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Speaker McCarthy (R-CA) decided the best way to deal with the far-right members of the Republican House conference who are adamant about their not caring if the government has to shutdown on Sunday at 12:01 a.m. is to yield to them. A strategy that’s unlikely to work—as much because of moderate Republicans as Senate and House Democrats.
The Senate, by a vote of 77-19 passed a short-term funding bill that would avert a shutdown on October 1st. The measure would fund the federal government until November 17th, while providing around $6.15 billion in funding for Ukraine and $5.99 billion in disaster assistance. Senate Majority Leader (D-NY) Schumer and Senate Minority Leader McConnell (R-KY) are more or less on the same page.
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McCarthy is refusing to bring the Senate’s continuing resolution to the House floor for a vote. He’s also indicated he doesn’t want to negotiate with Senate Majority Leader Schumer and has asked to negotiate directly with President Biden. For the moment, at least, the president isn’t going to humor the speaker—as it’s clear that McCarthy can neither speak for nor control his own members. So, any agreement he may make he’s unlikely to keep.
Speaker McCarthy has already shown that to be the case. He and Biden pinky-swore a deal on FY 24 budget levels as part of the debt ceiling negotiation and McCarthy chucked the agreement under pressure from hard-liners like Matt Gaetz (R-FL)—who keeps threatening to boot McCarthy from the speaker’s chair if he doesn’t yield to the demands of the House Freedom Caucus.
According to the Washington Post “Roughly 10 Republicans have dug in on their opposition to any short-term funding deal, blocking the House majority from delivering a bill chock full of their legislative priorities to the Democratic-led Senate in hopes of negotiating a more conservative solution to avoid a government shutdown.” Among the 10 are Representatives Gaetz (R-FL), Boebert (R-CO), Biggs (R-AZ) and Good (R-VA).
Representative Mike Lawler (R-NY) pretty well sums things up on the House side: “The American people elected a House Republican majority to serve as a check and balance and be able to govern. Some of my colleagues have, frankly, been stuck on stupid and refused to do what we were elected to do, against the vast majority of the conference, who have been working to avoid a shutdown.”
Stuck on stupid—couldn’t have said better myself. So, on to today’s ten.
Speaking of stupid. Donald Trump’s on the warpath against his mortal enemy again, and it made a big splash on social media. The former president raved during a campaign speech in South Carolina that “windmills” are driving whales “crazy.”
“Windmills are causing whales to die in numbers never seen before. Nobody does anything about that,” he claimed. (MSN)
Speaking of Lawler. Representative Lawler (R-NY) and other vulnerable Republicans have explored working with Democrats to keep the government open. A bipartisan group introduced a bill Wednesday to stave off a shutdown, though it faces steep hurdles to receive a vote on the floor without Mr. McCarthy’s support.
“I am ready to explore each and every option possible to make sure that we don’t shut this government down,” Representative Anthony D’Esposito, Republican of New York, said on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” on Wednesday. “Every option is on the table.” (New York Times)
Ford says maybe not. Ford has hit pause on building an electric vehicle battery plant in Michigan, adding fuel to the larger political and economic battle over President Joe Biden’s climate goals.
The $3.5 billion facility would be the first to manufacture next-gen lithium, iron and phosphate batteries on U.S. soil — a major boon for Biden’s twin goals of slashing planet-warming pollution and boosting domestic manufacturing. It would also employ some 2,500 unionized workers — a key feature for a labor-friendly president.
Ford’s decision to halt work on the plant comes as the United Auto Workers approaches week three of its strike against the company, along with General Motors and Stellantis. Auto workers are demanding higher wages to make up for years of employee concessions to management, amid a shift to EVs that threatens a long-term erosion of UAW jobs. (POLITICO)
Why did she do it? The House Oversight and Accountability Committee announced a probe Tuesday morning into a recent interstate trip by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm intended to promote electric vehicle (EV) adoption, during which departmental staff vehicles allegedly blocked off a charging station for her.
A letter to the Secretary specifically mentions an incident during the trip in which a staffer reportedly blocked off an EV charger in Georgia to reserve it for Granholm’s use. A family seeking to use the charger called the police during the episode, although blocking off a charger is not illegal under Georgia law. (The Hill)
Another shell game? Shell CEO Wael Sawan has come under pressure over his strategy from within the energy company after two employees issued a rare open letter urging him not to scale back investments in renewable energy, sparking an internal debate.
The open letter, posted earlier this month on Shell's internal web and seen by Reuters this week, comes after Sawan outlined at an investor day in June plans to slow investment in renewables and low-carbon business as part of a strategy to boost returns. (WION)
Striking out. President Joe Biden joined striking UAW workers on the picket lines in Detroit yesterday, where he echoed their calls for a 40 percent pay raise and urged them to “stick with it.”
“Companies were in trouble, now they're doing incredibly well,” Biden told union workers during the strike, referencing the 2009 government bailout of U.S. automakers. “And guess what? You should be doing incredibly well, too,” he told them. “Stick with it."
Asked if he supported the UAW’s demands for a 40 percent wage increase—commensurate with CEO pay raises over the past four years—Biden responded, "Yes. I think they should be able to bargain for that."
It is unclear what impact Biden’s remarks will have on the negotiations, or if they threaten to prolong the strikes further. (Washington Examiner)
Avoiding another disaster. Senate appropriators introduced last night legislative text of a continuing resolution to keep the government funded through Nov. 17, in hopes of staving off a government shutdown. And there’s money to keep the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s coffers from drying up – but not as much as the White House initially hoped for.
The proposed bill allocates about $6 billion in disaster aid for the agency – $10 billion short of what the White House had asked for back in August and September. FEMA is facing a shortfall of funds in a record-breaking year for natural disasters – and as a result, the agency has started to ration its monies, delaying the delivery of about $2.8 billion in grants, as reported by the Washington Post this morning. (Washington Examiner)
Roiling oil and markets. Russia announced last week it is temporarily banning nearly all exports of its diesel and gasoline products, further squeezing global markets.
Russia did not announce an end date to the export bans. A protracted ban on diesel exports could leave markets deeply undersupplied.
Russia is the largest seaborne exporter of diesel, just ahead of the U.S., and the ban could force buyers to find alternative sellers for the foreseeable future. (Washington Examiner)
Foxes in the chicken coup. Senior executives from the UAE’s national oil company are working with the Cop28 team as the country ramps up its PR campaign ahead of the major UN climate summit later this year, leaked internal records show.
Two PR professionals from the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) are identified as providing “additional support” to the team running the summit, according to a Cop28 communications strategy document obtained by the Centre for Climate Reporting (CCR) and the Guardian. It adds to growing evidence of blurred lines between the UAE’s Cop28 team and its fossil fuel industry.
In January, Adnoc’s chief executive, Sultan Al Jaber, who also serves as the UAE’s climate change special envoy, was announced as Cop28 president, which is being hosted in Dubai in November and December. Since then, multiple reports have raised concerns about ties between his two teams. The Cop28 team previously stated that there were “clear governance guidelines in place to ensure the team can operate entirely independently from any other entity” (The Guardian)
As if they didn’t have something else to do. Republicans will hold their first impeachment hearing against Joe Biden on Thursday, the latest step in a months-long effort investigating the president and his son Hunter’s business dealings that has yet to turn up substantial evidence of wrongdoing.
Republicans are plowing ahead anyway, in what seems to be a thinly veiled effort to try to muddy the waters as Donald Trump, who leads the Republican primary field, faces four different criminal cases. Thursday’s hearing, led by the House oversight committee, is titled The Basis for an Impeachment Inquiry. (The Guardian)
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