The Biden administration guaranteed attorney access for all migrant screenings. Most don’t have it
As the Biden administration prepared to launch speedy asylum screenings at the border this spring, authorities pledged a key difference from a Trump-era version of the policy: Migrants would be guaranteed access to legal representation.
New step to curb tech giants' power advanced by Senate panel
Congress has taken a new step toward reining in the market dominance of Big Tech. Bipartisan legislation advanced by a Senate panel would bar the dominant online platforms from favoring their own goods and services over those of rivals on the platforms.
Biden aims for bipartisanship but applies stealthy pressure
President Joe Biden has begun publicly courting Republicans to back his sweeping infrastructure plan, but his reach across the aisle is intended just as much to keep Democrats in line as it is a first step in an uphill climb to any bipartisan deal.
Newsom defends Feinstein, says he's not expecting retirement
Gavin Newsom says he'll appoint a Black woman to the U.S. Senate if Feinstein retires before her term ends in 2024. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday he expects and hopes Sen. Dianne Feinstein will serve her full term after suggesting the day before he's been thinking about her replacement. Newsom followed up Tuesday with extended and effusive praise for Feinstein, calling her a friend and mentor and praising her work in Washington. Feinstein and Newsom hail from San Francisco, a political power center where each served as mayor, though decades apart. Warschaw said she did not speak to Newsom but expects he heard from upset Feinstein supporters.
Newsom will appoint Black woman if Feinstein retires early
Gavin Newsom says he'll appoint a Black woman to the U.S. Senate if Feinstein retires before her term ends in 2024. Gavin Newsom said Monday he'd appoint a Black woman to replace U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein if she retires before her term is up in 2024. “We have multiple names in mind and the answer is yes," he said during a interview on MSNBC's “The ReidOut" when asked if he would name a Black woman to the seat if given the chance. Newsom recently held that power after then-California Sen. Kamala Harris was elected vice president. He faced competing pressure to name a Latino and a Black woman and eventually chose Alex Padilla, making him California's first Latino U.S. senator.
Takeaways from Congress' first hearing on Capitol riot
Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund appears before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs & Senate Rules and Administration joint hearing on Capitol Hill, Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, to examine the January 6th attack on the Capitol. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)WASHINGTON – Security officials testifying at Congress' first hearing on the deadly siege of the Capitol cast blame and pointed fingers on Tuesday but also acknowledged they were woefully unprepared for the violence. The security officials lost their jobs, and Trump was impeached by the House on a charge of inciting the insurrection, the deadliest attack on Congress in 200 years. But then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund testified that he only learned about it the day before Tuesday's hearing. But in closing, Klobuchar restated the testimony: “There was clear agreement this was a planned insurrection.”ONE OFFICER'S PERSONAL STORYThe hearing opened with Capitol Police Capt.
Schiff in mix as Newsom deliberates on next California AG
Scott Applewhite, File)SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The public and private jockeying to be California's next attorney general is intensifying as Gov. It's a powerful nod of support for Schiff, who does not have much of a personal relationship with Newsom. AdThe job of attorney general is among the highest profile in California, second only to governor in terms of public recognition and overall power. Steinberg, the Sacramento mayor and former leader of the state Senate, is making private appeals to Newsom and his inner circle. Steinberg has a long and close relationship with Newsom, which could be an asset as Newsom faces a potential recall.
Democrats make federal election standards a top priority
Democrats plan to move quickly on one of the first bills of the new Congress, which would set federal election standards. Advocates say the bill is the most consequential piece of voting legislation since the Voting Rights Act of 1965. House Democrats vowed two years ago to make the bill a priority, and they reintroduced it this month as H.R. That bill would restore a key provision of the Voting Rights Act that had triggered federal scrutiny of election changes in certain states and counties. In general, state election officials have been wary of federal voting requirements.
Senate confirms Biden 1st Cabinet pick as Democrats control
In a first vote, the Senate confirmed Biden's nominee for director of national intelligence, Avril Haines. The new Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., urged colleagues to turn the spirit of the new president’s call for unity into action. The three Democrats complete a Senate narrowly split 50-50 between the parties, but giving Democrats the majority with Harris able to cast the tie-breaking vote. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to soon transmit to the Senate the House-passed article of impeachment against Trump, charged with incitement of insurrection, a step that will launch the Senate impeachment trial. Progressive and liberal Democrats are eager to do away with the filibuster to more quickly advance Biden’s priorities, but not all rank-and-file Senate Democrats are on board.
Georgia’s 2 new U.S. senators take oath, giving Democrats control of Congress
Harris drew applause as she entered the chamber to deliver the oath of office just hours after taking her own oath at the Capitol alongside Biden. The three Democrats join a Senate narrowly split 50-50 between the parties, but giving Democrats the majority with Harris able to cast the tie-breaking vote. “President Biden, we heard you loud and clear,” Schumer said. Progressive and liberal Democrats are eager to do away with the filibuster to more quickly advance Biden’s priorities, but not all rank-and-file Senate Democrats are on board. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to soon transmit to the Senate the House-passed article of impeachment against Trump, charged with incitement of insurrection, a step that will launch the Senate impeachment trial.
Democrats control Senate; Biden intelligence chief confirmed
In a first vote, the Senate confirmed Biden's nominee for director of national intelligence, Avril Haines late Wednesday, overcoming Republican opposition to approve his first Cabinet member. On Thursday, the new Senate majority leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he hoped Biden's nominees for the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State and Treasury could also be swiftly confirmed. They join a Senate narrowly split 50-50 between the parties, but giving Democrats the majority with Harris able to cast the tie-breaking vote. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is expected to soon transmit to the Senate the House-passed article of impeachment against Trump, charged with incitement of insurrection, a step that will launch the Senate impeachment trial. Progressive and liberal Democrats are eager to do away with the filibuster to more quickly advance Biden’s priorities, but not all rank-and-file Senate Democrats are on board.
McConnell said Trump ‘fed lies’ to mob about Biden election
In this Jan. 6, 2021, photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks from the Senate floor to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. WASHINGTON – Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday explicitly blamed President Donald Trump for the deadly riot at the Capitol, saying the mob was “fed lies” and the president and others “provoked” those intent on overturning Democrat Joe Biden’s election. Ahead of Trump's historic second impeachment trial, McConnell's remarks were his most severe and public rebuke of the outgoing president. The GOP leader is setting a tone as Republicans weigh whether to convict Trump on the impeachment charge that will soon be sent over from the House: “incitement of insurrection.”“The mob was fed lies," McConnell said. Some Republicans want to halt the impeachment trial.
The Latest: Springsteen, Miranda set for inaugural gala
Iconic artists Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen are among the stars who will highlight a primetime virtual celebration televised Wednesday night following President-elect Joe Bidens inauguration. Biden’s inaugural committee announced the lineup Sunday for “Celebrating America,” a multinetwork broadcast that the committee bills as a mix of stars and everyday citizens. Musicians John Legend, Demi Lovato and Justin Timberlake, among others, will join Springsteen and Bon Jovi. The safeguards will remain in place leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. Fencing, boarded-up windows and lines of police and National Guard troops have transformed statehouse grounds ahead of expected demonstrations leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
Vice President-elect Harris to resign her Senate seat Monday
FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020 file photo, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks as she and President-elect Joe Biden introduce their nominees and appointees to key national security and foreign policy posts at The Queen theater, in Wilmington, Del. – Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will resign her Senate seat on Monday, two days before she and President-elect Joe Biden are inaugurated. Harris is the first woman ever elected vice president — and the first Black woman and first woman of South Asian descent to serve in that office. The wins by Ossoff and Warnock in Georgia ensured a 50-50 Senate, positioning Harris as the tie-breaking vote for Democratic control. Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, have enjoyed conversations and debates over how Emhoff should be addressed when Harris takes office.
Despite smooth election, GOP leaders seek vote restrictions
Republicans in key states that voted for President-elect Joe Biden already are pushing for new restrictions, especially to absentee voting. President Donald Trump has been unrelenting in his attacks on mail voting as he continues to challenge the legitimacy of an election he lost. They are vowing to crack down on mail ballots and threatening to roll back other steps that have made it easier for people to vote. An estimated 108 million people voted before Election Day, either through early in-person voting or by mailing or dropping off absentee ballots. Previous elections have shown that voters appreciate mail voting, no matter their party affiliation.
Ancestor of 1st Black California elections chief never voted
She will be the first Black woman to hold the post and comes to the job with a special understanding about the right to vote. Weber, a state legislator and retired California State University, San Diego professor, was formally introduced by Gov. Gavin Newsom Wednesday, a day after he announced she would be nominated to fill the post now held by Secretary of State Alex Padilla. ... My dad never voted until he came to California in the (19)50s.”Weber said those experiences shaped her father's priorities for his children. The secretary of state — soon to be Newsom's appointee, Weber — oversees the process for the recall to qualify for the ballot.
California gets Latino US senator, some Black leaders angry
FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2019, file photo, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla talks during a news conference at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. California Gov. Newsom also rejected pleas from a host of prominent Black leaders to replace Harris, the Senate’s only Black woman, with another African American woman, such as U.S. Reps. Karen Bass or Barbara Lee. If confirmed, she would become the first Black woman to hold the office, giving Newsom two history-making picks in one day. Given the timing, however, it appeared the choice was intended at least partly to quell criticism for not choosing a Black woman to replace Harris. With Padilla, Newsom gets a political soul mate and a loyalist.
California first: A Latino U.S. senator to replace Harris
FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2018, file photo, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla speaks in San Francisco. Gavin Newsom appointed Secretary of State Alex Padilla on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, as the state's next U.S. senator to fill the seat being vacated by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Gavin Newsom selected Secretary of State Alex Padilla on Tuesday to be a U.S. senator, a pick that sends a Latino to the Senate for the first time in the state’s history. Weber, of San Diego, heads the California Legislative Black Caucus and would be the first Black person to hold the office. He represented a Los Angeles-area district in the California state Senate from 2006 to 2014 and chaired the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communication.
Gov. Newsom challenged to address Senate's lack of diversity
Gavin Newsom speaks at a COVID-19 testing facility in Valencia, Calif. As California Gov. Gavin Newsom's shoulders as he considers his pick to serve out the rest of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' Senate term through 2022. The South saw its highest number of Black Senate candidates ever this year, but none won races outright. Labor icon Dolores Huerta and California Latinas for Reproductive Justice want Newsom to appoint a Black woman. De Leon won the endorsement of the California Democratic Party and prominent labor unions, in part because of his support for immigrant rights and aggressive policies to curb climate change.
Trump tactics to overturn election could have staying power
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)ATLANTA – Even after he exits the White House, President Donald Trump's efforts to challenge the legitimacy of the election and seeking to overturn the will of voters could have staying power. Supporters include congressional candidates, state lawmakers, party chairs, conservative legal groups and appointees to previously little-known state vote-certification boards. Even so, Trump has found friendly lawmakers and party officials willing to bolster his claims and adopt his tactics. The effort then shifted to Michigan, where Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani appeared at a four-hour legislative hearing to argue that fraud had occurred. As Trump hints at running for president again, he will need his supporters to stay energized and on his side.
Biden officially secures enough electors to become president
California certified its presidential election Friday and appointed 55 electors pledged to vote for Democrat Joe Biden, officially handing him the Electoral College majority needed to win the White House. There have been no suggestions that any of Biden's pledged electors would contemplate not voting for him. Results of the Electoral College vote are due to be received, and typically approved, by Congress on Jan. 6. Trump has fruitlessly tried to stop those states from certifying Biden as the winner and appointing electors for the former vice president. If they don't, the electors appointed by the states' governors — all pledged to Biden in these cases — must be used.
Trump fires agency head who vouched for 2020 vote security
While abrupt, the dismissal Tuesday of Christopher Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, was not a surprise. Hours before being dismissed, Krebs tweeted out a report citing 59 election security experts saying there is no credible evidence of computer fraud in the 2020 election outcome. Biden campaign spokesman Michael Gwin noted that bipartisan election officials have dismissed Trump’s claims of widespread fraud. Some state election officials and Republicans, suspicious of federal intrusion on their turf, were opposed to the designation. But the Trump administration supported the designation, and, eventually, skeptical state officials welcomed the assistance.
California Senate sweepstakes: Who gets Kamala Harris' job?
Election Day is over but California already is consumed with its next high-profile political contest the competition to fill Kamala Harris' soon-to-be-vacant U.S. Senate seat. Padilla is one of a group of people being considered as one of the candidates for the Senate pick. A group of Black California lawmakers have organized a lobbying drive behind U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, who represents parts of Los Angeles and its suburbs. And they could wait: California’s other Senate seat is held by 87-year-old Dianne Feinstein, the chamber’s oldest member. Does Newsom run the risk of angering groups who lose out on the Senate pick and who might make his re-election bid more difficult?
Some states allow ballots if voters die before Election Day
Hannah Carson reads from the third chapter of Ecclesiastes inside her Charlotte, N.C., apartment on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. At 90-year-old, Carson reads her Bible daily, particularly her favorite verse detailing the different seasons of life. As soon as she received her absentee ballot in the mail six weeks ago, she filled it out and sent it back to her local election office. (AP Photo/Sarah Blake Morgan)
Florida among 10 states allowing ballots to count if voters die before Election Day
If something were to happen and she doesn’t make it to Election Day, Carson said she hopes her ballot will remain valid. Seventeen states prohibit counting ballots cast by someone who subsequently dies before the election, but 10 states specifically allow it. In California, it’s an issue of fairness to count ballots cast by people who then die before Election Day, Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. “The ‘dead voters’ is used as a false narrative, a pretext for changes in some states to how they register voters or count ballots when the data shows otherwise,” Padilla said. Iowa’s election office also receives death records and processes them as they are received, including on Election Day.
California orders GOP to remove unofficial ballot boxes
(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)LOS ANGELES – California's chief elections official on Monday ordered Republicans to remove unofficial ballot drop boxes from churches, gun shops and other locations and Attorney General Xavier Becerra warned those behind the “vote tampering" could face prosecution. Republicans have set up their drop boxes at churches, gas stations and gun shops in at least three California counties. He said these unofficial drop boxes lack those protections, making them vulnerable to tampering. Officials in Ventura County also said Monday that they had received reports of groups promoting unofficial ballot drop boxes. ___Taxin reported from Orange County, California.
Talk of Harris successor sets off California guessing game
California Gov. Gavin Newsom is already being lobbied by hopefuls and numerous names are emerging in the early speculation. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool Photo via AP, File)LOS ANGELES The possible election of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris as vice president has kicked off widespread speculation in California about who might replace her. Gavin Newsom, who would choose a replacement if Joe Biden and Harris defeat President Donald Trumps ticket. For Newsom, the list choices is long and the political risks many, especially with a national reckoning on racial injustice underway.
Inaction by Congress leaves states to pay for election costs
It is appalling that Congress has not provided the needed resources for state and local elections officials during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Padilla. The coronavirus outbreak has triggered unprecedented disruptions for election officials across the U.S. This wasnt in anyones budget," said Ben Hovland, chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, which provides support for state and local election officials. If more federal money is made available, it could allow local election offices to hire more temporary workers to help process ballot requests and count ballots on Election Day. In New Mexico, state election regulators are anticipating a $6 million shortfall without additional funding for the November general election.
California rejected 100K mail-in ballots because of mistakes
The California secretary of state's election data obtained by the AP showed 102,428 mail-in ballots were disqualified in the states 58 counties, about 1.5% of the nearly 7 million mail-in ballots returned. To count in the election, ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received within three days afterward. California traditionally has offered mail-in voting only to those who request ballots. He called mail-in voting safe and secure, pointing to a series of studies that found no evidence of significant fraud. By contrast, in rural Plumas County northeast of Sacramento, all of the 8,207 mail-in ballots received were accepted.
Advocates, experts warn against polling place reductions
There was only one polling place open on election day this week in Louisville, Kentucky, and voting went relatively smoothly compared to other recent primaries amid the global pandemic. Offering just one site on election day presumes we have reached everyone, and we dont have to work as hard on election day, and that thinking is dangerous, said Kristen Clarke, executive director for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The shortages prompted local officials to consolidate polling places across the country for the primaries. In Milwaukee, officials closed all but five of the citys 180 polling places, resulting in people standing in line for two hours. Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins urged state officials to issue guidelines for the fall election as soon as possible.
GOP lawyer fights California governor on stay-at-home orders
She is one of Californias two elected members of the Republican National Committee, and shes a co-chair of Women for Trump that is part of the presidents reelection campaign. She chaired the city's Republican Party before winning election as vice chair of the state GOP in 2013. The governor's policies and the policies of counties are falling more heavily on Democrats than Republicans because there are more Democrats than Republicans in the state, Dhillon said. Dhillon represented the California Republican Party in a successful challenge last year to a law aimed at requiring Trump to release his tax returns to be on the California ballot. In fact its reinforcing the bad image of the Republican Party," he said of Dhillon's recent lawsuits.