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Senators vow to strip Obama climate power

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WASHINGTON – Conservative senators vowed Monday to strip President Barack Obama of his power to regulate greenhouse gases, in a move that would cripple US efforts on climate change if successful.

Eleven Republican senators introduced a bill that would stop the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases, which scientists blame for global warming, without explicit approval by Congress.

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Under Obama, the federal agency has steadily increased standards on gas emissions. The Republicans accused Obama of circumventing Congress, where a so-called “cap-and-trade” bill to mandate emission curbs died last year.

“My bill will shrink Washington’s job-crushing agenda and grow America’s economy,” said Senator John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming and skeptic of climate change who is leading the effort.

“I will do whatever it takes to ensure that Washington doesn’t impose cap-and-trade policies in any form.”

The Obama administration counters that a shift to green energy would help both the planet and the economy by creating a new source of high-paying jobs.

Senator John Kerry, a Democrat from Massachusetts who led last year’s climate bill, hit back that Barrasso’s proposal “puts the public health at risk and encourages the outsourcing of American jobs.”

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Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey accused the Republicans of doing the bidding of industrial emitters, saying: “The health of our children must come before the interests of polluters.”

The Republicans swept November elections but the Democratic Party still controls the Senate and the White House, meaning that Obama can veto any effort to roll back powers on emissions.

But the proposal is another sign that it will be virtually impossible for the Democrats to pass legislation on climate change, which failed to pass even when the party controlled the House of Representatives and held a wider majority in the Senate.

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The battle in Congress leaves the Obama administration with a delicate task as it tries to persuade China and other growing polluters to agree to a global plan on greenhouse gases.

Obama has pledged that the United States, the second largest emitter, will take action alongside other nations to fight climate change.

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Last year was the hottest on record and one of the worst in decades for natural disasters, according to scientists.


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2020 Election

Portland sheriff fires back at Trump for falsely claiming he supports the president

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Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese of Portland, Oregon, quickly shut down President Donald Trump's claim that he endorsed him for the upcoming presidential election.

During the first presidential debate on Tuesday night, Reese took to Twitter with his reaction to Trump's remarks as he confirmed he has never supported Trump. In addition, he also made it clear he has no intent on supporting the president going forward.

"In tonight's presidential debate the President said the 'Portland Sheriff' supports him," Reese tweeted on Tuesday night, adding, "As the Multnomah County Sheriff I have never supported Donald Trump and will never support him."

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COVID-19

Layoffs loom for beleaguered US airline industry

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Workers from the beleaguered US airline industry are making a last-ditch public appeal this week to coax more money from Capitol Hill power brokers to save their jobs.

The first day of October concludes the period when US carriers that received billions in aid from Congress promised to refrain from laying off workers.

A package of loans totaling up to $25 billion to seven US carriers announced Tuesday night by the Treasury Department provides funds for airlines to ride out a prolonged downturn amid the coronavirus, but won't affect plans for furloughs, airline sources said.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday on CNBC he was hopeful airlines would postpone layoffs if congressional leaders can reach a framework for a deal, saying it was "critical" for Congress to act.

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Lindsey Graham lashes out at ‘clueless’ Comey after GOP chair gets accused of ignoring Russian election threat

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Wednesday lashed out at former FBI Director James Comey after Comey accused him of ignoring the ongoing threat of Russian interference with America's elections.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Comey schooled Graham on the necessity of investigating whether President Donald Trump's campaign worked with the Russian government against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Although special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the matter did not establish a criminal conspiracy, it did reveal multiple contacts and meetings between Trump officials and Russian agents throughout the campaign. Mueller also found that the Trump campaign sent multiple signals to the Russians that they welcomed their help in taking down Clinton.

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