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    Madison Summers February 22, 2021 0 Comments Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden’s attorney general nominee, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday he would make the investigation of the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol a top priority, and said he feared the incident was “not necessarily a one-off.” “We must do everything in the power of the Justice Department to prevent this kind of interference with policies of American democratic institutions,” Garland said during his confirmation hearing. “I don’t yet know what additional resources will be required by the department. I can assure you this will be my first priority.” The Senate is widely expected to confirm Garland, a federal appellate judge and former prosecutor, as the top U.S. law enforcement official. He was nominated to lead a Justice Department now in the midst of intensive investigations into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by...
    WASHINGTON - U.S. Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland plans to tell senators at his confirmation hearing Monday that he is committed to fighting discrimination in American life and extremist attacks against the government.   The 68-year-old Garland, currently a federal appellate court judge in Washington and a 2016 Supreme Court nominee whom Senate Republicans refused to consider in a presidential election year, is one of President Joe Biden’s most important Cabinet selections.   If confirmed by the Senate, Garland would head the Justice Department amid its ongoing investigation of hundreds of supporters of former President Donald Trump, many of them with anti-government views, who stormed into the U.S. Capitol last month to confront lawmakers as they were certifying that Biden defeated Trump in last November’s election.   In addition, Garland could oversee contentious racial disputes involving law enforcement abuses of minorities in criminal cases that has led to massive...
    Over 60 pro-life leaders are calling on the United States Senate to reject President Joe Biden’s choice of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra for secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In a letter led by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, leaders highlighted the California attorney general’s progressive abortion record and urged the Senate to reject Becerra’s nomination. The letter is dated February 18 but was sent Monday. (RELATED: ‘Aggressively Pro-Abortion’: Pro-Life Activists, Lawmakers Denounce Biden HHS Pick Becerra) “Mr. Becerra is an enemy to every pro-life policy and law and has demonstrated complete disregard for the religious and moral convictions of those opposed to the brutal act of abortion,” the letter said, warning that Becerra’s confirmation would be “divisive and a step in the wrong direction.” “We understand that the president needs to assemble a cabinet; however, Mr. Becerra has proven himself to be an...
    (CNN)A Cabinet nominee not making it to the finish line is a story as old as Washington. In the past, nominees have been forced to withdraw because of things like hiring undocumented workers or a questionable business deal or an unwillingness to be as transparent about your past life as our modern politics demands.But with Neera Tanden's nomination by President Joe Biden to be the director of the Office of Management and Budget, we may be witnessing the first nominee derailed by Twitter. On Friday, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin announced that he wouldn't support Tanden's nomination because of her past tweets savaging a number of Manchin's colleagues. "I have carefully reviewed Neera Tanden's public statements and tweets that were personally directed towards my colleagues on both sides of the aisle from Senator Sanders to Senator McConnell and others. I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and...
    By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Joe Biden's nominee for U.S. attorney general, Merrick Garland, is expected to face questions on Monday during his Senate confirmation hearing on a range of issues including the threat posed by right-wing extremists, police and sentencing reforms and an investigation involving Biden's son. Garland, a federal appellate judge and former prosecutor widely expected to win Senate confirmation as the top U.S. law enforcement official, goes before the Judiciary Committee at a hearing due to start at 9:30 a.m. EST (1430 GMT). Garland has said he plans to prioritize civil rights and combating domestic terrorism if confirmed. He was nominated to lead a Justice Department now in the midst of intensive investigations into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Republican former President Donald Trump's supporters - an incident Garland called "heinous" in his prepared testimony released on...
    Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSchumer says he's working to find votes to confirm Biden's OMB pick On The Money: What's next for Neera Tanden's nomination Manchin to oppose Biden's pick of Neera Tanden MORE (R-Maine) said on Monday that she will vote against President BidenJoe BidenBiden to hold moment of silence for 500K COVID-19 deaths Publix offers employees who get COVID-19 vaccine a 5 store gift card Schumer says he's working to find votes to confirm Biden's OMB pick MORE’s choice to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), becoming the second senator in days to come out against Neera TandenNeera TandenSchumer says he's working to find votes to confirm Biden's OMB pick Everybody wants Joe Manchin Biden won't pull Tanden nomination, says she'll get the votes MORE and putting her nomination in jeopardy. “The Director of OMB is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the federal...
    WASHINGTON - U.S. Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland plans to tell senators at his confirmation hearing Monday that he is committed to fighting discrimination and extremist attacks against the government.   The 68-year-old Garland, currently a federal appellate court judge in Washington and a 2016 Supreme Court nominee whom Senate Republicans refused to consider in a presidential election year, is one of President Joe Biden’s most important Cabinet selections.   If confirmed by the Senate, he would head the Department of Justice amid its ongoing investigation of hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump, many of them with anti-government views, who stormed into the U.S. Capitol last month to confront lawmakers as they were certifying that Biden defeated Trump in last November’s election. In addition, Garland could oversee contentious racial disputes involving law enforcement abuses of minorities in criminal cases that led to massive street demonstrations in recent months.   Senate Schedules Confirmation Hearing for...
    (CNN)At last, Merrick Garland gets his Senate confirmation hearing.Five years ago, Garland became the poster child for the Republican blockade of an open Supreme Court seat in the final year of President Barack Obama's term when Senate Republicans denied even a hearing to the Supreme Court nominee.Now Garland gets another chance to go before the Senate Judiciary Committee at 9:30 a.m. ET on Monday, the first day of a two-day hearing, but this time he's appearing for a different role as President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the Justice Department. While Garland is expected to face pointed questions over multiple thorny issues awaiting him at the Justice Department, his selection has been praised by both Democrats and Republicans leading up to the hearing. The GOP opposition to Garland in 2016, of course, had nothing to do with Garland himself, as Republicans came out against confirming Obama's Supreme Court nominee before...
    WASHINGTON - U.S. Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland, nominated by President Joe Biden as the country’s top law enforcement official, plans to tell senators at his confirmation hearing Monday that he is committed to fighting discrimination and extremist attacks against the government. The 68-year-old Garland, currently a federal appellate court judge in Washington and in 2016 a Supreme Court nominee whom Senate Republicans refused to consider in a presidential election year, is one of Biden’s most important Cabinet nominees. If confirmed by the Senate, he would head the Department of Justice amid its ongoing investigation of hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump, many of them with anti-government views, who stormed into the U.S. Capitol last month to confront lawmakers as they were certifying that Biden defeated Trump in last November’s election. In addition, Garland could oversee contentious racial disputes involving law enforcement abuses of minorities in criminal cases...
    President Joe Biden’s first nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Neera Tanden is in crisis control mode, reaching out to senators after her confirmation was harpooned by Sen. Bernie Sander’s (D-VT) tough line of questioning and Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) revealed “no” vote against her. Tanden has met with 35 senators on both sides of the aisle, according to a source involved with the confirmation process. “That outreach, which began moments after she was named, is continuing into next week,” the source said. The confirmation team has also been negotiating with outside interest groups that hold sway with key senators, including Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations, the business community, women business leaders, and labor unions, to drum up support for her nomination, CNN reported. Biden’s Cabinet picks mostly sailed through the Democrat-led Senate. Still, Biden’s nomination to lead the OMB, which heads efforts to ensure an administration’s priorities are reflected...
    (CNN)With impeachment in the rearview mirror, congressional Democrats are directing their full attention toward President Joe Biden's agenda as they return to Washington this week.House Democrats unveiled their full $1.9 trillion stimulus bill on Friday, which is expected to move through the House Budget Committee and to a House floor vote this week. Senate Democrats are preparing to tackle the bill with the narrowest of majorities while Senate committees ramp up confirmation hearings to approve key Biden administration nominees.The pivot to the White House's legislative agenda comes after the first month of Biden's presidency was often overshadowed by former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, both in the public spotlight as well as in the Capitol, with the trial halting any other business being taken up by the Senate while it was ongoing. How Bidens massive Covid relief bill was put on a glide path to passageSome confirmation hearings were...
    By Jan Wolfe and Sarah N. Lynch (Reuters) - President Joe Biden's attorney general nominee Merrick Garland will tell the Senate on Monday he plans to prioritize civil rights and combat domestic terror if confirmed as the top U.S. justice official, according to remarks released on Saturday. The Justice Department's mission to enforce the 1957 Civil Rights Act "remains urgent because we do not yet have equal justice," said Garland, whose confirmation hearing is scheduled to begin Monday. "Communities of color and other minorities still face discrimination in housing, education, employment, and the criminal justice system; and bear the brunt of the harm caused by pandemic, pollution, and climate change," he said. Garland, 68, serves as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, one of 13 federal appeals courts. Former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, nominated him to the Supreme Court in 2016,...
    President BidenJoe BidenREAD: House Democrats' mammoth COVID-19 relief bill House panel unveils .9T relief package Nunes lawsuit against CNN thrown out MORE visited former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) Saturday after Dole was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer this week. The trip to visit Dole, who the White House called a “close friend” of the president, was unannounced and did not appear on Biden’s public schedule. It was only reported by the White House pool after Biden had already arrived to meet with the former Kansas senator and presidential candidate.  The 97-year-old Kansan said in a statement this week he was diagnosed “recently” and will start treatment on Monday. “While I certainly have some hurdles ahead, I also know that I join millions of Americans who face significant health challenges of their own,” Dole said. Biden and Dole served in the Senate together from 1973-1996. Dole served in the Senate...
    Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said he will not vote to confirm President Biden's pick to be Office of Management and Budget director, Neera Tanden, endangering and potentially tanking her confirmation. Because of the 50-50 split in the Senate, one Republican would have to back Tanden to compensate for Manchin's "no" vote, which seems unlikely. Citing Tanden's history of partisan comments and tweets as a cause for concern, Manchin explained his decision in a written statement: "I have carefully reviewed Neera Tanden's public statements and tweets that were personally directed towards my colleagues on both sides of the aisle from Senator Sanders to Senator McConnell and others. I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget. For this reason, I cannot support her nomination. As I have...
    It was a severe Friday afternoon for President Joe Biden’s Office of Management and Budget nominee, Neera Tanden, whose nomination looks to be sinking in the quagmire of Democrat-controlled Senate politics. Her unraveling nomination may not only be due to a moderate democrat like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who has said he will be a “no” vote, but also because Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), representing the party’s most ideological members as chairman of the nominating committee, was publicly attacked by the nominee. It’s unknown if Biden believed Sanders would overlook the personal insult. Sanders likely made Tanden feel uncomfortable in her Senate confirmation hearing, confronting her on her “vicious attacks” against both Republicans and progressives on Twitter, including “me, personally.” Sen. Sanders asks OMB director nominee Neera Tanden to “reflect” on the “vicious attacks” against both Republicans and progressives on Twitter, including “me, personally.” pic.twitter.com/Sgejxt7EMf — The Recount (@therecount) February 10, 2021...
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- Some of the biggest names in Illinois' legal system, from both political parties, are urging Senate confirmation of President Biden's choice for U.S. Attorney General, Merrick Garland.The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), will open Garland's confirmation hearing on Monday.Two letters to Durbin and Congressional leaders in support of Garland were signed by 61 former federal judges and more than 150 former Department of Justice officials from across the nation. The letters include ten prominent names from Illinois who have signed on in support of Garland."We are former federal judges, appointed by both Republican and Democratic Presidents," the notable ex-judges write. "We believe, based upon Judge Garland's character, his impeccable judicial service, and his distinguished service to the United States as a federal prosecutor and senior Justice Department official, that he will be an outstanding Attorney General."The signees include three men who once served...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The nomination of Neera Tanden to lead the White House Office of Management and Budget was thrown in doubt Friday as Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia became the first Democratic lawmaker to oppose her confirmation. During her confirmation hearings, Tanden apologized for spending years attacking top Republicans on social media. She is a former adviser to Hillary Clinton and served as president of the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress. With the Senate evenly divided between 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats, she’ll likely need support from at least one Republican to win confirmation. “I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget,” Manchin said in a statement. He went on to say that, at a time of grave crisis, “it is more important...
    By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — The nomination of Neera Tanden to lead the White House Office of Management and Budget was thrown in doubt Friday as Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia became the first Democratic lawmaker to oppose her confirmation. During her confirmation hearings, Tanden apologized for spending years attacking top Republicans on social media. She is a former adviser to Hillary Clinton and served as president of the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress. With the Senate evenly divided between 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats, she'll likely need support from at least one Republican to win confirmation. “I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget," Manchin said in a statement. He went on to say that, at a time of grave...
    (CNN)Barring any surprises at his Senate confirmation hearing next week, Judge Merrick Garland appears poised to become President Joe Biden's first attorney general, bringing a longtime jurist with a steadying hand to a department that's teetering between crises.From the sprawling investigation into the January insurrection to sensitive probes of presidential allies, the caseload at the Justice Department is as controversial as ever, and Garland will be met by a workforce whose rejection of their previous boss's political maneuverings was unprecedented.For boosters of Garland, it was his reputation for fairness, honed over more than two decades on Washington, DC's, federal appeals court, that made him a good fit to lead the department out of the Trump era. His success in rebuilding the public's trust in the department, however, may hinge largely on his political deftness. "Every attorney general walks into sensitive, high-profile ongoing investigations to one degree or another. Garland is...
    Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said Friday that he will oppose President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Neera Tanden. Manchin released a statement saying her “overtly partisan statements” in the past would affect her work at the OMB and would impact her work with members of Congress. “I have carefully reviewed Neera Tanden’s public statements and tweets that were personally directed towards my colleagues on both sides of the aisle from Senator Sanders to Senator McConnell and others. I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget,” Manchin said in the statement. Neera Tanden, nominee for Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), testifies at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Budget Committee on February 10,...
    President Joe Biden nominated Neera Tanden to be the director of the Office of Management and Budget, but in the past few weeks she’s come under criticism for past tweets going after Republicans — especially Republicans in the Senate. During her recent confirmation hearing, Republican senators brought up some of those tweets, including when she said “vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz.” At one point Senator John Kennedy straight-up said, “I mean, you call Senator Sanders everything but an ignorant slut!” Tanden said in the hearing she regrets her past language. Now Senator Joe Manchin (D- WV) has come out publicly to say that he opposes her nomination, and says her “overtly partisan statements” are a reason why. And given how the Senate is evenly tied, Manchin opposing Tanden likely imperils her nomination. “I have carefully reviewed Neera Tanden’s public statements and tweets that were personally directed towards my...
    (CNN)Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced Friday he will vote against Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden's nominee for the director of the Office of Management and Budget, which will make it difficult for her to be confirmed given Republican resistance to her nomination."I have carefully reviewed Neera Tanden's public statements and tweets that were personally directed towards my colleagues on both sides of the aisle from Senator Sanders to Senator McConnell and others. I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget," Manchin said in a statement.This is a breaking story and will be updated.
    Catholic League president Bill Donohue has blasted President Joe Biden’s nomination of Xavier Becerra to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services, calling him “a menace to life and liberty.” In a searing essay Thursday, Dr. Donohue lays out 16 reasons why Becerra should not be confirmed for the post, including his feverish promotion of abortion at any time up to birth, his support for doctor-assisted suicide, and his serial attacks on religious freedom. “It would be impossible to find a more enthusiastic advocate of abortion-on-demand,” Donohue writes, and Becerra’s extremist views on the practice place him well outside the mainstream. The Catholic League is not alone in opposing the confirmation of Becerra. An ad released Thursday from Heritage Action for America notes that Becerra “supports government run health care,” “sued Catholic nuns” as California attorney general, and would “decriminalize illegal immigration.” The ad also says that Becerra is...
    The scandal that's embroiled Albany is going to Washington. Senate Republicans plan to ask President Biden's pick for attorney general, Judge Merrick Garland, at his confirmation hearing about whether he'll investigate the alleged cover-up of nursing home coronavirus deaths by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The hearing is scheduled to begin Monday and run into Tuesday.  Cuomo, a Democrat, has denied he covered up nursing home deaths.  "When Judge Garland testifies before this Committee, we expect him to commit the Department of Justice to fully investigating this cover-up to determine whether any criminal laws were violated and to prosecute any violations," a group of nine Republicans led by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said in a letter this week.  HUNTER BIDEN PROBE: AG NOMINEE GARLAND PRESSED BY GOP LAWMAKER TO KEEP US ATTORNEY HANDLING CASE "We will also ask him whether he has the resources he needs to fully pursue an investigation, not...
    President Biden’s nominee to lead the State Department’s democracy and human rights division worked in her youth on a research project that accused "the Israel lobby” of manipulating American policy. "The inevitable public perception is that such ardent supporters of Israel have no real interest in making the United States a better place for all of its citizens, but only in making Israel a more secure and prosperous place for Jews,” the American Educational Trust’s Richard Curtiss wrote in Stealth PACs: How Israel's American Lobby Took Control of U.S. Middle East Policy, published in 1990. Uzra Zeya, a career diplomat who resigned from the State Department in 2018, worked for Curtiss’s organization in 1989 and 1990, according to the Washington Free Beacon, which observed that she received a credit in the acknowledgments section of the book. Her connection to the project raises the likelihood of a combative confirmation process,...
    Conservative organizations launched a more-than-$2 million ad buy Thursday, arguing that President Joe Biden’s call for “unity” is undercut by his policies and personnel bent on imposing an extreme liberal agenda. A coalition of conservative organizations — led by Judicial Crisis Network, Heritage Action for America, and Americans for Public Trust — say, “Biden’s policies and personnel have direct ties to left-wing dark money groups such as Arabella Advisors.” The latter spent millions to get Biden elected. The three ads focus on Vanita Gupta, Biden’s nominee for Associate Attorney General, the number three position at the Department of Justice; Xavier Becerra, Biden’s nominee to be Secretary of Health and Human Services; and several dark money groups promoting these appointees and policies. The coalition is attacking Gupta for her clear support of communities moving to defund their police departments, in which she stated “police reform alone” is not enough. She is also highlighted for reducing punishments for violent...
    Rep. Ken Buck on Wednesday sent a letter to President Biden's attorney general pick Judge Merrick Garland asking him to keep on the federal prosecutor who is in charge of the probe into Hunter Biden -- or otherwise appoint a special counsel.  The request by Buck, R-Colo., first obtained by Fox News, follows a notice from the Biden administration earlier this month requesting that Trump-appointed U.S. attorneys resign to transition the Department of Justice (DOJ) to prosecutors picked by the new president. One exception to that was Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who is overseeing the federal tax investigation into Hunter Biden. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that decision was "made in order to fulfill [Biden's] promise of maintaining independence." Buck's letter Wednesday requests that Garland, who will oversee all federal prosecutors if confirmed, follow Biden's lead in keeping Weiss employed.  Hunter Biden, the son of new US President Joe Biden, attends...
    President Biden's nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has raised concerns among Republicans for a 2018 report in which he argued for the creation of a regulatory "super-agency" that critics say could target conservative advocacy groups. Chopra, currently a member of the Federal Trade Commission, helped Sen. Elizabeth Warren organize the agency after the 2008 financial crisis. He worked at the agency until joining the FTC in 2018. The paper — co-written by Chopra and Julie Margetta Morgan, who now works as a senior adviser in the Department of Education — calls for a new agency that consolidates the "overlapping mandates" of inspectors general and the Government Accountability Office "into a single agency with real powers to enforce and police corruption." It was published by the Roosevelt Institute, a left-leaning think tank. The proposed Public Integrity Protection Agency, like the CFPB, would not receive its funding from...
    (CNN)The confirmation hearing for Interior Secretary nominee Rep. Deb Haaland is scheduled for next Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. ET, a spokesperson for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee confirmed to CNN on Tuesday.Haaland, who represents New Mexico's 1st Congressional District, was reelected to her second term in November. If confirmed by the Senate, she will make history as the first Native American Cabinet secretary.Haaland's hearing is scheduled for the same day as the confirmation hearing for Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Xavier Becerra, who currently serves as California's attorney general, before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The day before, another committee is set to hold its first hearing for Judge Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden's choice for US attorney general. The flurry of hearings comes as the Senate returns to assessing Biden's picks to lead his Cabinet after the dramatic second impeachment trial of former...
    The Biden administration has already taken steps to undo former President Trump’s success in countering China, a Republican Study Committee report reveals. Instead of displaying “American leadership through a strategy based on peace through strength, the Biden team so far has exhibited a pattern of weakness, and a return to Obama’s failed approach of engaging rather than holding China accountable for it’s bad behavior,” the report states. Outlined in the report are ways in which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) seeks a continuation of an Obama-style “vision of accommodation and cooperation, rather than containment and confrontation, with the CCP.” The following are eight key actions from the report that demonstrate Biden’s approach: January 21, 2021: Biden issued an executive order to suspend Trump’s E.O. 13920, which protected the U.S. against China from accessing or owning parts of the U.S. power grid. January 21, 2021: Biden rejoined the World Health Organization without concern...
    Washington (CNN)President Joe Biden's pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services will appear before a Senate committee next week for his confirmation hearing, giving the nominee a chance to field questions about how he will help lead the administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic. The hearing for Xavier Becerra, who currently serves as California's attorney general, will take place next Tuesday before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Becerra's hearing will happen a day after another committee is set to hold its first hearing for Judge Merrick Garland, Biden's pick for US attorney general. His hearing will be followed by a second hearing on Tuesday. The hearings for the two nominees are set to take place less than two weeks after the chamber finished its impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump, with the pivot back to Biden's Cabinet confirmations likely to please the administration,...
    President Biden’s nomination of Julie Su as U.S. deputy secretary of labor is raising eyebrows throughout California, if not the nation. Su’s performance as California labor secretary has been a disaster. Since Gov. Gavin Newsom chose her for the position in 2019, the state Employment Development Department she oversaw has been responsible for one of the biggest scandals in state history. Under her watch, California not only has failed to process and distribute unemployment checks on a timely basis to hundreds of thousands of people with legitimate claims, but it also paid out $11 billion in fraudulent claims. Su may not have directly managed the department, but she supervised those who did. Her failed leadership during the crisis raises serious questions about whether she is the right choice to help shape the nation’s labor programs. Su’s defenders include Gov. Gavin Newsom and California labor leaders. They argue that her challenges...
    President Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of the interior, New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland, once led a company that profited from the generation of fossil fuels. Prior to joining Congress in 2018, Haaland served as the chairwoman for a company that operates a transmix plant that generates 50,000 gallons of fuel per day. Haaland would oversee Biden’s moratorium on new drilling on public lands if confirmed by the Senate. President Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of the interior, who if confirmed will carry out his moratorium on new drilling on public lands, once led a company that profited from the generation of fossil fuels. The nominee, New Mexico Democratic Rep. Deb Haaland, was a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal in 2019 and pledged to vote against all new fossil fuel infrastructure before her nomination. Before her election to the House in 2018, Haaland served on the board...
    Sen. Jon OssoffJon OssoffJournalist Zaid Jilani: Expansions of voting rights have made Georgia competitive again Congress mulls tightening eligibility for stimulus checks Susan Sarandon slams Democrats for 'bait and switch' on ,000 relief checks MORE (D-Ga.) pressed Neera TandenNeera TandenOn The Money: House panel advances measure expanding unemployment benefits in relief package | Powell says more aid needed for full recovery Biden nominee Neera Tanden recalls past discrimination Deficit hits 6 billion in first third of year MORE, President BidenJoe BidenFormer Republican officials in talks to form center-right anti-Trump party: report Biden raises concerns with Xi in first call with Chinese leader as president Castro: Trump further incited the mob 'against his own vice president' MORE’s pick to lead his budget office, during her confirmation hearing in the Senate on Tuesday about funding for historically Black universities and colleges (HBCUs). During the hearing, the Democratic senator discussed the importance HBCUs...
    President Biden's nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget nominee, Neera Tanden, is not suited for the position, "The View" co-host Meghan McCain argued Thursday, pointing to past anti-Republican tweets from the former Clinton campaign official.  "She was really sort of unhinged on Twitter and she would just go after everyone and she was extremely reactive. It’s not so much ... that she was saying ‘Moscow Mitch.’ It’s more that we’re electing her to a position of huge power and influence in the U.S. government, and I don’t want someone this reactive and impulsive in charge. Look what just happened when we elected someone president who was that reactive and crazy and couldn’t control themselves on Twitter," said McCain, calling her one of Twitter's "worst trolls" among media and politician pundits. "I'm done with this," she said, adding that people in politics and media need to speak to...
    Sen. Tom Cotton highlighted $51,600 in political donations from two teachers unions to Xavier Becerra, President Joe Biden's nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, warning that it could influence him to keep schools closed in an effort to protect teachers.  MCCARTHY DEFENDS ATTENDING 'MICRO-WEDDING' OF HIS SON DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC "President Biden’s HHS nominee, Xavier Becerra, accepted more than $50,000 from the California teachers unions. As HHS Secretary, Becerra would weaponize the CDC to keep our schools closed and our children falling further behind. He must be stopped," Cotton said in a tweet on Tuesday.  Cotton has previously urged the Senate to block Becerra's confirmation as Biden's HHS secretary, pointing out that Becerra -- the current California attorney general -- lacks any medical background to support his intended role as a top U.S. health official. Campaign finance data posted on Cotton's Twitter shows that Becerra accepted $14,600 in political contributions from the California Teachers Association and Association for Better...
    Meghan McCain compared Neera Tanden to Donald Trump as she condemned both for their bad behavior on Twitter. Tanden was nominated by President Joe Biden to be the director of the Office of Management and Budget, but as her confirmation continues, she has come under fire for insulting comments she has made about numerous lawmakers and officials on Twitter. As The View discussed this on Thursday, McCain said she counts Tanden among “the media people and political people in general who are, like, the worst trolls of anyone.” This eventually led to McCain drawing a connection between Tanden and Trump: She was really sort of unhinged on Twitter and she would just go after everyone and she was extremely reactive. It’s not so much that she was saying ‘Moscow Mitch.’ It’s more that we’re electing her to a position of huge power and influence in the U.S. government, and I...
    Neera TandenNeera TandenOn The Money: What's in Democrats' .9 trillion relief package | Spotlight on the proposed stimulus checks | Tanden addresses criticism of GOP Tanden seeks to defuse GOP tensions over tweets Schumer vows Democrats will dual-track coronavirus bill with impeachment trial MORE, President BidenJoe BidenPostal Service posts profits after surge in holiday deliveries Overnight Defense: Pentagon pushes to root out extremism in ranks | Top admiral condemns extremism after noose, hate speech discovered GOP senators send clear signal: Trump's getting acquitted MORE’s nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget, recounted to NBC News discrimination she's faced throughout her career as an Asian American woman. "It was really frustrating," said Tanden, who is undergoing a confirmation hearing this week. If confirmed, Tanden would become the first woman of color to lead the agency. Tanden shared stories of criticism and doubt she's dealt with over the years. While serving as policy director on...
    Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden’s nominee to run the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), said Monday that she approves of a $15 minimum wage after telling Hillary Clinton’s campaign to avoid such a policy position. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, asked if she would approve of “ending starvation wages” by “raising the minimum wage over a period of several years.” “Absolutely,” Tanden said. She continued, saying that recent studies had challenged the conventional view about raising minimum wage’s potential job-killing impact on jobs. WATCH: Neera Tanden does not hesitate to commit to a $15 minimum wage mandate, which would kill 1.4 million jobs according to the CBO. pic.twitter.com/nhuCEYwAts — America Rising (@AmericaRising) February 10, 2021 Tanden said that job loss rates due to such raises were “relatively low.” The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a study this week that found that raising the...
    Sen. Bernie Sanders revisited political grievances over Neera Tanden's corporate ties just minutes into her second Senate confirmation hearing, pitting President Biden's pick for budget chief against the leader of the Democratic Party's liberal wing. The Vermont senator, who infamously clashed with Tanden during his 2016 and 2020 White House bids, has the gavel for Tanden's confirmation hearing before the Senate Budget Committee he leads. And he didn't hold back during his opening statement on Wednesday morning, opening a slow-to-heal wound that dates to her time as a senior aide to the chairman's 2016 Democratic presidential primary foe, Hillary Clinton. Given the "unprecedented" public health and economic crises amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Office of Management and Budget needs a director with "the courage at this moment in American history to think big, not small," Sanders said. The federal agency, which will oversee Biden's budget and policy implementation,...
    Reuters February 10, 2021 0 Comments The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Feb. 22-23 on confirmation of President Joe Biden’s attorney general nominee, Merrick Garland, and will vote on advancing his nomination on March 1, the panel said in a statement on Tuesday. “Judge Garland will serve the Justice Department and our country with honor and integrity. He is a consensus pick who should be confirmed swiftly on his merits,” it quoted the committee’s chairman, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, as saying. Garland, 68, is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, one of 13 federal appeals courts. Since Biden was sworn into office on Jan. 20, the Senate has confirmed many members of his Cabinet, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Democratic former President Barack Obama nominated Garland to the Supreme Court in 2016 while...
    President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Neera Tanden, was grilled by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) for her financial ties to Wall Street firms and tech corporations. Tanden, currently the CEO of the left-wing Center for American Progress and a longtime ally of failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, was questioned by Hawley for the organization’s donor list, which includes Wall Street investors, Big Tech, and foreign governments. “Do you think that Wall Street and Big Tech companies have too much influence in our economy and society today,” Hawley asked Tanden to which she responded “Yes.” Hawley then asked Tanden to explain how she would “advocate for working people given this history of soliciting tens of millions of dollars from the biggest and most powerful corporations on the planet?” The exchange went as follows: HAWLEY: I also … I am glad you say that,...
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Feb. 22-23 on confirmation of President Joe Biden's attorney general nominee, Merrick Garland, and will vote on advancing his nomination on March 1, the panel said in a statement on Tuesday. "Judge Garland will serve the Justice Department and our country with honor and integrity. He is a consensus pick who should be confirmed swiftly on his merits," it quoted the committee's chairman, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, as saying. Garland, 68, is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, one of 13 federal appeals courts. Since Biden was sworn into office on Jan. 20, the Senate has confirmed many members of his Cabinet, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Democratic former President Barack Obama nominated Garland to the Supreme Court in 2016 while Biden was vice president....
    House Budget Committee Republicans urged their Senate colleagues to reject the nomination of Neera Tanden to be President Joe Biden’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget in a letter sent Tuesday. Republican Budget Committee Leader Jason Smith cited Tanden’s past partisan behavior, financial ties to major corporations and foreign countries, and managerial misconduct as reasons to reject her in the letter. “Ms. Tanden does not appear to have the leadership qualities needed to represent such an important agency, and her divisive history will likely only further divide Americans,” read the letter signed by every Republican on the committee. The letter highlighted a 2018 report in which Tanden revealed the identity of an anonymous victim of sexual harassment allegations to the staff of the Center for American Progress (CAP), a liberal think tank that Tanden led. Employees are quoted as saying that Tanden “lost the organization today” and “it...
    By MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate committee has endorsed President Joe Biden's nomination of Michael Regan to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, setting up a vote in the full Senate. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee advanced Regan's nomination Tuesday on a 14-6 vote. Four Republicans, including new committee member Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, joined with all 10 Democrats to support Regan. Regan, who has served as North Carolina's top environmental regulator since 2017, would be the first Black man to run the EPA. Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator in President Barack Obama's first term, was the first African American to lead the agency. Regan is known in his home state for pursuing cleanups of industrial toxins and helping low-income and minority communities significantly affected by pollution. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., the chairman of the environment panel, called Regan the right person to lead EPA,...
    Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., while questioning Neera Tanden, the presidents nominee to head the Office of Budget and Management, grilled her about millions of dollars in corporate and foreign donations to her think tank, the Center for American Progress. Hawley outlined donations Tandens organization had received, including $2.5 million from the United Arab Emirates; $1 million from the managing partner of Bain Capital, and $665,000 from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, reports The National Review. "You solicited tens of millions of dollars in donations from Wall Street and Silicon Valley companies as president of the Center for American Progress, including very large contributions from Mark Zuckerberg," Hawley told Tanden, quoting media reports. "Given this record, how can you assure us that youll work to see that these Silicon Valley and Wall Street firms dont exercise undue influence . . . in the making of government policy?" Hawley asked. Tanden responded she...
    WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden's choice to the lead the Office of Management and Budget apologized Tuesday for spending years attacking top Republicans on social media as she tried to convince senators she'll leave partisan politics behind if confirmed.   Neera Tanden also admitted to spending "many months" removing past Twitter posts, saying, "I deleted tweets because I regretted them." But she refused to say she did so to help her nomination.   "I know there have been some concerns about some of my past language on social media, and I regret that language and take responsibility for it," Tanden, a former adviser to Hillary Clinton and the president of the center-left Center for American Progress, told a Senate committee.   She later added, "I deeply regret and apologize for my language."   Tanden would be the first woman of color to lead the OMB. Her nomination requires approval...
    Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden’s nominee for director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), apologized Tuesday for her years of publicly attacking Republicans, including many Republican senators who will vote on her confirmation. Tanden, the president and CEO of the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress (CAP), told members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that she had deleted more than 1,000 tweets in November because she “regretted” her tone and that “nobody advised me at all” to scrub her social media account of her controversial comments ahead of her nomination. “I deeply regret and apologize for my language and some of my past language,” Tanden said. “I know I have to earn the trust of senators across the board.” .@SenRobPortman asks Biden’s nominee for OMB Director, Neera Tanden, about the 1,000 tweets she deleted attacking many Republican Senators. Her snarky apology just screams unity...
    By Kristen Holmes and Clare Foran | CNN President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden, apologized on Tuesday for some of the criticism she has previously directed at congressional Republicans and expressed regret over past tweets during a Senate confirmation hearing. Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio questioned Tanden at the Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing about her past comments and asked if she could actually be bipartisan given her track record. Portman read aloud some of the insults Tanden has leveled at various Republican lawmakers, including that “vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz,” a senator from Texas, and that Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is “the worst.” Tanden responded with an apology, saying, “I deeply regret and apologize for my language and some of my past language.” Portman later asked if she had deleted many of her tweets in advance of...
    Bradley Cortright February 9, 2021 0 Comments President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Neera Tanden, is apologizing for several tweets she sent over the years attacking Republican lawmakers. During her confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Tanden was confronted by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) about the “tone, the content, and the aggressive partisanship” of her past tweets attacking Republican lawmakers. Specifically, he noted tweets where Tanden called Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) “the worst,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) a “fraud,” and claimed “vampires have more heart than” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). He asked her how she plans to “mend fences and build relationships with members of Congress you have attacked through your public statements.” “I recognize the concern, I deeply regret and apologize for my language, some of my past language,” Tanden responded. “I recognize that this role is a bipartisan role, and I know...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate committee has endorsed President Joe Biden’s nomination of Michael Regan to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, setting up a vote in the full Senate. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee advanced Regan’s nomination Tuesday on a 14-6 vote. Regan, who has served as North Carolina’s top environmental regulator since 2017, would be the first Black man to run the EPA. Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator in President Barack Obama’s first term, was the first African American to lead the agency. Regan is known in his home state for pursuing cleanups of industrial toxins and helping low-income and minority communities significantly affected by pollution. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., the chairman of the environment panel, called Regan the right person to lead EPA, citing his “experience bringing people together to solve our most pressing environmental issues and make sure no community gets left behind in the process.”...
    Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) interrogated Neera Tanden over her history of insulting tweets about Republicans during her testimony before the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee. Tanden appeared before the committee on Tuesday for a hearing on her nomination to lead the Office of Management and Budget. As Ranking Member of the committee, Portman spoke of the OMB director’s responsibility to hold bipartisan conversations with Congress, then questioned whether Tanden would be able to hold relationships or function in the role without partisanship. “I believe that the tone, the content and the aggressive partisanship of some of your public statements have added to the troubling trend of more incivility and division in our public life,” Portman said. “And in your case, I’m concerned that your personal attacks about specific senators will make it more difficult for you to work with them.” From there, Portman brought up numerous tweets in...
    (CNN)President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden, will pledge to bring a bipartisan approach to the role during her confirmation hearing Tuesday as she faces down fierce opposition from Senate Republicans. In her prepared opening remarks before the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Tanden vows that, if confirmed, she will "vigorously enforce my ironclad belief that our government should serve all Americans -- regardless of party -- in every corner of the country."Tanden also commits to "work in good faith with all Members of this Committee to tackle the challenges Americans are facing; to address duplication or ineffective programs; to be responsive to you and your staff's inquiries; and to assist the Committee in its important oversight role."The bipartisan message will kick off what's expected to be a tense and partisan confirmation hearing after Tanden fielded a wave of criticism from GOP lawmakers over...
    The Senate voted Monday to confirm Denis McDonough as veterans affairs secretary, adding another permanent member to President Biden’s Cabinet. McDonough’s nomination was approved by an 87-7 vote. DENIS MCDONOUGH: WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT BIDEN'S VA SECRETARY PICK A longtime federal official, McDonough previously served as chief of staff to former President Barack Obama throughout his second term in office. Prior to that role, McDonough was deputy national security adviser from 2010 to 2013. Secretary of Veterans Affairs nominee Denis McDonough is sworn in during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Washington. (Leigh Vogel/Pool via AP) In an op-ed for Military Times last December, McDonough said his nomination was a "great honor" and pledged to leverage his government experience to revitalize the department. "As secretary, I will work to rebuild trust and restore VA as the premier agency...
    President Biden's pick for director of the White House Office of Management and Budget could find herself in unfriendly territory when she sits for two confirmation hearings this week after a history of enmity with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Neera Tanden will appear before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday and the Senate Budget Committee on Wednesday. She may find herself having to answer for a number of inflammatory tweets against Republicans – messages the Daily Beast reported she deleted in November prior to the announcement of her nomination. Many of those messages have been preserved by the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. SANDERS DODGES QUESTIONS ON WHETHER HE'LL CONFIRM RIVAL NEERA TANDEN FOR OMB "The whole [Republican] party needs to be defeated in November," Tanden said in 2018, blasting the GOP for supporting former President Donald Trump, whom she implied was racist. This...
    Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzHillicon Valley: Federal cyber agency reevaluating role in countering election disinformation | Senate panel advances Biden's Commerce secretary pick | House Armed Services panel establishes new cybersecurity panel Senate panel advances Biden's Commerce secretary pick in 21-3 vote The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats chart path to pass Biden's COVID-19 relief plan MORE (R-Texas) on Thursday formally placed a hold on the Senate voting on the nomination of Gina RaimondoGina RaimondoOn The Money: Biden commits to ,400 checks, but open to eligibility limits | House approves budget resolution for COVID-19 package | McConnell seeks to inflict political pain on budget votes Hillicon Valley: Federal cyber agency reevaluating role in countering election disinformation | Senate panel advances Biden's Commerce secretary pick | House Armed Services panel establishes new cybersecurity panel GOP warns Biden nominees on hold until after impeachment MORE, President Biden’s...
    Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., challenged President Biden's labor secretary nominee Marty Walsh regarding the administration's plans for the economy and the decision to halt work on the Keystone XL pipeline. Biden signed an executive order putting a stop to the pipeline and costing an estimated 11,000 jobs, approximately 8,000 of them being for union workers. The administration's main talking point has been that as the U.S. pivots to a more climate-friendly economy, more new jobs will be created. Cassidy challenged Walsh by addressing what will happen between now and when those jobs are created. "Will those jobs be available tomorrow?" Cassidy asked. Walsh started to respond by stressing the need to quickly implement Biden's American Recovery Plan, but Cassidy push forward with his point. LAID-OFF KEYSTONE XL WORKER SAYS DECISION TO CANCEL PIPELINE 'IS GOING TO HURT A LOT OF PEOPLE' "The Keystone XL jobs are gone today," Cassidy said....
    By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday backed President Joe Biden's nomination of veteran diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, steering her toward confirmation by the full Senate. The committee voted 18 to 4 in favor of the nominee. It was not clear when her confirmation would come up for a vote in the full Senate, which is currently debating COVID-19 relief legislation and due to conduct former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial next week. The committee's vote was delayed by one day because of an objection by Republican Senator Ted Cruz, a vocal Biden critic who said he was concerned about a 2019 speech Thomas-Greenfield gave at a Confucius Institute, a center funded by the Chinese government at a U.S. university. The committee's Democratic and Republican leaders said Thomas-Greenfield's experience - the 68-year-old has spent decades...
    Sen. Rand Paul blasted President Biden’s education secretary nominee Miguel Cardona in a heated exchange over transgender sporting events. The Kentucky Republican pressed Cardona, who has served as Connecticut’s education commissioner since 2019, multiple times on whether or not he believes biological males should be permitted to compete against females. “What do you think in general of boys running in girls’ track meets like they’ve been doing in Connecticut?” Paul asked. “Do you worry about having boys run in girls’ track meets?” “I think it’s appropriate — I think it’s the legal responsibility for schools to provide opportunities for students to participate in activities, and this includes students who are transgender,” Cardona replied. Paul then posited the question again, asking, “So, you don’t have a problem then, of boys running in the girls’ track meets, swimming meets, you name it, you’re OK then with boys competing with girls?” “Respectfully,...
    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator nominee Michael Regan faced questions about the agency’s independence within the Biden administration during his confirmation hearing Wednesday before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “I am concerned about some of the appointments the president has made where they’re not in the purview of this committee or congressional oversight,” Republican West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said during her opening remarks. “That of course would be Gina McCarthy and John Kerry. They’ve already established themselves as unconfirmed and unaccountable czars.” President Joe Biden appointed former EPA administrator McCarthy as his national climate advisor and former Secretary of State Kerry as his special president envoy for climate. Capito expressed concerns the two newly created positions — which require no Senate confirmation — could exert political influence over the EPA and undermine the agency’s independence. WATCH: Regan argued that the president’s new climate appointments reflected...
    Michael Regan, tapped to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, assured Republican senators he doesn’t view regulation as the sole method of dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions to meet President Biden’s climate promises. Regan, during his nomination hearing Wednesday, said the EPA would move “with a sense of urgency on climate change” and that he supported Biden’s climate agenda, which he touted as “aggressive” and “ambitious” but separate from the liberal Green New Deal. Nonetheless, Regan, who serves as secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, sought to assure Republican senators that he wouldn’t use emissions mandates as a sledgehammer that would crush jobs in energy-producing states. Republicans largely responded positively to their exchanges with Regan, suggesting he could face an easier path to confirmation. “I do believe that regulation is not the sole answer,” Regan said during an exchange with Indiana Republican Sen. Mike Braun. During his...
    Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul slammed President Joe Biden’s nominee for Education Secretary Miguel Cardona during his hearing with the Senate education committee Wednesday. During Paul’s time to question Cardona, the Kentucky Republican focused on Cardona and the Biden administration’s stance on transgender athletes playing school sports. Paul pressed Cardona on his view of transgender athletes, asking him specifically if he thinks a boy should be able to compete against a girl on the same level. “If you’re confirmed, will you enforce that Office of Civil Rights opinion?” Paul asked. “I understand that there are a lot of concerns about that. If confirmed, it’s my responsibility and my privilege to make sure that we’re following civil rights of all students, and that includes activities that they may engage in high school or athletics,” Cardona responded. “What do you think in general of boys running in girls’ track meets like they’ve...
    Washington (CNN)Secretary of Education nominee Miguel Cardona told senators Wednesday that if confirmed, he will do everything in his power to reopen schools safely and called for prioritizing educators for the vaccine and increasing Covid testing at schools. Bidens First 100 Days Biden administration announces direct vaccine shipments to pharmacies Biden administration designates Myanmar military takeover as a coup Senate confirms Alejandro Mayorkas to lead Homeland Security and Pete Buttigieg as transportation secretary "There is no substitute for a classroom experience for our students, being in front of their teacher," Cardona, Connecticut's education commissioner, said at his confirmation hearing. "So we have to do everything we can to safely reopen schools in a manner that gets the students back into their learning environment," he added. Cardona, whose family is from Puerto Rico, enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top of Connecticut's public education system. He began his career as...
    Washington outsider Miguel Cardona, President Biden's nominee to lead the Education Department faced tough questions at his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, on political hot-button issues like student loan forgiveness, transgender participation in women's sports and most pressing: how to make good on Mr. Biden's promise to reopen schools within 100 days of his inauguration. If confirmed, the Connecticut education commissioner will inherit an educational crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. "We're here today in the midst of one of the most challenging school years in American history," Cardona said Wednesday in his opening statement. "For far too many of our students, this year has piled on crisis after crisis." He did not offer many specific ideas about how to return children to school but did say that educators should be prioritized for vaccine distribution. Little was known about Cardona's views on major education policy issues, since the former...
    By MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's nominee to run the Environmental Protection Agency says he learned the importance of preserving the outdoors while hunting and fishing with his father and grandfather in rural North Carolina. “Those beautiful waters and land are a legacy they were proud to share with me, but also taught me that protecting them was my responsibility as well,'' Michael Regan told a Senate committee Wednesday in prepared testimony for his confirmation hearing. ”Preserving our natural resources isn’t something to balance with economic growth. It’s one of the keys to economic growth, along with protecting public health and our way of life.'' Regan, who has served as top environmental regulator in his home states since 2017, would be the first African American man to run the EPA. He made a name for himself in North Carolina by pursuing cleanups of industrial toxins...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s nominee to run the Environmental Protection Agency says he learned the importance of preserving the outdoors while hunting and fishing with his father and grandfather in rural North Carolina. “Those beautiful waters and land are a legacy they were proud to share with me, but also taught me that protecting them was my responsibility as well,” Michael Regan told a Senate committee Wednesday in prepared testimony for his confirmation hearing. ”Preserving our natural resources isn’t something to balance with economic growth. It’s one of the keys to economic growth, along with protecting public health and our way of life.” Regan, who has served as top environmental regulator in his home states since 2017, would be the first African American man to run the EPA. He made a name for himself in North Carolina by pursuing cleanups of industrial toxins and helping the low-income and...
    By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee's vote on President Joe Biden's nominee for ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has been delayed until Thursday, which could push her confirmation by the full Senate to next week or later. Under committee rules, any member can delay the vote on a nominee until its next business meeting. The panel has scheduled another business meeting to consider Thomas-Greenfield's nomination for Thursday. A committee aide said on Wednesday that Republican Senator Ted Cruz had asked for the delay because of Thomas-Greenfield's past remarks on China, including a speech the veteran diplomat gave in 2019 at a Confucius Institute, a center funded by the Chinese government at a U.S. university. Cruz was among a few Republicans who questioned Thomas-Greenfield about the speech at her confirmation hearing. Cruz later said on Twitter that he had slowed the nomination. "China...
    President Biden’s nominee for education secretary, Miguel Cardona, faced questions on transgender student athletes during a tense exchange with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Wednesday. On the first day of his term, President Biden issued an executive order calling on schools to allow transgender athletes to participate in sports corresponding to their gender identity rather than biological sex. Paul, however, noted that in 2020 the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights told Connecticut that allowing biological males to participate in girls’ sports violated the rights of female students under Title IX. BIDEN EXECUTIVE ORDER SAYS SCHOOLS SHOULD INCLUDE TRANSGENDER ATHLETES IN GIRLS' SPORTS "If you’re confirmed, will you enforce that Office of Civil Rights opinion?" Paul asked. "I understand that there are a lot of concerns about that. If confirmed, it’s my responsibility and my privilege to make sure that...
    Republican concerns about President Biden’s Commerce Department secretary nominee not promising to keep Chinese telecom giant Huawei on a United States blacklist did not stop her from breezing past a key procedural hurdle on Wednesday. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation voted 21-3 to approve the nomination of Gina Raimondo, the Democratic governor of Rhode Island, clearing the way for a floor vote on whether to confirm her as head of the agency. Only Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rick Scott of Florida, and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee voted against Raimondo. Huawei is one of a number of Chinese added to the Bureau of Industry and Security’s "entities list" for its role in the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance of its Uighur Muslim population, restricting the company's and its suppliers' access to U.S. products and technology. In the face of Republican questions about whether she would...
    The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved President Biden’s nominee for energy secretary, Jennifer Granholm, in a bipartisan 13-4 vote Wednesday morning. However, some Republicans, including the incoming ranking member John Barrasso of Wyoming, did not vote for Granholm despite praising her qualifications and policy positions, citing the Biden administration’s early actions opposing fossil fuel development and the Keystone XL pipeline. Barrasso said he was "encouraged" about Granholm's promises in her confirmation hearing to advance investments in fossil fuel carbon capture technologies and new smaller forms of nuclear power reactors as part of the Biden administration's climate change agenda. “I expect we will work together closely on these efforts when she is at the Department of Energy," Barrasso said, adding that Granholm, the former Democratic governor of Michigan, has the votes to be confirmed by the full Senate. But, Barrasso added, “During their first weeks in office, President Biden...
    By COLLIN BINKLEY, AP Education Writer President Joe Biden's nominee for education secretary is promising to help reopen schools but says much of the hardest work will come after that as schools try to address long-standing disparities worsened by the pandemic. “These inequities will endure, and prevent the potential of this great country, unless tackled head-on,” Miguel Cardona said in testimony prepared for a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing Wednesday. “And so it is our responsibility, and it would be my greatest privilege, if confirmed, to forge opportunity out of this crisis.” Cardona, 45, became Connecticut's state education chief in 2019 after spending years as a teacher and administrator in the public school district in Meriden, Connecticut, which he also attended as a child. If confirmed, he is expected to play a pivotal role in supporting schools as they recover from a crisis that has laid bare...
    President Joe Biden’s nominee for education secretary is promising to help reopen schools but says much of the hardest work will come after that as schools try to address long-standing disparities worsened by the pandemic. “These inequities will endure, and prevent the potential of this great country, unless tackled head-on,” Miguel Cardona said in testimony prepared for a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing Wednesday. “And so it is our responsibility, and it would be my greatest privilege, if confirmed, to forge opportunity out of this crisis.” Cardona, 45, became Connecticut’s state education chief in 2019 after spending years as a teacher and administrator in the public school district in Meriden, Connecticut, which he also attended as a child. If confirmed, he is expected to play a pivotal role in supporting schools as they recover from a crisis that has laid bare many of their shortcomings. In his...
    Washington outsider Miguel Cardona, President Biden's nominee to lead the Education Department is likely to face tough questions at his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, on political hot-button issues like school choice, student loan forgiveness, and most pressing: how to make good on Mr. Biden's promise to reopen schools within 100 days of his inauguration. If confirmed, the Connecticut education commissioner will inherit an educational crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Little is known about Cardona's view on major education policy issues, since the former public school teacher only entered the national public eye in December when Biden announced his nomination to lead the Education Department. Cardona, who began his career as a fourth-grade teacher, quickly rose through the administrative ranks. In August 2019, he was appointed to lead Connecticut's Education Department, becoming the first Latino to hold the position.How to watch Education Secretary nominee Miguel Cardona's confirmation hearing...
    Michael Regan, tapped to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, is poised to be a key player in President Biden’s efforts to support the minority and low-income people most affected by pollution. If confirmed, Regan, 44, would be the first black man to hold the top federal environmental post. A relatively unknown figure on the national stage, Regan would join the EPA from North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality, where he has been secretary since 2017. Regan, described as well liked and well respected even by those who worked for Republican administrations, will face senators on the environmental committee for a nomination hearing Wednesday. Republican senators, reeling from Biden’s sweeping executive actions last week, are likely to demand answers about how Regan would approach greenhouse gas emissions mandates, which they say come at the expense of fossil fuel regions in their states. “The first goal is to reinvigorate the organization...
    Washington outsider Miguel Cardona, President Biden's nominee to lead the Education Department is likely to face tough questions at his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, on political hot-button issues like school choice, student loan forgiveness, and most pressing: how to make good on Mr. Biden's promise to reopen schools within 100 days of his inauguration. If confirmed, the Connecticut education commissioner will inherit an educational crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Little is known about Cardona's view on major education policy issues, since the former public school teacher only entered the national public eye in December when Biden announced his nomination to lead the Education Department. Cardona, who began his career as a fourth-grade teacher, quickly rose through the administrative ranks. In August 2019, he was appointed to lead Connecticut's Education Department, becoming the first Latino to hold the position. In that role, Cardona spent much of his time...
    Alejandro Mayorkas, President Joe Bidens choice to head the Department of Homeland Security, was confirmed Tuesday despite Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announcing in a tweet earlier in the day he opposes the nomination. "Ive voted for several of President Bidens mainstream Cabinet nominees," McConnell tweeted. "But his choice to run Homeland Security was blasted by the Obama administrations own Inspector General for running an immigration law favor factory for powerful Democrats. Bad pick with major ethics issues." Due to the objection of McConnell and other of his Republican colleagues, the confirmation vote for Mayorkas passed by only a 56-43 margin, less than for some of Bidens other Cabinet nominees, NPR reported. Mayorkas was found to have helped expedite visa requests for wealthy foreign investors when he was deputy chief of the department, according to a 2015 probe by the Office of Inspector General, which specified his actions concerned...
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A majority of the U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted to confirm Alejandro Mayorkas to head the Department of Homeland Security, meaning he will become the first Latino and immigrant to hold the position and further solidifying President Joe Biden's Cabinet. The vote was continuing in the Senate. (Reporting by Richard Cowan and Ted Hesson; Editing by Leslie Adler) Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters. Tags: United States
    Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) pressed Kathleen Hicks, President Joe Biden’s deputy defense secretary nominee, during her confirmation hearing on Tuesday — questioning the “unconscionable” funds spend on the military while 400,000 Americans died of the coronavirus. “I have been very critical about the size of the defense budget. It’s long been a concern of mine. But after last year, watching more than 400,000 fellow Americans die, tens of millions unemployed due to Covid-19,” Warren said to Hicks. “Millions more lined up at food banks, and even millions more that are on the threshold of losing their homes and being put out on the street. Spending $740 billion a yeaar on this one piece of the federal budget is unconscionable.” Warren continued to condemn the federal government for over spending on the military while underspending on civilians and public health measures amid a global pandemic. “Let me ask the question this...
    The incoming Democratic leader of the Senate Judiciary Committee is standing by President Biden's nominee to fill the key spot atop the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division amid controversy over a handful of past comments from the nominee, Kristen Clarke.  Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said in a statement that Clarke will help renew the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division's commitment to "equal justice under the law." Likely to become central in the debate over her nomination is a 1994 letter to the editor she wrote to The Harvard Crimson denouncing a controversial book called "The Bell Curve," which suggested that genetics and intelligence may be linked.  Responding to "those who defend 'The Bell Curve,'" Clarke co-authored a letter which, among other things said that "Black infants sit, stand, crawl and walk sooner than whites... human mental processes are controlled by melanin – that same chemical which gives Blacks their superior physical and...
    Agriculture Secretary nominee Tom Vilsack touted the ability that American farmers have to drive the country's progress when it comes to climate change. During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee on Tuesday, Ranking Member Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., asked about what could be done on the agriculture front to help the climate, which has quickly become the key issue for the Biden administration. Vilsack was enthusiastic about the potential farmers have. SCHUMER SUGGESTS BIDEN DECLARE 'CLIMATE EMERGENCY' "I think agriculture is probably the first and best way to begin getting some wins in this climate area," Vilsack said. "I think farmers are prepared for it, farmers are anxious to do it." Stabenow is a co-sponsor of the Senate’s Growing Climate Solutions Act, a bipartisan bill that aims to help farmer participate in carbon markets, whereby those who reduce their carbon emissions below a certain level can...
    Neera TandenNeera TandenSenate chaos threatens to slow Biden's agenda Record number of women to serve in Biden Cabinet Why Biden's diversity efforts fall flat MORE, President Biden’s nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), will have her hearing before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 9, the panel said in a statement Tuesday. Then-Rep. Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyRepublicans now 'shocked, shocked' that there's a deficit Financial firms brace for Biden's consumer agency chief Trump campaign had paid .7M to organizers of rally ahead of Capitol riot: report MORE (R-S.C.), former President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham shoots down request for Merrick Garland confirmation hearing Feb. 8 Trump lawyer to make First Amendment case at impeachment trial Biden faces crossroads on virus relief bill MORE’s first OMB head, faced hearings from both the Homeland Security panel and the Senate Budget Committee, chaired by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGraham shoots down request...
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’ll vote against confirming President Biden’s nominee for secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Alejandro Mayorkas “does not deserve Senate confirmation to lead Homeland Security,” McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said. “I’ll be voting against his confirmation and urge our colleagues to do the same.“ Republicans oppose Mayorkas based in part on a 2015 inspector general’s report that found Mayorkas had shown a preference for the politically connected seeking participation in the EB-5 visa program, which offers a fast-track path to obtaining a green card for wealthy people who start businesses in the United States. Mayorkas at the time was a deputy secretary of the Homeland Security Department. McConnell, in a floor speech on Tuesday, said Mayorkas “did his best to turn U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services into an unethical favor of factory for Democratic Party royalty,” including former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe...
    Reuters February 1, 2021 0 Comments The top Democrat on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday blamed partisan gridlock for stalling the confirmation of President Joe Biden’s Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland, and called on Republicans to set a Feb. 8 confirmation hearing. In a letter to Republican Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, the panel’s incoming Democratic Chairman Dick Durbin said it was “regrettable” the two sides were still unable to reach a deal on a timetable for proceeding with Garland’s confirmation. “There is simply no justification to object to a Feb. 8 hearing,” Durbin wrote in his letter to Graham, saying the date will not conflict with former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, and will still afford the committee members “ample time” to review Garland’s record. A spokesman for Graham did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Since Biden was sworn into office on Jan....
    "Volunteers from pro-immigration group Families Belong Together build and fill a chainlink cage with about 600 teddy bears representing the children still separated as a result of U.S. immigration policies, on the National Mall November 16, 2020 in Washington, DC." The Biden administration is expected to announce on Tuesday its federal task force dedicated to reuniting families that were separated at the southern border by the previous administration, including hundreds of children who continue to remain apart nearly four years after the initial “piloting” of the barbaric “zero tolerance” policy.  NBC News initially reported that Alejandro Mayorkas, Biden’s nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), would be heading the interdepartmental task force. This was later confirmed by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. “When the task force is announced,” the report continued, “it is expected to be an inter-agency effort across the Department of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services and the...
    A trio of Republican senators called on President Biden’s nominee for commerce secretary to promise to keep Chinese Communist Party-linked telecom giant Huawei on the U.S. trade blacklist after the Trump administration deemed it a national security threat. Gina Raimondo, the Democratic governor of Rhode Island, often took a strong rhetorical stance on China throughout her confirmation hearing on Tuesday but declined to promise that Huawei would remain on the Commerce Department’s “entities list.” Republican Sens. Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, and Ben Sasse sent her a letter Friday because “the Department of Commerce plays an increasingly important role in protecting national security and preventing the People’s Republic of China from exploiting U.S. technology to further the goals of the Chinese Communist Party," they wrote. The Republicans stressed that Huawei “has a long track record of economic espionage, supporting human rights abuses in the PRC and elsewhere, and supporting...
    Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development nominee Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) appeared to advocate for socialist practices on Thursday as Sen. Tom Cotton (R- AR) quizzed her on the difference between equality and equity, telling the senator, “Sometimes, it’s not level if you just say, ‘Let’s just treat everyone the same.'” During Thursday’s Senate Banking Committee, Cotton asked Fudge to further explain the Biden administration’s position on prioritizing racial equity, particularly in housing. “Earlier this week, President Biden used the phrase ‘racial equality’ at a press availability, but immediately corrected himself to say ‘racial equity.’ What is the difference between racial equity and racial equality?” he asked. Fudge told the senator the main difference is “one just means that you treat everybody the same.” “Sometimes the same is not equitable,” she said before offering an example. “You know, if you say to me that ‘I’m going...
    President Biden's Housing and Urban Development Secretary nominee Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, explained to the Senate Banking Committee Thursday that when it comes to housing, treating people the same based on race is not the preferred approach. During Fudge's confirmation hearing, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., noted that one of President Biden's goals is to achieve racial "equity," and even corrected himself in remarks when he started to say "equality" instead. Cotton asked what the difference is, and Fudge was happy to answer. BIDEN SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER EXPANDING AFFORDABLE CARE ACT ENROLLMENT, REVERSING TRUMP POLICY ON ABORTION "From my own perspective, the difference is that one just means that you treat everybody the same," Fudge said. "Sometimes the same is not equitable." The congresswoman then tried to illustrate her point with two examples. "You know if you say to me that I'm going to give you five dollars so you’re going to give...
    Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) is speaking out against President Joe Biden’s U.N. ambassador nominee, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, over a 2019 speech in which she praised China’s investment practices in Africa. Hagerty, who was ambassador to Japan for two years and made his experience with East Asia a centerpiece of his successful 2020 Senate campaign, said the revelation that Thomas-Greenfield praised China for its “aggressive and troubling expansion into Africa” during the speech is “deeply concerning.” Thomas-Greenfield spoke at the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-funded Confucius Institute at Savannah State University in Georgia in 2019, where she discussed U.S., China, and Africa relations, according to a copy of the speech obtained by the Washington Post. Hagerty was among several senators to scrutinize the speech upon its emergence, with some criticizing that it displayed approval of China’s predatory lending practices in Africa, specifically through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and others expressing concern that it was delivered at...
    Senate Republicans apparently have a problem with President Joe Biden making 'immigration an early and major focus of his Administration.' Senate Republicans made clear this week their intention to obstruct President Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, through any means possible — with eight GOP senators penning a letter Monday objecting to his confirmation because they feel he's too concerned about immigrants to do the job properly. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) announced to reporters Wednesday that the Senate GOP intended to filibuster the nomination. He claimed "there's a number of problems" with Mayorkas filling the DHS role. While Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had moved to have the nomination go through quickly, GOP obstructionists have complicated the process. A cloture vote to break the filibuster, which would require 51 votes, is on the schedule for 1:45 p.m....
            by Andrew Kerr  President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Department of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, divvied out millions in taxpayer funds during her two terms as Michigan governor to alternative energy companies that eventually went bankrupt. In one instance, Granholm’s administration provided a $9.1 million refundable tax credit to a renewable energy company registered to the address of a single-wide trailer and run by a convicted embezzler named Richard Short. Short was found to be in violation of his parole and sent back to prison after appearing on stage with Granholm in 2010 to accept assistance from the Michigan Economic Growth Authority, according to Michigan Capitol Confidential. Granholm also granted $10 million to an electric car battery manufacturer, A123 Systems, in 2009 and lauded the company in a press conference, saying it would help “make Michigan the alternative energy capital of North America and the advanced battery...
    Jennifer Granholm, President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Energy, insisted Wednesday that “clean energy” jobs will replace those that “might be sacrificed.” Granholm’s remarks came during questioning from Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), who pointed out the significant loss of American jobs due to a long-term ban on oil, gas, and coal leasing and permitting on federal lands. “A long-term ban on oil and gas leasing would cost 62,000 jobs in New Mexico, 33,000 jobs in Wyoming, and 18,000 jobs in Colorado,” Barrasso said to Granholm. .@SenJohnBarrasso to @JenGranholm on banning oil, gas, and coal leasing & permitting on federal lands: “A long-term ban on oil and gas leasing would cost 62,000 jobs in New Mexico, 33,000 jobs in Wyoming, and 18,000 jobs in Colorado.” pic.twitter.com/sR1gwMukvk — Senate Energy GOP (@EnergyGOP) January 27, 2021 Asked how a ban would be “consistent” with Biden’s message of unity and job...
    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, ripped Biden climate czar and former Secretary of State John Kerry on "Fox News Primetime" Wednesday over what Cruz described as degrading comments about blue-collar workers whose jobs were abruptly cut when President Biden canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline permit. At a White House press conference earlier Wednesday, Kerry claimed industrial and energy sector workers are victims of a "false narrative" based in Trump-era economic policy. "They have been fed the notion that somehow dealing with climate is coming at their expense," Kerry said. "No, it's not. What is happening to them is happening because of other market forces are already taking place." "It is not a unifying message, and it is not doing the job we should be doing [in] fighting for working men and women in this country," said Cruz. KERRY'S FAMILY STILL OWNS PRIVATE JET AS HE LEADS CLIMATE FIGHT, FAA RECORDS SHOW Kerry went on to explain that the workers at risk of losing their jobs should have...
    Energy Secretary nominee Jennifer Granholm acknowledged during her confirmation hearing Wednesday that jobs in the fossil fuel industry could be “sacrificed” as a result of President Joe Biden’s climate agenda. Republican Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, noted that Biden’s executive order temporarily suspending oil and gas leases on federal land could cost thousands of jobs across multiple states. .@SenJohnBarrasso to @JenGranholm on banning oil, gas, and coal leasing & permitting on federal lands: “A long-term ban on oil and gas leasing would cost 62,000 jobs in New Mexico, 33,000 jobs in Wyoming, and 18,000 jobs in Colorado.” pic.twitter.com/sR1gwMukvk — Senate Energy GOP (@EnergyGOP) January 27, 2021 “I’m just curious how a long-term ban is consistent with the president’s goal of unifying our country and putting Americans back to work and helping our economies grow, how is that all...
    Denis McDonoughDenis Richard McDonoughBiden VA pick faces 'steep learning curve' at massive agency Biden nominee: VA staff hampered by 'mismanagement' A crisis that unites veterans MORE, President Biden’s pick to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, wants to get the nation’s veterans through the coronavirus pandemic starting day one, if confirmed. “The president directed me to focus on getting out veterans through this pandemic,” McDonough said in his opening statement to the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee at his confirmation hearing. The task is a daunting one as, if confirmed, McDonough would be responsible for the massive undertaking of administering COVID-19 vaccines to millions of veterans and VA employees across the country. McDonough, a former White House chief of staff under President Obama, also vowed he would have a “relentless focus” on providing timely, top health care to veterans; ensuring they have access to VA benefits; reducing veteran suicide and homelessness; making the...
    Rhode Island was ranked one of the worst states in the country for business under President Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of commerce, Fox News reported. Under Rhode Island Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo, WalletHub ranked the state last on its 2019 “Best & Worst States To Start A Business” list and CNBC ranked it the 48th worst state for commerce on its 13th annual “America’s Top States For Business” guide in 2015, according to Fox News. The state faced an $800 million federal deficit at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Providence Journal reported in May 2020. Rhode Island’s unemployment rate sits at 8.1% as of December 2020, according to the Rhode Island Department Of Labor And Training, just above the national unemployment rate of 6.7 percent, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics January report. A Rhode Island commerce agency spokesperson told Fox News that Raimando’s first year...
    Former Homeland Security officials oln Wednesday criticized Senate Republicans as the party seeks to stall the confirmation of President Biden’s pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security.  Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasBiden's Cabinet gradually confirmed by Senate Bush-, Obama-era officials urge Senate to swiftly confirm Biden's DHS pick Senate committee advances Biden's DHS pick despite Republican pushback MORE, who served as the department’s deputy under the Obama administration, is the last of the four major national security positions that has yet to be confirmed by the Senate. Republicans forced Senate Majority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerHumanist Report host criticizes 'conservative Democrats:' They 'hold more power' than progressives Bush-, Obama-era officials urge Senate to swiftly confirm Biden's DHS pick OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court upholds ruling invalidating Dakota Access, but doesn't shut down pipeline | Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency | Biden seeks to bolster consultation with Indian Country MORE (D-N.Y.) to file...