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    WASHINGTON - U.S. President Joe Biden got a needed boost early Friday, with lawmakers giving final approval to his secretary of defense, who becomes only the second Cabinet member to be confirmed the administration seeks to push back against key adversaries, including Russia. The Senate voted 93–2 to confirm retired General Lloyd Austin, making him the first African American to lead the Department of Defense. “It’s an honor and a privilege to serve as our country’s 28th Secretary of Defense, and I’m especially proud to be the first African American to hold the position. Let’s get to work,” tweeted Austin Friday. It’s an honor and a privilege to serve as our country’s 28th Secretary of Defense, and I’m especially proud to be the first African American to hold the position. Let’s get to work. pic.twitter.com/qPAzVRxz9L— Lloyd Austin (@LloydAustin) January 22, 2021 The vote came less than 24 hours after...
    Reuters January 22, 2021 0 Comments The U.S. Senate on Friday confirmed President Joe Biden’s nominee, retired Army General Lloyd Austin, to serve as Secretary of Defense – the first Black American in the role. The vote was an overwhelming 93-2 in the 100-member chamber, far more than the simple majority needed. Lawmakers from both parties said they were pleased that Austin would be installed to lead the Pentagon just two days after Biden was sworn in as president on Wednesday. Senator Jack Reed, the incoming Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, noted the wide range of challenges facing the country – including the coronavirus pandemic and competition with China and Russia. “General Austin is an exceptionally qualified leader with a long and distinguished career in the U.S. military,” Reed said before the vote. “We’re in the most threatened time that we’re in,” said Senator James Inhofe,...
    Ret. Gen. Lloyd Austin testifies in his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee at the U.S. Capitol on January 19, 2021. The Senate voted 93-2 Friday to confirm Gen. Lloyd Austin to lead Pentagon, making him nation's first Black secretary of defense. Republicans Josh Hawley and Mike Lee voted against the confirmation. This follows votes in the House and Senate to approve a waiver exempting Austin from a seven-year hiatus from service before being allowed to hold the top position at Defense. That seven-year restriction from former generals holding the slot is a provisions of the 1947 National Security Act, intended to exercise civilian control—as required by the U.S. Constitution—of a nonpartisan military. Since 1947, only three men have obtained that waiver, George C. Marshall in 1950, U.S. Marine Corps General James Mattis in 2016 and now Austin. Austin was commander of U.S. forces in Iraq in 2010 and...
    In a nearly unanimous vote, the Senate has confirmed retired General Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense. Austin’s nomination cleared the Senate by a vote of 93-2 — with Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) as the only dissenters. The retired general will be the first Black Secretary of Defense in American history. The confirmation figured to be a formality after both houses of Congress approved a waiver allowing Austin to be named to the post. The waiver was necessary because it has been less than seven years since Austin last served in the military — a rule meant to keep the military under civilian control. “I understand and respect the reservations some of you have expressed about having another recently retired general at the head of the Department of Defense,” Austin said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday — referencing retired Gen. James Mattis,...
    The New York Times How Joe Biden Became a Steady Hand Amid So Much Chaos As a child, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. wrestled with words, grappling with a boyhood stutter. Years later, as a young politician, he could not stop saying them, quickly developing a reputation for long-winded remarks. It was words that undercut his first two campaigns for the White House, with charges of plagiarism ending his 1988 bid and verbal missteps that hampered his 2008 outing from nearly the first moments. Through a nearly half-centurylong political career marked by personal tragedy and forged in national upheaval, Biden’s struggle with his own words has remained a central fact of his professional life and of the ambition he harbored for nearly as long: the White House. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times Yet Biden, the nation’s 46th president, has transformed himself into a steady hand...
    The Senate voted to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense, making him President Joe Biden’s second Cabinet nominee to be confirmed. Austin was confirmed by a bipartisan 93-2 vote and will be the first black person to serve in the role. Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and Utah Sen. Mike Lee were the only senators to vote against his confirmation. His nomination, however, required a waiver from both the House and Senate since he only retired in 2016, and the top defense post requires that anybody serving be retired for at least seven years to reaffirm the military’s civilian control. Austin’s waiver passed easily with bipartisan support, with 326 representatives and 69 senators voting for it. (RELATED: Some Lawmakers Come Out In Opposition To Austin Waiver) Congress underwent a similar process four years ago with Gen. James Mattis, President Donald Trump’s first nominee to lead the Department of...
    The Senate on Friday confirmed President Biden's Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in a big bipartisan vote, marking the first time an African American will lead the Pentagon in U.S. history. The vote was 93-2. Austin is a former four-star Army general who served in the military for 41 years before retiring in 2016. He was the commander of the U.S. Central Command, where he helped lead the effort to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. LLOYD AUSTIN: WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT BIDEN'S CHOICE FOR SECRETARY OF DEFENSE Biden built a close relationship with Austin during his vice presidency and said during a December news conference he tapped his friend because "there's no question that he is the right person for this job at the right moment." Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee backed Austin for the job. "I am very confident that Lloyd Austin will be a strong,...
    The Senate has approved President Biden’s nominee to lead the Pentagon, paving the way for retired Gen. Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden's crisis agenda hits headwinds Senate chaos threatens to slow Biden's agenda Overnight Defense: House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee | Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia | Two more US service members killed by COVID-19 MORE to make history as the nation’s first Black secretary of Defense. The Senate confirmed Austin in a 93-2 Friday morning vote, giving Biden his second Cabinet member two days after his inauguration. The only no votes came from GOP Sens. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleySenate approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee For Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID relief Senate Democrats file ethics complaint against Hawley, Cruz over Capitol attack MORE (Mo.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe Hill's Morning...
    The Senate moved expeditiously to assemble President Joe Biden’s national security team, overwhelmingly confirming retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as both chambers granted him a special waiver to serve as Defense Secretary despite having been out of uniform for only four years. The Senate voted 93-2 to confirm him; Austin's nomination needed only a simple majority of the 100 senators to be approved. Austin, 67, becomes the first African-American to lead the Pentagon, overcoming opposition from some Democrats who were weary of granting another waiver to the 1947 National Security Law that requires service members to be out of uniform for seven years before consideration for the Defense Department's top civilian position. Former President Donald Trump's first defense secretary nominee, retired Marine Corps Gen. Jim Mattis, received a waiver in 2017, upsetting many by surrounding himself with former and active-duty personnel – and sidelining some civilian voices at the Pentagon....
    Retired General Lloyd Austin testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing to be the next Secretary of Defense in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, January 19, 2021.Jim Lo Scalzo | Pool | Reuters WASHINGTON – The Senate confirmed Lloyd Austin as the next Pentagon chief Friday, making him the nation's first Black Defense secretary. The Senate voted 93 to 2. Austin's confirmation follows Wednesday's Senate confirmation of Avril Haines, who became the first woman to the lead nation's 18 intelligence agencies as the director of national intelligence. In back-to-back votes Thursday, the House and Senate passed legislation granting Austin, a retired four-star Army general, a waiver to lead the Pentagon. The Senate approved Austin's waiver by a vote of 69-27 and the House approved the waiver by a vote of 326 to 78. Under the National Security Act of 1947, Congress has prohibited any individual from...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate confirms retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to lead Pentagon, making him nation’s first Black secretary of defense. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    The Senate has approved a waiver allowing retired Gen. Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' Scars of Capitol attack permeate high-security inauguration Senate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official MORE to serve as President Biden’s Defense secretary, removing the final obstacle before the upper chamber votes on his confirmation. The Senate’s 69-27 vote to approve the waiver Thursday afternoon comes shortly after the House easily passed the waiver in its own 326-78 vote. It also comes just hours after the Senate Armed Services Committee advanced both the waiver and Austin’s nomination to the Senate floor. The Senate still must vote on Austin’s actual confirmation. Austin, who retired from the military in 2016, needs the waiver because of a law that requires Defense secretaries to be out of uniform for at least seven years. Some lawmakers in both...
    The Senate Armed Services Committee has approved President Biden’s nominee to be Defense secretary, as well as a waiver that would allow Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinScars of Capitol attack permeate high-security inauguration Senate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official Overnight Defense: Biden inaugurated as 46th president | Norquist sworn in as acting Pentagon chief | Senate confirms Biden's Intel chief MORE to take the job despite being a recently retired general. The panel approved both the waiver and Austin’s nomination with two separate voice votes Thursday, two days after his confirmation hearing, the committee said in a news release. The nomination and the waiver now head to the floor for full Senate approval. Senate Majority Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinSchumer becomes new Senate majority leader McConnell keeps GOP guessing on Trump impeachment Officials brace for second Trump impeachment trial MORE (D-Ill.) said Thursday a vote on the waiver could...
    The Senate voted to confirm Avril Haines to be Director of National Intelligence on Wednesday evening, making her the first of President Biden's Cabinet nominees to be confirmed. Haines was approved by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 84 to 10. The Senate adjourned for the night after confirming Haines, and will reconvene at 12 p.m. on Thursday. "Avril Haines was the right choice for Director of National Intelligence. We appreciate the bipartisan cooperation to get her confirmed tonight, and we hope there will be a lot more of it because the nation is in crisis and we need President Biden's team in place as quickly as possible," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a speech on the Senate floor ahead of the vote that it was "appropriate" that Haines would be the first...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Three new senators were sworn into office after President Joe Biden’s inauguration, securing the majority for Democrats in the Senate and across a unified government to tackle the new president’s agenda at a time of unprecedented national challenges. In a first vote, the Senate confirmed Biden’s nominee for director of national intelligence, Avril Haines. Senators worked into the evening Wednesday and overcame some Republican opposition to approve his first Cabinet member, in what’s traditionally a show of good faith on Inauguration Day to confirm at least some nominees for a new president’s administration. Haines, a former CIA deputy director, will become a core member of Biden’s security team, overseeing the agencies that make up the nation’s intelligence community. She was confirmed 84-10. The new Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., urged colleagues to turn the spirit of the new president’s call for unity into action....
    WASHINGTON (CBS NEWS/WJZ) — The Senate voted to confirm Avril Haines to be the Director of National Intelligence on Wednesday evening, making her the first of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet nominees to be confirmed. Haines was approved by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 84 to 10. The Senate adjourned for the night after confirming Haines and will reconvene at noon on Thursday. Haines has a long career in government service and ties to Baltimore City. Avril Haines, Former Baltimore Bookstore Owner, Among President-Elect Biden’s Cabinet Position Picks Before studying law, Haines came to Baltimore to pursue a Ph.D. in physics at Johns Hopkins University. While in Baltimore, Haines and her now-husband bought a vacant bar on South Broadway in Fells Point and turned it into a bookstore and cafe called Adrian’s Book Cafe. They sold interesting and unusual books, some by local authors, and held readings and events. Haines was...
    The Senate overwhelmingly confirmed Avril Haines, President Joe Biden’s director of national intelligence, on Wednesday evening. Haines was confirmed 84-10, and is the first Biden Cabinet nominee to be confirmed, the Washington Post reported. The vote came one day after Haines’ hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, and was in limbo much of Wednesday due to Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton’s earlier objection to her swift confirmation over an answer she gave during her hearing regarding the CIA’s interrogation program during President George W. Bush’s administration. Cotton withdrew his objection after she clarified her answer, and the vote was announced by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday afternoon. Haines will be the first woman to serve as the director of national intelligence. President Joe Biden sits in the Oval Office as he signs a series of orders at the White House in Washington, DC, after being sworn in at the...
    By Manu Raju, Jeremy Herb and Zachary Cohen | CNN The Senate confirmed President Joe Biden’s first Cabinet nominee Wednesday evening, voting to approve his pick for director of national intelligence, Avril Haines, on his first day in office Haines’ confirmation as the first woman to lead the US intelligence community, which was approved in the Senate by 84 to 10, continues a recent Senate precedent of confirming Cabinet nominees the day a new president is sworn in, though Biden is getting fewer nominees approved quickly than his predecessors. The Senate confirmed two of former President Donald Trump’s on his first day, and even more for former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. Biden may struggle to get additional nominees confirmed quickly, as those confirmations could be stalled until Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer cut a deal on a resolution outlining how they’ll...
    Avril Haines speaks during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee to be President-elect Joe Biden's national intelligence director in Washington, DC, January 19, 2021.Joe Raedle | Pool | Reuters WASHINGTON –The Senate confirmed Avril Haines as the director of national intelligence Wednesday evening, the first official member of President Joe Biden's Cabinet. Before adjourning for the evening, the Senate voted 84 to 10 on Haines' confirmation. Haines, Biden's pick to lead the nation's 18 intelligence agencies, is the first woman to hold the position. "Our adversaries will not stand by and wait for the new administration to staff critical positions, and I am pleased my Senate colleagues joined me in swiftly confirming Director Haines to this important post," wrote Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, acting chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, in a statement. "Avril Haines was the right choice for Director of National Intelligence," wrote Senate...
    Senators confirmed Avril Haines to be President Biden's director of national intelligence on Wednesday, giving him his first Senate-confirmed Cabinet pick.  Senators voted 84-10 to confirm Haines, who appears to be the only Cabinet official Biden will get confirmed on the first day of his administration.  It's the fewest-ever number of Cabinet picks to get through the Senate on the first day of a new administration and comes after Republicans were furious in 2017 when Democrats only allowed two Cabinet picks to be confirmed on former President TrumpDonald TrumpLil Wayne gets 11th hour Trump pardon Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Trump expected to pardon Bannon: reports MORE's first day.  By comparison, Obama got six Cabinet picks confirmed on his first day, then-President George W. Bush got seven on his first day and then-President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonTrump stock performance falls short of Obama, Clinton Press: Biden...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate confirms Avril Haines as intelligence director, giving President Biden first member of his Cabinet. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration (all times local): 7:10 p.m. The Senate has voted to confirm Avril Haines as the new director of national intelligence, giving President Joe Biden the first member of his Cabinet. The 84-10 vote by the Senate on Wednesday came after senators agreed to fast-track her nomination. Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said it was fitting that Haines was confirmed first. He said the intelligence post is of “critical importance to the country.” Haines told the Senate Intelligence Committee at a confirmation hearing Tuesday that China would be an important focus of the Biden administration. She said she sees her role as speaking “truth to power” and delivering accurate and apolitical intelligence even if it is uncomfortable or inconvenient for the administration. The Senate was able to vote quickly on the nomination, and bypass a...
    The Senate voted to confirm Avril Haines as director of National Intelligence, making her the first woman in history to lead the intelligence community. The Senate, voting on Haines’ nomination just hours after President Joe Biden was sworn into office. BIDEN DNI NOMINEE AVRIL HAINES SAYS AIM SHOULD BE TO 'OUT-COMPETE CHINA' Haines had her confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday and vowed to "set a strategic vision" for the intelligence community to ensure that the U.S. is "well postured to address developing threats and take advantage of new opportunities as they arise." Haines, under the Obama Administration, served as a principal deputy national security adviser and as a deputy director at the CIA—she was the first woman to hold both positions. Haines said under her leadership, she would ensure that the intelligence community "has the capacity to understand, warn, protect and defend the United States against the...
    Washington — As President Joe Biden took the helm of the country at his inauguration on Wednesday, the Senate has yet to confirm any of his nominees to serve in his Cabinet, leaving federal agencies in the hands of acting officials until the upper chamber acts. Senate committees began Tuesday to hold confirmation hearings for Mr. Biden's nominees for five of his picks just before his inauguration: Janet Yellen, nominee for Treasury secretary, Avril Haines, nominee for director of national intelligence, Lloyd Austin, nominee for Defense secretary, Tony Blinken, nominee for secretary of state, and Alejandro Mayorkas, nominee for Homeland Security secretary. But neither the respective committees with jurisdiction over each agency nor the full Senate have voted on his Cabinet picks.  In addition, Austin needs a special waiver from the House and Senate, since federal law requires military officers to wait seven years before serving as defense secretary and he...
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office confirmed that he will not “consent” to reconvening the Senate before Jan. 19, effectively killing hopes for removing President Donald Trump from office before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. A McConnell spokesman confirmed that their office told Schumer’s staff that McConnell won’t “consent” to reconvening the Senate before Jan. 19, after a report broke Tuesday night that McConnell is reportedly considering voting to convict Trump in an impeachment trial. McConnell’s office called Schumer’s staff Wednesday and told them McConnell would not consent to reconvene immediately under the 2004 emergency authorities. Schumer was reportedly trying to use the authority granted to the two Senate leaders in 2004 to reconvene the Senate in times of emergency to impeach Trump. Can confirm —> https://t.co/l2U1WlyQSF — Doug Andres (@DougAndres) January 13, 2021 According to Axios founder and former Politico Playbook editor Mike Allen, there is a “50-50 chance” McConnell...
    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The U.S. Senate has confirmed a second district judge for East Tennessee this week. The Republican-led Senate voted 54-41 on Thursday to confirm Chuck Atchley as a judge in the Eastern District of Tennessee, where he has been serving as an assistant U.S. attorney. President Donald Trump announced his nomination of Atchley for the judgeship in September. Sen. Lamar Alexander has pointed out that Atchley’s roots in East Tennessee go back to 1785 when Thomas Atchley settled in what is now Sevier County. The Senate this week also confirmed Katherine Crytzer as a judge in the same district. Crytzer is currently the principal deputy assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Policy. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Tags: Tennessee, Associated Press
    Vice President Mike Pence is expected to leave the country on a week-long world tour, directly after he formally confirms President-elect Joe Biden's victory on the House floor on January 6.  Politico reported Thursday that Pence is eyeing a trip abroad that week that would take him to Bahrain, Israel and Poland, though the trip hasn't been officially confirmed. 'I suspect the timing is anything but coincidental,' a Pence ally told the newsite.  Vice President Mike Pence is eyeing a week-long trip abroad after the January 6 House of Representatives session he'll have to preside over to lock in the presidential election result in favor of President-elect Joe Biden  Politico reported Thursday that Pence plans to travel to Bahrain, Israel and Poland and could be trying to avoid the wrath of President Donald Trump (left) who has continued to refuse to concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden...
    The Senate confirmed two more of President TrumpDonald TrumpTop Trump aide Derek Lyons to leave White House this month Judge rules Trump Org must turn over documents to NY AG as part of probe Longtime GOP strategist Steve Schmidt announces he's registering Democrat MORE's judicial nominees on Wednesday, furthering the lame-duck administration's lasting imprint on the federal courts in its final weeks. Wednesday's confirmations came a day after the Senate approved Trump's replacement to fill the appeals court seat left open by Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettFor conservative justices, faith in 'religious freedom' trumps public health White House security official lost foot and part of leg battling COVID-19: report Supreme Court gives New Mexico a win in water dispute with Texas MORE. Senate Republicans' efforts to push the nominations through as they wrap up their work for the year are some of the finishing touches on their...
    The Republican-led U.S. Senate on Wednesday, during a lame duck session, confirmed Department of Justice lawyer Katherine A. Crytzer, 36, to a lifetime judgeship on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. The vote was 48-47. Confirmed, 48-47: Executive Calendar #932 Katherine A. Crytzer to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee. — Senate Cloakroom (@SenateCloakroom) December 16, 2020 A vacancy opened up on the court in early September, when Judge Pamela Reeves died after a two-year battle with cancer. Reeves was the first woman Article III judge to sit on Tennessee’s Eastern District Court. Crytzer will be the second. Crytzer has been working as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy, where her duties include providing legal and policy advice to the assistant attorney general and assisting President Donald Trump in filling vacancies on the federal bench....
    By MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has confirmed an Indiana prosecutor to replace Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on a federal appeals court based in Chicago. Thomas Kirsch, who currently serves as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, will replace Barrett as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Kirsch was confirmed Tuesday on a 51-44 vote. Three Democrats — Arizona Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin — voted for him in what was otherwise a party-line vote. Four Republican senators and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris did not vote. President Donald Trump named Kirsch as Barrett's replacement before she was confirmed to the high court in October, and the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced his nomination last week. Kirsch graduated from Indiana University and earned his law degree from Harvard. Illinois Sen. Dick...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has confirmed an Indiana prosecutor to replace Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on a federal appeals court based in Chicago. Thomas Kirsch, who currently serves as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, will replace Barrett as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Kirsch was confirmed Tuesday on a 51-44 vote. Three Democrats — Arizona Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin — voted for him in what was otherwise a party-line vote. Four Republican senators and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris did not vote. President Donald Trump named Kirsch as Barrett’s replacement before she was confirmed to the high court in October, and the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced his nomination last week. Kirsch graduated from Indiana University and earned his law degree from Harvard. Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, who is expected to...
    White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany suggested that, despite the Electoral College confirming President-elect Joe Biden on Monday, there could be a “continuation of power” of a second term for the Trump administration. The comment came in the first press briefing in roughly two weeks, and the first since President Donald Trump officially lost the Electoral College vote. Trump and his senior advisors have refused to concede that the election has, in fact, been lost. McEnany referred all questions about further legal recourse to the Trump campaign and often claimed that she had not yet spoken to the president about the topic of his baseless allegations. In a question focused on Biden’s cabinet pics, an unidentified reporter noted that President Trump had the benefit of the U.S. Senate starting hearings and starting the process before he was inaugurated in January 2017. “Does the president oppose the Senate taking up...
    (CNN)The Senate on Wednesday confirmed three new members to the Federal Election Commission, ending months of paralysis for the election watchdog and cementing outgoing President Donald Trump's influence on an agency charged with policing federal campaign finance laws. The GOP-controlled Senate voted largely along party lines to confirm Republicans Sean Cooksey and Allen Dickerson to the commission. Senators backed a third commissioner, Democrat Shana Broussard, by a vote of 92-4. Broussard, an African-American attorney who has worked at the agency for more than a decade, will become the first person of color to serve on the six-member commission in its 45-year history.Cooksey heads to the commission after stints working for conservatives on Capitol Hill, most recently as general counsel to Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri. He previously worked for Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Dickerson has served as legal director of the Washington-based Institute for Free Speech, and his...
    On Tuesday, the Senate voted to confirm the controversial nomination of Republican Nathan Simington to the Federal Communications Commission, despite pleas from Democrats and advocacy groups to hold off on a vote until next year. By confirming Simington, the Republican-led Senate will be handing the incoming Joe Biden administration a deadlocked FCC. In November, current FCC chairman Ajit Pai announced that he would be stepping down from the agency once Biden is inaugurated, leaving the incoming administration with two Republicans, two Democrats, and no voting majority. If a Republican-led Senate refuses to confirm Biden’s choice for a replacement, it could bring the commission to a standstill. “Nathan Simington is a deeply dangerous nominee to the FCC.” This threat of gridlock paired with concerns over Simington’s qualifications for the job prompted Democrats and advocacy groups to oppose the nomination. In a virtual protest event, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said, “Nathan...
    After a closely-watched nomination, President Trump’s nominee to the FCC, Nathan Simington, was confirmed to the post by a 49-46 vote of the U.S. Senate. Simington will now take up his role at the FCC alongside fellow Republican commissioners Brendan Carr, and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who recently announced plans to step down at the end of January. There are five commissioners on the FCC, including the chairman, two Republicans, and two Democrats. The two Democrats on the commission are Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks. Simington was nominated to the FCC by President Trump after the nomination of former Republican commissioner Michael O’Rielly was pulled. Simington’s nomination comes at a critical time for the FCC, as it grapples with questions of internet censorship. President Trump’s executive order on social media censorship called for the FCC — an independent agency — to be petitioned to consider rulemaking changes around Section 230, the law...
    The Senate on Tuesdaya voted to confirm Nathan Simington to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), ending a nomination process that was fraught with controversy from the beginning. Featured Video Hide
    “Nathan Simington is the wrong person, and clearly the wrong person at the wrong time for the FCC,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) in the lead-up to today’s vote. “This nomination is dangerous because it threatens the integrity and political independence of the FCC.” As Motherboard notes, the fear is that Republicans will use Simington’s confirmation to mire the agency in gridlock. By law, the party that wins the presidential election appoints the head of the agency. But if the Senate doesn’t hold confirmation hearings for President-elect Joe Biden’s pick in the new year, the FCC will be split two to two along party lines once current Chairman Ajit Pai steps down on January 20th. Then, when the term of Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel ends late next year, there’s the additional possibility Republicans could enter 2022 with a two to one majority at the agency. Whether things play out this...
              Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s General Counsel Ryan Germany confirmed during the Georgia State Senate hearing that the state’s voting machines received a system update before the election. Germany shared that the updates had occurred weeks prior to Election Day. Vice Chairman Senator Marty Harbin (R-GA-Tyrone) asked Germany whether Dominion’s voting machines were updated. He said, “Number one question I need to ask is that I understand that in one of the precincts that represents my district that on the day before the election there were updates being done to the machines because of the senate race with 24 candidates, the machine was having problems in printing that – is that a true statement?” At first, Germany responded that there hadn’t been updates. The senator pressed for further clarification. “I understand there were people coming in with USB drives to update machines the...
    Christopher Waller, one of President Donald Trump’s picks for the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, was confirmed by a slim margin Thursday afternoon. Waller, a regional Fed research official, was confirmed on a 48-47 vote that was divided almost completely along party lines. Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul voted with Democrats against his confirmation, while Sens. Lindsey Graham, Kelly Loeffler, David Perdue, Bernie Sanders and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris did not vote. His confirmation means that President-elect Joe Biden will take office with a Fed consisting of mostly Trump nominees. Five of the six sitting members were nominated by the president, including Fed Chair Jerome Powell, while one seat remains vacant. Despite Waller’s confirmation by the narrowest of margins, he was widely viewed as the less controversial of Trump’s two most recent picks for the Board, according to The New York Times. Trump nominated Waller and Judy Shelton at the...
    WASHINGTON – The Senate on Thursday narrowly confirmed the nomination of Christopher Waller for the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, placing another of President Donald Trump's picks on the Fed's influential board after a string of high-profile rejections. The vote in favor of Waller was 48-47. Waller, research director at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, taught economics for nearly 25 years before joining the St. Louis Fed in 2009. He has endured far less scrutiny than Judy Shelton, the controversial nominee he was paired with and who was voted down in the Senate last month. Still, Waller's confirmation vote in the full Senate broke down along party lines, a shift from the vote in the Senate Banking Committee in July, when some Democrats had supported him. As an executive vice president of the St. Louis Fed, Waller has attended dozens of meetings of the Fed’s interest...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Thursday narrowly confirmed the nomination of Christopher Waller for the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, placing another of President Donald Trump’s picks on the Fed’s influential board after a string of high-profile rejections. The vote in favor of Waller was 48-47. Waller, research director at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, taught economics for nearly 25 years before joining the St. Louis Fed in 2009. He has endured far less scrutiny than Judy Shelton, the controversial nominee he was paired with and who was voted down in the Senate last month. Still, Waller’s confirmation vote in the full Senate broke down along party lines, a shift from the vote in the Senate Banking Committee in July, when some Democrats had supported him. As an executive vice president of the St. Louis Fed, Waller has attended dozens of meetings of the Fed’s...
    By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER, AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Thursday narrowly confirmed the nomination of Christopher Waller for the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, placing another of President Donald Trump's picks on the Fed's influential board after a string of high-profile rejections. The vote in favor of Waller's appointment was 48-47. Waller, research director for the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, taught economics for nearly 25 years before joining the St. Louis Fed in 2009. He has endured far less scrutiny than Judy Shelton, the controversial nominee he was paired with and who was voted down in the Senate last month. Still, his confirmation vote broke down along party lines, a shift from the vote in the Senate Banking Committee in July, when some Democrats had supported him. As an executive vice president of the St. Louis Fed Waller has attended dozens of meetings of the Fed’s...
    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A member of the Virginia State Corporation Commission has been confirmed to a spot on a federal energy regulatory panel, creating a vacancy for the Democrat-controlled General Assembly to fill. The U.S. Senate confirmed Mark Christie's nomination to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Monday evening. Also confirmed was Allison Clements, which the commission said brings it to a full, five-member complement for the first time in nearly two years. Both Christie and Clements were nominated by President Donald Trump. The Virginia State Corporation Commission is an independent branch of state government with a wide range of responsibilities, including the regulation of public utilities, insurance and railroads. The three commissioners, elected by the General Assembly for six-year terms, oversee the work of hundreds of staff. Earlier this year, Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam appointed Jehmal Hudson as a commissioner after lawmakers in the state Senate said they were...
    Lara Trump, 38, confirmed Wednesday she is considering running for Senate in North Carolina, making her the first of the president's family to try and capitalize on his political career to launch her own. 'It would be an incredible thing,' Lara told the Fox & Friends panel during an interview Wednesday morning. 'It's my home state, a state I love so much.' 'And look, I think we need some strong Republicans in Washington, D.C.,' she continued. 'We had a great run with the Senate and the House this go-around. But, you know, let's see what happens.'  The president's daughter-in-law did not outright say whether she is running. She suggested that she wants to get through this election before she starts thinking about her own political ambitions in 2022.  The comment from Lara comes after reports revealed last week she was considering a run in the seat opening up in her...
    It's been 184 days since the House passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act, and 48 days since the House passed their compromise $2.2 trillion bill, both of which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to take up. More than 250,000 Americans are now dead from COVID-19. Tens of thousands of businesses have shuttered for good. Nearly 750,000 people filed first-time unemployment insurance claims last week. The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which is supporting 4.4 million people right now, expires on Dec. 26. What's McConnell doing about it all? Running his judicial confirmation conveyor belt. On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed a 33-year-old lawyer, Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, to a lifetime appointment on the Tampa division of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. She was deemed unqualified by the American Bar Association because she has never tried a criminal or civil case, has never even been co-counsel in...
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his Republican majority confirmed Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, 33, on Wednesday to a lifetime judgeship on U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. The vote was 49-41 in favor. Confirmed, 49-41: Executive Calendar #894 Kathryn Kimball Mizelle to be U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Florida. — Senate Cloakroom (@SenateCloakroom) November 18, 2020 Mizelle becomes the youngest Trump-appointed judge yet. Many have noted that Mizelle graduated from law school eight years ago. The American Bar Association previously deemed Mizelle, a former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, “Not Qualified” for a federal judgeship. Mizelle, an associate at Jones Day, previously completed four judicial clerkships (including for Justice Thomas) and served in a number of roles with the U.S. Department of Justice, including in the Eastern District of Virginia from 2014 to 2015. The ABA rating system for judicial nominees focuses...
    KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The U.S. Senate has confirmed Kansas Solicitor General Toby Crouse as a federal judge for the District of Kansas. It is the third federal district judgeship in the state nominated by President Donald Trump. Senators voted 50-43 on Tuesday to confirm Crouse. “Toby Crouse is a skilled attorney who has demonstrated his judicial views and respect for the rule of law throughout his career in private practice, as a clerk for Tenth Circuit Judge Mary Briscoe and as the Kansas Solicitor General," Republican U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas said in a statement. Crouse was nominated in May to replace former U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia in Kansas City, Kansas. Murguia resigned after he was publicly reprimanded for sexually harassing female employees and having an extramarital affair with an offender. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Crouse has done an outstanding job as solicitor general....
    Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenate Democrats reelect Schumer as leader by acclamation  Ocasio-Cortez says Rahm Emanuel would be a 'divisive pick' for Biden Cabinet Six people whose election wins made history MORE (I-Vt.) said on Wednesday that, if asked, he would accept the position of Labor secretary in President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenFeds charge Staten Island man over threat to Schumer, FBI Pence cancels vacation in Florida: report Romney shoots down serving in Biden Cabinet MORE's administration. "I want to do everything I can to protect the working families of this country who are under tremendous duress right now and whether that is in the Senate, whether that's in the Biden administration, who knows? Let's see how that unfolds," Sanders said during an interview with CNN when asked if he was eyeing a position in Biden's cabinet. "If I had a portfolio that allowed me to stand up and fight for working...
            by Derek Draplin  The U.S. Senate confirmed Amy Coney Barrett to be an associate justice on the nation’s highest court Monday. Barrett fills the vacancy of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in September at the age of 87 from complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. The Senate approved Barrett in a 52-48 vote Monday evening after a full day of final arguments in the upper chamber. Barrett, who was a Notre Dame University law professor before becoming a judge for the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017, gives Republicans a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court. She also is the third judge selected to the court by President Donald Trump, who also chose Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Throughout Barrett’s confirmation process, Democrats said the seat should go unfilled until after the Nov. 3 election, leveling the selection was otherwise illegitimate. They also...
    By Lawrence Hurley and Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican-led U.S. Senate handed President Donald Trump a major pre-election political victory on Monday by confirming his Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett as he delivered a dramatic conservative overhaul of the nation's top judicial body. The Senate voted largely along party lines to confirm Barrett to a lifetime post, overcoming unified Democratic opposition to the Republican president's third Supreme Court appointment and creating a 6-3 conservative majority. Barrett's addition cements one of the most right-leaning Supreme Court rosters in generations. The shifting of the Supreme Court and the broader federal judiciary to the right has been a signature achievement of Trump's presidency, aided by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (Reporting by Lawrence Hurley and Andrew Chung) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters. Tags: United States
    Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Tags: Associated Press, courts, elections
    The Senate voted to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Monday night, making her the third justice to join the nation’s highest court under President Donald Trump. The Senate confirmed Barrett along partisan lines, 52-48. Barrett will become the third justice to join the Supreme Court since Trump took office, after a Senate Republican majority confirmed Judges Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch to the court. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that the confirmation of Barrett “will go down as one of the darkest days in the 231-year history of the United States Senate.” The Senate vote concludes a relatively undramatic confirmation process compared to Kavanaugh’s tumultuous confirmation to the Supreme Court. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced in early October, or early during the confirmation process, that Senate Republicans had the votes to confirm Barrett. The confirmation hearings also had few contentious moments...
    The United States Senate has officially confirmed Judge Amy Coney Barrett as a U.S. Supreme Court justice in a 52-48 vote, despite pushback from Democrats who fought to stop the Republican-led upper chamber from moving forward with President Donald Trump's nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ahead of Election Day. Every GOP senator voted for Barrett's confirmation except Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), who joined Democrats in arguing that the nomination of a new justice should be made by whomever wins the presidential election on Nov. 3.What are the details?Ahead of the actual vote, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), declared from the floor that "today...will go down as one of the darkest days in the 231-year history of the United States Senate." He went on to warn Republicans, "You may win this vote... But you will never, ever, get your credibility back. And the next time...
    The full Republican-led Senate voted to confirm President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, to replace recently deceased Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Barrett’s confirmation came less than 24 hours after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell held a late-night procedural move on Sunday to overcome a Democratic filibuster of her nomination. The full confirmation vote on Monday evening fell almost exactly along party lines with 52 Republicans in favor and 47 Democrats and one Republican — Maine Sen. Susan Collins — opposed. During the vote, several Democrats approached the well of the Senate to offer dramatic and emphatic thumbs-down gestures to symbolize their opposition to confirming Barrett just over a week from Election Day 2020. Four years ago, then-President Barack Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill the seat of Antonin Scalia, but McConnell refused to even hold a Judiciary hearing on the nominee, insisting that the American...
    WASHINGTON (CBS NEWS) — The Senate confirmed Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Monday with just days to go before Election Day, solidifying the conservative majority on the court as it is set to consider several high-profile cases in the coming months. Barrett was confirmed by a vote of 52-48 on Monday evening, after Democrats exhausted the procedural maneuvers undertaken to delay her confirmation. Only one Republican, Senator Susan Collins, voted against confirming Barrett to the Supreme Court. READ MORE ON CBS NEWS.
    The Senate confirmed Judge Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettSenate Democrats hold talkathon to protest Barrett's Supreme Court nomination I know what illegal abortion looks like, does Amy Coney Barrett? Democratic senator votes against advancing Amy Coney Barrett nomination while wearing RBG mask MORE to the Supreme Court on Monday, providing President TrumpDonald John TrumpFox News president, top anchors advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: report Six notable moments from Trump and Biden's '60 Minutes' interviews Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought '9/11 attack was 7/11 attack' MORE with a last-minute political victory just days before November 3.  The 52-48 Senate vote on Barrett's nomination capped off a rare presidential election year Supreme Court fight sparked by the death of Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgSenate Democrats hold talkathon to protest Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Democratic senator votes against advancing Amy Coney Barrett nomination while wearing RBG mask GOP...
    Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court Monday evening by the Senate in a 52-48 vote - with Republican Susan Collins crossing the aisle to vote against her. Donald Trump's third nominee was not in the chamber to watch the roll call vote, which allows her to join the eight justices on Tuesday morning, and potentially to decide on cases about voting before the November 3 election.  Senate president pro tempore Chuck Grassley declared her confirmation at 8.06pm.   Her nomination transforms the court to a 6-3 conservative majority and comes after fierce opposition from Democrats, whose presidential nominee Joe Biden has resisted pressure to promise to pack the court if he wins - but who says he will order a commission on reforming the high court.  Before the final vote she was praised by Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell who said: 'By every account, the Supreme Court is...
    The Senate voted to confirm Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett with 52 Republican votes and over the objections of Democrats, who say Barrett was nominated too close to the election and will shift the centrist court far to the right. While Republicans rejoiced at Barrett’s confirmation, some Democrats are now threatening to expand the high court with new liberal judges if they take over the majority in next week’s election. The Senate, meanwhile, won’t be back for legislative business until a post-election, lame-duck session, dashing any last minute hope that Congress would pass a new round of coronavirus aid before Nov. 3. Barrett, 48, will be sworn in at the White House later Monday and will take her place in time to hear a critical Supreme Court case that will decide whether Obamacare is legal without the now-eliminated individual mandate. Democrats warned she'll provided the vote to end Obamacare,...
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took an apparent shot Thursday at the Trump administration over its coronavirus protocols for staff. The Kentucky Republican told reporters at a press conference in his home state that he had not visited the White House grounds since August 6. (RELATED: Top Trump Aide Stephen Miller Tests Positive For Coronavirus After Quarantining For Five Days) US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (L) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images) “My impression was their approach to [sic] how to handle this is different from mine and what I insisted that we do in the Senate,” he continued. “Which is to wear a mask and practice social distancing.” McConnell today in Ky: “I actually haven’t been to the White House since August the 6th because my impression was their approach to how to handle this is different from mine and...
    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The military is investigating North Carolina U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham, an Army spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday, a day after The Associated Press reported that the Democratic contender appeared to have had an intimate encounter this summer with a public relations consultant. Cunningham, a Raleigh-based attorney and lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve who is trying to unseat Republican Sen. Thom Tillis next month, acknowledged late last week that he and the woman — both of whom are married — had exchanged sexually suggestive text messages. On Tuesday, the AP, citing previously undisclosed texts and additional interviews, reported the relationship appeared to extend beyond texts to an intimate encounter as recent as July, “The Army Reserve is investigating the matters involving (Lt. Col.) James Cunningham,” Lt. Col. Simon Flake said in an emailed statement that cited Cunningham by his official first name. “As...
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it’s full-speed ahead to hold confirmation hearings for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, despite a number of Republican senators ailing from the coronavirus. “Judge Barrett’s hearings will begin one week from today. Chairman Graham has all the tools to conduct a hybrid hearing, just like the 150 others the Senate has held this year,” McConnell said on Twitter Monday evening. “We will not stop working for the American people because Democrats are afraid they may lose a vote.” Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is scheduled to begin the hearings on his panel on Monday – a timeline that would allow a full Senate vote before the Nov. 3 election. The timeline was put in doubt over the weekend when two GOP members of the committee – Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis...
    (CNN)Democratic candidate Cal Cunningham apologized Friday for sending romantic text messages to a woman who is not his wife, a disclosure that could shake up the hotly contested North Carolina Senate race in its final weeks.Cunningham is challenging Republican Sen. Thom Tillis, with recent public polls suggesting a competitive race. On Thursday, however, as the candidates were set to meet for their final debate, a report surfaced on NationalFile.com suggesting Cunningham has sought a relationship outside of his marriage. In a series of text messages captured in screenshots on the site, Cunningham praised the woman as "historically sexy" and suggested he wanted to secretly meet with her."Would make my day to roll over and kiss you about now," he wrote in another text.In a statement provided to CNN, Cunningham confirmed that he had breached his family's trust and apologized for his behavior, while suggesting he would move forward with his...
    The findings of a Senate GOP investigation confirmed Wednesday that Eric Ciaramella, believed to be the “whistleblower” who sparked the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, participated in an Obama White House meeting with Ukrainian prosecutors in January 2016. Although the Republican report did not reveal what was discussed during the gathering, at least one participant has reportedly said it was focused, in part, on a corruption probe linked to Hunter Biden’s employer at the time: Ukrainian gas company Burisma. The findings of the months-long probe into Hunter’s dealings with Burisma carried out by Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) were revealed Wednesday: According to a document with a DOJ [Department of Justice] logo, a Ukrainian delegation that included senior-level Ukrainian prosecutors arrived in Washington on Jan. 18, 2016. The agenda shows that their first official meeting was...
    Tuesday on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), who is in the middle of a tough election fight with Mark Kelly, dismissed the suggestion her race might sway her vote on the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice. McSally said she was relying on the Constitution for her decision. “The guiding document is the Constitution. Look, I put my life on the line for 26 years in the military,” she said. “I raised my right hand at the oath of the Constitution. The president nominates, and the Senate confirms, and we will do that without delay. It will be a thorough process. It is very important for the future of our country to fill this position, and we will go through that process, and we will vote. And I, very quickly, said on Friday this Senate should vote on President Trump’s nominee.” “You see the left,”...
    U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed, to the Democrats' dismay, that he will push to hold a vote for a nominee to the Supreme Court from President Donald Trump after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. McConnell made the announcement in a statement that included a recognition of the accomplishments of the late Justice Ginsburg. "The Senate and the nation mourn the sudden passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the conclusion of her extraordinary American life," said McConnell. Ginsburg, a stalwart justice on the liberal side of the Supreme Court, died on Friday of pancreatic cancer. "In the last midterm election before Justice Scalia's death in 2016, Americans elected a Republican Senate majority because we pledged to check and balance the last days of a lame-duck president's second term. We kept our promise," continued McConnell. He...
    The Senate, led by Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, confirmed eight federal judges in just three days as the Republicans' efforts to reshape the courts continue. Eight of President Trump’s judicial nominees will take to the bench in California and Illinois as the total number of judges nominated by Trump and confirmed by the Senate reaches 216. Disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated a judicial emergency in the Central District of California. Each judge in the Central District Of California was responsible for nearly double the national average of cases prior to the pandemic, but officials say there will be a “significant backlog of trials” when the pandemic is over. The then-chief judge in the district sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee and the White House asking Washington to speed up the process of appointing new judges. Iain Johnston and Franklin Valderrama were confirmed to...
    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Senate on Monday confirmed an attorney as the new commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Revenue. Chris Graham has worked in recent years for the Legislative Budget Office, helping senators write spending plans for state agencies. He previously worked for the state Ethics Commission and in private law practice. Republican Gov. Tate Reeves announced July 13 that he was nominating Graham to lead the Department of Revenue, and Graham has been working in the job while awaiting confirmation. He succeeds Herb Frierson, who retired as commissioner July 1 after four years in that job. Frierson had a 42-year state government career that included time he served as a legislator. In addition to overseeing the Department of Revenue, the commissioner serves in a group of experts that help legislators predict how much money the state might have available each year. That number is used as...
    Moscow's man, Moscow's conduit, Moscow's coordinator The Senate Intelligence Committee report on Russian interference in the 2016 election was slipped out to the public with less fanfare than a new menu item at Captain D’s. And like the actual Mueller report, released weeks after Attorney General William Barr produced his whitewashed summary, Republicans are just hoping everyone will read their topline statements and ignore what the investigation really found. Somehow, after Republicans have declared over and over that there was “no collusion,” they’ve been sitting on a report that shows that Donald Trump’s campaign manager was in constant contact with a Russian operative, that both WikiLeaks and Roger Stone knew they were part of a direct pipeline from Vladimir Putin, and that the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort was in fact a meeting with Russian spies designed to get information that could be...
    The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen as director of the Army National Guard. Jensen had spent nearly three years as adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard when he was tapped for the national post in May by President Donald Trump. Sen. Amy Klobuchar called Jensen “an excellent choice to lead the Army National Guard” in a statement after Monday’s vote. “We are grateful for the Major General’s commitment to servicemembers and their families, whom he has supported through numerous deployments, as well as his work to help Minnesotans through several natural disasters,” she said. An Iowa native, Jensen has served in the the Army National Guard for more than three decades and has completed several overseas deployments. Most recently, Jensen oversaw the deployment of National Guard troops on the streets of the Twin Cities during the unrest that followed the death of George Floyd. He...
    The Senate confirmed Russel Vought as head of the White Home Workplace of Administration and Finances, with a 51-45 vote alongside get together strains. President Trump nominated Vought to the place in March. He has been answerable for the workplace since January 2019 when the previous director, Mick Mulvaney, was named because the White Home chief of employees. Mulvaney in March was tapped as US particular envoy for Northern Eire, and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) grew to become chief of employees. In February 2018, he was confirmed because the deputy director of the OMB after Vice President Mike Pence forged the vote breaking a 49-49 tie. Within the vote Monday, Democrats opposed Vought, 44, due to his function in briefly blocking overseas help to Ukraine, the difficulty on the heart of the impeachment investigation. Additionally they accused him of failing to cooperate of their investigation into Trump’s coping with...
    The Senate confirmed Russel Vought as head of the White House Office of Management and Budget, with a 51-45 vote along party lines. President Trump nominated Vought to the position in March. He has been in charge of the office since January 2019 when the former director, Mick Mulvaney, was named as the White House chief of staff. Mulvaney in March was tapped as US special envoy for Northern Ireland, and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) became chief of staff. In February 2018, he was confirmed as the deputy director of the OMB after Vice President Mike Pence cast the vote breaking a 49-49 tie. In the vote Monday, Democrats opposed Vought, 44, because of his role in temporarily blocking foreign aid to Ukraine, the issue at the center of the impeachment investigation. They also accused him of failing to cooperate in their investigation into Trump’s dealing with Ukraine. Filed under...
    Reuters July 20, 2020 0 Comments The U.S. Senate voted along party lines on Monday to confirm Russell Vought as director of the Office of Management and Budget, eight months after Vought defied a congressional subpoena and refused to testify in President Donald Trump’s impeachment. The vote was 51-45 to confirm Vought, as all of Trump’s fellow Republicans backed the nomination and every Democrat voted no. Vought, 44, has held the post of OMB director on an acting basis since January 2019, when his predecessor, Mick Mulvaney, became acting White House chief of staff. Mulvaney is now U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland. Democratic lawmakers leading the impeachment effort last year had wanted Vought to testify to obtain information about why OMB froze military aid for Ukraine that had been approved by Congress. Vought dismissed the investigation as a sham. Known for fierce loyalty to Trump, Vought, a former...
    The Senate on Monday confirmed Russell Vought to serve as President TrumpDonald John TrumpKanye West says Harriet Tubman 'never actually freed the slaves' at rally Trump-Afghan deal passes key deadline, but peace elusive GOP governors in hardest hit states split over COVID-19 response MORE’s director of the Office of Management and Budget.  Senators voted 51-45 to confirm Vought, who has filed the position since early 2019 in an acting capacity after then-OMB Director Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyGOP senators sound alarm as coronavirus surges in home states Long waits for test results spark new COVID-19 fears Trump's former chief of staff hits coronavirus efforts: 'We still have a testing problem' MORE became White House chief of staff. Trump formally nominated Vought to the post in March. But his nomination hung in limbo for months leading a group of House GOP lawmakers to send a letter urging his confirmation.  Vought took part in...
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Senate has confirmed a deputy police chief as the new U.S. marshal for West Tennessee. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Marsha Blackburn and Rep. David Kustoff praised last week’s vote to confirm Tyreece Miller, Jackson Police Department’s deputy chief. President Donald Trump nominated Miller for the position in February. Blackburn said Miller is a Marine veteran who started at the Jackson Police Department as a patrol officer in 1997 and worked his way up to deputy chief in 2016. Miller also was appointed to the state Capitol Commission in September 2019, but left the post in February due to the U.S. marshal nomination. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Tags: Tennessee
    Jake Johnson June 25, 2020 8:00AM (UTC) This article originally appeared at Common Dreams. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely. The Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday confirmed Mississippi Judge Cory Wilson to a lifetime seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, handing President Donald Trump his 200th successful judicial appointment and further cementing the right-wing takeover of America's federal court system. Civil rights groups immediately condemned Wilson's confirmation, pointing to the judge's long record of attacking the Affordable Care Act and defending voter suppression tactics like photo ID laws. : Lena Zwarensteyn, Fair Courts Campaign director at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, ripped Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for ramming through a judge with a "record antithetical to 'equal justice under law.'" "While the people demand policing reform and...
    The U.S. Senate confirmed its 200th federal judge nominated by President Donald Trump on Wednesday, approving Cory Wilson by a narrow 52-48 vote to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) noted that there are now no vacancies anywhere on the federal appellate bench: Once we confirm Judge Wilson today, this Senate will have confirmed 200 of President Trump’s nominees to lifetime appointments on the federal bench. And following number 200, when we depart this chamber today, there will not be a single circuit-court vacancy anywhere in the nation for the first time in at least 40 years. As I’ve said many times, our work with the administration to renew our federal courts is not a partisan or political victory. It is a victory for the rule of law and for the Constitution itself. Democrats...
    The United States Senate confirmed President Donald Trump’s 200th judicial appointee to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday. Judge Cory Wilson, a conservative judge who currently serves on the Mississippi Court of Appeals, is the 200th judge Trump has nominated and Senate has confirmed to fill court vacancies since he became president, the New York Times reported Wednesday. “Following Number 200, when we depart this chamber today, there will not be a single circuit court vacancy anywhere in the nation for the first time in at least 40 years,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday, according to the Times. “It’s a victory for the rule of law and for the Constitution itself.” BREAKING: The Senate just confirmed Trump’s 200th judge, Cory Wilson. With this confirmation, Trump has filled EVERY Circuit Court vacancy and continues his trend of placing disproportionately white men with hostile records on civil rights into LIFETIME seats...
    "No vacancy left behind." That quote, repeated over and over by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the past year -- to cheers from Republicans and the outrage of Democrats -- has been the creed behind the Senate's single-minded push to confirm as many Trump-nominated federal judges as possible. And the 52-48 confirmation of Cory Wilson to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Wednesday means that McConnell, in one respect, has quite literally accomplished that goal. Wilson fills the final remaining federal circuit court vacancy. None have been left behind. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., in the East Room of the White House during an event about Trump's judicial appointments, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) SENATE CONFIRMS CONTROVERSIAL TRUMP PICK WALKER TO IMPORTANT APPEALS COURT Wilson also marks the 200th overall lifetime-appointed...
    Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump's 200th judicial nominee was confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday, marking a significant milestone in a presidency that has tilted the federal judiciary in a conservative direction for decades to come.With the confirmation of Judge Cory Wilson to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Trump has successfully appointed 53 appeals court judges, 143 district court judges, two US Court of International Trade judges and two Supreme Court justices -- Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh -- according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office.Trump, with the help of a determined McConnell and Senate GOP majority, has significantly reshaped the judiciary during his first term, and the 200th appointment milestone illustrates how lasting his legacy will be, as federal judges serve lifetime appointments and many of Trump's picks have been young judges who can serve for many years. "Judicial confirmations may be President Trump's most important...
    Washington — The Senate on Wednesday confirmed President Trump's 200th nominee to the federal bench, a milestone that caps an extraordinary effort by the president and the Republican-controlled Senate to leave an enduring stamp on the federal judiciary. Senators approved the nomination of Cory Wilson to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by a vote of 52 to 48. With Wilson's confirmation and that of Judge Justin Walker to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last week, Mr. Trump has now filled all vacancies to the federal circuit courts.  Walker, however, will not take his seat on the influential D.C. Circuit until September when Judge Thomas Griffith, whose spot he is filling, officially retires. Get Breaking News Delivered to Your Inbox The vote to confirm Wilson is the culmination of the push by Mr. Trump, with the crucial assistance of Senate Majority Leader...
    DONALD Trump confirmed a another round of "generous" coronavirus stimulus checks may be on the way.  The President said he would be open to sending out a second round of checks and direct deposits to hard-hit Americans during the COVID-19 crisis. Trump confirmed more payments were on the wayCredit: Getty Images - Getty Copy of a fictitious United States Treasury refund checkCredit: Getty Images - Getty When asked by Scripps local TV news whether he would consider sending out another cash injection, Trump said "yeah, we are. We are." "We will be doing another stimulus package," he said. "It'll be very good. It'll be very generous." Trump declined to discuss the details of the new package which will be revealed in the coming weeks, saying "you'll find out about it. You'll find out." NBC News reported that a White Official described these potential payments as "part of something the economic...
    The U.S. Senate voted to confirm a judge appointed by President Donald Trump to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals Thursday. Judge Justin Walker has clerked for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, interned for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and worked as a speechwriter for former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Walker, a pick that Senate Democrats opposed, won praise from pro-life organizations for his stances on religious freedom. The U.S. Senate confirmed a judge appointed by President Donald Trump, and opposed by Senate Democrats, to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals Thursday by a close 51-42 vote. Trump nominated Judge Justin Walker to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in May, and the announcement was met with opposition from Democratic politicians who criticized the newly appointed district judge for his past comments on a Supreme Court ruling upholding ObamaCare, according to Bloomberg Law. Walker’s nomination was...
    The Senate on Thursday voted 51-42 to confirm Trump nominee Judge Justin Walker to the second-highest court in the country, marking the 199th Article III judge confirmed to this point in the president's term. The vote was nearly along party lines, with only GOP Maine Sen. Susan Collins joining Democrats in opposition. Walker will join the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, where he previously worked as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Walker also clerked for former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and served as an intern for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and a speechwriter for former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The judge underwent a tense confirmation process, which included allegations of political bias from Democrats over his past comments on the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., even used the photo of a boy with muscular dystrophy...
    The Senate on Thursday confirmed district judge Justin Walker to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit The 51-42 vote fell largely along party lines. Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Energy: Senate passes major lands conservation bill | Mnuchin ordered to give Native American tribes full stimulus funding | Key Republican jeopardizes Trump consumer safety nominee Key Republican jeopardizes nomination of Trump consumer safety pick Black voters need a new Senate as much as a new president MORE (R-Maine), who faces a difficult re-election bid, was the only GOP senator who voted against Walker.  Thursday’s vote caps off a months-long confirmation fight, which court watchers on both sides viewed as the most consequential court battle the Senate is expected to have this year absent a Supreme Court vacancy. Walker, 38, previously clerked for Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughCoronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Sean...
    WASHINGTON – A divided Senate has approved the nomination of a 38-year-old judge and ally of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to serve on a top federal appeals court, despite Democrats’ objections that he’s inexperienced and biased against the Obama-era health care law. The 51-42, vote Thursday in favor of Justin Walker’s confirmation was nearly along party lines. Walker, a protege of both McConnell and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, will join the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in September. The court is widely considered the second-most powerful in the nation and frequently serves as a launching pad for a seat on the Supreme Court. Four current justices, including Kavanaugh, served on the D.C. circuit. In a floor speech before Thursday's vote, McConnell called Walker “a widely admired legal expert and proven judge” who deserves quick promotion to the appeals court, just nine months...
    Air Force Gen. Charles Q. “CQ” Brown Jr. was confirmed Tuesday as the next Air Force Chief of Staff by a unanimous 98-0 vote in the Senate. Gen. Brown, a 37-year Air Force veteran, is the first African-American to serve as the top uniformed officer in any of the military services. In a Twitter message, Vice President Mike Pence called it “a historic day for our nation.” “Congratulations, Gen. Brown,” the vice president wrote. TOP STORIES Bigger than life: George Floyd known for big heart, good works, struggles with drugs, crime Riots spurred by death of George Floyd take heavy toll on black lives, communities McConnell looking to respond to the obvious racial discrimination country has witnessed recently Gen. Brown, whose fighter pilot callsign is “CQ” takes over for the retiring Gen. David Goldfein. He is currently head of the U.S. Air Force in the Pacific region. Before taking...
    The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed Gen. Charles "CQ" Brown Jr. as the next Air Force chief of staff – marking the first time an African-American officer has served as chief of staff of a military service. Brown, the current commander of U.S. Pacific Air Forces, was confirmed 98-0 in a Senate vote presided over by Vice President Mike Pence. He was nominated to be the 22nd Air Force chief of staff by President Trump in March. Brown has a long and distinguished career in the Air Force, with 2,900 flying hours, including 130 combat hours, primarily in F-16 Fighting Falcons. He also commanded a fighter squadron and two fighter wings, and served as the deputy commander for U.S. Central Command. AIR FORCE ARMS B-52 BOMBERS WITH PROTOTYPE NUCLEAR-ARMED CRUISE MISSILES “The United States Air Force will be well served by the formidable talents of CQ Brown,” Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett...
    Washington — The Senate on Tuesday confirmed General Charles Brown to serve as the Air Force chief of staff, making him the first African-American to lead a military service branch. Vice President Mike Pence presided over the Senate for the vote, and Brown's historic nomination was approved unanimously, 98-0. He is the second African-American officer to sit on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, following Colin Powell, who served as chairman. President Trump nominated Brown to serve as chief of staff of the Air Force in early March and his nomination was reported out of the Senate Armed Services Committee in mid-May. But Brown's nomination was held by Senator Dan Sullivan, a Republican from Alaska, over questions about where the Air Force should base the KC-46 aerial refueling tanker, according to Defense News. Trending News Trump suggests 75-year-old man shoved to the ground by police was a "set up" Black Lives Matter...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed Gen. Charles Brown Jr. as chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, making him the first black officer to lead one of the nation’s military services. Vice President Mike Pence took the unusual step of presiding over the vote, something he usually does to break ties. But Brown’s confirmation, 98-0, was not close. Pence called the moment “historic.” The vote came as the Trump administration and the mostly white Senate Republican conference grapple with the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. Protests have convulsed the nation alongside the coronavirus pandemic, with racial discrimination being the common thread between them. The vote in Washington overlapped with Floyd’s funeral in Houston. Brown most recently served as the commander of U.S. Pacific Air Forces. He is a fighter pilot, with more than 2,900 flying hours, including...
    The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed General Charles Brown as the U.S. Air Force’s next Chief of Staff, making him the first black Chief of any U.S. military branch. Brown will be replacing Gen. Dave Goldfein. The vote was 98-0. Vice President Mike Pence presided over the confirmation in the Senate, a rare move due to the historic vote. Brown also joins retired Army Gen. Colin Powell as the only black men to sit on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Brown currently serves as the Commander of Pacific Air Forces. Sen, Dan Sullivan(R), R-AR, talks to General Charles Q. Brown after his testimony at a Senate Armed Services hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on May 7, 2020. (Photo by KEVIN DIETSCH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) President Donald Trump nominated Brown in March for the position, but his confirmation was held up by Republican Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan. (RELATED: Pence To...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Senate voted along party lines Thursday to confirm President Donald Trump’s choice to head the Voice of America and other U.S. government-funded international broadcasters that have been the subject of harsh criticism from the White House. Despite significant Democratic opposition and concerns over his fitness for the job, the Senate voted 53-38 to confirm Michael Pack to run the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which oversees VOA and its sister outlets including Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia and the Cuba-oriented Radio and Television Marti. Democrats opposed the nomination of Pack, a former associate of Trump political adviser Steve Bannon, in part because of questions about his past business dealings. Recent criticism of VOA from Trump and the White House has intensified their concerns about his nomination. Trump had pushed for Pack’s confirmation while launching unprecedented attacks on the Voice of...
    WASHINGTON (AP) - A divided Senate voted along party lines Thursday to confirm President Donald Trump’s choice to head the Voice of America and other U.S. government-funded international broadcasters that have been the subject of harsh criticism from the White House. Despite significant Democratic opposition and concerns over his fitness for the job, the Senate voted 53-38 to confirm Michael Pack to run the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which oversees VOA and its sister outlets including Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia and the Cuba-oriented Radio and Television Marti. Democrats opposed the nomination of Pack, a former associate of Trump political adviser Steve Bannon, in part because of questions about his past business dealings. Recent criticism of VOA from Trump and the White House has intensified their concerns about his nomination. TOP STORIES Lindsey Graham to James Mattis: Youre missing something here, my friend AG...
    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has confirmed a new inspector general to oversee money distributed as part of the $2 trillion economic rescue law, putting at least one watchdog in place as oversight of the money has lagged. The Senate confirmed Brian Miller, a lawyer in the White House counsel’s office, on a 51-40 vote Tuesday. Democrats voted against Miller after questioning his independence from President Donald Trump, who nominated him for the post. Responding to those concerns, Miller told the Senate Banking Committee during his confirmation hearing last month that “independence is vital” for the special inspector general for pandemic recovery. He pledged to conduct audits and investigations “with fairness and impartiality.” The post would place him in charge of overseeing a roughly $500 billion Treasury fund for businesses and localities created as part of the economic rescue law approved in March. TOP STORIES Richmond police...
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