D.C. Memo: Surprise deal on key Democratic legislation, Justice Department turns up heat on Trump and Phillips says no to Biden in 2024


WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced this week that he had made a deal to meet with West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin. Manchin has been a long-standing opponent of the massive spending bill at the heart of President Biden’s economic agenda.

The deal on a reduced spending package will help lower healthcare costs, combat climate change, and reduce the federal debt. The Inflation Reduction Act 2022 (or $433 billion) would provide tax credits to the United States. It is hoped that the credits will lower energy costs, increase clean electricity production, and reduce carbon emissions by approximately 40% by 2030.

Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn) was shocked by the news.

“Holy shit. Shortly after Wednesday’s announcement, the senator tweeted “Holy shit.” “$370B climate and energy, 40% reduction in emissions by 2030,” he tweeted.

Smith had been pushing for several provisions in the electricity utility sector. These included a 10-year extension for tax credits for wind, biofuels, and other green technologies. Smith sponsored another measure to promote rural installation of wind turbines and solar panels. The legislation also includes a new program to guarantee tribal energy loans that will help them establish clean energy.

This agreement would also allow Medicare to negotiate certain drug prices for the first-time. It also includes a $2,000 annual limit for seniors on their out-of pocket spending for prescription drugs.

The package would also extend the federal tax credits that were established during the pandemic to lower health insurance costs for approximately 13 million Americans, including 44,000 Minnesotans. These individuals would have experienced premium increases next year if they had not received congressional action. Plans purchased through Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges such as MNsure would have been affected.

The legislation is opposed by all Senate Republicans, but they won’t have the power to stop it using the filibuster. The process of budget reconciliation will allow the package to be considered. This would only require 50 votes and the approval of Vice President Kamala Harris.

Schumer stated that he expected to vote on the package next Wednesday. The U.S. House could return to the vote on the legislation, although it will be in August recess.

Justice Dept. Trump probe is intensified

The revelations by Justice Department prosecutors that they have been directly asking witnesses about the involvement of former President Trump in attempts to reverse his election loss in Washington DC this week also rocked the capital.

The Justice Department has begun its independent investigation into Trump’s involvement in the attempt to reverse the 2020 election win by Joe Biden. This is instead of waiting for the U.S. House special Jan. 6 committee to make a recommendation.

According to these reports, Marc Short, former Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, was subpoenaed by the Justice Department and interview. Greg Jacob is also being interviewed. Both men were present at key meetings that took place weeks before the attack on the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, which was meant to disrupt the certification of Biden’s electoral win.

Trump could be facing criminal charges by the Justice Department. In the country’s past, no former president has been charged with any crime. Although Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon were both accused of wrongdoings, successive administrations decided it was better to grant immunity than forgo prosecution.

Democrat Phillips said that he does not believe Biden should run for reelection

On Thursday, Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips stated that he doesn’t think President Joe Biden should run in 2024 and prefers to see a younger, more dynamic Democrat at the top.

Phillips, who is the representative of Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District was asked if he would vote for Biden in 2024 during an interview on Chad Hartman’s radio show on WCCO/AM.

Phillips said, “No, I think the country would benefit from a new generation compelling, well-prepared and dynamic Democrats who step up.”

Phillips stated that he has respect for Biden’s accomplishments and showed it to him.

Phillips, 53 years old, said that Biden would turn 80 in 2024, and that the other Democrats in Congress agree with him.

Phillips stated, “I believe it’s time to a generational shift.” Phillips said, “And I believe most of my coworkers agree with that.”

For months, there has been a whisper campaign among Democrats for someone else to be their party’s nominee. Ron DeSantis will be the Republican candidate. Few have spoken out about their preferences or stated that they don’t support the party’s standard bearer.

Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) stated last month that he didn’t know if he would vote for Biden.

Malinowksi stated that he didn’t know who was running or if he would be running in 2024.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who agreed to support a legislative agreement that would greatly advance Biden’s economic agenda on Thursday, said he hadn’t decided whether he’d support Biden for another term.

A CNN poll released Wednesday revealed that 75% of Democratic and Democratic leaning voters want their party’s nominee to be someone other than Biden for the 2024 election. This is a significant increase on the results of a similar survey earlier in the year.

The president’s approval ratings are low, and most Americans believe that the country is heading in the wrong direction. This has led to dissatisfaction from the Democrats. The inflation rate remains high, while consumer confidence is continuing to fall and the pandemic persists.

Phillips, like all U.S. House Members, is up for reelection in this year’s election, and will be challenged by Republican Tom Weiler.

Analysts call the 3 rd District “safe Democratic”, and Phillips easily beat Republican rivals in his first and second races to represent the district. However, Democrats are currently on the defensive during this campaign season.

Many Democrats from “safe” districts are wary of Biden’s popularity and the historic losses that the party suffered in the midterms.

School is not a shame

Although it’s too early to start back-to school planning, Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Rep. Ilhanomar (D-5 th) have introduced the No Shame at School Act. This would ban public schools from shamelessly shaming students who cannot pay for school meals or have outstanding debt.

The legislation would require schools and colleges to verify that a child has not paid any meal fees. It would also allow the federal government to reimburse meals for as long as 90 days.

Smith stated in a statement that “Everybody knows that you can’t learn and perform well if you are hungry.” We must support students across the country, including Minnesota, by making sure that they don’t feel ashamed because they can’t pay for lunch.

Omar, a Somali refugee as a child, lived in Kenyan camps for four years. She said that she experienced real hunger there.

Whom should I believe?

This week, Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader, told donors that the bill sponsored this week by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), which aims to curb big tech, are a “priority”, but do not have the votes necessary to pass.

To overcome the expected GOP filibuster, sixty votes are required.

Klobuchar claims there is bipartisan support for her legislation and has the votes to approve it. This bill aims to equalize the playing field between Apple, Google and Microsoft. Klobuchar’s bill, called the American Choice and Innovation Online Act (or ACT), would prohibit companies from “self-preferring” their products in search results. Klobuchar, referring to Schumer, stated in a statement that he was promised a vote on the bill and that he believed him.

Klobuchar stated that there is growing momentum and support for the bill to be passed despite the fact the companies having spent a terrible amount of money lobbying and on TV ads spreading false information.

The tech giants spent millions trying to stop Klobuchar from passing legislation .

Bills to fund the police force were dropped

Angie Craig (D-2 nd) and Dean Phillips (D-3 rd) have asked House leaders to vote for a package of policing legislation, which includes two that are sponsored by Josh Gottheimer, D.N.J., or Abigail Spanberger.

These bills would provide more federal funding to local police departments for investment in mental health response team investments, as well as other measures that aim at reducing violence in the community.

To protect some of the most vulnerable members of the party from GOP attacks on Democrats’ softness on crime, the Democratic House leaders agreed to hold vote on the bills. The House leadership pulled the bills from consideration because of opposition from Democratic progressives, members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and others who desired more accountability and benchmarks for programs being funded.

Craig stated to MinnPost that she was disappointed that there wasn’t a vote on the policing legislation before the House adjourned for the August recess at the end of the week.

House Majority Leader StenyHoyer, D.Md., stated to reporters that he would give more time for negotiations on more accountability measures and other provisions within the policing bills in an effort to unify the divided Democrats on this topic.

Craig stated, “I believe we can get [the policing bills] across the finish line.”

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