1/ A bipartisan group of senators reached a deal to reform the 135-year-old Electoral Count Act that Trump and his allies tried to exploit as part of their attempt to overturn the 2020 election results. The legislation would clearly define the role of states, presidential electors, and the vice president in a presidential election to prevent the events of Jan. 6, 2021, from happening again. A second bill would increase penalties for threatening or intimidating election officials, as well as clarify how the Post Service should handle mail-in ballots. The proposal, however, still needs to be approved by both chambers and will need at least 10 Republican senators to break a filibuster. (Washington Post / Politico / NBC News / New York Times / NPR / CNN)
2/ Trump called Wisconsin’s Republican house speaker “within the last week” and urged him to decertify Biden’s 2020 election win in that state. Robin Vos said he received a call from Trump after the state Supreme Court ruled that most absentee ballot drop boxes in Wisconsin are illegal. “He would like us to do something different in Wisconsin,” Vos said. “I explained it’s not allowed under the Constitution. He has a different opinion.” (CNBC / CNN / Washington Post)
3/ The Trump administration tried to add a citizenship question to the census to help Republicans win elections, not to protect people’s voting rights, according to a report issued by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. The documents, which include drafts of internal memos and secret email communications between political appointees at the Commerce Department, contradict statements made under oath by then-Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, who claimed that the Trump administration wanted to add the question to enforce the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and that the citizenship question was unrelated to congressional apportionment. The Supreme Court in June 2019, however, ruled that the rationale “appears to have been contrived,” and a week later Trump abandoned his effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. (Washington Post / NPR / New York Times)
4/ Rudy Giuliani was ordered to testify before a special grand jury in Georgia investigating efforts to overturn Trump’s 2020 electoral loss in the state. Giuliani was subpoenaed earlier this month as a “material witness” by the grand jury called to investigate any “coordinated attempts to unlawfully alter the outcome of the 2020 elections.” The subpoena said Giuliani falsely claimed that there had been “widespread voter fraud” in the state. A New York judge ordered Giuliani to testify Aug. 9 after he failed to appear at a July 13 hearing to challenge the subpoena. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution / New York Times / NBC News / CNBC)
5/ Biden called climate change an “emergency,” a “clear and present danger,” and an “existential threat” but stopped short of a formal climate emergency declaration, which would unlock federal resources to address climate change. Instead, Biden announced a set of executive actions to expand off-shore wind power generation and provide $2.3 billion in funding for climate disaster preparedness and projects like cooling stations in places facing extreme heat. Biden said he’ll announce additional executive actions in the coming weeks if Congress doesn’t act. (Bloomberg / CNBC / Reuters / Politico / NBC News / USA Today / Washington Post / ABC News)
6/ About 105 million people in 28 states – nearly a third of America – are currently living under heat advisories and excessive heat warnings. More than 200 million people in the U.S. will experience highs exceeding 90 degrees for the next three days. (Washington Post / New York Times / Wall Street Journal)
poll/ 36% of Americans approve of the job Biden is doing as president – his lowest approval rating since taking office. Last month, Biden’s job approval stood at 40%. The 4 percentage-point drop from June to July is attributable to a 9-point decline among Democrats. In June, 84% of Democrats said they approved of the job Biden was doing compared to 75% in July. Meanwhile, 5% of Republicans and 28% of independents approve of the job Biden is doing – unchanged from a month ago. (NPR)
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