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The Freedom Caucus tugs on Kev’s leash. what’s next?



Many of you have written to me to ask me: is it possible that the White House negotiated knowing that McCarthy would be forced to make unreasonable demands, which led to the House Republican Party closing the door to negotiations? In other words, did they negotiate knowing they would get credit for coming to the negotiating table and forcing the Republicans to leave?

Is it possible?

I usually have a pretty intuitive understanding of political battles. In this case, no. It’s not clear to me what’s going on, what’s going to happen, and to what extent different players have a plan at all. About the hypothetical above: I doubt that the White House will enter into negotiations with the expectation and hope that they will fail. It is more likely that they decided to probe for a reasonable deal, knowing that the Republicans were likely to derail the negotiations themselves. In this case, they get their sanity/maturity back on credit from DC power, which is inexpensive.

May be

I will say that one can see the increase in declared support for the 14th Amendment decision by Democratic senators to have something to do with it. Even Angus King, a very centrist big deal type, has expressed a growing openness to the idea. There were also various contrived comments by Biden and Yellen about the emergency measures. If you squint a little, you can see that these moving parts are connected to each other in some way. It is equally likely that they are completely unrelated – or at least not coordinated.

Kevin McCarthy’s decision to “suspend” negotiations seemingly out of nowhere is just a character behind the scenes that we’ve been talking about all this time. McCarthy was never authorized to make a deal in any reasonable territory. The hosts of the Freedom House meeting pulled him by the leash, and that was it. For the past couple of days, they’ve been signaling they don’t want a compromise. They want the Senate to pass the House bill. Perhaps they could be bought a little cheaper. But this is the universe in which they operate. He was a negotiator; he was a chasing horse.

So, back to the original question: is it possible? Yes, it is possible, and it has always been a real possibility. (See our discussion with Kate Riga in this week’s block.) But I don’t really understand what’s going on here. The only thing that is clear, and has always been clear, is that Kevin McCarthy cannot hold his own meeting. They negotiate with him, but the train is actually run by the Freedom Caucus.

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G7 countries borrow China’s economic strategy



In the middle of his personal meeting with President Biden in Indonesia last fall, Chinese leader Xi Jinping issued an unsolicited warning.

In previous months, Mr. Biden signed a series of laws aimed at increasing America’s industrial capacity and imposed new restrictions on technology exports to China in the hope of dominating the race for advanced energy technologies that could help fight climate change. For months, he and his aides have been working to convince allied countries to impose their own restrictions on sending technology to China.

These efforts echoed the industrial policy that China used to become the world leader in manufacturing. In Bali, Mr Xi urged Mr Biden to give it up.

The President cannot be persuaded. Mr. Xi’s protests only further convinced Mr. Biden that America’s new industrial approach was right, according to a person familiar with the exchange.

When Mr. Biden and his fellow G7 leaders meet this weekend in Hiroshima, Japan, the centerpiece of their discussions will be how to quickly accelerate what has become an internationally coordinated round of massive public investment. For these wealthy democracies, the goal is to reduce dependence on Chinese manufacturing and help their companies compete in the new energy economy.

Mr. Biden’s legislative agenda, including bills on semiconductors, infrastructure and low-emission energy sources, has begun to spur public and private investment in US industrial capacity that could amount to trillions of dollars. This includes subsidies for electric vehicles, batteries, wind farms, solar farms and more.

These spending – the most significant U.S. intervention in industrial policy in decades – have encouraged many of America’s top allies in Europe and Asia, including key G-7 leaders. European countries, South Korea, Japan, Canada and others are pushing to expand access to US clean energy subsidies while making their own accompanying efforts.

“This cleantech race is an opportunity to move faster and further together,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said after an economics meeting at the G7 summit on Friday.

“Now that the G7s are in this race together, our competitors need to create additional manufacturing capacity, not at each other’s expense,” she said.

Mr. Biden and his G7 colleagues embarked on the project with two ambitious goals: to accelerate demand, even if for decades, for technology needed to cut emissions and fight climate change, and to give workers in the United States and Allied countries have an advantage over Chinese workers in meeting this demand.

Much of this project has come to fruition since the leaders of the G7 met last year in the German Alps. The wave of recent G7 actions on supply chains, semiconductors and other measures to counter China is based on “economic security, national security and energy security,” U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel told reporters in Tokyo this week.

He added: “This is a watershed moment for the new and more relevant G7.”

Mr. Emanuel said these efforts reflect the growing impatience of G7 leaders with what they call Beijing’s use of economic measures punish and deter the actions of foreign governments and companies that do not please Chinese officials.

But most of all, the urgency to combat climate change and two pieces of legislation signed by Biden last summer, a bipartisan bill to provide the semiconductor industry with tens of billions of dollars of government subsidies, and the climate provisions of the Climate Act, have contributed most to this shift. the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which companies rushed to cash in on.

These bills have sparked a wave of recently announced battery factories, solar panel factories and other projects. They have also sparked an international subsidy race that has unfolded after a major controversy immediately following the signing of the climate law.

Profitable U.S. support for clean energy and semiconductors—along with stricter requirements for companies and government agencies to buy U.S.-made steel, cars, and equipment—has put undesirable pressure on competing industries in allied countries.

Some of these fears have been dispelled in recent months. In March, the United States signed an agreement with Japan that would allow battery materials made in Japan to qualify for the benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act. The European Union is following a similar agreement and has proposed its own $270 billion program to subsidize green industry. Canada has passed its own version of the Biden Climate Act, and the UK, Indonesia and other countries are trying to strike their own major mineral deals.

Administration officials say once-high-ranking allies have bought into the potential benefits of a wealthy democracy’s concerted industrial strategy.

At the G-7 meeting, “you will see a degree of convergence on this issue that, in our view, can continue to transform the Inflation Reduction Act from a source of friction into a source of cooperation and strength between the United States and our country.” G7 partners,” Jake Sullivan, national security adviser, told reporters on Air Force One as Mr. Biden flew to Japan.

Some G7 officials say the alliance has much more work to do to ensure that fast-growing economies like India benefit from increased investment in the new energy economy. “It is important that the acceleration that this will bring does not discourage investment around the world,” said Kirsten Hillman, Canada’s ambassador to the United States, in an interview.

The only country they don’t want to see a benefit in is China. The United States has imposed broad restrictions on China’s access to American technology, such as advanced chips and the equipment used to make them. And he leaned on his allies to try to impose global restrictions on technology sharing with Russia, as well as with China. All these efforts are aimed at hindering China’s further development in the field of advanced manufacturing.

Biden officials urged allied countries not to interfere and supply China with chips and other products that it can no longer receive from the United States. The United States is also weighing further restrictions on certain types of Chinese chip technology, including a possible ban on venture capital investment that US officials are expected to discuss with their counterparts in Hiroshima.

While many G7 governments agree that China is a growing threat to the economy and security, there is no consensus on what to do about it.

Japanese officials have been discussing coordinated responses to China’s economic coercion with relative alacrity since Beijing decided to cut Japan off from supplies of rare earth minerals during a conflict more than a decade ago.

European officials, by contrast, are more divided on whether to shut down risky and lucrative business ties with China. Some, like French President Emmanuel Macron, have dismissed US plans to sever supply chains from China.

Ms von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, was desire for a “risk reduction” relationship with China this includes recognizing China’s growing economic and security ambitions while purposefully reducing Europe’s dependence on China for its industrial and defense base. European officials said in Hiroshima that they were pleased to see US leaders moving closer to their approach, at least in words.

However, the industrial policy of the allies threatens to complicate the already difficult relationship with China. Consulting and advisory firms with foreign connections have been subject to raids, detentions and arrests in China in recent months. Chinese officials have made it clear that they view export controls as a threat. In a phase that US officials use to criticize Beijing, the Chinese embassy in Washington this week warned the G7 against so-called “economic coercion.”

Mr. Xi made a similar rebuke to Mr. Biden in Bali last fall. He pointed to the late 1950s, when the Soviet Union withdrew support for the Chinese nuclear program.

China’s nuclear research continued, and four years later, China detonated its first atomic bomb, Mr. Xi said.

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AI is what AI is – hits and misses of Congress



Artificial intelligence contacted lawmakers this week when Senator Richard Blumenthal showed off a ChatGPT deepfake of his own voice in a Senate hearing. Other major congressional events this week include the rules scandal at the latest hearing of the federal government’s House Subcommittee on Militaryization when Sen. James Lankford punishes the funding of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and more.

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