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Yellen on Tuesday told Congress that the U.S. will run out of flexibility to avoid breaching the debt limit on Oct. 18, setting a new deadline for lawmakers to avoid a catastrophic default on its payment obligations…
…Yellen’s letter came less than 24 hours after Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would suspend the debt ceiling and prevent a government shutdown on Friday. Senate Republicans have said they would support a stand-alone measure to prevent the shutdown but they largely have opposed efforts by Democrats to suspend the debt ceiling.
The U.S. government runs a large budget deficit, spending far more than it brings in through tax revenue. To address this imbalance, the government borrows money by issuing debt. But it can only issue debt up to a limit set by Congress. That limit is repeatedly raised or suspended, and lawmakers are now up against another cap.
House Democrats huddle over simmering tensions about budget and agenda.
If Congress doesn’t raise the limit, the Treasury Department will not have the capability to pay all of its bills. Yellen’s new letter lays out that this crunch will really tighten after Oct. 18. She called on Congress to act as swiftly as possible, an overture she has tried for weeks without much success.
Greg Sargent of The Washington Post recommends that Democrats respond to Republican obstruction in a manner that could stop some of this nonsense:
Democrats appear likely to opt for Plan B, which is to raise the debt limit in the reconciliation process. But if so, they have another option: They can try to use reconciliation to effectively nullify the debt limit, which if it works would end this nonsense for good.
Can President Biden get a deal done to avoid a government shutdown. As Chris Cillizza of CNN writes, Biden has spent his entire life preparing for this moment.
Colorado Newsline has more on this story with a local perspective.
► Maps, maps, maps!
Sandra Fish and Thy Vo of The Colorado Sun explain — as much as anyone can — how Colorado’s redistricting process is nearing its conclusion:
Eight of the 12 members of Colorado’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission must agree on a map by the end of Tuesday to prevent a staff-drawn proposal from being sent to the state Supreme Court for final approval.
There are about 30 different maps commissioners can consider at a 2 p.m. meeting Monday or another meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
By this time tomorrow, we might know what Congressional map we are going to be arguing about. The final step could still involve a decision by the State Supreme Court.
The process for approving new legislative maps, meanwhile, seems likely to go smoother:
The latest draft state House and Senate maps released last week appear to each have the support of at least eight members of the Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission.
While commissioners have discussed changes they’d like to see to the maps, an informal straw poll last week indicated a supermajority of commissioners would, if the latest drafts were the final maps for consideration, vote for the proposals.
In related news, Evan Wyloge of the publication formerly known as The Colorado Statesman reports on new interactions related to a redistricting lobbying complaint against several Republican operatives, including Alan Philp, Frank McNulty, and Greg Brophy.
► Colorado Republicans are not shy about offering their opinion that GOP gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl is going to get positively pummeled by incumbent Democrat Jared Polis in 2022.
► David Leonhardt of The New York Times suggests a new moniker for the pandemic in the United States:
New data from Gallup backs up this assertion. Roughly 92% of Democrats say that they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 56% of Republicans.
Click below to keep learning stuff…
And Now, More Words…
► Pfizer has shared its data on the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine in children with the FDA, as The New York Times reports:
Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Tuesday that they had submitted data to the Food and Drug Administration that the companies said showed that their coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective in children ages 5 to 11.
The companies said that they would submit a formal request to regulators to allow a pediatric dose of their vaccine to be administered in the United States in the coming weeks. Similar requests will be filed with European regulators and in other countries…
…About 28 million children ages 5 to 11 would be eligible for the vaccine in the United States, far more than the 17 million of ages 12 to 15 who became eligible for the vaccine in May.
► Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post warns Republicans that their persistent obstruction might come back to bite them in the ass in 2022:
…the Senate GOP has gone all in with its embrace of economic self-destruction and obstruction. In their unanimous refusal on Monday to raise the debt ceiling, they put themselves on the side of fiscal Armageddon, not “conservatism” or any other responsible philosophy of governance. As Majority Leader Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) put it, “What the Republicans in the Senate did . . . is not normal. This isn’t your typical Washington fracas, and it shouldn’t be treated as such. It has far more severe consequences than the typical political catfight.”
The Post reports that the GOP’s antics “could cause severe financial calamity, the White House has warned, potentially plunging the United States into another recession.” Republicans apparently do not care. They refuse to take responsibility for preserving a functional economy, just as they refuse to maintain a functional health-care system in which intensive care units are available for patients who are not needlessly suffering from covid-19…
…Even Democrats — who are often loath to sound “too negative” or to use blunt language instead of complex policy arguments — should be able to figure out a campaign message for 2022. Republicans are neither conservative in economic outlook (look at the business community’s reaction to the debt ceiling standoff) nor pro-life (consider the innocent life they put at risk in their management of the pandemic). They fail to put the country’s national security above partisan politics. Theirs is a radical, reckless and revanchist party — one far too dangerous to trust with power. Call it the “Chaos Party,” a term that will remind suburban voters and college-educated voters why they fled the GOP in 2020. [Pols emphasis]
► As The Associated Press reports, longtime Democratic adviser Cole Finegan is being nominated by President Biden to serve as U.S. Attorney in Colorado.
► Congressional Republicans have formally submitted resolutions to impeach President Biden at least seven times in 2021. Remember this the next time someone like Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert tries to get publicity for introducing yet another pointless impeachment resolution.
► On the subject of Q*Bert, there is an emerging pattern of a swift smackdown every time Boebert says something stupid (which happens quite often).
► Colorado’s minimum wage is rising, as a press release from the Governor’s office explains:
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s (CDLE) Division of Labor Standards and Statistics (DLSS) announced today the proposed new Colorado minimum wage, currently at $12.32 for 2021, will rise on January 1, 2022 to $12.56, or $9.54 for those receiving enough in tips for total pay to meet or exceed the full minimum wage. Annually inflation-adjusting the minimum wage is mandated by a section of the Colorado Constitution that Colorado voters adopted in a 2006 ballot measure (with the exception of 2017-20, when the minimum wage rose by larger amounts due to another ballot measure, in 2016, raising the minimum wage by 90-99 cents annually until it reached $12.00 by 2020).
“As we build back better, it’s great to see Colorado workers get a decent raise on the minimum wage to $12.56/hour as our state builds an economy that works for everybody,” said Governor Polis. “Investing in upskilling to help workers have the skills needed to earn much more than minimum wage is one of our top priorities, so Colorado can continue to be a place where everyone can thrive.”
► The Colorado Times Recorder reports on efforts to make sure that Colorado families don’t miss out on extended child tax credit benefits.
► As Denver7 reports, federal SNAP benefits will increase on October 1.
► The Denver Post reports that COVID-19 hospitalizations in Colorado have plateaued — but at a level that is still very high.
► Colorado Public Radio looks anew at the brown air in the Denver Metro area.
► As POLITICO reports, U.S. military leaders are testifying before Congress on the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
► A school district in Brighton, Colorado is sounding the alarm about staffing shortages.
Say What, Now?
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Donald Trump won the war on Christmas?
► Casa Bonita will soon be (officially) in the hands of the creators of the South Park television show.
► Colorado Newsline breaks down Colorado’s 10 most dangerous election deniers:
Former President Donald Trump hatched the “big lie” that the election was stolen from him, and this falsehood has sloshed through every Republican channel in the country. Some of his supporters surely believe the lie, and some surely don’t. But what’s most important to all of them is that his opponents are deprived of power, no matter what voters prefer, no matter by what means, even if the Constitution must be scrapped and democracy canceled, and even if it means violence.
These forces have gained momentum in Colorado, and they are increasingly dangerous. The individuals involved can be identified — indeed, they must be named. Coloradans should know who they are, understand their iniquitous motives, and counter their efforts like the country’s survival depends on it.
It’s tough to restrict this list to ONLY 10 names, so Quentin Young includes a couple of “Honorable Mentions.”
► Don’t miss this weekend story from The Washington Post on Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters and her election-denying law breaking.
► This week on The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii discuss the worst campaign kickoff in modern Colorado history and the return to Colorado of embattled Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters.