Feb 27, 2019

Senate Democrats look to play climate offense

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Democrats are taking new steps to try and parry GOP attacks on the Green New Deal after a troubled rollout that has revealed fissures in their ranks.

Why it matters: Democrats are seeking to coalesce around a strategy as Republicans look to put them in a tough political spot with the GND. The GND has uncertain support among Senate Democrats despite co-sponsorship from a half-dozen of them running for president.

What's new: Democratic leaders moved on 2 fronts yesterday...

1. All Democrats are signing onto a resolution stating human-cased climate change is real and deserves "immediate action," per a leadership source.

2. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer went after White House plans to create a new panel that would question consensus views on climate science.

  • "I’m announcing that if the Trump Administration moves forward with this fake climate panel, we will be introducing legislation to defund it," Schumer said on the floor.

What they're saying: Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters in the Capitol that he planned to bring up the GND at some point before the August break.

  • He chided Democrats over reports of plans to vote "present" on the measure.
  • “The only question I would ask is, if this is such a popular thing to do and so necessary, why would one want to dodge the vote,” he said.

The intrigue: Per Politico, Democrats hope to put pressure on Republicans facing re-election with the resolution on acknowledging climate change.

  • "Targets could include moderates like Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), both up for reelection in 2020," notes Politico, which first reported on the effort yesterday.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 857,487 — Total deaths: 42,107 — Total recoveries: 178,034.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 188,172 — Total deaths: 3,873 — Total recoveries: 7,024.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans.
  6. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded with the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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World coronavirus updates: UN warns of recession with "no parallel" to recent past

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus pandemic is the "greatest test" the world has faced together since the formation of the United Nations just after the Second World War ended in 1945, UN chief António Guterres said Tuesday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 856,000 and the death toll exceeded 42,000 Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 12,000 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

White House projects 100,000 to 240,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths

President Trump said at a press briefing on Tuesday that the next two weeks in the U.S. will be "very painful" and that he wants "every American to be prepared for the days that lie ahead," before giving way to Deborah Birx to explain the models informing the White House's new guidance on the coronavirus.

Why it matters: It's a somber new tone from the president that comes after his medical advisers showed him data projecting that the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health