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Today’s Big Deal: Americans are not happy with President BidenJoe BidenDefense & National Security — Russia’s tenuous grip slips On The Money — Biden’s economic approval falls deeper Equilibrium/Sustainability — US agency killed 400K native animals in 2021 MORE’s handling of the economy, according to a new poll. We’ll also look at a deal to ease Europe’s dependence on Russian energy and more trouble for car manufacturing.
For The Hill, we’re Sylvan Lane, Aris Folley and Karl Evers-Hillstrom. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org, afolley@
Let’s get to it.
65% unhappy with Biden’s handling of economy: poll
Nearly two-thirds of Americans disapprove of President Biden’s handling of the economy, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Respondents were also more likely than not to say that they think Biden’s policies have hurt the economy more than they have helped it.
Overall, 65 percent of those surveyed said they disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy, which includes 96 percent of Republican respondents and 36 percent of Democratic ones.
Despite the numbers on Biden’s handling of the economy, less than half of respondents said they blamed the president for high gas prices. The Hill’s Maureen Breslin has more here.
BREAKING UP IS HARD
US, EU announce effort to reduce European reliance on Russian energy
The United States and European Commission on Friday announced measures to wean European nations off of Russian gas, the latest effort to deal a blow to Russia’s economy amid its invasion of Ukraine.
The two sides announced a task force “to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels and strengthen European energy security” following a meeting in Brussels between President Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
The goal is to prepare European countries for next winter and beyond so that they can maintain a steady flow of energy without relying heavily on natural gas provided by Russia, which has given Moscow significant leverage and has been a key sector of Russia’s economy.
The Hill’s Brett Samuels has the details here.
Spotify pulls services from Russia, cites new law restricting news
Spotify announced on Friday that it would fully suspend services in Russia because of the country’s new, restrictive law limiting journalism coverage.
The company, which hosts political and social commentary podcasts on its streaming platform, told The Hill it expects services to be fully suspended by early April.
In a statement, a Spotify spokesperson cited Russia’s new law passed earlier this month, which prohibits news agencies and people from publishing “fake” news about the invasion of Ukraine.
The company previously announced that it would end its premium services in the country and close its Russian office.
Friday’s decision amounts to a full suspension of services in the country, which the spokesperson called a “difficult decision” to make.
The Hill’s Brad Dress has more here.
MORE CHIP SHORTAGES
Indiana GM plant pausing production amid computer chip shortage
A computer chip shortage is forcing General Motors to pause production for two weeks at a pickup truck factory in Fort Wayne, Ind.
“Overall, we have seen better consistency in semiconductor supply through the first quarter compared to last year as a whole. This has translated into improvement in our production and deliveries during the first three months of the year,” General Motors said in a statement.
“However, there is still uncertainty and unpredictability in the semiconductor supply base, and we are actively working with our suppliers to mitigate potential issues moving forward.”
The plant, which employs 4,000 workers, will be shut down from April 4-11, marking the first time since August 2021 that full-size truck production was paused in connection with the chip shortage.
Renewed chip shortages are a bad sign for the auto industry and consumers who have been hammered by skyrocketing car and truck prices, as the nation’s supply of vehicles is still not close to pre-pandemic levels.
The Hill’s Caroline Vakil has more here.
Good to Know
Leaders in the United States and Europe announced Friday that they have reached an ”agreement in principle” over rules for the transfer of personal data across the Atlantic.
The previous agreement had been struck down in 2020 by a European court that determined it did not protect Europeans from American surveillance operations.
Here’s what else have our eye on:
- Chick-fil-A will partner with food manufacturing company Darling Ingredients Inc. to convert its used cooking oil into cleaner-burning renewable transportation fuel.
- A new report estimates more than half of American households paid no federal income tax in 2021, largely due to COVID-19-related funds and aid.
- Roughly two-thirds of Americans say they support the U.S. accepting Ukrainian refugees into the country as Russia’s invasion runs into its second month, a new poll found.
ON TAP NEXT WEEK
- The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions will hold a hearing “The End of Overdraft Fees? Examining the Movement to Eliminate the Fees Costing Consumers Billions” at 10 a.m.
- The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing “The President’s 2022 Trade Policy Agenda,” with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai at 10 a.m.
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finance page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you Monday.