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            by Thomas Catenacci  Democrats aren’t allowed to attach a provision increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour to their coronavirus relief package, a top Senate official ruled, according to reports. Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, who oversees the interpretation of the chamber’s rules and precedents, decided Thursday evening that the proposed minimum wage hike couldn’t be included in President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan under budget reconciliation, CNBC reported. MacDonough had held private meetings over the last week with Democrats and Republicans, hearing their arguments for or against keeping the measure. “We are deeply disappointed in this decision,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said following the decision. “We are not going to give up the fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 to help millions of struggling American workers and their families. The American people deserve it, and we are committed to making it a reality.”...
    Senate Democrats are racing to finalize a new tax provision that would penalize large companies that pay low wages. The move comes after Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled Thursday night that a $15 minimum wage hike cannot be included in the Senate COVID relief package, which is currently being pushed through the chamber through a process known as budget reconciliation.  The plan being drafted by aides to Senate Finance Committee chair Ron Wyden of Oregon — in close consultation with Senate Budget Chair Bernie Sanders of Vermont — would impose a 5% payroll tax penalty on "very large" companies that do not pay workers a certain amount. That amount is still unclear: Wyden favors $15 an hour, but is currently seeking feedback from fellow Democrats on that figure and on exactly which companies would face the penalties.  "Everyone in the caucus is envisioning 'very large' companies – think Walmart, Amazon,"...
    Democrats argue the many high-cost measures tangentially related to coronavirus relief are necessary to stay in the $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” relief legislation. But they were happy to remove a Republican-led provision aimed at providing aid specifically tailored to help farmers who suffered crop losses in 2020. During a House Rules Committee markup of the relief bill on Friday before its expected passage, Democrats moved to strike freshman Iowa Republican Rep. Randy Feenstra’s amendment that specifically cites high winds or powerful windstorms known as derechos. One such derecho wreaked havoc in the Midwest last August, leaving more than a million people without power and devastating farmers’ crops in Iowa, causing an estimated $7.5 billion in damages. REPUBLICANS ANSWER BIDEN CALL FOR CUTS TO COVID-19 SPENDING BILL – BUT IS HE LISTENING? It was one of only two Republican-led amendments in the House to make it...
    The House is set for an early Saturday morning vote on the sprawling House Democratic $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. The measure was being considered Friday evening in a marathon Rules Committee meeting before going to the floor. That sets up an early Saturday morning vote, unless the House decides to take a break and postpone the floor vote until later on Saturday. House Budget Committee Chairman John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthDemocrats call for relief package to waive taxes on unemployment benefits Democrats in standoff over minimum wage On The Money: Neera Tanden's nomination in peril after three GOP noes | Trump rages after SCOTUS rules on financial records MORE (D-Ky.) told reporters it was possible the vote could be pushed to later on Saturday. While most Democrats support the bill, they can only afford up to four defections with their thin 221-seat majority. House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerPelosi:...
    The head of the House Budget Committee said Friday in no uncertain terms that Democrats will find a way to hike the minimum wage over the next two years. "I guarantee you there'll be a raise in the minimum wage before the election," Rep. John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthDemocrats call for relief package to waive taxes on unemployment benefits Democrats in standoff over minimum wage On The Money: Neera Tanden's nomination in peril after three GOP noes | Trump rages after SCOTUS rules on financial records MORE (D-Ky.) told reporters in the Capitol. "Hold me to it." Yarmuth and other Democratic leaders had sought to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour — a priority of President BidenJoe BidenBiden 'disappointed' in Senate parliamentarian ruling but 'respects' decision Taylor Swift celebrates House passage of Equality Act Donald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen's dropped charges 'liberal privilege' MORE's — as part of...
    The House is poised to pass Democrats' $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill as the party weighs alternatives to raising the federal minimum wage after an unfavorable ruling deemed it can't be included in the sweeping rescue package pushed by President Joe Biden.The Week in Cartoons: Feb. 22-26View All 29 ImagesAfter holding a series of debates and votes that'll extend into late Friday and possibly early Saturday, the relief bill is expected to clear the House mostly along party lines to advance a package with $1,400 stimulus checks, enhanced federal unemployment benefits of $400 a week and billions in funding to reopen schools, help small businesses and expand testing and vaccine operations. The bill includes one of Democrats' biggest priorities that got stripped from past relief: $350 billion in state, local and tribal aid. The package also kept intact a minimum wage hike to $15 an hour, despite Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth...
    WASHINGTON -- A $1.9 trillion package aimed at helping the country rebuild from the pandemic seemed headed toward House passage Friday, even as Democrats searched for a way to revive their derailed drive to boost the minimum wage.A virtual party-line House vote was expected on the COVID-19 relief measure, which embodies President Joe Biden's push to flush cash to individuals, businesses, states and cities. The White House issued a statement reinforcing its support for the new president's paramount initial goal."The bill would allow the administration to execute its plan to change the course of the COVID-19 pandemic," it said. "And it would provide Americans and their communities an economic bridge through the crisis."Republicans have lined up against the plan, calling it an overpriced and wasteful attempt to help Democratic allies like labor unions and Democratic-run states.EMBED More News Videos Bill Ritter and guests discuss what to expect some the COVID...
    (CNN)House progressives are furious with the Senate parliamentarian's decision to remove the $15 minimum wage provision from the Senate's version of the Covid relief bill, a proposal that is foundational to the left wing's beliefs and one they have fiercely campaigned on, but it is unclear how they will channel that frustration into next steps.The first theme to emerge in progressives' reaction to the news has been to call out the parliamentarian, even going as far as calling for a replacement to fill the role, despite the White House's reaction to move forward with the parliamentarian's decision and the reality that overruling a parliamentarian decision is highly unlikely."As a representative of a community that is very deeply impacted by this issue, I know that going back to my family's community in the Bronx and in Queens, we can't tell them that this didn't get done because of an unelected parliamentarian,"...
    White House climate czar to AP: Texas storm a wake-up call Congress can jumpstart Biden administration policy toward key Asian allies © Provided by The Motley Fool House to Vote on Stimulus Bill Today With $1,400 Checks © Getty Images The United States Capitol building in front of a pink sunset sky. Since President Joe Biden took office, Democrats have been focused on one key priority: providing more coronavirus relief. Specifically, they've been working to pass a $1.9 trillion bill that includes $1,400 stimulus checks, money for vaccines, expanded unemployment benefits, and a $15 minimum wage, among other things. On Friday, Biden's COVID aid efforts are taking a big step forward. The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on legislation based on his framework.House expected to pass stimulus bill todayMost provisions of Biden's stimulus bill have overwhelming support among Democrats -- especially the $1,400 direct payments, which fulfill a...
    The House on Friday began debating a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package that includes a $15 minimum wage mandate that is likely to be removed in the Senate. House and Senate Democrats scrambled to find a way to include the minimum wage provision in the bill after the Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday night that it could not be included under special rules permitting the coronavirus spending measure to pass with only 51 votes. House Democrats on Friday afternoon brought up the measure with the wage increase intact, creating a conflict with fellow Democratic leaders in the Senate. Democrats called on the Senate to overrule the decision by parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, who determined the provision does not directly affect the federal budget and thus does not qualify for special rules enabling passage by a simple majority. “House Democrats believe that the minimum wage hike is necessary,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,...
    Democrats are scrambling to chart a path forward on a top progressive priority after the Senate parliamentarian blocked them from including a $15 minimum wage in a sprawling $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenBiden nominee previews post-Trump trade agenda Labor expands jobless aid for workers who reject employers skirting COVID-19 rules Democrats hesitant to raise taxes amid pandemic MORE (D-Ore.) and Budget Chairman Bernie SandersBernie SandersHouse Democrats to keep minimum wage hike in COVID-19 relief bill for Friday vote Sanders slams parliamentarian decision on minimum wage Parliamentarian nixes minimum wage hike in coronavirus bill MORE (I-Vt.) have already pitched an alternative approach -- taxing big, profitable companies that pay below $15 an hour -- that could find broader backing from moderates, but have a more limited impact on poverty. A senior Democratic aide said Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHillicon Valley: Biden...
    At least 13 House Republicans have filed paperwork to have colleagues cast their votes on the COVID-19 relief bill Friday evening, citing the ongoing pandemic. However, they are also slated to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida.  Republican Representatives Madison Cawthorn and Ted Budd of North Carolina, Matt Gaetz and Greg Steube of Florida, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Mark Green of Tennessee, Devin Nunes of California, Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, Darrell Issa of California, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Jim Banks of Indiana and Ronny Jackson of Texas, filed paperwork with the House clerk this week, stating, "I am unable to physically attend proceedings in the House Chamber due to the ongoing public health emergency."  Cawthorn, Budd, Gaetz and Steube were slated to address the conservative gathering on Friday, while the others are slated for Saturday and Sunday remarks.  In a statement, a spokesman for Budd said, "After Democrats rearranged the House schedule with extremely late notice, Rep. Budd was forced to proxy vote for the first time....
    Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said on Friday Democrats should overrule or fire the Senate parliamentarian after Elizabeth MacDonough ruled the $15 minimum wage cannot be included in the COVID relief package. 'I think all options should be on the table,' she told reporters on Capitol Hill when asked about the matter.  'I think the parliamentarian is verging on, you know, just really intruding in this legislative process in a very concerning way,' the Democrat from New York noted. Ocasio-Cortez pointed out that the House parliamentarian ruled the wage hike could be in that chamber's version of the bill. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Democrats should overrule or fire the Senate parliamentarian after Elizabeth MacDonough ruled the $15 minimum wage cannot be included in the COVID relief package President Joe Biden said he respects the decision of the Senate parliamentarian as progressive pressure party  leadership to overrule the decision 'We have...
    Left-wing activists are not happy that Vice President Kamala Harris and the White House do not plan to overrule the Senate parliamentarian to keep a $15-per-hour minimum wage hike provision in the coronavirus relief bill. Democrats, which hold a slim 50-seat-plus-Harris majority in the chamber, are moving to pass their $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill through the budget reconciliation process, which circumvents the chance of a Republican filibuster and the need for a 60-vote supermajority. But the Senate's Byrd rule limits what kind of provisions can be part of a bill moving through budget reconciliation, preventing measures “extraneous” to the budget from consideration. The Senate parliamentarian on Thursday advised that the $15 minimum page hike in the coronavirus relief bill would violate the Byrd rule, essentially blocking Democrats and the Biden administration from keeping the wage hike as part of the bill. Some Democrats, though, brought up...
    ATLANTA (AP) — A group of Georgia Democrats began a sit-in Friday on a stairway at the state Capitol after one Democratic lawmaker said it was improper that a police officer had led her away by the arm while Democrats were protesting bills that would restrict voting and elections. The move was another reflection of how raw tensions are over Republican efforts to change the state's voting and election laws, coming days after one of the most senior Democratic state lawmakers cried so heavily during a floor speech promising to fight GOP efforts that he had to mop tears away with a handkerchief. Some Democrats had hoped to give brief speeches Friday in the House criticizing the bills but were not called on by House Speaker David Ralston. During a lunch break they instead protested in the atrium of the Capitol. A state trooper used a bullhorn to tell people...
    Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanActing chief acknowledges police were unprepared for mob Six ways to visualize a divided America Six Capitol Police officers suspended, others investigated after Capitol riot MORE (D-Ohio) on Thursday said federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., are “reviewing the footage” to see if members of Congress gave Capitol tours to rioters shortly before the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection. Ryan, chairman of the House subcommittee with oversight of the Capitol Police, told reporters that accusations surrounding lawmakers allegedly giving "reconnaissance tours" to rioters before the attack are now "in the hands of the U.S. attorney here in D.C." The Hill has reached out to Justice Department for comment. Ryan told MSNBC’s Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowLeague of Conservation Voters adds racial justice issues to 2020 congressional scorecard Newly released footage shows Schumer's 'near miss' with Capitol rioters Without Trump, late-night 'comedy' becomes even more insufferable MORE later that evening that he could...
    House Speaker Pelosi is keeping the minimum wage hike in the House bill, while Senate Democrats figure out a new path. The House is set to spend a long day finishing up work on a public lands bill, then working late into the evening into Saturday morning to pass the COVID-19 relief bill—the American Rescue Plan. One key provision of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour was dealt a blow Thursday night when the Senate parliamentarian advised Senate leaders that it should not be included via budget reconciliation, the procedure Democrats are using to get the bill through the Senate without having to rely on any Republican votes. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the House would keep the provision in the bill, a decision reiterated by Jim McGovern, chair of the Rules Committee, which is preparing the bill for consideration on the floor. The provision couldn't be included, Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough...
     Presented by Facebook     NEWS OF THE MORNING A Tale of Two Principals: Midterm elections are fought as referenda on the incumbent president. But that assumes that the last president has left the stage – and all signs indicate that won’t be the case next year.  Former President Trump re-emerges Saturday at CPAC, both in person and in the form of a golden statue. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMinimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibuster Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump's shadow McConnell says he'd back Trump as 2024 GOP nominee MORE’s efforts to exorcise Trump from the GOP have failed entirely, and incumbents are already seeking his blessing; to whit, Trump late Thursday endorsed Sen. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranPassage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Senate votes to hear witnesses...
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters after the Republican weekly policy lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 23, 2021.Kevin Lemarque | Reuters During his first year in office, President Barack Obama enjoyed a congressional "supermajority": Wide enough margins of power in both chambers of Congress that allowed agenda items to pass without Republican support. But when Republican Scott Brown won a special election to fill the seat of the late Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy, the number of Senate Democrats dropped to 59 votes – forcing the Obama administration to pivot the process for the Affordable Care Act to "reconciliation," which allows bills to pass with a simply majority. Reconciliation, once reserved for strictly financial matters, allowed Obama to pass his landmark health-care legislation without a single Republican vote – but it marked the beginning of a yearslong period of legislative gridlock, government shutdowns and fiscal cliffs...
    Miami : The president of the United States, always accompanied by a military auxiliary with a briefcase containing the nuclear launch codes, is the sole authority to order an atomic conflict or respond with nuclear weapons to an enemy attack of that type. Now lawmakers from the president’s own party are asking Joe Biden to share that one-sided power. Conferring such authority by a single person “carries real dangers,” says a letter endorsed by 31 Democratic members of the House of Representatives. “Previous presidents have threatened to attack other countries with nuclear weapons or displayed behaviors that caused other officials to express concerns about the judgment of the president in question,” the letter said. The letter, headed by Representatives Jimmy Panetta and Ted Lieu, both of California, asks officials like the vice president and the president of the Lower House to agree on a launch order before it can...
    House Democrats on Friday urged President Biden to appoint a "national gun violence" director as the administration hinted at possible firearms regulations earlier in February. Democratic Reps. Joe Neguse of Colorado and Lucy McBath of Georgia sent a letter, which was signed by 34 other lawmakers, to request the placement of a "National Director of Gun Violence Prevention," adding that the official would "create and chair an Interagency Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention." The coalition of legislators cited a "persistent and growing gun violence" problem in the United States as the reason for the move. "Every year, nearly 40,000 people are killed with guns in our nation and another 76,000 are injured, with disproportionate shares of this violence falling on communities of color," the letter read. "In 2020 alone, as the COVID-19 pandemic raged, at least 43,561 people needlessly lost their lives due to gun violence, a...
    The U.S. House of Representatives votes Friday on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-relief package that aims to provide relief to businesses, governments and millions of Americans whose lives have been upended by the coronavirus crisis.   Lawmakers are expected to vote largely along party lines in the Democratic-controlled House. Passage would give Biden his first major legislative victory since entering office on January 20.   Debate over the package will likely be vigorous. Most Republicans oppose the cost of the measure that would cover the costs of vaccines and other medical supplies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed more than 508,000 lives in the United States and pushed millions out of work.   The package would also provide an additional $1,400 direct payments to individuals and emergency financial aid to households, small businesses, and local and state governments.     Emergency unemployment benefits and tax breaks to...
    A Feb. 18 rally celebrating the California Labor Commissioner’s order for a McDonald's franchise to rehire and compensate workers who went on strike for coronavirus protections was held on Feb. 18, 2021.Lucy Nicholson | Reuters The fight for a $15 federal minimum wage just hit a major roadblock. On Thursday, nonpartisan Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough said that lawmakers cannot include the $15 federal minimum wage in legislation to be passed through budget reconciliation, challenging its inclusion in the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill working its way through Congress. The parliamentarian's ruling comes as the House prepares to pass the latest round of coronavirus stimulus and send it to the Senate. It was cheered by Republicans, who have opposed raising the federal minimum wage and Democrats' use of budget reconciliation. More from Invest in You:Smallest businesses getting extra PPP help. What to know before applyingBlack small-business owners are being left behind in pandemic,...
    Bernie Sanders vowed to push for an increased minimum wage to be included the COVID package after the Senate parliamentarian ruled the $15 per hour hike cannot be a part of the $1.9 trillion relief plan. Sanders slammed the decision. He is one of many progressives pressuring Democratic leadership to find a way around the ruling so the wage increase can become law.  He said he'd propose an amendment that would pair the wage increase with a tax penalties on corporations that don't pay a higher minimum wage - a move that could change whether it meets the parliamentarian's criteria for inclusion. 'I will be working with my colleagues in the Senate to move forward with an amendment to take tax deductions away from large, profitable corporations that don't pay workers at least $15 an hour and to provide small businesses with the incentives they need to raise wages,' he...
    Washington (CNN)Not even halfway through President Joe Biden's first 100 days in office and the House of Representatives is on track Friday to pass his $1.9 trillion relief bill.This package, the culmination of weeks of behind-the-scenes work by a dozen committees, a strategic and aggressive lobbying campaign targeted both inside and outside the beltway, and the "iron fist" of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi keeping her troops in line, is major. If it felt smooth, uneventful or quiet, it's because you are dealing with united government and Democratic members who, despite some individual grumbling about why a provision was included, don't want to spoil this moment for Biden.This is what it looks like when you have united government, rank-and-file members willing to fall in line, staggering public polling backing a bill and seasoned policy hands shepherding the legislation through the process.With all that said, remember, this is just the first step.Let's...
    The House will vote on President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Friday, including a provision raising the federal minimum wage which faces significant opposition in the Senate. The bill, called the American Rescue Plan, includes $1,400 in direct checks for Americans making under $75,000, a $400 per week supplemental unemployment bonus, money for vaccine distribution, and funding to aid schools and state and local governments. Although previous coronavirus relief bills have passed with bipartisan support, the bill is expected to pass in the House along party lines, as Republicans have criticized the high price tag and the inclusion of provisions which they see as unrelated to the crisis. The vote in the House comes days after the U.S. passed the grim milestone of 500,000 Americans dead from the coronavirus. Millions have lost their jobs due to the economic fallout, and supplemental unemployment assistance established by Congress late last...
    The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar. Leading Off ● Demographics: Daily Kos Elections has published an exhaustive guide on the electoral and demographic statistics for the new 117th Congress members and the districts and states that they represent. The guide includes our calculations of the 2008-2020 presidential election results by congressional district, recent Senate election results and the 2012-2020 House results, and the racial, educational attainment, and income demographics of each district and state. For every member, we have included their race or ethnicity, age, gender, religious affiliation, LGBTQ status, and a name pronunciation guide. In a new post by Stephen Wolf that explores this data in detail, we have created several charts and maps of the demographics of...
    WASHINGTON -- Democrats are ready to shove a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package through the House on Friday, despite a setback that means a minimum wage boost is unlikely to be in the final version that reaches President Joe Biden.A near party-line vote seemed certain on the measure, Biden's first crack at his initial legislative goal of acting decisively against the pandemic. In the year since the coronavirus has taken hold, it has stalled much of the economy, killed half a million Americans and reshaped the daily lives of virtually everyone.The relief bill would provide millions of people with $1,400 direct payments. It contains billions of dollars for vaccines and COVID-19 testing, schools, state and local governments, the ailing restaurant and airline industries and emergency jobless benefits while providing tax breaks to lower earners and families with children.EMBED More News Videos President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, Vice President...
    (CNN)The House of Representatives will vote on Friday to approve President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package, a major step toward enacting the first legislative priority of the new administration as the devastating fallout from the spread of Covid-19 has left Americans in dire need of further relief.The package advanced by House Democrats includes direct aid to small businesses, $1,400 direct checks to Americans making less than $75,000 annually, an increase in the child tax credit, direct funding to state and local governments, funding for schools and more money for vaccine distribution. Bidens First 100 Days Biden marks 50 million vaccine doses but cautions there's a 'long way to go' Biden calls Saudi King before expected release of Khashoggi report US carries out air strikes in Syria targeting Iranian backed militias It is expected to pass on a party line vote as House Republicans have urged their members...
    The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that Democrats can't include the $15 per hour minimum wage hike in the COVID-19 economic relief package. It's a major setback for Democrats such as Senator Bernie Sanders, who had argued it could be included even in the budget reconciliation process. But President Biden told "CBS Evening News" anchor Norah O'Donnell earlier this month that he didn't think the minimum wage hike would ultimately be included. The hike is "not going to occur because of the rules of the United States Senate," Mr. Biden said.  "I put it in, but I don't think it's gonna survive," he added.  Instead, the president said he's prepared to work on a standalone $15 minimum wage proposal. Congressional Democrats opted to use the procedural maneuver known as budget reconciliation to pass the bill, allowing it to be approved by only a simple majority in the Senate. Most legislation requires...
    Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds House Rules release new text of COVID-19 relief bill Budowsky: Cruz goes to Cancun, AOC goes to Texas MORE (D-N.Y.) is seeking to avoid any last-minute changes to President BidenJoe BidenBiden 'disappointed' in Senate parliamentarian ruling but 'respects' decision Taylor Swift celebrates House passage of Equality Act Donald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen's dropped charges 'liberal privilege' MORE’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, three sources familiar with the talks told Axios. The sources told the news outlet that Schumer expects the final version of the measure to remain relatively unchanged. Schumer met with moderate Democratic senators on Thursday morning, who pushed for several changes to the bill including more funding for rural hospitals and broadband, and extending unemployment benefits, Axios reported.  After the...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are ready to shove a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package through the House on Friday, despite a setback that means a minimum wage boost is unlikely to be in the final version that reaches President Joe Biden. A near party-line vote seemed certain on the measure, Biden’s first crack at his initial legislative goal of acting decisively against the pandemic. In the year since the coronavirus has taken hold, it has stalled much of the economy, killed half a million Americans and reshaped the daily lives of virtually everyone. The relief bill would provide millions of people with $1,400 direct payments. It contains billions of dollars for vaccines and COVID-19 testing, schools, state and local governments, the ailing restaurant and airline industries and emergency jobless benefits while providing tax breaks to lower earners and families with children. Republicans oppose the sweeping measure, saying it’s too...
    The Senate's chief parliamentarian ruled Thursday that a federal minimum wage hike should not be included in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, but the decision seemed to do little to deter House Democrats from continuing the fight—despite its nearly impossible odds in the Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement late Thursday obtained by Fox News that called parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough’s decision "disappointing." Pelosi, like most Democrats, insisted that the wage-hike provision be kept in the bill and said it will "remain in the American Rescue Plan on the Floor tomorrow." Vice President Harris can also override the parliamentarian ruling, but the move is considered unlikely. Ron Klain, President Biden’s chief of staff, said in an interview this week that a Harris override is "not something we would do." The decision was seen as a devastating blow by the chamber’s nonpartisan arbiter to the Democrat cause. Senate Democrats wanted to avoid having...
    By ALAN FRAM, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are ready to shove a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package through the House on Friday, despite a setback that means a minimum wage boost is unlikely to be in the final version that reaches President Joe Biden. A near party-line vote seemed certain on the measure, Biden’s first crack at his initial legislative goal of acting decisively against the pandemic. In the year since the coronavirus has taken hold, it has stalled much of the economy, killed half a million Americans and reshaped the daily lives of virtually everyone. The relief bill would provide millions of people with $1,400 direct payments. It contains billions of dollars for vaccines and COVID-19 testing, schools, state and local governments, the ailing restaurant and airline industries and emergency jobless benefits while providing tax breaks to lower earners and families with children. Republicans oppose the sweeping...
    The U.S. Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday evening that President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats cannot procedurally include a minimum wage hike in their $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, a setback for the Democrats and the new president. The ruling by the parliamentarian is a major setback for Democrats who had hoped to include a hike to a $15 federal minimum wage in the bill. In response to the parliamentarian ruling, White House press secretary Jen Psaki issued the following statement expressing Biden’s disappointment: President Biden is disappointed in this outcome, as he proposed having the $15 minimum wage as part of the American Rescue Plan. He respects the parliamentarian’s decision and the Senate’s process. He will work with leaders in Congress to determine the best path forward because no one in this country should work full time and live in poverty. He urges Congress to move quickly to pass the...
    PRESIDENT Joe Biden’s $15 minimum wage proposal hit a roadblock on Thursday after a key Senate official ruled it cannot be included in his massive Covid relief bill due to its language.  Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough said the minimum wage proposal was written in a way that made it ineligible for the $1.9trillion coronavirus package if Democrats plan to protect it from a filibuster.  4President Joe Biden was 'disappointed' that the $15 minimum wage proposal cannot be included in the Covid relief bill if it goes through the reconciliation processCredit: Reuters Democrats want to use the reconciliation process, which lets them pass a budget-related bill with a simple 51-vote majority instead of the 60 votes that are typically needed to pass legislation.  In order to move forward with the Covid relief package, Democrats would have to remove the proposal to increase the national minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to...
    To the left wing of the Democratic Party, he is an obstacle in need of replacement by the next Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. To the White House, he is a “key partner to the president.” It’s all part of the delicate dance with Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. The most conservative Democrat in the Senate, if not all of Congress, represents a state that twice voted for Donald Trump by more than 40 points. West Virginia is becoming an increasingly difficult place for Democrats to win elections. With the chamber split 50-50 between the two parties, he has become a crucial swing vote on legislation. For President Biden, himself a 36-year veteran of the Senate, the easiest path forward for his legislative agenda is to cultivate a relationship with Manchin. But the West Virginian is a major source of irritation to liberals who believe that with unified control of the elected...
    A Senate official's ruling against Democrats' $15 minimum wage hike in the next coronavirus bill has revived calls to end the Senate filibuster. Democrats are trying to pass the legislation through reconciliation, a fast-track process that lets them bypass the 60-vote legislative filibuster. Therefore, every provision included in the bill needs to pass the arcane budget rules.  Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled on Thursday that boosting the minimum wage in the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill does not comply with budget rules. The decision was a blow to progressives, who saw the measure as a key provision of the relief bill. Progressive senators took to Twitter after the ruling Thursday to express their frustration with the decision and to call for the nixing of the filibuster.  Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBecerra says he wants to 'build on' ObamaCare when pressed on Medicare for All Yellen deputy Adeyemo on track for quick...
    House Democrats will leave a provision to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour in their version of the COVID-19 relief package set for a vote on Friday despite a ruling from the Senate parliamentarian that the measure does not comply with budgetary rules.  Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House House Republican attempts to appeal fine for bypassing metal detector outside chamber MORE (D-Calif.) called the Senate parliamentarian's ruling "disappointing" in a statement on Thursday night but said that the House will still vote on the $1.9 trillion relief package on Friday with the minimum wage increase. Democrats will then leave it up to the Senate to remove the provision when it reaches the upper chamber. “House Democrats believe that the minimum wage hike is necessary. Therefore, this provision will remain in the American Rescue...
    Democrats aren’t allowed to attach a provision increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour to their coronavirus relief package, a top Senate official ruled, according to reports. Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, who oversees the interpretation of the chamber’s rules and precedents, decided Thursday evening that the proposed minimum wage hike couldn’t be included in President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan under budget reconciliation, CNBC reported. MacDonough had held private meetings over the last week with Democrats and Republicans, hearing their arguments for or against keeping the measure. “We are deeply disappointed in this decision,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said following the decision. “We are not going to give up the fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 to help millions of struggling American workers and their families. The American people deserve it, and we are committed to making it a reality.” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer...
    Democrats are confronting their first existential crisis as Washington power brokers: how far they are willing to go to keep their minimum wage promise after facing a defeat by the Senate’s rules referee. Frustration has escalated to anger in some progressive circles, with elected officials and activists becoming increasingly antsy about the prospect of actually passing a chief campaign pledge. Where there was once optimism and urgency around a consensus Democratic issue, the latter emotion has become distinctly more pronounced. For weeks, the chance for a national pay raise dangled amid arcane congressional intrigue. Some in the party’s left-wing have taken those concerns directly to the Biden administration, which, they say, has been willing to hear them out, including within its highest ranks. But the prolonged uncertainty and public speculation has added a layer of anxiety to the process. “If you’ll pardon my language, we’re done fucking around,” said a...
    House Democrats are urging President Joe Biden to end migration controls at the United States-Mexico border to help slow the Chinese coronavirus in foreign countries. In March 2020, former President Trump imposed a CDC order known as Title 42 that allows federal immigration officials to quickly return border crossers to their native countries to prevent adding to the current public health emergency in the U.S. Nearly 460,000 border crossers have been expelled and deported from the U.S. since March 2020 thanks to Title 42. In the last four months, alone, between 62,000 to 65,000 border crossers have been expelled and deported monthly under Title 42. A group of 61 House Democrats, though, are asking Biden to end Title 42 — arguing that the U.S. is contributing to the global spread of the coronavirus by deporting border crossers to their native countries. Instead, the House Democrats say, the border crossers should...
    WHITE HOUSE - The president of the United States, always accompanied by a military aide carrying a satchel containing nuclear launch codes, has sole authority to order nuclear warfare or respond in kind to such an enemy attack. Now, lawmakers of the current president’s own party are asking President Joe Biden to surrender that unilateral power. Giving one person such authority “entails real risks,” according to a letter endorsed by 31 Democratic members of the House. “Past presidents have threatened to attack other countries with nuclear weapons or exhibited behavior that causes other officials to express concerns about the president's judgment.” The letter, led by Representatives Jimmy Panetta and Ted Lieu, both from California, calls for officials, such as the vice president and speaker of the House, to concur with a launch order before it can be issued. “My colleagues and I are requesting a straightforward review of our nation’s...
    Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled Thursday that a plan to boost the minimum wage as part of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill doesn’t comply with budget rules.  The decision from the key Senate official is a significant blow to progressives, who viewed the plan to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour as one of their top priorities in the massive coronavirus relief plan. Because Democrats are trying to pass the coronavirus bill through reconciliation — a fast-track process that lets them bypass the 60-vote legislative filibuster — every provision has to comply with arcane budget rules. The ruling, confirmed by a Senate aide to The Hill, means House Democrats will either need to strip the language out of the bill before it passes on Friday, or they'll need to muster 60 votes for it in the Senate — support it doesn't have. A spokesperson for House Speaker...
    Three Republicans in the House of Representatives voted with Democrats to pass the Equality Act on Thursday afternoon, which will impact abortion, marriage, family, gender, sports and more. In a 224-206 vote, the House passed the Equality Act. H.R. 5 would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act in order to prevent “discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.” Three Republicans voted with Democrats in favor of the act. The act would mandate that individuals cannot be denied access to the locker room of their choice. THESE THREE REPUBLICANS VOTED IN FAVOR OF THE EQUALITY ACT:  Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick New York Rep. John Katko New York Rep. Tom Reed Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., is seen in the Capitol Rotunda before the House voted to impeach President Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via...
    The House of Representatives passed the Equality Act on Thursday afternoon, which will impact abortion, marriage, family, gender, sports and more. In a 224-206 vote, the House passed the Equality Act. H.R. 5 would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act in order to prevent “discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation.” Three Republicans voted with Democrats in favor of the Equality Act. Democrats tried to pass the Equality Act in 2019, but it was killed by a Republican-controlled Senate. THESE THREE REPUBLICANS VOTED IN FAVOR OF THE EQUALITY ACT:  Pennsylvania Rep. Fitzpatrick New York Rep. Katko New York Rep. Reed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a news conference where House and Senate Democrats introduced the Equality Act of 2019 which would ban discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, on March 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)...
    (CNN)Congressional Democrats said Thursday that they would be open to an even partisan split for a commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, but a dispute over the panel's scope remained a key sticking point as Congress feuds over the creation of the independent commission.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California responded to criticisms from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday by accusing the Kentucky Republican of "taking a page out of the book of Sen. (Ron) Johnson," the Wisconsin Republican who was criticized for falsely suggesting in a Senate hearing this week that supporters of former President Donald Trump were not behind the Capitol attack. "I'm disappointed in what I heard the minority leader yesterday, McConnell, say on the floor. It was really quite stunning, because in my brief conversation with him on this subject, I had the impression that he wanted to have a...
    Three Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday issued a statement pushing back on Democrats' letter to President Biden urging him to give up his sole nuclear authority. Conference Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Ranking Member Mike Rogers, R-Ala., and Subcommittee Ranking Member Mike Turner, R-Ohio, said such a move would "would leave Americans vulnerable." "Democrats' dangerous efforts suggesting a restructuring of our nuclear command and control process will undermine American security, as well as the security of our allies," the Republicans said in a statement. "These proposals, if enacted, would leave Americans vulnerable, destabilize the nuclear balance, and shake our allies' confidence in the nuclear umbrella." The statement added that revoking the president's nuclear capabilities would be welcome by adversaries with nuclear powers, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. "The ability to take action during an attack is imperative to deterring a preemptive strike from our adversaries. America should...
    House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) released a memo Thursday to Republican ranking members detailing how the GOP can use House procedural motions to force Democrats to take tough votes and expose their leftist agenda. McCarthy wrote that because Democrats only have a five-member majority in the House, the strong Republican minority can force the slim Democrat majority to take tough votes that have resulted in Democrats losing procedural motions such as blocking the previous question. The procedural motion McCarthy proposed Friday, known as the Motion to Recommit (MTR), if successfully passed, would move the legislation on the House floor back to the bill’s committee of origin. This would significantly delay or block the bill from passing through the House, as lawmakers would have to amend it to contain the improvements sought by the majority contained in the MTR instructions. Using both the previous question and MTR had made Democrats lose...
    WASHINGTON -- The major order of business for President Joe Biden and Congress is to pass a $1.9 trillion Covid relief package before the round of unemployment benefits and other aid approved in December lapse, again leaving millions of Americans short of help.What's riding on this negotiation is the $1,400 stimulus checks proposed by Biden even before he took office, as well as that extra federal unemployment money. Democrats have said they will get a bill signed by mid-March.Three key things to know about the legislation proposed by House Democrats: It's massive. The latest package will run to about $1.9 trillion on top of about $4 trillion already approved under former President Donald Trump. See where that money went here. It's sweeping. The new bill would touch everything from direct stimulus payments and extending unemployment insurance to propping up the airline industry, giving new money for vaccines and...
    House Democrats are asking President Biden to share his unilateral ability to launch nuclear weapons. In a letter to the president, Reps. Ted Lieu and Jimmy Panetta, accompanied by nearly 30 colleagues, argued that "vesting one person with this authority entails real risks." "While any president would presumably consult with advisors before ordering a nuclear attack, there is no requirement to do so," read the letter dated Monday. "The military is obligated to carry out the order if they assess it is legal under the laws of war. Under the current posture of U.S. nuclear forces, that attack would happen in minutes." IRAN SAYS WINDOW IS CLOSING FOR US TO ADOPT 'NEW APPROACH' TO NUCLEAR PROGRAM The letter singled out former President Donald Trump for criticism, citing his Twitter feud with North Korea's Kim Jong Un and conduct during the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot as "behavior that caused other...
    WASHINGTON -- The major order of business for President Joe Biden and Congress is to pass a $1.9 trillion Covid relief package before the round of unemployment benefits and other aid approved in December lapse, again leaving millions of Americans short of help.What's riding on this negotiation is the $1,400 stimulus checks proposed by Biden even before he took office, as well as that extra federal unemployment money. Democrats have said they will get a bill signed by mid-March.Three key things to know about the legislation proposed by House Democrats: It's massive. The latest package will run to about $1.9 trillion on top of about $4 trillion already approved under former President Donald Trump. See where that money went here. It's sweeping. The new bill would touch everything from direct stimulus payments and extending unemployment insurance to propping up the airline industry, giving new money for vaccines and...
    House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House House Republican attempts to appeal fine for bypassing metal detector outside chamber MORE’s (D-Calif.) top political fundraiser will be moving to lead the House Majority PAC, the main fundraising arm responsible for maintaining a Democratic majority in the lower chamber.  The Washington Post first reported that Mike Smith, who has served as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) deputy executive director and as Pelosi’s political director, will now be “senior adviser” for the House Majority PAC.  Robby Mook, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve who currently serves as the PAC’s president, will be leaving for a year of active duty overseas, the Post reported.  In response to the leadership change, Pelosi said in a statement, “I have been so appreciative of Robby’s work to protect and expand...
    A THIRD stimulus check with $1,400 payments may only be passed if the proposal for a $15 minimum wage is dropped. President Joe Biden's relief bill would provide Americans with direct payments to deal with the financial hardship brought by the coronavirus pandemic. 4The third stimulus check includes $1,400 direct payments 4Joe Biden's relief bill includes a provision for a minimum wage increaseCredit: AP:Associated Press The bill includes a provision that over five years would increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour. Winning the increase in pay would be important for progressives now that Democrats control both Congress and the White House. However, Republicans have criticized the bill, saying it is too costly and it does too little to reopen schools or businesses hit by the pandemic. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif, said: “I haven’t seen a Republican yet that’s found something in there...
    (CNN)The major order of business for President Joe Biden and Congress is to pass a $1.9 trillion Covid relief package before the round of unemployment benefits and other aid approved in December lapse, again leaving millions of Americans short of help. More on Covid-19 relief Here's what's in the House Democrats' stimulus relief plan Congress already approved $4 trillion in Covid relief. What happened to it? Here's what budget reconciliation is (and why it matters for Biden's stimulus) Here are the executive actions Biden has signed so far What's riding on this negotiation is the $1,400 stimulus checks proposed by Biden even before he took office, as well as that extra federal unemployment money. Democrats have said they will get a bill signed by mid-March. Three key things to know about the legislation proposed by House Democrats: It's massive. The latest package will run to about $1.9 trillion...
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday slammed House Democrats' sweeping election reform bill as "exactly the wrong response" to what he called the "distressing lack of faith in our elections," saying Democrats want to use their "temporary power" to "try to ensure they'll never have to relinquish it." All House Democrats on Monday signed onto the bill — H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2021 —  which they claim will expand voting rights and "clean up corruption" in politics. From the Senate floor Thursday, McConnell, R-Ky., hit Democrats for trying to "recycle failed legislation" that would have Washington Democrats "grab unprecedented power over how America conducts its elections and how American citizens can engage in political speech." EVERY HOUSE DEMOCRAT SIGNS ON TO SWEEPING HR 1 BILL, GOP ARGUES IT WOULD 'UNDERMINE' ELECTION INTEGRITY "For several years now, we've seen the political left grow less interested in having normal policy debates...
    Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House House Republican attempts to appeal fine for bypassing metal detector outside chamber MORE (D-Calif.) said Thursday that Democrats will fight to keep the focus of the Jan. 6 investigative commission on the topic of the attack on the Capitol that day. Republican leaders, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKlain on Manchin's objection to Neera Tanden: He 'doesn't answer to us at the White House' Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Murkowski undecided on Tanden as nomination in limbo MORE (R-Ky.), have recently indicated they want to expand the scope of the investigation to include unrelated cases of political violence, including scattered episodes of rioting that accompanied the national protests against police brutality last summer. Pelosi, however, said the enormity of the Jan. 6 Capitol rampage...
    The White House is backing a change of leadership at the United States Postal Service, where a Trump-appointed postmaster general faces growing calls to resign over service delays. Louis DeJoy has made it clear he has no intention of resigning from the post despite admitting the mail service struggled to cope with the coronavirus pandemic and surge in holiday mail. On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced it was appointing two Democrats and a voting rights advocate to openings on the Postal Service’s governing board, which press secretary Jen Psaki said would provide the means to oust a failing leader. “I've learned more about the Postal Service than I ever thought I would know in the last couple of weeks, but it requires the Board of Governors, a majority of them, to overturn the leadership, and it's clear that the leadership can do better. And so that's our hope," she...
    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other GOP lawmakers are fighting back against the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill. Congress is working towards finalizing the massive aid bill as the House is expected to vote tomorrow on what Republicans call a "pork-filled wish list." The fourth relief plan includes funds for museums, high-speed rail projects, Silicon Valley, and other "questionable" items.   McCarthy, R-Calif., told "Fox & Friends" Democrats have blocked, for the third time, $64 billion that Republicans allocated to reopening schools amid the coronavirus pandemic. The House Minority Leader said this coronavirus stimulus bill was not created with bipartisan effort. MCCARTHY, CHENEY HAVE UNCOMFORTABLE EXCHANGE WITH REPORTERS OVER TRUMP SPEAKING AT CPAC REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY: "This one is not a bill that would focus on what Republicans want to about putting us back to work, back to school, back to health. This bill is actually too...
    Rep. Marie Newman (D-Ill.) sent out a fundraising email citing her growing feud with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) over transgender rights. The fundraising email centers around the Equality Act, which seeks to protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination, which Newman, who has a transgender daughter, supports and Greene opposes. Newman wrote that she felt “Pain as I listened to GOP congressmembers like Marjorie Taylor Greene use their platforms to spew lies and bigotry on the House floor in opposition to this crucial anti-discrimination legislation, which Greene called ‘disgusting, immoral, and evil.’” “Greene’s hateful behavior put a fire in me and reminded me why I ran for Congress in the first place -- to fight for everyone’s rights in the halls of power. I will never back down, but I can’t do it alone,” Newman wrote to supporters.  The fundraising email is the latest development in a burgeoning feud that was...
    More On: nuclear weapons Ayatollah: ‘Iran won’t yield to pressure,’ may up uranium enrichment, in prod to Biden White House reaches out to Iran over American hostages UN chief visits Iran as it threatens to cut off watchdog’s cameras UN nuclear watchdog finds troubling uranium traces at Iranian sites Over thirty House Democrats are asking President Biden to consider renouncing his authority to launch nuclear weapons. In a letter sent Tuesday but publicized Wednesday, 31 lawmakers led by Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) and Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) urge the commander in chief to “consider modifying the decision-making process the United States uses in its command and control of nuclear forces.” “As president, two of your most critical and solemn duties are the security of the country and the safeguarding of its nuclear arsenal,” the letter reads, noting the president’s sole authority to order the use of nuclear weapons assures keeping...
    The top Republican House member on the House Commerce and Energy Committee on Wednesday criticized an attempt by House Democrats to pressure television operators to evict Fox News and two conservative cable news channels. Senior member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) Expressed concern regarding letters sent by two Democratic panel members to 12 cable, satellite and broadcast companies. The letter accused the companies of failing to take steps to combat the spread of what Democrats said was « disinformation. » They demanded answers on why the operators offered their services to these television channels. « Elected officials using their platform to pressure private companies to censor media outlets with which they disagree, that sounds a lot like actions by the Chinese Communist Party, not duly elected representatives of the US Congress. » McMorris Rodgers said during a committee hearing on misinformation and extremism in the media. “Here we value freedom of expression and a free...
    The United States House of Representatives will vote this Friday for a new economic stimulus package of 1.9 trillion dollars, with a great chance of being approved by the Democratic majority. Miami World / Diario Las Americas Democrats approved in early February a motion that allows the plan to be adopted by a simple majority, without the need to reach the usual 60 votes for decisions of this magnitude. Negotiations continue in the Senate – the next scale of the initiative – on some thorny points, such as raising the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour. The head of the Democratic majority of the House, Steny Hoyer, affirmed this Wednesday in a press conference that he will submit the plan to a vote in the plenary on Friday. Democrats have a small majority among legislators, while in the Senate they have the same number of seats as...
    President BidenJoe BidenKlain on Manchin's objection to Neera Tanden: He 'doesn't answer to us at the White House' Senators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Overnight Defense: New Senate Armed Services chairman talks Pentagon policy nominee, Afghanistan, more | Biden reads report on Khashoggi killing | Austin stresses vaccine safety in new video MORE declared during the campaign that he would repeal the Trump tax cuts on “day one,” but after more than a month in office, some key Democratic lawmakers say they are reluctant to raise taxes during an economic slowdown. Democratic leaders are more focused on sending out $1,400 stimulus payments to qualifying adults and children by the middle of next month and following that up with a jobs and infrastructure package that could cost as much as $3 trillion. There’s been little discussion, however, on finding ways to raise revenue for Biden’s $1.9...
    New York : The stimulus project contemplates $ 20,000 million for vaccination against the COVID-19 virus. Photo: JOEL SAGET / . / . House Democrats plan to pass the coronavirus aid bill worth $ 1.9 trillion on Friday, as lawmakers try to prevent unemployment benefits from expiring next month. “The American people strongly support this bill and we are moving rapidly to see it signed into law,” House Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in a statement posted on Twitter Tuesday night. The House will vote on Friday on @POTUS‘ #AmericanRescuePlan to end this pandemic and deliver urgently needed relief to America’s families and small businesses. The American people strongly support this bill, and we are moving swiftly to see it enacted into law. – Steny (Wear a Mask) Hoyer (@LeaderHoyer) February 24, 2021 Package includes direct payments of $ 1,400 to most Americans, a...
    Fox News’ Laura Ingraham swiped at Congresswoman Liz Cheney Wednesday night for her comments about how Republicans should be moving on from Donald Trump. To recap: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the former president should be speaking at CPAC this weekend, followed by Cheney — who is still in House GOP leadership after a vote to oust her failed — standing by her comments that Trump should not be playing a role in the future of the Republican party. Ingraham told Jim Jordan, “Liz Cheney in the leadership role — they wanted her in a leadership role and now they got her in a leadership role — and she’s going to keep helping the Democrats, it looks like, on issues like this.” Jordan agreed with McCarthy and said he’s glad Trump will be speaking at CPAC. “He’s going to give a great speech, and President Trump is the leader of our...
    Following the conclusion of the 2020 congressional elections, Daily Kos Elections is pleased to unveil the most comprehensive guide you’ll find anywhere to the members of the new 117th Congress. This spreadsheet includes a wealth of demographic and electoral data on senators and representatives, as well as the states and districts they represent, providing key insight on the makeup of Congress and statistics that play a critical role in understanding both chambers. We've also visualized much of this data in maps and charts below. The guide includes our own calculations of the 2008-2020 presidential elections by congressional district that we recently finished for 2020, the 2012-2020 House election results, and the most recent Senate elections by state. It also includes vital census demographic statistics, such as the racial breakdowns (including by citizenship status) to provide the most accurate estimation of the eligible voter population. It further contains statistics about college educational attainment, median household income, and...
    White House Chief of Staff Ron KlainRon KlainCollins: Biden's .9T coronavirus package won't get any Senate GOP votes Capito asks White House to allow toxic chemicals rule to proceed White House press aide resigns after threatening Politico reporter MORE said he “respects” Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinHoyer: House will vote on COVID-19 relief bill Friday Haaland courts moderates during tense Senate confirmation hearing Democrats in standoff over minimum wage MORE’s (D-W.Va.) right to oppose the nomination of Neera TandenNeera TandenHaaland courts moderates during tense Senate confirmation hearing On The Money: Schumer urges Democrats to stick together on .9T bill | Collins rules out GOP support for Biden relief plan | Powell fights inflation fears Schumer urges Democrats to stick together on .9T bill MORE to lead the Office of Management and Budget amid increasing signs she won’t be confirmed in the Senate.  Manchin, as well as a number of centrist...
    White House Chief of Staff Ron KlainRon KlainCollins: Biden's .9T coronavirus package won't get any Senate GOP votes Capito asks White House to allow toxic chemicals rule to proceed White House press aide resigns after threatening Politico reporter MORE said the administration would not try to overrule the Senate parliamentarian if she decides an increase in the minimum wage must be stripped from a coronavirus relief package. “Certainly that’s not something we would do. We’re going to honor the rules of the Senate and work within that system to get this bill passed,” Klain said on MSBNC Wednesday.  The administration is pushing its $1.9 trillion stimulus package, which includes a provision for increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. However, Democrats are anxiously awaiting a ruling from the Senate parliamentarian over whether the minimum wage provision can remain in the bill. Democrats are trying to pass the...
    Democratic fury over the mob attack on the Capitol and its aftermath is spilling into nearly every aspect of life in the House, squashing hopes for comity and threatening even mundane legislative tasks like the naming of a local post office. Democrats accuse Republicans of nothing short of sabotaging the nation’s democracy with false claims that November’s election was “stolen” from former President TrumpDonald TrumpRomney: 'Pretty sure' Trump would win 2024 GOP nomination if he ran for president Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee Trump says 'no doubt' Tiger Woods will be back after accident MORE. Already angry that the refusal by some Republicans to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 was endangering lives, Democrats now see the GOP as directly putting lawmaker lives on the line with dangerous rhetoric that feeds outlandish conspiracy theories. “It's impossible for us to not look at them in...
    Two of President BidenJoe BidenHoyer: House will vote on COVID-19 relief bill Friday Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee Powell pushes back on GOP inflation fears MORE’s Cabinet nominees are slamming into confirmation hurdles on Capitol Hill, testing the White House’s ability to navigate a tenuous Senate majority amid deep partisan divisions in Washington. Biden’s pick for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Neera TandenNeera TandenHaaland courts moderates during tense Senate confirmation hearing On The Money: Schumer urges Democrats to stick together on .9T bill | Collins rules out GOP support for Biden relief plan | Powell fights inflation fears Schumer urges Democrats to stick together on .9T bill MORE, now appears unlikely to be confirmed after two Senate panels delayed business meetings to vote on her nomination Wednesday. And Republicans are solidifying their opposition to Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraOvernight Health Care: COVID-19 vaccine makers pledge massive...
    Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiKoch-backed group launches ads urging lawmakers to reject COVID-19 relief bill Biden health nominee faces first Senate test White House stands behind Tanden as opposition mounts MORE (R-Alaska) said on Wednesday that she hasn't made a decision on Neera TandenNeera TandenHaaland courts moderates during tense Senate confirmation hearing On The Money: Schumer urges Democrats to stick together on .9T bill | Collins rules out GOP support for Biden relief plan | Powell fights inflation fears Schumer urges Democrats to stick together on .9T bill MORE's nomination, leaving President BidenJoe BidenHoyer: House will vote on COVID-19 relief bill Friday Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee Powell pushes back on GOP inflation fears MORE's pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) stuck in limbo.  "I saw that they pulled her from committee today, so it looks like I've got more time to be...
    By KEITH RIDLER, Associated Press BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Democratic lawmakers from the Idaho House and Senate blasted their Republican colleagues Wednesday for engaging in what they called a power grab from the governor, local governments and voters while key legislation languishes. House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel and Senate Minority Caucus Chair Janie Ward-Engelking said the Republican majority has accomplished little near the mid-point of the legislative session. Republicans have put forward bills limiting a governor’s authority during emergencies such as the pandemic, making ballot initiatives more difficult, initiating a constitutional amendment so the part-time Legislature can call itself back into session, and removing the state’s attorney general as the primary legal defender for state agencies. “I don't see a lot of intellectual and logical consistency behind these positions other than they will get behind whatever avenue gets more power to the Legislature," Rubel said. The lawmakers said important issues...
    Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) is attempting to appeal the $5,000 fine imposed on him for failing to abide by newly implemented rules requiring members to go through magnetometers before entering the House chamber. The magnetometers were brought in by top Democrats in January in the wake of the deadly insurrection at the Capitol when a mob of former President TrumpDonald TrumpRomney: 'Pretty sure' Trump would win 2024 GOP nomination if he ran for president Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee Trump says 'no doubt' Tiger Woods will be back after accident MORE's supporters attempted to prevent the certification of President BidenJoe BidenHoyer: House will vote on COVID-19 relief bill Friday Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee Powell pushes back on GOP inflation fears MORE's Electoral College victory. The security move was met with strong pushback from GOP lawmakers, who argue the threat came from...
    (CNN)House Democrats on Wednesday reintroduced policing legislation named in honor of George Floyd, whose death in police custody last year sparked nationwide calls to address police misconduct and racial injustice. The bill -- titled the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 -- has provisions to overhaul qualified immunity for law enforcement, prohibitions on racial profiling on the part of law enforcement and a ban on no-knock warrants in federal drug cases.It would also ban chokeholds at the federal level and classify them as a civil rights violation and would establish a national registry of police misconduct maintained by the Department of Justice.The House could vote on this proposal as soon as next week, congressional aides told CNN."This legislation addresses police misconduct and excessive force, while creating greater transparency within law enforcement, and grants victims more direct avenues for redress. With this legislation, the federal government demonstrates its commitment...
    Republican Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said that efforts to censor certain conservative networks “sounds like actions from the Chinese Communist Party” during a House hearing on “disinformation and extremism in the media” Wednesday. The House Committee on Energy & Commerce held a hearing titled “Fanning the Flames: Disinformation and Extremism in the Media,” which saw lawmakers and witnesses debate whether conservative networks like Newsmax, One America News Network and Fox News should be taken off the air due to coverage that some Democrats claim led to violence. Rodgers began by ripping House Democrats’ efforts to pressure big tech into censoring conservative media during her opening statement. (RELATED: House Democrats Pressure TV Broadcasters To Deplatform Conservative Networks) “Elected officials using their platform to pressure private companies to censor media outlets they disagree with? That sounds like actions from the Chinese Communist Party, not duly elected representatives of the United States Congress,” Rodgers...
    (CNN)A brewing political fight over the creation of an independent commission to investigate the January 6 riot at the Capitol is focused not only on the partisan makeup of the panel but also over the scope of the probe and how the commission would examine domestic extremism.Republicans are balking at a plan put forward by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to create an outside commission with more Democrats than Republicans, and one whose mandate they say would go beyond just the security failures of the January 6 insurrection.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor Wednesday that Pelosi's plan "sets the stage" for a politicized and cherry-picked inquiry into domestic violent extremism beyond January 6, while House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Pelosi in a letter this week that Congress should not include predetermined conclusions about what the commission should investigate."We could do something narrow that looks at the...
    Republicans around the country are plotting a new wave of voter suppression laws in reaction to their 2020 losses, but many of their proposals can be defanged if congressional Democrats take decisive action. Just last month, Democrats introduced sweeping bills that would enact the most transformative changes to our democracy since the 1965 Voting Rights Act and provide a critical bulwark against GOP efforts to suppress votes. These reforms include: The “For the People Act”—also known as H.R. 1—which would adopt a historic expansion of voting access policies, ban congressional gerrymandering, and create a system of public financing for congressional elections; Legislation that would grant statehood to Washington, D.C.; and A bill to restore and expand the Voting Rights Act's protections after the Supreme Court's conservatives gutted the VRA in 2013. These reforms are urgently needed. Last year saw Republicans almost win full control of the federal government despite receiving millions fewer votes than Democrats...
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Wednesday accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of proposing a partisan riot commission that rejects the bipartisan model put in place nearly two decades following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. “The 50-50 bipartisan split of the commissioners was a key feature, “ McConnell said Wednesday. “It both helped the effectiveness of the investigation itself and helped give the whole country confidence in its work and recommendations. This time, Speaker Pelosi started by proposing a commission that would be partisan by design.” House Democrats have pitched draft legislation that would create a temporary commission to examine the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and produce a report by the end of the year. Both parties have called for a commission to investigate the attack. House Republicans have introduced legislation to form a bipartisan panel, equally divided between the two parties. Pelosi’s proposal, however, would...
    House Democrats on Wednesday pushed to allow the Biden administration to oversee the largest expansion of federal district courts in 30 years. Enlarging federal courts is a bipartisan idea, but many Democrats took advantage of control over both chambers of Congress and the presidency to advocate for an immediate expansion. Citing unmanageable caseloads in courts across the country, they chafed at Republican suggestions for bipartisan court expansion that would take place over the course of multiple administrations. “If there’s a need for more judges, there’s a need for more judges now,” said Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen. “Justice delayed is justice denied.” Cohen, along with other Democrats during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on court expansion, complained that under Trump, the racial diversity of the judiciary had decreased. Former President Donald Trump and then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed through a record number of federal judicial nominees, prompting top Democrats to...
    Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce BeattyJoyce Birdson BeattyOn The Money: Schumer urges Democrats to stick together on .9T bill | Collins rules out GOP support for Biden relief plan | Powell fights inflation fears CBC would back Young for OMB if Tanden falls Former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel jumps into Senate race MORE (D-Ohio) on Wednesday rolled out the group’s “100 Day Plan,” outlining the CBC’s legislative priorities that it hopes to see come to fruition during the first months of President BidenJoe BidenHoyer: House will vote on COVID-19 relief bill Friday Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee Powell pushes back on GOP inflation fears MORE’s administration. The virtual event began with a video introducing the caucus’ new theme “our power, our message,” featuring CBC members celebrating Black History Month and the caucus’ 50th anniversary. Established in 1971, the caucus has a record 58 members, three more...
    Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “The Last Word” that the Democrats won the majority in the House and Senate and Joe Biden won the presidency because they promised to pass coronavirus relief that that would include a $15 federal minimum wage. Jayapal  said, “I just keep reminding everybody that we won the Senate majority, the House majority and the White House because black, brown, indigenous, poor working people across this country were crying out for help and for a change in leadership and they were willing to give Democrats one more shot at really trying to get them the relief that they deserve and that they need. And I’ll tell you that moral argument right now actually did do a lot to keep people together in terms of what Democrats promised on the campaign trail and what we now have to deliver.” She continued, “You know we...
    House Democrats are defending a 7-to-4 advantage for an initial proposal from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a 9/11-style commission to investigate and respond to the Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol building, in part by accusing some members of the House Republican leadership of being untrustworthy. "I'm not prepared to say that a seven-four split is unfair, based on who actually is part of the commission," House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat, said in a Wednesday press conference. House leaders are reportedly stuck in negotiations on the breakdown of the number of people on the commission appointed by Democrats and Republicans. Republicans want an even split, with each party appointing five members, and are blasting Pelosi for the partisan advantage. House Republicans are not alone in their criticism of Democrats' proposed breakdown of appointees. Leaders of the 9/11 Commission, which had an...
    Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Democratic campaign arm, said Wednesday he’s doing a deep dive into the party’s election failures in 2020, including a look at “why the polling sucked.” Speaking at an event hosted by Politico, Maloney said the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has commissioned a report examining why the party lost more than a dozen House seats over the course of an election in which they won the White House and a majority in the Senate. “I’m doing a deep dive to figure out why the polling sucked, why we were misled on the status of certain races…on how we do digital, on how we use qualitative research versus quantitative research,” he said. “There’s a lot to learn. We’re looking at it…and we will have a report.” Democrats were expecting to pick up seats and add to their majority in the House in...
    Senate Democrats made their final pitch on Wednesday to the official who will decide whether language to increase the minimum wage can be included in their coronavirus relief bill.  Staffers met with Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough on Wednesday in a culmination of weeks of behind-the-scenes efforts by both parties to sway her as she prepares to make her decision.  "The Senate parliamentarian is hearing arguments today on the $15 minimum wage policy included in the House version of the bill," Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerCongress holds candlelight vigil for American lives lost to COVID-19 The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Lawmakers investigate Jan. 6 security failures Senate confirms Thomas-Greenfield as UN ambassador MORE (D-N.Y.) said on the floor.   Because Democrats are trying to pass the coronavirus bill through reconciliation — a budget process that allows it to bypass the 60-vote legislative filibuster in the Senate — it has to...
    The House Rules Committee on Wednesday released new text of the COVID-19 relief bill, adding spending measures that far exceed the $1.9 trillion price tag planned for the bill.  The full House is expected to vote on the COVID-19 relief package on Friday, but the bill will need to be changed to hit the $1.9 trillion limit to move through the Senate under special budgetary rules that are being used to avoid a Senate filibuster. Bloomberg reported that the Rules measure includes spending on foreign aid, tribal assistance and the National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards and Technology that will raise the price well above $1.9 trillion. Raquel Spencer, general counsel for the Budget Committee, said the new bill adds $11.75 trillion in spending to the package.  The biggest point of contention in the measure is language that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025....