1/ The Senate passed the largest investment in U.S. history to counter climate change, putting the nation on a path to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40% below their 2005 levels by 2030. The Inflation Reduction Act would also lower health-care costs, reduce the federal deficit, and be paid for through new taxes – including a 15% minimum tax on large corporations and a 1% tax on stock buybacks – and funding to boost IRS tax law enforcement. “After more than a year of hard work, the Senate is making history,” Chuck Schumer said shortly before final passage. “This bill will kickstart the era of affordable clean energy in America, it’s a game changer, it’s a turning point and it’s been a long time coming.” Senate Democrats passed the $740 billion packaged on a 51-50 vote – with all Republicans voting no – after Harris cast the tie-breaking vote. Republican lawmakers, however, successfully stripped a $35 price cap on the cost of insulin for private insurers from the package. More than 1 in 5 insulin users on private medical insurance pay more than $35 per month for the medicine. The bill now heads to the House, which is expected to pass it later this week, and send it to Biden for his signature. (New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / NBC News / CNN / Wall Street Journal / USA Today / Reuters / Associated Press / NPR)
2/ Climate change could exacerbate 58% of known human infectious diseases. Researchers found that 218 out of the known 375 human infectious diseases were made worse by one of 10 types of extreme weather connected to climate change, such as warming, floods or drought. Flooding, for example, can spread hepatitis, while rising temperatures can expand the life of mosquitoes carrying malaria, and droughts can bring rodents infected with hantavirus into communities as they search for food. Nine pathogens were “exclusively diminished” by climatic hazards. (Ars Technica / ABC News / PBS NewsHour)
3/ Indiana is the first state to pass a near-total ban on abortion since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade. The law’s passage came three days after voters in Kansas rejected an amendment that would have stripped abortion rights protections from their State Constitution. The bill, which will go into effect Sept. 15, allows abortion only in cases of rape, incest, and lethal fetal anomalies. Doctors in the state who perform illegal abortions will lose their medical licenses. (NPR / New York Times / Washington Post)
4/ The Biden administration authorized a $1 billion package of ammunition, weapons, and equipment for Ukraine – the largest delivery of military aid yet. In total, the U.S. has committed $9.8 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began in late February. (Associated Press / Politico / CNBC)
5/ The Jan. 6 committee received about two years’ worth of Alex Jones’ text messages. The messages were handed over to the committee by Mark Bankston, the attorney who represented Sandy Hook parents who successfully sued Jones and won $45.2 million in a civil trial. The committee subpoenaed Jones in November, demanding a deposition and information related to his efforts to spread misinformation about the 2020 election and a rally on the day of the attack. (CNN)
6/ The FBI confirmed that it sent tips the agency had collected about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Trump White House without investigation. FBI Director Christopher Wray also confirmed that the Trump White House directed which witnesses the FBI was permitted to interview. In total, the FBI collected more than 4,500 tips during its investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh. (Vanity Fair / Esquire / Daily Beast)
poll/ 69% of Americans think the nation’s economy is getting worse – the highest level since 2008. 12% think the economy is getting better, while 18% think it is staying the same. (ABC News / Bloomberg)
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