NEWS OF THE MORNING
A Tale of Two Principals:
Midterm elections are fought as referenda on the incumbent president. But that assumes that the last president has left the stage – and all signs indicate that won’t be the case next year.
Former President Trump re-emerges Saturday at CPAC, both in person and in the form of a golden statue. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMinimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibuster Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump’s shadow McConnell says he’d back Trump as 2024 GOP nominee MORE’s efforts to exorcise Trump from the GOP have failed entirely, and incumbents are already seeking his blessing; to whit, Trump late Thursday endorsed Sen. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranPassage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Senate votes to hear witnesses in Trump trial Senate panel advances Biden’s education and labor secretary picks MORE (R-Kan.), who is up for re-election next year. Close Trump allies see that as a sign that the establishment still fears Trump’s power.
On the other hand, President BidenJoe BidenBiden ‘disappointed’ in Senate parliamentarian ruling but ‘respects’ decision Taylor Swift celebrates House passage of Equality Act Donald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen’s dropped charges ‘liberal privilege’ MORE is signaling a team approach to the midterms. He’s installed top allies at the Democratic National Committee, and he’s holding off forming his own re-election bid until after the midterms, in part to avoid competing for the hard dollars his own side will need to defend its narrowest of majorities. “This is classic Joe Biden,” a member of Biden’s inner circle tells us. “He is not about himself. He is about helping others and that includes other Democrats.”
A president’s first midterm is usually tough for his party. But if those elections become a proxy battle between an incumbent president whose approval rating is north of 50 and a defeated ex whose favorable ratings sank after the insurrection he inspired, history can turn out a different way.
Happy Friday! I’m Reid Wilson, filling in for Cate, with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to email@example.com — and follow along on Twitter @PoliticsReid.
Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill’s 12:30 Report in your inbox daily: http://bit.ly/2kjMNnn
It’s time to update internet regulations
The internet has changed a lot in 25 years. But the last time comprehensive internet regulations were passed was in 1996.
We want updated internet regulations to set clear guidelines for addressing today’s toughest challenges.
ON CAPITOL HILL
Covid relief set to pass house:
The House is set to pass a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package Friday after a marathon round of votes likely to last late into the night. The package will not include a provision to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, after the Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the provision doesn’t conform to Senate rules. Expect a party-line vote on final passage; Republicans are likely to oppose the bill en masse.
The bill represents the first major marker ahead of the midterm elections. Republicans are casting it as a giveaway to liberal interest groups and big blue states. Democrats point to provisions that are broadly popular among three quarters of voters. But the real test is ahead: How well can the Biden administration sell the package once it’s signed into law? Biden and his team of Obama administration vets recall all too well that the 2009 relief package, among the most significant measures Obama signed into law over his entire eight years, didn’t win them enough credit among…