This week in politics: Biden’s budget; McConnell hospitalized; Americans divided on ‘woke’

This week President Joe Biden released his budget proposal that now marks the start of a clash with Republicans over the federal budget.

His proposal includes new taxes on wealthy Americans, a federal deficit reduction and increased funding to the Pentagon. 

In Congress, Republicans have yet to release their own budget but House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., blasted Biden’s proposal as “completely unserious.”

Republicans in the Senate are also operating without their top member after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., suffered a fall this week that landed him in the hospital with a concussion. The 81-year-old is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days. 

Stay in the conversation on politics: Sign up for the OnPolitics newsletter

What happened this week in politics?

  • Biden released his budget proposal that includes raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans and corporations with the aim of expanding the government’s social safety net and improving the economy. His proposal already faces pushback in the Republican-controlled House. 
  • McConnell fell at a hotel Wednesday and has been hospitalized for a concussion. His spokesman said the Kentucky lawmaker tripped and is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days. 
  • A USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll found a majority of Americans view the term “woke” as something positive and means “to be informed, educated on, and aware of social injustices.” 
  • Former President Donald Trump was invited to testify before a Manhattan grand jury in a criminal investigation that centers around sending hush money payments to a former porn star. Trump called the district attorney’s action “simply insane.”
  • Fox News host Tucker Carlson aired footage from the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, releasing over 41,000 hours of video from the insurrection. His decision to release the footage caused divisions between McCarthy and McConnell, who disagreed over whether Carlson falsely depicted what happened that day. 

Takeaways from Biden’s budget

President Joe Biden speaks about his 2024 proposed budget at the Finishing Trades Institute, Thursday, March 9, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) ORG XMIT: PAMR307

Biden released his budget proposal, which reveals his priorities amid a standoff with Republicans over the nation’s debt.

His $6.9 trillion budget is an 8% increase over this year’s budget and includes proposals to increase funding to the Defense Department, boost non-defense discretionary spending and an increase to mandatory spending for programs such as Medicare and Social Security.

It also includes proposals to fund national paid family leave and subsidize child care and free community college for many low-income students. 

Takeaways from Biden’s $6.9 trillion budget proposal: Tax the rich. Cut the deficit. Take on the GOP.

More:No date yet on GOP budget

McConnell hospitalized for concussion

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., leaves his office and walks to the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol on March 6, 2023 in Washington, DC.

McConnell is expected to remain hospitalized after tripping at a dinner event in a Washington D.C. hotel and suffering a concussion. Details on his fall are unknown. 

The top Republican leader, who is 81, is the longest-serving party leader in Senate history. In 2019, he tripped and fell at his home in Louisville, fracturing a shoulder. 

Biden said he spoke to McConnell’s family saying “I think he’s going to be all right.” 

More:Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will remain hospitalized after concussion

More:Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell hospitalized for concussion after fall, spokesman says

Majority of Americans like the term ‘woke’

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis reacts after publicly signing HB7, "individual freedom," also dubbed the "stop woke" bill during a news conference in April.

A new USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll released this week found a majority of Americans surveyed are inclined to see the word “woke” as a positive attribute, not a negative one.

Of those polled, 56% say the term means “to be informed, educated on, and aware of social injustices.” Overall, 39% polled identified the word “woke” as “to be overly politically correct and police others’ words.” 

The poll follows last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, where multiple speakers referenced “woke” ideology in their speeches to conservative activists. 

More:A GOP war on ‘woke’? Most Americans view the term as a positive, USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll finds

More:What is the meaning of ‘woke’? Once a term used by Black Americans, it’s now a rallying cry for GOP

Trump invited to testify before Manhattan jury 

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event at the South Carolina Statehouse on Jan. 28 in Columbia, South Carolina.

New York prosecutors offered Trump a chance to testify before a Manhattan grand jury in the criminal investigation involving a hush money payment to a former porn star.

Attorneys for the former president did not immediately respond to inquiries, but Trump said the district attorney’s action was “simply insane.”

“For the past five years, the DA’s office has been on a Witch Hunt, investigating every aspect of President Trump‘s life, and they’ve come up empty at every turn – and now this,” his campaign said in a statement. “The fact that after their intensive investigation the DA is even considering a new political attack is a clear exoneration of President Trump in all areas.”

More:Donald Trump invited to testify before Manhattan grand jury, lawyer says

More:President Trump, Michael Cohen won’t enforce hush-money contract with Stormy Daniels

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson releases Jan. 6 footage 

Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson released over 41,000 hours of surveillance video from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. 

McCarthy gave Carlson exclusive access to the footage, saying the decision was an act of “transparency.” But the move drew criticism from both Democrats and Republicans as well as former Capitol Police officers who say Carlson falsely depicted the events of that day. 

Thomas Manger, Capitol Police chief, said Carlson “cherry-picked” video from moments of the riot and Biden said he hopes “House Republicans feel ashamed for what was done to undermine our law enforcement.”

More:Tucker Carlson and the Jan. 6 tapes deepen Trump divide between McConnell and McCarthy

More:McCarthy defends the ‘exclusive’ Jan. 6 video trove he gave FOX News host Tucker Carlson