Day 79: How Many Border Czars *Aren’t* There Now?

On Day 79, Biden’s border czar resigned—proud of the “clearly right” direction things are going.

Biden Border Czar Resigns.

No, not Vice President Kamala Harris, sadly. 

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan announced Friday that Ambassador Roberta Jacobson, Biden’s southern border coordinator, will step down at the end of the month “consistent with her commitment to serve in the administration’s first 100 days.”

Jacobson said in a brief interview that the Biden White House continues “to drive toward the architecture that the president has laid out: an immigration system that is humane, orderly and safe… I leave optimistically. The policy direction is so clearly right for our country.”

It may be less “clearly right” to others than it is to Jacobson. Jacobson briefed Reuters on Friday that the administration is considering a scheme to send conditional cash transfers (CCT) to Central Americans to discourage migration to the United States, a surprising development in light of the reduced stimulus checks distributed to U.S. citizens. 

“We’re looking at all of the productive options to address both the economic reasons people may be migrating, as well as the protection and security reasons . . . The one thing I can promise you is the U.S. government isn’t going to be handing out money or checks to people,” Jacobson said—but did not explain how a CCT program, which entails conditioning monetary payments on meeting certain behavioral criteria, would differ from that.

White House Establishes “Presidential Commission On The Supreme Court.”

Biden has established by executive order a working group “to provide an analysis of the principal arguments in the contemporary public debate for and against Supreme Court reform.”

The commission is co-chaired by Bob Bauer, former White House counsel under President Barack Obama and husband of Anita Dunn, and Cristina Rodriguez, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice, also under Obama.

“Its composition … seems to confirm the worst expectations,” law professor Jonathan Turley writes in The Hill. “Indeed, it is a lesson in how to pack a body. The group is technically bipartisan but is far from balanced. Only a handful of the 36 members are considered center right academics, which is actually a strong showing on many of the represented schools, which have few if any conservative or libertarian faculty. Liberals make up the vast majority on the commission, and some have been outspoken critics of Republicans and the conservative Supreme Court majority.”

Biden Releases $1.5 Trillion Budget Proposal.

President Joe Biden submitted his 2022 funding priorities to Congress Friday, totaling a budget of $1.5 trillion annual discretionary spending and a $118 billion increase from current levels. 

Among them are two major “healthcare” initiative that contain a host of other investments.

  • A $6.5 billion appropriation for advancements in treating and preventing Alzheimer’s, cancer, and diabetes
  • A 50 percent funding increase to “combat the opioid epidemic,” which also includes the single-largest funding increase ever for Title I schools, doubles the funding for services for rape victims, and “makes major investments in the fight against climate change.”

The budget proposal is separate from Biden’s infrastructure package, and accounts for only the discretionary side of the ledger, not mandatory spending on government programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.