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Biden’s clean electricity program could be dropped from spending bill, report says – as it happened

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Biden’s clean electricity program could be dropped from spending bill, report says – as it happened

Early Newspaper

01: 04

Summary

That’s all for today, thanks for following along. Some key links and developments from the day:

  • The White House issued a 40-page report warning that the climate crisis “poses serious and systemic risks to the US economy and financial system”.
  • The killing of the Conservative MP David Amess, who died after being stabbed several times at an open advice surgery for his constituents in Essex, has been declared a terrorist incident in the UK.
  • The Biden administration said it plans to reinstate the Trump-era border policy known as Remain in Mexico, which forced at least 70,000 asylum seekers to stay in Mexico, many in dangerous conditions, while they waited for their cases to be considered US courts.
  • A US Food and Drug Administration panel voted unanimously to recommend the authorization of a second dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine for people ages 18 and older at least two months after the first dose.
  • Biden conceded that the final version of his sweeping social policy and climate change initiative – often referred to as the $3.5tn reconciliation bill – would not be $3.5tn.
  • The select committee investigating the 6 January attack on the US Capitol will vote on Tuesday on whether to recommend that Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former strategist, face criminal contempt charges.
  • A major part of the Biden administration’s climate agenda will “likely be dropped” from the massive budget bill pending in Congress, according to a new New York Times report.
  • Biden said that people who refuse subpoenas from the House committee investigating the 6 January insurrection at the US Capitol should face prosecution.

Updated

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has not yet commented on the reports that the Biden administration is likely to drop the clean electricity program from the spending bill due to the senator’s opposition.

A Manchin spokesperson did not immediately respond to a Guardian’s inquiry Friday evening. The Biden administration declined to comment to the New York Times, which reported that the critical clean energy plan would “likely” be dropped because of Manchin’s position.

Earlier, the West Virginia senator tweeted a statement criticizing senator Bernie Sanders for calling on Manchin to support Biden’s $3.5tn bill:

Senator Joe Manchin
(@Sen_JoeManchin)

https://t.co/iU96GLGzsT pic.twitter.com/ly944dr2dE

October 15, 2021

If Manchin’s opposition does ultimately kill Biden’s clean electricity program, it would be a huge setback for the administration’s efforts to tackle the climate crisis. “He plans to gut Biden’s climate plan, and with it the chances for swift global progress,” tweeted Bill McKibben, the prominent environmentalist and Guardian contributor.

Bill McKibben
(@billmckibben)

He plans to gut Biden’s climate plan, and with it the chances for swift global progress.

This is high on the list of most consequential actions ever taken by an individual Senator; you’ll be able to see the impact of this vain man in the geologic record. https://t.co/6ReMn8ZGdp

October 15, 2021

Updated

Joe Biden said that people who refuse subpoenas from the House committee investigating the 6 January insurrection at the US Capitol should face prosecution, CNN reports.

Reporter Kaitlan Collin asked the president what his message was to those who have refused subpoenas. Biden responded:


I hope that the committee goes after them and holds them accountable.”

Asked whether he thinks they should face prosecution from the US justice department, Biden said, “I do, yes,” CNN reported.

Kaitlan Collins
(@kaitlancollins)

President Biden tells me he does think the Justice Department should prosecute those who defy congressional subpoenas related to Jan. 6. “I do, yes.”

October 15, 2021

Kaitlan Collins
(@kaitlancollins)

https://t.co/D57JompnNp

October 15, 2021

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, had declined to call for prosecutions when asked a similar question last week, CNN noted: “That would be up to the department of justice, and it would be their purview to determine. They’re an independent agency,” she said at the time.

Biden’s clean electricity program could be dropped from spending bill, report says

A major part of the Biden administration’s climate agenda will “likely be dropped” from the massive budget bill pending in Congress, according to a new New York Times report, citing Congressional staffers and lobbyists familiar with the matter.

Hiroko Tabuchi
(@HirokoTabuchi)

BREAKING: The heart of President Biden’s climate agenda is said to likely be cut from the budget bill because Senator Joe Manchin opposes it. @CoralMDavenport https://t.co/VPiv8F0TB5

October 15, 2021

The program that could be cut is an initiative to replace the nation’s coal- and gas-fired power plants with wind, solar and nuclear energy, the Times’s Coral Davenport reports.

Biden’s clean energy plan would swiftly cut planet-heating emissions and, estimates have suggested, save hundreds of thousands of lives from deadly air pollution. In August, Biden also set a goal for half of all new vehicle sales in the US to be electric by 2030, and tightened pollution standards for trucks and cars.

The Times reports that Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the centrist Democrat who has been opposing Biden’s agenda, has told the administration that he strongly opposes the clean electricity program. The White House is now rewriting a version of the legislation that excludes that climate provision, the paper says.

Manchin, the Times noted, has personal financial ties to the coal industry.

It’s unclear if Democrats would be able to push forward a clean electricity program as its own bill if it’s removed from the spending legislation.

Earlier today, the Biden administration released a 40-page report warning that the climate crisis “poses serious and systemic risks to the US economy and financial system”.

Asked about union workers striking across the US, Joe Biden offered a brief statement of general support, the AP reports:


My message is that they have a right to strike and they have the right to demand higher wages.”

Zeke Miller
(@ZekeJMiller)

On union workers striking across the country Biden says: “My message is that they have a right to strike and they have the right to demand higher wages.”

October 15, 2021

The US is currently seeing major strike efforts across industries in what could be the largest wave of labor unrest since a series of teacher strikes in 2018 and 2019, as my colleague Michael Sainato has reported.

More than 10,000 production and warehouse workers at 14 John Deere plants in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Colorado and Georgia walked off the job this week. Roughly 1,400 Kellogg’s workers at four US plants went on strike last week after their contracts expired.

And workers in Hollywood could go on strike on Monday if the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) does not reach a deal with the studios:

Los Angeles officials are shutting down a large public park today in an effort to remove homeless encampments from the area, reigniting bitter conflicts about the city’s worsening housing crisis.

MacArthur Park, in the city’s Westlake neighborhood, is one of many public spaces in LA that became a popular camping spot for unhoused Angelenos during the pandemic, drawing hundreds of campers.At the end of September, city leaders announced that the park would be closing for “maintenance” work, with officials giving unhoused residents until today at 10.30pm to vacate.

The closure, which officials say is temporary, follows the controversial clearing of an encampment in nearby Echo Park and comes as the city is struggling to grapple with a humanitarian crisis that has significantly worsened since the pandemic.

Sam Levin
(@SamTLevin)

LA pledges to provide shelter to all residents. But the city’s past park encampment closures have failed to connect most ppl to housing.

Of 183 people removed from Echo Park in March, only 4 are now in permanent housing.

“People are scattered and disappeared” –@ananyaUCLA

October 14, 2021

In March, the police department spent $2m over four days enforcing the closure of Echo Park. A county spokesman said this week that of the 183 people who were living in the park before its shutdown, only four people have been placed in permanent housing. The majority of the remaining residents are still in temporary housing, the county said.

Arizona senator Kyrsten Sinema, the centrist Democrat who has been blocking the Biden administration’s major economic package, has raised more campaign money in the last three months than in any quarter since she became senator, according to a new Politico report.

She raised $1.1 million with significant assistance from the pharmaceutical and financial industries, with executives and political action committees donating to her amid the negotiations over infrastructure and social safety net spending, the publication reported.

Sinema and Joe Manchin, the other centrist Democrat, have said they would not support a $3.5 trillion plan, and Sinema has objected prescription drug pricing proposals, the report noted. The Arizona senator received $27,800 from Pacs of pharmaceutical companies from July through September, Politico said.

Hailey Fuchs
(@Hailey_Fuchs)

NEW — Sinema raked in cash from pharma & finance PACs/executives amid reconciliation negotiations https://t.co/Ct9x551Ysu

October 15, 2021

For more on Sinema, here’s a recent profile from the Guardian’s Lauren Gambino:

The gunman who killed 14 students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in 2018 will plead guilty to their murders, his attorneys said today.

Attorneys for the 23-year-old shooter told a judge that he will plead guilty on Wednesday to 17 counts of first-degree murder, and the pleas will come with no conditions. Prosecutors are expected to seek the death penalty, which a jury will rule on, the AP reports. A trial date has not yet been scheduled. More from the AP:


Nikolas Cruz will also plead guilty to 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder. He was not initially present during the hearing, but later entered the Broward county courtroom to plead guilty to attacking a jail guard nine months after the shooting.

The trial has been delayed by the pandemic and arguments between the prosecution and defense over what evidence and testimony could be presented to the jury. Some victims’ families had expressed frustration over the delays, but the president of the group they formed expressed relief that the case now seems closer to resolution.

“We just hope the system gives him justice,” said Tony Montalto of Stand With Parkland. His 14-year-old daughter, Gina, died in the shooting.

The Guardian’s Gabrielle Canon has been reporting on the environmental impacts of the bottleneck plaguing the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, two of the nation’s busiest ports:

Dozens of behemoth cargo ships adorned with tall stacks of brightly colored containers still dot the coastline off southern California. Part of a shipping bottleneck plaguing US ports, the ships – their diesel-fueled engines always ablaze – are also pumping out pollutants as they idle, anchored off-shore.

The clogged supply chain has been described as an economic calamity as the delayed cargo caused shortages in common goods and drove consumer prices higher. But environmentalists and public health advocates are concerned it’s also turning into a climate catastrophe.

The container ships awaiting entry are compounding the levels of contaminants that have long come from the ports and that impact the local environment, coastal communities and ambitious carbon targets needed to curb the worst effects of climate change. With the holiday shopping frenzy just around the corner, there are now concerns the problem may get worse before it gets better.

Texas House passes anti-trans sports bill

The Texas House of Representatives passed a bill to ban transgender women and girls from participating in school sports, the latest in a series of anti-trans bills that Republicans have adopted in state legislatures across the US this year.

The bill is returning to the Texas Senate for a procedural approval, and Republican governor, Greg Abbott, is expected to sign the bill, Reuters reports.

Sports bills limiting the access of trans girls to teams have been passed this year in Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi and West Virginia. Bills that more broadly ban trans kids from playing on the teams that match their gender were signed into law in Alabama, Montana and Tennessee. Arkansas also passed a second sports-related law that creates an enforcement mechanism for its ban.

Idaho passed a similar sports ban last year, but the federal courts have blocked it.

In 2021, lawmakers proposed more than 100 anti-trans bills across 37 states, with a majority of the proposals focused on restricting trans children’s access to athletics and healthcare.

Our previous reporting on the sports bills:

Hi all – Sam Levin in Los Angeles here, taking over our live coverage for the rest of the day.

The Biden administration has said it plans to reinstate the controversial “Remain in Mexico” policy that has forced tens of thousands of asylum seekers to wait in Mexico before their cases are considered in the US. Biden had rescinded the policy when he took office, but a judge ordered his administration to reinstate it.

My colleague Amanda Holpuch has more detail:

In a court filing late on Friday, the US justice department said the program’s reinstatement depended on approval from the Mexican government, which is asking for the asylum cases to be settled in six months and for the US to ensure the people affected have timely and accurate information as well as better access to legal counsel. The program is expected to be back in effect in mid-November.

Donald Trump introduced Remain in Mexico in January 2019. From the beginning, advocates criticized the program because it put highly vulnerable migrants, mostly from Central and South America, at serious risk of physical harm and illness as they waited in some of the most dangerous cities in the world. It also fails to address the forces pushing people north to the US-Mexico border and the huge backlogs in US immigration courts.

Campaign group Human Rights Watch said in a January report about the policy that affected asylum seekers it interviewed, including children, “described rape or attempted rape and other sexual assault, abduction for ransom, extortion, armed robbery, and other crimes committed against them”.

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Biden’s clean electricity program could be dropped from spending bill, report says – as it happened