White House Correspondent Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer gives her take on the latest news from the White House

THE WHITE HOUSE

Biden’s multi-agency effort to support and expand the trucking industry will strengthen in the next 30 days.

DIGITAL ASSETS

Colorado has become the new state to accept tax payments in the form of cryptocurrencies. 

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

“More Russian forces, not fewer” are at the Ukrainian border, according to State Department Spokesperson Ned Price.

*All this and more ahead!

Good Morning DC!

Biden has greenlit the request by the January 6th Committee for the release of the White House visitor logs Donald Trump wanted to exercise executive privilege over. The National Archives is now under Biden’s order to release the logs within 15 days.

Omicron cases are declining.

  • The current seven-day daily average of COVID cases is about 147,000 cases per day, a decrease of about 40 percent over the previous week.
  • The seven-day average of hospital admissions is about 9,500 per day, a decrease of about 28 percent over the previous week.
  • The seven-day average of daily deaths are about 2,200 per day, which is a decrease of about 9 percent over the previous week.

BURN AFTER READING?

“Any journalist who transcribes an interview with a confidential source and puts it up on Otter has got to live with the possibility that Otter will wind up giving that transcript to the FBI.” [Full story]

THE WHITE HOUSE

Today, Biden is going to Cleveland, Ohio where he will talk about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Two months ago, President Biden launched a multi-agency effort to support and expand access to truck driving jobs.

The Biden Administration is taking additional actions over the next 30 days to support truck drivers and their industry, geared towards the future.

  • They will announce the results of the Labor Department’s 90-day Apprenticeship Challenge and announce new partnerships which will continue to expand apprenticeships in the trucking industry.
  • They will sign a charter document for the Women of Trucking Advisory Board. This week, Secretary Buttigieg will sign the charter document officially starting the Women of Trucking Advisory Board. This task force will help inform efforts to increase the number of women in trucking. 
  • They will sign charter documents to form a new task force to investigate predatory truck leasing arrangements
  • They will deliver a comprehensive new action plan, informed by a series of Department of Labor and Transportation listening sessions, outlining any further administrative and regulatory actions the Biden Administration can take to support quality trucking jobs.

DIGITAL ASSETS

“OK, Boomers…” Nayib Bukele, president of El Salvador, started in his public response to the  Accountability for Cryptocurrency in El Salvador (ACES) Act , legislation which will require a State Department report on El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender, as well as a plan to mitigate potential risks to the US financial system.

“You have zero jurisdiction on a sovereign and independent nation. We are not your colony, your back yard, or your front yard. Stay out of our internal affairs,” Bukele continued in his tweet. “Don’t try to control something you can’t control.”

“El Salvador recognizing Bitcoin as official currency opens the door for money laundering cartels and undermines US interests,” said Bill Cassidy (R-LA) in a joint statement with Senators Jim Risch (R-ID) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), ranking member and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, respectively. “If the United States wishes to combat money laundering and preserve the role of the dollar as a reserve currency of the world, we must tackle this issue head on,” added Cassidy. 

TODAY’S CRYPTO PRICES

Bitcoin (BTC):$43,236.69

Ether (ETH):$3,058.28

SOL:$98.55

LUNA: $55.48

Following the invocation of the Emergencies Act on Monday which gives powers to the government to freeze, without a court order, bank accounts funding the protests, Canadian federal police issued an order to blacklist reportedly 34 crypto wallets linked to the Freedom Convoy.

After Arizona and Wyoming, Colorado is the next state to allow people to pay their taxes with crypto. 

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

According to State Department Spokesperson Ned Price, “More Russian forces, not fewer” are at the border with Ukraine, and they’re “moving into a fighting position.” He added that US officials’ “concern on this is very high.”

Ten Republican senators, including Senators Rubio and Collins, have sent a letter to Blinken expressing that efforts to ensure the safety of American citizens in Ukraine are “wholly inadequate,” requesting more information on the plans to evacuate citizens “before, during and after an invasion.” 

Today, VP Kamala Harris and Secretary Blinken will travel to Munich, Germany, to attend the four-day Munich Security Conference. 

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry will also attend the Munich Security Conference and discuss the nexus between the climate crisis and global security.

In the UK, Sir Keir Starmer deems the government’s plan to end free antigen tests  a “mistake”

And that’s a wrap for this Thursday morning, February 17, 2022. Good Morning DC will be back tomorrow to bring you the latest first. 

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Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent. Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department...