Sep 30, 2019

Democrats hint at 2021 climate change bill if they win Senate

Ben Geman, author of Generate

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said a sweeping climate bill would be "one of the first things we put on the floor" if Democrats gain the majority in the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Political windows for major bills open rarely. The comments on a press call Friday sound like a commitment to spend political capital on climate if given the chance.

Flashback: One reason (but hardly the only!) that climate legislation collapsed when Democrats controlled Washington in 2009–2010 is that huge health care and financial reform bills were higher Senate priorities.

But, but, but: Using the phrase "one of the first things" leaves wiggle room. An aide declined to say whether that would mean votes in 2021 specifically.

  • Plus, moving a climate bill assumes Democrats regain the Senate (a huge uphill climb), win the White House and keep the House.
  • Schumer hasn't said whether he'd seek to end the filibuster. That matters because even if Democrats win the Senate, there's no pathway to a super-majority.

Go deeper: Senate Democrats allege Trump administration has buried 1,400+ climate studies

Go deeper

Updated 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: Unrest continues for 6th night across U.S.

A protest near the White House on Sunday night. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Most external White House lights were turned off late Sunday as the D.C. National Guard was deployed to assist and authorities fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters nearby, per the New York Times.

What's happening: It's one of several tense, late-night standoffs between law enforcement and demonstrators.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Journalists get caught in the crosshairs as protests unfold

A man waves a Black Lives Matter flag atop the CNN logo outside the CNN Center during a protest in response to the police killing of George Floyd, Atlanta, Georgia, May 29. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Dozens of journalists across the country tweeted videos Saturday night of themselves and their crews getting arrested, being shot at by police with rubber bullets, targeted with tear gas by authorities or assaulted by protesters.

Driving the news: The violence got so bad over the weekend that on Sunday the Cleveland police said the media was not allowed downtown unless "they are inside their place of business" — drawing ire from news outlets around the country, who argued that such access is a critical part of adequately covering protests.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Tanker truck plows into Minneapolis protesters

The tanker after plowing into protesters on the shut-down bridge in Minneapolis on Sunday evening. Authorities said it appeared protesters escaped injury. Photo: Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Minnesota authorities said in a statement they're investigating as a criminal matter what happened with a truck that "drove into demonstrators" on a Minneapolis bridge Sunday evening while the eight-lane road was closed for a protest.

What they're saying: Minnesota Department of Public Safety tweeted, "Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. The truck driver was injured & taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He is under arrest. It doesn't appear any protesters were hit by the truck."