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What to watch for this month in politics

First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden Campaigns In Norfolk, Virginia
Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks at a Biden campaign event on March 1, 2020 in Norfolk, Va.Alex Wong / Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — A Democratic debate in Virginia. Two upcoming speeches by President Biden. Early voting in Texas' 6th Congressional District. The House runoff in Louisiana. And Biden’s 100th day in office.

Here are the political events we’re watching this week, as well as over the next month:

  • Tuesday, April 6: The five Democrats running for Virginia governor will participate in their first party-sanctioned debate, beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET.
  • Tuesday, April 6: President Biden will travel to Alexandria, Va., where he’ll speak on the state of the nation’s vaccination efforts.
  • Wednesday, April 7: Biden is set to deliver remarks selling his $2 trillion infrastructure bill.
  • April 19: Early voting is slated to begin in Texas' 6 District for the special election to replace the late Rep. Ron Wright, R-Texas, who passed away in February after contracting the coronavirus.
  • April 24: The runoff between Democrats Troy Carter and Karen Carter Peterson takes place in Louisiana's 2nd District; the winner will fill the congressional seat vacated by Biden administration official Cedric Richmond.
  • April 29: Biden’s 100th day in office (if you count Inauguration Day as Day 1).
  • April 29: Former VP Mike Pence is set to address conservatives in South Carolina.
  • April 30: Biden will have completed his first *full* 100 days as president.
  • May 1: The special congressional election in Texas' 6th District takes place.

Democrats and Republicans spar over Biden’s infrastructure plan

“Meet the Press” yesterday featured key Democratic arguments in favor of President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan, as well as the key GOP arguments against it.

Biden Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg: “We have fallen to 13th in the world, in terms of our transportation infrastructure, and continuing to head in the wrong direction because we've been failing to invest for a generation. The American Jobs Plan is our chance to fix that.”

More from Buttigieg: “We know that we as a country can afford to make big investments in infrastructure. We just need to make sure that corporations are paying their fair share. That's what this plan is going to do,” he said, referring to the plan’s proposal to raise the corporate tax rate to pay for the increased spending.

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss.: “What the president proposed this week is not an infrastructure bill. It's a huge tax increase, for one thing. And it's a tax increase on small businesses, on job creators in the United States of America.”

More Wicker: “The worst way to pay for it is to tax job creators.”

Tweet of the day

Data Download: The numbers you need to know today

530,000: The number of refunds issued by the Trump campaign and the RNC to online donors in the final two and a half months of the 2020 election.

30,843,572: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 37,663more than yesterday morning.)

560,709: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far, per the most recent data from NBC News.

165,053,746: Number of vaccine doses administered in the U.S.

17.3 percent: The share of Americans who are fully vaccinated.

24: The number of days left for Biden to reach his 100-day vaccination goal.

Campaign news you might have missed last week

Our First Read newsletter took last week off (we hope you and yours had a Happy Easter and Passover). But our blog had you covered on key campaign news that took place last week:

  • In the special election to fill Deb Haaland’s, D-N.M., seat, Democrats selected Melanie Stansbury as their nominee, and she’ll face Republican Mark Moores and Libertarian Chris Manning on June 1.
  • A PPIC poll found a majority of California voters — 56 percent — opposing the recall of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, while 40 percent said they support it.
  • And Kentucky’s legislature overrode the veto of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear regarding the legislation it passed that requires the governor to fill any Senate vacancy with an appointee from the party that currently holds the seat.

And the number of the week is …

Don’t miss the pod from over the weekend, which zeroed in on some new data about Americans’ support for same-sex marriage.

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world

The Capitol Police union is warning that there could be an exodus of staff after the most recent attack.

The U.S. has shuttered a once-secret part of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

Congressional Republicans feel confident that their attacks on Biden’s spending are taking hold with voters.

Former president Donald Trump is focusing his brand on a new number — 45.

Republicans and corporate America used to be closely aligned. Now, that bond is being strained.

Politico looks at Liz Cheney’s success so far in fighting back against Trumpworld.

Some Republicans are pulling their support after a Korean-American GOP candidate in the TX-6 special election made racist comments about Chinese immigrants.

Where did the term “canceling” come from, anyway?