Biden signs international climate deal on refrigerants
President Joe Biden has signed an international agreement that compels the United States and other countries to limit use of hydrofluorocarbons, highly potent greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigeration and air conditioning that are far more powerful than carbon dioxide.
2 Russians seek asylum after reaching remote Alaskan island
Two Russians who said they fled the country to avoid compulsory military service have requested asylum in the U.S. after landing on a remote Alaskan island in the Bering Sea, Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski's office said Thursday. Karina Borger, a spokesperson for Murkowski, said by email that the office has been in communication with the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection and that “the Russian nationals reported that they fled one of the coastal communities on the east coast of Russia to avoid compulsory military service.”news.yahoo.com
Surprise Senate vote would overturn Biden environmental rule
In a surprise victory for Republicans, the Senate on Thursday voted to overturn a Biden administration rule requiring rigorous environmental review of major infrastructure projects such as highways, pipelines and oil wells — a victory enabled in part by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
Surprise Senate vote would overturn Biden environmental rule
In a surprise victory for Republicans, the Senate on Thursday voted to overturn a Biden administration rule requiring rigorous environmental review of major infrastructure projects such as highways, pipelines and oil wells — a victory enabled in part by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Manchin, a key player on energy and climate issues and a swing vote in the closely divided Senate, joined Republicans to support the measure, which was approved 50-47. The vote comes as Manchin has proposed a separate list of legislative measures to speed up federal permitting for major projects in return for his support of a Democratic bill to address climate change.news.yahoo.com
'This is really f---ed up down here': GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan called Mark Milley during the Jan. 6 riot and spoke against a tentative plan to evacuate senators, book says
"I'm going to tell them it's a bad idea," Sullivan reportedly told Milley of the proposed plan to move senators from the Capitol via buses on Jan. 6.news.yahoo.com
Senators say U.S. will give 750,000 COVID doses to Taiwan amid reports China blocking vaccines
The U.S. will donate 750,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) announced after arriving in the capital, Taipei, on a bipartisan congressional visit Sunday.Why it matters: The island state is facing spiking coronavirus cases, and officials say their efforts to obtain vaccines are being impeded by China's government, which considers Taiwan to be part of its territory.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.The visit by Duckworth andnews.yahoo.com
Alaska GOP censures Murkowski, looks for ’22 challenger
FILE - In this Feb 23, 2021, file photo, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. “The party does not want Lisa Murkowski to be a Republican candidate,” said Tuckerman Babcock, immediate past chairman of the state party. However, when speaking to reporters last month in Juneau, Murkowski addressed a possible censure by the state party. A message left with Glenn Clary, current Alaska Republican Party chairman, was not returned. AdThe new primary voting system left the state party wondering how they move forward, Babcock said.
Census: No redistricting data until end of September
The U.S. Census Bureau said it wont be delivering data used for redrawing state and local legislative districts until the end of September 2021. Styles had previously said the redistricting data would be available no earlier than the end of July because of delays caused by the virus. Before the pandemic, the deadline for finishing the redistricting data had been March 31. Unlike in past decades when the data were released to states on a flow basis, the 2020 redistricting data will be made available to the states all at once, according to the Census Bureau. The state House and Senate will hold a joint committee hearing Wednesday on the impact of the delay in the Census Bureau data.
"That was overwhelmingly distressing": Senators react to new video evidence from January 6 attack
The evidence presented Wednesday showed how close rioters came to entering the Senate chamber while senators were still there. Sullivan's fellow Republican colleague, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, said she had multiple emotions while reliving her experience that day with a "more comprehensive timeline." Romney told reporters that it was the first time he saw the video and did not know it was Goodman. While acknowledging that the footage was difficult to watch, some senators remained firm that the Senate does not have the constitutional ability to impeach Mr. Trump. In a brief statement to reporters during the break, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that he believed the managers' presentation was "compelling."cbsnews.com
"That was overwhelmingly distressing": Senators react to new video evidence from January 6 attack
The evidence presented Wednesday showed how close rioters came to entering the Senate chamber while senators were still there. Sullivan's fellow Republican colleague, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, said she multiple emotions while reliving her experience that day with a "more comprehensive timeline." Romney told reporters that it was the first time he saw the video and did not know it was Goodman. While acknowledging that the footage was difficult to watch, some senators remained firm that the Senate does not have the constitutional ability to impeach Mr. Trump. In a brief statement to reporters during the break, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that he believed the managers' presentation was "compelling."cbsnews.com
Biden plans temporary halt of oil activity in Arctic refuge
Fish and Wildlife Service shows a herd of caribou on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska. President Joe Biden on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, signaled plans to place a temporary moratorium on oil and gas lease activities in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge after the Trump administration issued leases in a remote, rugged area considered sacred by the Indigenous Gwich'in. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP, File)JUNEAU, Alaska – President Joe Biden's administration announced plans Wednesday for a temporary moratorium on oil and gas leasing in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge after the Trump administration issued leases in a part of the refuge considered sacred by the Indigenous Gwich'in. Pending lawsuits challenge the adequacy of the environmental review process undertaken by the Trump administration. “The Biden administration must faithfully implement the law and allow for that good progress to continue,” she said in a statement.
Many GOP lawmakers shrug off Statehouse mask-wearing rules
Twelve Arkansas lawmakers have tested positive for the virus over the past month, the second largest known outbreak in a state legislature. After at least four dozen Mississippi lawmakers tested positive in the largest outbreak in a legislature, where masks were encouraged but not required for lawmakers. Twelve Arkansas lawmakers have tested positive for the virus over the past month, the second largest known outbreak in a state legislature. But legislative leaders acknowledged that individual legislators couldn't be forced to wear masks. House Republicans in Ohio have also rejected efforts to require that lawmakers wear masks at the Statehouse, and a statewide mask mandate issued by GOP Gov.
Sen. Grassley, 87, says he tested positive for coronavirus
(Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON – Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the longest-serving Republican senator and third in the line of presidential succession, said he has tested positive for the coronavirus. Grassley, 87, had announced earlier Tuesday that he was quarantining after being exposed to the virus and was waiting for test results. At least three members of the House have tested positive in the last week, and several more are quarantining. Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida was also absent as he is in quarantine after an exposure. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer also took their masks off when speaking on the Senate floor Monday.
Alaska's sole member in US House tests positive for COVID-19
Young announced Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020, on Twitter that he has tested positive for COVID-19. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)ANCHORAGE, Alaska – U.S. Rep. Don Young announced Thursday that he has tested positive for COVID-19, a day after the 87-year-old won his 25th term in the U.S. House. “My friend and colleague Congressman Don Young is a fighter. Young's positive test came after he was campaigning for re-election in Alaska, which is experiencing a surge of cases. Young was first elected in 1973, and is Alaska's sole representative in the House.
Republican Dan Sullivan reelected in Alaska Senate race
Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020, won re-election in Alaska, defeating independent Al Gross. (Al Drago/Pool via AP, File)JUNEAU, Alaska – Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan has won reelection in Alaska, defeating independent Al Gross in a race that attracted outside attention with control of the Senate at stake. The result in Alaska means control of the Senate won’t be decided until January Senate runoffs are held in Georgia. Sullivan campaign manager Matt Shuckerow was muted in his response Wednesday, noting ballots still were being counted in Alaska. The Gross campaign did not immediately indicate plans to concede after The Associated Press called the race for Sullivan on Wednesday.
With GOP win in Alaska, control of Senate pushes to January
WASHINGTON – Control of the Senate won’t be decided until the new year after Republicans won a seat in Alaska on Wednesday. Incumbent Alaska GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan defeated Al Gross, an independent running as a Democrat. They have a 49-48 hold on the Senate with the Alaska win, but two races in Georgia are heading to a Jan. 5 runoff. With Biden, the path to keeping Senate control is more difficult for Republicans. That means if Republicans only have 50 seats, Democrats control the Senate.
GOP lets Trump fight election for weeks despite Biden's win
The delay has the potential to upend civic norms, impede Biden’s transition to the White House and sow doubt in the nation’s civic and election systems. Trump would need to produce ample evidence of impropriety to undo Biden’s lead, which appears unlikely. During a closed-door lunch, Vice President Mike Pence told Senate Republicans about the legal strategy. Trump and his GOP allies haven’t offered evidence of election fraud, and their legal challenges have largely been rejected by the courts. McConnell noted the potential turmoil during the transition in praising ousted Defense Secretary Mark Esper, whom Trump fired on Monday.
McConnell, Schumer to lead, but Senate majority uncertain
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks with reporters during a press conference in Louisville, Ky., Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., won another term as Republican leader, his office said, cementing his role as the longest-serving GOP leader in U.S. history. But it’s still to be determined whether McConnell will retain his role as majority leader or cede it to Schumer as the final races for the U.S. Senate play out. Republicans brushed back Democratic challengers in several states, but failed to lock down the seats needed to retain their majority. A Democratic majority in the Senate, the party that also controls the House would give the party a firm grasp on power in Washington.
Fight for Senate control awaits in Georgia after Biden's win
WASHINGTON – Control of the Senate likely won’t be decided until a January runoff in Georgia, even after Democrat Joe Biden won the White House on Saturday. That post-election cliff-hanger will determine the balance of power in Washington, as neither party appears to have a lock on a Senate majority right now. If Democrats fall short, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, could wield the power to check Biden's ambitions. And Republican Sen. David Perdue, a top Trump ally, will face Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff. “It’s all on the line in Georgia,” said Steven Law, the president of Senate Leadership Fund, the outside group aligned with McConnell that spent big trying keep Senate control.
Fight for Senate control awaits in Georgia after Biden’s win
(AP) – Control of the Senate likely won’t be decided until a January runoff in Georgia, even after Democrat Joe Biden won the White House on Saturday. That post-election cliff-hanger will determine the balance of power in Washington, as neither party appears to have a lock on a Senate majority right now. If Democrats fall short, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, could wield the power to check Biden's ambitions. And Republican Sen. David Perdue, a top Trump ally, will face Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff. “It’s all on the line in Georgia,” said Steven Law, the president of Senate Leadership Fund, the outside group aligned with McConnell that spent big trying keep Senate control.
Democrats losing paths to Senate control as GOP hangs on
Republican Senate candidate Sen. Mitch McConnell, second from right, and his wife, Elaine Chao, right, look on as aides show him the election results in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)WASHINGTON – Hopes fading for Senate control, Democrats had a disappointing election night as Republicans swatted down an onslaught of challengers and fought to retain their fragile majority. Democrats contested seats from New England to the Deep South and the Midwest to the Mountain West, reaching deep into GOP strongholds. The Democrats' gains were in Colorado and Arizona, where former astronaut Mark Kelly beat GOP incumbent Martha McSally. Republican Cynthia Lummis, the former congresswoman from Wyoming, won the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Mike Enzi.
Parties' late spending on Senate races shows GOP’s jeopardy
Less than two weeks from an Election Day that will determine Senate control, each party is throwing late money at an up-for-grabs Democratic seat in Michigan. The Senate Majority PAC, a political committee aligned with the chamber's Democratic leaders, has canceled its remaining $1.2 million in spending against GOP Sen. Cory Gardner in Colorado, sensing victory. He's getting outspent 3-1,” said GOP Sen. Pat Roberts, whose retirement is making the seat available. Besides Alabama, Michigan is the GOP's best chance at gaining a seat and thwarting Democrats' drive to a Senate majority. “It matters," agreed Poersch of Democrats' Senate Majority PAC, citing a shift in voters' sentiment over the final weeks of the 2016 campaign that helped Trump edge to victory.
Alaska Senate candidate hopes to ride Democratic wave
FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Gross for Senate campaign shows Independent candidate Al Gross. Gross, an independent running with Democratic support, is challenging Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan in Alaska, a state that has long been a GOP stronghold. The largest bloc of Alaska registered voters identify as independents; among the parties, Republicans far outnumber Democrats. Trump won Alaska in 2016 with 51% of the vote; Democrat Hillary Clinton won 36%. Gross grew up in Alaska; his father, the late Avrum Gross, was a state attorney general.
Senate Democrats' fundraising success puts GOP on defensive
(Bob Daemmrich/Nexstar/KXAN via AP, Pool)WASHINGTON – Buoyed by massive fundraising success, Democratic Senate candidates are mounting a push in Republican states that few would have thought possible just a few months ago, placing continued GOP control of the chamber at risk. MJ Hegar in Texas reported raising over $13 million during the same period for her race against Republican Sen. John Cornyn. In deep-red Kentucky, Amy McGrath has posted strong fundraising numbers against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In Mississippi, Mike Espy reported raising $4 million in his rematch against Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith. O'Rourke was criticized for being too stingy with his cash, only reluctantly aiding other Democrats, though he eventually donated large amounts to the Texas Democratic Party.
Senators push for extra census time, as court prods deadline
If an extra month were added, it would reduce the amount of time for data processing before the end-of-the-year deadline, said Brad Rosenberg, a government attorney. “It's not enough to say, ‘Statutory deadline,' and drop the mic and walk out." She also said she planned to extend by a week a temporary restraining order prohibiting the Census Bureau from winding down the 2020 census. The legislation also would extend the deadline for turning in the figures used for redrawing congressional districts from Dec. 31 to the end of next April. The inaction in the Senate coincided with a directive from President Donald Trump that tried to exclude people in the country illegally from the numbers used in redrawing congressional districts.
Surging Democrats expand Senate targets to GOP states
Democrats have at least a punchers chance of grabbing Republican-held seats in four states Trump won by double digits: Alaska, Kansas, Kentucky and South Carolina. They argue that Trump's name on the ballot will give Senate candidates in Republican states a major edge and say they're spending there because Democrats are raising sums that can't be ignored. An expensive battle is brewing over Ernst's Iowa seat, with outside Democratic and GOP groups each planning to spend over $20 million. Kelly has a solid chance of defeating GOP Sen. Martha McSally while Harrison is waging an unlikely drive to oust Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally. Republicans are eyeing Alaska, where GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan's likely opponent is Al Gross, an independent with Democratic support.
GOP senator calls on Saudis to end its oil price war, says 'Americans died' protecting the kingdom
America's strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia may permanently change if Riyadh does not end its latest oil price war, Sen. Dan Sullivan told CNBC on Wednesday. "The Saudis have really brought in a supply shock at exactly the wrong time," the Alaska Republican said on "Squawk Box." "That is going to change if the Saudis don't start playing a more constructive role with regard to energy markets." Sullivan, who represents the oil-rich state of Alaska, said he reminded the Saudi ambassador of the United States' past defense of the kingdom. Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia announced plans to increase production after an output cut deal among the so-called OPEC+ nations fell apart.cnbc.com