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President Trump with GM CEO Mary Barra in 2017. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

A move by at least 4 big automakers to cut a separate deal with California on nationwide emissions standards clearly has President Trump's attention on Twitter.

"Henry Ford would be very disappointed if he saw his modern-day descendants wanting to build a much more expensive car, that is far less safe and doesn't work as well, because execs don't want to fight California regulators."

Why it matters: The tweets represent an escalation in the battle over one of the most far-reaching Obama-era climate efforts. They come as major automakers are weighing whether to join Ford, Honda, VW and BMW in the pact with California.

  • The pact effectively rebuffs his plan to freeze Obama-era emissions and mileage rules, rather than allowing them to get more stringent through the mid-2020s.

The big question: Will Trump's public criticism give other automakers pause about joining the deal?

  • The industry is an an awkward spot. It felt former President Obama's mandates were infeasible, but argues Trump's plan to freeze them outright goes too far.
  • Mercedes-Benz and one other major company are reportedly interested in joining the agreement.

The intrigue: The Wall Street Journal reports that some foreign-based carmakers fear that explicitly breaking with Trump by joining the deal could "embolden" the president to carry out tariff threats.

  • GM, meanwhile, "doesn't think the California proposal gives enough credit for sales of fully electric vehicles," per WSJ.

The big picture: Reuters points out that Trump's claims are highly questionable, highlighting that "there is no evidence that existing fuel economy rules would degrade vehicle performance."

Go deeper: Big Auto's rupture with Trump

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Social Democrats' win in Germany could shake up Europe

Olaf Scholz caught the bouquet on Sunday. Photo: Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty

BERLIN Angela Merkel's political farewell was spoiled Sunday night when the Social Democrats (SPD) narrowly claimed victory in Germany's elections, just four years after suffering their worst loss since World War II.

Why it matters: The stunning political comeback could swing the balance of power in Germany leftward after 16 years of rule by Merkel's conservative bloc, and it could lay the groundwork for a more ambitious European Union.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans sink short-term government funding, debt limit bill

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Republicans on Monday voted down the House-passed bill to fund the government through Dec. 3 and raise the debt limit.

Why it matters: Congress is just 72 hours away from a potential shutdown, so now comes Democrats' Plan B. Democratic leadership is expected strip the short-term funding bill of language about raising the debt limit — the part that Republicans' reject — in order to pass a bill before federal agencies close down on Friday.

Mike Allen, author of AM
5 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Laurene Powell Jobs' $3.5 billion climate campaign

Laurene Powell Jobs, president of Emerson Collective, is investing $3.5 billion in her new climate-action group, the Waverley Street Foundation — all to be spent in 10 years, as a way to show urgency on the issue.

  • Then the group will sunset.

The big picture: The foundation "will focus on initiatives and ideas that will aid underserved communities who are most impacted by climate change," an official tells Axios.