Senate deal should make it easier to buy electric vehicles
DETROIT (AP) — The surprise deal by Senate Democrats on a pared-down bill to support families, boost infrastructure and fight climate change is likely to jump-start sales of electric vehicles. The measure agreed to by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and holdout Sen. Joe Manchin would give EV buyers a $7,500 tax credit starting next year, through the end of 2032. There’s also a new $4,000…
Senate deal should make it easier to buy electric vehicles
DETROIT (AP) — The surprise deal by Senate Democrats on a pared-down bill to support families, boost infrastructure and fight climate change is likely to jump-start sales of electric vehicles. The measure agreed to by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and holdout Sen. Joe Manchin would give EV buyers a $7,500 tax credit starting next year, through the end of 2032. There’s also a new $4,000 credit for those buying used EVs. The vehicles have to be assembled in North America, and there are limits on annual income for buyers. There also are caps on the sticker prices of new EVs and a $25,000 cap on the price that can be paid for used electric vehicles.
Basement talk, virtual handshake led to Manchin-Schumer deal
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin had been wrestling for more than a year over President Joe Biden’s big rebuilding America package. But talks had jammed up — again. With the midterm elections near, control of Congress at stake, the president and his party were at the end of the line. Tempers flared. Manchin also faced pressure and was publicly assailed as single-handedly holding up Biden’s agenda. Schumer and Manchin met one more time, 10 days ago, in a basement room at the Capitol. A new offer was on the table: the $739 billion package now headed toward votes in Congress. Here’s a look at how it happened.
US economy shrinks for a 2nd quarter, raising recession fear
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy shrank from April through June for a second straight quarter, contracting at a 0.9% annual pace and raising fears that the nation may be approaching a recession. The decline in the gross domestic product — the broadest gauge of the economy — followed a 1.6% annual drop from January through March. Consecutive quarters of falling GDP constitute one informal, though not definitive, indicator of a recession. The report comes at a critical time. Consumers and businesses have been struggling under the weight of punishing inflation and higher borrowing costs. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate by a sizable three-quarters of a point for a second straight time.
Biden shrugs off recession talk, talks up fighting inflation
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and his administration are going all out to play down a sobering new economic report. Instead, the president is highlighting legislative progress on measures he says will help tame inflation, reflecting political tensions sure to keep playing out in the runup to the midterm elections. Republicans say Thursday’s report showing the economy shrank for the second consecutive quarter is evidence of a “Biden recession.” Biden pointed to near-record-low unemployment and signs of continued business investment in the economy. And he celebrated congressional passage of a bill to boost the U.S. semiconductor industry and a Democrats-only proposal to lower prescription drug costs and tackle climate change.
EXPLAINER: How do we know when a recession has begun?
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy has contracted for two straight quarters, intensifying fears that it is on the cusp of a recession, if not already in one, barely two years after the pandemic downturn officially ended. Six months of contraction is a longstanding, informal definition of a recession. Yet nothing is simple in the post-pandemic economy, which has confounded policymakers and experts alike since the growth screeched to a halt in March 2020, when COVID-19 struck and 20 million Americans suddenly lost their jobs. While most economists — and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell — say the economy isn’t in a recession yet, many increasingly expect a downturn to start later this year or next.
Deal on Capitol Hill could ease seniors’ health costs
Some older Americans are cheering news of a deal on Capitol Hill that could lead to lower drug costs. The health care and climate agreement struck by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin includes multiple landmark provisions that could help Medicare beneficiaries. Among them: a $2,000-a-year-cap on prescription drug costs, and a provision allowing the federal government to directly negotiate with pharmaceutical companies. Senior citizens on costly drugs can run up bills of tens of thousands of dollars a year. David Lipschutz of the nonpartisan Center for Medicare Advocacy calls the deal “transformational” even if it doesn’t go as far as some lawmakers and advocates had hoped.
Unexpected deal would boost Biden pledge on climate change
WASHINGTON (AP) — An unexpected deal reached by Senate Democrats would be the most ambitious action ever taken by the United States to address global warming and could help President Joe Biden come close to meeting his pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. The deal would spend nearly $370 billion over 10 years to boost electric vehicles, jump-start renewable energy such as solar and wind power and develop alternative energy sources such as hydrogen. The deal stunned lawmakers and activists who had given up hope that legislation could be enacted after West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said he could not support the measure because of inflation concerns.
JetBlue is buying Spirit for $3.8 billion after bidding war
JetBlue Airways is buying Spirit Airlines for $3.8 billion in a deal that could increase competition at the top end of the U.S. airline industry while eliminating the largest discount airline for travelers on a tight budget. The agreement announced Thursday capped bidding war that began in April, and it came one day after Spirit’s attempt to merge with rival discount carrier Frontier Airlines fell apart. JetBlue and Spirit would become the fifth-largest U.S. carrier. The only major obstacle remaining is the U.S. Justice Department. Antitrust regulators in the Biden administration have been critical of mergers, which they believe hurt consumers by limiting competition. The Justice Department sued to block a partnership between JetBlue and American Airlines.
Congress OKs bill to aid computer chip firms, counter China
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has passed a $280 billion package to boost the semiconductor industry and scientific research in a bid to create more high-tech jobs in the United States and help it better compete with international rivals, namely China. The House approved the bill by a solid margin of 243-187. The measure now goes to President Joe Biden to be signed into law, and it provides the White House with a major domestic policy victory. The GOP leadership in the House recommended a vote against the bill, arguing the semiconductor industry didn’t need “government handouts.” But some GOP lawmakers viewed passing the legislation as important for national security
Biden hails economic bill amid signs of broad Dem support
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is hailing a nascent Democratic package of climate, health care and tax initiatives as a giant step forward for the country. He spoke Thursday as congressional leaders began nailing down votes for a campaign-season bill they’ve cast as a boon for voters struggling with inflation. Just Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and conservative Sen. Joe Manchin stunned Washington by resurrecting components of a compromise many thought dead. On Thursday, early signs were encouraging for the party. After Schumer briefed Democratic senators on the 725-page measure, one senator said lawmakers’ reaction has been “uniformly positive.”
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