NYC mayor declares state of emergency amid migrant busing crisis:
On Friday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency over thousands of migrants being bused to the city in recent months from the US southern border. This is due to a political dispute over border security. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican seeking a third term in midterm elections this November, has bused over 3,000 migrants to New York. Adams criticized Abbott for failing to alert city officials when sending migrants to the city, calling it a "manufactured crisis." Abbotts and other Republican governors, however, argue that this is necessary due to President Biden failing to provide adequate border security. Democrats call the moves political stunts and accuse the governors of using people as pawns. The city expects to spend $1 billion to manage the influx of the migrants, Adams said in a speech at City Hall with more than 17,000 having arrived since April. Many of the migrants sent to New York are Venezuelans, whom the US cannot expel under a COVID-19 related policy as it can other migrants. The increase in arrivals has set a record for the number of people in shelters across New York. "Although our compassion is limitless, our resources are not," Adams said, calling on the federal and state governments to provide support. Washington DC declared a state of emergency last month, creating a new office to handle incoming migrants.
OPEC+ production slash exposes widening rift between Riyadh and Washington:
Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said: 'We are concerned first and foremost with the interests of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia' [source: Getty]
Relations between the US and Saudi Arabia have been further strained this week as OPEC cut oil production despite the White House pushing hard to prevent this. This comes as Democrats are struggling to maintain control of Congress ahead of approaching midterms. Biden hopes to keep US gasoline prices from spiking again ahead of midterm elections to help solidify their position. Washington also wants to limit Russia's energy revenue during the Ukraine invasion. Amos Hochstein, Biden's top energy envoy, along with national security official Brett McGurk and the administration’s special envoy to Yemen Tim Lenderking, traveled to Saudi Arabia last month to discuss energy issues. They failed to prevent an output cut, just as Biden did after his own July visit. US officials "tried to position it as 'us versus Russia,'" said one source briefed on the discussions, telling Saudi officials they needed to make a choice. A US push for a price cap on Russian oil is causing uncertainty, Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told Bloomberg TV after the OPEC cut, noting the "lack of details and the lack of clarity" about how it will be implemented.
US Treasury Sets New Tax Credit Rule to Expand Affordable Housing:
The United States Department of the Treasury is seen in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 30, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo
On Friday, the US Treasury moved to preserve and expand the supply of affordable housing by finalizing a new tax credit income rule that may qualify more housing projects and extending deadlines for when they must be placed in service. It did this by allowing a broader mix of income levels among residents of qualifying projects, by using average rather than fixed limits. Previously, projects qualifying for the tax credit, which can offset up to 70% of an affordable housing project's costs, needed to make at least 20% of the units available to residents earning 50% of the local area's median income (AMI) or 40% of the units at 60% of AMI. A Treasury official said the new regulation allows more higher-income tenants to mix with lower-income residents. These changes follow the Treasury's move in July to allow state, local, and tribal governments more flexibility to funnel COVID-19 rescue funds to affordable housing. Dave Borsos, vice president of capital markets at the National Multifamily Housing Council, opposes the change because it would keep more low-income people in such units even if their income rises slightly.