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Biden to sign bipartisan infrastructure bill into law on Monday – live

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LIVE – Updated at 01:18

© Photograph: REX/Shutterstock President Joe Biden makes remarks at the Port of Baltimore detailing how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal works to upgrade US ports.

President to be joined by lawmakers who helped craft bill, White House says – follow all the latest politics news.


Federal judge overturns Texas ban on in-school mask mandates

A federal judge has blocked an executive order from Texas governor Greg Abbott prohibiting schools from issuing mask mandates, saying it violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

District Judge Lee Yeakel on Wednesday has blocked the attorney general’s office in Texas from enforcing the anti-mask order, saying it would disproportionately impact children with special health needs.

“Children with certain underlying conditions who contract Covid-19 are more likely to experience severe acute biological effects and to require admission to a hospital and the hospital’s intensive-care unit,” he said.

The federal lawsuit was filed in August by advocacy group Disability Rights Texas, which argued the governor’s order would deny children with disabilities access to public education – in violation of the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act.

Local officials will again be allowed to create their own rules around mask mandates to stop the spread of the coronavirus.


Kari Paul here, signing off for the night! Below are the top stories of the last few hours.

  • Joe Biden and Xi Jinping will hold a highly-anticipated virtual summit on Monday.
  • Kamala Harris is in France attempting to calm a strained US-France relationship following a controversy around a submarine deal.
  • The trial of 18-year-old murder suspect Kyle Rittenhouse has been thrown into jeopardy Wednesday after his lawyers sought a mistrial.
  • Joe Biden will host Justin Trudeau and Andrés Manuel López Obrador for a summit on Canada-Mexico-US relations next week.
  • A federal judge has approved a $626m settlement in a Flint, Michigan water pollution case.
  • Another federal judge has overturned an executive order in Texas that would have banned schools from enforcing mask mandates.


Judge approves $626m settlement in Flint water case

A federal judge on Wednesday approved a settlement of $626m with tens of thousands of residents of Flint, Michigan who sued the state over drinking water tainted by lead and bacteria.

Judith Levy, a federal judge in Michigan, called the settlement a “remarkable achievement,” noting in her 178-page opinion that it “sets forth a comprehensive compensation program and timeline that is consistent for every qualifying participant”.

Flint’s troubles began in 2014 after the city switched its water supply to the Flint River from Lake Huron to cut costs. Residents began to notice effects like hair loss and rashes and doctors soon found dangerous levels of lead in the blood of children.

Corrosive river water caused lead to leach from pipes, contaminating the drinking water and causing an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.

Corey Stern, a lawyer representing 4,000 children from the Flint area, said in a statement the agreement wouldn’t have been possible “without the children and families of Flint relentlessly taking a stand against those who failed to keep them safe.”

“Flint families are finally going to get some justice,” he said.

Read the full story here.


00:54 Maya Yang

Kyle Rittenhouse lawyers seek mistrial as judge upbraids prosecution

The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse has been upended by requests from his lawyers for a mistrial over apparently out-of-bounds questioning from a chief prosecutor.

Rittenhouse, 18, has been charged with killing two men and injuring a third during a night of turbulent protests and counter-protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year after a local Black man was shot by a white police officer.

The judge did not immediately rule on the request and is allowing the trial to continue. More from my colleague Maya Yang:

The startling turn came after Rittenhouse took the stand and testified that he was under attack when he shot the three men.

“I defended myself,” the 18-year-old said.

During cross-examination, prosecutor Thomas Binger asked Rittenhouse about whether it was appropriate to use deadly force to protect property. Binger also posed questions about Rittenhouse’s silence after his arrest.

At that, the jury was ushered out of the room, and circuit judge Bruce Schroeder loudly and angrily accused Binger of pursuing an improper line of questioning and trying to introduce testimony that the judge earlier said he was inclined to prohibit.

The defense asked for a mistrial with prejudice, meaning that if one is granted, Rittenhouse cannot be retried in the shootings. When Binger said he had been acting in good faith, the judge replied: “I don’t believe that.”

Full story here.


Biden to host Trudeau, Amlo for summit next week

The White House announced Wednesday that Joe Biden plans to host Canadian president Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Amlo), in Washington, D.C. next week.

It will mark the first North American Leaders’ Summit since 2016, according to a White House release. On the agenda:

During the Summit, the United States, Mexico, and Canada will reaffirm their strong ties and integration while also charting a new path for collaboration on ending the COVID-19 pandemic and advancing health security; competitiveness and equitable growth, to include climate change; and a regional vision for migration. Strengthening our partnership is essential to our ability to build back better, to revitalize our leadership, and to respond to a widening range of regional and global challenges.

The summit’s announcement comes days after the US modified travel restrictions on visitors from dozens of countries, including Canada and Mexico. Visitors crossing into the US from Canada or Mexico are still required to show proof of vaccination.


Harris attempts to calm strained US-France relationship in visit following submarine controversy

Speculation has followed Kamala Harris on her trip to France this week regarding how the vice president will handle ongoing fallout over a botched submarine deal.

The US in September brokered a deal with Australia to share nuclear submarine technology, leading the latter country to cancel its $65m submarine order with France.

Officials in France called the move a “stab in the back” and something “Mr. Trump would do”, responding strongly by temporarily recalling its ambassadors in the US and Australia. Joe Biden meanwhile conceded publicly at the G20 summit in Rome that the US handling of the deal “was clumsy”.

Administration officials have said the trip is “extremely important” to the relationship between the two countries following the submarine snub.

“Building on the great conversation that you and President Biden had, I look forward to the next few days,” Harris said at the French palace on Wednesday night.

Harris in France will meet with president Emmanuel Macron in addition to attending a number of diplomatic engagements including the Paris Peace Forum and the Libya Conference, where she will join 20 heads of state to encourage an end to violence in Libya and open democratic elections on Dec. 24.

Harris will also mark Armistice Day in France and Veterans Day in the US by visiting Surenes, an American World War I military cemetery.

“We’ll work together and renew the focus that we’ve always had on a partnership and a benefit to the people of France and the people of the United States and the people of the world,” Harris said in her Wednesday address.


Biden vows to fight inflation

My colleague Lauren Gambino has a report to share from the ground in Baltimore, where Joe Biden is discussing his Build Back Better agenda.

Framed by shipping crates and cranes and a setting sun, Joe Biden took a long-awaited victory lap over the passage of his infrastructure bill during a visit to the Port of Baltimore.

“Infrastructure week has finally arrived,” he said with a chuckle. The audience included longshore workers, several members of the Maryland congressional delegation, the mayor of Baltimore and the state’s governor, Larry Hogan, a Republican who praised the bill’s passage.

During his remarks, Biden promised to fight inflation that is causing the price of “everything from a gall of gas to a loaf of bread” to rise.

Biden then offered a lengthy explanation of supply chains, something no one thinks about until they have to, he said. He said recent actions taken by the White House to ease bottlenecks in the supply chain will help bring prices down and ensure shelves are stocked in time for the holidays. In the long-term, he said the infrastructure bill will help build greater resilience for future supply chain disruption: pandemics, climate disaster or cyber attacks.

Biden again made the case for his Build Back Better agenda, which is facing new hurdles in the wake of a consumer index report that showed climbing prices. Senator Joe Manchin, already a holdout on the bill, said Washington can “no longer ignore the economic pain” caused by inflation.

Biden said tackling inflation was a “top priority” and made the point again in his remarks. He argued that his Build Back Better would help bring down inflation by easing the financial pressures on American families, especially parents and seniors.

“We’re going to build a better America – not a joke,” he said. “We’re going to mess the world again – not a joke.”

But in typical Biden fashion, he ended with a joke. acknowledging that he can be long-winded, he told a man in the crowd with “as little hair as mine” to put back on his hat.

“I’d put it back on – you’re gonna get cold,” he said.


Biden and Xi Jinping to hold virtual summit on Monday

A widely-awaited meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping is scheduled to take place virtually on 15 November, according to Politico.

The meeting has been gaining momentum after the two leaders expressed a desire to establish a positive tone in recent weeks, both sending letters of congratulations on Tuesday to the National Committee on United States-China Relations (NCUSCR) to mark its 55th anniversary.

“China stands ready to work with the United States to enhance exchanges and cooperation across the board … so as to bring China-US relations back to the right track of sound and steady development”, Xi’s letter, read aloud at a NCUSCR black-tie gala dinner stated.

Biden, meanwhile, underscored in his letter read at the same event the “global significance” of the US-China relationship in addressing issues “from tackling the Covid-19 pandemic to addressing the existential threat of the climate crisis”.

The summit marks a major opportunity to reset a historically tense bilateral relationship exacerbated by inflammatory rhetoric against China from former president Donald Trump.

While no major breakthroughs are anticipated from the meeting, it symbolizes an opportunity to make progress on a range of issues including “easing of visa restrictions, the creation of a bilateral nuclear weapons dialogue and a possible framework to ease trade frictions to demonstrate bilateral resolve to move the relationship from confrontation to cooperation”, according to Politico.

The meeting was confirmed to Politico by both a US official and a non-administration source familiar with the planning.


10 Nov 2021 22:58

Jill Biden honors kids of injured soldiers as ‘hidden heroes’

In her first solo event at the White House on Wednesday, first lady Jill Biden honored the children and caregivers of injured US troops, calling them “hidden heroes”.

While President Joe Biden was offsite for a speech at the Port of Baltimore this afternoon, Jill Biden welcomed family members of wounded soldiers in the East Room of the White House.

Biden’s late son Beau earned a Bronze Star in Iraq, making the issue personal to her, she said. She told attendees she often visited Walter Reed National Military medical center in 2009 throughout the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“I would sit near the beds of the wounded warriors, usually with a spouse close by, and listen to their stories of courage and sacrifice,” she said. “Over time, I built relationships with those families. And my heart went out to the spouses who cared for them – so often young moms, bouncing babies on their hips.”

The event comes after the White House Joining Forces initiative teamed up with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project earlier this year launch Hidden Helpers, designed to provide support for the children of America’s 5.5 million military caregivers.

Today so far

10 Nov 2021 22:46

That’s it from me today. My west coast colleague Kari Paul will take over the blog for the next few hours.

Here’s where the day stands so far:

  • Joe Biden will sign the bipartisan infrastructure bill on Monday, the White House announced. At the bill-signing ceremony, the president will be joined by a bipartisan group of lawmakers who helped craft the legislation. The event will come a week and a half after the House passed the bill, which will provide $550bn in new federal funds for roads, bridges and other projects.
  • US inflation hit a 30-year high last month, according to a new report from the labor department. Prices have risen 6.2% over the past 12 months, marking the highest year-over-year increase since December 1990.
  • Biden pledged to address rising inflation during an event at the Port of Baltimore this afternoon. The president acknowledged that “consumer prices remain too high,” and he argued his economic agenda would soon help lower costs for American families. “Thanks to those steps we’re taking, very soon we’re going to see the supply chain start catching up with demand,” Biden said. “So not only will we see more record-breaking job growth, we’ll see lower prices, faster deliveries as well.”
  • The National Archives is expected to start delivering Trump White House documents to the select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection on Friday. A federal judge ruled last night that the House committee could have access to the documents, dismissing Donald Trump’s claims of executive privilege over the materials. Trump intends to appeal the ruling.
  • The Democratic chair of the select committee said the judge’s ruling was a “big deal,” as the panel gathers evidence on Trump’s response to the insurrection. “We have the law on our side, and you know, we are a nation of laws,” chair Bennie Thompson told CNN last night.

Kari will have more coming up, so stay tuned.


10 Nov 2021 22:27

Hello all! This is Kari Paul taking over the blog for the next few hours. Stay tuned for updates.

Biden pledges to address rising inflation after labor department releases alarming report

10 Nov 2021 21:55

Joe Biden acknowledged that “consumer prices remain too high,” after the labor department released a report showing US inflation hit a 30-year high last month.

“Everything from a gallon of gas to a loaf of bread costs more, and it’s worrisome, even though wages are going up,” Biden said. “We still face challenges, and we have to tackle them. We have to tackle them head on.”

The president argued that his economic agenda, including the bipartisan infrastructure bill, will help resolve supply-chain issues and bring down prices as a result.

“Thanks to those steps we’re taking, very soon we’re going to see the supply chain start catching up with demand,” Biden said. “So not only will we see more record-breaking job growth, we’ll see lower prices, faster deliveries as well.”

Before wrapping up his speech, Biden expressed his gratitude to the members of the local International Longshoremen’s Association chapter who led the president’s tour at the Port of Baltimore. Biden will now head back to Washington.

Biden takes victory lap in Baltimore: ‘Infrastructure week has finally arrived’

10 Nov 2021 21:31

Joe Biden is now delivering remarks about the benefits of the bipartisan infrastructure bill at the Port of Baltimore.

Celebrating the House’s passage of the bill last week, the president said, “Infrastructure week has finally arrived.”

Poking fun at his predecessor’s failure to pass an infrastructure bill, Biden said with a laugh, “How many times did you hear over the last five years, ‘Infrastructure week is coming’? Yeah, uh-huh.”

The White House has just announced that Biden will sign the infrastructure bill on Monday, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers will be in attendance for the event.

Video: Massive bipartisan infrastructure bill awaits Biden’s signature (CBS News)

Massive bipartisan infrastructure bill awaits Biden’s signature
What to watch next


10 Nov 2021 21:18

Joe Biden participated in a tour at the Port of Baltimore, where he will soon deliver remarks on the benefits of the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

The president viewed machinery that is imported and exported at the port, the White House told the press pool.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, and several members of the local International Longshoremen’s Association chapter joined Biden for the tour.


10 Nov 2021 21:08

A White House official said Joe Biden will use the signing of the infrastructure bill as an opportunity to outline how his administration is responding to supply-chain issues and rising inflation.

“Coming after his visit to the Port of Baltimore, the President will also emphasize the array of steps he and his administration are taking thanks to the bipartisan deal to build on the hard work he and his team have been doing to strengthen supply chains and address bottlenecks in moving goods across the country,” the official said.

“And he will reiterate that a large body of experts have shown that these infrastructure investments will help to act against inflationary pressures by making it easier to receive the unparalleled volume of goods that need to be moved after we achieved the re-opening of the economy this summer.”

The announcement of the Monday bill-signing comes hours after the labor department released a report showing US inflation hit a 30-year high last month, as prices rose for everything from gasoline to meat products.

Biden will sign infrastructure bill on Monday

10 Nov 2021 20:56

Joe Biden will sign the bipartisan infrastructure bill on Monday, the White House has just announced.

At the bill-signing, the president will be joined by a bipartisan group of lawmakers who helped craft the legislation, as well as governors, mayors and labor leaders who pushed for the proposal’s passage.

“At the signing ceremony, the President will highlight how he is following through on his commitment to rebuild the middle class and the historic benefits the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will deliver for American families,” the White House said in its statement.

The bill-signing will come a week and a half after the House passed the infrastructure bill, which includes $550bn in new federal funds for roads, bridges and other projects.

Biden is scheduled to soon deliver remarks on the benefits of the infrastructure bill at the Port of Baltimore, so stay tuned.


10 Nov 2021 20:44

The White House has released a readout of Joe Biden’s meeting this morning with Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission.

“They welcomed the revitalization of U.S.-EU ties, which has led to the resolution of long-standing trade differences as well as cooperation on ending the COVID-19 pandemic, fighting climate change, and investing in the infrastructure needs of the 21st century,” the White House said.

“The leaders addressed the humanitarian situation on the European Union’s border with Belarus and expressed deep concern about the irregular migration flows. They discussed our shared commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. In addition, they expressed their continued support for political and economic stability in Northern Ireland.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to intervene in the crisis unfolding along the border between Belarus and Poland.

The Guardian’s Andrew Roth reports:

In a phone call on a crisis that has escalated dramatically since Monday, when 1,000 people mainly from Iraqi Kurdistan arrived on the border, the German chancellor told Putin that the ‘use of migrants by the Belarusian regime was inhuman and unacceptable and asked [Putin] to influence the regime in Minsk’, according to the chancellor’s spokesperson, Steffen Seibert, who described the situation as ‘state-sanctioned human trafficking’.

The conversation came hours after Poland’s prime minister accused the Russian president of ‘masterminding’ the surging numbers and underlined the role that regional alliances were playing in the standoff and ensuing humanitarian crisis. Thousands of people are in the forests along the border, where temperatures fall below zero after nightfall.

Related: Merkel appeals to Putin to intervene in Belarus border crisis


10 Nov 2021 20:25 Jessica Murray

Cop26 is not short of controversial subjects, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has demonstrated she is not afraid to get stuck into the big questions: namely, would she like the Scottish fizzy drink Irn-Bru?

The bright orange drink has become the surprise curiosity of Cop26, and is on sale throughout the SEC convention centre due to a deal between building’s owners and drinks manufacturer AG Barr. Delegates from all over the world have been sharing their thoughts on its unique taste, with mixed reviews.

In an Instagram video of herself trying the drink for the first time, the US congresswoman said: “Oh my God, love it, love it. This tastes just like the Latina soda Kola Champagne.”

“I was so shocked at having something in Glasgow that tasted like home,” she added in a caption. “However Irn-Bru is also very unique on its own. It’s got pizazz. Will bring some cans home to NY for sure!”

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted a photo of herself handing a can to Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday, after the congresswoman indicated she hoped to try it while in Glasgow.

“Amidst all the serious business at Cop26 today, I’m pleased to also report that AOC now has a supply of Irn-Bru,” she wrote.

Related: ‘Love it’: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gives verdict on Scottish favourite Irn-Bru


10 Nov 2021 20:06

John Kerry, the president’s special envoy for climate, celebrated the new agreement between the US and China to curb methane emissions.

Speaking at the Cop26 climate change conference in Glasgow, Kerry noted that cutting methane emissions is considered to be “the single fastest and most effective way to limit warming”.

“And that’s why it’s been a top priority for President Biden and many of our partners here in Glasgow,” Kerry said, adding that China’s commitment will help limit global methane emissions in this “critical decade”.

China and the US announce plan to work together on cutting emissions

10 Nov 2021 19:42 Fiona Harvey

China and the US announced a surprise plan to work together on cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the crucial next decade, in a strong boost to the Cop26 summit, as negotiators wrangled over a draft outcome.

The world’s two biggest emitters had been trading insults for the first week of the conference, but on Wednesday evening unveiled a joint declaration that would see the world’s two biggest economies cooperate closely on the emissions cuts scientists say are needed in the next ten years to stay within 1.5C.

The remarkable turnaround came as a surprise to the UK hosts, and will send a strong signal to the 190-plus other countries at the talks. China and the US will work together on some key specific areas, such as cutting methane – a powerful greenhouse gas – and emissions from transport, energy and industry.

“Both sides recognise that there is a gap between the current effort and the Paris agreement goals, so we will jointly strengthen our Paris efforts and cooperation … to accelerate a green and low carbon transition,” said Xie Zhenhua, China’s head of delegation.

“Climate change is becoming an increasingly urgent challenge. We hope this joint declaration will help to achieve success at Cop26.”

Related: China and the US announce plan to work together on cutting emissions


10 Nov 2021 19:23

The Biden administration is attempting to downplay the alarming news that US inflation hit a 30-year high last month, as prices rose for everything from gasoline to used cars and meat products.

In a tweet thread, the president’s Council of Economic Advisers noted that month-to-month price changes can be “volatile” and emphasized that the country’s recovery from the pandemic will not be “linear”.

“Inflation has picked up in many countries as the global economy restarts after the pandemic,” the council added.

“While the United States has seen a higher level of inflation than the Euro Area, indexing to inflation growth in 2019, the United States has seen a relatively similar increase as in the Euro Area.”

In his own statement about the inflation news, Joe Biden acknowledged that there is “more work to do” to help the US economy recover from the pandemic.

“Inflation hurts Americans pocketbooks, and reversing this trend is a top priority for me,” the president said.


10 Nov 2021 19:10 Joanna Walters

Gerrymandering is surging in states where legislatures are in charge of redrawing voting districts used to elect members of Congress, according to a new analysis today.

The Associated Press reports:

North Carolina Republicans are well positioned to pick up at least two House seats in next year’s election – but it’s not because the state is getting “redder”.

The state remains a perennial battleground, closely split between Democrats and Republicans in elections. But, last week, the GOP-controlled legislature finalized maps that redraw congressional district boundaries, dividing up Democratic voters in cities to dilute their votes.

The new plan took the number of GOP-leaning districts from eight to 10 in the state. Republicans even have a shot at winning an eleventh.

North Carolina’s plan drew instant criticism for its aggressive approach, but it’s hardly alone.

Experts and lawmakers tracking the once-a-decade redistricting process see a cycle of supercharged gerrymandering.

With fewer legal restraints and amped up political stakes, both Democrats and Republicans are pushing the bounds of the tactic long used to draw districts for maximum partisan advantage, often at the expense of community unity or racial representation.

“In the absence of reforms, the gerrymandering in general has gotten even worse than 2010, than in the last round” of redistricting, said Chris Warshaw, a political scientist at George Washington University who has analyzed decades of redistricting maps in U.S. states.

Republicans dominated redistricting last decade, helping them build a greater political advantage in more states than either party had in the past 50 years.

Republicans’ potential net gain of three seats in North Carolina could be fully canceled out in Illinois, where Democrats control the legislature.

In the 13 states that have passed new congressional maps so far, the cumulative effect is essentially a wash for Republicans and Democrats, leaving just a few toss-up districts.

That could change in the coming weeks, as Republican-controlled legislatures consider proposed maps in Georgia, New Hampshire and Ohio that target Democratic-held seats.

“Across the board you are seeing Republicans gerrymander,” said Kelly Ward Burton, executive director of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which oversees redistricting for the Democratic Party.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder, who leads the Democrats’ effort, has called for more states to use redistricting commissions.

In Maryland, Democrats are considering a proposal that would make it easier for a Democrat to oust the state’s only Republican congressman.

Newly passed congressional maps in Indiana, Arkansas and Alabama all maintain an existing Republican advantage.


10 Nov 2021 19:08 Joanna Walters

A Washington, DC personality on the right-wing website and TV entity Newsmax, Emerald Robinson, has been permanently suspended from Twitter for repeatedly breaking the social media company’s rules against spreading lies about Covid-19.

Robinson, whom Newsmax features as a politics correspondent, had previously been suspended for promulgating conspiracy-theory-type vaccine disinformation.

CNN’s Daniel Dale further notes:

Today so far

10 Nov 2021 18:03

Here’s where the day stands so far:

  • The National Archives is expected to start delivering Trump White House documents to the select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection on Friday. A federal judge ruled last night that the House committee could have access to the documents, dismissing Donald Trump’s claims of executive privilege over the materials. Trump intends to appeal the ruling.
  • The Democratic chair of the select committee said the judge’s ruling was a “big deal,” as the panel gathers evidence on Trump’s response to the insurrection. “We have the law on our side, and you know, we are a nation of laws,” chair Bennie Thompson told CNN last night.
  • US inflation hit a 30-year high last month, according to a new report from the labor department. Prices have risen 6.2% over the past 12 months, marking the highest year-over-year increase since December 1990.

The blog will have more coming up, so stay tuned.


10 Nov 2021 17:43

Federal prosecutors had sought a 44-month prison sentence for Scott Fairlamb, who pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer during the Capitol insurrection.

Prosecutors wrote in a court filing, “Law enforcement officers were overwhelmed, outnumbered, and in some cases, in serious danger. The rule of law was not only disrespected; it was under attack that day.”

US District Judge Royce Lamberth ultimately handed down a 41-month sentence for Fairlamb, who said he has “nothing but remorse” for his actions on January 6.

The AP has more details on Fairlamb’s role in the Capitol attack:

Fairlamb picked up a police baton as he joined the mob that broke past a line of police officers and breached the Capitol, according to prosecutors. A video showed him holding the collapsible baton and shouting, ‘What (do) patriots do? We f——— disarm them and then we storm the f——— Capitol!’

After he left the building, Fairlamb shoved and punched a Metropolitan Police Department officer in the face, an attack captured on video by a bystander. The officer said he didn’t suffer any physical injuries, according to prosecutors.

Capitol insurrectionist sentenced to 41 months in prison for assaulting officer

10 Nov 2021 17:26

A New Jersey man who pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer during the Capitol insurrection has been sentenced to 41 months in prison.

CNN reports:

New Jersey gym owner and former MMA fighter who punched a police officer during the January 6 riot was sentenced to 41 months in prison on Wednesday, becoming the first rioter sentenced for violence against the police during the attack.

Scott Fairlamb pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer and obstructing an official proceeding in August.

‘I truly regret my actions that day. I have nothing but remorse,’ Fairlamb said in court Wednesday, later adding to the judge: ‘I just hope you show some mercy on me sir.’

According to Politico, Fairlamb’s prison sentence is the longest yet among those facing charges connected to the Capitol insurrection.

However, other insurrectionists who have been charged with assault may soon face similarly lengthy sentences.


10 Nov 2021 17:07

Joe Biden met this morning with Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, in the Oval Office.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, von der Leyen said she and Biden had a “very productive” discussion about the need to increase coronavirus vaccination rates.

Biden is now en route to Baltimore, Maryland, where he will deliver a speech this afternoon on the benefits of the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

The House passed the infrastructure bill on Friday night, sending the proposal to Biden’s desk, although the president has not yet signed it.

Biden did not take any questions from reporters as he left the White House to start the short trip to Baltimore.


10 Nov 2021 16:50 Sarah Marsh

Prince Harry has said he warned Twitter’s boss Jack Dorsey about his platform allowing political unrest a day before the Capitol riot that led to five deaths.

The Duke of Sussex made the comments at the RE:WIRED tech forum in the US. He said: “I warned him his platform was allowing a coup to be staged. That email was sent the day before. And then it happened and I haven’t heard from him since.”

On the day of the 6 January riots, Donald Trump tweeted allegations of vote fraud before a rally in Washington DC. Members of the Proud Boy movement, a rightwing militia, stormed the Capitol to disrupt the official certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the White House race, as part of an attempt to overturn the election result.

Harry was speaking via video chat at a session discussing whether social media was contributing to misinformation and online hatred. Dorsey, who is Twitter’s chief executive, has so far not commented.

Related: Prince Harry says he warned Twitter boss a day before Capitol riot


10 Nov 2021 16:30

Despite centrists’ concerns about the reconciliation package, it’s worth noting that some economists have said the bill will not have a negative long-term impact on inflation.

Jason Furman, who served as the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under Barack Obama, said on Twitter, “Your regular reminder: The reconciliation bill would have essentially no discernible effect on the medium- or long-term path of inflation. That legislation should be evaluated on other criteria like what it does for opportunity, climate change & long-term growth.”

The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, echoed that message, arguing that the reconciliation bill would help curb rising inflation by lowering the costs of childcare and prescription drugs.

“Good news out there for members of Congress (you too Republicans) there is a bill that they can support that will bring down costs and combat inflation. We welcome your support!” Psaki said on Twitter.


10 Nov 2021 16:11

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, one of the holdout votes in the negotiations over the reconciliation package, expressed serious concern about the latest inflation report.

“By all accounts, the threat posed by record inflation to the American people is not ‘transitory’ and is instead getting worse,” the West Virginia senator said on Twitter.

“From the grocery store to the gas pump, Americans know the inflation tax is real and DC can no longer ignore the economic pain Americans feel every day.”

Manchin does not explicitly mention the reconciliation package in his tweet, but he has previously warned that the bill could have a negative impact on inflation.

Manchin wrote in a September op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, “An overheating economy has imposed a costly ‘inflation tax’ on every middle- and working-class American.”

He added, “Ignoring the fiscal consequences of our policy choices will create a disastrous future for the next generation of Americans.”

However, since Manchin wrote that op-ed, the top-line cost of the reconciliation bill has been cut in half — from $3.5tn to $1.75tn — because of his demands. So that may have allayed some of his concerns about the inflationary impact. Time will tell.


10 Nov 2021 16:05

Joe Biden acknowledged there is still “more work to do” to strengthen the US economy, after the labor department reported that inflation reached a 30-year high last month.

“Inflation hurts Americans pocketbooks, and reversing this trend is a top priority for me,” the president said in a new statement.

“I want to reemphasize my commitment to the independence of the federal reserve to monitor inflation, and take steps necessary to combat it.”

Biden noted he will travel this afternoon to Baltimore, Maryland, where he will “highlight how my Infrastructure Bill will bring down [energy] costs, reduce these bottlenecks, and make goods more available and less costly”.

The House passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill last week, although Biden has not yet signed the legislation. Meanwhile, Democrats continue to negotiate over their $1.75tn reconciliation package.

The president urged Congress to pass the reconciliation package, which he argued will “get more Americans working by reducing the cost of child care and elder care”.

“We are making progress on our recovery. Jobs are up, wages are up, home values are up, personal debt is down, and unemployment is down,” Biden said.

“We have more work to do, but there is no question that the economy continues to recover and is in much better shape today than it was a year ago.”

US inflation rose to 30-year high in October

10 Nov 2021 15:29 Dominic Rushe

US inflation reached a 30-year high in October as rising energy costs, supply shortages and increased consumer demand drove up prices.

Over the past 12 months prices have risen 6.2%, according to a labor department report released on Wednesday. The rise was the largest since December 1990. Inflation increased by 0.9% in October, faster than September’s 0.4% and above economists’ expectations.

The news comes as the Biden administration and the Federal Reserve have tried to downplay rising costs, arguing they are a temporary phenomena driven by Covid-19’s unprecedented impact on the global supply chain.

The increase was “broad-based, with increases in the indexes for energy, shelter, food, used cars and trucks, and new vehicles among the larger contributors”, the labor department said.

“The energy index rose 4.8% over the month, as the gasoline index increased 6.1% and the other major energy component indexes also rose. The food index increased 0.9% as the index for food at home rose 1%.”

Read the Guardian’s full report:

Related: US inflation rose to 30-year high in October, exceeding economists’ predictions

House select committee chair: ‘We have the law on our side’

10 Nov 2021 15:26

Bennie Thompson, the chair of the House select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection, said the federal judge’s ruling was a “big deal”.

“We have the law on our side, and you know, we are a nation of laws,” Thompson told CNN anchor Chris Cuomo last night.

The Democratic chair urged Donald Trump to accept the judge’s ruling, although the former president plans to appeal the decision to give Thompson’s committee access to White House documents.

“If you take your issue to court and lose, then you need to man up and deal with it and not be a spoiled brat,” Thompson said. “So I look forward to getting this information.”

Although Trump’s appeal could affect this timeline, the National Archives is expected to start sending White House documents to the select committee starting Friday.


10 Nov 2021 14:50 Hugo Lowell

In case you missed it yesterday: The House select committee investigating the 6 January insurrection at the US Capitol issued further subpoenas on Tuesday to 10 Trump administration officials, including the former senior adviser Stephen Miller and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, expanding their inquiry into Donald Trump’s involvement in circumstances surrounding the attack.

The subpoenas demanding documents and testimony are focused squarely on activities involving the White House and come a day after the select committee subpoenaed other top Trump lieutenants who aimed to undercut the results of the 2020 election while working from the Willard hotel in Washington.

The Mississippi Democratic congressman Bennie Thompson, who chairs the select committee, said in a statement that he authorized the subpoenas to the Trump officials in order to “know precisely what role the former president and his aides played in efforts to stop the counting of the electoral votes”.

Thompson added the select committee also wanted the 10 Trump officials to help inform whether anyone outside the White House was involved in attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election. “We believe the witnesses have relevant information.”

Related: US Capitol attack committee issues subpoenas to 10 senior Trump officials

National Archives expected turn over documents this week

10 Nov 2021 14:50

Although Donald Trump intends to appeal the federal judge’s ruling, the National Archives is expected to start turning over documents to the select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection starting Friday.

CNN reports:

As of now, the National Archives remains on track to turn over to the House a number of documents on Friday, including White House call logs, video logs and schedules related to January 6 as well as three pages of handwritten notes from Trump’s then-chief of staff. The outcome in court also could help the House in its pursuit of more information from those around Trump, including witnesses who’ve been subpoenaed and haven’t spoken to the committee yet.

Trump loses key legal battle in effort to shield documents from Capitol attack committee

10 Nov 2021 14:50

Greetings from Washington, live blog readers.

A federal judge ruled late last night that documents from the Trump White House can be turned over to the House select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection.

The decision marked a crucial loss for Donald Trump, who has tried to shield the documents from the committee’s investigation by claiming executive privilege.

US district judge Tanya Chutkan said in her ruling: “His position that he may override the express will of the executive branch appears to be premised on the notion that his executive power ‘exists in perpetuity’… but presidents are not kings, and plaintiff is not president.”

Trump is expected to appeal the ruling, but the decision is still an important victory for the select committee, which is seeking phone records, visitor logs and other documents to shed more light on the former president’s response to the insurrection.

Combined with the new subpoenas that the committee has issued this week, the investigation seems to be picking up steam.

The blog will have more coming up, so stay tuned.

Related: Trump White House records can be given to Capitol attack panel, judge rules