Pluribus AM: And D.C. descended into chaos

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Good morning, it’s Wednesday, October 4, 2023. In today’s edition, Speaker McCarthy out as D.C. descends into chaos; health care workers join auto workers on strike; Maui to reopen after devastating fires:

Top Stories

CONGRESS: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Tuesday became the first leader to lose his position in the middle of session after arch-conservatives mounted a rebellion over a spending deal to avert a government shutdown. McCarthy said he would not seek to remain in the Speaker’s chair, setting up another round of voting when the House returns to Washington next week. (Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times)

McCarthy’s ouster makes a government shutdown more likely, if only because the House will now waste at least a week — and probably more — on a leadership fight.

LABOR: About 75,000 Kaiser Permanente workers are likely to strike today as labor negotiations between the hospital system and union officials stalled Tuesday. The strike would impact nurses, medical technicians and support staff in hospitals in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Virginia and the District of Columbia. (Reuters, Associated Press)

MORE: The Anderson Economic Group of East Lansing estimates a United Auto Workers strike has cost the U.S. economy almost $4 billion through the first two weeks. About 25,000 UAW members are on strike at 43 plants, warehouses and automotive facilities. (Bridge MI)

ENERGY: Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island officials said Wednesday they will jointly solicit bids for offshore wind projects in an effort to curb costs and promote clean energy development. Officials say they hope to attract more competitive bids after several Eastern Seaboard projects fell through. (E&E News)

TAXES: Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey (D) will sign a $1 billion tax relief bill on Wednesday, after lawmakers gave the measure final approval last week. The bill provides a big boost in child and dependent tax credits, a higher earned income tax credit, lower short-term capital gains taxes and a higher threshold for the inheritance tax. (WWLP)

ECONOMY: Auto sales rose 16.3% from July through September as consumer demand stayed strong in the face of higher interest rates. The average vehicle sold for more than $45,500, and average new vehicle loan rates stood at 7.4%. (Associated Press)

HEALTH CARE: Florida Rep. Joel Rudman (R), an arch-conservative ally of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), will push to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act next year. Rudman, who just completed a statewide listening tour, cited high costs of uncompensated care and low Medicaid reimbursement rates. (Florida Politics)

RECOVERY: Hawaii Gov. Josh Green (D) has set Sunday as the day West Maui will officially reopen to tourists, just two months after devastating fires. Local activists delivered more than 14,000 signatures to Green’s office on Tuesday asking him to delay reopening the area to tourists. (Civil Beat)

In Politics & Business

ALABAMA: The three-judge panel overseeing the challenge to U.S. House district lines will decide soon on which new map to use. The three maps under discussion all create a second majority-Black district that would likely benefit Democrats. Secretary of State Wes Allen (R) says the state needs a map in place by early October to be ready for elections in 2024. (

WYOMING: Supporters of recreational marijuana are evaluating their options after a misunderstanding led them to believe they failed to qualify for the 2024 ballot — when in fact they secured enough signatures to get on the ballot. Supporters said they had been misinformed about the ballot measure process by the Secretary of State’s office. (Casper Star Tribune)

NEBRASKA: Gov. Jim Pillen (R) has contributed $100,000 to a campaign to defend a new law he signed extending education opportunity scholarships this year. Opponents of the new law submitted more than enough signatures to qualify a repeal referendum on the 2024 ballot. (Nebraska Examiner)

REPUBLICANS: Republican voters in Idaho and Missouri will pick presidential candidates in caucuses next year, after state legislatures canceled presidential primaries and then missed a Sunday deadline to reinstate them. Idaho lawmakers canceled their primary by accident; Missouri lawmakers did so as a cost-saving move. (Associated Press)

By The Numbers

128%: The amount of water in California’s reservoirs, compared to the historical average, making the last year one of the wettest on record. State officials measured 33.56 inches of precipitation through the end of September. (Associated Press)

$108.2 million: The surplus Arkansas notched in the first quarter of the year, 6.9% above forecast but down 1.1% from the same period last year. (Talk Business & Politics)

$17.5 million: The amount the Vail, Colo., town council will spend to purchase a plot of land where Vail Resorts wanted to build housing for 165 employees. The fight over the proposed development has dragged on for four years. (Colorado Sun)

Off The Wall

Continuing yesterday’s theme of state auditors identifying improper spending, Iowa Auditor Rob Sand (D) reported a former city clerk in Danbury spent more than $175,000 in taxpayer money on personal purchases over a two-year period. Sand’s office found the clerk spent $75,000 at a fashion wholesaler, likely to stock up a boutique she owned in town. (Quad-City Times)

Are you looking for a new job, maybe one where you can embrace your passion for Illinois? Well the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has news for you — they’re looking for a new Illinois state historian. (WICS/WCCU) Wisconsin fans, presumably, need not apply.

Quote of the Day

“It’s not like he was out of the country. It’s not like he was out of the state. He was downstairs.”

Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat (R), after Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) declined an invitation to explain his tax cut plan to the Senate Appropriates Committee. (Associated Press)