Good morning blog readers, and welcome to a brand new week in US politics.
Joe Biden has nominated his new ambassador to Ukraine, career diplomat Bridget A Brink, who currently fills the same role in Slovakia. The move comes as secretary of state Antony Blinken, who was in the country yesterday, revealed plans to move US diplomatic officials back into Ukraine.
A reminder that you can follow developments in the Ukraine conflict on our live 24-hour blog here.
What we’re also watching today:
- The US Senate returns to business after the two-week Easter recess (the House gets an extra day off) with a busy legislative agenda in coming weeks, including pandemic relief, financial support for Ukraine and a probable revival of at least some of Joe Biden’s social spending plans.
- Republican lawmakers including House speaker Kevin McCarthy head for the US southern border aiming to put pressure on Biden over immigration. But attention will probably be more focused on McCarthy’s audiotape troubles.
- We might hear from Biden this afternoon as he welcomes hockey’s champion Tampa Bay Lightning to the White House.
- Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, is scheduled to deliver her first briefing of the week at 3pm.