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.
Congress OKs $1.9T virus relief bill in win for Biden, Dems
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., pose after signing the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill during an enrollment ceremony on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, March 10, 2021, in Washington. Ad“Help is here,” Biden tweeted moments after the roll call, which ended with applause from Democratic lawmakers. The measure addresses Democrats’ campaign promises and Biden’s top initial priority of easing a one-two punch that first hit the country a year ago. According to a CNN poll released Wednesday, the relief bill is backed by 61% of Americans, including nearly all Democrats, 58% of independents and 26% of Republicans. On the relief bill, progressives had to swallow big concessions to solidify moderate support.
Trump's trial starting: 'Grievous crime' or just 'theater'?
Under COVID-19 protocols senators will distance for the trial, some even using the visitors' galleries. “This trial is one way of having that difficult national conversation about the difference between dissent and insurrection," he said. Trump's defenders are preparing to challenge both the constitutionality of the trial and any suggestion that he was to blame for the insurrection. The trial was set to break Friday evening for the Jewish Sabbath at the request of Trump's defense team, and resume Sunday. Trump's second impeachment trial is expected to diverge from the lengthy, complicated affair of a year ago.
Senate Republicans back Trump as impeachment trial nears
AdMany senators including Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell immediately denounced the violence and pointed a finger of blame at Trump. Those partisan divisions appear to be hardening ahead of Trump’s trial, a sign of his continuing grip on the GOP. On Sunday, Wicker described Trump's impeachment trial as a “meaningless messaging partisan exercise." Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont will preside over the trial as Senate president pro tempore. Forty-four Republican senators sided with Paul and voted to oppose holding an impeachment trial at all.
Latest bill would bar NCAA limits on athlete NIL rights
The College Athlete Economic Freedom Act is the third piece of legislation related to name, image and likeness compensation for college athletes introduced in Congress since December and second sponsored by Democrats. Iowa became the latest state to get in the game, with lawmakers introducing a bill Wednesday they hope will go into effect July 1. The bill would give college athletes unfettered access to the free market, allow them to organize and make group licensing deals, and hand oversight to the Federal Trade Commission. ), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, put forth an NIL bill that is narrowly focused like Murphy's, but with numerous restrictions that critics consider too NCAA-friendly. Wicker's bill would provide antitrust protections to the NCAA, shielding the association from legal challenges to its NIL rules, and allow the association to limit the types of financial agreements for athletes.
Senate confirms Pete Buttigieg as transportation secretary
FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2021, file photo, Transportation Secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg speaks during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Stefani Reynolds/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON – Pete Buttigieg won Senate approval Tuesday as transportation secretary, the first openly gay person to be confirmed to a Cabinet post. Ad“We all know the nominee as Mayor Pete, a man who basically came onto the national stage as a Midwest mayor, who had lots of enthusiasm for making investments in America’s future,” she said. Under President Donald Trump, Richard Grenell served as acting director of national intelligence and is openly gay, but did not have to face Senate confirmation as an acting director. Ad“Congratulations to Secretary Pete Buttigieg on his historic confirmation,” Alphonso David, president of Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy group, said after the vote.
Senate investigators fault FAA over Boeing jet, safety
In a report released Friday, Dec. 18, 2020 the Senate Commerce Committee also said the FAA continues to retaliate against whistleblowers. In a report released Friday, the Senate Commerce Committee also said the FAA continues to retaliate against whistleblowers. Both grew out of concern about the agency's approval of the Boeing Max. The Senate report, however, criticized a key part of the FAA review. It said that Boeing “inappropriately influenced" FAA testing of pilot-reaction time to a nose-down pitch of the plane.
Booker, Democratic lawmakers introducing NCAA reform bill
The College Athletes Bill of Rights is sponsored by U.S. The College Athletes Bill of Rights is sponsored by Sens. Booker and Blumenthal's bill, however, goes way beyond NIL rights for athletes and is not nearly as NCAA-friendly. Bohannon said during the pandemic college athletes, who are tested multiple times a week for COVID-19, have become essential workers. — Establish a nine-member Commission on College Athletics, appointed by the president, that would include at least five former college athletes and individuals with legal expertise.
Congress swats back Trump's veto threat of defense bill
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a briefing at the White House, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020, in Washington. But interjecting the complicated tech issue threatens to upend the massive defense bill, which Congress takes pride in having passed unfailingly for half a century. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said at briefing Wednesday that the president is serious about vetoing the defense bill unless Congress repeals Section 230. Some Democrats, including Schumer, agree the Section 230 provision could be revisited, even as they disagree with Trump’s tactic of attaching it to the defense bill. But he also said he doesn’t believe Trump will veto the must-pass defense bill.
Social media CEOs rebuff bias claims, vow to defend election
The committee summoned the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google to testify during the hearing. Dorsey said Twitter was working closely with state election officials. Dorsey told Cruz that he does not believe that Twitter can influence elections because it's only one source of information. GOP senators raised with the executives an array of allegations of other bias on the platforms regarding Iran, China and Holocaust denial. “We approach our work without political bias, full stop," Pichai said.
Social media CEOs to face grilling from Republican senators
WASHINGTON – Less than a week before Election Day, the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google are set to be grilled by Republican senators making unfounded allegations that the tech giants show anti-conservative bias. With the election looming, Republicans led by President Donald Trump have thrown a barrage of grievances at Big Tech’s social media platforms, which they accuse without evidence of deliberately suppressing conservative, religious and anti-abortion views. The tech platforms are gateways to news online. It proposes that Congress enact rules preventing tech platforms from taking local news content without fair payment. “For too long, social media platforms have hidden behind Section 230 protections to censor content that deviates from their beliefs,” Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., the committee chairman, said recently.
Barrett vows to interpret laws ‘as they are written’
Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut was among several Democrats demanding that Barrett pledge not to take part in any election case. “Health care coverage for millions of Americans is at stake with this nomination,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the committee’s senior Democrat. Among Republicans, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, dismissed warnings Barrett will undo the law as “outrageous.”Trump himself seemed to be watching, tweeting several times about the hearing. In one message, he tweeted that he’d have a “FAR BETTER” health care plan, with lower costs and protections for preexisting conditions. But he has not, as yet, discussed an actual health care plan.
Five things to know about court nominee Amy Coney Barrett
In this Oct. 1, 2020, photo, Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, meets with Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., at the Capitol in Washington. Confirmation hearings begin Monday for President Donald Trumps Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett. If confirmed, the 48-year-old appeals court judge would fill the seat of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last month. (Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON – Confirmation hearings begin Monday for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett. If confirmed, the 48-year-old appeals court judge would fill the seat of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last month.
CEOs of 3 tech giants to testify at Oct. 28 Senate hearing
WASHINGTON – The CEOs of technology giants Facebook, Google and Twitter are expected to testify for an Oct. 28 Senate hearing on tech companies’ control over hate speech and misinformation on their platforms. It marks a new bipartisan initiative against Big Tech companies, which have been under increasing scrutiny in Washington and from state attorneys general over issues of competition, consumer privacy and hate speech. With Trump leading the way, conservative Republicans have kept up a barrage of criticism of Silicon Valley’s social media platforms, which they accuse without evidence of deliberately suppressing conservative views. The Justice Department has asked Congress to roll back long-held legal protections for online platforms, putting down a legislative marker in Trump’s drive against the social media giants. Democrats, on the other hand, have focused their criticism of social media mainly on hate speech, misinformation and other content that can incite violence or keep people from voting.
Barrett opposed 'abortion on demand,' raising doubts on Roe
President Donald Trump has nominated Barrett to take the seat of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an abortion rights supporter who died last month. White House spokesperson Judd Deere said Barrett already has distinguished her personal views from her responsibility as a judge. “As Judge Barrett said on the day she was nominated, ‘A judge must apply the law as written. In July, the Supreme Court did, in fact, throw out the panel’s ruling and ordered a new look at the case. Last year, the Supreme Court reinstated the fetal remains law, but not the ban on abortions for race, sex and developmental disabilities.
Q&A: What to expect from trial of Nissan, ex-director Kelly
FILE - In this Friday, April 20, 2018, file photo, Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn speaks during an interview in Hong Kong. The criminal trial against Japanese automaker Nissan and its former executive Greg Kelly will open in Tokyo District Court on Sept. 15. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)TOKYO – The criminal trial against Japanese automaker Nissan and its former executive Greg Kelly will open in Tokyo District Court on Tuesday. A: Prosecutors will present their opening statement, outlining their case against Kelly during the first day of the trial. When asked about the trial, Tokyo Deputy Chief Prosecutor Hiroshi Yamamoto said little beyond reiterating his confidence there was plenty of evidence to win a conviction.
Incarcerated people look to Senate to cap prison phone rates
MINNEAPOLIS Incarcerated people and their families said they are closely watching congressional debates about the next COVID-19 relief bill for proposed legislation that would drastically push down the cost of prison and jail phone calls. For years, they have advocated lowering rates that run as high as $25 for a 15-minute call. Now, they said, with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, the costs are especially debilitating, separating families at a crucial time. He said the suspension of most in-person visits at facilities nationwide have made calls back home even more important. They went from talking to him every day to talking to him a few times a week.
Lawmakers rip FAA for not disclosing documents on Boeing Max
The committee's top Democrat, Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington where Boeing builds the long-grounded 737 Max joined Wicker in criticizing FAA's failure to turn over documents. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, pressed Dickson on whether Boeing lied to the FAA about safety concerns around the Boeing plane. This week, Wicker and Cantwell introduced legislation to revamp the FAA's process for certifying new passenger planes. Boeing hopes to win FAA approval this year for changes it is making to the plane so airlines can resume using it. Dickson said, as he has many times, that FAA will approve Boeing's work when it is convinced the plane is safe.
Senate panel advances Mississippi appeals court nominee
The American Bar Association is rating the Mississippi judge as well qualified to serve on one of the most conservative federal appeals courts. Circuit Court of Appeals, which handles cases for Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)WASHINGTON The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday advanced a federal appeals court nominee from Mississippi, despite Democratic objections over derisive comments he made about former President Barack Obama and his signature health care legislation. The GOP-led panel endorsed Mississippi Appeals Court Judge Cory Wilson on a 12-10, party-line vote. Wilson, a former Republican state legislator who has been on the state appeals court for 16 months, was nominated by President Donald Trump for a seat on the New Orleans-based 5th U.S.
Southwest Airlines flew jets without full knowledge of repair histories
(CNN) - Whistleblowers at the Federal Aviation Administration questioned whether Southwest Airlines improperly flew jets without full knowledge of their safety history, according to documents released Monday by a Senate committee. The documents show that Southwest acquired 88 used jets from foreign airlines starting in 2013, and the FAA permitted Southwest to fly the planes. The result is that "Southwest Airlines appears to have operated aircraft in unknown airworthiness conditions for thousands of flights," the committee said in a statement. But Southwest says the problem was with the planes' previous owners' record keeping, and questions about the planes' safety have been answered to the FAA's satisfaction. Southwest has more of the 737 Max jets in its fleet than any other airline.