Day 553: "Kind of wild."
1/ The Senate advanced a bill that would provide $52 billion in subsidies to domestic semiconductor manufacturers to boost U.S. competitiveness with China. The package, known as “CHIPS-plus,” would also invest billions in science and technology innovation, and provide grants, incentives and tax breaks to the sector. If the Senate passes the bill, as expected, it would then move to the House, where it also has the support needed for passage. (Washington Post / Bloomberg / CNBC)
2/ Biden is reportedly considering another extension to the student loan repayment pause, as well as forgiving $10,000 in student loan debt per borrower. The current moratorium on student loan payments expires Aug. 31, but the federal government’s student loan servicing contractors have been instructed to hold off on contacting borrowers about resuming payments. If the administration pushes back the pause on payments, it would be the seventh time the date has been rescheduled since March 2020. (Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / CNN)
3/ The U.S. leads in the most known monkeypox infections globally, reporting more than 3,400 confirmed or suspected cases. The Biden administration, meanwhile, is weighing whether to declare a public health emergency, and plans to name a White House coordinator to oversee the response. Almost 18,000 cases have been confirmed in nearly 70 countries, leading the WHO to declare monkeypox a global health emergency. (Wall Street Journal / Washington Post)
4/ Two top aides to Pence testified to a federal grand jury investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, and legal counsel Greg Jacob were subpoenaed in the Justice Department’s criminal investigation. Short is the highest-ranking White House official to testify for the panel. Mike Pompeo, separately, is tentatively scheduled to speak with the Jan. 6 committee in the coming days behind closed doors. (Wall Street Journal / New York Times / NBC News / CNN)
5/ Previously undisclosed emails show how the Trump campaign worked with outside lawyers and advisers to organize the fake elector plan to reverse Trump’s election defeat. Dozens of emails show the lawyers involved repeatedly used the word “fake” to refer to the alternative slates of electors and that the group even appointed a “point person” in seven states to help organize the fake electors. “Kind of wild/creative […] We would just be sending in ‘fake’ electoral votes to Pence so that ‘someone’ in Congress can make an objection when they start counting votes, and start arguing that the ‘fake’ votes should be counted,” Jack Wilenchik, a lawyer who helped organize the pro-Trump electors in Arizona, wrote in a Dec. 8, 2020, email to Boris Epshteyn, an adviser for the Trump campaign. In a follow-up email, Wilenchik added that “‘alternative’ votes is probably a better term than ‘fake’ votes.” The group also initially hoped to get Republican state legislatures or governors to join their scheme before Trump’s lawyers turned to pressuring Pence. (New York Times)
6/ A judge barred Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from investigating one of 16 “fake” Trump electors, because she hosted a campaign fundraiser for Burt Jones’ political opponent. Jones is the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor. A different prosecutor’s office, as selected by the state’s attorney general, will be responsible for investigating Jones, if one is warranted. (CNBC)
7/ The Justice Department urged a federal judge to reject efforts by leaders of the Oath Keepers to delay their September trial. Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and several other members of the group are facing seditious conspiracy charges for their roles in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. They asked a judge to postpone their trial, citing the publicity caused by the Jan. 6 committee’s recent hearings. (Politico)
8/ Attorney General Merrick Garland did not rule out prosecuting Trump. “We intend to hold everyone, anyone who was criminally responsible for the events surrounding Jan. 6, for any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another, accountable,” Garland said. “That’s what we do.” (NBC News)
poll/ 22% of New Hampshire residents have a favorable opinion of Biden – an all-time low. Biden also trails potential 2024 candidates in favorability, including Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Cory Booker. (Politico)
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