House GOP wants to take away Biden’s key tool for lowering gas prices, inflation – National & International News – MON 2Jan2023

NEMiss.News Kevin McCarthy



House GOP wants to take away Biden’s key tool for lowering gas prices, tackling inflation.

At least 500 migrants land on Florida islands in rickety boats.

Ukraine claims to have killed hundreds of Russians in missile attack




House GOP wants to take away Biden’s key tool for controlling gas prices, inflation

Tomorrow will see the swearing in of the 118th Congress when Republicans will take control of the House. There’s still some uncertainty about who will be the new Speaker of the House, but Rep. Kevin McCarthy remains the most likely choice. Today, House GOP leadership has released their proposal for new rules for the upcoming legislative session. The proposals offer a preview of Republicans’ legislative priorities for this year. After Republicans ran on a platform of fighting inflation, their rules show little sign of this being a major priority. In fact, they are looking to revoke a key power that President Biden has successfully used to keep costs down.

The House GOP wants to consider preventing “non-emergency” drawdowns from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Biden has released millions of barrels of oil from this reserve over the past year in order to increase supply and keep gas prices down. When gas prices rise, not only do Americans pay more at the pump, manufacturing and transportation of goods becomes more expensive too. While prices for gas and other goods remain high, they would unquestionably be higher if not for these releases. 

So why would the Republicans in Congress, who have sought to blame Democrats for inflation, want to make it harder to control? The answer is pretty simple. Big Oil was a major source of campaign funding for Republicans in their efforts to take over Congress last year. Republicans have repeatedly accused Biden of waging a “war on American energy”, and of using withdrawals from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as one of his key weapons against the oil industry. Despite this war, major US oil companies posted record profits last year.


At least 500 migrants land on Florida islands in rickety boats

Over this weekend, about 300 migrants landed at Dry Tortugas National Park, about 70 miles west of Key West, Florida. Another 160 migrants arrived in other parts of the Florida Keys over the same period. Just today, 30 more landed in the Middle Keys. Officials haven’t stated where all the migrants come from but US Customs and Border Protection have confirmed that at least 88 are from Cuba.

Local authorities have attempted to close off access to some of these islands. Officials say this is necessary to allow much needed aid to reach the migrants and arrange for transport. Afterward, it will be decided whether they remain in the US or are deported. 

One of the boats migrants used to cross the 100 or so miles from Cuba to the Florida keys.

Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay has called the mass migration event a “crisis” for emergency responders. Ramsay also criticized the response from the federal government. A press release from the Sheriff’s department claims that the US Border Patrol response won’t arrive for another day.

A dangerous journey

Cuba is only about 100 miles from Key West. But the waters are treacherous and the boats these migrants came in hardly look fit to cross a mill pond. This is not unusual as refugees from Cuba and Haiti are taking ever more dangerous routes to reach the US. Hundreds of people sometimes arrive on craft rated to carry a maximum of 30.

Over the last year, political and economic turmoil has created increasingly desperate situations in both Cuba and Haiti. In Haiti, the government has teetered on the verge of collapse for the past year. Gangs have seized control of the streets and are terrorizing the population, while also blockading necessary shipments of fuel. While things are more orderly in Cuba, rampant inflation, fuel and food shortages have created misery on the island. That misery was compounded by Hurricane Ian, which ravaged the island as a Category 3 for 6 hours this past summer.

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Ukraine claims to have killed hundreds of Russians in missile attack

A few minutes after midnight on New Year’s Day, Ukraine launched six US-made HIMARS missiles into a Russian military training center in Makiivka, a city in the pro-Russian Ukrainian province of Donetsk. Four of the six missiles hit their target, a barracks where soldiers were sleeping. Russian authorities claim to have shot down the other two.

The same building housing the barracks was also being used to store munitions, making the blast even more devastating. Ukrainian officials claimed that “hundreds” of Russians had died in the attack. The Kremlin claimed this is was an exaggeration and claimed only 63 had died. 

However, even prominent Russian nationalist bloggers are criticizing the Kremlin over the loss. The bloggers claim that at least 70 soldiers died and hundreds were seriously wounded. The commentators put the blame squarely on the Russian commanders for housing soldiers in the same building as a weapons store. Local pro-Russian officials in Donetsk also took commanders to task for housing so many soldiers in a single building. This was especially foolhardy since the commanders knew the camp was within the range of Ukrainian missiles.

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