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The WH says Biden will veto an effort to overturn a DC police accountability law. Plus: The politics of this year's Trans Day of Visibility and Bowman speaks about his viral gun safety monologue.
👋🏾 Hi, hey, hello! Welcome to Supercreator Daily, your weekday morning guide to the politicians, power brokers and policies shaping the American creator experience. It’s Friday, March 31.
Here’s what you need to know today:
President Joe Biden this morning declined three separate times when asked by reporters for comment on the news that Donald Trump will be indicted in connection to allegations he paid hush money to sex worker Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election in exchange for her silence about an encounter they had years earlier. “I have no comment on Trump,” he said.
Related: Trump, who will become the first president to be indicted and reportedly be charged with more than 30 counts related to the case, is expected to surrender next week.
The White House condemned the detention of American Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich in Russia on espionage charges and Russia’s continued targeting and repression of journalists and freedom of the press. The administration also reiterated the government’s warning not to travel to Russia.
Related: Democratic members of Michigan’s congressional delegation received a classified briefing with State Department officials to receive an update on the wrongful detention of Paul Whelan in Russia. The members also reintroduced a resolution calling for the immediate release of Whelan from the Russian government.
A Texas federal judge on Thursday blocked the Affordable Care Act’s mandate for preventative care like cancer screenings, mental health checks, colonoscopies, PrEP, and much more, a move that would affect millions of Americans who support the popular ACA provision. House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries said in a statement that the decision is a result of far-right Republicans forum shopping for activists who are willing to gut health care coverage for millions of Americans. And Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called for an immediate appeal and a temporary hold on the order as well for insurers to publicly commit they will retain free preventive care.
House Democrats reintroduced the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would make access to abortion care a federally protected right. The legislation is expected to stall in Congress where Republicans marginally control the House and there isn’t enough support in the Senate to defeat GOP opposition. “The contrast could not be more clear,” NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini Timmaraju said in a statement. “As anti-choice Republicans race to enact new abortion bans and restrictions, House Democrats are once again refusing to back down from this fight.”
President Biden on Thursday welcomed Buffalo Bills safety Demar Hamlin and his family to the White House to discuss the NFL player’s advocacy for broader accessibility of life-saving technologies like the automated external defibrillator that saved his life in January when he experienced a sudden cardiac arrest during an NFL game. ICYMI: Hamlin joined Chuck Schumer on Wednesday to introduce legislation that would improve students’ access to defibrillators in public and private elementary and secondary schools.
BIDEN TO HOUSE DEMS: I’VE GOT YOUR BACK
The White House on Thursday confirmed President Biden would veto a disapproval resolution to overturn a DC local police accountability law that House Republicans introduced earlier this month.
In the know: The veto threat followed a request the day before from the Congressional Black Caucus for the administration to state in no uncertain terms that he would reject the bill if it came to his desk.
It also gives frontline and other vulnerable Democrats political cover to vote against the resolution.
And the decision extends an olive branch to Democrats who were frustrated by what they perceived as an about-face from the White House on two other recent disapproval resolutions.
What they’re saying: White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that President Biden doesn’t support every provision in the DC law.
But he opposes congressional Republicans’ efforts to overrun police reforms such as banning chokeholds, limiting the use of force and deadly force, requiring the timely release of bodily-worn camera footage, and requiring officer training on de-escalation and use of force — several standards included in the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act that stalled in Congress in 2021 and an executive order Biden signed last year.
“Congress should respect D.C.’s rights to pass measures that improve public safety and public trust,” Jean-Pierre added. “And the President will veto this resolution if it does reach his desk.”
She declined to comment on the specific provisions of the DC law that the president opposed.
Counterpoint: House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer of Kentucky said the disapproval resolution is part of his committee’s responsibility to conduct oversight over DC in the wake of what he described as “rising crime, plummeting education levels, and a city budget in complete disarray.”
Democrats argue these are issues that affect cities across the country and that their GOP colleagues are singling out DC for political gain.
“Republicans are playing politics with public safety. Instead of meeting Democrats to advance policy solutions that will make our communities safer, they would rather use scare tactics than actually improve public safety by advancing police accountability,” CBC Chairman Steven Horsford said in a statement. “House Democrats are united in believing that we can support the police who put their lives on the line for us daily and hold them accountable if they use excessive force or abuse their power.”
What’s next: It’s unclear when the House will take up the disapproval resolution. But prior to the White House announcement on the veto threat, Hakeem Jeffries expressed confidence in the lines of communication between him and his members and the administration and the House Democratic Caucus.
He said no member has raised concerns about the dynamics between House Democrats and the White House on the previous disapproval resolutions on the DC criminal code and COVID-19 emergency that the administration said it opposed before Biden announced he would sign them.
“And to the extent that the White House has indicated that they are going to veto legislation, the White House has kept its word,” Jeffries told reporters on Thursday. “And as far as I’m concerned, that is the most important marker of communication.”
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TDOV: A REMINDER FOR TRANS PEOPLE TO CLAIM SPACE IN THE EQUALITY MOVEMENT
This year’s Transgender Day of Visibility comes as the trans community faces unrelenting violence, anti-trans legislation from conservative lawmakers at all levels of the government and the demonization of the safe spaces many queer people rely on to escape the onslaught.
What they’re saying: “I haven’t seen this level of attacks on the trans community as long as I've been in office,” Democratic Rep. Robert Garcia of California, the first openly gay immigrant to be elected to Congress, said to Supercreator. “It’s really sad and honestly, Republicans should be ashamed of themselves.”
Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for Human Rights Campaign’s Transgender Justice Initiative, said in a statement to Supercreator that the work of programs like TJI is to “show the world that, despite numerous anti-trans laws, trans and nonbinary people don’t lead sad existences — we are thriving” and to push back “against those threatened by our presence to remind them that we deserve to be seen, to be valued and our voices will be heard.”
For trans people, TDOV is also a call to action to claim space in the equality movement.
“The attacks on trans and non-binary people are disgusting,” Cooper added. “And although these hurdles aren’t new to our community, we continue to rally together to ensure our existence isn’t erased.”
In the know: As I reported on Tuesday, the facts dispute the far-right claims that conservatives are under attack by trans people:
At least six transgender or gender non-conforming people have been murdered through the first three months of 2023, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
The ACLU is tracking 435 anti-LGBTQ bills in the US as of Tuesday.
Black transgender and gender non-conforming people face some of the highest levels of discrimination of all transgender people according to a new analysis released this month by the National LGBTQ Task Force in partnership with the National Black Justice Coalition and the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington on Thursday introduced the Transgender Bill of Rights to ensure that trans and nonbinary Americans are not discriminated against on the basis of gender identity or expression.
“With this resolution, we salute the resilience and courage of trans people across our country, and outline a clear vision of what we must do in Congress in order to allow trans people to lead full, happy lives as their authentic selves,” Jayapal, who is the mother of a trans daughter, said in a statement.
Markey added: “On this and every International Transgender Day of Visibility, we are reminded of our moral obligation to defend the fundamental rights of trans people against the violence, discrimination and bigotry that too often mark their lived experience in our country”
The role of allies: Garcia sees his role as a gay man in the LGBTQ movement to always center the trans community.
“If we can’t protect trans people, then nobody is safe,” he said. ”The crazy part is that Republicans are so focused on attacking folks that are from such a small population with not the resources that they need to survive.”
The view from the White House: The harm that’s being caused in Congress is deepening the disparities in homelessness, suicide and hate crimes among and against trans people.
On a day that we should be lifting up our trans kids, our trans youth, and making sure that they feel seen, we’re seeing more and more of these hateful, hateful bills,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Thursday. “And that’s what Republicans want to spend their time on. They don't want to talk about lowering costs. They don't want to talk about actually making Americans’ lives better. They want to take away people's freedoms.”
President Biden issued a proclamation calling on all Americans to uplift the lives and voices of transgender people throughout the country and to work toward eliminating violence and discrimination against all transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary people.
What’s next: To that end, the president said his administration would continue to lobby Congress to pass the Equality Act, which would extend long-overdue civil rights protections to all LGBTQ+ Americans.
“Together, we also have to keep challenging the hundreds of hateful state laws that have been introduced across the country, making sure every child knows that they are made in the image of God, that they are loved, and that we are standing up for them.”
BOWMAN ON GOP GUN SAFETY INACTION: “IT’S INFURIATING”
Capitol Hill was still buzzing on Thursday morning as reporters, aides and lawmakers chattered about the now-viral scene of Reps. Jamaal Bowman and Thomas Massie a day earlier debating the path forward on gun violence prevention in the aftermath of the Nashville school shooting.
What they’re saying: “They won’t do shit. And it’s just frustrating. It’s infuriating. It’s personal.” Bowman said of his Republican colleagues to Supercreator in an interview on the House steps. “I’ve been a victim of gun violence all around me in my communities my entire life.”
Counterpoint: At the heart of Massie’s argument is that “good guys” with guns if the best defense against mass shootings.
“More guns lead to more deaths. We know that, so [Massie’s] argument is a moot point,” he said. “On the other hand, that only deals with schooled What about the senseless gun violence that happens in our communities every day? We got to do something about gun trafficking. We got to ban assault rifles and we comprehensive reform.”
The response: Bowman added that the reaction to the exchange has been incredible.
“People from all over the country calling our phones, emails, messages, just telling us that ‘we appreciate you, you’re speaking for us. Thank you for your passion. It’s good to have someone fighting.’ So it’s been great.”
Speaking of “passions”: Jeffries told reporters on Thursday that he hadn’t spoke to Rep. Bowman and had only brief news clips about the situation.
“But I do understand that passions are running high on the issue. Our children are being slaughtered in the streets of America. No other developed country in the world has this problem,” he said. “And at the end of the day, the framers of the Constitution said that the House should be the institution that reflects the passions of the people. And if in fact that's the case Congress should act on commonsense gun safety legislation.”
Bowman said to Supercreator that it’s essential for House Democratic leadership to continue to keep the issue front and center.
“It’s one of the top issues of the American people. We have to be representative of the American people. So House leadership has to do that. I know I am going to do that,” he added. “And House leadership — Leader Jeffries, [House Democratic Whip Katherine] Clark and [House Democratic Caucus Chair Pete] Aguilar have led on this issue before. And hopefully they’ll keep doing so.”
All times Eastern:
President Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden traveled to Rolling Fork, Mississippi (8 a.m) and upon arrival (12:25 p.m.) will receive a briefing on the response to the recent storms that impacted the state. The president and first lady will then meet with community leaders and families and thank local responders (1:55 p.m.) before traveling to Wilmington, Delaware (4 p.m.) where they’ll arrive and remain over the weekend. (7:10 p.m.)
Vice President Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff met with the staff and families of the US Embassy in Tanzania (3:40 a.m.). Harris and Emhoff then participated in an official departure ceremony from Tanzania ahead of their trip to Zambia (4:20 a.m.) where they participated in a welcome ceremony (6 a.m.). The vice president participated in the first of two bilateral meetings with President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia (7:15 a.m.) followed by the second at (7:25 a.m.). Harris and Hakainde then held a joint press conference (8:40 a.m.) ahead of a meeting between Harris, Emhoff and Speaker of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti. Finally, Harris and Emhoff will meet with the staff and families of US Embassy in Zambia (10:55 a.m.)
Emhoff also met with grant recipients of a USAID project to promote clean cooking technologies. (7 a.m.)
The House is out.
The Senate is out.
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