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Video: Senate impeachment trial to begin week of February 8

Now, Mr. President, we are well advanced in our efforts to determine the timing and structure of the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump. For the information of all senators, House administrators will come to read the indictment article at 7 p.m. on Monday, January 25. The deputies will then be sworn in the next day, Tuesday January 26. managers and the defense will have some time to prepare their legal briefs, as they did in previous trials. During this time, the Senate will continue to do other business for the American people, such as cabinet appointments and the Covid relief bill. Then, once the briefs have been written, the presentation by the parties will begin the week of February 8. The January 6 insurgency on Capitol Hill, instigated by Donald J. Trump, was a day none of us will ever forget. We all want to leave behind this terrible chapter in our nation’s history. But healing and unity will only come if there is truth and accountability.

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Video: Janet Yellen is unanimously approved by the Senate committee

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Janet Yellen is unanimously approved by the Senate committee

Janet Yellen’s appointment as Secretary of the Treasury was approved unanimously by the Senate Finance Committee on Friday. He will move towards the final vote by the entire Senate.

“It’s an urgent appointment – you look at yesterday’s unemployment figures still at the top of all-time records, and I hope that when Janet Yellen is in place she will work with us to come up with a strong economic package. “” I think in her testimony before this committee she really focused on how she was going to focus on Main Street rather than Wall Street, or at least and there are a lot of policies that she needs to continue on. to focus, and make sure that shadow the bank is not a key aspect of the challenges we face in ensuring that depositors’ interests are taken into account. But I really hope that she can lead another day at Treasury to focus on Main Street issues. “I have very strong disagreements with Dr Yellen over a number of her positions, particularly in the area of ​​tax policy. committed to us to work with us on these issues and the concerns that we have. And I think the strong vote on our side to support it today is an indication that we want to engage. And I just want to ask my colleagues to engage with us, and Dr Yellen to engage with us as we develop new policies. “I congratulate Dr Yellen on his appointment. And I will say a second time that I will support it. “Mr. President, the final total is 26 yes, zero no.” “The nomination will be reported unanimously by the committee.”

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Video: General Austin Becomes First Black Secretary of Defense in U.S. History

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General Austin Becomes First Black Secretary of Defense in U.S. History

The Senate confirmed General Lloyd J. Austin III as Secretary of Defense in a 93-2 vote, fulfilling a critical national security role in President Biden’s cabinet and making him the first black Pentagon chief .

“This morning the Senate will vote to confirm President Biden’s candidate for Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Mr. Austin will be the first African American to lead the Department of Defense in its history, a powerful symbol of the diversity and history of the United States military. Mr. Austin has a rich career in the military, but those days are behind him. As defense secretary, he pledged to empower and strengthen his civilian staff. And I believe he will be an exceptional Secretary of Defense for everyone in the Pentagon, military and civilian employees. “General Austin is an exceptionally skilled leader with a long and distinguished career in the United States Army. He served at the highest echelons of the military and capped his service as the commander of the US Central Command. His character and integrity are undisputed, and he possesses the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively lead the Pentagon. “We have China and Russia with capabilities that we didn’t really expect to find ourselves with. This will therefore be the main concern of this new administration. And I can’t think of a better person to take the helm than General Austin. “The yeas are 93, the nays are two, and the nomination is confirmed. Under the previous order, the reconsideration motion is deemed to be reconsidered and placed on the table, and the Speaker will be immediately informed of any action taken by the Senate. “Hello everyone.” Journalist: “Mr. Secretary, how does it feel to be back in this building? “Nice to see you guys, and thanks for being here.” I look forward to working with you. See you soon on campus. Journalist: “What are your priorities, Mr. Secretary, at the start?”

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Video: Senate to receive article on impeachment on Monday, says Schumer

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Senate to receive article on impeachment on Monday, says Schumer

Senator Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader, said the House would hand over the impeachment article to the Senate on Monday, accusing former President Donald J. Trump of “incitement to insurgency.”

“The Senate will also conduct a second impeachment trial against Donald Trump. I spoke to the Republican leader about the timing and length of the trial. But make no mistake, there will be a trial in the US Senate, and there will be a vote on whether to convict the president. I spoke to President Pelosi, who informed me that the items would be delivered to the Senate on Monday. Now I have heard some of my fellow Republicans argue that this trial would be unconstitutional because Donald Trump is no longer in office, an argument that has been outright repudiated, debunked by hundreds of left, right and center constitutionalists. , and challenge the basics. common sense. It makes no sense that a president or an official could commit a heinous crime against our country and then be allowed to step down in order to avoid accountability and a vote to exclude them from their future office. “Under Senate rules, if the article arrives, we will start a trial immediately. This impeachment began with an unprecedented speedy and minimal process in the House, the sequel cannot be an insufficient Senate process that denies former President Trump due process or prejudices the Senate or the presidency she -even. Senate Republicans firmly believe that we need a full and fair process where the former president can mount a defense, and the Senate can properly consider factual, legal, and constitutional issues.

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Video: Congress grants waiver for Austin to serve as Secretary of Defense

“We currently have a huge problem with white supremacy. We also have a problem within our military ranks. Now let me be perfectly clear. I have 100% confidence in our military, but it’s a problem they need to solve, it’s the rise of white supremacy and white nationalism in their ranks. Having a highly qualified African American as Secretary of Defense will be a huge step towards solving this problem. “There is a strong pool of diverse civilians and former military leaders with the skills and experience to serve as secretary. President Biden could have chosen from this pool of talent, but he chose not to. I voted for the waiver for General Mattis, and I will vote for the waiver for General Austin. To me, that’s right: a waiver for a Republican president and a waiver for a Democratic president. “And I think the president chose well, and I urge my colleagues to grant this waiver. This is not a confirmation, I would add. Our brothers and sisters in the United States Senate will still have to judge and advise and consent to this appointment, but this waiver is a prerequisite for their substantive consideration. “On this vote, on this vote, the yeas are 326, the nays are 78. The bill is adopted.” “On this vote, the yeas are 69, the nays are 27. The threshold of 60 votes having been reached, the bill is adopted.”

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Congress grants Austin waiver to act as Secretary of Defense

WASHINGTON – The House and Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a special waiver allowing retired four-star Army General Lloyd J. Austin III to serve as Secretary of Defense, removing an obstacle to confirmation for a crucial member of President Biden’s national security team who is set to become the first black American to lead the Pentagon.

In back-to-back votes, lawmakers from both parties approved special dispensation for General Austin from holding the post, as required by any secretary of defense who has been removed from active military service for less than seven years. Leaders have set a vote for Friday morning to confirm this.

The wave of activity on Capitol Hill – and the pressure from Main Democrats to pass its confirmation – reflected the Biden administration’s sense of urgency to quickly install General Austin as Secretary of Defense, a action normally taken on a president’s first day in office to signal the continuity of U.S. power as the presidency changes hands.

“In the face of the many threats, both foreign and domestic, that our nation faces, it is essential that Secretary-designate Austin be immediately confirmed,” said President Nancy Pelosi. “Blocking this waiver would be a mistake which, among other dangers, would delay the urgent work to be done to restore the independence and capabilities of the Department of Defense, which we must do as soon as possible.”

For weeks General Austin’s chances of securing the waiver seemed slim, as lawmakers on both sides expressed reluctance to grant an exception to a law aimed at maintaining civilian control of the military. Congress approved a similar measure four years ago for Jim Mattis, First Secretary of Defense to President Donald J. Trump and a retired four-star Navy officer; some Democrats have vowed never to do it again.

But over the past two weeks, officials in Mr. Biden’s transition team, aided by the main Democrats in Congress, have been putting intense pressure on lawmakers to clear the way for General Austin, and many have started to abandon their reserves. Ms Pelosi relied on her members Thursday in a private conference call to grant the waiver to General Austin, according to several Democrats familiar with the remarks.

“Can you give the President of the United States the benefit of the doubt?” Ms Pelosi asked, Democrats said, who described the private comments on the condition of anonymity.

General Austin met privately with members of the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday and gave lawmakers the same assurances he gave to senators in that chamber’s armed services group when he testified this week.

“I intend to surround myself with, and empower, experienced and capable civilian leaders, who will enable healthy civil-military relations based on meaningful oversight,” said General Austin. Regarding the Congress, he added: “We will be transparent with you. I will provide you with my best advice. And I will look for yours.

An intense lobbying campaign for General Austin’s appointment took place in the Senate. Vice President Kamala Harris has reached out to her former colleagues, and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, has made buttons to lawmakers in the Senate.

Alaskan Republican Senator Dan Sullivan, who shares a military history with General Austin, was alarmed at the negative tone of a hearing regarding the Senate committee waiver issue this month.

“There must have been a step back because I was worried,” he said. Mr. Sullivan quickly began to put pressure on many colleagues.

For General Austin’s allies, the siege by Trump supporters on Capitol Hill this month and the participation of some veterans and serving members of the military further underscored the importance of confirming that a black man is leading the Pentagon.

“We cannot ignore the historical significance of the fact that Secretary-designate Austin is the first African American chosen to be Secretary of Defense in our history,” said Representative Adam Smith, Democrat of Washington and Chairman of the Committee on Defense. armed services of the House. to Democratic lawmakers this week.

“Our country is facing a violent insurgency of right-wing extremists, mainly led by white supremacist organizations,” he wrote. “In the face of these realities, it would be a grave error on the part of the United States House of Representatives to prevent Secretary-designate Austin from being confirmed as our Secretary of Defense.”

Even though 43% of the 1.3 million active duty men and women in the United States are people of color, the leaders at the top of the military chain of command have remained remarkably white and masculine. When President Barack Obama chose General Austin to lead United States Central Command, the country’s first military command, he became one of the highest ranked black men in the military, just behind Colin L. Powell , who had been the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Once installed, General Austin should need very little time to acclimate to the new post. On Wednesday, hours after Mr. Biden took office, more than two dozen high-level Pentagon aides were sworn in, including the Secretary of Defense Chief of Staff, in an extraordinary gesture aimed at to allow General Austin’s team to move forward. more senior officials are confirmed by the Senate.

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Biden’s calls for unity are already being tested in Congress

Perhaps more than any recent president, Mr. Biden has staked his reputation and the fortunes of his administration on his ability to work with a polarized Congress where Democrats have only the narrowest margins of control. Despite the recent history of legislative inertia and toxic politics, Mr Biden has made it clear that he believes he can use his 36 years of experience and connections on Capitol Hill to work on the other side. off the aisle and make the breakthroughs necessary to get the nation through its multiple crises – that “rare and difficult hour,” as he put it.

He immediately set about trying to strengthen his ties with Republicans, inviting Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader who waited a month to recognize him as president, and Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the most top House Republican who supported the overthrow of his victory, to attend mass with him Wednesday morning before the inauguration.

Mr McConnell, in a lighter moment after the inauguration that recalled the Washington club circles in which the president has long been at home, claimed that Mr Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were “sons. and daughter ”of the Senate because of their service there, while ironically pointing out that neither had ever been a member of the House, House Senators love to mock as a humble body. Ms Harris received a bipartisan standing ovation in the Senate when she first stepped into the presidency following her swearing in as vice president.

In his speech, Biden also reminded members of the House and Senate in attendance that he was one of them.

“Listen, folks,” he said, using one of his favorite expressions, “all my colleagues that I have served with in the House and the Senate here – we all understand the world is watching, is watching us all today.

But it will take more than flashback and the good nature of Mr. Biden to break the lingering deadlock in Congress. Already, Republicans are increasingly challenging his cabinet candidates, and Mr Biden has almost become the first president since at least Jimmy Carter to fail to secure confirmation of a cabinet candidate in his early hours. function. At the last minute, Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas dropped his objection to April D. Haines confirming his role as director of national intelligence. Yet candidates for other national security posts that are usually approved immediately after a president takes office have remained stranded.

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Video: Kamala Harris swears to NDP senators

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Kamala Harris swears to NDP senators

Vice President Kamala Harris was sworn in on Wednesday by three new senators: Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock of Georgia and Alex Padilla of California. Democrats now have tight control over the Senate.

“If the elected senators and the appointed senators now come to the office, the president will administer the oath.” “Sir. Ossoff, Mr. Padilla, Mr. Warnock.” Please raise your right hand. OK, solemnly swear that you will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and national, that you will carry true faith and allegiance to the same, that you will assume this obligation freely, without any mental reserve or purpose of escape, and that you will discharge well and faithfully the duties of the office into which you are about to enter in order to help you God? Senators: “Yes.” “Congratulations.” [applause]

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Keep up to date with the latest news from the 2020 election campaign.

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Video: ‘Will not happen again’: Mayorkas vows to protect Capitol

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‘Will not happen again’: Mayorkas vows to protect Capitol

Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the Homeland Security Secretary’s candidate, said he would work to ensure the United States is protected from domestic threats and another attack on the Capitol.

The United States faces significant security concerns and threats, and I would just like the committee to know that this senator is confident that all Americans will demonstrate positive leadership and urges the committee to support his appointment. This committee worked to create the Department of Homeland Security following the horrific events of September 11, 2001. At the time, we were primarily concerned with foreign threats coming from outside our country’s borders. As we sit here today with the Capitol complex surrounded by fences and thousands of National Guard members all around us, threats the Department is tasked with protecting us from our very different. Well, foreign threat actors remain a concern, the attack on Capitol Hill on January 6 was an attack on our democracy itself. In my opinion, the love for this country that I learned from my parents only made the January 6 attack on our Capitol all the more horrific. If I have the honor to be confirmed, I will do everything possible to ensure that the tragic loss of human life, the aggression against the police, the desiccation of the building which constitutes one of the three pillars of our democracy, the terror that you felt that your colleagues, your staff and everyone present would not perform.

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Video: Watch Live: Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Lloyd Austin

TimesVideoWatch Live: Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Lloyd Austin The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing to consider the appointment of Lloyd J. Austin III, a retired three-star general, as Secretary of Defense.