The DC: 📉 Fed cuts interest rates, and... Do you support Medicaid work requirements?
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by Countable | 8.1.19
Welcome to Thursday, August 1st, buttons and zippers...
10 contenders for the 2020 Democratic nomination took the stage in Detroit on Wednesday. A similar number of protestors took the audience.
After Vice President Joe Biden was asked about deportations under the Obama administration, two women began shouting “3 million deportations!"
Earlier in the night, as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered his opening remarks, a group of protesters yelled "Fire Pantaleo!" This was a reference to New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo, who is accused of fatally choking Eric Garner. The Department of Justice has declined to file charges against Pantaleo.
It wasn't all civil disobedience. Click here for our roundup of the quotes of the night.
Here's a peek:
Julian Castro, Former housing secretary: "I don't want to make America anything again. I don't want us to go backward. We're not going back to the past. We're not going back where we came from. We're going to move forward."
Andrew Yang, Entrepreneur, on his wife providing stay-at-home care for their autistic son: “What does her work count at in today’s economy? Zero, and we know that’s the opposite of the truth. We know that her work is among the most challenging and vital...if we change the measurements of the 21st century economy to revolve around our own well-being, then we will win this election.”
Tulsi Gabbard, Congresswoman from Hawaii: “First of all, [climate change] is personal. You can imagine I grew up in Hawaii, which is the most remote island chain in the world, so for us growing up there, protecting our environment was not a political issue, it’s a way of life. It’s part of our culture. It’s part of who we are.”
On the Radar
Interest Rate Cut
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell announced in a news conference Wednesday that the central bank’s board of governors voted 8-2 in favor of cutting the federal funds rate by 0.25%, marking the first cut to the key interest rate since 2008 and bringing it back to the target range of 2.0% - 2.25% it was at prior to December’s rate hike.
Powell explained that slowing growth in global manufacturing and investment was a key factor in the decision. But he said that “there’s no reason the expansion can’t keep going” and said that U.S. growth is “well-balanced in sense” in that “there’s no sector that’s booming and might bust.”
As this chart from our partners at USAFacts shows, prior to the Fed raising the federal funds rate in late 2015 it had been near zero since the onset of the 2008-09 recession. In 2017, the most recent full year for which data is available, the federal funds rate averaged 1%.
Medicaid Work Requirements
A federal judge has struck down the Trump administration's Medicaid work requirements in New Hampshire.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg has also rebuffed similar Medicaid work requirements in Kentucky and Arkansas. As in the previous two cases, Boasberg ruled that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) failed to consider the number of people impacted by the work requirements would lose Medicaid coverage.
“In short, we have all seen this movie before,” Boasberg wrote in his opinion.
Work requirements were approved and promoted by the administration’s HHS and Seema Verma, the administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“We will continue to defend our efforts to give states greater flexibility to help low income Americans rise out of poverty,” Verma said in a statement in response to the Kentucky and Arkansas ruling.
Under the Radar
California has formed a deal with four automakers to produce fuel-efficient cars, circumventing the federal Environmental Protection Agency that is working to relax them.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen AG, Honda, and BMW of North America agreed to reach a standard of around 50 miles per gallon by 2026. The companies will also be able to receive credits towards meeting their annual targets by implementing environmental-friendly technologies.
The Trump administration’s pending rollback would freeze mileage requirements for cars and light trucks at around 37 miles per gallon on average.
Currently, 12 states and the District of Columbia have adopted California’s emissions standards.
The Society for Psychedelic Outreach and Reform and Education (SPORE), which convinced Denver voters to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms in May, is going national.
“Our mission is to transform public opinion to normalize and decriminalize the responsible use, possession and cultivation of psilocybin mushrooms and other psychedelic plants and fungi,” said Kevin Matthews, the group’s executive director.
But Michael Clarendon, a physician who lives in Oakland - which recently decriminalized plant-based psychedelics - said medical literature doesn't support the broad use of magic mushrooms.
“Indigenous people use mushrooms in controlled rituals, not recreationally. The most responsible course for the city council would be to put this on hold to see what happens in Denver and what the response is there,” he said.
Your Gov at a Glance 👀
The White House: President Trump in D.C. & OH
- At 12:00pm EDT, the president will receive his intelligence briefing.
- At 12:45pm EDT, the president will have lunch with the secretary of defense.
- At 6:35pm EDT, the president will participate in a joint fundraising committee reception in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- At 7:00pm EDT, the president will deliver remarks at a Make America Great Again rally in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The House of Representatives: Out
- The House will return Monday, September 9th.
The Senate: In
- Voting on an amendment to the Bipartisan Budget Act that would only allow the debt limit to be increased after Congress has advanced a Balanced Budget Amendment to cut & cap federal spending.
- Taking a cloture vote on the Bipartisan Budget Act to lift the debt limit for two years and raise budget caps by $324 billion over that period.
- Voting on the Bipartisan Budget Act to lift the debt limit for two years and raise budget caps by $324 billion over that period.
What You're Saying
Here's how you're answering Should Federal Surveys Include Voluntary Data Collection on Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity?
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But wait, there's more!
- Trump Administration Moves to Make Health Care Costs More Transparent
- Health Care and Immigration are Driving the Conversation Since the First 2020 Democratic Debate
And, in the End…
It's Spider-Man Day.
Here's the web-slinger helping Abraham Lincoln with his "Gettysburg Distress":
It's also Respect for Parents Day. I'm respecting mine by wishing them a happy anniversary in the Daily Countable,
Talk to us via email at contact [at] countable.us. And don’t forget to keep in touch @Countable.
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