‘I say enough’, Biden announces ‘use it or lose it’ policy for oil leases on federal land
President Joe Biden said on Thursday that Russian president Vladimir Putin “seems to be self-isolated and there’s some indication that he has fired or put under house arrest some of his advisers”.
Mr Biden also said that he was sceptical about Moscow’s claim that it has scaled back its onslaught in parts of Ukraine. However, the president added that “there’s a lot of speculation” and that he did not want to “put too much stock in that”.
Meanwhile, Mr Biden also ordered the release of up 1 million barrels of oil per day from the strategic petroleum reserve for the next six months in a bid to control prices that have spiked since the US and its allies imposed strict sanctions on Russia.
Meanwhile, the president is marking the Transgender Day of Visibility, which declared in order to “celebrate the activism and determination that have fueled the fight for transgender equality” and “acknowledge the adversity and discrimination that the transgender community continues to face across our Nation and around the world”.
On Wednesday, Mr Biden also gave a speech on the state of the coronavirus pandemic, announcing the launch of a central website for resources, before receiving his second booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine.
Congress close to deal on smaller $10 billion Covid bill
US lawmakers on Thursday moved slightly closer to an agreement on the $10bn to combat Covid-19.
The amount has been reduced from an earlier $15.6bn agreement between the two parties that collapsed weeks ago.
President Joe Biden had requested $22.5bn in early March.
“We’ve reached an agreement in principle on all the spending and all of the offsets,” Mitt Romney said.
“It’s entirely balanced by offsets,” he said, referring to savings in the measure.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said: “We are getting close to a final agreement that would garner bipartisan support.
Maroosha Muzaffar1 April 2022 07:21
Trump’s false claim that he ‘built up’ oil reserves debunked as Biden acts on gas prices
Former president Donald Trump’s recent claim that his administration “built up” US strategic petroleum reserves that were “virtually empty” for a half-century is a complete falsehood, according to US Department of Energy records.
Andrew Feinberg explains.
Oliver O’Connell1 April 2022 05:30
Biden says Putin may have placed advisors under ‘house arrest’
Joe Biden said on Thursday that the Russian president Vladimir Putin may have placed some of his advisors under “house arrest.”
Mr Biden also said that he was sceptical about Moscow’s claim that it has scaled back its onslaught in parts of Ukraine.
He said: “He seems to be self-isolated and there’s some indication that he has fired or put under house arrest some of his advisers.”
Mr Biden however added that “there’s a lot of speculation” and that he did not want to “put too much stock in that.”
Maroosha Muzaffar1 April 2022 05:25
Jen Psaki criticizes ‘extreme and harmful’ laws targeting trans people and abortion
White House press secretary Jen Psaki criticized four bills signed into law in Arizona and Oklahoma this week targeting transgender young people and restricting abortion care, among dozens of bills filed by Republican legislators this year aimed at LGBT+ Americans and abortion rights.
Oliver O’Connell1 April 2022 04:45
Biden: Putin appears to be ‘self-isolating’ from advisers as war on Ukraine stalls
President Joe Biden claimed on Thursday that Vladimir Putin appears to be “self-isolating” from his closest advisers including his top intelligence officials as his invasion of Ukraine appears to be largely stalled across the country.
In an address announcing efforts to lower gas prices, which the US have blamed on the efforts to divest from Russian oil as well as inflation, the president explained that he didn’t “want to put too much stock” in the reports but essentially confirmed reporting that has for weeks indicated that a major rift exists between Mr Putin and his top aides and strategists.
Oliver O’Connell1 April 2022 04:00
The next Jen Psaki?
Kate Bedingfield’s debut in the White House press briefing room this week came under unlikely circumstances — the benching of two of her colleagues due to Covid-19 — but could lead to greater visibility for Joe Biden’s longtime comms director.
“I know I am not the redhead you’re accustomed to seeing at this podium, but I hope you will hang with me nonetheless,” Ms Bedingfield, 40, joked to reporters at her first briefing on Tuesday.
John Bowden reports from Washington, DC.
Oliver O’Connell1 April 2022 03:15
Biden calls for ‘use it or lose it’ policy for oil leases on federal land: ‘I say, enough’
President Joe Biden on Thursday slammed oil companies for refusing to increase production to make up shortfalls caused by the removal of Russian oil from US markets.
Calling the crisis stemming from Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine “a moment of crisis and peril for the world and pain at the pump for American families,” Mr Biden said the spike in oil and gas prices brought on by the US ban on Russian oil could be “a moment of patriotism” for domestic oil producers.
Andrew Feinberg has the latest for The Independent from Washington DC.
Oliver O’Connell1 April 2022 02:30
ICYMI: Biden on new Covid funding: “It’s not partisan, it’s medicine”
Congress recently declined to provide billions of dollars in new funding for the government’s Covid-19 response effort, and Joe Biden warned yesterday that if the money isn’t forthcoming soon, the consequences could be severe.
Andrew Feinberg has the story.
Oliver O’Connell1 April 2022 01:30
Pelosi: Ginni Thomas a ‘proud contributor to a coup’
Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a withering condemnation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Thursday as it becomes clear that the highest court’s ethical standards and practices are facing historic scrutiny.
At her weekly press briefing, the House Democratic leader told reporters that she never believed that Mr Thomas should have joined the Court in the first place, and added that his wife had been revealed as a “admitted and proud contributor to a coup of our country “
The remarks were some of the sharpest criticism issued so far by a high ranking Democratic leader as the fallout over text messages Ginni Thomas sent to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows both prior to and following the January 6 attack continues.
John Bowden reports from Washington, DC.
Oliver O’Connell1 April 2022 00:45
As gas and food prices soar, a key inflation gauge sets 40-year high
An inflation gauge closely monitored by the Federal Reserve jumped 6.4% in February compared with a year ago, with sharply higher prices for food, gasoline and other necessities squeezing Americans’ finances.
The figure reported Thursday by the Commerce Department was the largest year-over-year rise since January 1982. Excluding volatile prices for food and energy, so-called core inflation increased 5.4% in February from 12 months earlier.
Oliver O’Connell1 April 2022 00:00