Good morning and welcome to the DDHQ Morning News Spotlight. Today, in addition to baseball, we’re looking at White House action in a number of different areas, and the final Supreme Court confirmation vote for Ketanji Brown Jackson.
- The Biden Administration announced that it will move to expunge the defaults of millions of student loan borrowers and will extend the moratorium on payments and interest another four months. The White House says this is to give student borrowers a little more time to get back on their feet after a rough two years. Many Democrats were hoping the moratorium would be extended to the end of the year, passed the November elections.
- The Senate will vote today on the confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. With three Republican senators breaking with their party to vote for her, and all Democrats expected to vote yes, it appears she will ascend to the highest court. She will be the first former public defender to sit on the Supreme Court, as well as the first Black woman.
- Republican Rep. Bob Gibbs of Ohio announced that he will retire from Congress at the end of his term. Early voting has started in the Ohio primary, and he is on the ballot but said he is no longer seeking reelection. In that primary, he faced Max Miller, a former Trump aide who has the endorsement of the former President. Miller initially was aiming to run against Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez who voted to impeach Trump, but that district was largely redrawn in redistricting, and Gonzalez has also announced he will not seek reelection. In a statement, Rep. Gibbs decried the current Ohio redistricting process and pointed out that 90% of the electorate in his newly drawn district would be new to him.
- The White House announced yesterday that the US will expand and add new sanctions on Russia. These sanctions target two large Russian banks, and the adult children of Russian President Putin. Lawmakers in Congress still would like the see sanctions even further expanded. The House passed a bill yesterday to have the US collect and document evidence of war crimes committed by Putin and the Russian army. The bill was introduced by Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul but was opposed by some members of his party.
- President Biden signed a bill yesterday that gives the US Postal Service $50 billion in financial relief and the ability to reform its finances. The bill enacts some measures requested by the Postmaster General including raising the price of postage, and doing away with the requirement that the USPS pre-fund health benefits for current and retired employees for 75 years.
- The House voted yesterday to hold two former aides to former President Trump in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena to testify before the Jan. 6 select committee. The criminal referral now goes to the Justice Department. The Justice Depart did opt to charge Steve Bannon back in November for failing to comply with the committee. A judge yesterday dealt his defense in that case a blow, ruling that his “advice of counsel” defense is not applicable in contempt of Congress cases.
- There is a Thursday special election for a vacant State Assembly seat in New York. Polls close there at 9 p.m. (EDT). You can find election results for that race tonight at DecisionDeskHQ.com.
|Thurs April 7||NY State Assembly 20 Special Election|
|Tues April 19||CA State Assembly 17 Special General|
|Tues May 3||Indiana Primary|
|MI State House 15 Special General|
|MI State House 36 Special General|
|MI State House 43 Special General|
|MI State House 74 Special General|
|GA State House 45 Special General Runoff|