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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

New this morning: Over a dozen major companies are joining the ranks of corporate giants who are publicly pressing the White House to remain in the Paris climate accord.

Who's in favor: Companies sending a new letter to President Donald Trump include tech giants Google, Microsoft and Intel; oil majors BP and Shell; and other large entities like Walmart, General Mills, Unilever and DuPont.

What they're saying: The letter organized by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions argues that staying in the pact helps U.S. economic competitiveness, arguing that climate change presents business risks and opportunities.

  • "U.S. business interests are best served by a stable and practical framework facilitating an effective and balanced global response. We believe the Paris Agreement provides such a framework."

Happening Thursday: A closed-door White House meeting, where competing factions of high-level officials discuss the administration's approach to the Paris climate change accord. Politico first reported the meeting, which was confirmed by Axios. A decision is expected by late May about whether to begin pulling out of the 2015 pact.

  • Flashback: The meeting was supposed to happen last week but was scuttled.

Where it stands: Internal lines were defined a little sharper yesterday. Energy secretary Rick Perry said publicly that he's in the camp that supports staying in the accord, but altering the U.S. commitment.

  • That puts the Energy secretary at odds with EPA administrator Scott Pruitt and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who are are pushing for Trump to stick with his campaign promise to bail. Forces inside the administration in the "remain" camp include White House senior advisor Jared Kushner and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Once you're in it, you're in it: On Capitol Hill, GOP West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a coal industry ally, told Axios that at this point it's best to stay. "I would prefer that we weren't in it, but I think that the ramifications of pulling out right now — we might be able to do better work if we stay in and reach more reasonable parameters," she said.

Not too late to bail:

But Wyoming GOP Sen. John Barrasso, chairman of the Republican Policy Committee and whose state is the largest coal producer, told reporters yesterday that he's still advocating for the U.S. to pull out.

Go deeper

House passes sweeping election and anti-corruption bill

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The House voted 220-210Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

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Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.