Biden news – live: President jokes about ‘good old days’ with Obama as he pauses student loan debt sixth time – The Independent
Obama jokingly calls Biden ‘vice president’ on return to White House
Barack Obama visited the White House on Tuesday for his first public event at the executive mansion since he left office. He participated in a celebration of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, as Joe Biden announced changes to the healthcare programme that could see as many as 200,000 uninsured Americans become eligible for new coverage.
The visit has many Democrats hoping that Mr Biden can benefit from his former boss’s still-high approval rating among the Democratic base. Mr Biden has lately struggled to raise his poor standing in the polls and there are serious worries that apathy and disappointment among Democratic voters could give an opening to Republicans in this year’s midterm elections. Mr Obama says that to win in the midterms, Democrats have a story to tell, they “just got to tell it.”
Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday voted 11-11 on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The result will not stop Ms Jackson’s nomination from proceeding to the Senate floor; she appears to already have the support of 53 senators, with Republicans Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney all breaking ranks to back her.
Biden nominates first woman head of US military branch
Joe Biden has nominated a new head of the US Coast Guard: Admiral Linda Fagan, who if confirmed would become the first woman to head a branch of the US military.
Maria Cantwell, head of the committee that will hold her confirmation hearings, remarked that “Admiral Fagan’s nomination will inspire generations of American women to strive to serve at the highest level in the Armed Forces”.
Will Obama and Biden’s bromance do anything for the Democrats?
The Independent’s Holly Baxter takes a look at yesterday’s White House appearance by Barack Obama, writing that it at least provided some welcome emotional warmth at a deeply negative moment…
At the same time, though, she ponders whether the visit can really offer much to Democrats as the president struggles around the 40 per cent approval mark and his agenda faces ongoing obstruction in Congress.
As the confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson draws near, Andrew Feinberg has this look back on the depths that were plumbed at her hearings by the Judiciary Committee’s Republican contingent and their colleagues on the Senate floor.
“Republican senators,” he writes, “spent the majority of their speaking time in both settings airing grievances regarding Democrats’ treatment of prior nominees going back to the Senate’s rejection of Judge Robert Bork more than three decades ago. They also subjected Jackson, a Harvard Law School graduate who has thrice been confirmed by the upper chamber (twice to court seats and once to a seat on the US Sentencing Commission), to some of the most bizarre inquiries ever directed at a nominee for the highest court in the land.”
Read his full rundown below.
(None of the stories he tells are in the same category as Marjorie Taylor Greene’s declaration that the three GOP senators voting to confirm Ms Brown Jackson are “pro-paedophile”.)
Kinzinger criticises GOP members for unwillingness to speak on Ukraine
Illinois Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger criticised members of his party on Tuesday for what he sees as their unwillingness to speak out against the crisis in Ukraine.
“We are being governed by a bunch of children,” Mr Kinzinger said. “By a bunch of people that are not serious about running the United States of America and truly don’t understand the threat that’s out there from Vladimir Putin, from China and from some of these actors in the world that want to destroy our place here.”
“The world order is being challenged for the first time since World War II and they’re sitting around thinking today about how we can win our next election, what the newest outrage is, what’s the next thing we can do to get people angry and upset and get their money from them for our reelection,” he added.
Former president Barack Obama had a simple message for Democrats who worry about losing their majority in the 2022 midterm elections.
“We got a story to tell, just got to tell it,” he said in response to NBC News’ Peter Alexander.
The former president received a standing ovation as he returned to the White House for the first time since leaving the Oval Office in 2017 to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the passage of his signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act, which received the moniker Obamacare in the press.
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