Day 574: "Never had a doubt."
1/ The Lower Colorado River Basin crossed an unprecedented water shortage threshold that will require mandatory water cuts. The Bureau of Reclamation declared a “Tier 2” water shortage, which will reduce the amount of water that Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico can draw from the Colorado River starting in 2023 by 21%, 8%, and 7%, respectively. It’s the second year in a row that Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico will face water cuts and the bureau called for water conservation measures through 2026 in all seven states in the Colorado River Basin. The historic drought has drained about three-quarters of the water from lakes Powell and Mead, threatening their ability to generate hydropower. (Washington Post / CNN / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / Associated Press)
2/ Biden signed the Democrats’ landmark climate change, health care, and tax bill into law. The Inflation Reduction Act will invest $370 billion into combating climate change and bolstering low-emission forms of energy, while raising about $700 billion through corporate tax increases, prescription drug savings, and stepped up tax evasion enforcement. “This bill is the biggest step forward on climate, ever,” Biden said. The bill, which represents America’s largest investment in fighting climate change, will help the U.S. cut greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 40% below 2005 levels by 2030. The package, however, falls far short of the $3.5 trillion package Biden initially laid out, with safety net items stripped out by Joe Manchin and tax increases blocked by Kyrsten Sinema. At one point during the signing ceremony, Biden glanced at Joe Manchin and quipped: “Joe, I never had a doubt.” (New York Times / Washington Post / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / CNN / ABC News / Associated Press)
3/ The Biden administration will cancel all remaining federal student loan debt for 208,000 students who attended the now-defunct for-profit ITT Technical Institute. The $3.9 billion in relief brings the total amount of loan discharges approved under Biden to nearly $32 billion. The Education Department found that ITT Tech engaged in widespread and pervasive misrepresentations, recruitment tactics, lending practices, and job placement figures. (CNN / CNBC)
4/ Jill Biden tested positive for Covid-19. She is experiencing “mild symptoms” but was prescribed a course of Paxlovid. (Politico / CNN / Associated Press)
5/ The Justice Department objected to releasing the affidavit used to justify the FBI search of Trump’s home, saying its release “would serve as a roadmap to the government’s ongoing investigation,” “compromise future investigative steps,” and “likely chill” cooperation with witnesses. “The fact that this investigation implicates highly classified materials further underscores the need to protect the integrity of the investigation and exacerbates the potential for harm if information is disclosed to the public prematurely or improperly,” DOJ officials wrote in response to a request by media organizations to unseal the supporting affidavit. The Justice Department, however, said it intends to unseal less sensitive information associated with the warrant. A federal judge in Florida will hear arguments Thursday over whether to make the affidavit public. (New York Times / Politico / Wall Street Journal / Washington Post / Associated Press / ABC News / CNBC / Bloomberg)
6/ The FBI interviewed Trump’s White House counsel and his deputy counsel about the classified documents stored at Mar-a-Lago. Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin are the most senior former Trump officials interviewed in the criminal investigation of possible mishandling of classified information and obstruction. The two were designated as Trump’s representatives to handle material requested by the National Archives under the Presidential Records Act. (New York Times / CNN / ABC News)
7/ The Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer is in talks with Manhattan prosecutors to plead guilty to more than a dozen tax-fraud counts. Allen Weisselberg, however, will not cooperate with the district attorney’s investigation into Trump. Weisselberg and the Trump Organization were charged as part of an “off the books” scheme over 15 years to help top officials in the Trump Organization avoid paying taxes. Weisselberg is expected to be sentenced to 5 months in jail as part of the plea. He faced up to 15 years in prison if convicted at trial. (New York Times / NBC News / Bloomberg / NPR)
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