Republican Glenn Younkin became the Governor of Virginia on Wednesday morning after incumbent McAuliffe conceded. This marks the first statewide win for Republicans in Virginia since 2009. Younkin’s win could owe to his overall focus on education, specifically his ambitious plan to ban “critical race theory” in the classroom. This could act as a template for other Republicans going into the 2022 midterm elections, where the GOP has an opportunity to strip Democrats of their slim congressional majority. Younkin’s win may also owe to him distancing himself from former President Donald Trump as this allowed him to attract moderates without alienating the Republican base. This may be a sign that Democrats need to focus their campaigns on their own message rather than the problems within the GOP.
Fed pulls back economic aid in face of rising uncertainties:
The Federal Reserve stands by its forecast that supply lines will recover as COVID 19 recedes even as inflation reaches a three decade high. The Fed will try to counter inflationary pressures by reducing its bond purchases from $20 billion to $15 billion. If it can retain the current rate of reduction then the Fed will be able to raise its benchmark short-term rate by June. Jerome Powell, the current Federal Reserve Chair, has downplayed this as a possibility as he hopes to keep rates low until unemployment comes back down to pre-pandemic levels. As the Central Bank incentivizes hiring, the Fed faces the challenge of lowering its ultra-low-rate policies, in a bid to slow inflation, without doing so rapidly enough to weaken the job market or risk another recession.
U.S. Supreme Court conservatives take aim at New York gun limits:
The US Supreme Court had a hearing on Wednesday over New York’s state limits for carrying concealed handguns in public. New York requires “proper clause” for carrying concealed handguns, which requires an actual rather than speculative self-defense need. The Supreme Court, with its conservative majority, is considered sympathetic to expanding Second Amendment Rights. This could end up being the most important gun-rights ruling in over a decade as it has the potential to redefine the law’s stance on concealed carry. Advocates for gun restrictions fear that this could threaten “red flag” laws people deemed dangerous by the courts. The ruling of the Supreme Court is due by the end June.