Day 652: "The path to chaos."
1/ The Federal Reserve approved a fourth consecutive 0.75-point interest rate increase to combat inflation, despite concern about the risks of triggering a recession and putting millions out of work. The Fed has now raised rates six times this year, pushing its target range for the benchmark federal funds rate to between 3.75% and 4% – its highest level since Jan. 2008. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell added that the “ultimate level of interest rates will be higher than previously expected,” but that “at some point” it would be appropriate to slow the pace of increases. The Federal Open Market Committee said that “ongoing increases” will still be needed to bring rates to a level that are “sufficiently restrictive to return inflation to 2% over time.” (NBC News / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / Washington Post / New York Times / CNN / CNBC / ABC News / Associated Press)
2/ The Biden administration will provide $13.5 billion in funds to help low- and moderate-income Americans lower their energy costs this winter. The Department of Health and Human Services will provide $4.5 billion through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program to help cut heating costs, while the Energy Department will allocate $9 billion in Inflation Reduction Act funds for energy efficiency upgrades to 1.6 million low-income households. Last year, LIHEAP helped 5.3 million U.S. households with heating, cooling, and weatherization. (CNBC / ABC News / The Hill)
3/ A federal judge issued a restraining ordered against a group that’s been accused of “intimidation and harassment” of voters casting ballots at drop boxes in Arizona. U.S. District Court Judge Michael Liburdi said members of Clean Elections USA are barred from taking photos, filming, following, speaking to or yelling at anyone within 75 feet of a ballot drop box or the entrance to a building that houses one. The order also prohibits the group from “openly” carrying weapons or “visibly wear body armor” within 250 feet of drop boxes. Last week, the League of Women Voters sued the group, saying that its actions amounted to “time-tested methods of voter intimidation.” (NBC News / Associated Press / Washington Post / New York Times)
4/ Trump’s attorneys saw Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as their “only chance” for overturning the results of the 2020 election, according to emails disclosed to congressional investigators. “We want to frame things so that Thomas could be the one to issue some sort of stay or other circuit justice opinion saying Georgia is in legitimate doubt,” Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro wrote in a Dec. 31, 2020, email to Trump’s legal team. Chesebro argued that Thomas would “end up being key” to overturning then-President-elect Biden’s win, contending that Thomas would be “our only chance to get a favorable judicial opinion by Jan. 6, which might hold up the Georgia count in Congress.” Later that day, attorney John Eastman replied: “I think I agree with this.” The messages were part of a batch of eight emails that a federal judge in California ordered released to the Jan. 6 committee. (Politico / Washington Post / New York Times)
5/ The Jan. 6 committee is reportedly “in discussions” with Trump’s attorneys about him testifying under oath. Liz Cheney’s comments came after Trump’s team formally agreed to accept the committee’s subpoena seeking documents and testimony. The subpoena requires that Trump turn over documents by Friday, Nov. 4. He’s also required to appear for one or more days of deposition beginning around Nov. 14. Trump has reportedly told advisers he’d be open to a live appearance before the panel. Cheney, however, said “This is not a situation where the committee is going to put itself at the mercy of Donald Trump in terms of his efforts to create a circus.” (CNN / ABC News)
6/ Biden is set to deliver a speech tonight about the threats to American democracy by election deniers running for office “who seek to undermine faith in voting and democracy.” In prepared remarks, Biden plans to warn that candidates running for office who won’t commit to accepting the results of the elections are putting America on “the path to chaos.” The 7 p.m. ET speech comes six days before the Nov. 8 midterms – the first national election since the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. (Axios / CNN / New York Times / Bloomberg / ABC News)
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