POLITICO Playbook PM: Biden set to go solo on guns | #ChineseeHacker




Updated


THE ROYAL HASHEMITE COURT (@RHCJO): “His Majesty King Abdullah II receives phone call from #US President Joe Biden who expressed his country’s full solidarity with #Jordan and its efforts to safeguard its stability.”

INCOMING — “Biden to unveil long-awaited executive action on guns,” by Anita Kumar: “Biden [on Thursday] will direct the administration to begin the process of requiring buyers of so-called ghost guns — homemade or makeshift firearms that lack serial numbers — to undergo background checks … He is expected to be joined at the event by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

“Other executive actions remain unclear. But stakeholders have speculated that the president could announce regulations on concealed assault-style firearms; prohibitions on firearm purchases for those convicted of domestic violence against their partners; and federal guidance on home storage safety measures. … One other announcement Biden could make on Thursday is the introduction of his nominee to be the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.”

BLOOMBERG’S @josh_wingrove: “Scooplet: Biden’s administration will announce today that vaccines are now available to all Community Health Centers nationwide. It pushes the total to 1,470 CHCs, from 950. Patients are largely racial and ethnic minorities; the program is aimed at closing the vaccine race gap.”

THE STEP BACK — “‘A moment of peril’: Biden’s coronavirus response collides with case spikes,” WaPo: “For the first two months, all the coronavirus numbers broke in the Biden administration’s favor. … But the Biden White House is seeing new infections climb on its own watch — a potential crisis that could erase many of the hard-won gains of the president’s first 75 days, should the numbers keep rising.

“After railing for a year about the last administration’s response and vowing a more muscular strategy, Biden is encountering the limits of his own authority. The president can help secure and distribute supplies and medicines, issue guidance and urge caution — but like Donald Trump before him, he has few tools when governors decide to lift coronavirus protections at the wrong moment, manufacturers botch vaccine production, or Americans refuse to wear masks or get vaccinated.”

TO RUSSIA, WITH LOVE — “Biden looks to appoint special envoy to kill Russia-Germany energy pipeline,” by Natasha Bertrand and Andrew Desiderio: “Amos Hochstein, who served as the special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs under President Barack Obama and was a close adviser and confidant to then-Vice President Joe Biden, was informally offered the role by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan late last month and is being vetted, the officials said, but he has not yet accepted the job. …

“The potential appointment of an envoy indicates a new strategic focus by the administration. Previously, the White House had tasked the European affairs experts at the National Security Council and the State Department with handling the pipeline diplomacy; officials tell POLITICO there’s consensus that the thorny geopolitics surrounding Nord Stream 2 now require more dedicated attention — especially as the pipeline, which is already nearly 96 percent finished, races toward completion. It’s also a nod to the pressure campaign from Capitol Hill.”

— “Rejoining Open Skies would send ‘wrong message’ to Russia, State tells partners,” Defense News: “The United States appears unlikely to rejoin the 34-nation Open Skies Treaty over its concerns about Russian noncompliance … [I]n a March 31 demarche, it told multiple partners that the administration is ‘frankly concerned that agreeing to rejoin a treaty that Russia continues to violate would send the wrong message to Russia and undermine our position on the broader arms control agenda.’”

Good Wednesday afternoon.

2024 WATCH — “Pence returns to MAGA world with Trump-backed political group,” Washington Examiner: “Pence will take a step back into public life and a possible 2024 run with the launch Wednesday of the Advancing American Freedom advocacy group, designed to merge traditional conservative thinking with Trumpism. … The makeup of its advisory board reflects that mission, including figures from the Trump White House, such as Kellyanne Conway and Larry Kudlow, alongside key players from the broader conservative movement such as David McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth. …

“And it comes with the backing of former President Donald Trump himself. … Its programs will be developed around three pillars: American strength and security, covering immigration, Israel and Middle East peace, and ‘standing firm against adversaries’; American prosperity, including rebuilding the economy, energy independence, the administration’s tax cuts, and deregulation; and American liberty, including anti-abortion, school choice, and religious liberty issues.”

INFRASTRUCTURE YEAR — BIDEN’S REMARKS TODAY, via CBS’ @saraecook: “NEW: Per a WH official, in his remarks today Pres Biden will reiterate his openness to hearing from Dems & Republicans on his infrastructure plan, but he’ll ‘challenge critics’ to explain which parts of the package aren’t ‘worthy’: funding for veteran hospitals, broadband, etc.” More

— “Biden Softens Tax Proposal Aimed at Profitable Companies That Pay Little,” WSJ: “President Biden’s proposed 15% minimum tax on profitable corporations would affect far fewer companies than the version he campaigned on, according to details released Wednesday by the Treasury Department.

“The tax—aimed at companies that report large profits to investors but low tax payments—would apply only to companies with income exceeding $2 billion, up from the $100 million threshold used during the campaign. The Biden plan would now also let companies subject to the tax get the benefit for tax credits for research, renewable energy and low-income housing. The result is that just 180 companies would even meet the income threshold and just 45 would pay the tax.”

— “Buttigieg says racism built into U.S. infrastructure was a ‘conscious choice,’” TheGrio: “In an exclusive interview with theGrio, Biden Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg noted how in some cities there are overpasses that were built low in Black communities as well as racially dividing roadways. …

“The work to correct the transportation equity issues will be funded by government contracting. Unlike in the Trump years, minority contracting is a large part of the Biden administration’s fix with its Justice40 Initiative. … Buttigieg says former U.S. ambassador Susan Rice, who serves as director of Biden’s Domestic Policy Council, is in charge of the plan to begin equally distributing minority contracts.”

WATCH: Biden’s infrastructure bill, explained: It’s been one week since President JOE BIDEN announced the American Jobs Plan, and there is a lot to break down. RYAN takes a deep dive into Biden’s infrastructure bill to see what items will be the hardest for the Biden administration to sell to Senate Republicans and moderate Democrats. It’s an incredibly dense proposal that could redefine what is traditionally considered infrastructure, including $400 billion for in-home care services and workers.

CUOMO LATEST — “In her own words: Woman describes Cuomo’s alleged groping at mansion,” Albany Times-Union

2022 WATCH — “Andrew Giuliani targets Cuomo, plans 2022 gubernatorial bid,” Washington Examiner: “‘Outside of anybody named Trump, I think I have the best chance to win and take the state back, and I think there’s an opportunity in 2022 with a wounded Democratic candidate’ … A Giuliani-Cuomo race would be a Titanic battle of New York families.”

— “Trump gives Mo Brooks ‘complete and total endorsement’ in Alabama Senate race,” Alabama Media Group: “Immediately after Trump announced the endorsement, Brooks changed the name of his campaign Twitter account to ‘Mo Brooks — Endorsed by President Trump.’ … If there was a surprise regarding the endorsement, perhaps it came in the timing. The Republican primary is about a year away … It’s possible Trump’s endorsement could serve as a sort of deterrent to keep other Republican candidates out of the race …

“[Lynda] Blanchard, a former ambassador to Slovenia during the Trump administration, was the first to enter the race … Blanchard also held a fundraiser last month at Mar-a-Lago … The ties between Trump and Brooks, however, ran too deep for the former president’s backing to go anywhere else.”

WHAT THE FIRST LADY IS UP TO — “Jill Biden to announce plans to aid military families in next phase of her agenda,” USA Today: “After a month of listening sessions with military families, Biden’s priorities, according to an advance copy of her remarks obtained by USA TODAY, will focus on employment and entrepreneurship, military child education and health and well-being.

“Joining Forces will work with employers to create more flexible, transferable and remote job opportunities for military spouses; with military-connected children in their classrooms to ease burdens created by the mobile military lifestyle; and with civilian mental health service providers to ensure families, caregivers and veterans have access to services.”

IMMIGRATION FILES — “Their Lawsuit Prevented 400,000 Deportations. Now It’s Biden’s Call,” NYT Magazine: “[U]nless Congress passes legislation that grants T.P.S. holders permanent status or President Biden’s administration issues new T.P.S. designations for the six countries, the forced removal of 402,000 T.P.S. holders could begin as soon as October. Because they are the parents of some 273,000 U.S. citizens — most of them under the age of 21, like Morales’s children — it could also turn into the largest family-separation operation in American history.”

TV TOMORROW — ABC News Live will have a special streaming at 8 p.m. Thursday night on the emergency at the border, including the first U.S. interview with Guatemalan President ALEJANDRO GIAMMATTEI.

STEPHEN MILLER GEARING UP — “Stephen Miller’s Next Act Finds a Stage in the Courts,” WSJ: “Mr. Miller, an architect of the last administration’s restrictive immigration policies and a leading backer of its socially conservative initiatives, is launching this week a new organization, America First Legal, to challenge Biden administration initiatives at odds with Trump-era priorities. …

“The group, Mr. Miller said, would tap into the expertise of Trump administration lawyers, work with Republican state attorneys general and partner with lawyers around the country who need legal and financial resources for their cases. The group also has broader ambitions, Mr. Miller said, to eventually get involved in litigation that goes beyond the Biden administration, including to support police officers, go after big tech companies and take on other business interests whose positions run counter to those he embraced in the White House.”

ON THE MARKET — “Corporate America isn’t welcoming former Trump Cabinet officials with open arms, headhunters say,” WaPo: “[Elaine] Chao is encountering a fraught reentry into the private sector. … [T]op executives wary of backlash from associating with former Trump officials are boiling down Chao’s four-decade Washington résumé to its most recent entry: long-standing ally of Donald Trump … By this point in 2009, four major companies had lined up alums of George W. Bush’s Cabinet to serve as directors …

“Kirkland & Ellis, the firm where [Bill] Barr practiced before joining the administration, has no plans to rehire him … The finance and defense industries have proven notable exceptions. … Of the 43 Republican lawmakers who left office or lost their reelection bids, nine of them — or 21 percent — have secured lobbying jobs. That’s down from 36 percent in the previous Congress, and 42 percent in the one before that.”

JAN. 6 AND ITS AFTERMATH — The Hill’s Marty Johnson (@martyjtweets): “NEW: 10 House Dems, including Reps. Jerry Nadler, Maxine Waters, Pramila Jayapal, Barbara Lee and Karen Bass, have joined onto the NAACP’s lawsuit against former Pres. Trump which accuses Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.”

FOR YOUR RADAR — “U.S. military cites rising risk of Chinese move against Taiwan,” AP

HACK JOB — “Suspected China Hack of Microsoft Shows Signs of Prior Reconnaissance,” WSJ: “Microsoft Corp. and U.S. government officials are still working to understand how a network of suspected Chinese hacking groups carried out an unusually indiscriminate and far-reaching cyberattack on Microsoft email software. … A leading theory has emerged in recent weeks, according to people familiar with the matter: The suspected Chinese hackers mined troves of personal information acquired beforehand to carry out the attack.

“Such a method, if confirmed, could realize long-held fears about the national security consequences of Beijing’s prior massive data thefts. And it would suggest the hackers had a higher degree of planning and sophistication than previously understood.”

NOT PLAYING GAMES — “China warns Washington not to boycott Winter Olympics,” AP: “China’s government warned Washington on Wednesday not to boycott next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing after the Biden administration said it was talking with allies about a joint approach to complaints of human rights abuses. A Foreign Ministry spokesperson rejected accusations of abuses against ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region. He warned of an unspecified ‘robust Chinese response’ to a potential Olympics boycott.”

— FWIW: White House press secretary JEN PSAKI said at today’s briefing: “We have not discussed and are not discussing any joint boycott with allies and partners.”

BEYOND THE BELTWAY — “State lawmakers warm up to weed,” by Mona Zhang: “State legislatures have been slow to catch up to the marijuana legalization trend as, time and again, they let voters decide what to do about decades-old weed laws. That’s changing this year. …

“While not all legislative efforts have been a success, with legalization bills dying in Maryland, Hawaii and Wyoming in recent months, the rapid spread of legalization across the country will further exacerbate the tension between state and federal laws. Marijuana continues to be classified as an illegal drug with high potential for abuse and no medical use under federal law. That disconnect will undoubtedly increase the pressure on Congress and the White House to take steps to loosen federal marijuana restrictions.”

— “‘A Whole Bunch of Crazy’: Inside the South Carolina GOP’s MAGA Coup,” Daily Beast: “Local Tea Party leader Pressley Stutts said Trump’s instructions to the faithful were clear: ‘“Go purge, get rid of the RINOs in the Republican Party.” So we took him seriously.’”

PLAYBOOK METRO SECTION — “Goodbye to Gate 35X, cursed portal to the rest of America,” WaPo: “The ceilings were lower. The seats were all taken, as were the electrical outlets. There was no bathroom down there, no vending machine, no water fountain. Dante’s circles were over-invoked. … Gate 35X was the great equalizer. It made big shots small. In the span of five hours, a corporate lobbyist could go from Grey Goose at Cafe Milano to meat sweats on a sardined bus — ‘Next time, Cynthia, get me out of a real gate’ — along with a troop of Boy Scouts that was entirely too punchy for the predawn hour.”

STAFFING UP — The White House announced Biden plans to nominate Robert Anderson as Interior Department solicitor, Mohsin Syed as assistant Transportation secretary of government affairs and Patricia Ross as assistant VA secretary of congressional and legislative affairs.

TRANSITIONS — Tevi Troy will be a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, focusing on the study of the presidency. He is a presidential historian, former deputy HHS secretary and Bush White House alum. … Sarah Sattelmeyer is now project director for education, opportunity and mobility in New America’s higher education program. She previously was project director for the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Project on Student Borrower Success. … Gina Sherick has become a policy consultant with McGuireWoods Consulting. She has her own lobbying practice and is a Senate Finance alum.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this Playbook PM misstated the day that ABC News Live will have a special streaming on the emergency at the border. It will air Thursday night.





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