1/ The bipartisan deal to suspend the debt ceiling and limit federal spending cleared a major procedural hurdle in the House. The House voted 241-187 to formally consider the debt ceiling bill. While setting the rules for debate is nearly always decided along party lines, Kevin McCarthy needed 52 votes from Democrats to offset 29 Republican “no” votes. A final vote on the debt ceiling is expected later Wednesday – days ahead of the June 5 default deadline. If approved, it would then move to the Senate, where conservatives could force days of debate. “I cannot stress enough that we have no margin – no margin – for error,” Chuck Schumer warned. “Either we proceed quickly and send this bipartisan agreement to the president’s desk or the federal government will default for the first time ever.” (New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / CNBC / CNN)

  • 💡 What are the consequences of default? A U.S. default would likely cause severe disruption to financial markets worldwide – including declines in the value of your retirement savings and other investments. A default could also result in a recession, which may lead to job losses, hiring freezes, and increased borrowing costs for the U.S. government. Higher interest payments on government debt potentially leads to increased budget deficits, which impact government spending.

2/ Federal prosecutors obtained an audio recording of Trump acknowledging that he held onto a classified document after leaving the White House. On the July 2021 recording, Trump indicates that he wanted to share the classified document about a potential attack on Iran but the attendees didn’t have sufficient security clearances. The meeting was with two people working on the autobiography of Mark Meadows. The recording suggests that Trump understood he retained classified material, contrary to his repeated claims that he could retain presidential records and “automatically” declassify documents. Special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation has focused on the meeting as part of the criminal investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents after leaving the White House. (CNN / New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Politico)

  • 💡 Why should I care? Government documents are classified to protect national security. Document classification ensures that sensitive information, like intelligence sources, defense strategies, diplomatic relations, and details about ongoing operations are safeguarded from unauthorized access or disclosure.

  • An employee at Mar-a-Lago was questioned by investigators about moving boxes of documents following a government request for surveillance footage. A Mar-a-Lago employee who was captured on video assisting a Trump aide in moving boxes on June 2, the day before classified material was collected in response to a subpoena, has been repeatedly questioned by investigators. In mid-July, authorities also scrutinized the employee’s involvement in a separate subpoena seeking security camera footage, as he allegedly had a conversation with an IT worker regarding camera functionality and data retention. The employee claimed innocence, stating that the conversation was unrelated to hiding information from authorities and that they were unaware of the investigation or subpoena at the time. (Washington Post)

3/ Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo signed legislation that protects access to abortion for out-of-state patients. The legislation codifies an existing executive order from the former governor, which banned Nevada officials and agencies from assisting with out-of-state investigations that could lead to the prosecution of people who travel to Nevada seeking abortion care. The bill also ensures that in-state medical boards, commissions, and licensing committees cannot discipline or disqualify physicians who provide abortion care. (Associated Press / NBC News / The Hill)

4/ The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that two state laws banning abortion are unconstitutional because they require a “medical emergency” before a doctor can perform an abortion. The court said the laws violated the Oklahoma Constitution, which provides an inherent right for a woman to terminate a pregnancy to save her own life. The ruling, however, will not restore full abortion access in the state because Oklahoma’s 1910 ban on abortion remains in effect, which made intentionally performing an abortion a felony unless “necessary to preserve her life.” (The Oklahoman / Politico / KOSU / The Hill)

5/ The woman who accused Biden of sexual assault during the 2020 presidential race defected to Russia. Tara Reade appeared at an event hosted by the Russian state news outlet Sputnik and said she will apply for Russian citizenship. “I feel really happy to be here, and I feel safe,” Reade said from Russia. Biden has strongly denied the allegation that he sexually assaulting Reade while she was working in his Senate office in 1993, saying the alleged assault “unequivocally, it never, never happened. It didn’t. It never happened.” Members of his Senate staff at the time said Reade never went to them with her claim of harassment. The event also featured convicted Russian agent Maria Butina, who promised to ask Putin “to fast track her citizenship request.” The White House declined to directly comment, saying: “I won’t attempt to speak for an aspiring Russian citizen, the convicted Russian spy who’s sponsoring her, or the foreign government with which she has chosen to align.” (CNN / NPR / CBS News / The Guardian / Insider)