Democrats prepare for showdown over key spending and climate bill – as it happened US politics

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  • Senate Democrats are working to face off on the reconciliation bill – officially known as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Moderate Democratic senator Joe Manchin made the rounds on all the talk shows touting the $740bn legislative package that the senate parliamentarian will go over later this week.
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  • Meanwhile, John Cornyn, the Republican senator from Texas, tested positive for Covid-19. He vowed to continue fighting the reconciliation bill while in quarantine.
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  • Joe Biden also remains in quarantine after testing positive again for Covid-19. Though his physician reports that he has minimal symptoms, he still continues to test positive, as expected.
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  • House speaker Nancy Pelosi is in Asia and multiple news outlets are reporting that she will be including Taiwan in her itinerary. It would mark the first visit to Taiwan by a house speaker in a quarter of a century, but the White House spent the press briefing talking it down as not a big deal. “The speaker has the right to visit Taiwan, and the speaker of the House as visited Taiwan before, without any incident, as have many members of Congress, including this year,” said White House national security spokesman John Kirby. Kirby said if Pelosi does choose to visit Taiwan, her decision would have no standing on the US stance on the One China Policy that does not support Taiwan’s independence.
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  • Kirby had strong words for China’s threats that its military would “not sit idly by” if the visit happened. “There is no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit consistent with long-standing US policy into some kind of crisis or conflict or use it as a pretext to increase aggressive military activity in or around the Taiwan strait,” he said.
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  • The Biden administration will authorize today a $550m security assistance package for Ukraine, bringing the total aid to $8bn.
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    While House speaker Nancy Pelosi “has not confirmed any travel plans” regarding a decision to visit Taiwan on her trip to Asia, “we have been clear from the very beginning that she will make her own decisions and that Congress is an independent branch of government,” said White House national security spokesman John Kirby

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    “Our Constitution embeds a separation of powers,” Kirby said. “This is well known to the (People’s Republic of China), given our more than four decades of diplomatic relations. The speaker has the right to visit Taiwan, and the speaker of the House as visited Taiwan before, without any incident, as have many members of Congress, including this year.”

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    Pelosi visiting Taiwan on this trip won’t change anything, Kirby said.

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    “Nothing has changed about our One China Policy,” Kirby said. “We have repeatedly said that we oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side. We do not support Taiwan independence and that we expect cross-strait differences to be resolved by peaceful means.”

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    Kirby had strong words for China’s threats that its military would “not sit idly by” if the visit happened. Even before Pelosi arrived in the region, China conducted a live-fire exercise, and Kirby said that China appears to be positioning itself to potentiallhy take further steps in the coming days, be they military provocations, air or naval activities or military exercises.

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    “There is no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit consistent with long-standing US policy into some kind of crisis or conflict or use it as a pretext to increase aggressive military activity in or around the Taiwan strait,” he said.

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    “We will not take the bait or engage in sabre rattling. At the same time, we will not be intimidated. We will keep operating in the seas and the skies in the western Pacific, as we have for decades. We will continue to support cross-strait peace, stability, support Taiwan, defend a free and open Indo-Pacific, and we’re still going to seek to maintain lines of communication with Beijing. All of that is important and all of that is preserving the status quo.”

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    White House national security spokesman John Kirby kicked off today’s press briefing by celebrating the first ship to successfully leave the port of Odessa in Ukraine carrying agricultural exports and announcing a $550m security assistance package for Ukraine.

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    The ship was allowed out under a recent deal brokered between the United Nations, Turkey, Ukraine and Russia to allow for Ukraine, Europe’s breadbasket, to export some of its agricultural products as a way to ease the world’s food insecurity crisis. Previously, Russia had a blockade on Ukraine’s ports since the start of its invasion. .

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    “We urge Russia to meet its commitments under this new arrangement, including by facilitating unimpeded exports of agriculture products from Black Sea ports in order to ease the food insecurity around the world,” Kirby said. “We will be watching that closely.”

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    The $550m security assistance package stems from the president’s drawdown authority, bringing the total to $8bn that Joe Biden has drawn down for Ukraine since the Russia invasion began, Kirby said.

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    Cornyn will be quarantining during a very crucial week for Senate Democrats. They want to pass the reconciliation bill – officially known as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 – and once it gets past the senate parliamentarian, they need just a narrow majority to do so.

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    Antony Blinken, secretary of state, said at global nonproliferation discussions at the United Nations today that a return to the 2015 nuclear deal remains the best outcome for the United States, Iran and the world.

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    Blinken’s statements came after Joe Biden said that the US was ready to outline a new nuclear arms deal with Russia and called on Moscow to demonstrate its ability to negotiate in good faith at the talks that began on Monday.

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urges return to 2015 nuclear deal”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Mon 1 Aug 2022 16.16 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Mon 1 Aug 2022 09.20 EDT”},{“id”:”62e7c7028f08af33ff4a50ec”,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

    Greetings, live blog readers. Happy Monday. Let’s see what we have in store today.

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    We start the week off with Joe Biden in quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19 again and the House in recess – and Senate Democrats moving forward with the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, aka, the reconciliation bill.

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    This is the $740bn legislative package that Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer and moderate Democratic senator Joe Manchin have agreed upon. The hefty bill seeks to enact deficit reduction to fight inflation, lower energy costs, reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40% by 2030 and allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, among other things.

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    The process of reconciliation is essentially a way for Congress to enact legislation on taxes, spending and the debt limit with only a majority in the Senate. It’s a way to avoid the threat of a filibuster, a tactic requiring a 60-vote majority that Senate Republicans in this particular Congress have used time and time again to stymy the Biden legislative agenda.

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    Reconciliation is not without its own difficulties, however. This week, Senate Democrats must meet with the Senate parliamentarian, who will parse through the text of the bill to make sure it meets all the rules of what’s allowed within the scope of reconciliation.

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    Politico is also reporting that it’s unclear if the Democrats may even have everyone on board when it comes to a majority vote. Kyrsten Sinema, the other moderate Democratic senator who has been complicating matters for the White House, was purportedly caught unaware by the announcement of the bill.

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    “Kyrsten Sinema is a friend of mine, and we work very close together. She has a tremendous, tremendous input in this legislation,” Manchin said on Meet The Press.

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    More to come.

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    Key events

    Summary

    • Senate Democrats are working to face off on the reconciliation bill – officially known as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Moderate Democratic senator Joe Manchin made the rounds on all the talk shows touting the $740bn legislative package that the senate parliamentarian will go over later this week.
    • Meanwhile, John Cornyn, the Republican senator from Texastested positive for Covid-19. He vowed to continue fighting the reconciliation bill while in quarantine.
    • Joe Biden also remains in quarantine after testing positive again for Covid-19. Although his physician reports that he has minimal symptoms, he still continues to test positiveas expected.
    • house speaker Nancy Pelosi is in Asia and multiple news outlets are reporting that she will be included Taiwan in her itinerary. It would mark the first visit to Taiwan by a house speaker in a quarter of a century, but the White House spent the press briefing talking it down as not a big deal. “The speaker has the right to visit Taiwan, and the speaker of the House as visited Taiwan before, without any incident, as have many members of Congressincluding this year,” said White House national security spokesperson John Kirby. Kirby said if Pelosi does choose to visit Taiwan, her decision would have no standing on the US stance on it One China Policy that does not support Taiwan’s independence.
    • Kirby had strong words for China’s threats that its military would “not sit idly by” if the visit happened. “There is no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit consistent with long-standing US policy into some kind of crisis or conflict or use it as a pretext to increase aggressive military activity in or around the Taiwan strait,” he said.
    • The Biden administration will authorize today a $550m security assistance package for Ukrainebringing the total aid to $8bn.

    Guy Reffittthe first of the horde of Donald Trump supporters who stormed the US Capitol on 6 January 2021 to be convicted, has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison.

    🚨 SENTENCE: U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich orders Guy Reffitt to serve 87 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. Warns if he violates terms she will send him back to prison for up to maximum term. $2,000 in restitution. pic.twitter.com/IGZjxFqoXb

    — Jordan Fischer (@JordanOnRecord) August 1, 2022

    n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/JordanOnRecord/status/1554193530427408384?s=20&t=Uw91dOgOV8icoGmbjEG9Ig”,”id”:”1554193530427408384″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”317d06be-a668-4361-85f6-236b9c4f3182″}}”>

    🚨 SENTENCE: US District Judge Dabney Friedrich orders Guy Reffitt to serve 87 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. Warns if he violates terms she will send him back to prison for up to maximum term. $2,000 in restitution. pic.twitter.com/IGZjxFqoXb

    — Jordan Fischer (@JordanOnRecord) August 1, 2022

    While it is the harshest sentence for any of the individuals involved in the attack on the US Capitol, it is considerably less than the 15 years the justice department had sought with the terrorism enhancement.

    JUST NOW: Judge Friedrich DENIES prosecutors' request to impose a terrorism enhancement and other upward departures at the sentencing of Guy Reffitt. His recommended sentencing range will be 87-108 months in prison.

    — Jordan Fischer (@JordanOnRecord) August 1, 2022

    n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/JordanOnRecord/status/1554139260831293441?s=20&t=Uw91dOgOV8icoGmbjEG9Ig”,”id”:”1554139260831293441″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”1b82d3d1-c040-49ad-876b-f1899cb12e92″}}”>

    JUST NOW: Judge Friedrich DENIES prosecutors’ request to impose a terrorism enhancement and other upward departures at the sentencing of Guy Reffitt. His recommended sentencing range will be 87-108 months in prison.

    — Jordan Fischer (@JordanOnRecord) August 1, 2022

    Senators Tim Kaine and Kyrsten SinemaDemocrats – joined with Republicans Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski to introduce the Reproductive Freedom for All Act today, legislation to codify Roe v. Wadewhich was recently overturned by the supreme court

    Senate Democrats Kaine & Sinema and Republicans Collins & Murkowski introduced the Reproductive Freedom For All Act today,bipartisan legislation to codify the Roe v. Wade decision recently overturned by the Supreme Court. House passed their version of the bill earlier this month. https://t.co/EIRl7ChQMP

    — Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) August 1, 2022

    n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/CraigCaplan/status/1554187284949393413?s=20&t=pN0PW1H8mZMv9KY4gWUxzw”,”id”:”1554187284949393413″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”bcb56f90-15d3-4ea7-9e85-5efc91df6612″}}”>

    Senate Democrats Kaine & Sinema and Republicans Collins & Murkowski introduced the Reproductive Freedom For All Act today, bipartisan legislation to codify the Roe v. Wade decision recently overturned by the Supreme Court. House passed their version of the bill earlier this month. https://t.co/EIRl7ChQMP

    — Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) August 1, 2022

    All close contacts Joe Biden had when he tested positive for Covid-19 have tEsted negativesaid White Housee press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

    He is not experiencing any reoccurring symptoms. “He’s feeling fine,” Jean-Pierre said.

    “There’s no reason for this to escalate,” White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said of House speaker Nancy Pelosi and her purported Taiwan trip.

    White House: Pelosi ‘has not confirmed any travel plans’ regarding Taiwan

    While House speaker Nancy Pelosi “has not confirmed any travel plans” regarding a decision to visit Taiwan on her trip to Asia, “we have been clear from the very beginning that she will make her own decisions and that Congress is an independent branch of government,” said White House national security spokesperson John Kirby

    “Our Constitution embeds a separation of powers,” Kirby said. “This is well known to the (People’s Republic of China), given our more than four decades of diplomatic relations. The speaker has the right to visit Taiwan, and the speaker of the House as visited Taiwan before, without any incident, as have many members of Congressincluding this year.”

    Pelosi visiting Taiwan on this trip won’t change anything, Kirby said.

    “Nothing has changed about us One China Policy,” Kirby said. “We have repeatedly said that we oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side. We do not support Taiwan independence and that we expect cross-strait differences to be resolved by peaceful means.”

    Kirby had strong words for China’s threats that its military would “not sit idly by” if the visit happened. Even before Pelosi arrived in the region, China conducted a live-fire exercise, and Kirby said that China appears to be positioning itself to potentially take further steps in the coming days, be they military provocations, air or naval activities or military exercises.

    “There is no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit consistent with long-standing US policy into some kind of crisis or conflict or use it as a pretext to increase aggressive military activity in or around the Taiwan strait,” he said.

    “We will not take the bait or engage in saber rattling. At the same time, we will not be intimidated. We will keep operating in the seas and the skies in the western Pacific, as we have for decades. We will continue to support cross-strait peace, stability, support Taiwan, defend a free and open Indo-Pacific, and we’re still going to seek to maintain lines of communication with Beijing. All of that is important and all of that is preserving the status quo.”

    Biden to authorize $550m security assistance package to Ukraine

    White House national security spokesperson John Kirby kicked off today’s press briefing by celebrating the first ship to successfully leave the port of Odesa in Ukraine carrying agricultural exports and announcing a $550m security assistance package for Ukraine.

    The ship was allowed out under a recent deal brokered between the United Nations, TurkeyUkraine and Russia to allow for Ukraine, Europe’s breadbasket, to export some of its agricultural products as a way to ease the world’s food insecurity crisis. Previously, Russia had a blockade on Ukraine’s ports since the beginning of its invasion. .

    “We urge Russia to meet its commitments under this new arrangement, including by facilitating unimpeded exports of agricultural products from Black Sea ports in order to ease the food insecurity around the world,” Kirby said. “We will be watching that closely.”

    The $550m security assistance package stems from the president’s drawdown authority, bringing the total to $8bn that Joe Biden has drawn down for Ukraine since the Russia invasion began, Kirby said.

    Karine Jean-Pierre and John Kirby at the briefing. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images

    The Associated Press is reporting that the North Carolina state board of elections voted unanimously today to recognize the Green Party as a new political party, reversing a previous decision to reject the party’s petition while the board investigated the signature sheets for fraud.

    The North Carolina Green Party has submitted more than enough signatures validated by both the state and county elections boards to earn immediate recognition, Katelyn Love, the board’s legal counsel, said. But Green Party candidates still face an ongoing legal battle to appear on the November ballot after the state board’s initial rejection of the petition led the party to miss the 1 July deadline.

    The elections board’s Democratic majority previously rejected the Green Party petition in a 3-2 vote on June 30, citing petition sheets with nearly identical handwriting as well as incomplete personal information, duplicate names and deceased signatories.

    The Green Party sued the board on July 14, alleging Democratic interference in the petitioning process and asking the court to reverse the board’s decision.

    The board filed a response to the lawsuit on Friday, opposing the Green Party’s demand that a judge order the board to include its candidates on the ballot. The board agreed the court should extend the candidate filing deadline should the party earn official recognition at Monday’s board meeting, the brief states.

    Democrats have warned that Green Party certification could divide progressive voters and clear a path for Republican victories in key races — particularly the tight US senate race between Democrats Cheri Beasley and Trump-endorsed Republican congressman Ted Budd. Prior to the board’s initial vote, the Democratic senatorial campaign committee acknowledged contacting signers of the Green Party’s petition to request they remove their names.

    K Ryan Parker, a plaintiff in the Green Party lawsuit, called the board’s decision “a welcome surprise and a huge win for democracy,” which he believes was prompted by the recent onslaught of media attention and a desire to settle the matter outside federal court. .

    “It doesn’t change the fact that the Democratic party attempted to disenfranchise North Carolina voters like me by hiring operatives to call, text and visit voters in their homes, attempting to compel them to remove their signatures from the petition,” Parker said in an interview Monday. “And it doesn’t change the fact that this two-party systemthis duopoly, has failed us at every turn and continues to force voters into a dilemma every four years of voting for a lesser evil.”

    Tomorrow’s a big primary day in a lot of states, and one big race to watch is the Missouri senate Republican primary.

    With Republican senator Roy Blunt retiring, basically everybody and their neighbor has come out to vie for his seat. Eric Greitensthe former governor of Missouri, initially held the lead, but he has been dogged by scandal after scandal, with his ex-wife alleging that he abused her and their child and a woman accusing him of sexually and physically abusing her and then threatening to Release nude photos of her if she told anyone.

    Trump posts that he plans to endorse today in #mosen ahead of primary tomorrow. Many Rs had long been concerned he could endorse Greitens

    — Manu Raju (@mkraju) August 1, 2022

    n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/mkraju/status/1554130125763010567?s=20&t=Uw91dOgOV8icoGmbjEG9Ig”,”id”:”1554130125763010567″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”51e2bb34-9df3-4808-921f-c94e94cca574″}}”>

    Trump posts that he plans to endorse today #mosen ahead of primary tomorrow. Many Rs had long been concerned he could endorse Greitens

    — Manu Raju (@mkraju) August 1, 2022

    Cornyn tests positive for Covid-19

    John Cornynthe Republican senator from Texashas tested positive for Covid-19.

    After dodging it for 2+ years I’ve tested positive for COVID-19. I’m fully vaccinated and boosted, and doing fine. While quarantining I’ll continue to fight Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin’s massive tax increase on working families remotely, consistent with CDC guidelines.

    — Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) August 1, 2022

    n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/JohnCornyn/status/1554135430701916160?s=20&t=Uw91dOgOV8icoGmbjEG9Ig”,”id”:”1554135430701916160″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”d9b1674a-0bee-486c-b2f9-51f99e21b556″}}”>

    After dodging it for 2+ years I’ve tested positive for COVID-19. I’m fully vaccinated and boosted, and doing fine. While quarantining I’ll continue to fight Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin’s massive tax increase on working families remotely, consistent with CDC guidelines.

    — Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) August 1, 2022

    Cornyn will be quarantined during a very crucial week for Senate Democrats. They want to pass the reconciliation bill – officially known as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 – and once it gets past the senate parliamentarianthey need just a narrow majority to do so.

    With Cornyn being out due to COVID, this means Dems could potentially pass Manchin bill without VP Harris breaking the tie if all 50 Dems are healthy & are yeas

    — Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) August 1, 2022

    n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/ChadPergram/status/1554140952171888643?s=20&t=r8U7CSdM2sDKNYASmf96lQ”,”id”:”1554140952171888643″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”82d2f1d5-f87d-4df8-97dd-cd045294660d”}}”>

    With Cornyn being out due to COVID, this means Dems could potentially pass Manchin bill without VP Harris breaking the tie if all 50 Dems are healthy & are yes

    — Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) August 1, 2022

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