- A cloture vote on suspending the debt limit was postponed, so that Democrats could discuss Republican leader Mitch McConnell’s compromise offer to raise the debt ceiling into December. The proposal came after Joe Biden said it was “a real possibility” that Democrats would consider changing the filibuster rules in order to push through the debt limit vote and avoid a historic default.
- As Democrats debate the reconciliation bill, the tension between Bernie Sanders and Joe Manchin has been escalating. “Senator Sanders and I share very different policy and political beliefs. As he and I have discussed, Sen. Sanders believes America should be moving towards an entitlement society while I believe we should have a compassionate and rewarding society,” said moderate Machin, who is one of two senators standing in the way of Democrats’ plan to push through major social investments. Sanders held fast: “Is protecting working families and cutting child poverty an entitlement?”
- Meanwhile, the Biden administration has been stumping around the country to promote the president’s infrastructure and reconciliation package. The message: investing in both “human infrastructure” and actual infrastructure will lead to economic
growth and competitiveness in the job market.
- Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen will meet with the 6 January Select Committee, CNN reported. Haugen had alleged that the social network contributed to the deadly attack on the capitol. Post-election, “I don’t trust that they’re willing to actually invest what needs to be invested to keep Facebook from being dangerous,” she said.
– Vivian Ho and Maanvi Singh
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen will meet with the 6 January Select Committee, CNN reports:
Haugen had alleged that the social network contributed to the deadly attack on the capitol. Post-election, “I don’t trust that they’re willing to actually invest what needs to be invested to keep Facebook from being dangerous,” she said.
California’s governor Gavin Newsom has been busy signing a slew of bills, having defeated a Republican-backed effort to recall him.
He signed two bills banning a class of harmful “forever chemicals” called PFAS from baby products and from food packaging, making California one of the first states to take such steps. PFAS have been linked to reproductive issues and cancer.
“This law puts California in the lead for protecting children’s health,” Bill Allayaud, director of California government affairs for the nonprofit organization Environmental Working Group, said in a statement. “We applaud Gov. Newsom for giving parents confidence that the products they buy for their children are free from toxic PFAS.”
Newsom also signed a bill that would thwart the use of environmental lawsuits to block needle exchange programs.
As Democrats debate the reconciliation bill, the tension between Bernie Sanders and Joe Manchin has been escalating.
Manchin: “Senator Sanders and I share very different policy and political beliefs. As he and I have discussed, Sen. Sanders believes America should be moving towards an entitlement society while I believe we should have a compassionate and rewarding society”
Sanders: “Is protecting working families and cutting child poverty an entitlement?”
Progressives have said that focusing on the topline numbers of the reconciliation bill – which would fund the major social reforms that encompassed Joe Biden’s presidential platform – mischaracterizes its significance.
At least four Black women and girls were murdered per day in the US last year
A least four Black women and girls were murdered per day in the United States in 2020, according to statistics released by the FBI last week, a sharp increase compared with the year before.
The FBI recorded at least 405 additional murders of Black women and girls last year as homicide surged across the country, and experts caution that even that stark number probably represents an undercount.
To families of victims and local activists, the release of the data is just the latest reminder that violence against Black women and girls often goes ignored, and should be made a more urgent public priority.
“What’s sad is that a lot of cases aren’t taken too seriously. It’s just another Black girl,” said Jennifer Redmond, whose 19-year-old daughter Sarayah Jade was killed last September.
Sarayah Jade was sitting in a Sacramento, California, apartment with friends when someone started shooting through the windows and walls. She tried to dodge the bullets but was hit, and later died at the hospital.
Since her death, Sarayah’s parents and siblings have fought to keep focus on her loss. They have held marches and passed out flyers, and have urged police to keep investigating the case.
“For them to get recognized, we the parents have to go out there, make the noise, let people know, ‘Hey, this is what’s going on. Pay attention,’” Redmond told the Guardian.
Today so far
- The cloture vote on suspending the debt limit – which Republicans said they planned on using the filibuster to block once again – was postponed in the Senate today after minority leader Mitch McConnell came in with a proposal for a short-term, fixed-amount raise to the debt limit as well as an offer for an expedited budget reconciliation process.
- McConnell’s proposal came after Joe Biden told reporters that it was “a real possibility” that Democrats would consider changing the filibuster rules. That option did not have the support of everyone in the caucus – centrist Joe Manchin said today that his stance on reforming the filibuster still has not changed – but it got a different response out of McConnell and led to the postponement of the vote.
- The White House still believes that the simplest route would be for the Republicans to stop using the filibuster to block the Democrats. Leaders on the hill are still in meetings, however, on their next move, but so far most are agreed that no one wants to go the route of budget reconciliation.
However, Joe Biden faced some criticism for being willing to take on the filibuster when it came to the debt limit – but not for voting rights.
A reporter asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki for some clarification on the comments that Joe Biden made last night on changing the rules of filibuster as a way to bypass the Republicans and raise the debt limit. “It’s a real possibility,” he said, after a summer of opposing ending the filibuster.
“The president was just simply conveying that there are a range of offers that leaders on the hill are discussing,” Psaki said.
Biden’s about-face on the filibuster was a bit of a bluff, seeing as the Democrats. would require a majority in the Senate to change any of the rules of the filibuster. Centrists Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have always opposed filibuster reform, and Manchin said today that his stance has not changed.
But some believe the bluff was enough to make minority leader Mitch McConnell blink and offer up his short-term, fixed-amount proposal to the debt limit.
With senators still meeting on Capitol Hill and White House press secretary Jen Psaki fielding questions at the press briefing, there seem to be a variety of different answers coming out regarding what the Democrats are going to do about Mitch McConnell and his short-term, fixed-amount raise to the debt limit proposal.
White House on debt limit: “We could get this done today”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki took to the podium at today’s press briefing to address the proposal floated by senate minority leader Mitch McConnell earlier regarding the debt limit.
“The scant details that have been reported present even more complicated, more difficult options than the one that is quite obvious in the president’s view and is in front of the faces of every member of the Hill,” Psaki said.
“We could get this done today. We don’t need to kick the can. We don’t need to go through a cumbersome process that every day brings additional risks.”
To recap: the US is barreling toward economic catastrophe with an 18 October deadline approaching on the federal debt limit. Democrats have twice attempted to raise the debt limit but both times, Republicans have blocked their efforts, using the filibuster to prevent Democrats from bypassing their objections with a mere majority vote.
Republicans wanted Democrats to go forward on raising the debt limit through a very complicated and lengthy budget reconciliation process. Democrats did not want this, in part because they want Republicans to take responsibility for the $8tn in debt that they incurred under the Trump administration, but also because Congress can only use budget reconciliation three times a year. The Biden administration obviously has some loaded legislation (the reconciliation bill and the voting rights For the People Act) before them that they need to save this for – they already had gone through budget reconciliation once before for the Covid bill.
It was from here that the Democrats began talking about the filibuster and looking at changing filibuster rules to bypass the Republicans and raise the debt limit. Within hours, McConnell offered an alternative to a promised “expedited” budget reconciliation process: a short-term, fixed-amount raise to the debt limit to December.
Democrats are still in meetings to about this proposal. “My understanding is that there has been no formal offer made,” Psaki said. “A press release is not a formal offer.”
Reuters is now reporting that Republicans leaving the Senate are saying that today’s vote to suspend the debt limit has now been postponed. More to come.
We have more reaction coming in to Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and his proposal for a short-term, fixed-amount raise of the debt limit to December, or an expedited budget reconciliation.
Senator Mazie Hirono had strong words for minority leader Mitch McConnell and his new offer for a short-term raise on the debt limit:
McConnell to offer short-term raise on debt limit
As we head into the Senate cloture vote to raise the debt limit – yes, the one Republicans have said repeatedly they plan to block yet again with a filibuster – minority leader Mitch McConnell is still refusing to budge on that.
But now he is offering a short-term raise in the debt ceiling to put off defaulting by a few months – it’s this short-term extension, or his old stance of raising the debt limit through budget reconciliation.
“We have already made it clear we would assist in expediting the 304 reconciliation process for standalone debt limit legislation,” McConnell said. “To protect the American people from a near-term Democrat-created crisis, we will also allow Democrats to use normal procedures to pass an emergency debt limit extension at a fixed dollar amount to cover current spending levels into December. This will moot Democrats’ excuses about the time crunch they created and give the unified Democratic government more than enough time to pass standalone debt limit legislation through reconciliation.”
Reminder that both Joe Biden and majority leader Chuck Schumer are against going the reconciliation route, not just because they want Republicans to take responsibility for the $8tn in debt that they incurred under the Trump administration, but because the process is complicated and lengthy and there’s a chance that it won’t finish before the 18 October deadline.
It appears though that should Democrats go the budget reconciliation route, McConnell is promising an expedited path.
Donald Trump’s former press secretary Stephanie Grisham did not vote for him in the 2020 election, she has revealed.
Grisham, who also worked as the White House’s east wing communications director and chief of staff to Melania Trump, said that she wished there was a different Republican candidate to vote for in last year’s elections.
“Did you vote for Donald Trump in 2020?” CNN’s Jake Tapper asked her yesterday. “I did not,” Grisham said, adding that she filled in a different candidate but declined to reveal the person’s identity.
Grisham, who this released I’ll Take Your Questions Now, a widely-trailed book about White House gossip and scandal during the chaotic Trump administration, has also warned of a potential re-run by the former president in 2024.
“He’s on his revenge tour, for people who dared to vote for impeachment,” she told ABC’s Good Morning America on Monday. “And I want to just warn people that once he takes office if he were to win, he doesn’t have to worry about re-election any more. He will be about revenge, he will probably have some pretty draconian policies.”
Grisham’s recent media appearances have received widespread attention, including criticism, particularly towards her prior favorable position towards the Trump administration.
Don Winslow, an American author and political activist, tweeted on Wednesday, “Stephanie Grisham loved working with Donald Trump. She was honored to do so,” referring to a previous tweet made by Grisham on January 6, the day of the insurrection at the US Capitol by extremist Trump supporters, at the urging of the outgoing president, in which she praised the administration.
“Why are the press allowing her to rewrite history?”, Winslow added.
Wajahat Ali, a Daily Beast columnist, also condemned Grisham, tweeting: “So we have rehabilitated Stephanie Grisham who was part and parcel of Trump’s grift and attack on democracy and did nothing to stop it and is now profiting off it? Good good. They all fall up in DC.”