Biden is handling the presidency compared with 43% who say they strongly disapprove of his work. (CNN)
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