By MICHELLE STODDART, LAUREN KING and KATE PASTOR, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — This is Day 41 of the administration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Here is how the day is unfolding. All times Eastern:
Feb 26, 10:48 am
Biden offers support to Ukraine on anniversary of Crimea annexation
In honor of the seventh anniversary of the Russian invasion of Crimea on Friday, Biden released a statement affirming the United States support of Ukraine.
“The United States continues to stand with Ukraine and its allies and partners today, as it has from the beginning of this conflict. On this somber anniversary, we reaffirm a simple truth: Crimea is Ukraine,” Biden said.
Biden added that the U.S. will never recognize Crimea as part of Russia, and will “continue to work to hold Russia accountable for its abuses and aggression in Ukraine.”
Feb 26, 10:34 am
Biden still committed to $15 minimum wage, top WH economic adviser says
Biden’s top economic adviser Brian Deese said Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the White House and congressional leadership are on the next path forward on minimum wage after the decision by the Senate parliamentarian Thursday that a $15 minimum wage hike could not be included in the American Rescue Plan if passed by reconciliation.
“We were disappointed by the parliamentarian’s ruling,” he said, adding that Biden put minumum wage in his American Rescue Plan “because we believe is a justified, and in fact urgently needed, step forward. Passing the minimum wage would get a raise to 27 million Americans,” Deese said.
But Deese would not bite when asked if the White House was rethinking the filibuster after the decision, only saying the White House was working with congressional allies to figure out the best way forward.
“We’re going to consult with congressional allies, leadership to talk about a path forward on how we can make progress urgently on what is an urgent issue. At the same time, we need to act on this rescue plan. As hopeful as we all are about the trajectory of the virus, there are real risks and we need to act urgently now,” Deese said.
“The president has campaigned on the $15 minimum wage, he believes in it, he’s committed to getting it done,” Deese said.
Feb 26, 10:05 am
Biden to travel to Houston after deadly storms
Biden will travel to Houston, Texas, on Friday with first lady Jill Biden in the wake of deadly winter storms that left millions without power and killed at least 17.
During his visit, the president will tour the Harris County Emergency Operations Center. Then the first lady will visit the Houston Food Bank to package food and water for the local community. After that, she and the president will meet with volunteers at the food bank. Biden will then visit a COVID-19 vaccination site, where he’ll deliver remarks.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki previewed the trip during a briefing on Thursday and noted that Biden would survey damage from the storm with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for the majority of the day. She also said that the trip was not a political one. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, is also expected to meet Biden in Houston.
“He views it as an issue where he’s eager to get relief to tap into all the resources in the federal government to make sure the people of Texas know we’re thinking about them, we’re fighting for them, and we’re going to continue working on this as they’re recovering. There is plenty of time to have a policy discussion about better weatherization, better preparations,” Psaki said. “And I’m sure that’s one that will be had, but right now, we’re focused on getting relief to the people in the state, getting updated briefings, tapping into all of the levers of federal government.”
Feb 26, 10:01 am
CPAC poised to score 1 for Trump in GOP civil war: The Note
Can you have a battle for a party if only one side is invited to the fight?
The Conservative Political Action Conference has long been a colorful if sometimes unreliable gauge of the state of the movement that powers the Republican Party. This year … not so much.
With the GOP divided about its future, the biggest gathering of conservatives in the early days of the Biden presidency gets underway in Orlando, Florida, on Friday as a tribute to all things Donald Trump — up to and including rehashed and baseless complaints about the election.
Featured speakers include Donald Trump Jr., Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, Govs. Kristi Noem and Ron DeSantis, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Ambassador Richard Grenell and a wide range of pro-Trump House members and commentators. The former president himself, of course, speaks Sunday, in his first public speech since Jan. 20.
Not attending: Senators including Mitch McConnell, Ben Sasse or Mitt Romney; House members like Liz Cheney or Adam Kinzinger; former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley; former Vice President Mike Pence.
The theme of this year’s CPAC is “America Uncanceled,” though one speaker who had been booked was himself canceled for his extreme and anti-Semitic views.
But Trump and what he represents don’t need to be “uncanceled” if they weren’t canceled in the first place. It’s hard to call it a comeback if the person and the movement in question never really left.
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.