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Sen. Rand Paul questions Dr. Anthony Fauci at a hearing on Capitol Hill on January 11, 2022 in Washington, D.C.
Sen. Rand Paul questions Dr. Anthony Fauci at a hearing on Capitol Hill on January 11, 2022 in Washington, D.C.Greg Nash / Getty Images, file

Thursday’s Mini-Report, 5.12.22

Today’s edition of quick hits.


Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Aid to Ukraine will be delayed because of Rand Paul’s latest stunt: “The Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate tried to fast track a nearly $40 billion U.S. aid package to help Ukraine in its fight against Russia, only to be blocked by Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.”

* Baby formula: “The White House announced a series of measures Thursday designed to address a baby formula shortage across the United States, after President Joe Biden met with key retailers and manufacturers. The steps announced by the White House on Thursday include an effort to reduce red tape and to speed formula production, to make it easier to import formula from abroad and a plan to crack down on price gouging nationwide.”

* One million: “President Biden, anticipating the milestone of one million American lives lost to Covid-19, said in a formal statement on Thursday that the United States must stay committed to fighting a virus that has ‘forever changed’ the country.... Mr. Biden also issued a proclamation on Thursday ordering flags at the White House and all federal buildings to be flown at half-staff until next Monday to mark the one million deaths.”

* NATO: “Finland’s leaders announced Thursday their intention for the country to join NATO ‘without delay,’ a move that would bolster the Western military alliance and which prompted a swift vow of retaliation from Russia.”

* Intel matters: “The United States is sending billions of dollars in military equipment to Ukraine, including heavy artillery, drones and antitank missiles. Administration officials have publicly enumerated those contributions, practically down to the number of bullets. But they are far more cautious when describing another decisive contribution to Ukraine’s battlefield success: intelligence about the Russian military.”

* White House: “President Biden has authorized the National Archives and Records Administration to hand over an eighth tranche of presidential records from the Trump White House to the House committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.”

* The confirmation vote was 80 to 19: “Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, was confirmed to a second four-year term at the head of the central bank on Thursday — keeping him in one of the most consequential jobs in the United States and world economy at a moment of rapid inflation and deep uncertainty.”

* If you’re assuming the decision came from a Trump appointee, you’re right: “An appeals court panel ruled on Wednesday that California’s ban on the sale of semiautomatic weapons to adults under the age of 21 violated the right to bear arms found in the Second Amendment of the Constitution.”

* The end of an error: “The Trump Organization announced Wednesday it had closed on a $375 million sale of Trump International Hotel, a magnet for both lobbyists and ethics scrutiny during the Trump administration.”

* If voters cared about the deficit, Biden would be in great shape: “Federal revenue almost doubled in April compared with a year earlier, reaching a record and driving a monthly government surplus of $308 billion, which Treasury officials said also set a record for the largest monthly surplus.”

* A controversy worth watching: “Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee asked the Justice Department on Wednesday to investigate whether a Trump administration interior secretary engaged in possible criminal conduct while helping an Arizona developer get a crucial permit for a housing project.”

* Crystal Mason: “A Texas woman whose five-year prison sentence for illegally casting a provisional ballot in the 2016 election prompted outrage among voting-rights activists will have her case reconsidered by an appeals court, the state’s highest criminal court ruled on Wednesday.”

* I’m so old, I remember when conferences committees happened all the time. Now, they’re a novelty: “The novelty of a formal conference committee meeting was clear Thursday as lawmakers from the House and Senate took up economic competitiveness legislation targeted at China, a key priority for the White House and Hill leaders.”

See you tomorrow.