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–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*
*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.
TALK OF THE MORNING
Debt ceiling negotiations continue, as Democrats fret over talks:
The clock is ticking, but there’s still no deal to raise the debt ceiling ahead of a June 1 “x date” when the federal government could go into an unprecedented default.
President Biden met with the top leaders of Congress this week to try to hash out an agreement.
But liberals are growing increasingly concerned about what concessions Biden may make with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), increasingly voicing concern about what could be on the chopping block to keep the nation afloat and prevent a potentially catastrophic economic upheaval.
Talks have included negotiations over stricter work requirements for some federal assistance programs. (The Hill)
As the debt limit negotiations drag on behind closed doors, lawmakers on both sides are already preparing to point their fingers across the aisle.
McCarthy says Biden and the Democrats aren’t taking the negotiations seriously.
Democrats are accusing Republicans of holding the economy “hostage” by refusing a stand-alone debt ceiling hike. (The Hill)
DEMS LOOK FOR OPTIONS:
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) is urging Democrats to back a long-shot effort to force a vote on the debt limit without concessions.
“I am hopeful that a real pathway exists to find an acceptable, bipartisan resolution that prevents a default. However, given the impending June 1 deadline and urgency of the moment, it is important that all legislative options be pursued in the event that no agreement is reached,” Jeffries wrote in a letter to colleagues explaining his plan. (The Hill)
It’s Wednesday, May 17. I’m Elizabeth Crisp, filling in for Cate with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here. Send me your tips, add me to your media list, share your funny animal videos and pass along your White House or 2024 campaign gossip: [email protected] and follow me on Twitter @elizabethcrisp.
Bipartisan group calls for investigation into Comer’s missing whistleblower:
A bipartisan organization is calling for an investigation into Rep. James Comer’s (R-Ky.) claims about a missing whistleblower connected to the House GOP’s investigation of President Biden and his family.
The organization, Facts First USA, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves asking him to investigate Comer, who the group says is likely lying about having an informant, possibly violating federal law.
“Comer recently revealed that the ‘informant’ he is relying on for his unsubstantiated allegations against President Biden cannot be located,” the group wrote. “In truth, there is a strong possibility that the ‘informant’ that Representative Comer has been speaking about does not exist. This would explain why Representative Comer never produces the evidence he says demonstrates criminal conduct on the part of the Biden family.” (The Hill)
💰 In the White House
Pause on student loan payments about to end for millions:
The yearslong pause of student loan repayments is likely coming to an end soon.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona recently told a Senate panel that the payments would officially resume with the end of the pandemic emergency.
Millions of borrowers, who have faced uncertainty over when they should expect payments to start up again since March 2020, will have to start paying — many for the first time. (The Hill)
Five takeaways from elections in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Florida:
A number of key races were decided this week in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Florida that helped underscore former President Trump’s hold on the GOP base and Democrats’ relative strength in suburban areas.
The Hill’s Caroline Vakil looks at five key takeaways from election night.
How DeSantis benefited from Florida’s changing politics:
The third in The Hill’s five-part series called “How Florida got so conservative” looks at how Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a likely 2024 candidate for president, benefited from Florida’s changing politics and how a much-needed boost from then-President Trump catapulted DeSantis’s gubernatorial campaign. (The Hill)
🖥️ In other news
Musk: There’s a chance AI ‘goes wrong and destroys humanity’:
Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk is warning that it’s possible that emerging artificial intelligence (AI) technology “goes wrong and destroys humanity.”
“Hopefully that chance is small, but it’s not zero. And so I think we want to take whatever actions we can think of to minimize the probability that AI goes wrong,” Musk said in a CNBC interview. (The Hill)
A new poll has found that about 6 in 10 Americans view AI as a threat to human civilization. (The Hill)
🐥 Notable tweets
Motorcyclists head to the Capitol:
Rep. Zach Nunn (R-Iowa) hosted some motorcyclists from Iowa in DC this week and shared this photo of their gathering.
Moms organize outreach to fight gun violence:
Rep. Joe Morelle (D-N.Y.) says his office was “flooded with calls from local mothers” concerned about gun violence this Mother’s Day.
⏱ On tap
The House and Senate convened at 10 a.m. President Biden is en route to Anchorage, Alaska, as part of a truncated overseas trip, and Vice President Harris is in D.C.
- 8 a.m.: President Biden received the Presidential Daily Briefing
- 9:30 a.m.: Biden held a ceremony for the 2021-2022 Medal of Valor recipients
- 11:25 a.m.: Biden departed the White House en route to Anchorage, Alaska
- 4 p.m.: The House will hold a portrait unveiling ceremony for former House Speaker Paul Ryan
- 6:25 p.m.: Biden arrives in Anchorage, Alaska
- 7:55 p.m.: Biden departs Anchorage, Alaska en route to Hiroshima, Japan
- TBD: Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will gaggle aboard Air Force One en route to Alaska.
All times Eastern.
📺 What to watch
- TBD: Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will gaggle aboard Air Force One en route to Alaska. (Listen here)
🍒 In lighter news
Today is National Cherry Cobbler Day!Enjoy a slice with a scoop of ice cream.
And because you made it this far, check out this video of a couple very cute bunnies.
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