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April 19, 2021
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  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci said the government will likely move to resume use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine this week after advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meet Friday to discuss the pause in the single-dose vaccine. (The Associated Press) His comments came as the CDC reported that over half of America’s total adult population have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and adults in every U.S. state became eligible for the shot, meeting President Joe Biden’s April 19 target. (The New York Times)
  • White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said indirect talks with Iran about the restoration of the 2015 nuclear accord have been “constructive” after Tehran’s deputy foreign minister said that a “new understanding” was taking shape with global powers, signs of hope from talks in Vienna that began on April 9. (Bloomberg)  The Israeli government reportedly believes the Vienna talks will lead to the United States returning to the nuclear agreement, and is trying to convince Washington not to alleviate pressure from the Iranian government. (Axios)
  • Senate Democrats are said to be zeroing in on an increase of the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 25 percent, stopping short of the 28 percent sought by the White House in the face of opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and others. That hike could raise about $600 billion over 15 years as part of a way to pay for Biden’s proposed $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan. (Axios)

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White House & Administration

Blinken defends Biden’s refugee cap, Afghanistan withdrawal in exclusive interview
Conor Finnegan, ABC News

In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Secretary of State Antony Blinken defended the Biden administration amid a barrage of criticism from Democratic lawmakers and refugee advocates for maintaining a Trump-era limit on refugee admissions for now.


Biden Clashes With His Allies in Supreme Court Green-Card Case
Greg Stohr, Bloomberg

President Joe Biden’s balancing act on the politically fraught issue of immigration moves to the U.S. Supreme Court in a case that finds the new administration at odds with Democratic lawmakers and progressive allies.


Biden pressed on emissions goal as climate summit nears
Matthew Daly, The Associated Press

When President Joe Biden convenes a virtual climate summit on Thursday, he faces a vexing task: how to put forward a nonbinding but symbolic goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that will have a tangible impact on climate change efforts not only in the U.S. but throughout the world.


White House removes scientist picked by Trump official to lead key climate report
Jason Samenow, The Washington Post

White House officials have removed Betsy Weatherhead, an experienced atmospheric scientist tapped by a Trump appointee to oversee the U.S. government’s definitive report on climate change impacts from her position.


Kamala Harris set to showcase policy chops by touting Biden infrastructure plan
Jacqueline Alemany, The Washington Post

Vice President Harris will deliver her first major speech on the economy on Monday in North Carolina as she continues her push to tout the Biden administration’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan.


Top Republican Says Senate GOP Could Be Open to Smaller Infrastructure Bill
John D. McKinnon, The Wall Street Journal

A senior Republican senator said he and his colleagues could support an infrastructure bill of around $800 billion, underscoring GOP interest in a bipartisan fix for the nation’s aging roads and patchy broadband service.


Congress faces renewed pressure on gun control after Indiana’s red-flag law fails to thwart FedEx shooter
Paulina Firozi et al., The Washington Post

A Senate Democrat leading negotiations seeking to compromise with Republicans on gun-control legislation said Sunday he’s hopeful that last week’s mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis will hasten a breakthrough.


Trump’s grip on GOP looms as support falters for independent probe of Capitol riot
Karoun Demirjian, The Washington Post

Congress’s pursuit of an independent investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection is facing long odds, as bipartisan resolve to hold the perpetrators and instigators accountable erodes, and Republicans face sustained pressure to disavow that it was supporters of former president Donald Trump who attacked the U.S. Capitol.


Republicans lean into uphill battle against 2 little-known Biden nominees
Marianne Levine, Politico

The GOP almost certainly can’t stop Joe Biden from getting a lineup of leading progressives confirmed to senior Justice Department posts. But Republicans — especially those eyeing the White House — are eager to make the president’s party pay a political price.


Senators in the dark on parliamentarian’s decision
Jordain Carney, The Hill

A parliamentarian ruling touted as a breakthrough for the Democratic agenda is putting the Senate in uncharted territory and sparking confusion.


Rick Scott navigates Trump, winning back the Senate — and his own ambitions
Mike DeBonis, The Washington Post

The silver bowl was small, but the symbolism was immense.


Seth Moulton bankrolls ring maker, Mark Green goes crypto, Mark Warner sells a 7-figure window-and-door investment
Dave Levinthal and Kimberly Leonard, Insider

Members of Congress routinely trade stocks, buying and selling the shares of companies that often have significant business before the federal government — and sometimes spend lots of money to lobby lawmakers. 


Progressive Lawmakers to Unveil Legislation on Energy and Public Housing
Emily Cochrane, The New York Times

Top liberal lawmakers are set to unveil legislation on Monday that would modernize the public housing system and start a transition to renewable energy, offering a clear policy marker for progressives as Democrats haggle over the details of President Biden’s infrastructure plan and how to push it through Congress.


GOP Reps. Greene, Gosar distance themselves from ‘Anglo-Saxon’ traditions document
Allan Smith, NBC News

Two far-right House Republicans linked to a document calling for the protection of “Anglo-Saxon political traditions” distanced themselves from what they said was a draft of prescriptions for an “America First Caucus.”


J&J Covid-19 Vaccine Pause Driven by Risk of Mistreating Blood Clots
Thomas M. Burton and  Betsy McKay, The Wall Street Journal

U.S. health authorities came close to simply warning about a blood-clotting risk from Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine, but decided to recommend pausing use out of concern doctors would improperly treat the condition, people familiar with the matter said.


Jailed Navalny to be moved to a hospital in another prison
Daria Litvinova, The Associated Press

The Russian state penitentiary service said Monday a decision has been made to transfer imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is in the third week of a hunger strike, to a hospital.


Trump Rape Accuser Asks Court to Keep Defamation Suit Alive
Erik Larson, Bloomberg

A former New York advice columnist who says Donald Trump defamed her when he denied raping her two decades ago urged a federal appeals court to reject the former president’s claim that he’s protected from her lawsuit because he was a government employee when it was filed.


William Barr, Amy Coney Barrett land book deals
Daniel Lippman, Politico

While some veterans of Donald Trump’s administration are having a tough time selling memoirs about their time in power, others with ties to Trump who didn’t embrace his election conspiracy theories have sold book deals.


Fund-Raising Surged for Republicans Who Sought to Overturn the Election
Luke Broadwater et al., The New York Times

Republicans who were the most vocal in urging their followers to come to Washington on Jan. 6 to try to reverse President Donald J. Trump’s loss, pushing to overturn the election and stoking the grievances that prompted the deadly Capitol riot, have profited handsomely in its aftermath, according to new campaign data.


Hotline’s Q1 House fundraising chart
Kirk A. Bado, National Journal

See below Hotline’s House fundraising chart for the first quarter of 2021. The filing period covered Jan. 1 through March 31.


Matthew McConaughey may be a viable candidate for Texas governor; poll shows actor ahead of Abbott
Robert T. Garrett and Gromer Jeffers Jr., The Dallas Morning News

Matthew McConaughey commands more support to be Texas’ next governor than incumbent Greg Abbott, according to a poll released Sunday by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler.


Can Gavin Newsom make California Republicans great again?
Jeremy B. White, Politico

Win or lose, California Republicans are hoping a campaign to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom could broaden their path out of the wilderness.


Where Voting Laws Are Most Likely to Change for the 2022 Election
Chad Day et al., The Wall Street Journal

Mail and absentee voting is the top issue among election-related bills filed by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers across the country, a Wall Street Journal analysis of nearly 1,800 bills found.


As New Police Reform Laws Sweep Across the U.S., Some Ask: Are They Enough?
Steve Eder et al., The New York Times

In February, Illinois enacted a law that rewrote many of the state’s rules of policing, and mandated that officers wear body cameras. In March, New York City moved to make it easier for citizens to sue officers.


Most New York Voters Say Gov. Andrew Cuomo Shouldn’t Resign, Poll Says
Jimmy Vielkind, The Wall Street Journal

A slight majority of New Yorkers said Gov. Andrew Cuomo shouldn’t resign amid sexual-harassment allegations, but a growing number of voters view him unfavorably and don’t want him to seek re-election, a poll released Monday found.


Danica Roem, a Pathbreaking Lawmaker, on the Fight for Trans Rights
Jennifer Medina, The New York Times

While Republican-controlled legislatures across the country are passing a flurry of bills aimed at limiting transgender rights and medical care, Virginia is going the opposite way.


The GOP’s fallout with big business is already mending
Shawn Zeller, Roll Call

Some of America’s most prominent corporations infuriated Republicans in Congress earlier this month when they protested a Georgia law setting state voting rules. The longtime alliance between the GOP and business seemed on the verge of cracking up.


The union’s defeat at Amazon is shaking up the labor movement and exposing a rift between organizers
Eli Rosenberg and Jay Greene, The Washington Post

J.C. Thompson works the night shift at Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., a job he started after his work as a hospice chaplain dried up at the beginning of the pandemic.

Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives

I’m the Head of Planned Parenthood. We’re Done Making Excuses for Our Founder.
Alexis McGill Johnson, The New York Times

We need to talk about Margaret Sanger. For the 11 years that I’ve been involved with Planned Parenthood, founded by Sanger, her legacy on race has been debated.


These days, it pays to be extreme in politics
Josh Kraushaar, National Journal

The small-dollar fundraising revolution that first powered socialist underdog Bernie Sanders to financial parity with establishment stalwarts like Hillary Clinton has now reached Republican circles.


The Gucci Gulch Returns and Lobbyists Are Going Wild
Eleanor Clift, The Daily Beast

In the tribal world of today’s congressional politics, earmarks may play a lesser role in securing votes but just about every member of Congress will want a piece of the action.


Biden Ditches the Generals, Finally
Maureen Dowd, The New York Times

Afghanistan has a complicated relationship with time. And America has a complicated relationship with revenge.


Biden wasn’t really ready ‘on Day 1.’ His stumble on refugee numbers shows why.
James Hohmann, The Washington Post

Barack Obama was 47 when he became president. Joe Biden joined the Senate 48 years before he became president.


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