This week in politics: Biden opposes bailout; Aid to Ukraine splits GOP; The US could ban TikTok

Whatever you do, don’t call it a bank bailout.

Americans reached for their wallets this week when the now-closed Silicon Valley Bank announced it would suffered after-tax losses of $1.8 billion.

The The White House worked feverishly to avoid comparisons to the 2008 financial crisis and every mention of the B-word when President Joe Biden defended his administration’s actions to bail out depositors.

And how USA TODAY reports exclusively On Friday, both the Democratic National Committee and the President’s 2020 campaign pledged to return approximately $44,000 in donations to SVB leaders.

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Elsewhere, the 2024 election campaign revealed an intriguing wrinkle on the GOP side as Ukraine increasingly becomes the dividing line for presidential hopefuls.

Republicans are traditionally the party known for opposing Russian aggression, but a more skeptical wing has emerged thanks to former President Donald Trump.

TikTok remains on the front line in the minds of US leaders as the Biden administration seeks a fight with the social media giant.

What happened in politics this week?

  • The collapse of the Silicon Valley bank has struck a chord in Washington and on Wall Street as Biden avoids calling his administration’s actions a bailout

  • US military aid to Ukraine is emerging as one of the first and most critical differences between the current and potential pool of GOP presidential candidates.

  • The Biden administration is threatening to ban TikTok if the Chinese owners don’t sell their stakes in the video-sharing app.

  • Elections outside of the year in three states could give Republicans a boost or offer Democrats some much-needed lessons ahead of 2024.

  • Black voters are the most loyal voting bloc for Democrats, and a poll conducted exclusively for USA TODAY sheds light on their top priorities.

White House: “This is not a bailout”

The Biden administration helped SVB depositors by using bank premiums and interest from money invested in US Treasury bonds.

They argue that this is not related to time Congress bought distressed assets from big banks and other financial institutions because the taxpayers are not on the hook.

Money: SVB fallout. Yellen tells Congress banking system ‘stays sound’, savings ‘stays safe’

More: Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank executives donated thousands to Democrats and Republicans

“This is not a bailout,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “This isn’t 2008 at all.”

But liberal commentator Paul Krugman, an economist, gave Biden a side eye. He said where the money was coming from “doesn’t change the reality” that the government was bailing out savers when it shouldn’t have.

“Yes, it was a bailout,” Krugman said.

Ukraine shares GOP 2024 hopes

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is not yet a presidential candidate, but he has highlighted a growing divide in the possible field of the 2024 Republican presidential election.

“The Biden administration’s virtual ‘blank check’ funding of this conflict for ‘as long as necessary’ with no defined goals or accountability distracts from our country’s most pressing challenges,” DeSantis said in a statement this week.

portion Ukraine is becoming a dividing line between the GOP in its war against Russia.

Choose: GOP 2024. Who is running? Who hasn’t signed up? Who is considering?

MOre: Trump’s fierce attacks on Governor Ron DeSantis continue. Will he ever fight back?

You have DeSantis and others, like Senator Tim Scott, who express skepticism about the rising costs. Likewise, Trump has said that Europe should foot a bigger chunk of the bill for defending Ukraine (and cede past differences to the US).

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Others, like South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, say China is the bigger threat.

The traditional GOP hawks, namely former Vice President Mike Pence and former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, who is running for president, argue that the US must remain firm in its support for Ukraine.

Dems, GOP eager for off-year races

Most voters won’t have an election in 2023, but they will statewide races in Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi are not to be missed.

The latter two favor Republicans according to political forecasters, which could spell a shift in momentum after a midterm election that failed to produce the sweeping majorities the GOP was hoping for.

Politics: The Kentucky legislature passes legislation to make the state a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary.

More: Arizona’s governor says the state lacks the expertise to carry out executions

But Democrats are not letting the “off-year” election go by without a fight as they brace for a tough Senate card in 2024.

The best bet is Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat who has an unusually strong popularity rating in Trump state, won decisively in 2020.

Democrats are also openly suggesting that Mississippi may come as a surprise given Republican incumbent Tate Reeves’ low approval numbers, but GOP officials say it’s a “fantasy.”

What do black voters want?

If Biden and the Democrats want to make it to 2024, maybe they should pay close attention to what their most loyal base is.

WASHINGTON, DC: Voting rights activists led by US Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) (C) stage a protest on Capitol Hill on July 15, 2021 (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC: Voting rights activists led by US Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) (C) stage a protest on Capitol Hill on July 15, 2021 (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

In a poll of black voters shared exclusively with USA TODAYBlack to the Future Action Fund and HIT Strategies found that 44% of respondents said gun control legislation was a top priority.

Nation: Black women invented the term “reproductive justice.” Now it drives a national conversation

Most telling, however, is the question of crime and public safety continues to be a key issue for Republicans.

The poll found that 35% of black voters want to shift police funding to preventive measures such as mental health support and social work. Only 20% wanted to increase police funding to reduce crime.

TikTok ban picks up speed

One of the few Areas of bipartisanship between US officials have cracked down on TikTok this year.

A growing concern is that the Chinese-owned app – which has been downloaded by more than 100 million people in America – is being spied on by private user credentials and spreading misinformation.

Technology: According to TikTok, the Biden administration is threatening a US ban if Chinese owners don’t sell shares

More: Don’t ban TikTok from Americans’ phones, says NH governor and possible 2024 GOP nominee

The White House joined that chorus on Wednesday when it reportedly threatened with a total ban if its owners do not sell their shares in the company.

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu participates in a panel discussion during a Republican Governors Association conference November 15, 2022 in Orlando, Florida.

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu participates in a panel discussion during a Republican Governors Association conference November 15, 2022 in Orlando, Florida.

But some US executives are unsure if blocking TikTok is the best idea.

“The App should not be banned in the USNew Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a potential presidential nominee for 2024, told USA TODAY.

By the way, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will testify before Congress next week.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Did Biden Save SVB?; Ukraine shares GOP field; The US could ban TikTok

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