12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report – US intensifies Russian sanctions, accepts 100K Ukrainian refugees

President Biden
Thomas Coex, Pool Photo via AP

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–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.* 

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.

 

The Hill’s 12:30 Report – US intensifies Russian sanctions, accepts 100K Ukrainian refugees

NEWS THIS MORNING 

via GIPHY

 

*Collective big hug*:

Via NBC News’ Kristen Welker, Elyse Perlmutter-Gumbiner and Rebecca Shabad, the U.S. is planning to accept up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees who have fled since the Russian invasion. https://nbcnews.to/3NgBRSB  

What we know: “There will also be a focus on welcoming Ukrainians who have family members in the U.S. Additional details are expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks.”  

This would make sense: “U.S. officials think that most Ukrainians will choose to remain in Europe, close to family and their homes in Ukraine.”  

More on what we know about the program: https://nbcnews.to/3NgBRSB 

 

More sanctions for you

Via The Hill’s Brett Samuels, “The Biden administration on Thursday announced sanctions on more than 300 Russian lawmakers and dozens of state-owned companies that are connected to the war effort in the invasion of Ukraine.” https://bit.ly/3NuJ0PB 

 

It’s Thursday. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to cmartel@thehill.com — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.
 

Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill’s 12:30 Report in your inbox daily: https://bit.ly/3qmIoS9  

 

ON CAPITOL HILL  

Can you imagine having a job interview on national television for several days straight?:   

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson survived two days of intense questioning from senators on the Judiciary Committee.  

But isn’t there another day of the hearing?: Yes, but today’s session is focused on outside witnesses, such as the American Bar Association, speaking to her qualifications.

How many votes is she expected to receive? — Democrats are confident it will be enough to confirm her: Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, “How far above 50 votes Jackson will ultimately get is unclear. Republicans are skeptical she’ll get more than one or two of their members, as GOP senators harden their lines of attack against her nomination.” https://bit.ly/3wzca9T  

What happens now?: The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Jackson’s nomination around April 4. Her confirmation will then move to the Senate floor. Democrats are hoping to complete the confirmation process by April 8.   

C-SPAN livestream of today’s session: https://fbit.ly/3JCMWLN 

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS WEEK’S CONFIRMATION HEARINGS:  

The exchanges on Jackson’s child pornography sentencing cases got pretty nasty: “After showing a cheerful and patient demeanor during the first two days of the confirmation hearings, Jackson started to show signs of exasperation on Wednesday as two potential White House hopefuls, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), and others repeatedly hammered her over the sentences in those cases.” More on those tense exchanges, via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton: https://bit.ly/3wAqr6u 

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A moment getting traction: Jackson wiped away tears toward the end of the hearing when Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) slammed his Republican colleagues for how they handled their questioning. Video from MSNBC’s Kyle Griffin: https://bit.ly/356YNm3    

Why you probably keep seeing references to babies and racism: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) asked Jackson whether she thinks babies are racist. Watch the back and forth: https://bit.ly/3JBZQcI

 

THE LATEST IN UKRAINE  

The images of Mariupol are worrisome

Via The Hill’s Ellen Mitchell, “The devastating images from the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol are a grim bellwether of what’s to come the longer Russia’s attack on the country drags on, experts and officials say.” https://bit.ly/3NbLZvU  

What it’s like in Mariupol right now: “Heavy shelling in the city has caused most remaining residents to hide in basements and foreign journalists to flee from what’s been called an ‘absolute hellscape’ of bombing and rubble.”  

What this could potentially mean for the rest of the country: “But with fierce fighting that has reached a stalemate across most of the eastern part of the country, officials and experts fear Mariupol could be an indicator of what’s to come for other major Ukrainian cities.”  

What experts are saying: http://bit.ly/3NbLZvU  

 

You know how some big companies have stopped doing business in Russia? Well, that’s easier said than done

Via The Hill’s Karl Evers-Hillstrom, “Hundreds of multinational companies are fleeing Russia following the nation’s violent invasion of Ukraine, but for some, fully exiting the country will be a complicated and lengthy process.” https://bit.ly/3wz3X5z  

For example: “Restaurant brands have to resolve contracts with local franchisees before they can cut ties with Russia.” Like Burger King: “Burger King says it cannot legally close its 800 restaurants in Russia because its Russian business partner refuses to do so.”  

Other examples: “Banks must first find other financial institutions to take on their loans and bank accounts … Manufacturers, oil producers and others can’t find buyers for their Russian facilities due to severe Western sanctions.”  

How many companies have limited or stopped its business in Russia?: “Roughly 400 corporations have fully or partially withdrawn from Russia, according to a list compiled by researchers at Yale University’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute.”   

More on the complications some multinational companies are working through to cut ties with Russia: https://bit.ly/3wz3X5z  

 

IN THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION  

But what about the finger pointing?:

President Biden has largely avoided pointing the finger at his predecessor on Ukraine, even though some Democrats believe he could defang GOP attacks over Russia by drawing a contrast with former President Trump.” https://bit.ly/3LfmsQz  

Throwback: “Trump’s frequent embrace of Russian President Vladimir Putin has consistently put Republicans in an awkward position. Ukraine was also at the center of Trump’s first impeachment after his White House held up security assistance to Ukraine as Trump sought an investigation into the Biden family.”   

But Biden doesn’t want to go there: “Biden has tried to strike a unifying tone on Ukraine as he’s sought support for both parties. Republicans have offered tepid support for some of Biden’s moves, even as they have painted his actions as weak, late and insufficient.”   

More on the dynamic from The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Morgan Chalfant: https://bit.ly/3LfmsQz  

 

LATEST WITH COVID-19

CASE NUMBERS:   

Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 79,845,459

U.S. death toll: 974,888

Breakdown of the numbers: https://cnn.it/2UAgW3y

 

VACCINATION NUMBERS:  

Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 559 million shots have been given.  

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 119,256 doses  

For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million.  

Breakdown of the numbers: https://bloom.bg/3iVTPLH  

 

NOTABLE TWEETS:  

Tidbit — A DC license plate in Belgium:

C-SPAN’s Howard Mortman tweeted, “Spotted at the NATO summit in Brussels: 

A Washington, DC license plate.” Photos: https://bit.ly/3usqwGn  

 

ON TAP:  

The Senate is in. The House is out. President Biden is in Brussels, Belgium. Vice President Harris is in Washington, D.C.  

4:45 a.m. EDT: President Biden met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.  

5 a.m. EDT: President Biden delivered remarks at an Extraordinary Summit of NATO Heads of State and Government to discuss Ukraine.  

9:10 a.m. EDT: President Biden took a family photo with the other Group of Seven (G-7) leaders.  

9:15 a.m. EDT: President Biden delivered remarks with other G-7 leaders to discuss Russia.  

11:30 a.m. EDT: President Biden held a bilateral meeting with European Council President Charles Michel

Noon: President Biden joins and speaks at a European Council Summit.  

Friday: President Biden travels to Warsaw, Poland.  

 

WHAT TO WATCH:  

Noon: Vice President Harris delivers virtual remarks on voting rights. Livestream: https://bit.ly/36IlRbs 

3 p.m. EDT: President Biden holds a news conference in Brussels, Belgium. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3tBolkN  

 

IN LIGHTER NEWS:  

Today is National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day.

 

And to make you smile, here’s a bit of doggo teamwork: https://bit.ly/3wzHtBv

Tags 12:30 Report Belgium Biden European trip Cory Booker Donald Trump Joe Biden Josh Hawley Ketanji Brown Jackson Russia Ted Cruz Ukraine Vladimir Putin

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