NotedDC — Biden faces pressure on inflation from all sides
President Biden, who has sought to fend off GOP attacks over his handling of record-high inflation, is facing calls from inside his own party to do more on the issue.
Top progressive Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) published an op-ed Thursday in The New York Times titled “There Is Way More Biden Can Do to Lower Prices,” two days after Biden laid out his plan to fight inflation in The Wall Street Journal.
Khanna, deputy whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is one of the first prominent Democrats to criticize Biden’s plan, calling on him to have a “bolder vision” for solving inflation.
He recommended a task force that purchases food and petroleum on the global market during price dips and works with the public sector to deliver goods. Khanna also urged his party to stop blaming Republicans for “lacking a plan” and start acting.
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What to expect from Biden’s speech on gun control
President Biden will make his case for gun reform in a prime-time address Thursday that follows a spate of recent gun violence, including mass shootings at a Texas elementary school, a New York supermarket and an Oklahoma medical building.
Biden is expected to call on Congress to pass measures such as universal background checks and raising the minimum purchase age. It comes as Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) leads a group of bipartisan senators on potential gun reform bills.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the House will vote on a sweeping package next week that would raise the purchase age for semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21 and ban civilian use of high-capacity magazines, among other provisions.
Pelosi said Wednesday she will bring a bill banning assault-style weapons to the floor next week, though Murphy has acknowledged such a measure would not get 60 votes to pass the upper chamber.
Publicly, Biden hasn’t been involved in any of the negotiations but he said earlier in the week that he planned on speaking with lawmakers about reforms.
Read more on what to expect when Biden addresses the nation at 7:30 p.m. ET
‘Sucker punch’: House Dem pushes for gun reforms
Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.), who lost her 17-year-old son to gun violence in 2012, recounted the phone call she received the night of his murder while speaking during a hearing Thursday on Capitol Hill pushing for gun reform legislation.
“It’s a sucker punch to my stomach every time I learn there’s another phone call,” McBath said during the House Judiciary Committee’s markup of Democrats’ omnibus gun reform bill.
“A phone call that brings you to your knees when the desperation will not let you stand. That leaves you gasping for air when the agony will not let you breathe,” she added.
The House is poised to pass McBath’s legislation on so-called “red flag” laws next week, which would allow courts to issue an “extreme risk protection order” to prohibit an individual from purchasing or possessing a gun or ammunition if they are deemed a threat to themselves or others.
Worth noting: Twenty-one House Democrats have called on leadership to split up the gun reform package, as first reported by Punchbowl News, to ensure bipartisan support on individual bills.
“As members of the majority party, we must make a good faith effort to invite our colleagues across the aisle to join us in debating the merits of each bill and in voting for each bill,” a letter led by Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) states.
Read more on Thursday’s markup that produced fireworks across the aisle
Jan. 6 panel preps public hearings
After months of quietly investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, members of the Jan. 6 House select committee are ready to take their findings public.
The panel will hold its first hearings starting next week, with several scheduled for prime time to maximize television viewership. The first of eight hearings start June 9.
What to expect: The investigating panel, led by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and his vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), is expected to call top aides to former Vice President Mike Pence, who was in the Capitol and the target of then-President Trump‘s scorn over Pence’s refusal to unlawfully overturn the election results and give the win to Trump over President Biden (D).
Watch for it: Trump was banned from Twitter after his supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. Since then, he’s regularly sent out frequent press releases in the tone of his old Twitter account. Expect at least a couple during the hearings, as Trump is known to stay glued to the TV when his name might be mentioned.
Read more from The Hill on the Jan. 6 panel’s investigative efforts
What’s next in the Durham probe?
The verdict this week that Hillary Clinton’s campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann did not lie to the FBI served as a blow to special counsel John Durham’s probe into whether there was wrongdoing in the investigation into former President Trump’s ties to Russia.
Despite the jury’s verdict, former Attorney General William Barr — who appointed Durham as special counsel in late 2020 — asserted Wednesday on Fox News that the trial “crystallized” Clinton’s role in spreading disinformation about then-candidate Trump.
Here’s what could come next for the probe:
- The infamous Trump-Russia dossier will be back in the spotlight in October when Igor Danchenko, a Russian expat tied to the material, is slated to go on trial. He was charged with lying to the FBI in 2017. The dossier of allegations against Trump and his campaign has been largely discredited.
- Attorney General Merrick Garland could fire Durham or intervene in the probe. The concern that Garland will intervene has been prevalent among Republicans: 46 Republican senators sent a letter to Garland in February urging that he “respect the prosecutorial independence” of the investigation.
Read more from The Hill’s Harper Neidig on the future of the investigation
One last thing: White House to pay interns this fall
The push for paid government internships will finally be a reality at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Students applying for internships at the White House will be paid starting this fall, the White House announced.
Paid internships have been offered in other offices already: Congress began paying interns in March 2019 and the State Department announced a paid internship program in April.
The Biden administration made the historic move for White House internships in hopes that it will increase diversity in the internship pool and give low-income Americans more opportunities.
Read more on the milestone from The Hill’s Brett Samuels
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