NotedDC – Biden makes first presidential trip to Asia
President Biden will face a series of foreign policy challenges when he lands in South Korea on Friday and then travels to Japan on his first trip to Asia as president.
What’s on the program? Laura Kelly and Morgan Chalfant of The Hill report that Russia will likely top the list when Biden meets the leaders of India, Japan and Australia.
The fly on the wall: Senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi told Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan in a phone call this week that if the United States externally supported Taiwan, which China claims as its own, it could put relations in “grave danger”.
Other type of threat: Sullivan told reporters on Wednesday that intelligence suggests North Korea could also conduct a missile or nuclear test while Biden is on the mainland, further escalating tensions.
Why is this important: Biden has held video conferences with world leaders and hosted some at the White House (including Greek Kyriakos Mitsotakis this week), though the pandemic has limited the president’s foreign travel in his first year in office. .
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🗽 Empire State Drama
New York released its new lines from Congress on Monday, prompting days of drama on the Hill among its House delegation. What could happen if the map was finalized?
Mychael Schnell and Mike Lillis of The Hill explain what the primaries could look like:
- Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (D), the chairman of the party’s campaign finance arm, could run against Rep. Mondary Jones (D), a rising star in the progressive caucus. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) offered his support for Maloney if he shows up against Jones.
- Jones could decide to run against Representative Jamaal Bowman (D) in the 16th arrondissement, since the new map puts his residence there, but that would oppose two progressives — forcing one of them to lose his seat.
- Jerry Nadler Representatives (D) and Caroline Maloney (D) — two of the House’s most powerful members who chair the judicial and oversight panels, respectively — are set to run against each other in New York’s redesigned 12th District.
Note: Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (DN.Y.) released a campaign ad on Wednesday ripping up the new maps, saying he’s “taking a sledgehammer in black neighborhoods” and that would “make Jim Crow blush.”
🍽 Help for restaurants affected by the pandemic blocked
Republicans have overturned a bill that would have given $40 billion to restaurants that did not receive funds from the Pandemic-Era Restaurant Revitalization Fund in 2021.
Senator Rand Paul (Ky.), the top Republican on the Senate Small Business Committee, said during a floor speech Thursday that the government shouldn’t be responsible for “bailing out” businesses.
“We couldn’t have locked down the economy, that was an alternative,” Paul said ahead of the vote. “There is no money. We are already a trillion dollars in the hole.
DC restaurant owner Jill Tyler experienced both sides of federal aid. His restaurant goat with tail in DC’s northwest Adams Morgan neighborhood benefited from receiving the money, but his nearby bar Party time not.
“It’s a lot more stressful when it’s a week where you expect to do this number and you’re halfway through it,” Tyler told NotedDC of Reveler’s Hour. “What we’ve seen up close won’t even be a fraction of what’s to come.”
Ruth Gresserdc owner Pizzeria Paradisowas authorized to receive the funds, but did not after an injunction halted some of the grants in June 2021, as reported by Reuters.
Of Gresser’s five sites, four are still generating less revenue than in 2019.
“I continue to be distraught, dejected, heartbroken that the community that I have supported for 30 years, that the needs of the community are considered insignificant,” Gresser said.
To note : Five Republicans voted Thursday to take an indoor vote on restaurant aid: Sens. Roy Blunt (Month), Bill Cassidy (The.), Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), with Bill’s sponsor Sen. Roger Osier (Miss.).
📄 Senate food workers plead for union contract deal
The employees of the cafeteria of the Senate urge the Capitol Architect — the agency responsible for operations at the Senate restaurants — to strike a deal that would put their first union contract to the finish line after missing the May 18 deadline.
The cafeteria workers are employed by the Restaurant associatesan outside vendor, but NotedDC learns that they need the Senate to amend its contract with the vendor for the union’s contract to be ratified.
A source linked to the union told NotedDC on Thursday afternoon that they had not received a response from Brett Blantonthe architect of the Capitol, after leaving a letter in his office on Wednesday.
The letter says the union’s tentative agreement with Restaurant Associates would see them receive “immediate and substantial raises, affordable quality health care and a pension for the first time.”
The source said they would continue with “escalation measures” like protests and seeking more explicit support from Democratic senators, like the chairman of the Rules Committee. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
“We’re on an urgent schedule given that come summer, the Senate isn’t exactly in session…and then it’s the fall and those layoffs that have been paid back, that funding expires September 1,” said said the source about the need for a union contract.
🍑 Peach State Fight
Voters in Georgia, Arkansas and Alabama are the next to make their choice in this year’s primary elections, while some Texas the races remain undecided before Tuesday.
Here are the races to watch ahead of next week:
GEORGIA: Govt. Brian Kempwhich notably rejected the former President Trumpto overturn the 2020 election results, faces the former Trump-backed senator. David Perduea Republican who lost to the Democratic senator. Jon Ossoff in a second ballot last year. Polls showed Kemp had a comfortable lead over Perdue as the candidate to take on the Democrat Stacey Abrams in the November elections.
ARKANSAS: GOP gubernatorial candidate Sarah Huckabee Sandersa former spokeswoman for then-President Trump, hopes to follow in the footsteps of her father, the former governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee. Although there is an independent on the ballot (named “Elvis Presley“) Huckabee is a favorite for a chance to replace the incumbent governor. Asa Hutchinson and she is expected to sail through Tuesday’s GOP primary. Among the Democrats, Chris Jones has the highest vote in this primary race.
ALABAMA: GOP Senator Richard ShelbyThe retreat has created an every man for himself for its open seat. Trump initially backed Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Al.) but withdrew his support. Shelby’s former chief of staff Katie Brit and businessman Michael Durant are among the other top contenders for the Republican nomination for the open seat. The winner will face the candidate who wins the Democratic primary on Tuesday.
TEXAS: The Lone Star State held its first primary in March, but some races went unsettled. This set up a head-to-head battle for the GOP nomination for Attorney General between the Lands Commissioner George P Bush – the son of the former governor of Florida. Jeb Bush — and holder Ken Paxton.
David Wassermaneditor of the non-partisan journal Bake the political reporttells The Hill that “a handful” of those races will be particularly important next week, including the race for the Alabama Senate and a congressional seat in the state’s 5th District, as well as the election for the governorship of Georgia and the 6th and 10th districts.
“Trump’s grip will certainly be tested in Georgia. and also to some extent in Arkansas,” Wasserman said. “There are voters in both cases who go against his wishes.”
“I think a lot of the drama has been taken out of these races with polls showing clear frontrunners, but we could see some of Trump’s candidates fall short,” he added.
representing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) is engaged to longtime partner Riley Roberts, as Insider first reported. The congresswoman from New York confirmed the news on Thursday: “It’s true! Thank you all for the good wishes.” (See the tweet)
NUMBER TO KNOW
The number of days House members will be away from Washington to work in their districts around the Memorial Day holiday.
🐲 And finally…Dragon Boat Festival
Grab your sunscreen and head to Downtown Potomac River: DC’s Dragon Boat Festival returns this Saturday after a two-year hiatus.
Some fun team names to look out for: Newsbreakers, Blazing Paddles, and Cat Warriors.
Some cultural activities will also take place, including the traditional lion dance and the eye-spotting ceremony, which “resurrects dragon boats in good spirits”.
More details on how to watch the race on the festival here.
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