What to know in Washington: Biden christens new sub amid tension

First lady Jill Biden solemnly commanded a nuclear-powered submarine on Saturday, presiding over a show of US naval power with tensions between Washington and Moscow at the highest level since the depths of the Cold War.

The USS Delaware, commissioned two years ago as the nation’s 18th Virginia-class attack submarine, called into President Joe Biden’s hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, this weekend to a ceremony that was delayed by the pandemic.

The Virginia class is the mainstay of the US Navy’s submarine strategy in the second half of the 21st century. Boats can strike underwater and surface targets with torpedoes or attack sea and land targets with Tomahawk cruise missiles, while remaining on patrol for months. By 2028, the Navy wants to deploy next-generation hypersonic weapons on submarines.

“This latest ship to carry the USS Delaware – the name – is part of a long tradition of proudly serving our nation and strengthening the security of our nation, the security of the United States of America – not just us, but so do our allies and partners around the world,” the president said at the traditional commissioning ceremony for the navy’s new ships. “In fact, he’s been doing it for quite some time.”

One of the main missions of American attack submarines like the Delaware is to hunt down and destroy enemy ballistic missile submarines in the event of war. Russian President Vladimir Putin put his nuclear forces on high alert last month after invading Ukraine, in a show of force against the United States and its allies.

The United States has not reciprocated, choosing not to escalate hostilities, but the Biden administration and other NATO countries have dumped weapons on Ukraine, including anti-aircraft missiles and anti-tank, to help the government of kyiv to fight the Russian army. Learn more about Alex Wayne.

Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

The Bidens attend the USS Delaware’s commissioning ceremony on Saturday.

Negotiators from Russia and Ukraine could resume video talks on Monday even as Kyiv accuses Moscow forces of committing atrocities in northern cities. Russia has called images of executed unarmed civilians fake.

The Kyiv government has asked the International Criminal Court to gather evidence of alleged war crimes, while some European governments are pushing for new sanctions against Russia in light of the allegations, which focus on the town of Bucha in the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy made a surprise taped appearance at the Grammy Awards, where he implored people to talk about the war on social media and on TV. “Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos,” Zelenskiy said. “They sing for the wounded. In the hospital. Follow the latest news from Bloomberg News Ukraine update.

Biden will remain out of the January 6 prosecution rulings

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said Attorney General Merrick Garland, not Biden, will make decisions on prosecutions in the Jan. 6, 2021, uprising and other cases.

Klain was responding to a New York Times report over the weekend that Biden had told those around him last year that former President Donald Trump should be prosecuted. The Times quoted people familiar with the comments.

Klain said on ABC’s “This Week” that he had never heard Biden “advocating prosecuting anyone.” Only Richard Nixon and Trump thought those decisions should be made in the Oval Office, he said.

“The president has confidence in the attorney general to make these decisions,” Klain said on Sunday’s show. Read more from Steven T. Dennis.


  • Trump took the stage in Michigan on Saturday to rally his base and gain their support for his slate of GOP candidates to take on Democrats in key races this fall. Trump slammed Biden for gas prices, inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while repeating his bogus claims of rigged elections. Read more from David Welch.
  • Democratic Senate candidates from both ends of Pennsylvania accused front-runner John Fetterman of flip-flopping on key energy issues in the first televised debate of one of the most-watched campaigns of the year in the United States. Fetterman, the Commonwealth’s lieutenant governor, did not participate in the debate. representing Conor Lamb (D-Pa.), who represents a western district with some of the largest natural gas deposits in the country, said fracking not only provides jobs but can help meet climate goals by replacing the dirtier coal. Read more from Gregory Korte.
  • Tribal nations have seen the culmination of years of work when Biden announced plans to increase the budget for India’s health service and ensure funding over time. But in Congress, especially among key lawmakers, it came as a surprise. These members say they are not ready to commit to Biden’s proposal, largely because the White House has not explained its benefits to them. Learn more about Alex Ruoff and Kellie Lunney.


  • The House meets at 2 p.m. and must vote on four fast-track bills.
  • Senators meet at 3 p.m. and could vote to advance SCOTUS nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson.

About the Administration


  • Biden is scheduled to deliver remarks on the US supply chain at 1:45 p.m.

Biden called on Congress to act on gun issues, including banning ghost guns, limiting gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability, and requiring background checks on all gun sales after a mass shooting during the weekend in Sacramento, California. “Today, America once again mourns another community devastated by gun violence,” Biden said in a statement, Derek Wallbank reports.

U.S. Central Command has asked lawmakers to authorize and appropriate $35 million more than requested in the latest White House budget proposal to replace 10 of the most powerful non-nuclear weapons in the United States, after supplies ran out during testing. The 30,000-pound GBU-57 “bunker buster” – officially known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrator – is built by Boeing and could be used to strike deeply buried targets or other difficult targets, such as underground nuclear facilities potential in countries like North Korea. or Iran. Tony Capaccio and Roxana Tiron have more.

The Department of Justice’s first criminal trials on alleged corporate violations of labor-related antitrust laws are about to kick off. The pair of trials, which begin Monday, will test untested guidelines from federal antitrust regulators that could prove a watershed moment for their wage-fixing and no-poaching cartel prosecutions. In a trial, the Department of Justice will target employers’ poaching-free agreements in United States vs. DaVita in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. The DOJ says DaVita, a dialysis service provider, has entered into non-poaching contracts with competitors. Dan Papscun has more.

US government faces allegations of neglect and emotional distress by immigrants who say they are traumatized by Donald Trump’s policy of family separation on the southern border. A federal judge in Arizona on Friday denied the government’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed in 2019 by the American Civil Liberties Union. But U.S. District Judge John Hinderaker dismissed 15 top Trump-era officials from the case, ruling they cannot be held personally responsible for government conduct. Peter Blumberg and Malathi Nayak have more.

Iran says it is close to an agreement with the United States over reinstating the 2015 nuclear deal after sending proposals to Washington to resolve a stalemate over terrorism sanctions, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said Tehran was waiting for a response to the ideas, which were sent to US negotiators via European mediators. Talks aimed at bringing the United States back into the landmark deal that Trump abandoned in 2018 and easing sanctions on Iran’s oil exports have been on hold for a month. Golnar Motevalli has more.

The Trump administration has not sufficiently justified its decision to extend tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods, and the Biden administration must come up with a fuller explanation for keeping them, a federal commercial court ruled Friday. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in 2018 determined that the Chinese government’s actions “related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation” were unreasonable or discriminatory and hurt U.S. commerce. Trump cited that decision to impose duties under Section 301 of the Commerce Act of 1974. Read more from Brian Flood.

Biden intends to appoint civil rights lawyer Kalpana Kotagal to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the White House announced Friday. Currently a partner of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Kotagal represents plaintiffs in employment and civil rights disputes involving issues relating to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Opportunity Act compensation, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Fair Trade Act. Labor Standards Act. J. Edward Moreno has more.

The White House wants help defining ‘sustainable chemistry’ in a push that industries, investors and others say could make the fuzzy concept more actionable and useful as European laws increasingly demand sustainable products. The administration’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) will formally issue a request Monday for interested parties to provide feedback on their preferred definition of sustainable chemistry. Read more from Pat Rizzuto.

To contact the reporters on this story: Giuseppe Macri in washington at [email protected]; Brandon Lee in washington at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Loren Duggan at [email protected]; Michaela Ross at [email protected]

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