Biden news – live: President opens oil reserve to tackle gas prices, says Putin appears to be ‘self-isolating’

Watch live as Biden discusses March jobs report as unemployment rate drops

President Joe Biden is delivering remarks this morning hailing another successful jobs reports that sees employment return to pre-pandemic levels and unemployment to drop to a level not seen since 1969.

While inflation remains a huge concern to Americans, Mr Biden has also ordered the release of up 1 million barrels of oil per day from the strategic petroleum reserve for the next six months in a bid to control prices that have spiked since the US and its allies imposed strict sanctions on Russia after it began its war on Ukraine.

Answering questions from reporters on Thursday, Mr Biden said Russian president Vladimir Putin “seems to be self-isolated and there’s some indication that he has fired or put under house arrest some of his advisers”.

Meanwhile, new reports say that White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki will leave her post this spring to take up a job at MSNBC. It had long been speculated that Ms Psaki would be leaving the administration soon after more than a year in the role.

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Oliver O’Connell1 April 2022 18:10

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MORE on marijuana

A Senate version of the MORE Act is being prepared by Senators Wyden, Booker, and Schumer. It’s passage is viewed as a long shot.

Oliver O’Connell1 April 2022 18:02

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ICYMI: Navy will name ship after Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The US Navy is set to name a fuel ship after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Navy Secretary has announced.

Carlos Del Toro declared that “As we close out women’s history month, it is my absolute honour to name the next T-AO after the Honourable Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She is a historic figure who vigorously advocated for women’s rights and gender equality.”

Bevan Hurley has the story.

Andrew Naughtie1 April 2022 17:55

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House passes MORE Act to federally legalise marijuana

The US House of Representatives has passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment & Expungement (MORE) Act to legalise marijuana at the federal level in a 220-204 vote.

It now needs 60 US senators and a presidential signature to become law.

There were three GOP yes votes and two Democrat no votes.

Oliver O’Connell1 April 2022 17:49

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CDC: Title 42 to end on 23 May

The CDC will end Title 42 expulsions on 23 May. The agency says the Trump-era rule enacted earlier in the Covid-19 pandemic to prevent the spread of disease and used at the southern border is “no longer necessary”.

The policy was used to expel roughly 1.7 million migrants since it was enacted in March 2020 without the chance to seek asylum.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas says that Title 42 was not an immigration authority, rather a public health one to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Once Title 42 ends in May individuals at the border will be processed pursuant to Title 8, the standard procedure for removal proceedings against individuals who have no legal basis to remain in the US.

Oliver O’Connell1 April 2022 17:41

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Jobs report: unemployment falls to 3.6 per cent

Unemployment in the US is now at a low of 3.6 per cent, reaching a level it hasn’t sunk to since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As Andrew Feinberg reports:



According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, “total non-farm payroll” rose by 431,000 from 1 March to 31 March, with “notable” gains across “leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, and manufacturing”.

The total number of unemployed persons in the US fell by 318,000 to a level of 6 million.

BLS said the March 2022 numbers are “little different” from those recorded in February 2020, the month before the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic sent the US and world economies reeling.

Read the full story below.

Andrew Naughtie1 April 2022 17:25

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Democratic congressman mocks Cawthorn’s “cocaine and orgies” during marijuana debate

Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin took a potshot at his Republican colleagues on the House floor while debating legislation that would legalize marijuana at the federal level. Watch the clip below:

Andrew Naughtie1 April 2022 16:55

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Watch: Biden on deficit created under “my predecessor”

Joe Biden used his speech on the jobs report and his proposed budget to proclaim he is getting the deficit “under control” – this after the Trump administration’s “reckless policies and mismanagement”.

Andrew Naughtie1 April 2022 16:35

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Biden promotes economic news on Facebook

Here’s how the White House is headlining today’s jobs report as the numbers sink in.

Andrew Naughtie1 April 2022 16:16

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Biden: Billionaire tax will help cut deficit by more than $1trn over next decade

Joe Biden is now explaining that nobody can accuse his proposed billionaire tax of being unfair, not least since it will help bring in revenue to help support everyday families.

“We need to make sure corporations and the super-wealthy pay their fair share. Right now, billionaires pay an average rate of only eight per cent on their total income. A family led by a firefighter and a teacher can pay double that rate. So my budget has a 20 per cent minimum tax that applies only to the top one hundredth of one per cent of American households.

“A billionaire tax is fair,” he insists.

Andrew Naughtie1 April 2022 16:05

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