Updated April 14, 2022 at 7:13 p.m. EDT|Published April 14, 2022 at 7:26 a.m. EDT
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.
Biden has nothing on his public schedule Friday because he will be marking Good Friday. The White House also will not hold a press briefing, and Congress is still on recess. Which means Post Politics Now will be offline on Friday, but worry not — we will be back on Monday.
Here are a few items to watch out for next week:
The annual White House Easter Egg Roll is back! The White House will hold the Easter celebration for the first time since 2019. Remains to be seen if the Easter Bunny will show up masked this year.
The Supreme Court is back with two cases on Monday. The court will hear United States v. Washington, on worker compensation laws, and Siegel v. Fitzgerald, on the Bankruptcy Judgeship Act.
Congress is still on break. Lawmakers will still be away from D.C. next week.
Noted: Rep. Don Young’s widow endorses former staffer, snubbing Palin
The race to fill Alaska’s sole House seat following the death of Rep. Don Young (R) has at least 50 contenders — and counting. But only one candidate has the endorsement of Anne Garland Young, the late congressman’s widow, and that is state Sen. Josh Revak (R), a former Young staffer.
In a video released Wednesday by Revak’s campaign, Garland Young encouraged Alaskans to support Revak.
“I am certain if my sweetheart was here to do so, Congressman Young would express the same wish,” she said.
Revak was co-chair of Young’s 2022 reelection campaign until the congressman died on March 18.
Noted: Trump camp silent on sexual assault allegations against Nebraska Republican
Former president Donald Trump and his camp remained silent Thursday after sexual assault allegations surfaced against Nebraska gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster, whom Trump endorsed last year.
Eight women, including a Republican Nebraska state senator, accused Herbster of touching them inappropriately in a report by the Nebraska Examiner, an independent news outlet. While seven of the women spoke on the condition of anonymity, the state senator, Julie Slama, went on the record and said Herbster reached up her skirt and touched her inappropriately during an event in 2019.
Your questions, answered: Why is no one in Russia trying to stop Putin?
Why is Russia’s Vladimir Putin not being stopped from within? Are those in power — the oligarchs — unconcerned as long their fortunes are not reduced? Are military leaders powerless? asks our reader Barbara I. from Chicago
Kentucky and Florida became the latest states Tuesday to ban abortion after 15 weeks, with measures pushed by Republican lawmakers that mirror Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban.
Kentucky’s ban, passed by the Republican-led legislature over the Democratic governor’s veto, took effect immediately. Florida’s governor signed a ban this week that is set to take effect in July. Both laws will face legal challenges.
The Mississippi law is at the heart of the case pending before the Supreme Court, and conservative lawmakers in other states are hoping to maximize the chance that their legislation can take effect after the high court rules this summer.
The latest: RNC wants a different host for 2024 presidential debates
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.
Noted: DeWine says he’ll likely miss Trump rally, going to Grant’s 200th birthday party
It is widely known that Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) does not court former president Donald Trump with the same fervor that many other Republicans do. DeWine reminded people of this Thursday when a reporter asked him whether he has plans to attend a Trump rally next weekend in the town of Delaware, near Columbus.
“I don’t know yet; I made a commitment to be in Georgetown that day. They’re kicking off on Saturday the … celebration of Ulysses S. Grant’s 200th birthday,” DeWine said. Georgetown, Ohio, is where the 18th president’s boyhood home is located.
Minnesota Democrats will apply to host one of the first presidential nominating contests in the 2024 presidential campaign, joining Michigan and Nebraska as Midwestern challengers to Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status.
The Post’s Michael Scherer reports that Ken Martin, the chair of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, said Thursday that he had already spoken with elected leaders in his state about moving up the primary date.
Martin, a member of the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, pushed the party Wednesday to adopt language that would require each region of the country to have at least one nominating contest before the first Tuesday in March 2024, when all other states will be able to hold contests.
Noted: House investigates face-scan contractor amid concerns over use
The need to verify identities during the pandemic accelerated concerns among privacy experts and some lawmakers that the use of facial recognition technology in government — and in everyday American life — is spreading rapidly and without many safeguards.
To better understand this, House lawmakers on Thursday launched an investigation into identity verification contractor ID.me, which was first used by government agencies to identify people accessing tax records and unemployment assistance. The spread of the technology across federal, state and local governments quickly escalated from there.
The latest: DeSantis signs a restrictive abortion bill in Florida
The rush among Republican-led states to restrict abortion rights continued Thursday, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signing legislation that will ban the procedure in the state after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
The Post’s Caroline Kitchener reports that Florida currently allows abortions up to 24 weeks. The new law, which passed the GOP-controlled legislature in March, includes exceptions for the life of the woman and “fatal fetal anomalies” but does not make exceptions for rape or incest. It would take effect in July.
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.
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.
Take a look: An ad built on a Trump non-endorsement
It’s pretty routine for candidates to use television ads to trumpet high-profile endorsements they have received. But this might be a first: an ad built around a non-endorsement.
David White, a Republican candidate for governor in Pennsylvania, has a new spot out in which he highlights a statement from former president Donald Trump encouraging people not to vote for Bill McSwain, another GOP gubernatorial hopeful. McSwain’s sin, in Trump’s mind, is that he didn’t do enough to investigate Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud in 2020 while McSwain was a Philadelphia-area U.S. attorney.
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.