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Post Politics Now Economy is ‘on the move,’ Biden says as he makes his case in N.C.

U.S. President Joe Biden answers a reporter's question before boarding Air Force One for travel to Greensboro, North Carolina, from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S., April 14, 2022. REUTERS/Leah Millis (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Today, President Biden is in Greensboro, N.C., where he is delivering remarks at N.C. A&T State University, the largest historically Black college or university in the country. The trip has been billed as an opportunity to pitch the Bipartisan Innovation Act, legislation pending in Congress that seeks to boost U.S. manufacturing and invest in STEM education, among other things.

But the trip to a battleground state offers Biden, whose job approval numbers have been lackluster, several other opportunities. He is focusing on the record job creation on his watch, the drop in the unemployment rate, and reduction in the deficit while emphasizing Democratic support for HBCUs, which faced a spate of bomb threats this year. “Our economy has gone from being on the mend, to being on the move,” Biden said.

Your daily dashboard

  • 11:45 a.m. Eastern: Biden departed from the White House en route to North Carolina. Before boarding, he told reporters the White House has not decided whether to send an official to Ukraine to show solidarity. Watch here.
  • 2:15 p.m. Eastern: Biden delivers remarks at N.C. A&T State University in Greensboro, N.C. Watch here.
  • 5:10 p.m. Eastern: Biden arrives at Camp David in Western Maryland for the Easter weekend.
  • 6:10 p.m. Eastern: Vice President Harris delivered remarks at a virtual White House Passover celebration. Watch here.

Got a question about politics? Submit it here. At 3 p.m. weekdays, return to this space and we’ll address what’s on the mind of readers.

2:04 p.m.
Headshot of Matt Zapotosky
Criminal justice editor
What looms in Durham’s case against Sussman — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Special Counsel John Durham’s criminal case against Democratically connected lawyer Michael Sussmann can proceed to trial as scheduled next month. The ruling itself wasn’t unexpected, and it’s a bit of a complicated issue. It might be useful to understand it, because it is sure to come up again.Sussmann is charged with lying to the FBI. Durham alleges that in 2016, when Sussmann came to the bureau’s general counsel with potentially damaging information about then-candidate Donald Trump, he claimed to be doing so on his own, when in fact the approach was on behalf of a tech executive he represented and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Sussmann has pleaded not guilty.Sussmann had filed a motion to dismiss the case, asserting that the lie Durham alleges he told the FBI wasn’t relevant to anything the FBI did and therefore it shouldn’t be considered a crime. To convict Sussmann, Durham would have to prove to a jury that the lie was “material” — basically, that it meant something. Durham says it did, because the FBI might have asked different questions or opened a different type of investigation had they known.Some legal analysts have said the case seems to be thin, and Sussmann argued it could set a bad precedent, discouraging tipsters from approaching the FBI about possible crimes because they worry they could be charged for hiding their motives.
11:51 a.m.
Headshot of Emily Guskin
Polling analyst at The Washington Post specializing in public opinion about politics, elections and public policy.
Most Americans say local public schools discuss sex and sexuality “about the right amount” or “too little” — Last month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a law limiting instruction or discussion of LGBTQ issues in schools. And in Virginia, Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) campaigned to end the teaching of critical race theory in public schools, an academic framework for studying systemic racism. Where do Americans stand on these issues?A University of Chicago and AP-NORC poll released Thursday found 23 percent of Americans said teachers in their local public school system discuss sex and sexuality “too much,” while 31 percent said they discuss them “too little” and 40 percent said they cover them “about the right amount.”Republicans were most concerned: 42 percent said their local schools discuss sex and sexuality “too much,” although most Republicans said schools discuss these subjects “about the right amount” or “too little.”Opinions were similar on schools focusing on racism in the United States. Overall 27 percent of Americans said that their local schools were focused too much on the issue, including almost half of Republicans. Most Democrats said that their local schools don’t focus on racism enough.About 2 in 10 Americans said that teachers should be prohibited from teaching about sex and sexuality, while just over half opposed this.
11:12 a.m.
Headshot of Tyler Pager
White House reporter
Here’s who Biden is trying to help with his trip — President Biden’s trip to North Carolina on Thursday comes as the president is ramping up his domestic travel schedule after his focus in recent weeks has largely centered on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.The trips are not technically political events, but as Democrats head into a difficult midterm cycle, the White House is sending the president to important political battlegrounds. His trip to Greensboro falls within Rep. Kathy E. Manning’s district, his Iowa visit was to Rep. Cindy Axne’s district and he will head to Portsmouth, N.H., next week for an event in Rep. Chris Pappas’s district.Manning, Axne and Pappas are all considered among the most vulnerable Democrats in the House.
9:38 a.m.
Headshot of Mike DeBonis
Congressional reporter
What’s holding up the competition bill Biden is pushing — President Biden is going to North Carolina to pitch legislation that would inject hundreds of billions of dollars into U.S. research, development and manufacturing, something that has relatively broad bipartisan support. So what’s the holdup? Congressional egos, mainly.The House and Senate have passed competing bills — the America COMPETES Act and the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, respectively — and while there is some overlap, including funding to grow the semiconductor industry, there are important differences.This month, both chambers finally moved to start a formal conference to resolve the differences, but that process could take months: More than 100 lawmakers, roughly a fifth of the total membership of Congress, have been appointed to the panel charged with hashing out a deal.