Seven Dems vote for GOP amendment, forcing Democratic scramble
CORRECTION: Seven Democrats voted for the GOP amendment that would extend a cap on the SALT tax deduction. A previous version of this story included incorrect information. Maverick Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) on Sunday backed a Republican amendment to shield businesses that rely on capital investment from private equity groups from the 15 percent corporate minimum…news.yahoo.com
AR-15s useful to shoot prairie dogs, GOP leader says, as gun talks intensify
Senate Minority Whip John Thune's remarks follow arguments from other Republicans in the weeks after the mass shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde, Tex., and Tulsa that Americans use AR-15s to kill feral pigs, hunt hogs and get rid of raccoons.washingtonpost.com
White House pushes GOP to end blockade of ambassador picks
As President Joe Biden announces two more ambassador nominees, the White House and Democrats are warning that maneuvering by some Senate Republicans to block all but a small fraction of Biden’s diplomatic and other national security appointees is doing serious harm to U.S. diplomatic efforts around the globe.
South Dakota rocked again as a wind turbine plant shuts its doors
John F. Kerry, the special presidential envoy for climate, said only months ago that those losing fossil fuel jobs in coal and hydraulic fracturing will find they have a better choice in jobs in either the solar industry or as wind turbine technicians.news.yahoo.com
McConnell slams the January 6 commission as 'a purely political exercise' and accuses Democrats of focusing on 'things that occurred in the past'
The GOP resistance to a bipartisan commission devoted to examining the deadly Capitol insurrection imperils a deeper investigation into the siege.news.yahoo.com
Shock of Jan. 6 insurrection devolves into political fight
Pressed to explain his decision, Rep. Greg Pence of Indiana praised his brother as a “hero" and turned his ire on Democrats, calling the commission a “coverup about the failed Biden administration.” Pence's swift pivot to attacking Democrats and defending the former president about a riot that threatened his brother's life is a stark measure of how the horror of Jan. 6 has been reduced from a violent assault on American democracy to a purely political fight. Rather than uniting behind a bipartisan investigation like the ones that followed the 9/11 terror attacks, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy or Pearl Harbor, Republicans are calculating they can regain at least partial control of Congress if they put the issue behind them as quickly as possible without antagonizing Trump or his supporters.news.yahoo.com
Republican senators are privately worried the Capitol riot commission will distract them from their midterm campaigns, making it all but doomed in the Senate
GOP Whip John Thune told CNN there was concern among members that a commission "could be weaponized politically" by the Democrats.news.yahoo.com
Biden to propose two-pronged infrastructure package
Psaki added that Mr. Biden will turn to the second part — which includes health care, child care and education — in April. "The president has a plan to fix the infrastructure of our country," Psaki said. "If they want to sit down with Republicans, which they should, the Republicans would work with them on an infrastructure package," Thune said Tuesday. Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, the chairman of the Senate Budget committee, has said he is prepared to use reconciliation to move an infrastructure package through the Senate. "My advice to the administration is if you want to do an infrastructure bill, let's do an infrastructure bill," McConnell said.cbsnews.com
Jan. 6 commission stalls, for now, amid partisan dissension
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has pushed for the commission, which would be modeled after the panel that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. “The problem is the scope,” Pelosi said Wednesday. But Republicans swiftly decried the broad latitude that the commission would have to investigate the causes of the insurrection. Senate Republicans cast doubt that there was enough support for the commission. 2 Republican, said he doesn’t think the commission will happen if the legislation isn’t changed.
Lawmakers fear turning 144 cities into "micropolitan" areas
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators and congressmen is urging the federal government not to approve recommendations to remove 144 cities from the designation of metropolitan statistical areas. Reclassifying them as “micropolitan” would put key federal funding at risk, they said. Doing so would reclassify more than a third of the current 392 metro areas as micropolitan statistical areas. In a separate letter to the Office of Management and Budget, Hoeven said the proposal also would hurt micropolitan areas that were on the cusp of becoming metro areas. “If a metropolitan statistical area is redefined as a micropolitan area, it may fall out of the conversation.
Democrats muscle ahead with Biden's health secretary pick
President Joe Bidens pick for health secretary is taking heat for his defense of abortion rights from a tag team of Republicans looking to define him and the new administration as out of the mainstream. Becerra now serves as California’s attorney general and previously represented the Los Angeles area for more than 20 years in the U.S. House. Republicans voiced concern about Becerra’s record in support of abortion rights. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said Becerra as attorney general “aggressively crusaded in favor of abortion” and repeatedly inserted California into abortion litigation involving other states. Perceptions changed after Becerra was appointed California attorney general in 2017.
Fighting Biden virus aid, GOP rekindles Obama-era strategy
Americans are experiencing flickers of optimism at the one-year anniversary of the deadly outbreak as more people are vaccinated. But new strains of the virus and a still shaky economy could unleash another devastating cycle of infections, lockdowns and deaths. Biden and Democrats warn that now is not the time to let up on aid, and that it's better to risk doing too much than too little. McConnell expressed similar optimism last spring when he hit “pause” on new spending after approval of the initial round of aid. GOP Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana said by the time they're done they hope to turn public opinion around.
Fighting Biden virus aid, GOP rekindles Obama-era strategy
AdIt’s a tested strategy but comes at an uncertain, volatile time for the nation. Americans are experiencing flickers of optimism at the one-year anniversary of the deadly outbreak as more people are vaccinated. But new strains of the virus and a still shaky economy could unleash another devastating cycle of infections, lockdowns and deaths. Biden and the Democrats backing him warn that now is not the time to let up on aid — better to risk doing too much, than too little. GOP Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana said by the time they're done they hope to turn public opinion around.
GOP takes aim at Biden's health care pick on abortion rights
President Joe Bidens pick for health secretary is taking heat for his defense of abortion rights from a tag team of Republicans looking to define him and the new administration as out of the mainstream. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden’s pick for health secretary is taking heat from Republicans for his actions in support of abortion rights. By a show of force, they're trying to deny a president who supports abortion rights his choice to run the Department of Health and Human Services with the coronavirus pandemic still untamed. Becerra, 63, was a reliable Democratic vote for abortion rights during more than 20 years representing a Los Angeles-area district in the U.S. House. She disagrees with his support for abortion rights but finds common ground elsewhere.
Trump rages at top Republicans even as advisors urge him to focus attacks on Biden, Democrats
CNBC had asked which Republicans Trump intended to target during midterm primaries after the former president said he plans to back several primary contenders who support his Make America Great Again agenda. Advisors have told Trump that many Republican voters, who have been polled by the former president's strategists, do not want to see an all-out war in the GOP. Instead, they would rather see Trump focus his attacks on Biden and top Democrats. Gaetz has called for the ouster of Republican House leader Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., after she voted to impeach Trump. The South Dakota Republican voted with Trump over 90% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight data.cnbc.com
GOP's Thune says Trump allies engaging in 'cancel culture'
FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2021, file photo, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. In an interview with The Associated Press, Sen. Thune, the chamber's No. Thune also talked about his vote to acquit Trump of inciting the attack on the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead. – U.S. Sen. John Thune on Thursday criticized Republican activists and party leaders for engaging in “cancel culture” by rushing to censure GOP senators who found former President Donald Trump guilty of inciting an insurrection. Trump called Thune a “RINO,” meaning Republican In Name Only, and “Mitch’s boy,” in reference to McConnell.
Trump rips McConnell as GOP divide deepens post-Capitol riot
The Republican Party still belongs to Donald Trump. The GOP privately flirted with purging the norm-shattering former president after he incited a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last month. Ad“There’s no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day,” McConnell said Saturday, after Trump, the only president to be impeached twice, was acquitted on a 57-43 vote. McConnell had remained loyal to Trump during nearly all of his four years in office, when the pair were the two most powerful members of the Republican Party. In his statement, Trump criticized McConnell for failing to do more to back his unfounded claims of election fraud.
Support grows for Capitol riot inquiry after Trump acquittal
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., walks on Capitol Hill after the Senate acquitted former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Trump was accused of inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, and the acquittal gives him a historic second victory in the court of impeachment. Investigations into the riot were already planned, with Senate hearings scheduled later this month in the Senate Rules Committee. We needed more senators with spines.”AdMcConnell told Republican senators shortly before the vote that he would vote to acquit Trump. Beutler's statement late Friday that Trump rebuffed a plea from House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy to call off the rioters was ultimately entered into the trial record.
Which GOP senators are seen as possible votes against Trump?
But that hope dimmed when word came Saturday before the trial resumed that Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell would vote to acquit Trump. If Trump were convicted, the Senate could take a second vote to ban him from running for office again. AdA look at the Republicans whom Democrats are eyeing as they make final arguments in the case:THE FREQUENT TRUMP CRITICSRepublican Sens. AdThree other GOP senators have said they will not run again in two years, potentially freeing them up to vote against Trump and anger base voters in the party. The Republican leader’s views are closely watched and carry sway among GOP senators, and his decision on Trump is likely to influence others weighing their votes.
As impeachment trial ends, GOP senators face big decision
If Trump were convicted, the Senate could take a second vote to ban him from running for office again. While none of them are locks to vote for conviction, they have joined with Democrats twice to vote against GOP efforts to dismiss the trial. AdHEADED OUTPennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, who is retiring from the Senate in 2022, has also voted twice with Democrats to move forward with the trial. All three voted to dismiss the trial, but Portman says he still has an open mind about conviction. EYES ON McCONNELLSenate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has twice voted to dismiss the trial, indicating he will ultimately vote to acquit.
Trump meets with GOP allies with eye on challenging count of electoral votes
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, himself a former Republican congressman, confirmed the gathering on Twitter. The 538 members of the Electoral College from all 50 states and the District of Columbia met December 14 to count the electoral votes, formalizing Mr. Biden's victory. If the two chambers agree to accept the objection, the contested state's electoral votes are tossed out. Additionally, because Democrats control the House, it is highly unlikely the lower chamber would vote to toss out a state's electoral votes. GOP Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, an ally of Mr. Trump, said challenging the votes would "probably do more harm than good."cbsnews.com
Trump approves two-day stopgap funding to avert shutdown as spending talks continue
Washington — President Trump has signed a continuing resolution that will extend government funding through Sunday to allow negotiations over a government spending measure and a coronavirus relief bill to continue. Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Friday there would be no vote on the spending measure or the relief bill on Saturday. Lawmakers also wish to append a coronavirus relief bill to this omnibus measure, and congressional leaders are still negotiating that deal. The need to pass a relief bill is just as urgent as an overarching government spending bill. Meanwhile, top lawmakers have insisted for days that they are nearing a deal on a relief bill, even as time is running out to come to an agreement.cbsnews.com
Here's who is likely to get a second stimulus check under the latest relief package
Americans may be getting a second stimulus payment for Christmas after all, although lawmakers are still negotiating the details of a new multi-billion relief package. That's about half of the $1,200 maximum stimulus per person provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act. The good news is that new stimulus payments will be available for dependents, including adult dependents such as college students, according to the Washington Post. As for who's getting a check, as of now, lawmakers are basing eligibility on the same income standards established in the CARES Act. That legislative package, passed at the end of March, provided full $1,200 payments to individuals earning less than $75,000 and $2,400 for married couples making less than $150,000.cnbc.com
Congress working on two-day funding extension hours before government shutdown
Ahead of the midnight Friday deadline to pass a spending bill, the House introduced a two-day stopgap bill to keep the government running. Leaders on Capitol Hill have said for days they are close to a deal on a $900 billion relief proposal that would accompany a $1.4 trillion spending bill. While bipartisan House officials including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., backed the temporary funding bill, the Senate will pose bigger problems. If lawmakers can approve a spending bill before Monday, the damage from a lapse in federal funding would be limited. Only hours earlier, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. described an agreement as imminent.cnbc.com
Second stimulus checks could be less than $1,200 per person. Here's what we know
Those stimulus checks could be around $600 to $700 per individual, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., told reporters on Wednesday. That's just about half of the $1,200 payments authorized by the CARES Act in the spring. More from Personal Finance:Will the next Covid relief bill contain $600 or $1,200 stimulus checks? Notably, a $908 billion package that was unveiled earlier this week did not include stimulus checks. If the stimulus checks are cut in half to about $600 per individual, their total cost would come down to roughly $150 billion from $300 billion.cnbc.com
GOP leadership urges Senate Republicans to not protest election results
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell asked Senate Republicans not to object to the election results when Congress convenes on January 6 to count the electoral votes, two sources familiar with the situation told CBS News. One source said that on a call with Republican senators, McConnell, Senate Majority Whip John Thune and Senate Republican Conference Vice Chairman Senator Roy Blunt urged them not to object to the election results during the joint session. But an objection only carries weight if it's signed by both a member of the House and Senate. Both Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden are spending some time campaigning in the Peach State. Mnuchin and the top leaders of the House and Senate from both parties are meeting at 4 p.m.cbsnews.com
White House, Democrats inch toward coronavirus stimulus package, including more checks
After months of discussion and negotiation, Democrats and the White House inched closer to agreeing on a massive coronavirus spending package Tuesday. “That’s the hope, let me say that,” Pelosi told reporters. Senate Republicans remain a barrier to passing another major stimulus package. “I’m not optimistic about doing anything.”AdvertisementMultiple Republicans said Tuesday they were concerned Democrats would include unrelated items in a large coronavirus spending package. McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters a deal reached by Democrats and the White House would get considered in the Senate, but did say not when.latimes.com
U.S. lawmakers who tested positive for the coronavirus
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three members of the U.S. Congress have tested positive for the new coronavirus, and more than two dozen others have said they are self-quarantining in hopes of limiting the spread of the pandemic. Senator Rand PaulThe Kentucky Republican said on March 22 that he had tested positive and was in quarantine. He had been in the Senate and using the gym there in the days before he received his positive result. [nL1N2BF09W]Representative Mario Diaz-BalartThe Florida Republican said on March 18 that he tested positive after developing symptoms on March 14. More than two dozen House members have self-quarantined, some after exposure to Diaz-Balart or McAdams, and others after contacts with their constituents or staffers who later tested positive.feeds.reuters.com