What you should know about Elise Stefanik’s rise in the GOP

Get insights on the latest news in US politics from Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington:

Who is Elise Stefanik and what does she mean for the Republican Party right now?

Elise Stefanik is a young member from Upstate New York. She had originally started her career as a staffer in the George W. Bush administration, but in recent years, has turned into one of the most outspoken defenders of President Donald Trump, particularly during the impeachment trial last year. She's relevant right now because it looks like she'll be replacing Liz Cheney, the Representative from Wyoming and also the daughter of the former Vice President, who has been outspoken in her criticism of President Trump since the January 6th insurrection, and probably more importantly, outspoken in her criticism of the direction of the Republican Party.


The irony here though, is that while Cheney is going down, she's being replaced by somebody who, when she came into office, was expected to be a pretty standard-bearing Bush Republican. And so this is just really indicative of where the Party is, very hard to stay on in Republican leadership if you aren't going to be a supporter of President Trump. Too many of Cheney's colleagues thought she had become a distraction and wanted her gone. Stefanik is probably a placeholder. She says she doesn't want to serve in the position long-term. She eventually wants to take over the chairmanship of a committee, and she has many years ahead of her in Congress. She is very young.

What's the outlook for the Democrats' election bill?

Well, the Democrats in the House and Senate have introduced a bill to rewrite federal election law. Traditionally, election laws have been set by the state. States are allowed to choose how to do their redistricting. They're allowed to choose how people vote. Do they do mail-in votes? Do they have no-excuse mail-in votes? How many days of early voting are they going to allow? And, the Democrats bill would append that entire regime, and create a federal standard that every state would have to meet for number of days of pre-election day, in-person voting, standards around absentee voting, how to draw districts, taking it away from partisan gerrymandering and moving it towards a commission, in most states. And, there's been a lot of opposition to it. So the Democrats argue that this bill is necessary because Republicans are passing what they think are restrictive voting laws across the country. And Republicans are saying the Democrats are trying to take over and federalize elections to increase the chances that they win future elections and hold onto their current majorities in the House and Senate. And there's truth to both claims. The bill is very unlikely to move anywhere. It has 49 Democratic Senators who support it, who are co-sponsors, and one Democratic holdout, Joe Manchin. But even if Manchin never came around and said he supported the bill, it would require 60 votes to overcome a filibuster in the Senate, or the elimination of the legislative filibuster, so it's very unlikely to pass into law. You know this is a really big deal for the Democrats. They've given it the special designation S.1 in the Senate, H.R.1 in the House, which is a symbolic act suggesting this is their highest priority. But also, in a Rules Committee hearing earlier this week, both Majority Leader, Schumer, and Republican Minority Leader, McConnell, showed up to debate the bill in-person, debate amendments, and there've been multiple showdowns on the Floor. This is a really high-stakes piece of legislation. It would fundamentally tip the balance of power in favor of the Democrats were it to pass, which is, among other reasons, why Republicans are so opposed to seeing it get into law.

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We're just days away from COP26, the landmark global climate conference that's been dubbed the last chance to get the climate crisis in check. In the lead-up to the event in Glasgow, dozens of countries have released new ambitions to reduce their future carbon footprints. For years, climate activists and experts have called on governments to introduce carbon pricing schemes – either through taxes or emissions-trading schemes. So who's heeded the warning? We take a look at the top ten carbon emitters' share of global emissions and details about their respective national carbon pricing schemes.

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Do cryptocurrencies make it harder to enforce foreign policy sanctions?

Well, that is exactly what the Biden administration worries about. As part of growing concerns of whether unregulated currencies undermine a whole host of policies, sanctions and foreign or trade policy should be a priority area. And just like others who wish to evade tracing of their wealth or transactions, the very states or their sanctioned entities should be assumed to resort to all options to evade restrictions while continuing to do business. So having cryptocurrencies undermining the ability to enforce strategic goals logically raises eyebrows in Washington.

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Back in August, when the Taliban took over, we asked whether anyone in the international community would recognize them. Now it looks like things are heading that way.

This week, the Kremlin hosted a summit with the Taliban that was attended by China, India and Pakistan, as well as all five Central Asian Republics.

The domestically-focused US, however, wasn't there. The US continues to maintain that the Taliban can't be trusted. But does it matter? In 2021 does a Taliban-led government even need American recognition to function and thrive?

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For Kevin Rudd, former Australian PM and now CEO of the Asia Society, the science on climate change is pretty much done, so the only unresolved issues are tech and — more importantly — lack of political leadership. He can't think of a single national political leader who can fill the role, and says the only way to get political action on climate is to mobilize public opinion.

Rudd joined for the first of a two-part Sustainability Leaders Summit livestream conversation sponsored by Suntory. Watch here and register here to watch part two Friday 10/22 at 8 am ET.

Taking place on October 21 and 22, the Sustainability Leaders Summit will go beyond preexisting narratives and debate priorities for governments and industries ahead of COP26. Placing the spotlight on Asia's role in the global sustainability agenda, the event will address whether Asian countries and companies can achieve shared sustainability goals, and what is needed to help get them there. The summit will be co-hosted by Tak Niinami, CEO of Suntory Holdings, and Ian Bremmer, founder and president of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media. We will address three key questions: How can Asian countries, with the help of the private sector, achieve shared Sustainability Goals? Why does this matter? And what are the policy changes needed to bring it about?

Attendance is free and open to the public. Register to attend.

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The minutiae of supply chains makes for boring dinner table talk, but it's increasingly becoming a hot topic of conversation now that packages are taking much longer to arrive in the consumer-oriented US, while prices of goods soar.

With the issue unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, right-wing media have dubbed President Biden the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, conjuring images of sad Christmas trees surrounded by distraught children whose holiday gifts are stuck somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

It hasn't been a good run for Uncle Joe in recent months. What issues are tripping him up?

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Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week with a look at the NBA's latest rift with China, Brazil's Senate investigation, and COVID booster shots.

China wipes Boston Celtics from NBA broadcast after the "Free Tibet" speech from Enes Kanter. Is NBA boxing itself into a corner?

Nice mixed sports metaphor there. NBA has some challenges because they are of course the most progressive on political and social issues in the United States among sports leagues, but not when it comes to China, their most important international market. And you've seen that with LeBron James telling everyone about we need to learn better from the Communist Party on issues like Hong Kong and how Daryl Morey got hammered for taking his stance in favor of Hong Kong democracy. Well, Enes Kanter's doing the same thing and he's a second-string center. Didn't even play yesterday and still the Chinese said that they were not going to air any Boston Celtics games. Why? Because he criticized the Chinese government and had some "Free Tibet" sneakers. This is a real problem for a lot of corporations out there, but particularly publicly, the NBA. Watch for a bunch of American politicians to make it harder for the NBA going forward, saying how dare you kowtow to the Chinese when you're all about "Black Lives Matter" inside the United States. No fun.

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