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Pelosi on state of coronavirus stimulus talks: "It's a chasm"

Democrats and the Trump administration remain "miles apart" on negotiations over a coronavirus stimulus deal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Wednesday.

Driving the news, via Axios' Dion Rabouin: Congress' failure to renew enhanced unemployment measures for millions of Americans at the end of July is already affecting consumer spending patterns, holding down retail purchases and foot traffic, economists at Deutsche Bank say.


The state of play: The primary sticking point in stimulus talks remains Democrats' demands for extra funding for state and local governments, which Republicans have dismissed as a "bailout" for years of poorly-run state budgets.

What they're saying: "We told them we'll go down a trillion if you go up a trillion for the children. Again, let's meet in the middle. We've said all of that," Pelosi told MSNBC.

  • "It's no use sitting in a room and let them tell us that states should go bankrupt. The fiscal soundness of our states is essential to the strength of our economy," she added.
  • "And it doesn't help when people say, 'How come you can't resolve your differences?' It's a chasm. Because they do not share our values, they don't believe in science, they don't believe in governance."

The other side: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declined to say on Wednesday whether a stimulus deal could be reached.

  • "I can’t speculate," he told Fox Business. "If the Democrats are willing to be reasonable, there’s a compromise. If the Democrats are focused on politics and don’t want to do anything that’s going to succeed for the president, there won’t be a deal."

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)tore into Democrats on the Senate floor Wednesday for the second time this week, accusing them of "treating this crisis like an ordinary political game."

  • "The American people are not done fighting this virus. And Republicans are not done crafting policies to help them. But the difference between now and March is that Democrats seem to be done being reasonable."

Go deeper: House will not hold votes until Sept. 14 unless stimulus deal is reached

Susan Collins says Senate should postpone Supreme Court vote until after Election Day

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said in a statement Saturday that she believes the Senate should wait to vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat until after the general election.

Why it matters: Collins will be a key senator in how this process plays out. As one of the most centrist Senate Republicans, whether or not the Senate confirms Trump's SCOTUS nominee could hinge on her vote.

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Pinpointing climate change's role in extreme weather

Climate scientists are increasingly able to use computer models to determine how climate change makes some extreme weather more likely.

Why it matters: Climate change's effects are arguably felt most directly through extreme events. Being able to directly attribute the role climate plays in natural catastrophes can help us better prepare for disasters to come, while driving home the need to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.

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Big Tech takes the climate change lead

The tech industry is playing a growing role in fighting climate change, from zero-carbon commitments to investments in startups and pushing for the use of data to encourage energy efficiency.

Why it matters: Big Tech is already dominating our economy, politics and culture. Its leadership in helping to address climate change — and reckon with its role in contributing to it — could have similarly transformative impacts.

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Lindsey Graham says he will vote for Ginsburg's replacement before next election

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Saturday said he plans to support a vote on President Trump's nominee to fill the vacancy left by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Friday, before the election.

Why it matters: Graham in 2016 opposed confirming President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, because it was an election year.

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Schumer: "Nothing is off the table next year" if Senate GOP moves to fill Ginsburg's seat

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told fellow Democrats on a conference call Saturday that "nothing is off the table next year" if Senate Republicans move to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Supreme Court seat in the coming weeks.

What he's saying: “Let me be clear: if Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans move forward with this, then nothing is off the table for next year," Schumer said, according to a source on the call. "Nothing is off the table.”

ActBlue collects record-breaking $30 million in hours after Ginsburg's death

ActBlue, the Democratic donation-processing site, reported a record-breaking $30 million raised from 9 p.m. Friday to 9 a.m. Saturday in the aftermath of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, NPR writes and ActBlue confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters via the New York Times: "The unprecedented outpouring shows the power of a looming Supreme Court confirmation fight to motivate Democratic donors."

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Trump says Republicans have an "obligation" to fill Ginsburg's seat "without delay"

President Trump wrote in a tweet Saturday morning that Republicans have an "obligation" to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court following her death Friday.

What he's saying: "We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices," the president said. "We have this obligation, without delay!"

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