Democrats reach deal to pass major climate bill after Sinema says yes – US politics live

From 38m ago

For the past week, just about everybody in Washington politics has been asking the same question: will Democratic senator Kyrsten Sinema vote for her party’s plan to fight climate change and lower health care costs?

The Arizona lawmaker is known for her opposition to changing the tax code, as the bill – known was the Inflation Reduction Act – does to fund its programs. In the end, she did demand changes to how the legislation is paid for, but they weren’t especially big.

With her support, Democrats have all 50 votes they need to get the bill through the evenly divided Senate. There’s not much Republicans themselves can do to stop them, so, instead, they’re hoping that Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough intervenes. The Democrats hope to pass the legislation via the reconciliation procedure, which requires only a simple majority of votes, but there are only certain types of changes to the law they can make that way. MacDonough is to decide whether they followed proper procedure, and as Politico reports, Republicans hope she’ll strike certain provisions from the bill – which could upend the delicate compromise Democrats have forged among themselves, and jeopardize the bill entirely.

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President Joe Biden has cheered the better-than-expected employment data released by the Labor Department this morning, saying it shows the success of his administration’s plan to help Americans.

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Here’s his full statement:

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Today, the unemployment rate matches the lowest it’s been in more than 50 years: 3.5%. More people are working than at any point in American history. That’s millions of families with the dignity and peace of mind that a paycheck provides. And, it’s the result of my economic plan to build the economy from the bottom up and middle out. I ran for president to rebuild the middle class – there’s more work to do, but today’s jobs report shows we are making significant progress for working families.

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Good morning, US politics blog readers. It took more than a year of negotiations, but Democrats appear to finally have the votes to pass a major plan to fight climate change and lower healthcare costs, after a holdout senator announced yesterday evening she would support the measure. It’s Congress, so anything can happen, but if Democrats manage to get it done when they convene on Saturday, it would mark a major victory for the beleaguered presidency of Joe Biden, and cut America’s greenhouse gas emissions. We’ll certainly be hearing more about this today.

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Here’s what else is on the agenda:

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  • The Conservative Political Action Conference continues in Texas, with senator Ted Cruz, representative Marjorie Taylor Green and other rightwing politicians among today’s speakers.
  • \n

  • Donald Trump is holding a “Save America Rally” in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
  • \n

  • China has sanctioned US House speaker Nancy Pelosi after she visited Taiwan, which it responded to by launching military exercises near the island it views as a breakaway province. The Guardian has a live blog covering the ongoing tensions.
  • \n

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Key events

Jobs report shows ‘significant progress’ for American workers: Biden

President Joe Biden has cheered the better-than-expected employment data released by the Labor Department this morning, saying it shows the success of his administration’s plan to help Americans.

Here’s his full statement:

Today, the unemployment rate matches the lowest it’s been in more than 50 years: 3.5%. More people are working than at any point in American history. That’s millions of families with the dignity and peace of mind that a paycheck provides. And, it’s the result of my economic plan to build the economy from the bottom up and middle out. I ran for president to rebuild the middle class – there’s more work to do, but today’s jobs report shows we are making significant progress for working families.

There are a few different lessons to be taken from the July jobs report, which showed the US economy adding a robust 528,000 positions last month and the unemployment rate edging to 3.5 percent, where it was before Covid-19.

The first is that the economy is most likely not in a recession, despite negative growth in the past two quarters. In the words of University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers, employment doesn’t increase like this when the economy is contracting:

<gu-island name="TweetBlockComponent" deferuntil="visible" props="{"element":{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement","html":"

Put that recession talk away, and change the subject. A vibecession ain't no recession:

July payrolls came in at a huge +528k, and unemployment is down to 3.5%.

A whap-bop-a-loopa-a-whap-bam-boo!

&mdash; Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) August 5, 2022

\n","url":"https://twitter.com/JustinWolfers/status/1555532173909827585?s=20&t=lC5M4jFRdihlA3_O5iCT3g","id":"1555532173909827585","hasMedia":false,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"3b78602a-b10d-4d0e-a8ce-4f01af3a86ca"}}”>

Put that recession talk away, and change the subject. A vibecession ain’t no recession:

July payrolls came in at a huge +528k, and unemployment is down to 3.5%.

A whap-bop-a-loopa-a-whap-bam-boo!

— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) August 5, 2022

But that doesn’t mean the report was unabashed good news. In fact, it contained a worrying sign that inflation, already at record levels, is continuing to rise. The data showed workers’ average hourly earning increasing, a sign that employees are demanding higher salaries to cope with the rising costs they bear, creating the kind of dynamic that can keep the price increases going for longer.

What that means is that the Federal Reserve will likely opt for more aggressive interest rate hikes to make lending more expensive and quell consumer demand – but that risks causing a recession. Here’s how Jason Furman, a former top economist to Democratic president Barack Obama, puts it:

<gu-island name="TweetBlockComponent" deferuntil="visible" props="{"element":{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement","html":"

Average hourly earnings growth, three month change, annual rate:

Last month's data: 4.1% and stable/falling
This month's data: 5.2% and rising

This is due to a combo of an additional month of data and revisions to previous months. pic.twitter.com/YXIZZhOSVS

&mdash; Jason Furman (@jasonfurman) August 5, 2022

\n","url":"https://twitter.com/jasonfurman/status/1555538350974685184?s=20&t=uU5oYyb6xt8rvoaZN361yg","id":"1555538350974685184","hasMedia":false,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"92acef51-d188-4fa4-a21e-99b79ec26cd4"}}”>

Average hourly earnings growth, three month change, annual rate:

Last month’s data: 4.1% and stable/falling
This month’s data: 5.2% and rising

This is due to a combo of an additional month of data and revisions to previous months. pic.twitter.com/YXIZZhOSVS

— Jason Furman (@jasonfurman) August 5, 2022

<gu-island name="TweetBlockComponent" deferuntil="visible" props="{"element":{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement","html":"

Recession is now less of a worry. Inflation is more of a worry. The Fed will likely need to do more–although that will and should depend on all of the additional data we're getting before the next meeting (most importantly one more jobs report and two more CPI reports).

&mdash; Jason Furman (@jasonfurman) August 5, 2022

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Recession is now less of a worry. Inflation is more of a worry. The Fed will likely need to do more–although that will and should depend on all of the additional data we’re getting before the next meeting (most importantly one more jobs report and two more CPI reports).

— Jason Furman (@jasonfurman) August 5, 2022

But as Wolfers acknowledges, there’s still reason to celebrate this report:

<gu-island name="TweetBlockComponent" deferuntil="visible" props="{"element":{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement","html":"

We economists are meant to be a grim bunch, so lemme add the pessimism. This jobs report is definitely closer to &quot;too hot&quot; than Goldilocks might like. The biggest threat to the U.S. economy right now is the possibility of inflation becoming entrenched, rather than recession.

&mdash; Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) August 5, 2022

\n","url":"https://twitter.com/JustinWolfers/status/1555543498870472705?s=20&t=lC5M4jFRdihlA3_O5iCT3g","id":"1555543498870472705","hasMedia":false,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"8a9b80d1-3922-4a71-93d9-e902d6d9c16d"}}”>

We economists are meant to be a grim bunch, so lemme add the pessimism. This jobs report is definitely closer to “too hot” than Goldilocks might like. The biggest threat to the U.S. economy right now is the possibility of inflation becoming entrenched, rather than recession.

— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) August 5, 2022

<gu-island name="TweetBlockComponent" deferuntil="visible" props="{"element":{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement","html":"

Perhaps we economists should stop always being dismal. It's a day to celebrate folks being able to find work, despite an incredibly challenging pandemic and difficult global conditions. If you're not in the job you love, look around, because this is a moment full of opportunity.

&mdash; Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) August 5, 2022

\n","url":"https://twitter.com/JustinWolfers/status/1555544020742541313?s=20&t=lC5M4jFRdihlA3_O5iCT3g","id":"1555544020742541313","hasMedia":false,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"a8607f59-d178-41ae-80b8-2606e33e57b2"}}”>

Perhaps we economists should stop always being dismal. It’s a day to celebrate folks being able to find work, despite an incredibly challenging pandemic and difficult global conditions. If you’re not in the job you love, look around, because this is a moment full of opportunity.

— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) August 5, 2022

Dominic Rushe

Dominic Rushe

It’s official: the US job market has returned to where it was before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new data released by the government this morning that showed employment increased far more than expected in July. Dominic Rushe has the full report:

The US added 528,000 jobs in July as the jobs market returned to pre-pandemic levels.

The US has now added 22m jobs since reaching a low in April 2020. The unemployment rate dipped to 3.5% in July, equal to its rate in February 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the US.

The far stronger than expected report comes a month after the labor department announced the economy added 398,000 jobs in June, 26,000 more than its first estimate.

Economists had been expecting jobs growth to slow in July and the latest figures from the labor department were far stronger than the average 388,000 jobs gained over the last four months.

For the past week, just about everybody in Washington politics has been asking the same question: will Democratic senator Kyrsten Sinema vote for her party’s plan to fight climate change and lower health care costs?

The Arizona lawmaker is known for her opposition to changing the tax code, as the bill – known was the Inflation Reduction Act – does to fund its programs. In the end, she did demand changes to how the legislation is paid for, but they weren’t especially big.

With her support, Democrats have all 50 votes they need to get the bill through the evenly divided Senate. There’s not much Republicans themselves can do to stop them, so, instead, they’re hoping that Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough intervenes. The Democrats hope to pass the legislation via the reconciliation procedure, which requires only a simple majority of votes, but there are only certain types of changes to the law they can make that way. MacDonough is to decide whether they followed proper procedure, and as Politico reports, Republicans hope she’ll strike certain provisions from the bill – which could upend the delicate compromise Democrats have forged among themselves, and jeopardize the bill entirely.

Democrats reach deal to pass major plan to fight climate change

Good morning, US politics blog readers. It took more than a year of negotiations, but Democrats appear to finally have the votes to pass a major plan to fight climate change and lower healthcare costs, after a holdout senator announced yesterday evening she would support the measure. It’s Congress, so anything can happen, but if Democrats manage to get it done when they convene on Saturday, it would mark a major victory for the beleaguered presidency of Joe Biden, and cut America’s greenhouse gas emissions. We’ll certainly be hearing more about this today.

Here’s what else is on the agenda:

  • The Conservative Political Action Conference continues in Texas, with senator Ted Cruz, representative Marjorie Taylor Green and other rightwing politicians among today’s speakers.
  • Donald Trump is holding a “Save America Rally” in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
  • China has sanctioned US House speaker Nancy Pelosi after she visited Taiwan, which it responded to by launching military exercises near the island it views as a breakaway province. The Guardian has a live blog covering the ongoing tensions.

The Guardian

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