10 Things in Politics: This GOP senator's everywhere in Biden's DC
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Here's what you need to know:
- This is the most important senator you've probably never heard of
- Rep. Matt Gaetz once participated in a "Harry Potter" themed sex competition, a source tells Insider
- 533 million Facebook users' phone numbers and personal data have been leaked online
1. TODD YOUNG ON HIS BIPARTISAN PITCH: Sen. Todd Young of Indiana led the Senate GOP's campaign arm. He's also one of the few Republicans to score an invite to the Biden White House. And he's currently working with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on legislation to counter China.
- ICYMI: We also recently profiled Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Be sure to listen to the pep talk voicemails Secretary Pete leaves for staffers.
Here's a peek at some of the highlights:
- A former aide to the legendary Sen. Dick Lugar, Young sees himself as "unapologetically pragmatic." He also wants to reshape the GOP: "A temperamental, dispositional conservative - whatever language you might choose - who believes that our party clearly needs to adapt to the times …"
Just for kicks: Young, who played soccer at the Naval Academy, returned to pitch at his Indiana high school with Insider's Adam Wren. Take a look at the results.
A different kind of locker room talk: Young says the exclusive senators-only locker room is where he and Schumer cooked up their China proposal. (After Schumer's 7 a.m. workout on the stationary bike.)
- Working with Democratic colleagues is "the only way to get things done in a body where you need 60 votes," Young says: "I'm also oftentimes approached to cosponsor thoughtful, creative, and constructive legislation because I've dug my well before I'm thirsty - that is, develop those personal relationships with my colleagues before needing them."
- They are noticing: "I do think he is growing into a very capable legislator," Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, a close confidant of Biden, told Insider of his friend Young.
2. Matt Gaetz's Florida sex game included a "Harry Potter" challenge: While in the Florida House, the now-congressman and other Florida lawmakers could earn "extra points" in a sex competition for sleeping with married legislators or spending the night at a college sorority house, a GOP source told Insider. The existence of the "game" among male lawmakers was the "worst kept secret in Tallahassee."
- Right now, the embattled congressman has few defenders: Insider reached out to 30 Republicans who either know or have worked with Gaetz. Their collective silence was deafening. The Republican lawmaker's communications director resigned on Friday amid a Justice Department investigation into possible sex trafficking charges against Gaetz. Gaetz himself remains defiant.
- Even SNL came after the congressman: "I'm a cartoon skunk, you're a United States congressman. Be better, OK?" Pepé Le Pew (played by Kate McKinnon) told Gaetz (Pete Davidson) in the cold open of a fictional talk show hosted by Britney Spears. Watch the full skit here.
3. These are the nine hurdles Biden's infrastructure plan would have to overcome: Biden's $2.2 trillion infrastructure plan faces an uphill journey in Congress. Everything from a tight calendar and the Senate parliamentarian to progressives wanting more and moderates pushing for a bipartisan bill could derail passage. Read more about the outlook for Biden's package in our exclusive report.
- A key Republican says there's a possible deal to be had if Biden jettisons most of the plan: Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri said on "Fox News Sunday" that "there's an easy win" if the White House would cut the package down to only what's been traditionally considered infrastructure.
4. Experts disagree on whether a fourth COVID wave is coming: Cases are climbing in the Midwest in states like Nebraska and Minnesota as well as in the Northeast - in Delaware, Vermont, and Maine. The Washington Post reports that the latest increase is on par with what was seen last July. But top pandemic experts say vaccines will make a huge difference this time around.
- Key quote: "I think that there's enough immunity in the population that you're not going to see a true fourth wave of infection," Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on "Face the Nation."
5. We dug through the financial disclosure records lawmakers filed in recent days:
- Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota, one of Congress' wealthiest members, disclosed investing between $250,000 and $500,000 in a Cayman Islands fund. Phillips' office said the fund was created by J.P. Morgan in 2017 and he is trying to put all eligible investments in a blind trust.
- Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, bought up to $250,000 in Facebook, up to $100,000 in Amazon.com. He also sold up to $250,000 worth of stock in Berkshire Hathaway, billionaire Warren Buffett's holding company.
6. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:
- 10:15 a.m.: Chauvin's trial resumes
- 11:00 a.m.: Dr. Anthony Fauci and other members of the White House's pandemic team hold a news briefing
- 1:00 p.m.: Biden speaks about Easter at the White House
- 1:30 p.m.: Jen Psaki holds the White House's daily news briefing
7. 533 million Facebook users' phone numbers and personal data have been leaked online: The exposed data includes personal information of users from 106 countries, including over 32 million records on users in the US. Facebook said the breach was scraped due to a vulnerability the company patched in 2019. But even old data can be valuable to cybercriminals, experts say. A phone number for CEO Mark Zuckerberg was among the leaked data.
8. Republican lawmakers are touting money from Biden's relief plan. None of them voted for it: Freshman GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina is the latest lawmaker to tout such money. He pointed to $2.5 million in health funding coming to his district. A Cawthorn spokesman said Biden's $1.9 trillion law "does significantly more harm than good."
9. Obama and Trump clash over MLB's decision to pull All-Star game: The two former presidents voiced opposite opinions over Major League Baseball's decision to move this summer's game from Atlanta over Georgia's new voting law. Trump urged his supporters to boycott MLB along with other major companies like Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines. More on the dueling messages here.
- Obama voiced his support for MLB's decision on Twitter:
10. People of color swept all four individual film acting categories at the SAG awards: "Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis' performances in 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' earned them wins in the lead male and female film role categories, respectively. And Daniel Kaluuya ('Judas and the Black Messiah') and Youn Yuh-jung ('Minari') took home the male and female supporting role awards." This is the first time this has happened in SAG history.
- The Screen Actors Guild Awards are often viewed as an Oscars preview: Here's the complete list of winners.
One last thing.
Today's trivia question: Who was the first president to start the White House's Easter egg roll? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at email@example.com.
- Friday's answer: Republican Rep. Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to Congress and was sworn in on April 2, 1917.
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