What to Know in Washington: Gas Prices in the Swing States Vex Biden

Pump prices across the United States remain stubbornly high just three weeks before the midterm elections, and the states where the pain is most acute include those poised to determine which party controls Congress.

Nevada and Arizona, swing states with competitive senatorial races, are among those grappling with the highest gas prices in the country. More than 40% of competitive racing assessed by Cook Political Report takes place in states with the largest increases in pump prices from the 2020 election.

“It doesn’t get any easier selling the Democratic brand at a high gas price,” said Kevin Book, chief executive of consulting firm ClearView Energy Partners. “To the extent that Democrats face Republicans trying to make it a referendum on Biden, the increase from 2020 will not be flattering.”

Pump prices are the most visible inflation warning in the United States, flashing on street corners in every region of the country. The cost of gasoline is higher than in at least nine of the last election cycles, averaging $3.88 a gallon for the first half of October, according to AAA data. They are nearly 80 cents higher than in October 2008, when stock markets crashed during the Great Recession.

As costs rise, the economy has re-emerged as a top concern for voters, with higher gas prices tied to lower presidential approval. President Joe Biden tried to take credit for the drop in prices, noting in a speech Wednesday that prices had fallen 30% from the summer peak. “But,” he conceded, “they’re not falling fast enough. Families are hurting.” Read More

More in Elections & Politics

Reddit AMA with BGOV Election Guru: Greg Giroux here. You may have heard me on Bloomberg Government webinars and on our Downballot Counts podcast. I will be sure /r/reddit policy tomorrow at 2 p.m. to discuss the more than 1,200 U.S. House and Senate campaign ads I’ve seen since Labor Day. What ads and issues stand out? AMA!

Dashboard unveiled to measure legislators’ bipartisan efforts

Just in time for midterms, a new lawmaker rankings dashboard takes a holistic look at the actions and words of lawmakers to determine if they are working with lawmakers across the aisle, reports Emily Wilkins.

The Common Ground Dashboard, from the nonpartisan Common Ground Committee, tracks member statements and press releases for mentions of bipartisanship, notes whether they have joined a caucus as the problem solvers, and also deducts points if a member personally insults a political opponent.

Legislators can score anywhere between -20 and 110. The average score is 29. Common Ground CEO Bruce Bond said that while scores that track the amount of bipartisan legislation lawmakers craft are ” certainly remarkable”, it is “not the complete story”. “We want to highlight the people who are actually making a point to let the world know it’s important to them,” Bond said. The top-rated lawmakers, each with a score of 104, are Reps. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) and Dean Phillips (D-Minn.).

Divisions emerge as South Carolina Superior Court hears abortion case

On Wednesday, the five justices of the South Carolina Supreme Court engaged lawyers in a heated debate over whether the state constitution guarantees a right to abortion beyond the six weeks permitted by law. state currently blocked.

Blacks and other voters of color lean into climate action, poll finds

Voters of color are more likely to be concerned about climate change and more adamant that the United States needs to tackle the issue, according to a poll released Thursday by a green diversity group.

It’s happening on the Hill

January 6 committee to obtain emails from Eastman showing probable fraud

More emails involving donald trumpformer lawyer John Eastman present evidence of potential post-election criminal activity by Trump and his allies, a California federal judge has found.

  • But the House committee investigating last year’s attack on Capitol Hill has yet to formally subpoena Trump, ABC News reports, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. Read more


  • Trump lost request to transfer New York fraud trial against him and his company to another division of Manhattan court, ensuring the case will remain before the same judge who once held him in contempt. Read more
  • Trump’s legal team weighs in whether to allow federal agents to return to the former president’s Florida residence and possibly conduct a supervised search, CNN reports. Read more
  • Trump answered questions under oath in a deposition solicited by author E. Jean Carroll, who claims he raped her in a department store dressing room two decades ago and defamed her when he denied it. Read more

Elusive middle ground as Manchin permitting bill awaits action

Democrats and Republicans are wide apart on overhauling federal permits, leaving little common ground if and when lawmakers try again to move Sen. Joe Manchin’s (DW.Va.) stalled bill, according to the observers.

Judiciary still has funding issues for free PACER bill

The judiciary told lawmakers it was still concerned about funding legislation that would make the federal electronic court records system, PACER, free to use, even though it called the conversations “productive.” .

About the Administration


  • At 2:15 p.m., Biden will deliver a speech in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on rebuilding America’s infrastructure
  • The president at 7 p.m. will attend a reception for Senate candidate John Fetterman (D) in Philadelphia.

TSA updates rail rules to combat growing cybersecurity threats

The Biden administration has updated and expanded rules for freight and passenger rail, bolstering operators’ efforts to respond to growing cyber threats.

CFPB funding mechanism violates Constitution, Fifth Circuit says

Independent funding of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau through the Federal Reserve violates the Constitution’s separation of powers clause, the Fifth Circuit has said.

White House awards $2.8 billion to electric vehicle battery suppliers

President Joe Biden said Wednesday that $2.8 billion to bolster the U.S. battery supply chain will create thousands of well-paying jobs at 20 manufacturing and processing companies while weaning imports of minerals and components from China.

Better PFAS Data in Marginalized Communities Needed, Says GAO

The EPA needs more comprehensive data on the extent to which compounds known as forever chemicals impact drinking water in communities of color and other disadvantaged areas, the Government Accountability said. Office in a report.

Low-income children should get free Covid vaccines, CDC panel says

Low-income children should be able to receive free Covid-19 vaccines under the federal childhood vaccine program, according to a panel of US health advisers.

Defense & Foreign Affairs

US accuses seven people of conspiring to buy chips from Russian military

The Justice Department has charged seven people with evading US sanctions in an alleged plot to sell Venezuelan oil to Russia and China and use the proceeds to buy black market chips that Russia will install in high-tech weapons on Ukrainian battlefields.

US calls for Security Council briefing on Russia and Iranian drones

The United States, along with France and the United Kingdom, have called for a special United Nations Security Council briefing on evidence that Russia bought Iranian drones for its war against Ukraine.

US raises concerns after Saudis condemn American for tweets

The United States has raised concerns with Saudi Arabia over a US citizen whom the kingdom sentenced to 16 years in prison for posting tweets criticizing the Saudi government.

US backs climate reparations talks at UN summit in Egypt

The United States has decided to support formal UN negotiations on possible compensation and assistance to countries devastated by storms, floods and droughts exacerbated by climate change, senior US officials said on Wednesday.

To contact the reporters on this story: Brandon Lee in washington at [email protected]; Michaela Ross in washington at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Giuseppe Macri at [email protected]; Loren Duggan at [email protected]

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