Good morning and welcome to 10 Things in Politics. If this was forwarded to you, sign up here.
I’m Insider senior politics reporter Grace Panetta, filling in for Brent Griffiths. You can send me tips at email@example.com or @grace_panetta on Twitter.
Here’s what we’re talking about today:
The GOP’s salivating over Hunter Biden – again.
Pence Bioreports Newses back at Trump over January 6.
Rudy Giuliani’s NY law license suspended over 2020 lies.
With Jordan Erb.
One thing to look out for today: Kamala Harris is making her first trip to the US-Mexico border as vice president.
1. GOP ITCHES TO GO AFTER HUNTER: The GOP only needs to win back a handful of seats to retake the House in 2022 – and they’re “salivating” to use that potential majority to relentlessly investigate the president’s son.
A refresher: Hunter Biden came under intense scrutiny during the 2020 campaign over everything from his business dealings to his struggles with substance abuse. (There’s no evidence his foreign dealings have influenced the administration.) Hunter’s also the subject of a DOJ investigation out of Delaware into his tax affairs.
Four key GOP lawmakers on committees of jurisdiction told us they’re ready to flex their oversight power if voters put them in a position to lead investigations again.
They’d try to nail the president on his immigration policies and on the origins of COVID-19 – but one lawmaker also said that Hunter’s dealings would be on Republicans’ top-10 list of priorities to explore.
This could become the new Benghazi probe in a GOP-led Congress: It would follow a well-worn playbook for the GOP. Remember: their lengthy investigation into the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi led to the discovery of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
Here’s how these inquiries would force the White House to play whack-a-mole.
2. Pence hits back at Trump: Former VP Mike Pence struck back at former President Donald Trump last night, saying that there is “no idea more un-American” than that one person could decide the presidency.
Pence pushed back on the president’s continued attacks on him during a speech at the Ronald Reagan Library. He also repeated the same argument he made on January 6 – that he feels he did his duty and followed the Constitution.
While Pence didn’t mention Trump by name during this portion of his speech, the remarks were clearly directed at Trump and his supporters.
Hardcore Trump loyalists are unlikely to ever support Pence if Trump considers running again in 2024 – but that group of people is shrinking. That’s why, as my colleague Tom LoBianco writes, Pence has to end his ride on the Trump train if he wants to ever create a movement of his own.
3. “We have a deal!”: A bipartisan group of 21 senators and President Joe Biden reached a major breakthrough in negotiations for an infrastructure bill.
The group agreed to a $1 trillion package, with $579 billion in new spending. This would fund transportation infrastructure, water, broadband, and energy-efficiency initiatives.
But the senators still have to get their colleagues on board with the bill. And for Democrats, the legislation has to be part of a package deal with a much larger budget bill.
“There ain’t going to be an infrastructure bill unless we have the reconciliation bill passed by the United States Senate,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday.
Biden, too, said of the infrastructure bill: “If this is the only thing that comes to me, I’m not signing it.”
4. Biden offers assistance after the tragic building collapse in Florida: The president signed an emergency declaration for the state of Florida, allowing FEMA to coordinate with recovery efforts after part of a high-rise apartment complex near Miami collapsed in the early hours of Thursday morning. (See before-and-after photos showing the devastation.)
Watch video footage of the tower crumbling to the ground.
5. Rudy Giuliani loses his law license – for now: A New York court officially suspended Giuliani’s license to practice law for two years.
In a scathing ruling, the court found “uncontroverted evidence” that Giuliani had “communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large” in lodging unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud while representing Trump.
This makes Giuliani the first lawyer to experience professional sanctions for presenting lies about the 2020 election. It’s a stunning rebuke for the former prosecutor known for taking down the New York mob in the late 1980s.
A deep dive from our DC bureau: The inside story of Giuliani’s descent from ‘America’s mayor’ to presidential lawyer and now an FBI target.
6. Trump boasts about “big crowds” at a rally … that isn’t happening until tomorrow: Trump’s getting back on the rally circuit after laying low for the past few months, and is already setting high expectations for crowd sizes. (Historically a dangerous game for the Trump team.)
“Big crowds in the Great State of Ohio this weekend for the Trump rally,” Trump wrote in a Wednesday night statement about his planned Saturday rally outside Cleveland.
Hopefully this weekend won’t be a repeat of this headline from June 2020: “Trump had a meltdown and yelled at aides backstage when he realized how empty his rally in Tulsa was, reports say.”
7. Biden taps Cindy McCain for ambassadorship: If she’s confirmed by the Senate, McCain, an Arizona businesswoman and the widow of the late Republican Sen. John McCain, will represent the US at the UN’s Agencies for Food and Agriculture. More on McCain’s career and appointment here.
8. So … wanna live in France?: Its tax policies could one day entice you to make the move, according to financial planner Brian Dunhill.
He suggests eventually retiring there – because France gives retiring expats one of the best double taxation agreements in the world. The financial guru breaks down what that means here.
9. Drought maps show the West is a ticking time bomb: The western US is withering under its worst drought in at least 20 years – possibly in 1,200 years. The hottest months lie ahead, and early extreme weather could foreshadow another devastating fire season. Look at the maps here.
10. New Yorker documents his trip to the Midwest – and goes viral: One of Insider’s latest travel stories has been shared widely this week. Since everyone’s talking about it, we figured we’d share it with you, too. Behold: “I’m a New Yorker who visited the Midwest for the first time. Here are 15 things that surprised me.”
Today’s trivia question: Today would have been the 65th birthday of Anthony Bourdain. Which American politician famously joined him for a meal in Vietnam? Email your answer and a suggested question to firstname.lastname@example.org – yes, Brent will be back next week.
Yesterday’s answer: Former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley was a professional basketball player.
Read the original article on Business Insider