Good afternoon from Capitol Hill. The Supreme Court announced this morning it will hear arguments in NY State Rifle & Pistol Assoc. V. Corlett, a case regarding whether or not there is a constitutional right to carry firearms outside the home for self-defense. This is the first Second Amendment case the court has granted in over a decade.
The House is out this week, as Republicans are at their member retreat in Orlando. The Senate is busy with the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act, and a handful of nominations.
The country will finally get to hear Biden’s State of the Union this Wednesday — though occurring as it is nearly mid-way through the year, apparently we’re just calling it “addressing the joint session of Congress.” Though even the “addressing Congress” part is a bit of a stretch, as attendance is limited to roughly 200 people, and none of the special guests that generally give resonance to the substance of the address will attend. The Biden administration has elected to keep all COVID protocols in place, despite Biden, Vice President Harris, presumably the White House staff, and a majority of Congress and congressional staff were prioritized for vaccinations.
In the address, which coincides with his 100th day in office, Biden is expected to lay out plans for child care and education funding, health care expansion, and police reform.
It is not clear if Biden will address one of the signature ongoing crises of his administration: the mess at the southern border. Crossings are up 71 percent since February, the majority of them occurring between ports of entry. This includes nearly 20,000 children, a number which has itself doubled from February. Single adults, however, still make up the greater share of illegal immigrants coming across the border.
Illegal crossings are lucrative business for the Mexican and Central American cartels — with one RAND Corporation study estimating that cross border trafficking nets the cartels close to $2 billion annually. When Biden undid two key Trump reforms — the Remain in Mexico program and the safe third country agreements — he put the cartels back in business.
And business is booming, so much so that the cartels are hiring. Smuggling networks are putting ads out on TikTok, targeting American teenagers in South Texas with offers of thousands in cash to get illegal migrants past U.S. checkpoints. According to reports in Fox News, teenagers are in some cases borrowing their parents’ SUVs to smuggle migrants across the border, without the knowledge of their parents.
The Biden administration still steadfastly refuses to call what’s happening a “crisis.” (When Biden slipped up and did so, his press secretary walked it back). Vice President Harris, whom Biden has placed in charge of the border, has yet to visit. When asked to comment on why she was in New Hampshire selling Biden’s infrastructure plan, rather than at the border, Harris replied only that she “wasn’t going to play political games.”
In a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, 53 percent of Americans say they disapprove of the way Biden has handled the crisis.
The Latest from Around the Conservative Movement
After House Republicans vote to bring back earmarks, Senate Republicans keep their ban in place
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) proposes a $12k tax credit for married parents with kids under 13
Former House Speaker John Boehner derides conservatives as “the crazy caucus” in his new memoir
A veteran Norfolk police officer donated $25 to the legal defense of Kyle Rittenhouse — he was then fired.
One More Thing…
Two new things from me that may be of interest. First, I joined the Federalist Society in an overview of the issues surrounding Sec. 230 — Big Tech’s big government subsidy. This fun little video features me, Sen. Ted Cruz, author and law professor Jeff Kosseff, and former Rep. Chris Cox, one of Sec. 230’s authors. Second, I was on Fox News Primetime last Friday, talking Big Tech and antitrust.
Finally, don’t miss Phil Reboli’s latest installment of the Minute Man Moment, where he breaks down some of the latest Second Amendment legislation in Congress.