Political Rewind: Biden doubtful on voting rights; Kemp unveils budget; SCOTUS on vaccine mandate
Patricia Murphy — Politics reporter and columnist, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Dr. Kurt Young — Political science professor, Clark Atlanta University
Rene Alegria — CEO, Mundo Hispanico Digital
1. Three days after a speech on voting rights in Atlanta, President Joe Biden casts doubt on federal legislation.
- Biden remained doubtful about getting the stalled bills past the U.S. Senate's gridlock. Thursday he met with Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). But it appears the duo will not agree to change the Senate filibuster in order to pass the legislation.
- Back in Georgia, the Abrams campaign released a statement about her absence from Biden's speech in Atlanta.
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Patricia Murphy says the president missed out on a chance to prioritize this agenda.
2. Gov. Brian Kemp makes big-budget promises, appeals to base in State of the State Address.
- The governor delivered his final speech to the Georgia Assembly this term.
- Kemp asked for raises and spending to improve education and public safety ahead of his reelection campaign.
- He also outlined a conservative policy agenda consisting of wedge issues sure to invigorate the GOP base, including legislation on so-called "critical race theory" and constitutional carry.
3. The Buckhead cityhood movement appears stalled.
- Lt. Gov. Duncan assigned the legislation to the Senate Urban Affairs Committee, a state Senate committee controlled entirely by Democrats.
- This comes after Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens announced a new precinct for the area in an attempt to ease concerns about crime.
4. U.S. Supreme Court overturns Biden's vaccine mandate for businesses.
- The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration's vaccine-or-test rule Thursday, declaring that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had exceeded its authority.
- At the same time, the court upheld a regulation issued for almost all employees at hospitals, nursing homes and other health care providers that receive federal funds.
Next week on Political Rewind:
We revisit Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy Monday on the national holiday in his honor.