On The Money — Disney loses special tax status
President Biden has sued Florida Republicans for revoking Disney’s special tax status. We’ll also look at Biden’s response to sky-high gas prices and a new Fed study looking at the impact of ending the unemployment benefit extension.
But first, find out why the Dow Jones fell nearly 1,000 points.
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Biden tears up GOP for targeting Disney
President Biden slammed Florida Republicans at a pair of fundraisers Thursday for targeting Disney after the company voiced opposition to a new state law restricting discussion of sexual orientation and sex. gender identity in the classroom.
“I respect the Conservatives. There’s nothing conservative about deciding that you’re going to throw Disney out of its current position because, Mickey Mouse? In fact, you think we shouldn’t be able to say, you know, ‘gay’?” Biden said at a recent fundraiser in Seattle.
- The Florida House of Representatives voted Thursday to eliminate a special district that allows Disney to operate as an independent government around its Florida theme parks, and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed the bill into law Friday.
- The White House has previously condemned what opponents called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, but Biden’s remarks represented his first public comments on Republican efforts to target Disney.
- Earlier, White House senior deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that the administration opposes “the governor taking action against a company because of his opposition to this project. of law”.
The background: The elimination of the special district, which allows Disney to act as its own government and provide services to parts of Orange and Osceola counties, will not take effect until June 2023. Local officials warned the change would saddle area residents with new property taxes to fund those services.
Morgan Chalfant of The Hill has more on Biden’s comments here.
PAIN AT THE PUMP
Five actions Biden has taken in response to high gas prices
Gasoline prices are both a major concern for American consumers and a constant drag on President Biden’s approval rating, prompting the administration to take several steps to counter the pain at the pump.
A number of factors impact gas prices, and experts note that many of them are beyond the White House’s control. Still, the administration has taken several steps in hopes of providing temporary or short-term relief.
- Some of these measures include the release of tens of millions of barrels of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve and the removal of restrictions on the sale of fuel with higher ethanol content.
- Biden also called on oil-producing countries to increase production and pressured U.S. oil companies to take advantage of currently unused leases.
- A recent poll indicated broad approval of Biden’s decision to ban oil imports from Russia following his invasion of Ukraine, which he warned could exacerbate energy costs. But the same poll indicated that 70% of those polled disapprove of Biden’s handling of gas prices.
Zack Budryk of The Hill has more here.
Read more: Why gasoline is so much more expensive in California than in Texas
NEW UI STUDY
Unemployment benefit cuts haven’t spurred job growth, report says
States that prematurely ended enhanced unemployment compensation programs introduced during the pandemic did not experience greater job growth compared to states that retained them.
A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has contradicted the theory that extended benefits deter people from returning to work, which many Republican heads of state argued when they cut the extended benefits granted by the federal government.
Twenty-six states cut expanded unemployment benefits as soon as the labor market improved in the first half of 2021, with job postings hitting record highs.
But the report found that the cuts were only associated with a slight increase in hiring activity, but no difference in measured employment.
Kelsey Carolan of The Hill has more here.
MUSK AT DAWN
House GOP press Twitter on offers to buy Elon Musk
House Republicans are calling on Twitter’s board to retain all records related to Elon Musk’s bid to buy the company, according to a letter sent Friday.
The request, led by House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and signed by 17 colleagues, raises the possibility that Republicans will probe Twitter’s board decisions regarding the offer if the GOP regains majority power in the fall.
- The letter adds to Republicans’ unsubstantiated accusations that tech companies, especially Twitter, censor content in ways that demonstrate anti-conservative bias.
- Musk outlined a vision for a less burdensome content moderation platform if he succeeds in his bid to buy the social media company. Republicans, including Jordan and others who signed the letter, applauded Musk’s bid to buy Twitter based largely on his view of less content moderation.
Check out more here from Rebecca Klar of The Hill.
INVITATION TO A VIRTUAL EVENT
The hills Durability Imperative—Wednesday, April 27 and Thursday, April 28—2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT daily
Sustainability is not optional, it is imperative and everyone has a role to play. On April 27-28, The Hill will host its second annual festival bringing together political leaders and practitioners from across the sustainability ecosystem, featuring interviews with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Environmental Quality Council Chair Brenda Mallory, actress Sigourney Weaver and After. RSVP today to reserve your spot.
Good to know
Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s (right) order to thoroughly inspect every commercial truck at the Mexican border this month has yielded little: no drugs, weapons or anything type of contraband, according to a Texas Tribune report, citing Texas department data. of Public Security (DPS).
Abbott ordered increased inspections earlier this month, citing a surge of migrants at the border and a delayed response from President Biden. After reaching agreements with each of Mexico’s governors to increase border patrols and security, Abbott lifted the order last Friday.
Here’s what else we’ve got our eyes on:
- New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced Friday that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will deploy 60 zero-emission electric buses to serve New York’s five boroughs, a step in the agency’s broader effort to eliminate phase out buses running on fossil fuels.
- Ukrainian officials said on Friday that the country’s postal service had been the target of a cyberattack following the sale of stamps depicting a Ukrainian soldier giving a middle finger to a Russian warship, according to Reuters.
- A year after President Biden announced a goal to dramatically reduce global warming emissions by the end of the decade, experts warn the country is not on track to meet them.
IN SERVICE NEXT WEEK
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra testifies before the Senate Banking Committee at 10 a.m.
- A Senate banking subcommittee holds a hearing on bottlenecks and inflation at 2:30 p.m.
- Punchbowl News hosts a chat with Rep. Patrick McHenry (RN.C.) at 9 a.m.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra testifies before the House Financial Services Committee at 10 a.m.
- Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo testifies before the Senate Commerce Committee on the Commerce Department’s fiscal year 2023 budget request at 10 a.m.
- Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen delivers a speech on lessons learned from recovering from the COVID-19 recession at 9:30 a.m.
- The House Financial Services Committee is holding a hearing on oversight of the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) at 10 a.m.
That’s all for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finances page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you on Monday.
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