Policy priorities divide Senate Republicans

First Read is a briefing from "Meet the Press", and the NBC Political Unit about the most important political stories of the day and why they are important.

Policy priorities divide Senate Republicans

WASHINGTON -- Tuesday is the day. According to NBC's Kristen Welker, and Peter Alexander, the U.S. will announce an oil import ban on Russian oil as soon as today. ... The proposal to provide fighter jets to Ukraine hits with a hitch. President Biden travels to Fort Worth, Texas, to address veterans who have been exposed to burn pits. ... U.S. gasoline prices rise to an all-time high. ... The Supreme Court rejected GOP attempts to block redistricting maps from North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Is Biden feeling energized after the State of the Union?

First, is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell noticing dissent within his Senate GOP ranks?


After McConnell insisted that Republicans wouldn’t offer a legislative agenda before the midterms, Rick Scott, R.Fla. presented the 2022 policy suggestions.

McConnell rejected Scott’s 11-point plan. The Florida Republican wrote this Wall Street Journal Op-Ed: "Why is Beltway Cowardice?"

Here's a conversation in which Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) discusses the possibility of repealing or replacing Obamacare.

Johnson issued a statement Monday night stating that he was not suggesting that Obamacare repeal and replacement should be a priority for the GOP. Johnson also praised Scott's 11-point strategy.

Johnson stated, "I believe it's important that elected officials tell their constituents what is expected of them, and I support Senator Scott for doing so."

McConnell is supported by his ranks-and-file. This is in contrast to the House GOP situation.

It will be interesting to see if McConnell keeps his grip on the Senate GOP, depending on how November goes.

This is especially true for a former president who wishes to end this hold.

Data Download: The number for the day is... 2,000,000

This is the number of Ukrainian refugees that fled Ukraine in the aftermath of Russia's attack, according the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The country's situation is still dire almost two weeks after the Russian attack. Recently, the two sides reached an agreement for a ceasefire and evacuation corridor starting from Sumy. This was after Russia initially stated that evacuatees could escape to other areas but only via routes that lead them to Russia or Belarus.

You need to be familiar with the following numbers:

38 Percent: This is Biden's approval score from a Quinnipiac national poll that was taken after the State of the Union. It was 37% the week before.

45 Percent: Biden's approval ratings in a new Morning Consult pollout on Tuesday. It was 41% the week before.

$137.183: How much Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz spent on his campaign to support Cassy Garcia in her race for the 28th Congressional District. (Garcia is moving to a runoff).

43 Percent: This is the decline in average daily Covid hospitalizations during the past two weeks according to NBC data from Monday.

79.513,595 Number of confirmed cases in the United States of coronavirus, according to Most recent data from NBC News, health officials, and

964.847: The total number of Americans who have died from the virus.

The Supreme Court gave Democrats two redistricting victories in Pennsylvania, North Carolina. It rejected emergency appeals by Republicans in both states to stop the court-imposed maps. Dave Wasserman , Cook Political Report's noted the decision of the high court "ensures that the 2022 House map is much less skewed toward Republicans."

Two states have not completed their new congressional maps and their legislators are clashing with their GOP governors. Yesterday, New Hampshire state senators approved a map that was passed by the state House. Gov. Chris Sununu supports the map, but WMUR reports Sununu is not threatening a veto. Gov. Ron DeSantis (Republican from Florida) has stated that he will veto congressional maps passed by state legislators on Friday.

According to AdImpact, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) appears to be launching her first TV ad. She spent $291,000 on a TV advertising buy that will run through March 14.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer , the first Senate debate in Pennsylvania's Democratic primary has been set for April 3. However, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman's participation in the debate is still TBD. There may not be a debate at the GOP Senate primary election in Georgia. Frontrunner Herschel Walker stated Monday that he is focusing on the general elections.

Fetterman has just released another version a biographical TV advertisement Tuesday morning. A group supporting Georgia Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath has released a new biographical advertisement to promote the congresswoman before her post-redistricting member on member primary.

Ad watch: "Complete and Total endorsement"

Former Georgia Republican Senator David Perdue is focusing his gubernatorial campaign on former President Donald Trump. Perdue has another ad that features "A message form President Trump." This latest commercial was released just two months prior to the state's primary elections.

Perdue will be facing the incumbent Republican governor. Brian Kemp, who Trump blames for Georgia's loss in the 2020 presidential election. Trump says that Brian Kemp has let them down in this new ad. It can't happen again.

Trump continues to state, "David Perdue has been an outstanding man." He's smart and tough. He has my full endorsement."

AdImpact has so far only tracked Perdue's ads. Trump is talking straight into the camera to promote his support.

ICYMI: What other happenings around the world

The Ukrainian Foreign Minister has written an opinion piece in the Washington Post where he stated that Ukraine will require more international support -- more sanctions, more weapons and more monetary assistance.

The House and Senate have reached a agreement to ban Russian energy imports. However, it is not clear if President Biden would agree to it.

Congress passed Emmett Till's law that makes lynching an federal crime.

The pandemic is causing literacy problems to increase, especially in low-income communities.

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