There’s a whole bunch of stuff breaking today:
The Senate has reached agreement on raising the corporate average fuel economy standard to 35 miles per gallon for all vehicles by 2020. American automakers retreated from their opposition when it became clear to them that the sand had shifted under their feet on this issue. An effort to increase taxes on Big Oil to pay for a ramped-up effort on renewable energy fell several votes short today, but will be brought back for a vote later.
Iraq Study Group Redux
The House, led by House Republicans looking for cover to vote against any continuation of the surge this fall, has passed an amendment by a large margin to the State Department budget for FY 2008 that requires an updated assessment from the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group to assess the war and offer an alternate analysis to that of General Petraeus. Defense Secretary Gates moved quickly today to squash any thought that the administration was going to extend tours beyond 15 months.
Bipartisan Subpoenas On Domestic Spying
After hearing closed-door testimony from former AG John Ashcroft, which directly contradicted testimony from current AG Alberto Gonzales that there was no serious disagreement inside the administration on domestic spying policies, the Senate Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas against Gonzales and the White House to turn over internal documents. The vote was bipartisan, with several key Republicans like Orrin Hatch, Arlen Specter, and Charles Grassley voting with the Democrats to issue subpoenas. Immediately, the White House blew off the subpoenas on national security and executive privilege grounds. This is coming from the same administration that allowed the Office of the Vice President to out a CIA agent and leak classified intelligence whenever he wishes.
As emal notes in the comments section, if Cheney now claims he is not part of the Executive Branch, then how can he claim executive privilege?
GOP Abandons Bush On Immigration