Good morning. Here’s your Daily SITREP for Thursday, 21 September 2023.
- READ TIME: 5 Minutes, 23 Seconds
- Inside the Beltway
- (1) Congressional Dems now Say Shutdown is Certain
- (2) Biden Allies: Trump Campaign More Sophisticated Than 2016
- Domestic INTSUM
- (3) “Green” Energy Investing Loses Momentum
- (4) California to Force Nationwide Corporate Emissions Disclosures
- Global SITREP
- (5) China Conducts Mass-Casualty Transport Exercise
- (6) Poland to Stop Supplying Weapons to Ukraine
- (7) Ukraine’s Zelensky Demands United Nations Reform
- (8) Russian Peacekeepers Killed in Nagorno-Karabakh Fighting
INSIDE THE BELTWAY
- (1) CONGRESSIONAL DEMS NOW SAY SHUTDOWN IS CERTAIN: Democrats in the House say a shutdown is now certain after floor votes failed on a Continuing Resolution (CR) and the House GOP’s defense spending bill when five Freedom Caucus Republicans crossed the aisle to join Democrats voting against the bills.
- Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) is in talks with the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus to form a CR and keep the government open after the 01 October deadline.
- Why It Matters: Democrats now see a shutdown as certain, and the only question is how long it will last. Jeffries and Speaker Kevin McCarthy are in contact, and McCarthy could ask Democrats to cross the aisle to overcome the Freedom Caucus blockade on a stopgap and the defense spending bill. But Jeffries has already said Democrats won’t vote to save McCarthy, and it appears Congress has resigned itself to a shutdown. A key difference between this session of Congress and previous sessions, where a last-minute stopgap was passed, is that McCarthy has been embattled since the initial vote for the Speakership, and the Freedom Caucus has paralyzed the House by blocking rule votes. – R.C.
- (2) BIDEN ALLIES: TRUMP CAMPAIGN MORE SOPHISTICATED THAN 2016: Democratic allies of President Joe Biden said former President Trump’s trip to the United Auto Workers (UAW) picket line in Michigan is a “cynical ploy,” but they are worried Trump is outmaneuvering Biden with a more sophisticated campaign than previous elections.
- Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) said Democrats should not underestimate Trump when Americans are hurting economically with high gas prices, food prices, and housing costs.
- A national Democratic strategist said, “Trump scooped us,” and if Biden officials visit the UAW protest in Michigan, it will look like a response to Trump’s trip.
- Why It Matters: Khanna’s public messaging on economic hardship hitting Americans is a major reversal from the party line on “Bidenomics,” which has failed to catch on with voters. Khanna is on Biden’s national advisory board, and a campaign surrogate, and his statements point to concern in the Biden campaign and the White House over how the economy could impact his campaign and possibly bolster Trump in the 2024 election. – R.C.
- (3) “GREEN” ENERGY INVESTING LOSES MOMENTUM: Investors withdrew record money from the world’s largest green energy investment funds this year, and an offshore wind project failed to generate excitement.
- The largest green energy exchange-traded fund (ETF) attracted nearly $3 billion of capital in 2021, but investors have withdrawn $765 million so far in 2023.
- The Biden administration’s first offshore auction of wind development rights in the Gulf of Mexico had only one bid of $5.6 million – the lowest winning bid for a federal offshore wind lease at auction since the Obama administration.
- Why It Matters: Governments and giant financial institutions like BlackRock have invested heavily in green energy companies, projects, and funds over the past two years. This push should continue despite investors’ excitement about Artificial Intelligence (AI), which has competed with green energy for the spotlight. Failure of green energy projects to deliver as promised will eventually starve the industry of capital and lead to corporate bankruptcies. – H.B.
- (4) CALIFORNIA TO FORCE NATIONWIDE CORPORATE EMISSIONS DISCLOSURES: California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) will sign the legislature’s recently passed greenhouse gas emissions disclosure bill within the next few days, which could force many large U.S. corporations to comply.
- California’s emissions law will apply to public and private companies that do business in the state and have more than $1 billion in annual revenue.
- The California legislature also passed a bill requiring companies to disclose climate-related risks, and these rules will take effect over the next several years.
- Why It Matters: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) attempted to require emissions and climate change disclosures for public companies, but Congressional Republicans pushed back. California’s legislature is now dictating the progressive climate change agenda to America’s largest public and private companies. States and corporations will challenge these California laws in court. – H.B.
- (5) CHINA CONDUCTS MASS-CASUALTY TRANSPORT EXERCISE: China is conducting a mass-casualty joint exercise with Cambodia. The exercise features a medical flight version of the Y-9 Transport Aircraft.
- This is the first overseas exercise for this aircraft, which can conduct in-air ICU and life support functions.
- The exercise is combat-oriented, according to the Chinese Ministry of National Defense.
- Why It Matters: This is one more preparation for war in a long string of preparations by the People’s Liberation Army. Although this aircraft can function as a drop-in self-contained hospital for diplomacy, the reports on the exercise stressed the importance of its combat role. This starkly contrasts with the 79-day hospital ship deployment their Navy finished this week, which they always hailed as a humanitarian mission. – J.V.
- (6) POLAND TO STOP SUPPLYING WEAPONS TO UKRAINE: Poland announced on Wednesday that it will no longer supply weapons and ammunition to Ukraine over tensions regarding Poland’s ban on Ukrainian grain.
- On Tuesday, Poland summoned Ukraine’s ambassador over comments made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the United Nations in which he said Poland had only feigned solidarity with Ukraine.
- The grain dispute originates from Ukraine dumping grain on the Polish market following the close of the Black Sea shipping lanes.
- Why It Matters: Ukraine and its leadership appear to have alienated their former ally through what appears to be repetitive insults and attempts to meddle in Poland’s internal affairs. Ukraine’s President Zelensky recently made appearances and speeches in the West, which proved to be tone-deaf to the countries that have supported it with hundreds of billions of dollars in aid and military hardware. Ukraine, which is faltering in its counteroffensive, has likely reached the limits of international tolerance and faces the prospects of rapidly diminishing support in the U.S. and Europe. – M.M.
- (7) UKRAINE’S ZELENSKY DEMANDS UNITED NATIONS REFORM: Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky told the United Nations Security General Assembly on Wednesday that the only way to bring peace to Ukraine was to reform the U.N. and strip power from Russia in the international body.
- Zelensky said the U.N. needed to strip Russia’s veto power in the Security Council and that the General Assembly should have the power to override the Security Council with a 2/3rds vote.
- Zelensky added that humankind no longer pins its hopes on the U.N. because of its archaic rules.
- Why It Matters: Zelensky and Ukraine’s leadership seem to be in a death spiral only days after its parliament fired every deputy defense minister over allegations of corruption. Zelensky likely overestimated his weight with the U.N. in single-handedly lecturing the diplomatic body on how it should conduct itself. Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have made defunding Ukraine aid programs a major plank in their negotiations on passing a budget- a bad sign for future Ukraine military aid. – M.M.
- (8) RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPERS KILLED IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH FIGHTING: Russian peacekeepers traveling by military vehicle were killed in an ambush during heavy fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh region earlier this week.
- The exact number of servicemen killed was not provided in the Russian Ministry of Defense announcement.
- Russia brokered a ceasefire on Wednesday amid allegations by Armenia that its peacekeeping force wasn’t doing enough to halt the fighting.
- Why It Matters: Armenian government officials have complained that Russia is too distracted by its special military operation in Ukraine to adequately function as peacekeepers in the disputed region. Despite Western concerns that the latest fighting could break out into open warfare between Armenia and Azerbaijan, on Wednesday, Armenian militants surrendered their arms. Azerbaijan agreed to halt its offensive military operations. – M.M.
— END REPORT
M.S. indicates analyst commentary from Mike Shelby
M.M. indicates analyst commentary from Max Morton
J.V. indicates analyst commentary from Jared Vaughn
R.C. indicates analyst commentary from Robert Cook
H.B. indicates analyst commentary from Harrison Burge
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