Plus three other things you need to know today.
White House proposal would end climate impact studies for big infrastructure projects
The White House released a plan Thursday to eliminate climate impact assessments on large-scale infrastructure projects, such as the Keystone XL Pipeline. Federal agencies would no longer have to study a project’s potential effects on the environment before progressing through the permitting and approval processes—which would endanger communities local to poorly designed projects, environmentalists warn.
Carson reveals plan to loosen fair-housing rules aimed at reducing segregation
Calling the Obama-era regulations “burdensome,” the secretary of Housing and Urban Development outlined a proposal to relax municipalities’ requirements to document obstacles to fair housing. Essentially, the new rule redefines what it means to promote fair housing, including removing the barriers that ensure racial integration is addressed. Critics say the proposal conflates affordable housing with fair housing and would weaken decades of progress in fighting housing segregation.
Iraq seeks removal of U.S. troops
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to develop a plan for the withdrawal of U.S. troops following a Parliament vote to end the American military presence there. Abdul-Mahdi said the U.S. has been violating an agreement between the countries, sending in troops and operating drones without the nation’s authorization.
In related news, the House voted mostly along party lines on Thursday to limit the president’s future military action against Iran without approval from Congress: Three Republicans voted to pass the measure, while eight Democrats voted against it.
Republicans strategize to condemn Pelosi for impeachment delay
GOP Rep. Bradley Byrne introduced a measure to officially condemn Speaker Nancy Pelosi for using the articles of impeachment as leverage in the Senate trial. He called it “an unprecedented abuse of power.” Meanwhile, Pelosi is resolute in holding the articles until Senate Republicans reveal the impeachment trial rules. “I’ll send them over when I’m ready,” Pelosi said, indicating that might be soon.