Today’s edition of quick hits.
* In the Oval Office: “President Biden sat down with Speaker Kevin McCarthy at the White House on Tuesday in a critical face-to-face confrontation that will frame their showdown over the federal debt and spending in the weeks before the nation is set to default on its obligations for the first time in history.”
* A notable return to Capitol Hill: “California Sen. Dianne Feinstein is returning to the Senate after a nearly three-month absence due to health problems, according to a spokesperson for the senator. Feinstein is expected to cast a vote Wednesday — her first recorded vote since Feb. 16 — after missing 91 floor votes while recovering from shingles, according to an NBC News tally.”
* In Austin: “The Texas House unanimously voted to expel Bryan Slaton on Tuesday, one day after the Royse City Republican submitted his resignation after an internal investigation determined that he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with an aide. Upon a 147-0 vote after a solemn, sometimes angry and at times tearful recounting of Slaton’s inappropriate relationship with a 19-year-old aide, Slaton became the first member of the Texas Legislature to be cast out of office since 1927.”
* It’s the word “radioactive” that stood out for me: “Roads in Florida could soon include phosphogypsum — a radioactive waste material from the fertilizer industry — under a bill lawmakers have sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis. Conservation groups are urging DeSantis to veto the bill, saying phosphogypsum would hurt water quality and put road construction crews at a higher risk of cancer.”
* This case will apparently be refiled in a different jurisdiction: “A former Fox News producer who has accused the network of coercing her into providing misleading testimony has dismissed one of her lawsuits against the company, at least for now. In a court filing on Friday in Delaware Superior Court, Abby Grossberg, who worked for the hosts Maria Bartiromo and Tucker Carlson, said that she was voluntarily dismissing the complaint without prejudice, which means the case can be brought again.”
* A bill we’ve been following: “On Friday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law a bill that gives Republicans the power to effectively meddle in state investigations should they dislike the prosecutor leading them. Senate Bill 92 establishes an oversight board, appointed by the governor and other state officials, that will have the power to remove or hamper the work of prosecutors the panel deems incapable of doing the job they want these prosecutors to do.”
* A case we’ve been following: “We just learned which judges will be handling the Texas abortion pill litigation next — and it’s a bad sign for abortion rights. All three of the judges on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel were appointed by Republican presidents, and two of them were appointed by Donald Trump. Their conservative bona fides are well established, with one of them even referring to the ‘moral tragedy of abortion’ in an opinion.”
* Elon Musk continues to undermine his own credibility by elevating baseless ideas, including a tweet today touting a discredited report from 2021 about Mark Zuckerberg and the 2020 elections.
See you tomorrow.