Mar 28, 2021

Axios Sneak Peek

Welcome back to Sneak. A reflective weekend for many faiths.

Today's newsletter — edited by Glen Johnson — is 535 words, a 2-minute read.

1 big thing: Scoop — Kids' border surge expected to last 7+ months
Data: U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Biden administration projects the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border could spiral from more than 16,000 this month to as many as 26,000 in September, according to documents leaked to Axios' Stef Kight.

Why it matters: Until this month, the record was 11,475 in May 2019. The minimum projections for each of the next six months are thousands higher than that.

  • To give a sense of how out of hand the crossings are getting, the administration projected just a month ago the figure for May would be 13,000. The new estimate is 22,000 to 25,000.
  • The Customs and Border Protection range for September is 22,000 to 26,000. Under any scenario, projections include a peak month that would double the record that stood until this month.
  • Spokespersons for the White House and the Department of Homeland Security did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services referred Axios to DHS.

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2. GOP picks Hispanic football star for key US House race

Photo courtesy of Mark Moores

The New Mexico Republican Party has nominated state Sen. Mark Moores, a Hispanic former football star at the University of New Mexico, as its candidate for the U.S. House seat formerly held by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Axios' Russell Contreras reports.

Why it matters: The GOP is seeking to build on the surprising number of Latino voters who supported former President Trump in 2020 by pushing Hispanic candidates. The Democratic Party faces criticism for ignoring Mexican American voters.

Driving the news: New Mexico Republican officials voted Saturday to give Moores the nomination for the state's central congressional seat, which represents Albuquerque.

  • In 2020, white, left-leaning Democrats ousted a number of Hispanic moderate state lawmakers during primaries, angering a number of Latino Democrats.

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3. Progressives try to sell climate spending with jobs pitch

John Podesta. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Progressives are trying to sell President Biden's infrastructure initiative with new cable TV ads arguing clean energy projects will immediately create thousands of jobs, Axios' Hans Nichols writes.

Why it matters: White House press secretary Jen Psaki suggested Sunday that Biden will split his potential $3 trillion package in two — investments in infrastructure, followed by billions more for the “caregiving economy.” The first political fight may be over what qualifies as infrastructure.

  • Climate Power, an environmental group with close ties to the White House, will spend an additional $2 million during the next month on national cable and digital ads arguing major clean energy spending has bipartisan support.

Our thought bubble: "There may be resistance to making the infrastructure bills too climate-heavy, unless the public views clean energy spending as a win/win for jobs and the environment," writes Axios energy and climate reporter Andrew Freedman.

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4. Democrats weigh guns as improbable filibuster test

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Mark Wilson, NurPhoto/Getty Images

Two top Senate Democrats are weighing whether gun reform can be a long shot issue proving they can work with Republicans — and don't have to scrap the filibuster after all, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.

What we're hearing: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) have been privately negotiating how to revise H.R. 8, the House Democrats' background checks bill, to gain support from at least 10 Republicans.

  • As of now, Republicans say the bill is a "nonstarter," since it goes too far to limit gun rights. But GOP lawmakers are increasingly accepting universal background checks for commercial firearms sales and other provisions laid out in the 2013 bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

Why it matters: Democrats think it's now or never to finally find bipartisan compromise on gun reform.

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5. Pic du jour

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden left Mass this weekend with palm fronds to mark Palm Sunday.

🐰 Thanks for reading Sneak. We'll be taking a break until April 11.

📚 Worthy of your time: "His Plane Crashed in the Amazon. Then Came the Hard Part."

This newsletter is written in Smart Brevity®. Learn how your team can communicate in the same smart, clear style with Axios HQ.