Day 833: "Step up and fix this."
1/ Biden will send 1,500 active duty troops to the southern border ahead of an expected surge of migrants when Title 42 restrictions end. They will join the 2,500 National Guard members already at the border. The military members, however, will not serve in a law enforcement capacity and will not interact with migrants, but instead “fill critical capability gaps, such as ground-based detection and monitoring, data entry, and warehouse support,” the Pentagon said. The troops will carry out this support for 90 days. Title 42, which was invoked at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, expires on May 11. It permitted the U.S., for public health reasons, to quickly expel migrants seeking asylum. (Politico / NBC News / New York Times / Associated Press / Bloomberg / CNN / ABC News / Wall Street Journal)
2/ House Democrats took a procedural step to bypass Kevin McCarthy and Republican leaders to raise the debt ceiling and avert a federal default. Democrats would need at least five Republicans to support a so-called “discharge petition,” which allows a majority of House lawmakers to bring a bill directly to the floor without the cooperation of leadership. Rather than trying to discharge the bill itself, Democrats instead would add the petition addressing the debt ceiling as an amendment to a placeholder bill from Democratic Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, which was filed in January. A possible default is now projected as soon as June 1. “House Democrats are working to make sure we have all options at our disposal to avoid a default,” Hakeem Jeffries wrote in a letter to colleagues. “The filing of a debt ceiling measure to be brought up on the discharge calendar preserves an important option. It is now time for MAGA Republicans to act in a bipartisan manner to pay America’s bills without extreme conditions.” (New York Times / Washington Post / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / CNN / The Hill)
3/ U.S. job openings dropped to their lowest level in nearly two years – a sign that demand for workers is cooling. The number of available jobs fell for a third-straight month to 9.59 million from nearly 10 million a month earlier. Layoffs, meanwhile, jumped to the highest level since December 2020. (Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / CNBC)
4/ Some Republicans dismissed a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about the Supreme Court’s ethics as a partisan spectacle. Democrats called the hearing to discuss whether Congress has the authority to require the Supreme Court to adopt an enforceable code of conduct after reports detailed Clarence Thomas’s failure to disclose luxury vacations funded by a wealthy Republican donor. Dick Durbin, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said “The Supreme Court could step up and fix this themselves,” but “for years, they have refused, and because the court will not act, Congress must.” Lindsey Graham, however, claimed Democrats were leading an “unseemly effort” to “destroy the legitimacy” of the Supreme Court, calling it an “assault on Justice Thomas.” Although Chuck Grassley dismissed the hearing as a “relentless political battering,” he did agree that “it does appear there needs to be better oversight” of the high court. Thom Tillis added that the court “could update, refresh and address the concerns without requiring any Congressional action.” Chief Justice John Roberts, however, declined the committee’s invitation to testify. (Politico / NPR / Bloomberg / Associated Press / CNN / ABC News)
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