HOLCOMB DEFENDS NEAR TOTAL ABORTION BAN: Indiana’s Republican governor continued to defend the state’s near-total abortion ban after the new abortion law took effect on Thursday, saying he’s not concerned about possible economic repercussions or impacts on the state’s ability to retain and attract skilled workers (Smith and Downard, Capital Chronicle). The Hoosier state is the first in the nation to approve abortion-restricting legislation since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade. Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the ban in August after lawmakers approved the measure during a special legislative session. Holcomb said he’s confident the ban is reflective of what most Hoosiers want. That’s despite a highly-guarded poll conducted by the House and Senate GOP campaign committees that indicates Hoosiers don’t want a near-virtual ban on abortion. “If I had a nickel for every time I had somebody very sheepishly or quietly come up to me and say. ‘Thank you for signing,’ — they don’t want to be part of the yelling and the shouting,” Holcomb said Thursday in Marion, Indiana, following an economic development announcement. “There are people on both sides of this issue,” he continued. “To find consensus on what is life and when is life and how we determine that is going to be an issue that we’ve not just argued about for 50 years, but we’re going to argue about… for 50 more.”


INDEMS MAKE CALL TO ACTION OVER ROE: Democratic state legislative candidates say the only way to repeal Indiana’s near-total abortion ban is by electing Democrats to the Statehouse (Smith, Indiana Public Media). Candidates issued a call to action Thursday, the day the ban took effect. Joey Mayer is running against Rep. Donna Schaibley (R-Carmel), an incumbent in a suburban district north of Indianapolis. She said she’s been shocked how, even when she goes door-to-door to talk about economic issues, voters of both parties turn the conversation back to the abortion ban. “If the Indiana GOP had bothered to listen to their own polling or actually talk to the people they represent like we’re doing, they would know how far out of step SEA 1 is from what the people of Indiana want,” Mayer said. Republicans insist inflation and the economy are the biggest issues this election. Democratic Senate candidate Andrea Hunley said abortion is an economic issue, too. “When families are concerned about how they are going to pay for gas and how they are going to pay for groceries, they cannot also be concerned about how they are going to feed another mouth in their home,” Hunley said.


SOUTH BEND ABORTION CLINIC TO STAY OPEN FOR CONSULTATION: The South Bend area’s only abortion clinic is staying open to provide abortion-related care and counseling despite Indiana’s near-total abortion ban, which went into effect Thursday (Lazzaro, WVPE). Whole Woman’s Health Alliance founder and CEO Amy Hagstrom Miller said the near-total ban means the clinic can no longer offer abortions. She called it “heartless and harmful,” but said it doesn’t mean the South Bend facility is going away. “I want to be crystal clear about one thing — this clinic is not closing,” Hagstrom Miller said. “Whole Woman's Health Alliance is not leaving Indiana. We are standing with the community here in South Bend, across the state and across Michiana.” Instead, Hagstrom Miller said the South Bend clinic will offer abortion related care such as pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, contraception, counseling and follow-up care. There’s also the abortion wayfinder program, which will help people find, schedule and pay for out-of-state abortion services. Those could be in-person appointments at out-of-state clinics or via telemedicine.


JUDGE DENIES PLANNED PARENTHOOD REQUEST: A judge on Thursday denied a motion for a temporary restraining order that would have prevented Indiana from enforcing new abortion restrictions (WRTV). It's the latest development in the case filed by several Planned Parenthood chapters which challenges Senate Enrolled Act 1. That law, which went into effect Thursday, prevents women from having an abortion except in instances of rape and incest before 10 weeks post-fertilization or in which the mother's life is threatened. The motion was filed in Monroe Circuit Court in the case filed late last month by various Planned Parenthood chapters, abortion clinics and an obstetrician-gynecologist.


MEARS, ROKITA CLASH IN COURT: Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears and Attorney General Todd Rokita are clashing in court over how to handle a recent lawsuit challenging the state’s near-total abortion ban (IndyStar). The ACLU of Indiana and Planned Parenthood sued in August, claiming the law violates the Indiana Constitution because it restricts an individual's right to privacy from governmental intrusion and discriminates against abortion clinics. The law, which took effect Thursday, prohibits abortions except in the case of rape or incest up to 10 weeks of pregnancy, when pregnancy poses a risk to the life or long-term health of the mother, or in the case of fatal fetal anomalies. The state’s Medical Licensing Board was listed as one defendant in the suit, but seven of the eight defendants are county prosecutors, including the Marion County prosecutor.


POLL SHOWS HOOSIERS SUPPORT SAME SEX MARRIAGE: A recent poll shared with IndyStar from a consulting firm that works with Republicans found a majority of Indiana voters supported keeping same-sex marriage legal ahead of the U.S. Senate vote that could codify federal protections for same-sex couples (IndyStar). The poll conducted with 600 registered Indiana voters Aug. 25-27 by Washington D.C.-based TargetPoint Consulting. It showed 63% said the legality of same-sex marriage should remain in place, while 23% said it shouldn't. The remaining 14% did not know either way.


TRUMP PREDICTS 'PROBLEMS' IF HE'S INDICTED: Former President Donald Trump said Thursday the nation would face “problems ... the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen” if he is indicted over his handling of classified documents after leaving office, an apparent suggestion that such a move by the Justice Department could spark violence from Trump’s supporters (Politico). The former president said an indictment wouldn’t stop him from running for the White House again and repeatedly said Americans “would not stand” for his prosecution. “If a thing like that happened, I would have no prohibition against running,” Trump said in an interview with conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt. “I think if it happened, I think you’d have problems in this country the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen before. I don’t think the people of the United States would stand for it.” Hewitt asked Trump what he meant by “problems.” “I think they’d have big problems. Big problems. I just don’t think they’d stand for it. They will not sit still and stand for this ultimate of hoaxes,” Trump said.


PUTIN FINDS XI RESTRAINED: President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said on Thursday that Moscow understood that China had “questions and concerns” about the war in Ukraine — a notable, if cryptic, admission from Mr. Putin that Beijing may not fully approve of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (New York Times). And his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping — in his first face-to-face meeting with Mr. Putin since the invasion began — struck a far more subdued tone than the Russian president, and steered clear in his public comments of any mention of Ukraine at all. Taken together, the remarks were a stark sign that Russia lacks the full backing of its most powerful international partner as it tries to recover from a humiliating rout in northeastern Ukraine last week. After the meeting, China released a statement saying that it was “ready to work with Russia in extending strong support to each other on issues concerning their respective core interests.” It was a strikingly different tone from Mr. Xi than in early February, before the invasion. The two countries issued a joint statement before the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing describing their partnership as having “no limits.” The lukewarm Chinese support leaves Mr. Putin in an increasingly difficult spot as the invasion approaches the seven-month mark and he faces increasing criticism inside Russia about how he is conducting the war. Sergey Radchenko, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, said Mr. Putin “has severely undercut his leverage with China” by cutting himself off from the West.


DETAILS OF QUEEN'S MONDAY FUNERAL: Two minutes of silence will be observed across the United Kingdom at the end of Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday giving the public across the nation a chance to pay their respects to the late monarch (AP). Buckingham Palace released details Thursday of the state funeral of the queen who died Sept. 8 at age 96 and private interment later Monday. On Friday evening, King Charles III and his siblings will stand vigil at their mother’s coffin for 15 minutes as it lies in state at the 900-year-old Westminster Hall at the Houses of Parliament. Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward also stood vigil with the coffin when it lay in St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh earlier this week. After the state funeral, attended by some 2,000 guests, including visiting heads of state and other dignitaries, Elizabeth’s coffin will be transported through the historic heart of London from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch near Buckingham Palace on a horse-drawn gun carriage with Charles and other royals walking behind. The coffin will then be driven in the state hearse to Windsor for a committal service at St. George’s Chapel near Windsor Castle, where the coffin will be lowered into the Royal Vault and the sovereign’s piper will play a lament, the Archbishop of Canterbury will pronounce the blessing and the congregation will sing “God Save The King.”


HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: Once again, Donald Trump is suggesting like a mob boss would that Republicans will riot in the streets if he is indicted for ... hoarding top secret documents at his unsecured Florida resort. This is fascist behavior. - Brian A. Howey




INDEMS ON SEA1 BECOMING LAW: The Indiana Democratic Party today issued the following statement from Vice Chair Myla Eldridge to recognize today as the first time women and girls will be virtually unable to have a right to a legal and safe abortion. This dangerous reality was created by an Indiana Republican Party which put its extremist agenda ahead of a majority of Hoosiers who told them directly (via a poll) they opposed measures like Senate Enrolled Act 1 (Howey Politics Indiana): “My heart breaks because today in Indiana, it is now against the law for Hoosiers to have a safe and legal abortion, and it’s without a doubt Senate Enrolled Act 1 will endanger women and little girls’ lives across the state. This mandate is the worst form of government overreach, and generations of women for the first time will be forced to make dangerous decisions many of us thought we left in history books. Underprivileged women - especially Black and Brown Hoosiers in urban communities - will see their futures dashed or their lives be put in danger because an unchecked supermajority in the Indiana General Assembly backed a small minority over Hoosiers who wanted the state to maintain its existing laws."


INDEMS TOWN HALLS SATURDAY: On Saturday in Angola and Howe, Jessica McClellan (Candidate for State Treasurer), Gary Snyder (Candidate for Indiana’s Third Congressional District), and Mike Travis (Candidate for Indiana House - District 51) will continue the “Hoosier Promise Tour”, a statewide effort by the Indiana Democratic Party and its candidates to highlight the brighter future Democrats will create for the Hoosier State once elected to office on Election Day. Angola: WHO: Gary Snyder (Candidate for Indiana’s Third Congressional District); Mike Travis (Candidate for Indiana House - District 51), 10:30 AM, Saturday, Cahoots Coffee Cafe, 218 W Maumee St. Howe: Jessica McClellan (Candidate for State Treasurer), Gary Snyder (Candidate for Indiana’s Third Congressional District), 1:00 PM, Saturday, Indian Summer Days Festival Parade, 201 Market St.


CROUCH FUNDRAISER IN EVANSVILLE SEPT. 24: A fundraiser for Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch will take place from 6-8 p.m. (CT) Sept. 14 at 13101 Reising Lane, Evansville (Howey Politics Indiana). Sponsors range from $1,000 top host, $500 to sponsor, $250 to co-sponsor, $150 per person or $200 per couple. RSVP at crouchcampaign@outlook.com.


TRUMP OPENLY AMPLIFYING QANON CONSPIRACIES: After winking at QAnon for years, Donald Trump is overtly embracing the baseless conspiracy theory, even as the number of frightening real-world events linked to it grows (AP). On Tuesday, using his Truth Social platform, the Republican former president reposted an image of himself wearing a Q lapel pin overlaid with the words “The Storm is Coming.” In QAnon lore, the “storm” refers to Trump’s final victory, when supposedly he will regain power and his opponents will be tried, and potentially executed, on live television. As Trump contemplates another run for the presidency and has become increasingly assertive in the Republican primary process during the midterm elections, his actions show that far from distancing himself from the political fringe, he is welcoming it. He’s published dozens of recent Q-related posts, in contrast to 2020, when he claimed that while he didn’t know much about QAnon, he couldn’t disprove its conspiracy theory.




DEMS LEAD GOP IN NYT-SIENA GENERIC: Even as they struggle to persuade voters that they should be trusted on the economy, Democrats remain unexpectedly competitive in the battle for Congress as the sprint to November’s midterm election begins, a New York Times/Siena College poll has found. The surprising Democratic strength has been bolstered by falling gas prices and President Biden’s success at breaking through legislative gridlock in Washington to pass his agenda. Overall, 46 percent of registered voters say they back the Democratic candidate for Congress in their district, compared with 44 percent for Republicans — a difference well within the survey’s margin of error. The findings are similar to those from the last Times/Siena poll in July, when voters preferred, by just one percentage point, Democratic to Republican control of Congress.




GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB RECEIVED 700 EMAILS OVER SEA1 - When Gov. Eric Holcomb signed Indiana's near-total abortion ban last month within hours of its passage, he ignored the opinions of a majority of Hoosiers who had reached out to his office via email (Lange, IndyStar). According to an analysis by IndyStar of emails obtained in a records request, the roughly 700 emails Holcomb's office received regarding abortion between the June 24 Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and Aug. 8, the date the request was made, about 450 came from Hoosiers who support abortion rights. Roughly 250 were from those who are opposed to abortion. Holcomb's office also recorded 1,631 constituent calls, but did not share the contents of those calls. The unusually high number of calls and emails shows how important the issue was to Hoosiers. In a statement, Gov. Holcomb said he will always believe it's a good thing when citizens share their viewpoints and indicated he heard from people on both sides of the abortion issue in a variety of ways. "The number of emails received is but only one example of registering constituent input," Holcomb said. "After reviewing this specific majority passed piece of legislation, I could in all good conscience sign it and did."


GOVENOR: PROTESTS OUTSIDE RESIDENCE - Indiana's near-total abortion ban went into effect Thursday morning. That afternoon, IUPUI's Student Alliance for Equality (SAFE) marched to the governor's residence, where other's had been chanting all afternoon (WRTV). "It's a really devastating day to be a Hoosier and a woman living here. I feel just in shock, honestly," Maddy Cahlamer, an Indianapolis resident who showed up to protest, said. "I feel like coming to things like this, showing out and raising my voice are the only hope that I feel like I can do." "We need to show that we're not going to let this go, and this is something that's important," Indianapolis resident Sophia Swiecki said. "Seeing other countries that are moving past this and going further to help womens' rights and watching us go backwards is unacceptable in my opinion."


GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB MAKES APPOINTMENTS – Gov. Eric J. Holcomb announced several appointments to various state boards and commissions.


Board of Firefighting Personnel Standards & Education: The governor made two new appointments to the board, who will serve until October 31, 2024: Scott Garrett (Solsberry), retired firefighter and sales representative; Tony Murray (Noblesville), president of the Professional Firefighters Union of Indiana and longtime merit engineer and paramedic with Noblesville Fire Department Commission on Ports. The governor made one reappointment to the commission, who will serve until September 30, 2026: Bob Bowen (Indianapolis), founder and chairman of Bowen Engineering Corporation. The governor also made one new appointment to the commission, who will serve until September 30, 2026: Steve Stemler (Jeffersonville), president and CEO of the Stemler Corporation Emergency Medical Services Commission. The governor made six reappointments to the commission, who will serve until September 30, 2026: Andrew Bowman (Lebanon), acute care nurse practitioner with Boone County Emergency Medicine; Sara Brown (Monroeville), emergency physician with Professional Emergency Physicians, PC; Darin Hoggatt (Greenwood), chief of the Greenwood Fire Department; Matthew McCullough (Terre Haute), chief of the Riley Fire Department; Lee Turpen (Evansville), operations manager at American Medical Response; John Zartman (Greenwood), director of emergency medical services at Tippecanoe Emergency Ambulance Service. The governor also made six new appointments to the commission, who will serve until September 30, 2026: Mary Ann Dudley (Carlisle), vaccinator/emergency coordinator with Sullivan County Health Department; Jerry Harder (Avon), division chief of training and safety with Brownsburg Fire Territory; Brian Herwig (Tell City), president and CEO of Perry County Memorial Hospital; Lori Mayle (Brazil), program director with Air Evac Lifeteam; James Nossett (Brownsburg), emergency physician with Hendricks Regional Health; Matthew Shady (Fort Wayne), dean of the school of health sciences at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast.

Indiana Arts Commission: The governor made one reappointment to the commission, who will serve until June 30, 2026: Chad Bolser (Richmond), chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College Richmond.  The governor also made one new appointment to the commission, who will serve until June 30, 2024: Renee Thomas (West Lafayette), associate vice provost for diversity, inclusion and belonging at Purdue University.


Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority Board of Directors: The governor made four reappointments to the board, who will serve until September 30, 2026: Thomas McGowan (Indianapolis), president and COO of the Kite Realty Group Trust; June Midkiff (Fishers), vice president of treasury management with Merchants Bank of Indiana; Andy Place, Sr. (Mishawaka), former president of Place Builders Inc.; Michael Schopmeyer (Evansville), partner with Kahn, Dees, Donovan & Kahn, LLP.


Judicial Nominating Commission: The governor made one new appointment to the commission, who will serve until December 31, 2023 and fill the remainder of the term vacated by the resignation of Rudy Yakym III: Brian Bauer (Columbia City), president of IU Health Fort Wayne.


Law Enforcement Training Board: The governor made nine reappointments to the board, who will serve until July 31, 2026: Doug Carter (Cicero), superintendent of the Indiana State Police; The Honorable Sara Dungan (Martinsville), judge of the Morgan County Superior Court; Russ McQuaid (Indianapolis), reporter with Fox59; The Honorable Mark Myers (Greenwood), mayor of the City of Greenwood; The Honorable Chris Owens (Scottsburg), Scott County Prosecutor; Bryan Shearer (Ligonier), chief of the Ligonier Police Department; Randal Taylor (Indianapolis), chief of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department; Joel Thacker (Plainfield), executive director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security; David Wantz (Indianapolis), former president of the Independent Colleges of Indiana. The governor also made 11 new appointments to the board, who will serve until July 31, 2026: Juan Barrientes (Huntertown), commander of the Fort Wayne Police Training Center; Sarah Brown (Evansville), director of the Southwestern Indiana Law Enforcement Academy; Deborah Daniels (Indianapolis), of counsel with Krieg DeVault LLP; Michael Diekhoff (Bloomington), chief of the Bloomington Police Department; Tonia Guynn (Indianapolis), chief of the Indianapolis Public Schools Police Department; Angela Haley (Marion), chief of the Marion Police Department; Timothy Horty (Indianapolis), executive director of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy; Joe Jordan (Fort Wayne), president and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne; John Kuykendall III (Avon), associate professor and dean of the school of education at the University of Indianapolis; Stephen Luce (Bloomington), director of the IU Police Academy; James Markle (Valparaiso), director of the Northwest Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.


Midwestern Higher Education Commission: The governor made one new appointment to the commission, who will serve until February 28, 2024: Kurt Dykstra (Indianapolis), president and CEO of the Independent Colleges of Indiana.


State Fair Commission: The governor made one reappointment to the commission, who will serve until September 30, 2026: Mitch Frazier (Westfield), president and CEO of AgriNovus. The governor also made one new appointment to the commission, who will serve until September 30, 2025: John Gregg (Sandborn), former Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives.


State Historical Records Advisory Board: The governor made two reappointments to the board, who will serve until September 30, 2025: Chandler Lighty (Indianapolis), executive director of the Indiana Archives and Records Administration; Curt Witcher (Fort Wayne), genealogy center manager at the Allen County Public Library; The governor also made five new appointments to the board, who will serve until September 30, 2025: Nolan Eller (Crawfordsville), Wabash College archivist;

Bethany Fiechter (Greencastle), university archivist at DePauw University; Ted Frantz (Indianapolis), chair and professor of history at the University of Indianapolis; Amber Gowen (Evansville), Vanderburgh county archivist; Dina Kellams (Bloomington), director of the Indiana University Archives.


State Police Board: The governor made one new appointment to the board, who will serve until September 30, 2026: Marilyn Culler (Greencastle), associate director of the DePauw University Media Fellows Program.  


INDOT: PAVING ON I-69, BINFORD - Pavement patching work is expected to temporarily close southbound I-69 access to Binford Boulevard after 9 p.m. on Thursday night. It is expected to reopen by early Friday morning (Howey Politics Indiana). Additional pavement patching work is expected to lead to nighttime lane closures the next two weeks in the Clear Path 465 work zone. Work this weekend and next week is expected to focus on approaches to the I-465 bridges over the White River, west of Allisonville Road. Drivers are encouraged to slow down in the area and observe the 45 mph speed limit. The East 71st Street multi-use trail is expected to reopen to bicycle and pedestrian traffic by this Saturday. The trail was closed to install a bicycle and pedestrian protection system. The protection system will allow the trail to remain open to bicycle and pedestrian traffic for the majority of Clear Path construction.


INDOT: HOST EC SEASONAL JOBS FAIR - The Indiana Department of Transportation will host a hiring fair in east central Indiana for winter seasonal positions on Wednesday, Sept. 28. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the following location: Indianapolis Sub District, 7105 S. Brookville Rd. Winter seasonal positions run between Nov. 1 and April 1 at a starting pay of $20 per hour for full-time operations and $24 per hour for snowplow-only positions. Job duties include performing general highway maintenance, traffic maintenance, snow and ice removal and other duties related to winter operations. A valid CDL is required to be considered for a seasonal role.


DNR: DEER QUOTES LOWERED IN 4 COUNTIES - Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) has impacted the deer herd in Wayne, Union, Fayette, and Franklin counties this year (Howey Politics Indiana). As a result, Indiana DNR has reduced the County Bonus Antlerless Quotas (CBAQ) in these four counties to a maximum of one. Humans are not at risk for contracting EHD, which is a viral disease that may affect white-tailed deer to some degree every year. It typically occurs during late summer and early fall, and there is evidence that outbreaks can be more severe in years in which there is a wet spring followed by a hot, dry fall. EHD is transmitted by flies commonly known as biting midges, sand gnats, and “no-see-ums.” EHD is often fatal to deer, but some survive the illness. Not every deer in an affected area will contract EHD. One sign that a deer has contracted and survived EHD is evidence of sloughing or breaking on their hooves. Indiana DNR asks that successful hunters use the Deer After Hunt Survey to report the condition of their deer’s hooves, including both normal hooves and hooves that show evidence of sloughing or damage.


AUTOS: GM PLANS $491M UPGRADE AT MARION - General Motors said Thursday it will spend $491 million to expand and upgrade an Indiana metal stamping plant for production of steel and aluminum stamped parts for “future vehicles,” including electric vehicles (AP). The automaker said it would install two new press lines, complete press and die upgrades and make renovations to the Marion, Indiana, plant, where a roughly 6,000-square-foot (557.4-square-meter) addition also is planned. GM said work would begin later this year to prepare the Marion plant “to produce a variety of steel and aluminum stamped parts for future products, including electric vehicles, built at multiple GM assembly plants.” News of the Marion project comes as GM is working to strengthen its foothold in the electric vehicle market. “While this investment prepares the facility for our all-electric future, it’s really an investment in our talented Marion team and will keep the plant working for many years to come,” Gerald Johnson, GM’s executive vice president of global manufacturing, said in a news release.


CHAMBER: BRINEGAR LAUDS RAIL DEAL -  Indiana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kevin Brinegar comments on the tentative agreement reached between the nation’s largest rail companies and respective unions to avoid a rail strike that could have cost the economy an estimated $2 billion per day (Howey Politics Indiana). “We’re grateful an agreement appears to have been reached in order to keep our rail system operating and avoid a monumental economic disruption at a time when supply chains are already pressured. “Such a strike would have caused serious pain to Indiana as one of the most manufacturing and agriculture-intensive states in the country, especially as harvest season approaches.”


General Assembly


GiaQUINTA COMMENTS ON SETTLED RAIL STRIKE:  In a late-night deal brokered by federal Democrats, railroads and workers’ unions reached a tentative labor agreement averting a strike and restoring dignity to laborers. House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) today applauded the big win for the economy and the American people (Howey Politics Indiana). “This is good governance, and the power of unions at work,” GiaQuinta said. “After nearly 20 hours of talks, a compromise preserving the economy while providing rail workers with better pay, improved working conditions, and better health care costs was reached. I’m thankful to the rail companies, unions and our federal partners for their good-faith negotiations that avoided a strike which would have halted the U.S. economy.”




SENATE PUNTS ON SAME SEX MARRIAGE BILL: The Senate won't vote on legislation to protect same-sex marriage until after the midterm elections, key senators said Thursday, in an apparent bid to give Republicans political space to support the bill without offending their base (NBC News). The leader of the effort, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., has been working this month on an amendment to the bill aimed at attracting more Republican votes to overcome a filibuster. But the necessary 10 GOP votes have remained elusive. "We're very confident that the bill will pass but we will need a little more time," Baldwin told reporters Thursday.


THE SENATE is in. THE HOUSE is out.




WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN TO MEET GRINER, WHELAN FAMILIES - President Biden plans to meet at the White House on Friday with family members of WNBA star Brittney Griner and Michigan corporate security executive Paul Whelan, both of whom remain jailed in Russia, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said (CBS News). The separate meetings are to be the first in-person encounter between Mr. Biden and the families and are taking place amid sustained but so far unsuccessful efforts by the administration to secure the Americans' release. The administration said in July that it had made a "substantial proposal" to get them home, but despite plans for the White House meetings, there is no sign that a breakthrough is imminent. "President Biden will hold meetings at the White House with Brittney Griner's wife, Cherelle Griner, and Paul Whelan's sister, Elizabeth Whelan, to discuss his continuing commitment to bringing their family members home safely," Jean-Pierre said at the White House press briefing.


WHITE HOUSE: DECRIES IMMIGRANT 'STUNT' - White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday denounced Republican Govs. Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott sending migrants to Martha’s Vineyard and Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence in DC as a “cruel, premeditated political stunt” (CNN). Jean-Pierre accused the Florida and Texas governors of using migrants as “political pawns” and said their actions were “shameful … reckless and just plain wrong.” “The fact that Fox News and not the Department of Homeland Security, the city or local (non-governmental organizations) were alerted about a plan to leave migrants, including children, on the side of a busy DC street makes clear that this is just a cruel, premeditated political stunt,” Jean-Pierre told reporters at a White House briefing.


WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN SCHEDULE - President Biden's schedule - 9:30 a.m.: The president will receive the President’s Daily Brief. 2:15 p.m.: Biden will hold a bilateral meeting with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will brief at 1 p.m. VP Harris: 9:30 a.m.: The VP will host a breakfast with Ramaphosa. 11:25 a.m.: Harris will depart D.C. en route to Chicago. 1:50 p.m.: Harris will meet with students, reproductive health advocates and providers to discuss abortion access. 5:05 p.m.: Harris will participate in a political event with Governor J.B. PRITZKER. 6:15 p.m.: Harris will depart Chicago to return to D.C.


TRANSPORTATION: BUTTIGIEG ANNOUNCES I-375 PROJECT IN DETROIT - On the heels of President Joe Biden’s stop in Detroit on Wednesday, US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan for a major announcement (WILX). The three announced funding from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will go to allow Michigan to replace the outdated I-375 corridor. The freeway will be converted into a boulevard to allow for an increase in economic development for local neighborhoods and allow the area to be more connected. “This stretch of I-375 cuts like a gash through the neighborhood, one of the many examples I have seen in communities across the country where a piece of infrastructure has become a barrier,” said Buttigieg. “With these funds, we’re now partnering with the state and the community to transform it into a road that will connect rather than divide.”


TREASURY: YELLEN SAYS INFLATION WILL REMAIN A PROBLEM - After Tuesday's inflation numbers came in higher than economists had expected, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen conceded Wednesday that the high prices plaguing the nation still present a challenge. "Inflation remains a problem, and obviously is of tremendous concern to Americans," she told CBS News chief White House correspondent Nancy Cordes in an interview Wednesday. "The prime job here rests with the Federal Reserve," said Yellen, who used to be the Fed chair. "We want them to independently use their best judgment on this. And we're trying to take actions that complement theirs."


JUSTICE: DEARIE CHOSEN AS TRUMP 'SPECIAL MASTER' - U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon appointed a respected retired judge to independently review the documents the FBI seized from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, and included those marked classified in his remit, which could prolong a court battle over the Justice Department inquiry into the sensitive materials found at the Florida resort (Wall Street Journal). In an order Thursday, Judge Cannon named Raymond J. Dearie, a former chief federal judge in New York, as a special master to assess the seized materials to determine whether they are protected by any privileges, and make recommendations over any disputes between the government and Mr. Trump about how the items are characterized. Mr. Trump’s legal team had recommended Mr. Dearie to the post, and the Justice Department said he was an acceptable choice.


JUSTICE: 'CAMP AUSCHWITZ' RIOTER SENTENCED - A federal judge on Thursday sentenced Robert Packer, the Jan. 6 rioter seen in photos wearing a "Camp Auschwitz" sweatshirt, to 75 days in prison (ABC News). Packer had previously pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of demonstrating inside the U.S. Capitol building. The black-hooded sweatshirt Packer donned during the riot, prosecutors said, showed "Camp Auschwitz" and "Work Means Freedom" with a skull image on the front, and "STAFF" written on the back. Underneath his sweatshirt, he wore another Nazi-inspired t-shirt, they said.


EPA: BP FINED $2.75M FOR WHITING AIR POLLUTION - BP has agreed to pay $2.75 million to settle a lawsuit over repeated air pollution violations at the Whiting Refinery on the Lake Michigan lakefront, including to plant trees and install air filters in local schools (Pete, NWI Times). The Sierra Club and Environmental Integrity Project sued the London-based energy giant in 2019 over repeat violations of legal limits on particulate air pollution.  Last year, U.S. District Court Judge Philip Simon ruled BP violated Clean Air Act limits for particular matter emissions fromits boilers. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management then modified its air pollution control unit. BP and the environmental groups submitted the settlement agreement in the U.S. District Court in Northern Indiana Thursday. It must be approved by Simon. "This settlement is a major victory for Hoosiers and everyone in the Chicago metropolitan area, whose health and safety were threatened for far too long by BP's profits-over-people approach," said Amanda Shepherd, director of the Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter. "We are thrilled to see BP held accountable for its dangerous pollution and lack of regard for our communities."


FREDDIE MAC: MORTGAGE INTEREST NOW ABOVE 6% - Mortgage rates shot above 6 percent this week for the first time in 14 years as inflation has remained resistant to the Federal Reserve’s efforts to tamp it down. The dramatically swift escalation has chilled what had been a hot U.S. housing market, increasing pressure on an economy plagued by unremitting inflation (Washington Post). The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage — the most popular home loan product — soared to 6.02 percent this week, nearly double what it was nine months ago, according to data released Thursday by Freddie Mac. It has not been this high since November 2008.


MEDIA: SUNDAY TALK - “Fox News Sunday”: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C). Panel: Josh Holmes, Francesca Chambers, Gillian Turner and Juan Williams. CBS “Face the Nation”: Major Garrett and David Becker, Robert Pape, Andriy Kostin. ABC “This Week”: Panel: Heidi Heitkamp, Marc Short, Marianna Sotomayor and Alex Burns. NBC “Meet the Press”: Panel: Peter Baker, Leigh Ann Caldwell, Al Cardenas and Stephanie Cutter. CNN “Inside Politics”: Panel: Kasie Hunt, Amy Walter, Hans Nichols and Seung Min Kim. MSNBC “The Sunday Show”: Massachusetts state Rep. Dylan Fernandes,  Sheryl Lee Ralph, Pennsylvania state Sen. Vincent Hughes, Karen Hobert Flynn, Cecile Richards, Rachel Bitecofer.


MEDIA: CNN ANNOUNCES NEW MORNING LINEUP - CNN on Thursday announced plans for a new morning show anchored by Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins that will debut later this year, replacing the network’s current morning show “New Day” (Politico). “There is no stronger combination of talent than Don, Poppy and Kaitlan to deliver on our promise of a game-changing morning news program,” CNN CEO Chris Licht said in a press release. “They are each uniquely intelligent, reliable and compelling; together they have a rare and palpable chemistry. Combined with CNN’s resources and global newsgathering capabilities, we will offer a smart, bold and refreshing way to start the day.”


MEDIA: INJURED FOX REPORTER MAKES SURPRISE APPEARANCE - Beloved Fox News journalist Benjamin Hall surprised colleagues on Wednesday with a special appearance at FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott’s quarterly address, where he insisted his devastating journey has been a story of goodwill, not tragedy. Hall’s surprise appearance came exactly six months after the tragic attack in Ukraine left him severely injured and killed Fox News photojournalist Pierre Zakrzewski and Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra "Sasha" Kuvshynova. "I think back to the last six months, and if I kept talking, I'd be here all day. But there are a couple of things which I really want to point out to everyone, and this opportunity to talk to the whole company is something that I've been looking forward to because I want to give everyone an update on my progress, on how far I've come and what has happened in that short space of just six months. But the fact is, is that six months ago out in Ukraine, we suffered from a terrible attack," Hall said.


ALABAMA: JAILER, INMATE HAD 1,000 PHONE CALLS - An Alabama inmate who authorities say escaped with the help of a jail supervisor who later killed herself in Indiana shared nearly 1,000 phone calls with the woman before the breakout, news outlets reported (Indiana Public Media). Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said Casey White and Vicky White, who were not related, may have planned his escape over the phone, but authorities must listen to each of 949 calls before making a determination. Authorities have said the two were in a romantic relationship and Singleton said at least some of the calls were sexual in nature.




INDIANAPOLIS: MEARS RESPONDS TO ACLU SUIT - The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office and Prosecutor Ryan Mears have been sued in an abortion-related lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana (ACLU). In response to the lawsuit, the office retained its own representation in this matter (Howey Politics Indiana). As outlined in the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office response, the Indiana Attorney General’s stance on abortion-related matters contradicts the office’s longstanding position on these issues. “The priorities of the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office will always reflect the community we serve,” Prosecutor Mears said. “We will continue to focus on violent crime and will continue to protect the rights of women, pregnant people, and medical professionals.”


FORT WAYNE: CATS DIVERTED DUE TO OUTBREAK - Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control will continue to divert cat and kitten intakes when possible due to the ongoing panleukopenia outbreak in the community (Howey Politics Indiana). The number of positive cases have slowed in the shelter, but space is limited as cats spend more than two weeks in the shelter’s care waiting to receive two rounds of vaccinations. Anyone needing to surrender their cat(s) will be offered the option to get the cat vaccinated at the shelter then keep it at their home until the shelter is ready and able to take the cat or kitten. Citizens bringing in stray cats or kittens will be offered the same service, vaccinations then the option to hold them in their home to prevent further spread of the disease. FWACC is an open access shelter, so if the citizen does not wish to take the cat or kitten home we will take it in.