President Joe Biden has condemned a Republican alternative to his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue plan as insufficient.
Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urged Senate Democrats on a private call to take bold action to address the pandemic and economic crisis, Lisa Mascaro and Josh Boak report.
Senate Democrats marshalled their slim majority to vote, 50-49, on a first step toward approving Biden’s plan with or without Republican votes. The procedural vote launches a lengthy budget process toward passage by March.
Biden told Republican senators he was unwilling to settle on too small a coronavirus aid package after meeting for two hours over their slimmed-down $618 billion proposal.
Immigration: Biden signed a second spate of orders to undo his predecessor’s immigration policies, demonstrating the powers of the White House and its limitations without support from Congress. His orders on family separation, border security and legal immigration bring to nine the number of executive actions on immigration during his first two weeks in office.
Trump Impeachment: House Democrats say the Senate should convict Donald Trump of impeachment and bar him from office because he endangered the lives of all members of Congress when he aimed a mob of supporters “like a loaded cannon” at the US Capitol last month.
Trump’s lawyers deny that he incited rioters and call the upcoming Senate trial unconstitutional. Both sides filed legal briefs ahead of next week’s trial, Eric Tucker and Mary Clare Jalonick report.
Capitol Officer Killed: The president and the first lady were among those who paid their respects to slain Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick as he lay in honor in the US Capitol.
Sicknick’s colleagues and the lawmakers he protected are honouring him for his actions during the violent attack on Congress that cost him his life. The officer was injured when a mob besieged the Capitol, on Jan. 6, dying the next day.
Capitol Minority Concerns: Civil rights groups and communities of colour are watching warily for any moves to expand law enforcement power as federal officials grapple with how to confront the security threat posed by domestic extremists after the deadly siege of the Capitol.
They say their communities have felt the brunt of security scrutiny over the last two decades and they fear new tools meant to target right-wing extremism or white nationalists risk harming Muslims, Black Americans and other groups.
It underscores the complexity of the national debate on how to balance protecting First Amendment freedom of speech rights with law enforcement’s need to prevent extremist violence before it occurs, Noreen Nasir and Eric Tucker report.