10 Things in Politics: Kamala Harris under pressure

·6 min read
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Vice President Kamala Harris. Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Good morning! Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. I'm Brent Griffiths. Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox each day.

Send your tips and thoughts to bgriffiths@insider.com or tweet me @BrentGriffiths.

Here's what you need to know:

1. PRESSING THE VEEP: Progressives say Kamala Harris' possible future ambitions provide an opening now. They're hoping to push her and, in turn, move the Biden administration to the left on issues like wage increases, climate change, and criminal justice reform. Read our exclusive report.

Here's what's already happening:

Harris could play a key role in the $15 per hour minimum wage fight: 23 progressive House lawmakers want her to overrule the Senate parliamentarian, who said raising the minimum wage violates the budget procedure that Democrats are using to fast-track Biden's relief plan. The White House has already ruled out such an action.

The left could also seize on areas Biden and Harris disagreed on during the campaign: Harris supported more liberal positions on healthcare, marijuana legalization, and eviction bans during the pandemic.

  • No one expects Harris to defy Biden, but progressives see her as a leverage point they can use to hopefully drag the White House to their desired result.

Read our full report here.

2. A New York congresswoman is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign: Fellow Democrat Rep. Kathleen Rice became the first member of the state's delegation and the highest-ranking official to call for the governor's ouster following multiple allegations of sexual harassment. More of the growing list here.

  • A third woman says Cuomo made unwanted advances: Anna Ruch, now 33, told The New York Times that Cuomo made unwanted advances during a 2019 wedding reception. She said Cuomo placed a hand on her bare lower back, called her "aggressive" when she removed it, and later placed his hands on her cheek while asking to kiss her. Cuomo's office has not directly addressed Ruch's accusation.

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Mark Barden, the father of a Sandy Hook Elementary School victim, is embraced by then-Vice President Joe Biden in the White House Rose Garden in April 2013. Win McNamee/Getty Images

3. Biden has a second chance at gun-control legislation after failing as VP: People who know Biden say the Obama-era failures to pass new laws after the Sandy Hook shooting remain a reason why he won't let up.

  • Key quote: "I have to imagine that our failure to pass background checks in 2013 is a motivating factor for the president, as it is for all the rest of us," Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat who represented Newtown in the House of Representatives at the time of the shooting, told Insider.

  • The White House may act alone: Possible executive actions include directives to "halt untraceable 'ghost guns,' boost funds for community-based violence intervention programs, and clarify which sellers need to perform a background check," per my colleague Nicole Gaudiano.

More on the president's journey, and what he told the family of a Sandy Hook victim after the failed Senate vote.

4. Congress wants to pass the $1.9 trillion stimulus before aid expires: Senate Democrats want to pass the package quickly, but cannot afford to lose a single vote if Republicans universally oppose it. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called it a "bonanza of partisan spending." Read our exclusive report for the other sticking points that could derail a deal.

5. Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to tax people worth over $50 million: The Democrat introduced legislation targeting "ultra-millionaires" by imposing an annual 2% tax on individuals with net worths between $50 million and $1 billion, and more on those wealthier. Some Senate Democrats support the proposal, but the White House has not signed on. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the plan "has very difficult implementation problems."

6. The S&P 500 had its best day since June: The Dow soared more than 600 points (2%) as Wall Street swooned on reopening optimism following the approval of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine. Major tech companies rebounded from losses. Fewer than 40 stocks in the S&P 500 posted losses on Monday, per CNBC.

7. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:

  • 12:30 p.m.: Jen Psaki holds the White House daily news briefing.

  • 2:15 p.m.: The Senate votes on Gina Raimondo's nomination to be Commerce secretary.

  • 4:15 p.m.: Biden speaks on the pandemic.

8. The government is struggling to get VCs to snitch on China: "In Silicon Valley, the front lines of the US-China tech trade war, awareness of a tip line for suspicious investments in US tech firms is negligible at best. In interviews with more than two dozen venture capitalists, tech execs, and other industry insiders, the most common reaction to the topic of the tip line was obliviousness." Read our report.

9. 67 Black female CEOs talk about their time in corporate America: "Insider asked these executives, from leading companies like Google, Salesforce, and Amazon, to reflect on their rise to the top, the struggle of being a Black woman in white corporate America, and the best career advice they've received. Their answers - raw and poignant, emotional, and inspiring."

10. A 10-second video could make you a millionaire: Welcome to the world of online collectibles where celebrities like Mark Cuban, Grimes, and Lindsay Lohan are selling non-fungible tokens, a special class of digital currency that often doubles as a collector's item since they cannot be duplicated. They include everything from artwork to collectible sports cards to virtual real estate. Last week, a 10-second video artwork sold for $6.6 million. Nike, the NBA, and other big brands are already generating their own NFT-related goods.

One last thing.

Today's trivia question: We're sticking with the Women's History Month theme. Who was the first woman to win a Grammy for Album Of The Year? Hint: It was in 1961. Email your guess and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.

  • Yesterday's answer: This proved to be a bit of a stumper. Two Republicans can claim the title for State of the Union response history. Rep. Charlotte Reid of Illinois made history in 1968 as the first woman to help deliver a response - the much larger group included future president George H.W. Bush. It took until 1995 for then-New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman to deliver one solo.

Read the original article on Business Insider