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California Republican John Duarte has earned a reputation for independence during his first six months in Congress. He embraces traditional conservative priorities, including border security and regulatory reform, but he’s comfortable breaking with his party when it makes sense for his district.
“I understand that imperfect legislation that improves matters is better than ideological windmill-tilting,” Duarte said in an interview on Capitol Hill. “I’m here taking time off my business and from my family back in the district to serve as a citizen legislator and then go home. And I want to accomplish something while I’m here.”
Duarte, who won his seat by a razor-thin margin, was one of only two Republicans to vote against the GOP border bill last month, arguing the legislation’s worker status verification mandate would hurt farmers and farmworkers back home. His district sits in the predominately Latino San Joaquin Valley, which is known for its extensive farmland.
Duarte’s background as a plant nurseryman and farmer shapes his views on immigration, agriculture, and environmental policy. He was locked in a yearslong legal battle — which ended in a $1.1 million civil settlement — after the federal government accused him of destroying wetlands when plowing. Duarte contends the dispute is an example of government overreach harming farmers, and says he’s committed to reining in administrative agencies.
In addition to wheat, Duarte farms crops like pistachios and walnuts. He’s bringing his focus on specialty crops — or those that aren’t row crops like corn and soybeans — to the House Agriculture Committee as lawmakers write the next five-year farm bill, focused on expanding crop insurance and credit to a wider range of produce. Read Bloomberg Government’s full interview with Duartefrom Ellen M. Gilmer and Maeve Sheehey.
- President Joe Biden departs the White House at 12:45 a.m. to travel to New York City for a 4 p.m. live interview with MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace.
- Biden will participate in two campaign receptions in New York City, at 5:30 p.m. and 7:40 p.m.
- The president will arrive back at the White House at 10:50 p.m.
- Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will gaggle aboard Air Force One en route to New York City.
Lawmakers and Regulators
Wall Street’s biggest banks all passed the Federal Reserve’s annual stress test, clearing a key hurdle toward paying billions of dollars to stockholders — but with a mixed picture for potentially sweetening those rewards.
House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-Va.) is proposing legislation to crack down on the rise in child labor law violations as Congress remains divided on how to address the issue.
Energy regulators have approved the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s request to resume construction, less than a month after Congress authorized all permits and blocked all legal challenges to the controversial project.
The Alliance for Automotive Innovation plans to submit comments to the EPA which criticize proposed caps on carbon dioxide emissions at 82 grams per mile in model year 2032. Those limits “are neither reasonable nor achievable in the timeframe covered,” the lobbying group wrote in an executive summary of comments shared Wednesday.
Tech and AI
The technological rivalry between the US and China is heating up — and nowhere more fiercely than in AI. Washington’s effort to curtail Chinese access to the powerful chips needed to train new AI models — nipping Beijing’s ambitions in the bud — shows how far the US will go to defend its advantage.
The Defense Department’s office responsible for AI integration is leveraging its acquisition authority to work faster on projects with the private sector. Rapid deployment of new data analytics and AI tools is a primary concern for the Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office.
An analysis by defense and intelligence agencies of debris recovered after a Chinese spy balloon was shot down off the South Carolina coast in February found that the craft had been filled with commercially available American equipment, some of it for sale online, and interspersed with more specialized Chinese sensors, the Wall Street Journal reported.
More News We’re Reading
Some 2.2 million people moved to the Southeast in just over two years. That’s roughly the population of Houston. For the first time, six fast-growing states in the South — Florida, Texas, Georgia, the Carolinas, and Tennessee — are contributing more to the national GDP than the Northeast in government figures going back to the 1990s. The switch happened during the pandemic and shows no signs of reverting.
The government approved the potential sale to Poland of Patriot missile defense equipment valued at as much as $15 billion, as Warsaw seeks to bolster its own security and that of NATO’s eastern flank amid Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said one of the reasons she hopes to travel to China is to establish contact with “a new group of leaders” as she reiterated calls for the world’s two largest economies to work together on crucial global challenges.
The US must lift sanctions against China if the Biden administration wants high-level communication between the Chinese and American armed forces, a Chinese diplomat said on Wednesday.
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