Biden news: Psaki hits out at DeSantis over Publix scandal as President defends corporate tax hikeavril 5, 2021
Biden denies corporate tax hike will drive companies out of US
The White House hit out at Florida governor Ron DeSantis over the vaccination rollout in the state.
Mr DeSantis has faced questions about his vaccination deal with the Publix grocery store chain, which donated $100,00 to his PAC.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the Biden administration had found that while 17 per cent of the state is African-American, less than 7 per cent have been vaccinated.
“We are not going to hurt the people of Florida, just because of the steps or actions of leadership, and we will continue to take actions to ensure that the vaccine is equitably distributed,” she said.
Earlier Mr Biden told reporters that his proposed rise in the corporate tax rate in his $2 trillion infrastructure plan would not drive companies out of the US.
The US Supreme Court has dismissed a dispute over former President Donald Trump’s efforts to block critics from following his now-suspended Twitter account as moot.
On Monday, the court decided to throw out a lower court’s decision finding Mr Trump had violated constitutional free speech rights by blocking critics on Twitter.
It comes as a new poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos found that six in 10 GOP members would like to see the former US leader run again.
The younger Mr Biden joked during an interview with CBS Sunday Morning’s Tracy Smith that he has “probably smoked more parmesan cheese than anyone that you know”.
Mr Biden said he “spent more time on my hands and knees picking through rugs smoking anything that even remotely resembled crack cocaine”.
His comments come as his father faces an uphill battle from Republicans in his bid to push his administration’s ambitious $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan forward.
Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live blog following the latest in US politics as President Joe Biden seeks to push forward his ambitious infrastructure spending plan in the face of GOP opposition.
Chantal Da Silva5 April 2021 10:06
Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan faces GOP hurdle
President Joe Biden’s ambitious $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan faces an uphill battle, from Republicans, who have vowed to fight the measure.
Just as Republicans refused to provide support for Mr Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill, it appears they also plan to make Democrats take full responsibility for the infrastructure spending package and its associated corporate tax hikes.
Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, however, Mr Biden’s energy secretary said she believed the president would be willing to push his spending plan forward, with or without GOP support.
“As he has said, he was sent to the presidency to do a job for America. And if the vast majority of Americans, Democrats and Republicans, across the country support spending on our country and not allowing us to lose the race globally, then he’s going to do that,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell made clear where he stands on the matter last week, when he vowed to fight Mr Biden’s agenda “every step of the way”.
Chantal Da Silva5 April 2021 10:14
Trump’s delay on presidential library could signal future presidency ambitions, expert says
Former President Donald Trump’s delay in establishing a presidential library could be a sign that his White House ambitions are not yet over, experts have said.
“Once he says, ‘I am going to be raising money for my library,’ he’s given up even the pretense of trying to run again,” Anthony Clark, a politics expert who has written about the history of presidential libraries, told Bloomberg.
Since Franklin D. Roosevelt, all presidents have sought to establish a presidential library to archive their records and to preserve their legacies.
Mr Trump has yet to pursue the initiative, however, which could mean that he believes his time as US leader is not yet over, with the former president still technically able to run again in future elections.
Clark said there could be other reasons, however, with the expert noting how expensive and complicated the libraries are to build and noting that Mr Trump did not start raising funds and planning for the endeavor before leaving office, as other presidents have.
However, Paul Musgrave, a former special assistant to the director at the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, told Bloomberg Mr Trump would likely have little trouble raising funds, whether for a library or a comeback campaign.
“Donald Trump proved in 2020 that he had no problems raising money, and he now has four years, if he wants to, to just dangle that prospect of a return to power in front of potential donors,” Mr Musgrave said.
Chantal Da Silva5 April 2021 10:25
Trump biographer says ex-president is in a ‘Fat Elvis’ period
Donald Trump’s biographer has suggested that the former president is facing a “Fat Elvis” period in his career after the ex-leader posted a “needy” Easter message hitting out at “Radical Left CRAZIES” on Sunday.
Speaking on CNN on Sunday, Michael D’Antonio, who wrote Mr Trump’s biography Never Enough, offered a brutal analysis of the president’s so-called Easter message, asserting: “This would be – this would be his Fat Elvis period”.
“You know, the president – President Trump used to think of himself as an Elvis-type of character. And sadly we are in that era for him,” he said.
Stuti Mishra has more on Mr D’Antonio’s analysis:
Chantal Da Silva5 April 2021 10:29
US shuts down once-secret Guantanamo Bay bay unit
The US has shut down a once-secret unit at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre, the country’s military confirmed on Sunday.
Camp 7, which had fallen into a state of disrepair, was officially shuttered, with prisoners held at the site being moved to another facility on the US base in Cuba.
Miami-based Southern Command, which is tasked with overseeing the detention centre, did not say how many prisoners had to be moved, according to The Associated Press.
Previously, however, officials had said there were around 14 men held at the unit, with 40 prisoners being held at Guantanamo in total, according to AP.
Southern Command said the transfer of prisoners was conducted “safely and without incident”. The unit did not say when exactly the transfer took place, however.
Previously, the military had long refused to acknowledge the location of Camp 7, with journalists being blocked from seeing inside the facility.
The unit opened in December 2006 for prisoners who were previously held in what are often referred to as “black sites,” where brutal interrogation techniques
Chantal Da Silva5 April 2021 11:11
Corporations gave over $50m to legislators backing voting restrictions: Report
State legislators in the US who pushed for new voting restrictions in the wake of former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud have received more than $50 million in corporate backing over recent years, a new report from government watchdog group Public Citizen warns.
Telecom leader AT&T was the biggest donor, giving more than $800,000 since 2015 to legislators who proposed, co-sponsored or voted in favor of voting restrictions, according to The Associated Press.
Other top donors since 2015 were Comcast, Philip Morris, United Health, Walmart, Verizon, General Motors and Pfizer.
The donations do not mean that the companies themselves support the voting restrictions.
However, Public Citizen has said their money has helped further Republican control of statehouses where those measures are being propelled forward.
“It really is corporate America, as a whole, that is funding these politicians,” said Mike Tanglis, one of the authors of the report, told AP. “It seems many are trying to hide under a rock and hope that this issue passes.”
Chantal Da Silva5 April 2021 11:44
Half of Republicans believe false accounts of deadly Capitol riot, poll finds
Half of Republicans believe false accounts about the deadly 6 January insurrection at the US Capitol, a new poll has found.
Conducted by Reuters/Ipsos between 30 to 31 March, the poll found that about half of GOP members believed false claims that the insurrection was largely non-violent or was driven by left-wing activists “trying to make Trump look bad”.
Meanwhile, eight in 10 Democrats and six in 10 independents rejected such claims.
Asked whether former President Donald Trump bears some responsibility for the insurrection, only three in 10 Republicans agreed, compared with 59 per cent of all participants.
The poll, which saw 1,005 people surveyed, also found that six in 10 Republicans believed the unfounded claim from Mr Trump that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him due to voter fraud.
The same share of GOP members said they would like to see Mr Trump run for president again in 2024.
Chantal Da Silva5 April 2021 11:57
Six in 10 Republicans support Trump 2024 comeback, poll finds
Six in ten Republicans would back a 2024 comeback from former President Donald Trump, according to the Reuters/Ipsos poll released today.
The same share of GOP voters said they also believe Mr Trump’s unfounded claims that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him due to voter fraud.
Mr Trump has previously dangled the possibility of a 2024 run. However, he has not offered any firm indication of plans to pursue the presidency once again.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll saw 1,005 people surveyed between 30 to 31 March.
Chantal Da Silva5 April 2021 12:48
Nearly half of Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of chid arrivals at border, poll finds
More Americans say they disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of a rise in arrivals of unaccompanied migrant children at the US border than approve.
In a new poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 40 per cent of Americans said they disapproved of Mr Biden’s handling of children reaching the US border without their parents.
Just 24 per cent said they did approve of the president’s response to the situation, while 35 per cent said they did not have an opinion either way.
The poll also found that addressing the rise in arrivals of unaccompanied minors was among Americans’ top immigration priorities, with 59 per cent saying providing safe treatment of unaccompanied children when they are apprehended should be a high priority and 65 per cent saying the same about reuniting families separated at the order.
The AP-NORC poll saw 1,166 adults surveyed between 26 to 29 March using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is meant to be representative of the American population.
Chantal Da Silva5 April 2021 13:25
Hunter Biden opens up on affair with brother’s widow
Hunter Biden has opened up about his relationship with the widow of his deceased brother Beau in a new memoir, saying the affair “came out of a real overwhelming grief”.
Hunter, who details his struggles with alcohol and drug addiction in his new memoir, Beautiful Things, began a romantic relationship with Hallie Biden in 2017, two years after his elder brother, a war veteran, died of brain cancer.
Read more on his recent comments on the relationship:
Chantal Da Silva5 April 2021 13:45