Good morning! Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox each day. Send your tips and suggestions to [email protected] or tweet me @BrentGriffiths.
With Jordan Erb
Here's what you need to know:
- What's inside Biden's massive infrastructure plan
- Former DOJ officials say Matt Gaetz is adding to his legal woes
- Trump is trying to bring order to his post-presidency
1. BIDEN MAKES A MASSIVE PITCH: President Joe Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan seeks to reorient the US economy with a "once-in-a-generation investment" that redefines what is considered infrastructure. His expansive definition means the plan reach far beyond everyday transportation, but it also underlines the political fight that is just getting started.
Here are some key details: We also have a guide on where the money is going.
- About half would go to traditional infrastructure: That's fixing 20,000 miles of highways, roads, 10,000 smaller bridges, and 10 of the nation's most economically significant larger bridges. There's also money for public transit, Amtrak, and the nation's ports. ($621 billion)
- Eliminate of all lead pipes and service lines for drinking water, part of $111 billion in water-related spending
- Affordable broadband for every American, the lack of which Biden said is "even more pronounced during this pandemic." He also pledged to work to drive down internet service prices. ($100 billion)
- Boost electric vehicles by creating a national network of charging stations, specifically 500,000 EV stations by 2030. ($174 billion, part of the transportation spending)
- Large investments in manufacturing and small business: $300 billion would fund a new office focused on domestic industry and support for domestic manufacturing among other areas.
One of the most important parts may be what's not in it: Traditionally, user taxes like a gas tax fund transportation infrastructure. But, in a sign of how politically toxic that has become, the plan is instead offset by increasing the corporate tax rate to 28% and increasing the global minimum tax to 21%.
- Technically, this pays for the plan over 15 years, even though the spending would end in eight years: As The Washington Post points out, history shows it's optimistic to assume Congress would keep tax increases in place that long.
The plan's sweeping scope touches many other areas: Housing, public schools, community college, child care, higher wages for home care workers, research and development, and care for the elderly and people with disabilities all feature.
- This also just part one: Biden's second plan is expected to include proposals like universal pre-K, free community college, and a national paid family leave program.
Biden pitched infrastructure as an area for bipartisan agreement: But early Republican reaction suggests this may be a tough sell. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the plan "a Trojan horse" full of tax increases. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, a potential vote, said the plan includes areas "a far cry away from what we've ever defined as infrastructure."
- This could mean Biden needing near-unanimous Democratic support: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's majority has shrunk to just three votes. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has none to spare. Progressive lawmakers are already saying that the plan isn't large enough.
2. 4 people, including a child, were killed in a California shooting: "At least four people were killed, including a child, during a shooting Wednesday evening at an office complex in Orange, California, located in Orange County just south of Los Angeles." Here's what we know. A police press conference is due at 10 a.m. local time/ 1 p.m. ET.
3. Matt Gaetz's media blitz is adding to his legal woes: DOJ veterans said any professional investigator would be listening closely to Gaetz's comments in search of evidence to use against him in an indictment and trial. More on why they're saying Gaetz should remain silent.
4. Derek Chauvin's defense began (kind of): For the first time ever, Chauvin or another Minneapolis officer defended their treatment of George Floyd that led to his death. Newly disclosed bodycam footage shows Chauvin defending his actions to a bystander, saying Floyd was "probably on something" and officers need to "control" him. More graphic footage was shown to jurors that shows Floyd struggling to breathe.
More takeaways from Day 3 of the trial: A bystander broke down after seeing footage of Floyd sobbing for his mother. Charles McMillian, 61, told Floyd at the time he "couldn't win" as officers were arresting him.
5. Trump is trying to bring order to his post-presidency: The former president has tapped longtime Florida political operative Susie Wiles to help lead his post-White House political operation, Insider scooped last night. Her elevation comes as Donald Trump Jr. and Trump's former campaign manager Bill Stepien have jostled with others over how to handle Trump's endorsement. More on what this could mean for 2024.
6. Georgia Republicans hit Delta after its CEO criticized its new voting law: Georgia's House voted to end a tax break on jet fuel just hours after Delta CEO Ed Bastian blasted the new law as "based on a lie," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and top Republicans were taken aback by Bastian and Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey bashing the law, which put two of the state's largest companies against it. More on the unfolding situation.
Here are the facts on Georgia's law: Insider's full explainer here.
- Biden says he would "strongly support" the MLB moving its All-Star Game: Major League Baseball players union head Tony Clark previously suggested that the game could be moved from Atlanta, where it is due to ake place this summer, because of the law. Biden made his comments to ESPN on the eve of MLB's opening day and as fans are set to return to stadiums. He also questioned why the Texas Rangers are reopening at full capacity.
7. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:
- 10:30 a.m.: Chauvin's trial resumes
- 12:00 p.m.: House lawmakers hold a hearing on voting rights
- 12:00 p.m.: Jen Psaki holds the White House's daily news briefing
- 2:00 p.m.: Pelosi holds her weekly news conference
- Today: Opening Day for MLB
8. Some migrant families are being freed without any paperwork: US authorities "are releasing migrant families on the Mexican border without notices to appear in immigration court or sometimes without any paperwork at all," the Associated Press reports. The move has left migrants confused.
- More details: "The Border Patrol began the unusual practice last week in Texas' Rio Grande Valley, which has seen the biggest increase in the number of migrant families and unaccompanied minors crossing the border."
9. The Supreme Court appears poised to hand a victory to college athletes: Justices grilled the NCAA about its restrictions on compensation, questioning whether the organization that governs major college sports should still be entitled to anti-trust exemptions. Justice Brett Kavanaugh went so far as to question whether such an exemption has led to "the exploitation of college athletes." More on the case here.
10. Not everyone is amped over Volkswagen's early April Fools' Day joke: The automaker said it would rebrand as "Voltswagen," signaling its commitment to electric mobility. Unfortunately, almost no one got the joke - including Wall Street. Volkswagen's stock popped more than 10% Tuesday. Here's how a prank gone wrong affected the company's stock. Reporters are also understandably upset too.
One last thing.
Today's trivia question: Who was the first sitting president to throw out a ceremonial first pitch? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at [email protected].
- Yesterday's answer: Missouri was the first state to be awarded a contract under Eisenhower's Federal-Aid Highway Act. As usual, other states make some claims as well.