The Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, has teed up a big couple of weeks in the chamber with a statement about Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act, the $2tn package of domestic spending priorities which passed the House after a lengthy wrangle and must now survive the Senate.
“Our goal in the Senate is to pass the legislation before Christmas and get it to the president’s desk,” he said this morning.
“Of course, there are other priorities we plan to address before the end of the year as well, including voting rights, debt limit, NDAA…
“I will continue to remind you that there are more long days and nights, and potentially weekends, that the Senate will be in session this month.”
Donald Trump’s penchant for four-letter words is well-known, to the extent that his four-year presidency prompted soul-searching among some US media outlets about which words could properly be printed.
The Guardian has long had few such scruples.
With that in mind, here’s our report on remarks at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday night in which the former president called reporters “crooked bastards” and Gen Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, a “fucking idiot”:
For years, Helen Butler has been on a mission to increase voter turnout, especially among Black voters, in Georgia and across the south. She’s used to the skepticism. People she meets wonder why they should bother, because their vote won’t matter. No matter who’s in office, longstanding problems won’t get solved.
Last year, she listened as Joe Biden promised he would protect the right to vote if he was elected president. “One thing the Senate and the president can do right away is pass the bill to restore the Voting Rights Act … it’s one of the first things I’ll do as president if elected. We can’t let the fundamental right to vote be denied,” he said in July last year.
And so, after Biden was inaugurated, Butler and many others expected that voting rights would be one of the first things the president and Democrats addressed.
Instead, during the president’s first year in office, Butler has watched with dismay as Biden and Democrats have failed to pass any voting rights legislation. Meanwhile, Republicans in Georgia passed sweeping new voting restrictions, one of several places across the country that made it harder to vote.
“It is disheartening, I can tell you, out of all the work we’ve put in to have fair elections, to get people engaged, and to have the Senate that will not act to protect the most sacred right, the right to vote, is unheard of,” Butler said.
The largest oil and gas companies made a combined $174bn in profits in the first nine months of the year as gasoline prices climbed in the US, according to a new report.
The bumper profit totals, provided exclusively to the Guardian, show that in the third quarter of 2021 alone, 24 top oil and gas companies made more than $74bn in net income.
From January to September, the net income of the group, which includes Exxon, Chevron, Shell and BP, was $174bn.
Exxon alone posted a net income of $6.75bn in the third quarter, its highest profit since 2017, and has seen its revenue jump by 60% on the same period last year.
The company credited the rising cost of oil for bolstering these profits, as did BP, which made $3.3bn in third-quarter profit. “Rising commodity prices certainly helped,” Bernard Looney, chief executive of BP, told investors at the latest earnings report.
Gasoline prices have hit a seven-year high in the US due to the rising cost of oil, with Americans now paying about $3.40 for a gallon of fuel compared with around $2.10 a year ago.