Porter told Rogue Rocket that federal initiatives to address inflation are being hindered by GOP efforts to score political points ahead of the midterm elections.
The Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act
As millions of Americans continue to grapple with sky-high prices, Rep. Katie Porter (D-Ca.) is working to tackle one of the most significant areas of inflation: gas prices.
Last month, the House passed a bill co-introduced by Porter dubbed the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act. The legislation, which has been described as the first federal price-gouging law, would give the president the power to declare an emergency period under which it would be illegal for anyone to increase gas or home energy fuel prices in an exploitative manner.
The proposal would also give the Federal Trade Commission the power to investigate and manage price gouging violations from larger companies. In an interview with Rogue Rocket, Porter said that the act was specifically designed to target large oil companies which have seen record profits in the first quarter of 2022 when consumers were experiencing unprecedented prices at the pump.
“We are seeing prices at the pump that don’t line up with the price of the commodity of the oil that Big Gas, Big Oil companies are purchasing,” Porter said. “We’re seeing that in part because of Putin, we’re seeing that in part because of the pandemic, but we’re also seeing Big Oil companies price gouge.”
“There is a market-based element to this, but we also have incredible market concentration here where we have a handful of large companies that control the oil and gas, they control the refining,” she added.
“If Big Oil was passing along their higher input costs, then you wouldn’t see a huge jump in their profit. The price of oil that consumers pay may change, but the profit would stay steady.”
Porter Takes Aim at Republicans
Porter’s bill, which was passed by very slim margins in the House, faces an uphill battle in the 50-50 split Senate. The Congresswoman told Rogue Rocket she believes that opposition to the bill is driven in part by the immense political power Big Oil possesses.
“Oil and gas are huge spenders in the political ecosystem through their PACs, their corporate PACs, their executives,” she explained. “I think anybody who’s taking Big Oil money, that is an obvious first [sic] explanation here — it affects their thinking in all likelihood.”
“I think one of the things that we’ve seen from Republicans is that they want to use this moment, the pandemic, Putin, the price gouging, the whole constellation of things here in order to advance the longstanding agenda of Big Oil — which is more exploration, more speculative leasing, more market consolidation, and control,” she continued. “So the best you really hear from Republicans is ‘drill, baby, drill, more drilling here in the United States.’ And that really overlooks two things. One, we are already at record and near-record American production. We have not cut production.”
“It also ignores the fact that continued drilling, that’s a solution that’s not going to produce more oil for 10, 20, 30, 40 years. Congress has too much policymaking already that’s looking backwards, that’s trying to solve yesterday’s problem tomorrow. We need to be thinking about what is the energy policy that’s going to prevent this from ever holding back our economy again, and that is investing in clean energy and holding Big Oil companies accountable to follow the law.”
Porter also argued that high gas prices — and inflation in general — are being exacerbated by Republican lawmakers’ inaction and attempts to politicize the issue.
“We are seeing Republicans weaponize the hike in gas prices in order to try to win the election. And they are willing, through their votes, they are willing to let Americans continue to suffer at the pump in order to score political points,” Porter said “They are not bringing to the table solutions to bring down the price of gas, to bring down the price that consumers are paying. They are perfectly happy to have us have to deal with filling up a tank for $100 or more than $100 if it gets them a few more seats in November or they think it will.”
“Inflation is a problem — Democrats and Republicans agree on that,” she continued. “The difference is Democrats are putting forward solutions like my bill, the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act, to try to address it. Republicans are willing to let Americans suffer in order to make sure they get reelected in the fall.”
Biden Ramps Up Efforts to Address Inflation
Porter’s remarks to Rogue Rocket come as President Joe Biden has recently launched a new initiative to combat inflation amid increased political pressure and low approval ratings ahead of the midterm elections.
In a meeting with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell last week, Biden appeared to underscore to voters that he is listening to their concerns and said that addressing inflation was his “top priority.”
While Biden emphasized that, first and foremost, he will help fix the problem by giving the Federal Reserve “the space they need to do their job,” he also launched a PR blitz to show Americans he and his top aides are seriously working to address the issue.
In an op-ed published by The Wall Street Journal, the president further laid out his plans to address inflation. Beyond outlining actions his administration has already taken, the president focused on multiple measures he has proposed in his domestic economic agenda — which has been stalled in the Senate.
These proposals included plans to make housing more affordable, reduce the price of prescription drugs, lower the cost of child and elder care, pass clean energy tax credits, and cut the federal budget deficit.
“I’ve done what I can on my own to help working families during this challenging time — and will keep acting to lower costs where I can — but now Congress needs to act too,” Biden wrote.
See what others are saying: (Vox) (Bloomberg) (The Associated Press)
Trump Mocks Florida Gov. “Ron DeSanctimonious” Ahead of Possible 2024 Bid
The former president may announce a bid to take back the White House on Nov. 14, according to his inner circle.
Trump Concocts His Latest Nickname
From “Little Marco” and “Lyin’ Ted” to “Sleepy Joe” and “Crazy Bernie,” former president Donald Trump’s nicknames for his political opponents have been known for their punchy style, but Republicans found it hard to swallow his latest mouthful for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
“We’re winning big, big, big in the Republican Party for the nomination like nobody’s ever seen before,” he said Saturday at a rally in Pennsylvania. “Trump at 71, Ron DeSanctimonious at 10%.”
The former president drew rebuke from some allies and conservative commentators for driving a wedge through the GOP three days before the midterm elections.
“DeSantis is an extremely effective conservative governor who has had real policy wins and real cultural wins,” tweeted The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh. “Trump isn’t going to be able to take this one down with a dumb nickname. He better have more than that up his sleeve.”
“What an idiot,” wrote Rod Dreher, a senior editor at The American Conservative. “DeSantis is a far more effective leader of the Right than Trump was, if, that is, you expect a leader to get a lot done, rather than just talking about it and owning the libs.”
In April 2021, Trump said he would “certainly” consider making DeSantis his running mate for a potential 2024 presidential bid. But as DeSantis established himself as a credible rival to Trump, their relationship grew colder.
Last September, sources told The Washington Post that Trump had called DeSantis “ungrateful” in conversations with advisors. The former president reportedly had not spoken with the governor in months.
The Party of Trump or DeSantis?
One day after his “DeSanctimonious” jab, Trump took to the stage in Florida to support Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R) reelection campaign but grabbed more attention when he seemed to endorse DeSantis for governor.
“The people of Florida are going to reelect the wonderful, the great friend of mine, Marco Rubio to the United States Senate, and you’re going to reelect Ron DeSantis as your governor of your state,” he said to the cheering crowd.
The brief moment of support was overshadowed, however, by the conspicuous absence of DeSantis himself.
Both men held competing, contemporaneous rallies in the same state hundreds of miles apart, and multiple sources told Politico that DeSantis was not invited to Trump’s event, nor did he ask to attend.
The governor has repeatedly refused to say whether he will make a run for the presidency in 2024, but national polling consistently puts Trump ahead of him among Republicans by a wide margin.
Some recent polls, however, have shown DeSantis to lead the former president in specific states like Florida and New Hampshire.
A survey last month found that 72% of GOP voters believe DeSantis should have a great or good deal of influence in the future direction of the party, while just 64% said the same about Trump.
Sources told Axios that Trump’s inner circle is discussing a Nov. 14 announcement for his presidential campaign, timing it to capitalize on the expected post-midterm euphoria as vote counts roll in.
See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (Fox News) (Politico)
The Midterms Are Tomorrow, But We May Not Have Results for a While. Here’s What You Need to Know
The counting of mail-in ballots and possible legal challenges will almost certainly slow the final results.
Election Delays Expected
As Americans gear up for Election Day on Nov. 8, experts are warning that many races, including some of the most highly anticipated ones, may not have the final results in for days or even weeks.
These delays are completely normal and do not indicate that election fraud or issues with vote counting took place. However, like in 2020, former President Donald Trump and other election-denying Republicans could seize on the slow-coming returns to promote false claims to that effect.
There are a number of very legitimate reasons why it could take some time before the final results are solidified. Each state has different rules for carrying out the election process, like when polls close and when ballots can start being counted.
There are also varying rules for when mail-in ballots can be received and counted that can extend when those votes will be tallied. That lag could seriously skew early results in many places because there has been a major rise in the number of people voting by mail.
Red Mirage, Blue Mirage
One very important thing to note is that the early returns seen on election night may not be representative of the final outcomes.
In 2020, there was a lot of talk about a “red mirage,” which is when ballots cast on election day and favoring Republicans are reported first while mail-in ballots used more by Democrats are counted later, creating the appearance that Republicans have a much wider lead.
That phenomenon may very well take place in several key battlegrounds that not only could decide the House and the Senate but also have incredibly consequential state-wide elections of their own.
For example, in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, election officials cannot start counting mail-in and absentee ballots until Election Day.
Some experts have also speculated that a similar occurrence could occur in Georiga because the suburbs — which have shifted blue in recent years — report their results later than rural counties.
At the same time, there are also some states where the opposite might happen: a blue mirage that makes it seem like Democrats are doing better than they actually are.
Such a scenario is possible in Arizona, where election officials can process mail-in ballots as soon as they receive them, and where a similar trend played out in 2020.
Other Possible Slow-Downs
Beyond all that, there are a number of other factors that could delay when results are finalized.
For example, in Georgia, candidates need to get at least 50% of the vote to win, and if none do, then the top two are sent to a run-off election on Dec. 6. That is a very real possibility for the state’s closely-watched Senate race because there is a libertarian on the ballot who could siphon enough votes from Republican Herschel Walker and Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock to keep them both below the 50% threshold.
In other words: if control of the Senate comes down to Georgia again — as it did in 2020 and which is a very real possibility — voters may not know the outcome until a month after the election.
Meanwhile, experts also say that legal battles over mail-in ballots could further delay results, or even go to the Supreme Court. According to The New York Times, before Election Day, over 100 lawsuits had already been filed.
In Pennsylvania, for example, the State Supreme Court ruled last week in favor of a lawsuit from Republican groups requesting that mail-in ballots that did not have dates on outer envelopes be invalidated, causing thousands of ballots to be set aside. Multiple rights groups are now suing to get that decision reversed.
DHS Confirms Paul Pelosi Attacker is a Canadian National in the U.S. Illegally
The suspect espoused many political conspiracy theories promoted by the American far-right and told investigators he wished to harm House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to send a message to other U.S. politicians.
Pelosi Attacker’s Immigration Issues
The man accused of attacking Paul Pelosi and trying to kidnap House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) is a Canadian national currently residing in the United States illegally, according to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) late Wednesday.
Law enforcement officials say the suspect embraced far-right conspiracies about U.S. politicians and told investigators he wanted to break the House Speaker’s kneecaps as a lesson to other members of Congress.
Despite his lack of citizenship, the man also allegedly told police he was on a “suicide mission” and had a list of state and federal lawmakers he wanted to target.
In its statement to the media, DHS said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had lodged a “detainer” on the suspect, which is a notice the agency intends to take custody of an individual who could be deported and requests it be notified before that person is released. The detainer, however, likely will not impact the case against him, because deportations are civil proceedings that happen after criminal cases are resolved.
According to several reports, federal records indicate the suspect came to the U.S. legally via Mexico in March 2008. Canadians who travel to America for business or pleasure are usually able to stay in the country for six months without a visa. DHS told The Washington Post the Canadian citizen was admitted as a “temporary visitor” traveling for pleasure.
Before the confirmation from DHS, there was some mixed reporting on how long the suspected attacker has been in America. On Monday, an anonymous U.S. official told the Associated Press the man had legally entered in 2000 but stayed way after his visa expired.
One day later, The New York Times reported he was registered to vote in San Francisco County from 2002 to 2009, and even voted once in 2002.
Heightened Security Concerns
The new revelation comes as lawmakers are facing increased threats, prompting conversations about safety and security with a specific focus on the role of the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP).
On Tuesday, multiple outlets reported that USCP security cameras trained on the Pelosi’s house actually captured the attack, but no one was watching. In a statement Wednesday, the agency said its command center has access to around 1,800 cameras and not all are watched constantly.
The Capitol Police also said that the Pelosi’s home is “actively” monitored “around the clock” when the Speaker is there, but not when she is in Washington.
As a result, many argued that there should be more security and surveillance for the second person in line for the presidency — especially given the threat of violence after the Jan. 6 insurrection and warnings from law enforcement ahead of the midterms.
That was echoed in a scathing letter yesterday sent to Capitol Police by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Ca.), who is one of the most senior Democrats in Congress and heads the Administration Committee.
In her letter, Lofgren noted that the agency “has previously reported to the committee that the speaker receives the most threats of any member of Congress,” and asked why that protection was not extended “to the spouses and/or other family members of the congressional leaders in the presidential line of succession.”
She questioned why the USCP had turned down an offer from the FBI for some of its officers to be part of terrorism task forces investigating threats against Congressmembers and why it had not made a formal agreement with San Francisco police for a car to be posted at the Pelosi’s home 24-hours a day as had been done in the months after Jan. 6.
Lofgren also inquired why the Capitol Police did not direct more threats against lawmakers for prosecution. She noted that members of Congress received at least 9,625 threats in 2021, but just 217 were referred.
Editor’s Note: At Rogue Rocket, we make it a point to not include the names and pictures of mass murders, suspected mass murderers, or those accused of committing violent crimes who may have been seeking attention or infamy. Therefore, we will not be linking to other sources, as they may contain these details.