Day 636: "A game changer."
1/ The Biden administration launched the online application for student loan forgiveness. The plan is expected to provide debt relief to as many as 43 million borrowers. “This is a game changer for millions of Americans,” Biden said. The application can be found at studentaid.gov, and qualifying borrowers have until Dec. 31. to fill out the online form to receive up to $20,000 in federal student debt cancelation. During a test of the Education Department’s student debt relief portal this weekend, more than 8 million Americans signed up to have some of their student loans forgiven. The Education Department holds $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. (CNN / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / Washington Post / CNBC / New York Times)
2/ The U.S. is forecast to “100%” enter a recession in the coming 12 months, according to a new economics model projections. The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates five times so far this year in an effort to bring down persistently high inflation, and is expected to again next month. While the chances of a recession within 12 months have reached 100% under the model, the odds of a recession within 11 months have also increased to 73% – up from 30%. The 10-month probability rose to 25% from 0%. In a separate survey, economists put the probability of a recession over the next 12 months at 63% – up from 49% in July’s survey. It’s the first time the probability has been above 50% since July 2020. The Biden administration, meanwhile, suggested that the U.S. is “better positioned than most other countries” to mitigate inflation, which rose 8.2% year-over-year in September. Bernie Sanders, however, accused the Fed of “hurting” the U.S., saying it’s “wrong” to deal with inflation by “lowering wages and increasing unemployment.” Regardless, Biden has repeatedly said the U.S. will avoid a recession, but any downturn would be “very slight.” [Editor’s note: Hey there, this is a friendly reminder that WTFJHT is free, but supported entirely by your financial contributions. So, if you find yourself relying on WTFJHT, please consider investing in the continued production of this newsletter/blog/podcast. Become a member today.] (Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / CNN / Politico / ABC News)
3/ The Trump Organization charged the Secret Service more than five times the recommended government rate for hotel stays at Trump properties while protecting the Trump family, according to the House Oversight Committee. The committee found that Trump’s company charged the Secret Service “exorbitant” and “excessive nightly rates on dozens of trips” – as high as $1,185 per night – despite claims by Eric Trump and the Trump Organization that federal employees traveling with him would stay at the properties “for free” or “at cost.” In total, U.S. taxpayers paid Trump’s company at least $1.4 million for Secret Service agents’ stays. (Washington Post / CNN / Politico / NBC News)
4/ The Justice Department asked a federal appeals court to end the special master review of documents seized during an FBI search of Trump’s Florida estate. In a filing to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, lawyers for the DOJ argued that the case didn’t present the “exceptional circumstances” necessary for a judge to interfere with a criminal investigation, and that Judge Aileen Cannon had “erred in ordering a special-master review” in the case. The appeals court ruled in Justice Department’s favor on a narrower issue in the case last month, allowing the department to resume using about 100 documents marked classified as part of its criminal investigation. (New York Times / Politico / NBC News / Bloomberg / CNN / Associated Press)
5/ The Jan. 6 committee asked the Secret Service for records of all contacts between its agents and members of the far-right Oath Keepers group prior to and on the day of the attack. During court testimony, members of the group, including leader Stewart Rhodes, claimed to be in contact with Secret Service agents prior to rallies for Trump after the 2020 election. Additionally, a Secret Service official confirmed that the agency’s protective intelligence division had reached out to the Oath Keepers in advance of protests in D.C. in November and December, as well as the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally. Members of the Oath Keepers are currently on trial for charges relating to the Capitol attack, including seditious conspiracy. (Washington Post / NBC News / CNN)
6/ The Justice Department recommended that Steve Bannon be sentenced to six months in jail and a $200,000 fine after he defied a subpoena to testify before the Jan. 6 committee. A jury found Bannon guilty in July on two misdemeanor counts of contempt of Congress for refusing to testify and provide documents to the committee. Bannon “has pursued a bad-faith strategy of defiance and contempt” from “the moment” he was served the subpoena, the Justice Department wrote in a sentencing memorandum. He is set to be sentenced Friday. He would be the first person to be incarcerated for contempt of Congress in more than a half-century. Trump, meanwhile, won’t say whether he’ll comply with the committee’s subpoena for testimony. (Politico / Washington Post / NPR / CNN / CNBC)
poll/ 49% of likely voters said they plan to vote a Republican in this year’s election for Congress. 45% said they planned to vote for a Democrat. The margin of error in this survey is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points. (New York Times)
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