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In our news wrap Wednesday, Democratic Senators say they ended bipartisan negotiations on police reform and collecting data on use of force. Senators have also reached a stalemate on the fight over the debt ceiling. There's word that large numbers of Haitian migrants in Texas are being released into the U.S. and told to report to immigration within 60 days.
In the day's other news: The U.S. Federal Reserve signaled that it may raise a benchmark interest rate in 2022. It had said rate hikes might start in 2023, but they could be needed sooner to control accelerating inflation.
Chairman Jerome Powell blamed continuing supply chain problems from the pandemic.
Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman:
Those seem to be going to be with us at least for a few more months, and perhaps into next year. So, that suggests that inflation is going to be higher this year and a number — I guess the inflation rates for next year and 2023 were also marked up, but just by a couple of tenths.
Powell also warned Congress that if it fails to raise the debt ceiling and defaults on the national debt, the economy could suffer severe damage.
That fight over the debt ceiling remains stalemated tonight. A Democratic bill to raise it passed the U.S. House of Representatives last night. But Republican opposition in the evenly divided Senate could prevent action.
Party leaders argued again today over who's responsible for the debt and a potential national default.
Sen. Chuck Shumer (D-NY):
If they choose to vote in favor of the default by a cynical political blame game, it will ultimately be the American people who will pay the price. And the American people will know who did this, the Republican Senate.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY):
My advice to this Democratic government, the president, the House and the Senate, don't play Russian roulette with our economy. Step up and raise the debt ceiling to cover all that you have been engaged in all year long.
Meanwhile, President Biden met with top Democrats to bridge divides between moderates and progressives. The divisions threaten a giant spending package totaling $3.5 trillion.
Senate talks on police reform also hit a wall today. Democrats said they have ended bipartisan negotiations to try to make officers liable for abuses and to collect data on use of force. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker said the talks were going nowhere.
President Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron have agreed to meet next month to smooth tensions between the two governments. They center on Australia's decision to buy U.S. submarines and cancel a deal with France. The two presidents spoke by phone today. Macron also agreed to send the French ambassador back to Washington.
There is word that large numbers of Haitian migrants are being released into the U.S. The Biden administration had said they faced immediate expulsion. Instead, the Associated Press is reporting many have been told to report to immigration offices within 60 days.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki suggested today there aren't enough available planes for quick deportations.
Jen Pskai, White House Press Secretary:
There are a range of flights, as you know, going to different parts of the world, depending, and those are in process.
So, if we're not — if there isn't a flight ready yet, those are — those individuals may be placed in alternatives to detention.
By some estimates, the camp at Del Rio, Texas, held more than 14,000 people at one point.
The World Health Organization is warning that air pollution can cause harm at lower levels than previously thought. The agency revised its guidelines today for the first time in 15 years. It likened air pollution to poor diet and smoking, and it said 90 percent of the world's people are at risk.
And on Wall Street, stocks held their own — held their own, despite the Federal Reserve news that interest rates may rise next year. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 338 points to close at 34258. The Nasdaq rose 150 points. The S&P 500 added 41.
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