“Fifteen Senate Republicans on Monday pledged to uphold their party’s decadelong ban on earmarks, drawing a battle line days before the GOP is set to vote on whether to reinstate the spending practice,” Politico reports.
“Senators are closing in on an agreement to pass legislation to stem the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans,” Politico reports.
“Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Monday that the chamber would take up the bill this week and that two bipartisan amendments would be added. Senate sources said that a broader substitute amendment is on track with the hopes of passing the measure by the end of the week.”
“On the surface, Ohio looks like an island of calm after the turbulent 2020 election: Donald Trump won the state by 8.07 points in 2016 and won it again by 8.02 points in 2020,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“But underneath those stable results, the state saw significant swings at the county level that suggest forces are at work remaking the electorate.”
“Nearly half of the counties in Ohio shifted 4 percentage points or more toward or away from Donald Trump in 2020 compared with 2016.”
“Consumers around the world have stockpiled an extra $5.4 trillion of savings since the coronavirus pandemic began and are becoming increasingly confident about the economic outlook, paving the way for a strong rebound in spending as businesses reopen,” the Financial Times reports.
“And booming global consumer confidence suggests shoppers will be willing to spend again as soon as shops, bars and restaurants reopen when restrictions to control the spread of the virus are eased.”
Texas Tribune: “Texas lawmakers have been advancing sweeping legislation to address some of the major issues stemming from February’s deadly winter storm and catastrophic power outages.”
“But some of the legislative moves are targeting renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, which experts and some lawmakers say seems more like a way to protect oil and gas interests than fix problems with the state’s beleaguered power grid.”
President Biden announced that, as of today, every American adult is now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Germany’s Greens drew a sharp contrast to their bickering conservative rivals in the contest to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor, proposing Annalena Baerbock as their lead candidate for September’s national election,” Bloomberg reports.
“The party, which is nipping at the heels of Merkel’s Christian Democrat-led bloc, picked the 40-year-old political scientist and foreign-policy expert to run their campaign.”
Daily Telegraph: “The Greens are currently second in the polls on 23%. Mrs Merkel’s CDU is still ahead on 27% — but its support has dropped a shocking 10 points since January. A rival coalition of the Greens and left-leaning parties might have the votes to unseat the CDU in September — and the Greens could be the biggest party in the bloc.”
“I saw how hard the first one was. I know this is going to be hard… Why not get as much in one package as we can so we don’t have to do it a third time?”
— Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), quoted by the Washington Post, on what he learned from passing the American Rescue Plan Act and why he prefers passing one big infrastructure bill over a series of smaller bills.
Aaron Blake: “For the better part of a year now, Republicans have tried and largely failed to define Joe Biden — or even just to make people dislike him. And with his 100th day as president approaching, they’re admitting as much.”
Bloomberg: “Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is proposing a guaranteed income program for poor residents, making it the largest U.S. city to test such a policy.”
“Garcetti will ask the City Council on Tuesday to set aside $24 million in next year’s budget to send $1,000 monthly payments to 2,000 low-income families in America’s second-largest city, the mayor said in an interview. Funds from council districts and other sources could bring the total to $35 million.”
Nate Cohn: “Whether religious or political, sectarianism is about two hostile identity groups who not only clash over policy and ideology, but see the other side as alien and immoral. It’s the antagonistic feelings between the groups, more than differences over ideas, that drives sectarian conflict.”
“Any casual observer of American politics would agree that there’s plenty of hostility between Democrats and Republicans. Many don’t just disagree, they dislike each other. They hold discriminatory attitudes in job hiring as they do on the Implicit Association Test. They tell pollsters they wouldn’t want their child to marry an opposing partisan. In a paper published in Science in October by 16 prominent political scientists, the authors argue that by some measures the hatred between the two parties ‘exceeds longstanding antipathies around race and religion.'”
“Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, who’s been on a hunger strike for more than two weeks to demand proper medical care, has been transferred to a prison hospital,” CBS News reports.
“The move came after a warning over the weekend from the United States that Moscow would face “consequences” if the prominent Kremlin critic were to die in custody.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed an anti-riot bill into law that protects police budgets from being cut and stiffens penalties against those arrested during a “riot,” Insider reports.
“The new law also prevents ‘rioters’ from being bailed out of jail before their first court appearance and grants immunity from civil legal action for people who drive through protesters blocking a road.”
Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) announced that he plans to retire in May to accept a position as president and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
Patrick Ruffini: “Pay attention to the Yang play — launch futile Presidential bid to establish name ID for a race you’d otherwise have no business running in, leapfrogging a host of local pols. If it works, 25+ candidate fields could be the norm moving forward.”
“If all politics is national and it’s easier these days for everyone get their 15 minutes in a Presidential primary, this seems like a viable strategy in states where it’s impossible to break through like California, Texas, and New York.”
Jonathan Bernstein: “Never mind that most of the no-name candidates remained obscure, and never mind whether Yang could’ve found another path — if he becomes mayor after running for president, or even comes close, many in the political world are going to interpret his campaign as a savvy move, no matter how many counterexamples exist.”
The Biden administration has ordered U.S. immigration enforcement agencies to stop using terms such as “alien,” “illegal alien” and “assimilation” when referring to immigrants in the United States, a rebuke of terms widely used under the Trump administration, the Washington Post reports.