Wednesday, Feb. 01, 2023|
Share this story
Senators try to salvage legislation on Jan. 6 commission
WASHINGTON — Senators labored Tuesday to find a path forward for legislation creating a commission on the Jan. 6 insurrection, debating potential changes in a long-shot attempt to overcome growing GOP opposition.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin are leading the informal talks, according to two people familiar with the effort. The talks are, for now, focused on two issues that Republican senators have cited for their opposition to the House-passed legislation to create the commission — ensuring that the panel’s staff is evenly split between the parties and making sure the commission’s work does not spill over into the midterm election year.
Collins and Manchin have traded potential changes to the bill and have consulted with other senators as part of the effort, according to the two people and another person with knowledge of the negotiations. The three people spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private talks.
The House bill already attempts to address those two issues, requiring the Democratic-appointed chair to consult with Republicans when hiring staff, and setting an end date of Dec. 31, 2021, for the commission to issue its findings. And the commissioners would be evenly split between the parties, with five Democrats and five Republicans. But many Republicans have still said they don’t trust it will be a bipartisan effort, threatening the chances of a truly independent look at the violent attack on the Capitol by a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters.
Absent an agreement on changes, Republicans are expected to block the bill whenever Democrats bring it up for a vote, potentially as soon as this week. Only a handful of GOP senators have indicated they will vote for it, and Democrats appear to be far short of the 10 Republicans they need to pass the legislation.
GOP senators ready $1T infrastructure counteroffer to Biden
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans revived negotiations Tuesday over President Joe Biden’s sweeping investment plan, preparing a $1 trillion infrastructure proposal that would be funded with COVID-19 relief money as a counteroffer to the White House ahead of a Memorial Day deadline toward a bipartisan deal.
The Republicans said they would disclose details of the new offer by Thursday, sounding upbeat after both sides had panned other offers.
At the White House, press secretary Jen Psaki declined to address the new plan, but said: “We expect this week to be a week of progress.”
Talks over the infrastructure investment are at a crossroads as Biden reaches for a top legislative priority. The White House is assessing whether the president can strike a bipartisan deal with Republicans on his American Jobs Plan or whether he will try to go it alone with Democrats if no progress is made in the days ahead.
Yet the administration and the GOP senators remain far apart over the size and scope of the investment needed to reboot the nation’s roads, bridges and broadband — but also, as Biden sees it, the child care centers and green energy investments needed for a 21st-century economy. They also can’t agree on how to pay for it.
Board fight at Exxon intensifies spotlight on climate change
NEW YORK — ExxonMobil is facing a major challenge from a group of investors in one of the biggest fights a corporate boardroom has endured over its stance on climate change, an issue of rising urgency for many shareholders.
The investor group is pushing to replace four of the oil giant’s board members with executives they say are better suited to both strengthen the company’s finances and lead it through the transition to cleaner energy. The fight represents a moment of reckoning for major publicly traded companies to address a global crisis.
Engine No. 1, the name of the hedge fund that has mounted the challenge, owns just a sliver of Exxon’s shares. But the dissident slate of board members it has put forward commands the backing of some of the country’s most powerful institutional investors, including the largest public pension funds.
Regardless of the outcome of the shareholder vote, to be announced after the annual shareholder meeting Wednesday, the challenge reflects momentum among consumers, investors and government leaders around the globe to pivot away from fossil fuels and invest in a future where energy needs are increasingly met using renewable sources. To that end, President Joe Biden has set the ambitious goal of slashing America’s greenhouse gas emissions in half by the end of the decade.
“We’re at a tipping point,” said Aeisha Mastagni, portfolio manager at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, known as CalSTRS, one of the nation’s largest pension funds and among the major institutional investors that backed the alternative group of directors. “You’re seeing investors from all around the world that are wanting to see better disclosure around climate change risk, you’re seeing shareholder proposals that are passing with increased shareholder support, and now we have this monumental vote at ExxonMobil.”
Jolie says judge in Pitt divorce won’t let children testify
LOS ANGELES — Angelina Jolie criticized a judge who is deciding on child custody in her divorce with Brad Pitt, saying in a court filing that the judge refused to allow their children to testify.
Jolie, who has sought to disqualify Judge John Ouderkirk from the divorce case, said in the filing Monday that he declined to hear evidence she says is relevant to the children’s safety and well-being before issuing a tentative ruling. The documents don’t elaborate on what that evidence may be.
“Judge Ouderkirk denied Ms. Jolie a fair trial, improperly excluding her evidence relevant to the children’s health, safety, and welfare, evidence critical to making her case,” according to the filing in California’s Second District Court of Appeal.
The actress also said the judge “has failed to adequately consider” a section of the California courts code, which says it is detrimental to the best interest of the child if custody is awarded to a person with a history of domestic violence. Her filing did not give details about what it was referring to, but her lawyers submitted a document under seal in March that purportedly offers additional information.
Jolie sought a divorce in 2016, days after a disagreement broke out on private flight ferrying the actors and their children from France to Los Angeles. Pitt was accused of being abusive toward his then-15-year-old son during the flight, but investigations by child welfare officials and the FBI were closed with no charges being filed against the actor. Jolie’s attorney said at the time that she sought a divorce “for the health of the family.”
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *