It’s Monday, September 13th, and this is your Morning Wire. Listen to the full podcast here.
1) Biden Vaccine Mandates
The Topline: On Thursday, President Biden announced he will impose vaccine mandates on all private companies employing more than 99 workers.
Andrew Kloster, former deputy general counsel for the office of personnel management in the White House, joined Morning Wire to discuss the legal questions surrounding the president’s vaccine mandates.
The president’s plan essentially involves using the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, to fine companies $14,000 per infraction if they don’t require proof of vaccination or weekly negative tests for employees.
According to Kloster, the details and carve-outs have not been released yet, though he noted the federal government will be targeting larger employers and the Biden administration will be looking at putting this within statutes they have on the books.
Kloster said legal challenges are likely and that those opposing the move will look to argue that the order is unconstitutional or exceeds the authority granted to OSHA.
2) Inflation Causes Record Price Hikes
The Topline: As the U.S. economy continues to recover from COVID-19 lockdowns, inflation rates have skyrocketed and new Labor Department data reveals the price of consumer goods rose at a record rate in the last year.
Each month, the Labor Department tracks the “Final demand price” for wholesale goods, which is the amount of money producers sell their products for each month. This August, prices were up 8.3% compared to last August — the biggest 12-month increase ever recorded.
The price for makeup and hair products jumped 7.8% in the last month alone and the price of chicken rose another 11%. Over the last year, the price of beef is up 59%, cooking oil is up 43% and wholesale grain is up 98%.
Impact On Americans
In a recent poll, 70% of Americans said they’ve felt the impact of higher grocery prices and 67% said the same about gasoline prices. Experts say it’s low-income households who are typically most impacted by inflation because a higher percentage of their monthly income goes towards products more heavily impacted by inflation — mainly food and energy costs.
The Biden administration has attempted to put the blame on COVID-19, which is true to a certain extent. The lockdowns impacted the supply chain and a certain level of inflation is to be expected during an economic recovery like the one Americans are experiencing.
Many experts also blame the massive increases in government spending for inflation.
Will It Level Out?
Officials at the Federal Reserve and White House economists say inflation should start to taper off in the next few months, but Americans have heard that same message for months, and it’s worse now than it was before.
The Fed is standing firm, however, and insisting they won’t be changing interest rates.
Political Point: In a poll last month, 86% of Americans said they were concerned about inflation and 79% said Biden’s policies were contributing to the spike.
3) California Recall Election Nears
The Topline: The long-term effort to remove Democratic Governor of California Gavin Newsom has reached its climax, with the recall election only a day away.
Quote Of The Day:
“For the very first time, people are leaving California like you guys have, and the number one reason that people cite for leaving is the cost of housing.”
– Larry Elder, Republican Candidate for Governor of California
The Recall Election
Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 14th, Californians will decide whether or not Governor Gavin Newsom should be removed from office, and if he is removed, who should replace him for the remainder of his term, which ends in January 2023.
This recall election is made up of two questions. The first is a simple yes/no question, asking voters if they want to recall Newsom. Voters will then be asked who should replace him.
In July, the polls between “keep” and “remove” tightened, and were effectively 50/50 in August.
Since the end of August, the polls seem to suggest the “keep” vote is the clear favorite, with the latest polling averages showing 56.2% of those surveyed want Newsom to remain as governor, while 41.6% want him removed.
Big donors have allowed Newsom to raise more than $70 million, a massive number achieved in large part because California has no limits on donations to recall committees.
Donations include $3 million from the CEO of Netflix, $500,000 from George Soros, and $750,000 from Priscilla Chan, the wife of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Other Stories We’re Tracking
UK COVID Reversal
The United Kingdom Health Chief announced Sunday the country will abandon its plans for vaccine passports, and may soon end mandatory testing for returning travelers.
Manchin’s Hard Line
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced Sunday he will not support his party’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package. His decision marks a significant setback for President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, as the bill will need the support of all Democratic senators to pass.
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