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Former Vice President Joe Biden formally kicked off his 2020 presidential campaign on Thursday, ending months of speculation about whether or not he would jump into the crowded Democratic field.

What's next: Biden will make his first interview appearance as a 2020 candidate on ABC's "The View" on Friday morning. He's then set to head to Pittsburgh, Pa. for his first official campaign event early next week.

  • The big picture: Biden's advisers told Axios' Mike Allen earlier this week that the former veep's campaign will kick off with a "climate of the nation" message that takes on President Trump but doesn't directly attack any of the other 2020 Democrats.

What they're saying: Former President Barack Obama's spokeswoman Katie Hill issued a statement upon Biden's entrance into the race:

"President Obama has long said that selecting Joe Biden as his running mate in 2008 was one of the best decisions he ever made. He relied on the Vice President's knowledge, insight, and judgment throughout both campaigns and the entire presidency. The two forged a special bond over the last 10 years and remain close today."

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about Joe Biden

Go deeper

Senate Republicans unveil $568 billion infrastructure counterproposal

Sens. John Barasso and Shelley Moore Capito. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Republicans formally rolled out the framework for their $568 billion counterproposal to President Biden's $2.5 trillion infrastructure plan on Thursday.

Why it matters: The package is far narrower than anything congressional Democrats or the White House would agree to, but it serves as a marker for what Republicans want out of a potential bipartisan deal.

House passes bill that would make D.C. the 51st state

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House of Representatives voted 216-208 on Thursday to pass a bill that would grant statehood to Washington, D.C.

The big picture: It's the second year in a row that the Democratic-controlled House has voted to recognize D.C. as the 51st state. The bill now heads to a divided Senate, where it faces little chance of reaching the 60 votes necessary to send to President Biden's desk.

Greta Thunberg criticizes "loopholes" in climate commitments at Biden summit

Climate activist Greta Thunberg. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Climate activist Greta Thunberg released a video Thursday denouncing world leaders for the "hypothetical targets" announced at President Biden's virtual climate summit this week.

Why it matters: The virtual summit came hours before Thunberg urged U.S. lawmakers "to listen to and act on the science" in testimony before a House Oversight Committee panel.