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–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.


The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Biden reportedly planning first major tax hike | Surge of unaccompanied minors arriving at the border | 4,200 children held by Border Patrol | Desperation grows | McCarthy visits border | Dems debate next legislative priority | Fauci says Trump should urge supporters to get COVID-19 vaccine | Fauci predictions for the summer | Modified Cherry Blossom Festival



The US border has been very active: 

Via CBS’s Camilo Montoya-Galvez, “As of Sunday morning, U.S. Border Patrol was holding more than 4,200 unaccompanied migrant children in short-term holding facilities, including jail-like stations unfit to house minors, according to government records reviewed by CBS News.” 

Including 3,000 children held past the legal limit: “Nearly 3,000 of the unaccompanied children in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody had been held longer than 72 hours. CBP is legally obligated to transfer most unaccompanied minors to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), the agency which oversees shelters licensed to house children, within three days of taking them into custody.”

The full story:

Meanwhile in Mexico:

Via The New York Times’s Maria Abi-Habib, “The migrants’ hopes have been drummed up by human smugglers who promise that President BidenJoe BidenThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden to hit road, tout COVID-19 relief law Oregon senator takes center stage in Democratic filibuster debate This week: Democrats eye next step after coronavirus relief bill win MORE’s administration will welcome them. Instead, the United States is expelling them back to Mexico, where they wait along with tens of thousands of others hoping to cross. The pressure, and desperation, is quickly building among families stuck in Mexico, as shelters and officials struggle to help them.”

The full story, with photos from Daniel Berehulak:

It’s Monday — welcome back! I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to [email protected] — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook. 

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It’s time to update internet regulations



The internet has changed a lot in the 25 years since lawmakers last passed comprehensive internet regulations. It’s time for an update. 

See how we’re making progress on key issues and why we support updated regulations to set clear rules for addressing today’s toughest challenges.




We may be going for a hike. A tax hike, that is:

Via Bloomberg’s Nancy Cook and Laura Davison, “President Joe Biden is planning the first major federal tax hike since 1993 to help pay for the long-term economic program designed as a follow-up to his pandemic-relief bill, according to people familiar with the matter.”

What we know: “Unlike the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 stimulus act, the next initiative, which is expected to be even bigger, won’t rely just on government debt as a funding source. While it’s been increasingly clear that tax hikes will be a component — Treasury Secretary Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden to hit road, tout COVID-19 relief law Treasury Secretary says economy can have ‘near full employment’ next year Democrats urge IRS to help unemployment recipients use tax break MORE has said at least part of the next bill will have to be paid for, and pointed to higher rates.” 

What could be increasing: “both the corporate tax rate and the individual rate for high earners.”


Via The New York Times’s Jonathan Martin:


President Biden has hired Gene Sperling, a longtime economic adviser to Democratic presidential administrations, to oversee the implementation of the $1.9 coronavirus relief package. 






What’s the sitch this week?:

With the massive coronavirus relief package under their belt, Democrats are debating what legislative priority to tackle next.

Keep in mind — Democrats can only use the loophole one more time this year: “Democrats will only be able to use two reconciliation bills this year, which can avoid the 60-vote filibuster in the Senate. They’ve already used one for the coronavirus bill, and House Democrats are at odds over what the scope of the second should be.” 

Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerStacey Abrams: ‘I don’t believe that it’s necessary to wholly eliminate the filibuster’ Cuomo biographer: ‘Predatory behavior’ has been ‘evident for years’ Lawmakers call for action on first anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death MORE’s (D-N.Y.) priority: passing President Biden’s nominees.


Immigration: “The House will vote on the Dream and Promise Act, which would offer a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children who meet certain conditions … The House will also vote on a separate bill that allows agricultural workers to get a temporary status as a Certified Agricultural Workers and establish a path to a green card for long-term agricultural workers.” 

VAWA: “The House is slated to take up the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which is expected to pass with some bipartisan support, on Monday evening.”

Syria: “The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will get a closed-door briefing Monday on Biden’s recent strike in Syria, after lawmakers grumbled about the need for better congressional notification.” 

Nominations: The Senate will vote on Rep. Deb HaalandDeb HaalandThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden to hit road, tout COVID-19 relief law This week: Democrats eye next step after coronavirus relief bill win Democratic majority shrinks, but finds unity MORE’s (D-N.M.) nomination to be secretary of the Interior. “In addition, Schumer has teed up Isabella Guzman’s nomination to lead the Small Business Administration and Katherine TaiKatherine TaiThis week: Democrats eye next step after coronavirus relief bill win US, EU to suspend .5B in tariffs for four months US, UK suspend retaliatory tariffs for four months MORE’s nomination to be the U.S. trade representative.” 

Context and details for each from The Hill’s Jordain Carney and Juliegrace Brufke:


“The House is in for a week before leaving for a committee and district work period until mid-April, the Senate has another two weeks before the April recess.”


Via The Hill’s Cristina Marcos:



Facebook supports updated internet regulations



It’s been 25 years since comprehensive internet regulations passed. But a lot has changed since 1996. 

See how we’re taking action and why we support updated regulations to address today’s challenges — protecting privacy, fighting misinformation, reforming Section 230, and more.



Getting vaccinated is a very patriotic thing to do!:

In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Anthony FauciAnthony FauciThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden to hit road, tout COVID-19 relief law Los Angeles set to reopen indoor restaurants, gyms, movie theaters Fauci: CDC studying data suggesting 3 feet of social distancing ‘OK under certain circumstances’ MORE, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, urged former President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden to hit road, tout COVID-19 relief law Oregon senator takes center stage in Democratic filibuster debate Juan Williams: Trump’s jealous rants can’t hide his failures MORE to tell his supporters to get vaccinated.

In Fauci’s words: “I’m very surprised by the number of Republicans who say they won’t get vaccinated. … I think it would make all the difference in the world,” Fauci said if Trump were to urge his supporters to get vaccinated. “He’s a widely popular person among Republicans.”

Watch Fauci’s full interview with Fox News’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden to hit road, tout COVID-19 relief law Fauci urges Trump to tell supporters to be vaccinated Murphy: Immigration surge began under Trump MORE — including predictions for the summer:


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 29,439,390

U.S. death toll: 534,890

Breakdown of the numbers:


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 107 million shots have been given.

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 2.39 million doses

For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million. 

Breakdown of the numbers: 






In The Wall Street Journal this morning:




Read Kushner’s full op-ed in the Wall Street Journal:


The Senate is in. The House is out. President Biden is in Washington, D.C., and Vice President Harris is in Nevada today.

Today: Vice President Harris and second gentleman Doug EmhoffDoug EmhoffThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden to hit road, tout COVID-19 relief law Biden to sit down for ABC News interview as COVID-19 relief promotion tour begins Overnight Health Care: White House plans PR blitz to sell coronavirus relief bill | US passes 100 million COVID-19 vaccine shots | Expanded ObamaCare becomes available April 1 MORE travel to Las Vegas. Harris will visit a vaccination clinic and the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas. 

9:50 a.m. EST: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief.

3 p.m. EST: The Senate meets.  

5:30 p.m. EST: The Senate holds a confirmation vote on Rep. Deb Haaland’s (D-N.M.) nomination as secretary of the Interior. The Senate’s full agenda today:

Later today: President Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff travel to Los Angeles and stay there for the night.


11 a.m. EST: The White House COVID-19 response team held a press briefing. Livestream:

12:30 p.m. EST: White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBiden: Cuomo ‘investigation is underway and we should see what it brings us’ Gun control groups focus all efforts on Senate Cats, dogs, birds, horses and even a raccoon: A brief history of White House pets MORE holds a press briefing. Livestream:

1 p.m. EST: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyThis week: Democrats eye next step after coronavirus relief bill win Murphy: Immigration surge began under Trump Democrats rush to Biden’s defense on border surge MORE (R-Calif.) visits the U.S.-Mexico border. Livestream: 

1:45 p.m. EST: President Biden delivers remarks on the American Rescue Plan. Livestream:


Today is National Peanut Lovers’ Day.

It’s almost that time!:

Via WTOP’s Will Vitka, the 2021 National Cherry Blossom Festival is coming up. Here’s what to know about this year’s modified festival:

And to leave you on a happy note, here’s an otter on a trampoline:

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