Biden news today: Jen Psaki returns to podium denying career move afoot as president lauds jobs report

Jen Psaki responds to resignation rumors

President Joe Biden delivered remarks this morning hailing another successful jobs reports that sees employment return to pre-pandemic levels and unemployment to drop to a level not seen since 1969.

While inflation remains a huge concern to Americans, Mr Biden has also ordered the release of up 1 million barrels of oil per day from the strategic petroleum reserve for the next six months in a bid to control prices that have spiked since the US and its allies strict sanctions on Russia after it began its war on Ukraine.

Answering questions from reporters on Thursday, Mr Biden said Russian president Vladimir Putin “seems to be self-isolated and there’s some indication that he has fired or put under house arrest some of his advisers”.

Meanwhile, new reports say that White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki will leave her post this spring to take up a job at MSNBC. It had long been speculated that Ms Psaki would be leaving the administration soon after more than a year in the role.

At Friday’s press briefing Ms Psaki refused to comment on her plans, other than to say she that if she left she would spend time with her children and would sleep.

Pressed on if she could do be an effective briefer with plans to join a media outlet Ms Psaki said she is abiding by all ethics rules and legal requirements.

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Vulnerable Dems plead with Biden to delay reopening asylum

The Biden administration’s decision to end sweeping asylum limits at the border this May demands satisfied by prominent Democrats eagerly awaiting the end of a program created by Donald Trump in the name of public health.

But it creates thorny political challenges for border-region Democrats who face the likely prospect of an increase in migrants who have been denied the chance to seek asylum in the United States for two years.

In unusually harsh criticisms of a president from their own party, some of the congressional Democrats with the toughest reelection prospects are warning that the administration is woefully unprepared to handle the situation.

Oliver O’Connell2 April 2022 05:45

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Pandemic asylum limits at US-Mexico border to end in May

The Centers for Disease Control announced Friday that it is ending a policy that limited asylum at the US-Mexico border to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The use of public health powers had been widely criticized by Democrats and immigration advocates as an excuse for the United States to shirk its obligations to provide for people fleeing persecution. The policy went into effect under President Donald Trump in March 2020. Since then, migrants trying to enter the US have been turned away more than 1.7 million times.

The policy, known as the Title 42 authority, named for a 1944 public health law to prevent communicable disease, will end on paper April 1, but it will not take effect until May 23, to allow border officials time to prepare.

Oliver O’Connell2 April 2022 04:45

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Amazon workers declare victory with company’s first-ever US union

Amazon workers in New York City have declared victory following preliminary results of a union election at a Staten Island warehouse, where employees have voted to form the first union among the company’s warehouse workers in the US, a bitter defeat for one of the world’s largest companies during the historic wave of labor organizing across the country.

Roughly 6,000 people work at the JFK8 warehouse, the company’s largest fulfillment center in New York.

Oliver O’Connell2 April 2022 03:45

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Oliver O’Connell2 April 2022 03:00

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House votes to decriminalize marijuana, but Senate unlikely to follow

Marijuana would be decriminalized at the federal level under the House approved Friday legislation as the Democrats made the case for allowing states to set their own policies on pot.

The bill is unlikely to become law since it is expected to die in the Senate. That would mirror what happened when a similar House-passed measure removing marijuana from the list of federally-controlled substances went nowhere in the Senate two years ago.

Still, Friday’s vote gave lawmakers the chance to state their view on a decriminalization push that appears to have broad support with voters across the country.

Oliver O’Connell2 April 2022 02:30

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Jobs report: unemployment falls to 3.6 percent

Unemployment in the US is now at a low of 3.6 percent, reaching a level it hasn’t sunk to since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As Andrew Feinberg reports:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “total non-farm payroll” rose by 431,000 from 1 March to 31 March, with “notable” gains across “leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, and manufacturing”.

The total number of unemployed persons in the US fell by 318,000 to a level of 6 million.

BLS said the March 2022 numbers are “little different” from those recorded in February 2020, the month before the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic sent the US and world economies reeling.

Oliver O’Connell2 April 2022 01:30

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ICYMI: Democratic congressman mocks Cawthorn’s “cocaine and orgies” during marijuana debate

Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin took a potshot at his Republican colleagues on the House floor while debating legislation that would legalize marijuana at the federal level.

The phrase “cocaine-fueled orgies” is now on the congressional record.

Oliver O’Connell2 April 2022 00:30

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Watch: Biden celebrates jobs, decries predecessor’s deficit

Joe Biden used his speech on the jobs report and his proposed budget to proclaim he is getting the deficit “under control” – this after the Trump administration’s “reckless policies and mismanagement”.

Oliver O’Connell1 April 2022 23:45

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US secures release of reserve held by Taliban

Safi Rauf, a 27-year-old naval reservist who has been held by the Taliban since December has been released after months of negotiations. As reported by CNN, he and his brothers co-founded a group that worked to evacuate people seeking to escape from Afghanistan after the fall of Kabul last year.

Bevan Hurley has the story.

Oliver O’Connell1 April 2022 23:00

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Biden statement on UN-mediated truce in Yemen

I welcome the announcement today of a two-month truce in the Yemen conflict. This initiative is a long-awaited reprieve for the Yemeni people. It entails a halt to all military activities by any party inside Yemen and across its borders, the entry of fuel ships into Hudaydah port, and the renewal of commercial flights to and from Saan’a to agreed destinations.

These are important steps, but they are not enough. The ceasefire must be adhered to, and as I have said before, it is imperative that we end this war. After seven years of conflict, negotiators must undertake the hard and necessary work to reach political compromises that can bring about an enduring future of peace for all the people of Yemen.

I am grateful for the leadership role of Saudi Arabia and Oman in bringing this initiative to fruition before the Holy Month of Ramadan. I am also grateful for the hard work of the Yemeni Government and the confidence they have placed in UN-led mediation.

The United States of America will work to deter threats to our friends and partners as we continue to strive for de-escalation and peace throughout the region. I wish the people of Yemen a peaceful Ramadan, and assure them of our ongoing commitment to help end this terrible war.

Oliver O’Connell1 April 2022 22:40

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