House Republicans to put their stamp on US energy policy
Plus: The CBC asks the WH for a veto threat on new bill to overturn a DC police accountability law and a Georgia Democrat’s full-circle moment.
👋🏾 Hi, hey, hello! Welcome to Supercreator Daily, your weekday morning guide to the politicians, power brokers and policies shaping the American creator experience. It’s Thursday, March 30.
TAKING ALL OF MY ENERGY
House Republicans are poised later this morning to pass a signature energy bill that they say will lower gas prices and utility bills despite widespread opposition from congressional Democrats, the White House and the environmental justice movement.
As the first bill the House GOP introduced when they officially became the majority in January, they hope H.R. 1, known as the Lower Energy Costs Act, will serve as a launch pad for future bipartisan negotiations on a broader energy security package.
House Republican Leader Steve Scalise, the lead on the bill, touts provisions in the bill that will remove the red tape hindering American energy production and restore energy independence.
“We have about 20 different bills that are represented in this package,” Scalise told reporters on Tuesday. “And a lot of work has gone into really good, smart policy to lower costs for families and help get our economy back on track.”
But organizers say it’s farm communities and those on the frontlines of the effects of climate change that stand to suffer the most.
“Usually, H.R. 1 is a significant marker bill for the party and majority — for Democrats, H.R. 1 was a democracy and voting rights bill and for the Republicans, this H.R. 1 is a deregulation bill,” Adrien Salazar, policy director at the Global Grassroots Justice Alliance, said in an interview with Supercreator. “It is a wish list of the worst of the worst for polluters and fossil fuel industry, attacking bedrock environmental protections, like [the National Environmental Policy Act], and the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, and creating provisions that would fast track more oil and gas that would put public lands to the whim of mining corporations.”
House Democrats have applied a full-court press in opposition to the bill, which they’ve branded the “Polluters Over People Act” — and leadership expects the caucus to be nearly united against it.
“This bill is a job killer. It will repeal sections of the Inflation Reduction Act, which over the course of ten years will create nine million jobs. Over 100,000 good-paying American jobs have already been created, with more on the way in clean energy and manufacturing,” House Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar said on Tuesday. “So instead of using their majority to help hard-working Americans get a little bit of breathing room, House Republicans want to cancel those paychecks and stall the progress of those industries that will shape our economic future and help us compete with China.”
Earlier this month, the Congressional Budget Office, a US agency that provides Congress with economic and budgetary analysis, estimated that enacting H.R. 1 would increase the deficit over the next decade by roughly $2.4 billion.
“It’s an expensive bill where American taxpayers are going to be fronting the costs of policy policies that are meant to increase the profits of Big Oil and Gas and the polluting industry,” Salazar said. And I think when we look at the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] report that just came out reflecting the severity of an acceleration of a climate crisis, and the international body of scientists and government saying that we actually need to stop expanding fossil fuel production and wind down fossil fuels to meet the crisis and reverse the impacts of climate change, we can't afford for the industry to be building out and our government to be supporting the build-up of more fossil fuel infrastructure.”
And while the White House announced on Monday that President Joe Biden would veto the bill it arrived at his desk, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer has repeatedly said the bill is “dead on arrival” in the Senate.
“So you can do all the hoopla you want in the House, it ain’t passing,” he said in a floor speech earlier this month. “It’s not going to change a thing.”
Regardless of what happens this morning or in future negotiations on climate policy, organizers tell Supercreator that their focus is on mobilizing people to participate in the environmental justice movement wherever they are.
“I think for me, the most effective thing people can do is get involved locally,” Oscar Villalobos, coalition coordinator of the Green New Deal for DC Coalition said in an interview. “The federal government right now it's very challenging — that’s the reality that we can hide. But locally, you can get a lot done and, and by doing so you will find a very community of people that are going to empower you and motivate you.”
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Here’s what else you need to know today:
American Wall Street Journal reporter has been arrested in Russia on charges of espionage. The WSJ has asked Russia to release him and denied its claims that he was spying.
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden on Wednesday night traveled to Tennessee from an event with military families to join a candlelight vigil to honor and mourn the lives of the victims of the Nashville school shooting.
Related: President Biden and Dr. Biden will travel to Mississippi on Friday to visit with first responders, state and local officials and communities impacted by the recent storms.
The Senate passed a bill to repeal the authorizations for use of military force against Iraq by a 66-30 vote. The legislation, which the Biden administration supports, now heads to the House where the path forward is still unclear.
The Food and Drug Administration approved Narcan as the first over-the-counter naloxone product to be sold in drug stores, convenience stores, grocery stores and gas stations, and online. Naloxone reverses the effects of opioid overdose and is the standard treatment for opioid overdose. 101,750 people died from fatal overdoses during the 12-month period ending in October 2022, according to the FDA.
Related: Chuck Schumer will hold a press conference this morning to call on the Drug Enforcement Administration to invest more resources to counter the sharp rise of xylazine, a powerful sedative known as “Tranq” that traffickers are mixing with fentanyl.
Schumer on Wednesday joined Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin to introduce legislation that would improve students’ access to defibrillators in public and private elementary and secondary schools. These devices can double the survival rate of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, which Hamlin experienced during an NFL game in January. His life was saved in part by an automated external defibrillator.
FOOL ME TWICE, SHAME ON WHO?
The Congressional Black Caucus has had several conversations with senior White House officials to discuss the administration issuing an explicit threat from President Biden to veto a bill that would overturn a DC police accountability law, two sources familiar with the conversations told Supercreator.
The law features several provisions that the CBC says were included in the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and an executive order President Biden signed on policing last year, including a ban on chokeholds, restrictions on the use of no-knock warrants and mechanisms to prevent police officers from being rehired after previous misconduct.
If the president were to sign the disapproval resolution, he would be helping Republicans weaken his own legislative agenda, according to the sources.
The House Oversight Committee held a hearing on the law on Wednesday, a move CBC Chairman Steven Horsford called a scare tactic during a press conference. It’s unclear when House Republicans would bring the disapproval resolution to the floor. Congress starts a two-week recess this afternoon.
“They want you to believe that ‘woke’ policies and any effort to improve public safety by advancing police accountability is lowering morale in police agencies and making communities unsafe. They want you to believe that trying to find real solutions to saving lives is an attack on all police. Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said. “The Democrats are united in believing that we can support the police who put their lives on the line every day for us and hold them accountable if they use excessive force, or abuse their power.”
If this feels familiar, you’re not bugging.
Earlier this month, the Senate passed a disapproval resolution that repealed updates to DC’s criminal code. The bill passed with overwhelming support from Senate Democrats after President Biden told the caucus in a closed-door lunch that he wouldn’t veto it.
The night before, the president held a private question-and-answer session with House Democrats after he delivered the keynote speech at their annual retreat in Baltimore. The disapproval resolution didn’t come up during the discussion, leaving the vast majority of House Democrats who voted against the bill vulnerable to attacks from Republicans as soft on crime and the party at large as in disarray.
Supercreator was at the CBC press conference during the retreat when the news broke that Biden wouldn’t veto the disapproval resolution. To say members were stunned is an understatement.
And just yesterday, Chuck Schumer announced to Senate Democrats that President Biden would sign a bill to end the COVID-19 national emergency. Once again, several Democrats in the Senate voted for this action while many in the House opposed it.
These breakdowns stem from what are known as Statements of Administration Policy — or SAPs among Washington insiders — that explain the White House’s policy position towards a particular piece of legislation and are taken into consideration by lawmakers when deciding whether to align with or break from the administration on a critical vote.
In both instances, the SAPs said the president strongly opposed the bills so the House moved in what they thought was solidarity with him. The Senate had the benefit of Biden’s actual intentions and were voted accordingly.
This brings us back to the CBC and why the group wants a SAP with a clear-cut veto threat, not just strong opposition, to give members who want to vote against overturning the DC policing bill can have the cover they need to justify their position.
A White House spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
THE KIDS? THEY’RE ALRIGHT…
Supercreator walked into a full-circle moment for Democratic Rep. Nikema Williams on Wednesday afternoon at House the steps as she spoke to students in the National Close Up program from a local high school in her district.
Williams is a Close Up graduate and told Supercreator that she had never been to DC before and reflected on her meeting with then-Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama and standing on the same steps the 38 students she met with did. In fact, the photo from her visit is in her office.
The students traveled to Washington, DC to learn more about the government, tour the Capitol and explore what a future in civics could look like. During a Q&A, they asked her how she creates work-life harmony (her husband works in politics so it’s hard, she said), who her Congress bestie is (she’s a people person so she roams the House floor talking to different groups of colleagues) and how she decides which issues to work on (by listening to here constituents).
To that end, the congresswoman asked the group what issues were top of mind. And as you can imagine, several mentioned school shootings, voting rights and racial justice.
Before she wrapped up the visit with a group photo, a few selfies and, of course, a TikTok video, Williams asked the students to make her one promise: Register to vote when they’re old enough and cast a ballot in every election going forward.
“[Voting rights] is at the center of everything I believe in,” Williams, whose predecessor is the late Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, the civil rights trailblazer, said. “Because if they don’'t vote, then they're going to be a lot of people who are making decisions about their lives. And they’re not going to be the people that represent them in their voices. So they have an obligation to vote.”
A senior aide for Williams told Supercreator that despite her full schedule, it was important for the congresswoman to be available for the students because she remembers the impact Close Up had on her.
“It’s essential to make sure that the next generation understands what’s going on, is able to ask the questions that they need to ask, and to be informed because they are also the next generation of voters,” the spokesperson said. “Civic engagement is key, early and often, and we always make time for what's important because this is foundational to our democracy.”
All times Eastern:
President Biden will receive his daily intelligence briefing (10:45 a.m.).
Vice President Harris is in Tanzania, the second stop on a three-country trip to Africa. She had a bilateral meeting with President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania (7 a.m.). Then two leaders spoke to the press (7:10 a.m.) before participating in an expanded bilat with Hassan. Harris also visited the National Museum and US Embassy Bombing Memorial and participate in a wreath-laying ceremony (8:10 a.m.) and will visit a co-working space to meet with local entrepreneurs (8:40 a.m.). Finally, the vice president will join President Hassan for a dinner at the State House (12 p.m.).
Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff met with the staff and families at the US Embassy in Tanzania (2:30 am). Then he joined former President Jakaya Kikiwete and Ambassador Pindi H. Chana of Tanzania for a tour of a youth park (4 a.m.). He also met with local women leaders to discuss the challenges facing fishery communities in Tanzania (7:15 a.m.). Emhoff will speak at an event about preserving marine biodiversity and creating sustainable fishery management (8 a.m.) and join Vice President Harris at the State House dinner.
The House is in at 9 a.m. with first and last votes expected at 10;40 a.m.
The Senate is in at 10 a.m.) and will vote to confirm Laura Taylor-Kale to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense at 1:45 p.m.
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Zach Gottlieb on the dark side of college-acceptance letters … Amanda Mull on why old handbags are back … Rebecca Leber on why refrigerators have gotten so good … Ed Kilgore on why Democrats are in trouble if President Biden doesn’t run for re-election … Emma Steiger on when undertipping becomes confrontational … Matt Ford on how the First Amendment may save TikTok from a US ban
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