The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Jobs near pre-pandemic levels
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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.
NEWS THIS MORNING
I love sharing good news:
The U.S. added a robust 428,000 jobs in April, according to new data from the Labor Department.
A point of reference: Economists had expected roughly 300,000 jobs to have been created, so this was a great month. It also means almost all the roughly 21 million jobs lost at the beginning of the pandemic have been recovered.
How is inflation affecting this good news?: “Despite rising inflation, high gas prices, and a first-quarter decline in economic growth, consumer and business spending have continued to grow—even when adjusted for inflation.”
What about the unemployment rate?: It remained unchanged at 3.6 percent. That’s just 0.1 percentage point above the level in February 2020.
More on what this means for the economy, via The Hill’s Sylvan Lane: https://bit.ly/3vPEofW
The Washington Post’s Heather Long pointed out: “Wages are not keeping up with inflation. Wages are up +5.5% in the past year, according to the Labor Department. That’s well below 8.5% inflation in the past year.” https://bit.ly/3kNgfQM
IT’S FRIDAY. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.
🏛 In the Supreme Court
First stage is denial. What’s the plan for the anger stage?:
Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “The initial shock is beginning to fade over reports that the Supreme Court is set to strike down the constitutional right to abortion — but the political battle is only beginning.” https://bit.ly/37pjI58
The obstacle for Dems: “Democrats, horrified by the likely loss of a right that was enshrined almost half a century ago, are plotting a course ahead, yet the path looks uncertain. Some of the measures Democrats are proposing seem more symbolic than substantive.” It may not even change anything in November — here’s how
➤ DEMS WORRY THEY DON’T HAVE A PLAN TO FIGHT BACK:
Via The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant and Amie Parnes: https://bit.ly/3vRirwQ
➤ ‘ARE LGBTQ RIGHTS NEXT?’:
Via Vox’s Ian Millhiser: https://bit.ly/3KY4gL6
In the White House
Karine, step right up:
Karine Jean-Pierre, the current principal deputy White House press secretary, will replace Jen Psaki in the role next week. (The Hill)
This is historic: Jean-Pierre will be the first openly gay person and first Black woman in the role (!)
When Psaki will officially pass the torch: May 13
📍 Latest with Ukraine
Psst, Putin’s rumored girlfriend may get sanctioned:
CNN’s Luke McGee reports that “Alina Kabaeva, a woman who has previously been romantically linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin, is included in the sixth proposed package of European Union sanctions against Russia … according to two European diplomatic sources.” More from CNN
Keep in mind: At this stage in the process, names can easily be added or removed from the sanctions list, so nothing is definite.
What Russians are seeing on TV:
The New York Times’s Stuart A. Thompson pulled together footage of how Russia is covering the invasion of Ukraine. It’s worth watching.
An example in a suburb of Kyiv: “In one clip, Russian journalists noted that clothing on some dead civilians was too clean to have been in the streets for days, implying they could not have been killed during Russia’s occupation.”
Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement: “All that is irrefutable evidence that the photos and videos from Bucha are yet another staging by the Kyiv regime for the benefit of Western mass media.”
Live look at Democrats:
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is putting his attention into an ambitious bipartisan energy bill, which Democrats are questioning as Manchin’s way to stall to avoid discussing President Biden’s social spending agenda. https://bit.ly/3siktUB
What Manchin’s been up to: “Manchin told reporters this week that his focus is on crafting bipartisan energy legislation, which would center on proposals to incentivize green energy technologies and bolster the fossil fuel industry, and not on moving Biden’s most ambitious proposals with a budget reconciliation package.”
Yes, but: “[T]he talks over the bipartisan energy bill are at the earliest stages, and the chances of getting a deal are small.”
More on how this could play out, via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton: https://bit.ly/3siktUB
➤ WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE INVESTIGATION OF THE SCOTUS LEAK:
Here’s an explainer from NBC’s Pete Williams: https://nbcnews.to/38WMQ3Y
Madison Cawthorn’s Google alerts are having an active week:
Via The Hill’s Emily Brooks, “Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) is speaking out more forcefully against a barrage of negative news stories about him as he tries to hang on to political life less than two weeks before a contentious primary vote with top Republicans in his state working against him.”
How so: “Cawthorn had largely avoided directly addressing allegations of insider trading, twice taking a loaded firearm to the airport, getting speeding tickets and more. But an anti-Cawthorn PAC’s recent release of videos showing the 26-year-old first-term lawmaker engaging in suggestive and vulgar behavior has pushed him to be more vocal.” More on the controversies
➤ A QUICK CATCH-UP — HERE ARE THE TOP MOMENTS ON CAPITOL HILL THIS WEEK:
🦠 Latest on COVID
➤ BY THE NUMBERS
Cases to date: 81,492,170
Death toll: 994,187
Current hospitalizations: 13,281
Shots administered: 577 million
Fully vaccinated: 66.3 percent of Americans
It’s a bit familiar. I just can’t place it … :
NPR’s Steve Inskeep tweeted a photo of a campaign yard sign in Georgia. Photo: https://bit.ly/37ld8MS
The gist: The House and Senate are out. President Biden is in Ohio.
- 11:10 a.m. EDT: President Biden left for Ohio.
- 3 p.m. EDT: President Biden meets with manufacturing leaders in Hamilton, Ohio.
- 5:30 p.m. EDT: President Biden leaves for Delaware.
- 3 p.m. EDT Monday: The Senate returns. The Senate’s Monday agenda
📺What to watch
- 12:15 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks with reporters aboard Air Force One. Livestream
- 3:45 p.m. EDT: President Biden delivers remarks on the Bipartisan Innovation Act. Livestream
- 5 p.m. EDT: Former President Trump holds a campaign rally for Dr. Oz’s Senate campaign. Livestream
🥞 In lighter news
Today is National Crepe Suzette Day.
A friendly lil’ bun!:
The Huffington Post’s Amanda Terkel tweeted, “A bunny — which clearly is an escaped pet bunny — has been running around my parents’ backyard trying to make friends with all the wild rabbits.” Photos: https://bit.ly/37mINxz
And to get your weekend off to a great start, here’s a dog trying to play it cool. Make sure your sound is on!
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