Afternoon briefing

Obama backs mayors on climate

CHICAGO — Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday told a summit of mayors driven to act after President Donald Trump rejected the Paris climate accord that cities and states are the “new face of American leadership” on climate change.

He said it was an “unusual time” with the U.S. as the only country to walk away from the Paris agreement, but it was a chance for local leaders to come together and fulfill promises the country has made.

“Ultimately the work is done on the ground,” Obama said. “Cities and states and businesses and universities and nonprofits have emerged as the new face of American leadership on climate change.”

Chicago officials billed the North American Climate Summit, which began Monday evening, as the first of its kind for the city. The Chicago charter calls for mayors to achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that’s equal to or more than what is outlined in the Paris agreement. Mayors from 51 cities attended the summit.

Easing Dodd-Frank on smaller banks

WASHINGTON — A Senate panel has approved legislation that would provide banks and credit unions with relief from some of the stricter regulatory requirements approved after the 2008 financial crisis.

The bill was approved Tuesday by a vote of 16-7 and raises the threshold from $50 billion to $250 billion at which bank holding companies are considered too big to fail. That designation subjects them to financial stress tests and a capital-planning review.

Supporters from both parties say the legislation would make it easier for credit unions, community banks and many regional, midsized banks to lend money and boost economic growth.

Ridge recuperates from heart attack

AUSTIN, Texas — Former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge is out of the hospital more than two weeks after suffering a heart attack and is continuing his recovery in a Texas rehabilitation facility.

The 72-year-old Ridge was in Austin, Texas, on Nov. 16 attending a Republican Governors Association conference when he called for help at his hotel. Ridge underwent an emergency cardiac catheterization and required machines to stabilize him.

The Republican served two terms as Pennsylvania’s governor, from 1995 to 2001.

Robots will need a city permit

SAN FRANCISCO — Delivery robots in San Francisco will need permits before they can roam city sidewalks under legislation approved by city supervisors.

San Francisco has struggled to regulate hometown startups that grew too popular, including short-term vacation rental platform Airbnb and ride-hailing service Uber.

A maximum of nine “autonomous delivery devices” may be allowed at any time in the city.

The robots can’t go more than 3 miles per hour and human operators must be nearby. The robots must yield to pedestrians.

Impeach Trump move likely to fail

WASHINGTON — A liberal Democrat is putting the House on track for a likely vote today on impeaching President Donald Trump, an effort that’s certain to lose and has drawn opposition even from many in his own party.

“Friends, whether we like it or not, we now have a bigot in the White House who incites hatred and hostility,” Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, wrote in a letter to colleagues Tuesday explaining his proposal. He added, “The question isn’t whether we have a bigot as president. The question is: What are we going to do about it?”

Green said he’d introduce his resolution today under a rule that requires the chamber to vote on the issue within two days. If he follows the proper procedures, Republicans will hold a vote on tabling — in effect killing — the proposal during the House’s first series of votes today.

COMMENTS