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President Biden Meets With Congressional Leaders To Discuss The Debt Limit
President Biden at the White House on May 9, 2023.Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images

Eyes on 2024: Biden heads to swing district amid debt limit standoff

Republican Rep. Mike Lawler told NBC News he will attend Wednesday's event.

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President Joe Biden is hitting the road Wednesday, heading to a swing House seat outside of New York City as he works to pressure Republicans on the debt ceiling. NBC News’ Mike Memoli writes that the trip “illustrates an early campaign strategy of highlighting Biden’s job as president instead of fast-forwarding to an election that’s still 545 days away.”

The Republican who represents the competitive district, Rep. Mike Lawler, told NBC News’ Scott Wong that he will attend Wednesday’s event, even though Biden is expected to sharply criticize Republicans amid a standoff over raising the country’s borrowing limit. 

Lawler, who picked up a Democratic challenger on Tuesday, is one of 18 Republicans representing districts Biden would have won in 2020 had the new congressional lines been in place.

“I welcome the president to the Hudson Valley and look forward to hearing what he has to say,” Lawler said. “It will be a great opportunity to convey to the president the need to negotiate with Speaker McCarthy in good faith to lift the debt ceiling, rein in spending, and bring down inflation. My constituents expect us to work together and that’s why I will be there.”

The event comes after Biden held a tense meeting with congressional leaders from both parties on Tuesday, as both sides of the debt limit fight dug in — with Republicans demanding spending cuts and Democrats refusing to negotiate on the debt ceiling itself. 

“Everybody in this meeting reiterated the positions they were at. I didn’t see any new movement,” McCarthy said. The group will meet again on Friday. 

In other campaign news…

Debating the criteria: Time Magazine reports that the Republican National Committee is debating setting the criteria for its first presidential debate at either 1% in the polls or 40,000 donors. 

Good for DeSantis: Virginia Republican Rep. Bob Good endorsed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ expected presidential bid on Tuesday. 

Make money moves: Politico spotted that DeSantis’ political committee no longer lists him as an “associated person,” a sign that the group could be readying to transfer tens of millions of dollars to an outside group that could support his expected presidential run. 

Threading the needle: NBC News’ Jonathan Allen and Dasha Burns report on how former Vice President Mike Pence has to navigate frustration from both the right and the left as he considers a presidential bid.

Not just Georgia on his mind: NBC News’ Ryan Nobles reports that Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has been raising millions for political action committees so he can play in next years’ elections, even though he’s ruled out a presidential bid himself. 

Alsobrooks also running: Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks is running for Senate in Maryland, looking to become the only woman in the state’s congressional delegation and the only Black woman in the Senate. 

There is another: Texas Democratic state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, who has gained prominence advocating for more gun safety after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, which is in his district, is expected to jump into the race for Senate, The Washington Post reported

Coming soon: Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Wis., told Punchbowl News that he’ll likely announce whether or not he’s running for Senate this summer. (His team later walked the comments back, telling Axios Tiffany, “plans to make a decision this summer on whether or not he’s running.”) And Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is telling GOP donors he’s planning to launch a Senate run “soon,” NBC News’ Henry J. Gomez reports.

Kentucky endorsement derby: Businessman and presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy has endorsed Kelly Craft’s bid for governor of Kentucky, as did former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Move over Duke v. UNC: Former North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Walker will announce on May 20 whether he’s running for governor in a GOP primary that includes controversial Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson. 

Charges for Santos: NBC News’ Justice reporters confirmed that embattled New York Republican Rep. George Santos faces federal charges and will make his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon.