10 Things in Politics: Trumpworld questions McCarthy's future

Good morning! Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics, your weekday look at the biggest stories in DC and beyond. Sign up here to receive this newsletter.

Send tips to [email protected] or tweet me at @BrentGriffiths.

Here’s what we’re talking about:

  • Trump aides are casting doubt on Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s prospects for House speaker
  • The Republican Party’s push for voting restrictions may come back to bite it
  • EXCLUSIVE: Maj. Gen. William Walker, the new House sergeant at arms, talks about protecting the Capitol and reopening it to the public

One thing to look out for today: President Joe Biden is set to speak about the April jobs report at 11:30 a.m. in the East Room.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy and then-President Donald Trump in 2020.Photo by Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/POOL/Getty Images

1. TRUMPWORLD SEES BLOOD IN THE WATER: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy may be breathing a sigh of relief now that Rep. Liz Cheney is about to be jettisoned from his leadership team. But some Trump aides are saying not so fast. Sure, former President Donald Trump nicknamed McCarthy “my Kevin.” And yes, the two may have just yucked it up at Mar-a-Lago. But still, Trumpworld says McCarthy doesn’t have a glide path to the speaker’s gavel.

President Joe Biden greeting Supreme Court Justice John Roberts before addressing a joint session of Congress. Maj. Gen. William Walker is right behind him.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

4. INSIDER EXCLUSIVE: Top House security official vows the Capitol will “never, ever be breached again”: Maj. Gen. William Walker, the new House sergeant at arms, committed to making the US Capitol more accessible to the public after the coronavirus pandemic closed it off to many and the deadly January 6 riot led to fencing around the building, some of which remains. He didn’t set a timeline for when the public would return but said his team was working “with a sense of urgency.” More from Insider’s interview with the first Black House sergeant at arms.

  • There will be some “visible” changes, Walker said of his security plans: “We’ve never had another 9/11,” he said. “We never had another Pearl Harbor. The United States learns from experiences. We adapt. We learn and we make changes. We adapt and modify.”

5. Biden made three pledges this week that will shape the $4 trillion bare-knuckle fight over infrastructure: Biden vowed to not hike taxes on families earning less than $400,000, repeated his desire to work with Republicans, and refused to increase the deficit to pay for his massive plans. But dissension among Democrats illustrates just how heavy of a lift awaits him.

6. Experts predict a patent waiver is unlikely to quickly boost vaccine supply: Health experts applauded the White House’s decision to back a petition easing intellectual-property protections for COVID-19 vaccines. While some questioned its power, others suggested that backing a waiver sent a message to drugmakers and developing countries, The Washington Post reports. The waiver is not a done deal, as other countries could derail the process.

7. Washington moves of the week: A former Environmental Protection Agency head under Trump will continue to influence conservative environmental policy from a powerful right-wing think tank. Here are some of the other biggest moves this week.

Former EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is joining the conservative Heritage Foundation as a visiting fellow; former Sen. Doug Jones, a Democrat of Alabama, has joined the government-affairs firm Arent Fox; and Luke Ball, who recently left Gaetz’s office, is now the communications director for Rep. Pat Fallon, a Texas Republican.

And in the media, Yamiche Alcindor was named moderator of the PBS current-affairs show “Washington Week.”

Read the rest of our exclusive list here.

8. The guy who crowdfunded $25 million to build Trump’s border wall is facing tax-fraud charges: Prosecutors alleged that Brian Kolfage, who was already indicted on federal fraud charges last year, filed a false tax return when he reported an income of $63,574 in 2019, despite receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars that year through his We Build the Wall project and other organizations. More on the latest news here.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta in 2019.AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File

9. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta won’t run for reelection: Bottoms, who was considered to be Biden’s running mate, said she would not seek a second term later this year. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution called the move a “shocking reversal” for a rising Democratic star. Bottoms said she was confident she would win if she ran, but she has also faced criticism over a rise in violent crime in the city.

10. Some aren’t over the moon with Elon Musk hosting “SNL”: Politicians and unions criticized Musk, the world’s third-richest person, when he stumped for sketch ideas for this week’s show. Even some cast members seem less than thrilled about the Tesla CEO’s star turn. There’s a long tradition of host-related angst.

Today’s trivia question: Sunday is Mother’s Day. With that in mind, becoming president of the United States would probably make anyone’s mom gush. But who was the first president whose mom was able to vote for him? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at [email protected]

  • Yesterday’s answer: Attorney General Charles Bonaparte, grandnephew of Napoleon, created a small force of detectives at the DOJ in 1908. It’s considered the forerunner of the modern-day FBI.

That’s all for now. Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

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