7.32pm BST

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy held a press conference in which he griped about how the House select committee would no longer be able to tap into the law enforcement expertise of Republican Texas representative Troy Nehls now that House speaker Nancy Pelosi is “playing politics”.

Again: Pelosi rejected McCarthy’s appointment of representatives Jim Jordan and Jim Banks. Not Nehls – even though all three voted against the certification of the 2020 presidential election on 6 January.

7.20pm BST

House speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected earlier today two Republican representatives that House minority leader Kevin McCarthy appointed to the House select committee tasked with investigating the 6 January attack on the US Capitol.

Representatives Jim Jordan and Jim Banks had voted on 6 January in support of the baseless objections to the certification of the presidential election, raising questions of a conflict of interest – many who stormed the Capitol that day said they did so because they falsely believed the election was stolen.

Unless Speaker Pelosi reverses course and seats all five Republican nominees, Republicans will not be party to their sham process and will instead pursue our own investigation of the facts.

My full statement: https://t.co/RmgeBFo41j

Just asked Nancy Pelosi if she has any concerns that House Rs may pull out of Jan. 6 probe after she rejected Banks and Jordan. “We have a bipartisan quorum we can proceed” pic.twitter.com/Yn26wqzJTs

6.02pm BST

With infection rates of the highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus highest where vaccination rates are the lowest, Republicans are now pushing to get the message out to their constituents that vaccines are safe and could save their lives and they should get vaccinated as soon as possible.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll found last month that while 86% of Democrats surveyed have received at least one shot of a vaccine, only 45% of Republicans have. Of those surveyed, 47% of Republicans said they weren’t likely to get vaccinated, compared to 6% of Democrats.

WATCH: Senator @MarcoRubio discusses the recent rise in COVID cases in Florida, the push to vaccinate more Americans, how he believes the U.S. should respond to unrest in Cuba and his thoughts on today’s infrastructure vote. pic.twitter.com/JOc1my8CK4

5.48pm BST

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy sparked some tempers when he appointed three Republican representatives who voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election to the House select committee investigating the 6 January attack on the US Capitol.

Many questioned if this was a conflict of interest, given that many who stormed the Capitol that day had cited this baseless objection to the certification of the presidential election as their reason for doing so.

NEW: Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) rejects 2 of Minority Leader McCarthy (R-CA)’s picks for the Select Committee investigating January 6:

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN, was selected for Ranking Member)
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) https://t.co/nfVOKHglVl

5.01pm BST

Axios is reporting that the Biden administration will not reopen the US consulate in Jerusalem until the after Israel’s new government passes a budget – likely in early November.

4.44pm BST

The House select committee is set to have its first hearing looking into the 6 January attack on the US Capitol next week, and chairman Bennie Thompson told the Guardian that “nothing is off limits”.

Thompson indicated that Donald Trump and House minority leader Kevin McCarthy are among his top witnesses.

Related: Capitol attack committee chair vows to investigate Trump: ‘Nothing is off limits’

4.11pm BST

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell is on the floor, throwing barbs at majority leader Chuck Schumer and the cloture vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

McConnell from Senate floor on today’s infrastructure bill procedural vote: “Today, the Democratic Leader appears to be intent on calling a vote he knows will fail.” pic.twitter.com/ACkEKscvuX

McConnell: “There’s no bipartisan agreement. No text…If the Democratic Leader tries to force a cloture on a bill that does not exist, it will fail. Around here, we typically write the bills before we vote on them. That’s the custom.”

McConnell: “Here in the Senate a failed cloture vote does not mean No forever…This stunt is set to fail. The Democratic Leader will be free to change his vote and move to reconsider whenever a bipartisan product actually exists.”

4.07pm BST

We have another infrastructure update, with Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer saying the bipartisan group is “close to finishing their product”. Cloture vote at 2.30pm local time.

Schumer says the bipartisan group “is close to finishing their product” on infrastructure. Says senators should be “comfortable” moving ahead with the bipartisan bill. Reiterates that the procedural bill will come around 2:30 pm et today

Wyden on @LeaderMcConnell debt limit comments in @PunchbowlNews AM: “Mitch McConnell is clearly part of an effort to hold our economy hostage. We aren’t going to let anybody do that.”

They said they will lift the debt limit soon. It should’ve happened “yesterday,” Wyden said. pic.twitter.com/UAF0VBVEfr

Sen. Chuck Schumer on the debt ceiling: “Leader McConnell should not be playing political games with the full faith and credit of the United States. Americans pay their debts.” pic.twitter.com/6FvcQOynGi

3.50pm BST

Julie Chung, the acting assistant secretary for the state department’s bureau of western hemisphere affairs, just posted a series of tweets about how the US will handle the situation in Cuba.

After years of simmering tensions, Cubans have taken to the streets in protest over food shortages, high prices and communist rule. At least 140 have been disappeared or detained, and one has been killed in the demonstrations.

We are going to focus on applying hard-hitting sanctions on regime officials responsible for the brutal crackdown.

Cuban officials responsible for violence, repression, & human rights violations against peaceful protestors in Cuba must be held accountable.
(6/7)

3.28pm BST

In more infrastructure news, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell talked to Punchbowl News about the debt ceiling, which he thinks Democrats should include in the reconciliation package.

NEW: ⁦@LeaderMcConnell⁩ tells ⁦@PunchbowlNews⁩ Dems should put debt limit in reconciliation. Says he doesn’t imagine any republicans will vote to boost borrowing limit. pic.twitter.com/MuDc02FG64

3.08pm BST

Axios is reporting that in an effort to counter Republican attacks, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer will release a report today by Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi that argues that the bipartisan infrastructure deal and social-spending package would help the economy.

Some key points from the report, according to Axios:

2.47pm BST

Today’s the day of the cloture vote on the bipartisan infrastructure deal.

Members of the bipartisan group that negotiated the deal – and are still smoothing out the last bits of pay-fors that have Republicans unhappy that they’re being rushed into a procedural vote – seem optimistic that they have the general idea, but not the text.

Infrastructure latest: A glimmer of hope?

“I think it may well be done tomorrow,” Romney said just now, after a mtg w WH team.

“It will be a long, long time before we actually have a full bill of text, but we may have all of the issues resolved by tomorrow,” via @JulieNBCNews

the infrastructure bill is both alive and dead at the same time, a feeling a lot of us can relate to

There’s a lot of drama over tomorrow’s Senate vote to open debate on infrastructure. Failure doesn’t mean the deal is dead—and if it collapses that won’t be the reason why. Here, for instance, is the tortured path the CARES Act took to passage, including two failed cloture votes. pic.twitter.com/0DmevUqEeU

Bipartisan deals fall through for a lot of reasons in the Senate but the timing of a procedural vote isn’t really one of them. Much as former Majority Leader McConnell did with the CARES Act, current Majority Leader Schumer can bring it up again later if it falls short of 60.

Unless there’s a breakthrough tonight, it doesn’t look like the infrastructure deal has the 60 votes to formally begin debate in the Senate tomorrow. Republicans say they want a finalized, agreed-to product (not necessarily completed legislative text) before they support that.

2.23pm BST

What up, liveblog readers. Happy Wednesday. You’re halfway there.

We learned yesterday that a White House official tested positive for Covid-19 after coming in contact with a staffer for House speaker Nancy Pelosi who tested positive after escorting some Texas Democrats who tested positive this weekend.

FLASH – Several vaccinated Congressional staff (in addition to one vaccinated Member of Congress) have contracted COVID, per new memo from Office of Attending Physician at Capitol

He’s being diplomatic, for sure.

But here’s the in-house doctor for the US Congress urging – lobbying – deniers to get vaccinated pic.twitter.com/oPlK56CKOs

Related: Delta variant accounts for 83% of new cases in US, CDC director says

Continue reading…

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/joebiden

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