Good morning! Thank you for joining us for our first week of 10 Things in Politics. I’m Brent Griffiths. Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox each day.
Send me your tips, thoughts, and best memories of D.C.’s odd landmark that is going away to [email protected] or tweet me @BrentGriffiths. We’re glad so many of you loved the trivia question yesterday. Its new home is at the bottom of the note.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Biden held stimulus talks with a group of Republican senators.
- Republicans are reluctant to say who’s the boss.
- AOC says she was afraid she might die during the Capitol riot.
1. DEAL OR DEAL WITH IT?: Congressional Democrats are ready to fast track President Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package through expected Republican opposition. Ten GOP senators met with Biden to pitch their $618 billion proposal. No deal was reached, but White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement that a “reconciliation package is a path” for Biden’s plan.
- What does this mean?: At issue is the Senate’s procedural hurdle known as the filibuster that requires 60 votes for most bills to pass. Thanks to Vice President Harris, Democrats hold the majority but they still need Republican support to clear such a threshold.
Enter reconciliation: Through a special budgetary process called “reconciliation,” Democrats can pass most of the relief package by just a simple majority vote in the Senate. Republicans are urging Biden not to go this route.
- Biden reportedly pointed out that past legislation passed under reconciliation has still garnered bipartisan support. But in recent years, both sides have used the process to ram through some of their biggest priorities.
Reconciliation can be clunky: First, it only applies to certain tax, spending, and debt-limit proposals. Questionable provisions are weighed during what’s called a “Byrd bath.” The Senate parliamentarian then issues a final ruling on what survives.
- This is wonky, but it’s also extremely important: For example, it’s unclear whether raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour would be allowed. Biden’s plan calls for such an increase and progressive lawmakers have vowed to fight to keep it in.
2. Biden is creating a task force to reunite separated migrant families: The president will also order a review of the “public charge” rule that President Trump expanded to make it easier for the U.S. to deny immigrants the right to live in the U.S. if they might utilize public services in the future.
3. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is vying to become Biden’s top GOP foe: DeSantis, the youngest governor in the nation, has already tangled with the Biden administration over vaccines. But before he can think about a 2024 run, the governor has to face reelection next year. Check out my colleagues Tina Sfondeles and Robin Bravender’s exclusive report.
4. Democrats are moving to throw Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene off of committees: House Democrats have given Republicans 72 hours to sanction the congresswoman who has embraced dangerous conspiracy theories. (Politico)
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell implicitly blasted Taylor Greene: “Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality,” he said in a statement first obtained by The Hill. He later issued another statement to CNN backing Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming as some fellow Republicans try to oust her from House GOP leadership over her support of Trump’s impeachment.
5. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:
- 10:00 a.m.: Former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack faces his Senate confirmation hearing en route to return to his old job.
- 12 p.m.: The Senate votes on Pete Buttigieg’s nomination to be transportation secretary
- 1:30 p.m.: The White House holds its daily news briefing.
- 2:30 p.m.: The Senate votes on Alejandro Mayorkas’ nomination
- 5:00 p.m.: Biden signs immigration-related executive orders, Vice President Harris will also attend.
- 9:30 p.m.: Late U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick lies in honor in the Capitol Rotunda
6. Republicans are reluctant to say who’s the boss: They know they are leaderless without Trump in the White House and their public comments are starting to show it. Check out my colleagues’ exclusive report.
- Key quote: “The technical head of the Republican Party is hard to nail when you don’t have the executive,” North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer, an early backer of Trump for the 2016 campaign, told them.
7. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez feared she might die during the Capitol riot: ‘I just hope I get to be a mom, I hope I don’t die today,” Rep. Katie Porter of California said Ocasio-Cortez, one her fellow Democratic colleagues, told her as the pair hid inside Porter’s office.
- Ocasio-Cortez also revealed she is a sexual assault survivor: The New Yorker compared Republicans trying to move on from the insurrection to abusers during an emotional Instagram Live.
8. Investigators reportedly don’t want to charge the officer who shot a Capitol rioter: Video shows the U.S. Capitol police officer in question shot a rioter as she was trying to jump through shattered glass into an area closer to lawmakers and reporters trapped inside the House chamber. (The Wall Street Journal)
- A Pennsylvania man is accused of knocking an officer unconscious: Federal investigators cited video footage that they say shows the incident.
9. Biden is threatening to impose sanctions on Myanmar after a military coup: The U.S. lifted sanctions on the nation as the country began to shift to a more democratic government.
One last thing.
10. You give a little glove and it all comes back to you: America was smitten with Bernie’s mittens. Now, there are plans to mass-produce them.
Today’s trivia question: Champ and Major have me thinking about previous presidential pups. This president gave his dog Rex to the first lady as a Christmas present. But the real treat was that Rex received a plush pad that had miniature portraits of his new owners on the wall. Who was Rex’s owner? Email your response and a suggested question to me at [email protected]
- Hint: Before coming to 1600 Penn., Rex belonged to conservative commentator William F. Buckley. Bonus: The doghouse was designed by a relative of a president. Can you name that one too?
- Yesterday’s answer: February was chosen for Black History Month due to Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’ birthdays.
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