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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The last 24 hours brought a burst of climate plans from 2020 Democratic White House hopefuls — along with reminders of why some of the most ambitious proposals won’t happen unless the Senate flips too.

Why it matters: They signal how the field would go far beyond the Obama era in seeking to sharply drive down U.S. emissions, restricting fossil fuels and spurring a sweeping transition to zero-carbon fuels.

  • The plans would flex plenty of executive muscle on topics like toughening auto emissions rules and restricting fossil fuel projects that need federal approval.
  • But there's no getting around the fact that huge portions need buy-in from Congress., including huge increases in climate-focused federal spending and changes to the tax code, such as cutting oil industry incentives.

Driving the news: This morning, Kamala Harris unveiled her long-awaited climate plan ahead of tonight's 7-hour (!) CNN candidates forum on the topic.

The state of play: Absent a sea-change in the GOP's posture, this means that Democrats would need to take control of the Senate to breathe life into them — yet, at most, they'll end up with a narrow majority. That might entice a Democratic Senate to consider scrapping the filibuster, as former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid suggested last month.

  • Axios checked in with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's office about the filibuster and they pointed to what he told Vox in May: "Get the majority. Beat Trump. We’ll leave discussion of rules to next year."
  • As for the White House hopefuls, some (including Warren and Castro) want to kill the filibuster while others, like Harris, have been equivocal. Joe Biden recently said it would be "dangerous."
  • Still, some things — notably tax measures — can be finessed with a simple majority using the complex budget reconciliation process.

Here's just a sampling of items in the flood of new plans that would require Capitol Hill action:

  • Harris' plan creates a new "climate pollution fee" on the industry, and also incorporates her "climate equity act."
  • Booker's new plan calls for $3 trillion in direct federal investments over 10 years and also includes a carbon "fee and dividend" plank.
  • Warren yesterday tacked another $1 trillion onto her existing plan in order to fold in former candidate Jay Inslee's energy decarbonization plan. She'd find the money by "reversing Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals and giant corporations."

Go deeper ... Why climate change is so hard to tackle: The global problem

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.

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